Power rankings are up there with mock drafts and prospect reports. We just can't get enough. We hear the same information over and over again, with different purveyors, and we eagerly subscribe to Insider reports and PFF membership alike. Perhaps a better (or at least interesting) way to measure teams up to each other is by what would happen if they played each other.
Let's start with Seattle as the #1 team, since they're the reigning Super Bowl champs, and we'll go down from there.
Reigning SB champs, so they deserve the pole position at least to start the rankings.
2. San Francisco
The criterion for this ranking is strictly "who beats who?" so we must ask who is best qualified to take down Seattle. The answer has to be San Francisco. Although they've generally been awful at CenturyLink, Kap and Co. have the gritty defense and power run game it takes to keep up with Pete Carroll's Seahawks, who, by the way, will start to find it awfully hard to afford all those Super Bowl champion players.
3. New Orleans
Like I said, this isn't your average set of power rankings. Obviously, Seattle is in the best position to knock out San Fran, but we've already given them the top spot, so we must move on to the next most appropriate fit. Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham can put up points on anyone, even San Francisco, and I think adding a star safety in Jairus Byrd will help the team's inconsistent defense. The Arizona Cardinals get an honorable mention, but I just don't think they can keep up on the scoreboard.
4. Green Bay
This was tough, and I was deciding between Denver and Green Bay, both of whom are capable of beating New Orleans at its own game. I just trust Green Bay's run game more than Denver's (Eddie Lacy > Montee Ball), and when it comes time for playoff football versus the Saints, I'll take Aaron Rodgers and the Pack. I also like what Green Bay is doing on defense (obviously, I'm an optimistic Packers fan), and that's a major step towards beating San Fran and Seattle and their mobile quarterbacks.
With the rankings being as they are, somebody had to slide, and it's Denver. On Madden, there are few teams more fun to play with (unless mobile quarterbacks are your weapons of choice, in which case, LOLOLOL PEYTON MANNING LOLOLOL.) I just don't trust them to take out Seattle, San Francisco or New Orleans, though. If Green Bay played Denver, I'd pick Green Bay, but Denver is the "best team available", if you will; of all the remaining squads, they would stand the best shot.
6. New England
This was a no-brainer. Brady vs. Manning is a well-chronicled matchup, and the former nearly always walks away the victor, at least in key matchups. I also like the ability of the NE secondary to shut down the Denver receivers, and watch out for the name Jamie Collins at LB. There's your daily nugget.
Yes, this is way earlier than you'd usually see Baltimore on a power ranking. But hey, that's the way I'm ranking 'em. Joe Flacco has gotten the best of the Pats as of late. There are more talented teams left, sure, but none that quite fit the bill like the rough-and-tumble Ravens.