Looks like we're going to pick up right where we left off following ESPN's post-draft rankings -- the New England Patriots are No. 1 and the Atlanta Falcons are No. 2 in ESPN's preseason Power Rankings. Now, to find out where teams fall in at which position after the Super Bowl LI teams go 1-2, it's best to keep reading.Here's how ESPN's power panel (a group of more than 80 writers, Bart Starr Jerseyseditors and TV personalities) voted in the preseason version of the Power Rankings. ESPN Stats & Information research contributed the following information.

Also, ESPN's NFL Insiders answer the big questions: Which team is most overrated, and which is most underrated?

Look back at our post-draft Power Rankings here and our post-free agency Power Rankings here.

The defending champions may have only gotten better this offseason with the additions of Brandin Cooks, Stephon Gilmore and Kony Ealy. The team is poised to make Tom Brady the second 40-year-old quarterback to start a playoff game, Aaron Rodgers Jerseysjoining Brett Favre in 2009.

The Falcons' offense is still as potent as it was last season, Clay Matthews Jerseysand a defense that relied heavily on rookies and finished 27th in points allowed in 2016 could see big improvements. A return to the Super Bowl isn't out of the question, Randall Cobb Jerseysand ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI) trends that way as well, giving Atlanta the sixth-best odds of making the big game.

Things are quiet in Seattle right now. Eddie Lacy JerseysMaybe a little too quiet? This could be bad news for the rest of the NFL, as a healthy "Legion of Boom" could stop a trend of three straight seasons for the Seahawks' defense allowing more points than the year before.

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Where does our money go?

What does Lasting Imprint do with the money it raises throughout the year?

This is an important question that we want to answer so you know that your support of our mission is helping to make a difference here in the Midwest.  

If you survey the heart families we serve, many of them have different areas that they are passionate about including awareness, research, hospital support, family activities, and early detection.  The board of directors and volunteers of Lasting Imprint know and understand this, which is why we do our best to give to each of these important areas.

Money raised from our two large fundraisers fund three main objectives.

  1. Making an annual donation to CHD research. 
  2. Providing CHD Family Kits to cardiac patients in four major Children’s Hospitals.
  3. Raising awareness in our communities.

Donating to research is very important to us and the families we serve because in most cases we just don’t know what causes congenital heart defects.  It is frustrating to be told “we don’t know why this happened.”  Funding research not only helps to move forward in answering “why” but it helps develop the “how” to better treat CHD patients and increase survival rates.  According to the Children’s Heart Foundation,

Twice as many children die from congenital heart defects in the United States than from all forms of childhood cancer combined yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times greater than funding for congenital heart defects.

Providing CHD Family Kits to cardiac patients is important because this is our first real opportunity to reach families who are often in need of support and encouragement.  Our kits provide items that are helpful during hospital stays such as a water bottle, lotion, chap stick, children’s book, coloring book and crayons, etc.  The kit is designed to provide items and resources both in the hospital setting and once families return home.  It also opens families up to a huge support network of others who have experienced a situation similar to their own by connecting them through our discussion groups, family activities, and social interaction via Facebook.

Raising awareness is an ongoing activity that takes on a variety of forms.  Our two major fundraising events are in fact awareness opportunities.  Unless people know what CHD is, it is hard to move forward in doing and giving more.  Other awareness activities include speaking engagements to nursing classes, college business classes, and community service clubs like Rotary and Kiwanis.  Lasting Imprint often has a booth at different events that are heart or pregnancy focused.  We have partnered with clinics and hospitals to get our brochures to expecting parents who learn of a CHD diagnosis.  We also have established relationships with county employees who work with programs many heart families utilize. We love to take on every opportunity we can to share with others the Lasting Imprint story!

Lasting Imprint continues to grow as more and more families are affected by congenital heart defects.  We have expanded our relationship with the Minnesota Department of Health as we work together to implement pulse oximetry screening in local hospitals.  Pulse ox is a simple test that can be included in your newborn screening and can detect some heart defects.  We also plan to host more trainings throughout the state for sonographers to attend and learn how to diagnose congenital heart defects in utero. Training opportunities that have never been offered in Minnesota before!  Well trained sonographers means more CHDs diagnosed prenatally which increases survival rates tremendously.

As you can see we are a busy bunch tackling a variety of areas.  It is an incredible load for an organization made up solely of volunteers but our passion aided with your help is leaving an imprint that is simply astounding.  Thank you for your generous hearts and gifts in support of these goals.



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