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NFL Power Rankings Week 1

  1. Kansas City Chiefs 

The Chiefs will play the inaugural Thursday Night game against the Houston Texans. After hoisting their first Lombardi Trophy in fifty years, they’ve managed to extend QB Patrick Mahomes, DL Chris Jones, and TE Travis Kelce. With an embarrassment of riches on offense, the Chiefs pulled the trigger on Brian Westbrook-clone Clyde Edwards-Helaire in round 1 of the NFL draft. Life is good in Kansas City.

  1. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers absolutely took off last season under the direction of head coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch. Expect more dominance from this young roster but wow has their WR room been decimated this offseason. Deadline acquisition Emmanuel Sanders left via free agency, Deebo Samuel suffered a broken foot, Jalen Hurd tore his ACL, Tavon Austin was placed on the IR, Richie James broke his wrist, 1st rounder Brandon Aiyuk suffered a hamstring strain, and Travis Benjamin opted out of the 2020 season. The only good news to come from their offense recently is looking up superstar TE George Kittle.

  1. New Orleans Saints

The Saints last three postseason losses have ended in last second devastation. Their roster has always been top-tier but they always seem to fall short in crunch time. New Orleans’ window appears to be closing with QB Drew Brees’ retirement seeming imminent. Is this the year New Orleans can finally get back to the Super Bowl?

  1. Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson had a nice time quieting his critics last season becoming the second unanimously voted MVP in NFL history. However, he has started his illustrious career with a blemish in the postseason with an 0-2 record. With the addition of DL Calais Campbell, the Chiefs and the Ravens will be in a class of their own in the AFC; the Ravens will look to dethrone the 2019 Super Bowl champs this upcoming season.

  1. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks were 1 yard away from winning the NFC West over the 49ers last season. After winning the Jamal Adams sweepstakes and having Mr. Unlimited at QB, Russell Wilson, they have to feel pretty good about where they’re at. With the addition of Josh Gordon last week, along with the emergence of DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and the duo of Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde in the backfield, watch out for this offense to erupt in 2020.

  1. Green Bay Packers

With reports of 1st rounder QB Jordan Love and 2nd rounder RB AJ Dillon being supplanted to 3rd string in their initial depth chart ahead of week one, GM Brian Gutekunst will constantly be second-guessed this season as he did little to nothing to help out aging QB Aaron Rodgers in the short term. Despite this, the group did finish 13-3 and make an NFC championship game appearance last year. Time will tell if they were one-year wonders under head coach Matt Lafleur.

  1. Buffalo Bills

It’d be tough to find a more well-balanced roster in the league than the Buffalo Bills. They have very solid trenches on each side of the ball; they just extended lockdown CB Tre White to a lucrative extension and have young talent all around their perimeter on offense in the form of Dawson Knox, Devin Singletary, and 2nd rounder RB Zack Moss. QB Josh Allen has become the butt of a lot of jokes this offseason after his interesting decision to lateral in their wildcard matchup against Houston, as well as his woes throwing the ball down the field. With the addition of a true #1 WR in Stefon Diggs, and Allen’s efficiency in the short passing game, Allen and the Bills have a ton of upside going into this season. 

  1. Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys bode one of the more talented rosters in all of the NFL. But don’t we say this every single year? Why will this year be any different? Well for starters, the Cowboys let go longtime head coach Jason Garrett who seemed destined for mediocrity every year. New head coach Mike McCarthy won 6 NFC North titles in 13 years in GB and will look to build off that success in Dallas. The Cowboys had the 6th best point differential in the NFL last season with +113, added Ceedee Lamb to a stacked receiving corps, and get Leighton Vander Esch back on defense. The Cowboys are a prime candidate to take off this season.

  1. Tennessee Titans

The Titans were the one of the bigger surprises in the NFL last year after sneaking into the playoffs as the last seed in the AFC and marching all the way to the AFC championship game. Despite losing DT Jurrell Casey, they added Vic Beasley and most recently Jadeveon Clowney via free agency. Head coach Mike Vrabel will rely on ball control with Derrick Henry pounding the rock, and solid defense to keep his team a contender this upcoming season. If QB Ryan Tannehill can replicate last year’s success, there’s no reason this team cannot become a factor once again in the AFC.

  1. Minnesota Vikings

Nobody seems to be talking about the job GM Rick Spielman is doing in Minnesota. He managed to acquire Yannick Ngakoue for a 2nd rounder and a conditional 5th while only having Ngakoue count for $12 million against the cap this upcoming season. Ngakoue and Danielle Hunter will form one of the most fearsome EDGE duos in all of football. QB Kirk Cousins will look to build off his first career playoff win last season and make this team a serious contender. They will look to knock off Green Bay and win their first NFC North title since 2017.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs have dominated the media this summer with all their activity. First, they signed Tom Brady. They later traded for Rob Gronkowski who agreed to come out of retirement and play with his old teammate. Last week they snatched up RB Leonard Fournette in free agency. The talent is evident, coach Bruce Arians has done yeoman’s work before in Indianapolis and Arizona with much less. The biggest question is how will all this talent gel in this shortened offseason?

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers

Defensive coordinator Keith Butler’s defense absolutely erupted onto the scene after the acquisition of young superstar S Minkah Fitzpatrick. This defense finished in the top five in yards allowed, points against, and led the league in sacks. Despite this, they finished a disappointing 8-8 after flip-flopping between QBs Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges. With QB Ben Roethlisberger back behind center, this offense should return to relevance. But can the aging QB stay healthy? If so, watch out AFC.

  1. Indianapolis Colts

Head coach Frank Reich and GM Chris Ballard do not get enough credit for fielding such a competitive group last season after QB Andrew Luck abruptly retired two weeks before game action last season. It’s hard to blame all their previous troubles on backup QB Jacoby Brissett as a handful of WRs and TEs were injured last year in Indy. After extending C Ryan Kelly this past week, the Colts will have one of the best OLs in the entire NFL locked up through 2021. QB Philip Rivers is stepping into a perfect situation for redemption after a forgettable last season in LA.

  1. Houston Texans

The Texans offseason was highlighted by one of the more head-scratching trades in recent memory when Bill O’Brien shipped out superstar WR DeAndre Hopkins for a 2nd rounder and the hefty contract of RB David Johnson. To give some context, the Patriots traded away a 2nd rounder for recently released WR Mohammad Sanu. Now, time will tell if the trade will work into the Texans favor after acquiring Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb. This is still a solid roster with a ton of speed who just locked up their franchise QB through 2025. They’ve won four out of the last five AFC South titles but have mounted very little playoff success.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles

When will the injuries stop? First, it was the receiving group last season that saw Desean Jackson, Alshon Jeffrey, Nelson Agholor all suffer injuries early on. Now, without having played a game, RG Brandon Brooks and 2019 1st round pick LT Andre Dillard are both out for the season. The Eagles made some nice moves in the offseason acquiring CB Darius Slay from Detroit and DT Javon Hargrave via free agency. But they also made some questionable calls as they drafted QB Jalen Hurts in round two. The Eagles hope to have accumulated a ton of speed and playmaking on offense to give franchise QB Carson Wentz some help. The Birds will have their work cut out for them with plenty of question marks and inexperience across the board.

  1. New England Patriots

All the reports about new addition Cam Newton out of training camp have been glowing. The QB will have a gigantic chip on his shoulder to show the league what they were missing. But with a league-high eight opt-outs and losing another fourteen in free agency, there will be a ton of turnover in Foxborough this upcoming season. Maybe too much to overcome, but I still expect a Bill Belichick-coached football team to always stay competitive and be in the mix.

  1. Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray is a candidate to blow up in year two. With the addition of DeAndre Hopkins, and another year of familiarity and continuity in Kliff Kingbury’s offense, the sky’s the limit for this bunch. With RB Kenyan Drake fully immersed for the entire season, the Cardinals offensive skill players will be one of the more dynamic groups in the entire league. In the toughest division in the NFL, wins will be hard to come by but expect the Cardinals to improve from their 5-win season a year ago. The Cardinals were fortunate to see talented do-it-all S/LB Isaiah Simmons fall to them at number eight. If he can generate more turnovers and big plays for their defense, the Cards are an obvious contender to climb into the playoff picture.

  1. Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers suffered a huge blow last week when S Derwin James ended his season with a knee injury. This defense still has an opportunity to be really good, but they had a chance to be elite with James. Nevertheless, they will attempt to move on in their life after Philip Rivers with bridge QB Tyrod Taylor. In Taylor’s last stint as a starter, he led Buffalo to the playoffs for the first time in eighteen years. If the Chargers can get that same Taylor from Buffalo, they could easily sneak into a wildcard with the expanded playoff format. 

  1. Los Angeles Rams

It seems long ago but this team was in the Super Bowl just two years ago. Now, they’ve moved on from longtime RB Todd Gurley and will look to revamp some of QB Jared Goff after a disappointing campaign last season. They will have to fend off two NFC powerhouses in San Fran and Seattle as well as an up and coming Arizona team. The Rams will be paying Gurley and WR Brandin Cooks nearly a combined $30 million dollars in dead cap to play for other teams this upcoming season. They were limited in moving around their roster this offseason, but this team still has loads of talent. If Goff can return to 2018 form, while Aaron Donald continues to control games up front as well as Jalen Ramsey locking down opposing team’s number one receivers, this team could quickly ascend back to the top of the NFC West. 

  1. Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons were one of the more disappointing teams in all of the NFL last year. They started out at 1-7 and it seemed head coach Dan Quinn’s job was in serious jeopardy. However, the Falcons finished 6-2 in their last eight including wins at New Orleans and at San Francisco. This is a team that hasn’t been talked about too much this offseason but they will field one of the more talented rosters in the NFL. They added RB Todd Gurley and TE Hayden Hurst into the mix on offense. If Gurley can stay healthy, this offense has a ton of potential. If not, you still feel confident that Matt Ryan and co. will put up enough points to win, but can the defense hold their end of the bargain? 

  1. Chicago Bears

Similar to Atlanta, the Bears did not come close to meeting expectations last year. QB Mitch Trubisky regressed in a big way and the defense did not play up to par. The Bears have not picked up Trubisky’s fifth year on his rookie deal and traded for QB Nick Foles to compete with him as the starter. Trubisky was named the starter for week one but will evidently have a very short leash. The defense should look more like 2018 than 2019 this year with the additions of S Tashuan Gipson, DE Robert Quinn, and getting back IDL Akiem Hicks back from injury. This team will go as far as Trubisky (or Foles) takes them.

  1. Detroit Lions

If the Detroit Lions can figure out a way to sustain and finish games, while keeping QB Matthew Stafford upright, they have a real chance to surprise in the NFC North. In 2019, the Lions held leads in fourteen out of the sixteen games, while holding a lead in ten of those in the fourth quarter. Despite this, they still finished 3-12-1. Matthew Stafford was on pace to have a career year but his season ended abruptly after getting hurt. With the additions of RBs D’Andre Swift and Adrian Peterson last week, expect the Lions to pound the rock when they get those leads and take the load off Stafford.

  1. Denver Broncos

In Drew Lock’s small sample size as a starter, he finished the season at 4-1 as the Broncos ended up finishing second in the AFC West. They added WRs Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler in rounds one and two, and signed RB Melvin Gordon. There is a lot to be excited about in Denver with this young group; however, the Broncos received a huge blow this week as former Super Bowl MVP Von Miller suffered a potential season-ending injury during the end of a practice session. Without Miller, the young Broncos lose their best player and a core team leader before the season has even started.

  1. Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns were a fan favorite pick to burst onto the scene in 2019 only to fall flat on their faces. To put it nicely, QB Baker Mayfield was inconsistent and head coach Freddie Kitchens looked overmatched. With DE Myles Garrett back after serving his season-ending suspension, and a year to gel, it’ll be interesting to see how new head coach Kevin Stefanski can transform this offense. It’ll feature the best two-headed monster backfield in the NFL with Nick Chubb-Kareem Hunt along with Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and Austin Hooper on the perimeter. The OL should be vastly improved after adding OTs Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills. This will be a telling year for the former Heisman winner, Baker Mayfield.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders were a pleasant surprise last year finishing 7-9 but only five teams had a worse point differential at -106. It’ll be their first year in Sin City as they’ll experience a ton of turnover. They’ll have as many as seven new starters on defense including CB Damon Arnette, LB Cory Littleton, and former first rounder S Johnathan Abram back from injury. Their offense was 11th in yards per game, but only 24th in points per game. TE Darren Waller and RB Josh Jacobs both produced in big ways but they’ll need to find the endzone more frequently if they want to keep up with the other offenses in the AFC West. They have the 2nd hardest strength of schedule going into 2020. Rookie WRs Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards don’t have time for grooming and figuring things out as each is slotted in as a starter week one. Expect some hurdles in their transition year to Vegas.

  1. Miami Dolphins

In 2019, the Dolphins looked like the worst team by far after their 0-7 start. They were hardly competitive, flipping back and forth between QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen. But head coach Brian Flores slowly steered the Dolphins into winning five of their last nine including wins over Philly and New England. Flores and GM Chris Grier are building a talented, young roster down in Miami. The Dolphins added a bunch of talent via free agency and the draft (five picks in the first two rounds) including CB Byron Jones, OLB Kyle Van Noy, and QB Tua Tagovailoa, among many others. They won’t be in the playoff picture this year, but this franchise is definitely headed in the right direction. 

  1. New York Giants

Over the last six years, the Giants have had double digit losses in five of them. The Giants are in full-rebuild mode with longtime QB Eli Manning out of the picture. QB Daniel Jones showed moments of brilliance. However, even though he only started in twelve games, he was also second in the NFL in turnovers with twenty-three total. Their trenches have been an absolute mess as their OL has been abysmal while no one on the DL had over 4.5 sacks a year ago. They drafted two OTs in the first three rounds including Andrew Thomas at number four overall. New head coach Joe Judge seems to be laying down an iron fist in camp sending players and coaches on laps after making mistakes. Expect more growing pains for New York this season.

  1. New York Jets

It may be justified or not, but it’s looking like a make-or-break year for QB Sam Darnold. He hasn’t had much help around him since he’s entered the league. The Jets have tried to patch up his supporting cast through free agency with signings like WRs Jamison Crowder and Breshad Perriman. It seems head coach Adam Gase and RB Le’veon Bell simply haven’t worked well together. New GM Joe Douglas got a haul for superstar S Jamal Adams which will help in the long-term but without him or C.J. Mosley for 2020, this defense will inevitably take a few steps back.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals

Number 1 overall, QB Joe Burrow is coming off arguably the greatest statistical season in college football history. He will be the lone rookie to start in week one of the 2020 season. He isn’t going into nearly as grim a situation as most top pick QBs. He’ll have WRs A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, fellow rookie Tee Higgins on the perimeter, and RB Joe Mixon to compliment him. They get back 2019 first rounder OT Jonah Williams; their OL is still a concern but should be improved from a year ago. This is one of the more competitive divisions in the NFL, but leave it to Burrow to lead the rebuild. His style fits the new age QB in the NFL; similar to guys like Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson, Burrow can create outside the landscape of his initial reads and make plays outside the pocket with his legs. The defense will continue to struggle in 2020, but should be more competitive than 2019. 

  1. Carolina Panthers

The rebuild is on in Carolina as they’ve moved on from franchise QB Cam Newton. They were the first team in modern history to make every draft pick on one side of the ball with seven draft picks on defense. On their initial depth chart, they have four rookies starting on defense. They signed QB Teddy Bridgewater to a lucrative three-year deal. Expect him to be a bridge-QB this year and potentially next year with a rich-2021 QB class incoming. New head coach has been known to lead quick turnarounds at Temple and Baylor University but each time has fallen flat in year one

  1. Washington Football Team

The Washington Football Team is making quite a transition going into 2020. Formerly known as the Redskins, the Washington Football team seems to be in limbo with new head coach Ron Rivera. QB Dwayne Haskins had a lot on his plate in year one, but will need to prove himself pretty quickly as Rivera does not hold an allegiance to the Ohio State grad. The offense will still experience some growing pains in 2020 with relative inexperience in each position group. The DL has the potential to absolutely explode onto the scene in 2020. Number two overall pick, Chase Young is one of the more polished, explosive prospects in recent memory. He’ll be alongside fellow first rounders IDL Jonathan Allen, Da’ron Payne, and DE Montez Sweat.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars

The demolition of the roster is finally complete after shipping away DE Yannick Ngakoue and releasing RB Leonard Fournette. They were ten minutes away from making a Super Bowl appearance in 2017. Three years later and their roster has gone through an entire overhaul. QB Gardner Minshew was one of the more surprising rookies in recent memory as the sixth rounder threw for over 3,000 yards with twenty-one touchdowns to six interceptions in just twelve starts. Alongside Minshew, 2019 rookies DE Josh Allen, OT Jawaan Taylor, and LB Quincy Williams all showed promise a year ago. After selecting twelve more draft picks, the Jaguars will be even younger and look to really form a nice young core (kinda like…2017?).

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