NFL Power Rankings

My current NFL Power Rankings.

I’m going to use these rankings as the order for my 2020 NFL Mock Draft during the 2019 season. Follow @walterfootball.

I’ve gone from WORST to FIRST, so if you don’t see reverse numbering (via Javascript), don’t worry; the 49ers and Cardinals aren’t my top teams.

Updated: Sept. 10

  1. Miami Dolphins (0-1) – Previously: 32.
    It’s only one game, but I’m confident in making this statement now: The 2019 Dolphins are the worst team in NFL history.

  2. Washington Redskins (0-1) – Previously: 31.
    The Redskins led 17-0 against the Eagles, which might make people think they’re better than they are. However, they had about 30 net yards of offense in the second half before a garbage-time drive at the end. Unless Trent Williams returns soon, I’m expecting more offensive ineptitude from Washington.

  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) – Previously: 24.
    “I like the Buccaneers to be more competitive this year, but Jameis Winston is almost certain to continue to keep acting and playing like a bozo.”

    This was what I wrote prior to the season in this spot. Winston lived down to my expectations of him. He threw two pick-sixes against the 49ers’ poor secondary and probably should have thrown five interceptions in total. Winston is a clown, and his inability to improve with Bruce Arians’ great coaching just proves that he just doesn’t have what it takes to succeed in the NFL.

    On the bright side, the 2020 NFL Mock Draft reveals that the Buccaneers will have a great opportunity to find a huge upgrade over Winston.

  4. New York Giants (0-1) – Previously: 26.
    Despite the Cowboys leading just 21-7 at intermission, Saquon Barkley had FIVE carries compared to 19 pass attempts by Eli Manning. Barkley finished with 11 carries and 15 total touches. Unbelievable.

    Question: Do you think the Giants are limiting Barkley’s touches because they know they’re going to be terrible this season, and they want to preserve him for future years? That’s the best explanation I can think of, because the other explanation is that Pat Shurmur is a moron and just totally forgot that Barkley was on his roster.

  5. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) – Previously: 29.
    I almost wrote down “1-0” for Cincinnati’s record. Andy Dalton threw for 400 yards, while John Ross looked like a dominant receiver, so how in the world did the Bengals lose? Actually, how in the world did they compete with Seattle in the first place, given that their offensive line was in shambles and Joe Mixon was lost with an injury?

  6. Arizona Cardinals (0-0-1) – Previously: 28.
    I planned on betting the Cardinals in Week 1, but was scared off because Marcus Gilbert was ruled out. I was happy with my decision through three quarters when Kyler Murray looked like a complete bust. Something clicked, however, and Murray suddenly was unstoppable. Had Tramaine Brock held on to an easy interception in overtime, Murray would have led Arizona all the way back from 24-6 to a victory in the extra session. The game resulted in a tie, but this was almost like a win for the Cardinals.

    Speaking of ties, how dumb does the NFL’s rule change to move from 15 to 10 minutes in overtime look? I don’t understand why they did it. It’s only five extra minutes, but it’s going to result in more ties. Had there been five more minutes, there’s a good chance the Cardinals could have scored on their third drive. Effectively giving teams two possessions in overtime just doesn’t like enough.

  7. Oakland Raiders (1-0) – Previously: 30.
    I’d like to give my annual warning: Don’t trust what you see in Week 1, especially in the late Monday night game. The team that hosts this game typically gets an unusual surge of emotion and prevails, then ultimately plays poorly the rest of the season.

  8. San Francisco 49ers (1-0) – Previously: 22.
    Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t look quite right for most of the preseason, and that was the case in the regular-season opener. Despite battling a terrible secondary, Garoppolo failed to throw for 200 yards, and he was lucky that he wasn’t intercepted on numerous occasions. Fortunately for Garoppolo, no one is going to talk about it because of how horrible Jameis Winston was. Well, no one except for me.

  9. Atlanta Falcons (0-1) – Previously: 15.
    Wow, the Falcons are terrible. Their first-string offense couldn’t score against the Washington backups in the preseason, as the line couldn’t block at all. I made some excuses for them, citing that Julio Jones didn’t play, and that it was an exhibition contest, so the effort may not have been there. However, that carried over into the regular-season opener versus the Vikings, which was far uglier than the 28-12 result would indicate. Had the Vikings not taken their foot off the gas, the final score could have easily been 49-0.

  10. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) – Previously: 14.
    Gardner Minshew’s name sounds like someone’s sneezing, doesn’t it? Min-SHEW! Min-SHEW! Anyway, Minshew was surprisingly accurate against the Chiefs, but I’m going to take that with a grain, or rather a mountain of salt. Minshew was terrible in the preseason – check out my NFL Rookie Quarterback Grades for more – and he had the benefit of going up against one of the worst defenses in the NFL, playing prevent. He also threw just two deep passes. I think he might really struggle against capable stop units.

  11. Detroit Lions (0-0-1) – Previously: 23.
    How the hell did the Lions blow a 24-6 lead? Kyler Murray absolutely shredded their defense in the fourth quarter after looking like a major bust through three frames. I guess the silver lining, outside of T.J. Hockenson resembling Rob Gronkowski, is that the Lions didn’t actually lose. However, they have to fly back from the West Coast after a grueling overtime game, so they could be exhausted and deflated for their Week 2 matchup.

  12. Indianapolis Colts (0-1) – Previously: 21.
    I had the Colts ranked as my No. 2 team prior to Andrew Luck’s retirement. With Jacoby Brissett, they took the Chargers to overtime. I have to imagine they would have won with Luck. Hell, they would have won if Adam Vinatieri could have made a kick. Vinatieri is a future Hall of Famer, but I fear his career is over. Give him credit for somehow outlasting Luck, but he can’t make basic chip shots anymore.

  13. Seattle Seahawks (1-0) – Previously: 16.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Seahawks are an overrated NFL team in our new Overrated-Underrated page.

  14. Cleveland Browns (0-1) – Previously: 8.
    I thought the hype would hurt the Browns. I thought the offensive line would struggle to pass protect. I thought that Baker Mayfield’s struggles in the preseason would carry over. And yet, I certainly did not expect a 30-point blowout loss to the Titans. The defeat was truly remarkable, as Mayfield looked unstoppable on the opening drive. And yet, the Browns were outscored 43-7 after that!

  15. Tennessee Titans (1-0) – Previously: 27.
    The Titans stomped all over the Browns, as they seemed determined to prove that Cleveland shouldn’t have been “crowned,” as Delanie Walker put it. The win was impressive, but I can’t say I’m a believer in Tennessee just yet. The Titans still have some major problems, including Marcus Mariota’s ability to stay healthy. I can’t imagine Mariota lasting the entire year, given that it hasn’t happened yet.

  16. Baltimore Ravens (1-0) – Previously: 25.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Ravens are an overrated NFL team in our new Overrated-Underrated page.

  17. New York Jets (0-1) – Previously: 12.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Jets are an underrated NFL team in our new Overrated-Underrated page.

  18. Buffalo Bills (1-0) – Previously: 18.
    Josh Allen to put together a great comeback at the end of the game to erase a 16-0 deficit, but I can’t help but think about two items: First, Allen had the benefit of going against a Jet defense that lost C.J. Mosley down the stretch. Mosley was amazing in this game, and he was sorely missed in the fourth quarter. Second, the Jets easily could have intercepted Allen four times instead of two, and if they would have take advantage of opportunities, the 16-0 lead could have easily been 23-0 or 26-0.

    That said, Allen was clutch, and Buffalo might have the best stop unit in the NFL, so I’m definitely not going to dismiss what the Bills did in Week 1.

  19. Denver Broncos (0-1) – Previously: 13.
    Again, it’s difficult to trust Week 1 results, particularly the late Monday night game. The visitor typically loses, then goes on to perform much better. I still like the Broncos, and I think they can make the playoffs.

  20. Carolina Panthers (0-1) – Previously: 6.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Panthers are an underrated NFL team in our new Overrated-Underrated page.

  21. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) – Previously: 5.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Steelers are an underrated NFL team in our new Overrated-Underrated page.

  22. Minnesota Vikings (1-0) – Previously: 19.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Vikings are an overrated NFL team in our new Overrated-Underrated page.

  23. San Angeles Chargers (1-0) – Previously: 11.
    It’s remarkable how great Philip Rivers was in the season opener, given how bad his offensive line is. Rivers, with the help of Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler, survived against a great Indianapolis roster. They did so at home, to boot, where the fans in the stands typically don’t root for them.

  24. Los Angeles Rams (1-0) – Previously: 10.
    The Rams prevailed in their season opener, but there are some major concerns. Jared Goff struggled mightily with his accuracy, especially when he was getting pressured. He didn’t see open receivers. Meanwhile, the defense surrendered 27 points to a Carolina team that was constantly killing itself with unforced errors. Given how many times the Panthers shot themselves in the foot, Los Angeles should have prevailed by double digits.

  25. Chicago Bears (0-1) – Previously: 7.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Bears are an underrated NFL team in our new Overrated-Underrated page.

  26. Dallas Cowboys (1-0) – Previously: 20.
    I was down on the Cowboys all last year. They won so many close games in fluky fashion, and they easily could have missed the playoffs. However, Travis Frederick returning from his auto-immune disease and performing well makes all the difference in the world. With Frederick back, the Cowboys once again have an elite offensive line, and we know that the overrated Dak Prescott can play brilliantly if he has all the time in the world.

    The Cowboys are making the biggest leap this week, and understandably so. They were No. 20 previously because it wasn’t clear if Frederick would be effective, plus Ezekiel Elliott was still holding out. Dallas has great talent and should be in the top 10 of power rankings, though Jason Garrett’s horrible coaching will ultimately be the team’s downfall.

  27. Houston Texans (0-1) – Previously: 17.
    The Texans lost to the Saints, but they were up for most of the game. Deshaun Watson looked great, and it seems like he has evolved the mental aspect of his game to match the physical traits. He looks like a Super Bowl-winning quarterback to me, though I fear that he’ll ultimately be betrayed by his pedestrian offensive line and Bill O’Brien’s poor coaching.

  28. New Orleans Saints (1-0) – Previously: 9.
    The Saints nearly lost to the Texans, but the fact that they prevailed is significant in that they often get off to slow starts. They lost to the Buccaneers in the opener last year and are 1-12 against the spread in Weeks 1-2 since 2013. Getting an early win was crucial going into their revenge game against the Rams.

  29. Green Bay Packers (1-0) – Previously: 3.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Packers are an underrated NFL team in our new Overrated-Underrated page.

  30. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) – Previously: 2.
    The Eagles were half-asleep in the opening half, trailing 17-0. The Redskins weren’t even projected to score in double digits, but the Eagles woke up beginning at the end of the second quarter. They ultimately led by 12, but allowed a crushing back-door touchdown with six seconds remaining, ruining a potential winning Sunday for me. The Eagles are still the most complete team in the NFC, despite the close call against the Case Keenum-led Redskins.

  31. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) – Previously: 1.
    The Chiefs slip to No. 2 because: A) Tyreek Hill will miss some time, and B) The Patriots have added Antonio Brown. I still think the Chiefs have a great chance to reach the Super Bowl, but it seems as though they’ll have a tough challenge against New England once again.

  32. New England Patriots (1-0) – Previously: 4.
    The Patriots just defeated one of the best teams in the NFL, 33-3, and they haven’t even installed Antonio Brown into their offense yet. May God have mercy on the rest of the NFL.

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2022 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings | Post-Free Agency Power Rankings | Post-NFL Draft Power Rankings | Post-Preseason Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17

2021 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings | Preseason Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | Playoffs |

2020 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | Playoffs |