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 Dolphins and Bengals aren’t my top teams.

Updated: Feb. 12

  1. Detroit Lions (3-12-1) – Previously: 32.
    The Lions began the 2019 season with a 2-0-1 record, and if it wasn’t for close losses to the Chiefs and Packers, they would’ve been 4-0-1 to start the year. Things fell apart for them because of injuries, however, as they lost all but one of their final 13 games. The Lions will be much better in 2020 if they’re healthy, but Matthew Stafford’s troublesome back may not heal by the start of this upcoming season. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if he pulls an Andrew Luck and retires before the season begins. If so, Detroit will obviously have one of the worst records in the NFL.

  2. Washington Redskins (3-13) – Previously: 29.
    It’ll be interesting to see if the Redskins trade down from No. 2 overall, as I have them doing in my 2020 NFL Mock Draft. Chase Young would be an incredible addition to the defense, but the Redskins have so many other glaring problems.

  3. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – Previously: 31.
    The Panthers were 5-3 at one point in 2019, but they lost their final eight games. Injuries played a huge factor, as Carolina was down its former MVP quarterback and top defensive lineman, Kawann Short. The latter should be 100 percent heading into 2020, but Cam Newton’s long-term health is a concern, as he hasn’t been able to stay off the injury report in recent seasons. Also, Luke Kuechly retired, which will make Carolina’s defense much worse this upcoming year.

  4. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10) – Previously: 30.
    The Jaguars no longer have a dominant defense, so they’ll need their offense to do more going forward. The problem with that is their horrendous offensive line. Neither Gardner Minshew nor Nick Foles had adequate protection in 2019. Luckily for the Jaguars, they have two first-round picks to fix this problem.

  5. San Angeles Chargers (5-11) – Previously: 22.
    The Chargers are beginning anew, as they’ve said their goodbye to Philip Rivers. I imagine they’ll select Justin Herbert No. 6 overall, but he’ll endure some growing pains because of the anemic San Angeles offensive line. The Chargers’ defense will carry the team to some wins, but getting back to 5-11 could prove to be a challenge.

  6. New York Jets (7-9) – Previously: 24.
    You can’t get mono twice, so Sam Darnold won’t miss any time for kissing skanks next year. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Jets retained Adam “I Make All My Players Worse” Gase as their head coach, so they can’t be taken seriously until they find a coach who can actually get his players to perform up to their abilities. We’ve seen enough evidence that Gase can’t, given how well Ryan Tannehill, Kenyan Drake and DeVante Parker performed once they were separated from him.

  7. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14) – Previously: 27.
    Joe Burrow will automatically improve the Bengals, but the team will need to make several other upgrades. Their offensive line needs one more addition, while the defense is a train wreck that needs several repairs. I expect Cincinnati to draft an offensive lineman at No. 33 and then use the rest of its picks to bolster the stop unit.

  8. Miami Dolphins (5-11) – Previously: 21.
    I had the Dolphins under five wins. All I needed was for the Patriots to beat Miami in the final week of the season. HOW DID THAT NOT HAPPEN!?!?!?

    I wrote that last time, and I’m keeping it here because I’m still tilted about it. The Dolphins won’t be very good once again in 2020, but I’m not going to bet their under because Brian Flores seems to be such a great coach.

  9. Cleveland Browns (6-10) – Previously: 28.
    The Browns fell victim to the same hype that ruined the “Dream Team” Eagles back in 2011. Now that no one expects anything from them, they could rebound with a better season. There are several issues, however, including:

    – Will Kevin Stefanski be an upgrade over Freddie Kitchens, considering that he was a failure as an offensive coordinator in Minnesota?

    – Will Myles Garrett get reinstated and avoid suspension?

    – Will Odell Beckham Jr. behave and live up to expectations?

    – Will Baker Mayfield stop filming commercials and concentrate on improving as a quarterback?

  10. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1) – Previously: 25.
    The Cardinals won five games last year, but that number could’ve been much higher, as they lost six games by seven points or fewer. I imagine at least some of those close losses will transform into victories with Kyler Murray having more experience. An upgrade or two on the offensive line would certainly help matters as well.

  11. Chicago Bears (8-8) – Previously: 20.
    I’ve been asked frequently why the Bears declined so much in 2019. The main issue for them was the offensive line. They had an exceptional blocking unit the year before, but between the injury to Kyle Long and the inexplicable regression of Charles Leno and Bobby Massie, the offensive front was far worse in 2019. It doesn’t appear as though things will be much better this year, given Long’s retirement. It’ll be difficult to repair several spots on the offensive line, though finding a better quarterback would certainly help matters.

  12. New York Giants (4-12) – Previously: 26.
    Daniel Jones figures to be much better in 2020 than he was in his rookie campaign. I could see the Giants improving to 8-8 or so with an improved Jones, assuming they make some quality moves in free agency and don’t draft a bust at No. 4 overall.

  13. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9) – Previously: 19.
    The Raiders are reportedly courting Tom Brady. I’d be shocked if Brady agreed to play in Las Vegas, but I could see Gisele being enticed by all of the Cirque shows. Brady, despite his advanced age, would give the Raiders a much higher ceiling than they currently have with the pedestrian Derek Carr.

  14. Minnesota Vikings (11-7) – Previously: 9.
    The Kirk Cousins contract is finally going to come back to haunt the Vikings, as they’re going to have to get rid of some important players this offseason. Last year was their big chance, but they blew it in the divisional round, as they didn’t look like they could even compete with San Francisco.

  15. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) – Previously: 15.
    It seems likely that the Cowboys will lose Byron Jones, their top cornerback, this offseason. Dak Prescott will have to carry the team even more, which he can do if everyone stays healthy. But what are the odds that injury-prone players like Amari Cooper, Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick can stay on the field? I’m not holding my breath.

  16. Los Angeles Rams (9-7) – Previously: 16.
    The Rams need several brand new offensive linemen to protect Jared Goff, but how’s that going to happen? The Rams don’t have much money available, and they’re also missing a first-round pick as the result of the Jalen Ramsey trade. Meanwhile, the Rams won’t have Wade Phillips or Michael Brockers to aid their defense next year, so I think we can expect a further decline from them.

  17. Houston Texans (11-7) – Previously: 13.
    I hope everyone knows by now how much Bill O’Brien sucks. New owner Cal McNair doesn’t, opting to give O’Brien even more power this year. O’Brien is a bad coach and worse decision-maker, and yet he styles himself as Bill Belichick. If O’Brien wasn’t lucky enough to have Deshaun Watson carry him these past couple of years, he’d be out of a job by now.

  18. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) – Previously: 17.
    The Falcons ended up saving Dan Quinn’s job with a great effort in the second half of the year. The one egg they laid was against the Buccaneers, yet they were able to make amends for that in the season finale. Their defense was so much better in the second half of the year, following Raheem Morris’ move to the defense. The one question I have is, what was Morris doing on offense in the first place?

  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) – Previously: 14.
    I was hoping that ESPN would do a 30 for 30 for Jameis Winston’s 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions, but someone already beat them to the punch:

    Fortunately for the Buccaneers, they’ll be able to move forward with Philip Rivers (presumably) in 2020. Rivers threw lots of interceptions last year as well, but he’ll have a much better supporting cast in Tampa.

  20. Denver Broncos (7-9) – Previously: 12.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Broncos are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  21. Green Bay Packers (14-4) – Previously: 5.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Packers are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  22. Tennessee Titans (11-8) – Previously: 7.
    The Titans had a nice run. They got lucky along the way, but they certainly showed that they belonged deep in the AFC playoff picture with their great offensive line, stellar coaching and quality defense. Unfortunately for them, they just couldn’t keep pace with the great Patrick Mahomes, and I don’t see how they can do anything this offseason to change that.

  23. Indianapolis Colts (7-9) – Previously: 23.
    The Colts fell apart late in the year, beginning when Jacoby Brissett suffered an injury and missed some games. Brissett never looked completely healthy upon his return, so he’ll play better in 2020. That is, of course, if he even has the job. It’ll be interesting to see whom the Colts can land at quarterback this offseason. They have a Super Bowl-type roster outside of quarterback, so they have some great potential.

  24. Buffalo Bills (10-7) – Previously: 10.
    I listed the Bills as overrated after they defeated the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. I didn’t think Josh Allen was quite there yet, but he could be in 2020. Depending on how Buffalo’s offseason goes, the team could stand to make a deep run in the playoffs this upcoming year.

  25. Seattle Seahawks (12-6) – Previously: 6.
    I named Russell Wilson as my MVP in my 2019 NFL Awards page. The Seahawks will always be in the playoff hunt as long as Wilson is their quarterback. Getting him over the hump once again would require Seattle to finally bolster its beleaguered offensive line.

  26. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – Previously: 18.
    The Steelers will definitely be in play for the Super Bowl if Ben Roethlisberger can stay healthy. I understand that’s a huge “if,” but a healthy Roethlisberger will be able to carry the Steelers pretty far, considering that Pittsburgh just nearly made the playoffs with Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges as its quarterbacks.

  27. Philadelphia Eagles (9-8) – Previously: 11.
    The Eagles have Super Bowl upside in 2020, but they’ll need to have half their roster not get injured again. If you were to tell me that they wouldn’t suffer any major injuries in 2020, they’d be my NFC pick to reach the Super Bowl.

  28. New England Patriots (12-5) – Previously: 8.
    I can’t believe the public was right. They are often proven wrong when doubting Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, but after failing to learn their lesson at least a dozen times, they were finally proven correct. I guess a blind squirrel gets run over a car sometimes, or whatever that saying is.

    There’s some speculation that Brady will leave New England, but I don’t see it. He’ll likely return to the Patriots next year, and he’ll have a chance to win another Super Bowl if the team can obtain better receivers.

  29. San Francisco 49ers (15-4) – Previously: 2.
    “Maybe I’m just being stubborn, but I think Jimmy Garoppolo will actually have to throw against the Chiefs. We’ve yet to see his penchant for holding the ball too long in the pocket be exposed, but perhaps that’ll finally happen in the Super Bowl.”

    I wrote this prior to the Super Bowl, so I wasn’t surprised when Garoppolo came up short on two key drives in the fourth quarter. Garoppolo will have to do more in 2020, as the 49ers will lose some players this offseason and won’t have the same injury luck this upcoming year.

  30. Baltimore Ravens (14-3) – Previously: 3.
    I was skeptical of Lamar Jackson for most of the year. He made great strides in his passing ability, but I didn’t think he was quite there yet. That was proven correct in the shocking playoff loss to the Titans.

    However, Jackson could make another big leap in 2020. He works extremely hard, so I woudn’t doubt him for much longer moving forward.

  31. New Orleans Saints (13-4) – Previously: 4.
    Can the NFL just save us some time next year and just announce that they’re going to screw over the Saints with a horrible call to end the playoff game? This could just allow us to take three hours off from football and enjoy the holidays.

    That said, I expect the Saints to be one of the top teams in the NFL once again. This assumes Drew Brees’ return. Brees could always have a severe decline, but I could see him performing on a very high level for the next couple of years, given his style of quarterbacking.

  32. Kansas City Chiefs (15-4) – Previously: 1.
    I don’t always rank the Super Bowl champion No. 1 in the following year’s initial NFL Power Rankings. However, the Chiefs are a special case. They’re extremely well coached, and they have loads of talent. Most importantly, there’s Patrick Mahomes. As long as Mahomes is healthy, he can win any football game. I think it’s likely that Mahomes can lead Kansas City to be the first repeat Super Bowl champion since the Patriots in 2003-04.

2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 22

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

NFL Picks - Feb. 12

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 |