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: April 6

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10) – Previously: 32.
    I moved the Jaguars to the bottom of these power rankings in my last update, Leonard Fournette’s tweet:

    The Jaguars are now attempting to trade Yannick Ngakoue, which would complete the purge of their previously great Sacksonville defense. It’s a sad day for the Jacksonville pool-goers, but all good things must come to an end. And good things coming to an end sometimes lead to even greater things, and that would be Trevor Lawrence. I have the Jaguars selecting Lawrence in my 2021 NFL Mock Draft.

  2. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – Previously: 31.
    I’m confused about what the Panthers are doing. It initially seemed like they were tanking. They openly discussed trading Cam Newton, and that was before Luke Kuechly retired. This was a stupid decision, as they lost all leverage with Newton and ended up getting nothing for him. Still, it looked like the Panthers were trying to lose on purpose, based on their decision to trade Trai Turner and allow James Bradberry, Bruce Irvin and Gerald McCoy to walk. But then, Carolina signed Teddy Bridgewater, which took them out of the Trevor Lawrence (or Justin Fields) sweepstakes.

    New owner Bobby Axelrod doesn’t appear to have a grip on running a football team. He’s a smart businessman who has made billions, but he looks like a complete dope of an owner thus far.

  3. Detroit Lions (3-12-1) – Previously: 30.
    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 might be better in 2020 if they’re healthy, despite a downgrade to the offensive line and secondary. However, 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.

  4. Washington Redskins (3-13) – Previously: 28.
    The Redskins will not be trading down from No. 2, according to Charlie Campbell. Thus, they’ll improve their defense tremendously with Chase Young added to a pass rush that was already potent. The secondary, however, will continue to be a problem unless Ronald Darby is able to bounce back from an injury-plagued 2019 campaign. If he can’t, the Redskins will surely miss Quinton Dunbar, whom they gave away for almost nothing.

  5. Miami Dolphins (5-11) – Previously: 25.
    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’m going to stop writing that eventually. I can’t believe that a team that intentionally tanked by purging its roster of all its talent won five games. I don’t understand how. Ugh. Whatever.

    The Dolphins definitely added some talent this offseason, but they overpaid for some players, including Ereck Flowers and Shaq Lawson. Still, it’ll help either Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa develop. My money currently is on Herbert being the pick, but things can change in the next 17 days.

  6. Chicago Bears (8-8) – Previously: 22.
    I don’t understand what the Bears are doing. Why did they surrender a draft pick to take on Nick Foles’ salary? Why did they give Jimmy Graham a big contract when he can barely walk? Why did they sign Robert Quinn to a mega deal when he’s been a proven failure in the 3-4? Why let Nick Kwiatkoski walk instead of Danny Trevathan, when the former is better and younger? Do they really think Germain Ifedi will solve the woes they have on the offensive line?

    The Bears still have some stellar defensive players, but their roster as a whole continues to be downgraded.

  7. New York Jets (7-9) – Previously: 27.
    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.

    The one piece of good news, however, is that the Jets have improved their offensive line in free agency, bringing in Greg Van Roten and Connor McGovern. They still need a left tackle – George Fant sucks – but there’s no doubt that Darnold’s protection will be better than it was last year.

  8. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14) – Previously: 26.
    Joe Burrow will automatically improve the Bengals, but the team will need to make several upgrades on the offensive line. Jonah Williams will return from injury, but Cordy Glenn departed. However, the Bengals made some upgrades to the rest of their roster this offseason, which was a huge surprise, based on how stingy owner Mike Brown has been with his money in the past.

  9. Minnesota Vikings (11-7) – Previously: 21.
    Colin Cowherd ranked the Vikings as his No. 2 team in the NFL, even ahead of the Chiefs and 49ers. Wow.

    Look, I’ve said my fair share of stupid things over the years, but I’d at least like to think they made sense to me at the time I said them. This, however, is completely different. I don’t understand how this is remotely defensible, especially given that San Francisco throttled the Vikings in the playoffs, which occurred before Minnesota lost key players like Stefon Diggs, Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen because of Kirk Cousins’ horrible contract.

    I hope someone who knows Cowherd can check in on him to see if he’s mentally stable. The Vikings are closer to 22 than two!

  10. Los Angeles Rams (9-7) – Previously: 19.
    The Rams needed several brand new offensive linemen to protect Jared Goff entering the offseason, but they weren’t able to address that area on their roster because of their financial difficulties. Instead, their defense got worse, as Cory Littleton and Dante Fowler signed with other teams. Making matters worse, Wade Phillips is no longer around to get the most out of lesser defensive players.

  11. Houston Texans (11-7) – Previously: 16.
    “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.”

    I wrote this BEFORE the DeAndre Hopkins trade. Can anyone in Houston please get McNair’s attention and direct him to this Web site so that he finally comes to his senses and fires O’Brien?

  12. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) – Previously: 18.
    The Cowboys suffered some major losses thus far, as Byron Jones, Robert Quinn and Maliek Collins all signed with other teams, while Travis Frederick retired. Dak Prescott will have to carry the team even more, which doesn’t sound like a winning formula.

  13. New England Patriots (12-5) – Previously: 5.
    I can’t even remember the last time I didn’t have the Patriots in the top 10 of my power rankings. However, they’re expected to plummet in the standings now that Tom Brady is gone. The Patriots also lost some other key players, including most of their linebackers. A Bill Belichick-coached team can never be counted out, but it’s hard to imagine New England making the playoffs in 2020.

  14. Tennessee Titans (11-8) – Previously: 11.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Titans are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  15. San Angeles Chargers (5-11) – Previously: 29.
    The Chargers are beginning anew, as they’ve said their goodbye to Philip Rivers. I imagine they’ll select Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa No. 6 overall, so it was a nice move to obtain Trai Turner via a trade with the Panthers. The Chargers also made some sharp moves in free agency, bringing in Bryan Bulaga, Chris Harris and Linval Joseph. I ranked them 29th in my previous update, but brilliant general manager Tom Telesco did a great job of improving the roster this offseason.

  16. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) – Previously: 15.
    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, and it can only improve with Dante Fowler joining the pass rush. The secondary is a concern with Desmond Trufant gone, but perhaps the Falcons will find a way to fix this area in the 2020 NFL Draft.

  17. Green Bay Packers (14-4) – Previously: 12.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Packers are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  18. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1) – Previously: 24.
    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 and DeAndre Hopkins serving as a new No. 1 receiver. I still can’t believe the Cardinals got Hopkins for a second-round pick and a running back who needs a walker. If the Cardinals end up winning a Super Bowl because of this, they should build a statue of Bill O’Brien outside of their stadium.

  19. Cleveland Browns (6-10) – Previously: 23.
    The Browns were hyped so much last offseason that they were the third-highest favorites to win the Super Bowl. It’s still hard to believe, but people loved them that much. I did not, as Cleveland entered the season with Greg Robinson and Chris Hubbard as its tackles, which was a crucial blunder.

    It seems as though the new front office has understood the mistakes of the previous regime because it signed Jack Conklin to take over at right tackle. If the Browns land a stout left tackle with the 10th-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, they’ll have a legitimate chance to meet their 2019 expectations.

  20. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9) – Previously: 20.
    The Raiders had a great offseason under Mike Mayock. They added some nice talent, namely at linebacker. They’ve had one of the worst linebacking corps in the NFL, but that won’t be the case anymore. Also, don’t forget that they have two first-round picks.

    I think the one question mark at this point is quarterback. The Raiders gave lots of money to Marcus Mariota, so don’t be surprised if Mariota does to Derek Carr what Ryan Tannehill did to him last year.

  21. New York Giants (4-12) – Previously: 17.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Giants are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  22. Denver Broncos (7-9) – Previously: 13.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Broncos are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  23. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – Previously: 7.
    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.

  24. Seattle Seahawks (12-6) – Previously: 8.
    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.

    It’s difficult to rank the Seahawks at the moment because we don’t know what will happen with their edge-rushing situation. They could re-sign Jadeveon Clowney or trade for Yannick Ngakoue. Or, they could lose both. Having Clowney or Ngakoue on the roster will make them pretty formidable in 2020, especially with Quinton Dunbar in the secondary.

  25. Philadelphia Eagles (9-8) – Previously: 6.
    The Eagles have Super Bowl upside in 2020, but they’ll need to have half their roster not get injured again. They also must upgrade their receivers and linebackers in the 2020 NFL Draft, as these are two major problem areas for them. They could also use another cornerback, but Darius Slay will make their pass defense much better by himself.

  26. Baltimore Ravens (14-3) – Previously: 2.
    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.

    There’s a chance Jackson could make another big leap in 2020. He works extremely hard, so I wouldn’t doubt him for much longer moving forward. Jackson is apparently being coached up to release the ball quicker, and I have confidence he’ll accomplish his goal in doing so.

    That said, the departure of Marshal Yanda will be very painful. Yanda was one of the top guards in the NFL, and a major reason for Jackson’s great 2020 campaign was his elite blocking.

  27. Buffalo Bills (10-7) – Previously: 9.
    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, especially now that he has Stefon Diggs at his disposal. The Bills also made some moves to strengthen their defensive line, so they should be considered one of the best teams in the AFC.

  28. Indianapolis Colts (7-9) – Previously: 10.
    The Colts were lucky enough to land Philip Rivers this offseason, which makes them a Super Bowl contender. They have one of the top rosters in the NFL, but they lacked a quarterback in 2019. That’s no longer the case, as Rivers should have a rebound 2020 campaign now that he’ll be well protected well for the first time since the Nick Hardwick days in San Diego.

  29. San Francisco 49ers (15-4) – Previously: 3.
    The 49ers’ upside is capped with Jimmy Garoppolo, at least at the moment. He could evolve, but that would require him to stop holding the ball too long in the pocket. Garoppolo will need to do more in 2020, given that the team lost DeForest Buckner in a trade. I liked the move John Lynch made, but the 49ers might take a bit of a step backward this year.

  30. 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. Drew Brees, who has announced his return, 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. The addition of Emmanuel Sanders certainly doesn’t hurt, as the Saints finally have a competent No. 2 receiver for the first time in a while.

  31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) – Previously: 14.
    I had the Buccaneers 14th in my previous update. Fourteenth… and this was before the Tom Brady signing! The Buccaneers are clearly one of the top favorites to reach the Super Bowl from the NFC in the wake of that shocking move.

    Congrats to anyone who got the Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl at 60/1 prior to the Brady signing. Jacob Camenker from our YouTube channel mentioned

  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.

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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 |