2020 NFL Power Rankings – Way-too-early 1-32 offseason poll


Now that Super Bowl LIV is in the books and the Kansas City Chiefs are the champions, we can move on from the 2019 season and look forward 2020. That’s exactly what we’re looking to do with these way-too-early NFL Power Rankings.

There’s no rest for the weary, and NFL teams will be spending the next six or so months trying to bolster their rosters and make it to the top of the heap when games resume in the fall. Between now and then, here’s how we see things now, with each NFL Nation writer identifying a reason for optimism for the teams they cover. How we rank: Our power panel — a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities — evaluated how teams stack up throughout the season.

Jump to:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF

1. Kansas City Chiefs

2019 record: 12-4

Reason for optimism: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes. As long as the Chiefs continue to build smartly around him, there’s reason to believe they are in the early stages of a long run as legitimate annual contenders for the AFC championship. As for next season, the Super Bowl champs have enough good, young talent to make another go at it. With improvements on defense, in particular, the championship pieces remain. — Adam Teicher

2. San Francisco 49ers

2019 record: 13-3

Reason for optimism: Continuity. The 49ers are coming off an impressive turnaround season that seemed a bit ahead of schedule and, given the amount of young talent on the roster, could be the start of a sustained run of success. Keeping all of that talent long term will be a challenge, but the Niners have only three starters scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency. Perhaps most important, coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff looks as though it’s going to remain largely intact, particularly at the coordinator positions where Robert Saleh (defense), Mike LaFleur (passing game) and Mike McDaniel (running game) are all slated to return, barring a surprise. — Nick Wagoner

3. Baltimore Ravens

2019 record: 14-2

Reason for optimism: The Ravens are set to return Lamar Jackson and all the other starters from the NFL’s highest-scoring offense. Jackson was virtually unstoppable in leading Baltimore to the best record in the league. The Ravens were the only team to average over 30 points per game (33.1) and scored a total of 58 offensive touchdowns — seven more than any other team. Baltimore was 8-0 when scoring 30 or more points. This offense could get even stronger if the Ravens upgrade at wide receiver and along the interior of the offensive line. — Jamison Hensley

play1:26Wilbon isn’t buying Brees retirement rumors

Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser react to rumors that Drew Brees is seriously considering retirement.

4. New Orleans Saints

2019 record: 13-3

Reason for optimism: Back-to-back 13-win seasons and one of the NFL’s most loaded rosters. Unfortunately that didn’t amount to much this season, with a stunning first-round playoff loss to the Vikings. But there’s a reason why the Saints have been in a position to suffer three consecutive gut-wrenching playoff exits. They had a total of 14 players named to either the Pro Bowl or an Associated Press All-Pro team this past season. And even if quarterback Drew Brees doesn’t come back, backup Teddy Bridgewater went 5-0 as a starter in 2019. It might be difficult financially to keep the entire roster intact this offseason, but a lack of talent won’t be New Orleans’ problem. — Mike Triplett

5. Green Bay Packers

2019 record: 13-3

Reason for optimism: Year 2 in Matt LaFleur’s offense. Despite the surprising 13-3 regular season and a trip to the NFC Championship Game, the Packers scuffled offensively at various points of the season. Last offseason, most of LaFleur’s time was spent implementing the offense and getting to know what will work — and what won’t — with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. In his second offseason, LaFleur will be able to, in his words, “Reflect and see what we did well and see where we want to go with it. I know there will be some changes that we’ll make and we’ll try to implement some different things to try to be more efficient and more effective.” — Rob Demovsky

6. Seattle Seahawks

2019 record: 11-5

Super Bowl LIV: Chiefs 31, 49ers 20

Everything you need to know:
&#8226 Box score | Mahomes wins MVP
&#8226 O’Connor on Reid’s legacy win
&#8226 Barnwell: How Chiefs came back
&#8226 Graziano: Mahomes to the rescue
More: Super Bowl LIV ยป | NFL coverage ยป

Reason for optimism: Russell Wilson. Over the past two regular seasons, Wilson’s 66 touchdowns and 108.4 passer rating rank second and third, respectively, among NFL quarterbacks. He was an MVP candidate for much of 2019 before Lamar Jackson pulled away from him. Wilson’s play has helped the Seahawks exceed outside expectations while making consecutive playoff appearances. Keep that in mind when you think about the work Seahawks general manager John Schneider has cut out for him this offseason, with 19 unrestricted free agents plus holes in Seattle’s pass rush, secondary and potentially its offensive line. Having a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback in his prime can make up for deficiencies around him. — Brady Henderson

7. New England Patriots

2019 record: 12-4

Reason for optimism: In Bill We Trust. Entering his 21st season as coach, Bill Belichick has come up with answers in the past when it looked like the Patriots could be regressing, such as after a wild-card-round loss in 2009 when New England used its top two draft picks on defensive back Devin McCourty and tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots would benefit greatly from a similar type of draft this year and have some extra time to prepare after their early-round playoff exit — just like after the ’09 season. — Mike Reiss

8. Tennessee Titans

2019 record: 9-7

Reason for optimism: The Titans have found their identity as an offense and know which quarterback needs to be under center. Obviously, this all revolves around bringing back Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. But Tennessee has around $55 million in salary-cap space, making it likely that both will return to execute the plan. The Titans also have a valid complimentary passing game with budding star A.J. Brown at receiver. — Turron Davenport

9. Minnesota Vikings

2019 record: 10-6


Relive the NFL’s greatest games, original series and more. Watch on ESPN+

Reason for optimism: Gary Kubiak. The Vikings handed offensive coordinator duties to Kubiak upon Kevin Stefanski’s departure, and it makes sense that the coach whose system Minnesota ran this past season is calling plays. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he wanted to prioritize continuity on offense, and maintaining that should be a fairly seamless process given that the players won’t have to learn a brand-new scheme despite being on their fifth OC in five seasons. Kubiak has been able to get a lot out of his quarterbacks and running backs through the years, which bodes well for Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook. — Courtney Cronin

10. Houston Texans

2019 record: 10-6

Reason for optimism: Quarterback Deshaun Watson. With the way the season ended, it might be easy to be pessimistic about the franchise heading into next season, but Houston still has Watson. Before the Texans drafted him, they had gone into offseasons with questions at the position. Watson ended the 2019 season healthy and coach Bill O’Brien said, “There’s no substitute for experience. With all the experiences that he’s had early in his career here, plus his work ethic, plus his talent, all those different things, plus who he is as a man, he’s going to just keep getting better.” — Sarah Barshop

11. Buffalo Bills

2019 record: 10-6

Reason for optimism: An estimated $90 million in cap space, nine draft picks and a young core — pick one. The Bills made the playoffs at 10-6 in 2019 and still have a bevy of resources at their disposal to help them take that next step. Given what GM Brandon Beane and coach Sean McDermott have been able to do over the past few offseasons with limited resources, there is a lot of reason for optimism in 2020. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

play1:33Ryan: McCarthy is not a sexy hire for Cowboys

Rex Ryan says Mike McCarthy is going into a great situation in Dallas, but he doesn’t believe McCarthy is the long-term solution at head coach for the Cowboys.

12. Dallas Cowboys

2019 record: 8-8

Reason for optimism: Mike McCarthy. That’s what Jerry Jones believes, anyway. The Cowboys believe they have a talented team entering its prime on both sides of the ball and would do far better with a different voice leading the way. The past two times Jones went outside the family, the Cowboys improved in that coach’s first season. After three consecutive 5-11 finishes, they went 10-6 in 2003 under Bill Parcells and made the playoffs. In Wade Phillips’ first season in 2007, the Cowboys went 13-3 with a young-ish team. McCarthy has a track record of success, with one Super Bowl and four NFC Championship Game appearances in Green Bay. His arrival brings hope. — Todd Archer

13. Los Angeles Rams

2019 record: 9-7

Reason for optimism: Sean McVay’s willingness to adapt — even if it means hiring unproven coaches. The Rams finished 9-7 in 2019 and were the only team with a winning record to miss the playoffs. Following the season, McVay could have remained content knowing his team was only a couple of plays away from earning a postseason berth. However, McVay made a bold move in not renewing defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ contract, replacing him with newcomer Brandon Staley. He also demonstrated that he is not too proud to bring in extra help on offense in his hiring of offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, who fills a position that’s been vacant the past two seasons. — Lindsey Thiry

14. Philadelphia Eagles

2019 record: 9-7

Reason for optimism: Carson Wentz. The growth of Wentz made 2019 far from a lost season. Not only did the quarterback make it through the regular season healthy, he ascended into a clear leadership position down the stretch by carrying an injury-ravaged offense on his back to punch Philadelphia’s playoff ticket. Wentz quieted the dissenting voices in the locker room and sent a reminder to the league that one of the top signal-callers in the game resides in Philadelphia. — Tim McManus

15. Pittsburgh Steelers

2019 record: 8-8

2020 NFL Free Agency

&#8226 News tracker ยป | Top 100 free agents ยป
&#8226 Barnwell’s grades ยป | Experts weigh in ยป
&#8226 Best remaining free agents available ยป

Source: espn.com

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

one × three =