US Sports Veteran
In this week’s edition of the 2020 NFL Power Rankings, the top three teams in the NFL remain the same. However, three new teams rose into the top-ten as former elite competitors tumbled down the rankings. While four or five teams have consistently performed well this season, there aren’t clear Super Bowl favorites, and it feels like any team could lose in any given week.
For a deeper understanding of how these rankings work, check out last week’s edition.
Last week’s ranking: 1
Kansas City’s one loss this season came against the Las Vegas Raiders. The Chiefs face Derek Carr’s team in Week 11 as Patrick Mahomes and company look for revenge. While Kansas City’s defense remains questionable, Mahomes leads the NFL’s second-highest scoring offense. Surprisingly, the defense ranks sixth in scoring this season, holding opponents to 20.3 points per game.
Last week’s ranking: 2
Drew Brees’ health is the real storyline from New Orleans’ 27-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers. The future Hall of Famer played until halftime but didn’t take a snap in the second half. He looked emotional on the sideline. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Monday that Brees suffered a rib contusion and will miss several weeks.
#Saints QB Drew Brees suffered a rib contusion in yesterday’s game, and he’ll have an MRI for cartilage damage today. But sources tell me and @TomPelissero that New Orleans is bracing for Brees to miss some time to fully heal.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 16, 2020
Last week’s ranking: 3
The Cincinnati Bengals didn’t put up much of a fight when the Steelers lined up against them. Pittsburgh jumped out to a 12-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and finished the game with 36 points to Cincy’s ten. After winning three consecutive games by five points or less, it was reassuring to see Pittsburgh blow out the Bengals.
Last week’s ranking: 5
The Buccaneers rebounded from an awful performance against New Orleans with a convincing win over the Carolina Panthers. Tom Brady threw three touchdowns while Ronald Jones ran for 192 yards as Tampa Bay’s offense piled on 46 points.
Last week’s ranking: 4
The Bills thought they had a win on Sunday after Josh Allen drove down the field and delivered a touchdown to Stefon Diggs with about 30 seconds remaining. Buffalo wasn’t counting on Kyler Murray connecting with DeAndre Hopkins on a spectacular Hail Mary. The Bills hold a one-game lead over the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East.
Last week’s ranking: 11
Tua Tagovailoa has the Dolphins in a position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and only the fourth time this century. Miami defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 29-21 on Sunday behind a stingy defensive and undrafted rookie running back Salvon Ahmed’s standout performance. Miami faces losing teams in their next three games.
Last week’s ranking: 12
With a stunning last-minute Hail Mary from Murray to Hopkins, the Cardinals captured the NFC West crown. With a tiebreaker over the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona momentarily has the top spot in the NFL’s toughest division. All eyes will be on Murray’s team Thursday night when they face off against Seattle for the second time in five weeks.
Last week’s ranking: 6
The Jacksonville Jaguars almost surprised the Packers, but Green Bay held on for its seventh win this year. The Packers have a shot at claiming the No. 1 seed in the NFC and capturing the conference’s only playoff bye week.
Last week’s ranking: 8
Las Vegas casually dropped 38 points on Denver this past weekend. Derek Carr only threw for 154 yards, but the Raiders ran for 203 yards and four touchdowns against their divisional rivals. The defense also elevated its level of play, recording seven quarterback hits and intercepting four passes. The Raiders are one of six 6-3 teams in the AFC.
Last week’s ranking: 13
Nyheim Hines and Philip Rivers led the Colts to a surprising win over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football, capturing the AFC South lead. Indianapolis’ offense is coming together at the perfect time. The Colts scored at least 30 points in three of their past four games. Darius Leonard’s return on defense also contributed to the team’s recent success.
Last week’s ranking: 14
After toppling the Seahawks, the Rams are in second place in the NFC West. Jared Goff outdueled Russell Wilson in their first matchup of the 2020 season. The Rams are 5-2 against the Seahawks since the start of 2017.
Last week’s ranking: 9
The Seahawks are in free fall. That’s not an exaggeration. This team is in trouble. With three losses in their past four games, Seattle’s game plan is failing. Wilson isn’t performing at an MVP level anymore, and his turnovers are becoming costly. Even Jamal Adams’ return isn’t saving the team’s terrible defense.
Last week’s ranking: 7
The Ravens got outcoached on Sunday Night Football, losing to Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. One week after beating the surging Colts, Baltimore came up short against the least talented Patriots team in two decades. It’s difficult to tell which one of the Baltimore teams we’ve seen up to this point is real.
Last week’s ranking: 10
After starting 5-0, the Titans have dropped three of their last four games. Mike Vrabel’s team proved they’re capable of handling the league’s best teams when they blew out the Buffalo Bills in Week 5, but the offense is starting to struggle. After scoring over 30 points four times in their first five games, the Titans have four consecutive games with fewer than 25 points.
Last week’s ranking: 18
The Vikings are on a roll with their next three games coming against teams with losing records. Kirk Cousins seems better after suffering through a rough stretch to start the season. Dalvin Cook is playing at the level of a top-five running back. Justin Jefferson is phenomenal, and Minnesota’s defense looks rejuvenated. Maybe Mike Zimmer’s job isn’t in jeopardy after all.
Last week’s ranking: 17
When was the last time Cleveland started 6-3? 2020 is a weird year. The Browns outlasted Houston 10-7, but that doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence. At least Nick Chubb had a triumphant return. The Pro Bowler rushed for 126 yards while Kareem Hunt added 104 more.
Last week’s ranking: 16
The Panthers put up a good fight in the first half against Tampa Bay, keeping the score even at 17-17. However, the Buccaneers pulled ahead in the second half. Matt Rhule’s team already proved they’re capable of battling with the NFL’s top squads. All that’s left is to develop some of the younger players and get Christian McCaffrey healthy.
Last week’s ranking: 29
Belichick put on an excellent coaching display against the Ravens on Sunday Night Football. The underdog Patriots took advantage of stormy conditions and the absence of Calais Campbell to establish a lethal running game. New England is on a two-game win streak.
Last week’s ranking: 20
Since firing Dan Quinn, the Falcons have picked up their play. Atlanta has won three of its past four games. Hopefully, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan used their bye week to prepare for a crucial divisional matchup against the Saints in Week 11.
Last week’s ranking: 19
I wish we could’ve seen this 49ers team at full strength. If San Francisco had Nick Bosa, Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Raheem Mostert, and Richard Sherman for the full season, every team in the NFC West might’ve made the playoffs. The 49ers were down 10-17 against the Saints at halftime, one week removed from New Orleans humiliating the Buccaneers. The Saints pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Last week’s ranking: 24
Matthew Stafford led a last-minute drive that produced a Matt Prater game-winning field goal against Washington. The Lions have won three of their past five games. With a little more luck, Matt Patricia’s team might’ve started the season 6-4.
Last week’s ranking: 22
The Bengals came out flat-footed against the undefeated Steelers. The result was predictable. Pittsburgh decimated its division rival in a 36-10 blowout. Burrow arguably had his worst game since his NFL debut in Week 1.
Last week’s ranking: 26
Justin Herbert had arguably the worst performance of his young career against Miami. Tagovailoa outdueled his Los Angeles counterpart in the battle of rookie phenoms. The Chargers have not lost a game by more than eight points this season.
Last week’s ranking: 27
New York’s defense held Philadelphia to 17 points last weekend. Good performances from Wayne Gallman and Daniel Jones solidified the win. The Giants are only half a win behind the Eagles in the NFC East.
Last week’s ranking: 23
The Texans are an upset waiting to happen, but their only wins have come against the Jacksonville Jaguars this season. They had a chance to take down the Browns this weekend, but the offense only scored once.
Last week’s ranking: 15
After starting 5-1, the Bears dropped their last four games and now sit in an uncomfortable position. Chicago’s offense is horrible, and it doesn’t matter who is calling the plays. Offensively, the Bears rank 31st, only ahead of the New York Jets, in points, yards, and first downs per game.
Last week’s ranking: 21
The Eagles bottomed out in Week 10, losing by ten points to the Giants and Jones. Philadelphia hoped to extend its lead in the NFC East on Sunday. Instead, the Giants kept the division wide open. New York is half a win behind the Eagles while Dallas and Washington are a game and a half back.
Last week’s ranking: 28
In his first start in over two years, Alex Smith nearly forced overtime against the Lions. However, a last-second field goal put Detroit over the top. Luckily, Washington got a good look at Smith. While he isn’t the team’s long-term solution, he could probably lead Washington to two or three more wins.
Last week’s ranking: 25
After two more promising outings, Drew Lock imploded against the Raiders. Meanwhile, Denver’s defense couldn’t contain Devontae Booker or Josh Jacobs. Denver’s three wins this season came against opponents with six combined victories.
Last week’s ranking: 30
The Cowboys don’t know when Andy Dalton will make his next start, but everything looks promising for this coming Sunday. Even if the Red Rifle got better over the bye week and plays in Week 11, Dallas’ season seems finished.
Last week’s ranking: 31
The Jaguars and Jake Luton have come within a score of winning each of their past two games. After a hot start, Jacksonville slipped into a slump, and they’re just beginning to rebound now. It’ll be interesting to see if the Jaguars go with Luton or Gardner Minshew once the second-year quarterback returns.
Last week’s ranking: 32
New York’s Week 10 bye gave Sam Darnold some time to recover from an AC joint injury, but we’ll still see more of Joe Flacco in Week 11. Five of New York’s final seven opponents have winning records, which puts the Jets in good positioning to claim the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
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