The NFL in 2020 has to date been a wild, unusual offseason with no preseason. In any case that it is lastly time for actual video games within the common season.
Regardless of how the 32 groups look on paper nobody will know the way good or unhealthy all of them actually are till everybody sees them in motion. Week 1 comes with loads of the same old hype and anticipation but additionally some anxiousness and intimidation.
With kickoff looming throughout the league, this is how Sporting Information orders all of the groups for now with the identical final aim of being No. 1 later — in Tremendous Bowl 55.
MORE NFL PREDICTIONS:
SN’s complete 2020 standings projections & playoff picks
NFL energy rankings
1. Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (post-draft rating: 1)
The Chiefs stay loaded after locking up Patrick Mahomes as additionally they prolonged Chris Jones to maintain anchoring the protection. They’re just about the identical beginning workforce from Tremendous Bowl 54, lacking solely a few opt-out gamers they usually someway upgraded the offense for Mahomes with Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Andy Reid has a robust favourite to get a second ring after simply getting his first.
2. Baltimore Ravens (2)
The Ravens will probably be proper on the Chiefs’ heels within the AFC as they grow to be a stronger working and deep passing workforce for reigning MVP Lamar Jackson. The protection has a pleasant mixture of veterans and youthful vitality to function a greater complementary drive, minus Earl Thomas.
three. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (four)
Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and now Leonard Fournette aren’t the one causes they’ve lots of buzz. They return the No. 1 protection towards the run which must be higher within the again seven towards the move. They’ve a confirmed turnaround coach in Bruce Arians. The Bucs totally need to be among the many prime NFC contenders, now led by the GOAT.
four. San Francisco 49ers (three)
The 49ers are coping with a number of accidents and play in a tricky division, the NFC West. However they managed their losses of DeForest Buckner, Emmanuel Sanders and Joe Staley properly and stay stocked with the elite expertise that bought them to the Tremendous Bowl. Jimmy Garoppolo ought to enhance to higher lead Kyle Shanahan’s run-dominant offense and the move protection is nice top-to-bottom from Nick Bosa to Richard Sherman.
5. New Orleans Saints (6)
The Saints cannot be forgotten proper behind the Bucs within the NFC South as they search for a fourth consecutive division title. Yet one more 12 months of Drew Brees retains their offense elite and Cameron Jordan continues to energy a well-rounded protection. New Orleans might want to shake off extra playoff disappointment, nonetheless, to emerge out of an excellent top-heavier NFC.
6. Seattle Seahawks (12)
The Seahawks will make it robust for the 49ers to repeat within the West and within the NFC. They’ve rediscovered their energy working, deep passing and difficult secondary id that bought them to 2 Tremendous Bowls early with a youthful Russell Wilson. For an older Wilson, these components are greater than complementary sufficient to get them again.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (13)
The Eagles belong within the NFC heavyweight dialog, too. Carson Wentz is in search of one other totally wholesome season, with the promise of more healthy help regardless of a breakout of accidents. Defensively, their entrance is stronger with Javon Hargrave and their secondary is strong with Darius Slay.
eight. Pittsburgh Steelers (eight)
The Steelers are certain for a giant rebound with Ben Roethlisberger again wholesome to guide an explosive passing recreation. In addition they boast a nasty move protection with T.J. Watt firing up their edge rush and lots extra playmakers, together with Minkah Fitzpatrick, on each stage. They may make the rival Ravens sweat with a triumphant playoff return for Mike Tomlin.
9. Minnesota Vikings (7)
The NFC champion lengthy record additionally contains them. They misplaced some acquainted defensive items for Mike Zimmer up entrance and within the secondary, however Yannick Ngakoue was a terrific late pickup and complementary youth will serve them properly. Offensively, they are going to get extra extremely environment friendly play from Kirk Cousins with Dalvin Prepare dinner and the working recreation setting the tone, not lacking a lot of a beat with out Stefon Diggs.
10. Buffalo Payments (5)
Talking of Diggs, the Payments have put lots of strain on Josh Allen to show the nook as a passer after giving him a real No. 1 large receiver. Sean McDermott’s protection and a extra juiced working recreation are nonetheless the inspiration of how they are going to attempt to lastly take the AFC East from the Brady-less Patriots.
11. Dallas Cowboys (11)
The Cowboys are proper exterior the NFC powerhouses for now, however they will get there, free from the Jason Garrett limitations. They can hit a better offensive ceiling with Mike McCarthy becoming a member of Kellen Moore to affect Dak Prescott, now with rookie first-rounder CeeDee Lamb in tow. Mike Nolan additionally will get probably the most out of their defensive entrance seven.
12. Inexperienced Bay Packers (9)
The Packers overachieved in Matt LaFleur’s first season, leaning extra on an improved working recreation and protection and fewer on Aaron Rodgers. They nonetheless have that successful id, however they should regress slightly as they did not do a lot to additional raise Rodgers for this season.
13. New England Patriots (19)
The Patriots are deciding on Cam Newton to interchange Brady within the brief time period, however they’ve loads of different offensive points to iron out as they attempt to faucet into Newton’s MVP upside. Defensively, they’ve misplaced lots of move rush however gained extra youth and flexibility for Invoice Belichick. Belichick can do his finest teaching job but if he will get these explicit Patriots to the playoffs.
14. Houston Texans (14)
The Texans may be a multitude defensively and they’re going to really feel the lack of DeAndre Hopkins offensively, however additionally they are lucky the expertise and management of Deshaun Watson give him a excessive built-in ground — and by far probably the most dependable and dazzling QB play (nonetheless) within the AFC South.
15. Cleveland Browns (20)
The Browns have completed every part they will to repair Baker Mayfield, together with upgraded move safety, extra versatile weaponry and a extra run-oriented environment friendly system with rookie coach Kevin Stefanski. They need to stay as much as expectations higher offensively, whereas the protection makes extra key performs, too. They’re much higher geared up for a playoff run than final season.
16. Arizona Cardinals (21)
The Cardinals will hope that Kyler Murray enjoys the identical Yr 2 bounce as Mahomes and Jackson, now armed with Hopkins in Kliff Kingsbury’s system. The protection additionally bought some crucial assist for Chandler Jones and the secondary in rookie linebacker Isaiah Simmons. Arizona is a deserving buzzworthy workforce, however San Francisco and Seattle stand as obstacles for a real breakthrough.
17. Los Angeles Rams (25)
Earlier than the 49ers and Seahawks made the playoffs collectively and the previous performed within the Tremendous Bowl, it was the Rams’ flip as NFC champions. Sean McVay and Les Snead did discover good replacements for Todd Gurley (Cam Akers) and Brandin Cooks (Van Jefferson), however their protection has some points anyplace between Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey.
18. Atlanta Falcons (23)
Dan Quinn will get one other likelihood to push the protection in the best route. Talking of Gurley, the Falcons hope a semi-homecoming will assist present some semblance of stability to Dirk Koetter’s pass-happy offense for Matt Ryan. The Falcons can mild up the scoreboard at occasions, however there may be an excessive amount of strain to all the time win higher-scoring video games.
19. Indianapolis Colts (18)
Philip Rivers is their new beginning quarterback and desires to indicate he is nonetheless bought it after a shaky last 12 months with the Chargers. This workforce will lean properly on its offensive line, working recreation and remixed receiving corps, the place rookies Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. can have huge components. The protection stays on the strong aspect vs. the spectacular, nonetheless.
20. Los Angeles Chargers (22)
The Chargers are rolling with Tyrod Taylor to interchange Rivers as Justin Herbert waits. They’ve loads round Taylor to provide better huge performs offensively. Their protection was trying fairly good on each stage behind Joey Bosa till Derwin James suffered one other main damage setback. Anthony Lynn’s workforce is someplace in between the 2018 breakout and 2019 washout.
21. Denver Broncos (15)
The Broncos are getting lots of buzz tied to second-year QB Drew Lock and a revamped set of ability gamers round him, however they’re present process a giant transition in Pat Shurmur’s offense and have some line points that may maintain them again. Defensively, they’ve good particular person items similar to Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and Justin Simmons, however there are some evident holes for Vic Fangio, too.
22. Tennessee Titans (13)
The Titans will cool off significantly from their surprising AFC championship run with Mike Vrabel final season. Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown are nonetheless the triplets main the offense, however they should discover extra solutions there. Tennessee is also extra middle-pack defensively regardless of some standout qualities.
23. Las Vegas Raiders (17)
The Raiders are shifting into their fancy new residence within the desert with extra offensive youth, with rookie large receivers Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards tabbed for large roles to assist second-year working again Josh Jacobs with the supporting manufacturing for Derek Carr. Defensively, there sufficient enhancements (see linebackers) to make them a sleeper playoff workforce. Sadly, file them with the Chargers and Broncos nearly as good groups chasing a terrific one within the AFC West.
24. Chicago Bears (24)
The Bears are doing their finest to cover QB play regardless of having an offensive-minded coach in Matt Nagy. Neither Nick Foles nor Mitchell Trubisky evokes a lot confidence, as a result of Chicago cannot precisely simply lean on protection and working recreation to win sufficient video games in an NFC North the place each different workforce can move significantly better with no issues at crucial place.
25. New York Giants (16)
The Giants are assured in rookie coach Joe Choose and second-year QB Daniel Jones. However Garrett’s offense will probably be a substantial adjustment and regardless of some defensive investments, they’re nonetheless appreciable points there for that transition.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (27)
Joe Burrow provides the Bengals loads of optimism they will not end close to the underside once more. He is the right match for Zac Taylor’s offense and he inherits loads of ability, led by Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon, and a extra promising offensive line with a wholesome Jonah Williams. Defensively, the Bengals did make investments to be much less of a multitude, however they’re nonetheless beneath common there.
27. Detroit Lions (28)
The Lions are onerous workforce to learn. They will find yourself getting top-flight QB play from Matthew Stafford, — which he delivered for half a season earlier than his 2019 again damage — and nonetheless disappoint when it comes to successful video games. That is tied to having an inconsistent working recreation, which they hope to appropriate with D’Andre Swift. Defensively, the heavy strain will probably be on Matt Patricia to place the items collectively, quick.
28. Carolina Panthers (29)
The Panthers undoubtedly have extra pace to burn offensively with Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore seeing extra playmaking pop beneath Joe Brady and Teddy Bridgewater is a degree guard as much as the duty. Protection, nonetheless, will probably be an enormous drawback for Matt Rhule, with Luke Kuechly creating probably the most large void.
29. Miami Dolphins (30)
The Dolphins will not thoughts taking just a few extra lumps of their rebuild as Ryan Fitzpatrick bridges the offense to Tua Tagovailoa and Brian Flores works to get his new-look protection to jell in entrance of prime corners Xavien Howard and Byron Jones.
30. New York Jets (26)
Adam Gase has been adamant about getting his kind of offensive gamers round Sam Darnold. The receiving corps nonetheless seems slightly messy and the working recreation continues to go additional away from Le’Veon Bell. With all that in thoughts, the Jets’ greater legal responsibility is Gregg Williams’ protection, now with out Jamal Adams.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (32)
The Jaguars have shortly flipped the 2017 workforce that made it to the AFC championship recreation and are someway nonetheless coached by Doug Marrone. Gardner Minshew places them on the map in an offense with extra West Coast definition beneath Jay Gruden. Younger edge rushers Josh Allen and Okay’Lavon Chaisson, sadly, are the brand new shiny spots in a largely gutted protection.
32. Washington Soccer Crew (31)
That is an analysis and cleanup 12 months for Ron Rivera and Jason Wright. Washington is assessing whether or not Dwayne Haskins is the reply, however he is additionally coping with some main questions in his crucial help system. There’s extra established to love defensively for Rivera and Jack Del Rio, now with Chase Younger because the cornerstone.