During our 8am Sports Talk this morning, Stick and I decided that Woodward Sports would start putting out a weekly power rankings for the NFL. Here is out first NFL Power Rankings of the 2020-2021 season.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-1)
The Chiefs not only the defending Super Bowl Champions, they also boast the 4th highest scoring offense and 3rd highest in scoring defense. They’re a complete football team that has shown us they can win football games many different ways. The Chiefs are No.1 in our NFL power rankings and will be here unless they start losing back to back football games.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-0)
The Steelers are the story of the NFL after 8 weeks, being the only undefeated team left in the NFL. That doesn’t mean they’re the best team. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and put them as the best in the league, considering they have wins over the Giants, Broncos, Texans, Eagles and Browns – that isn’t saying much. They’re coming off two consecutive quality wins against the Titans and division rivals Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers defense is legit, and how far that will take them is yet to be seen. We have them sitting at No.2 in our NFL power rankings.
3. Seattle Seahawks (6-1)
I would prefer to have Seattle at No.2, but the Steelers have earned it. Seattle has the MVP Front-Runner in Russell Wilson, and a receiving core that can beat you many different ways every single week. The return of Jamal Adams’ and addition of Carlos Dunlap should improve what has been a terrible defense. In what is the hardest division in the NFL, the Seahawks have a stacked schedule ahead of them and could prove us wrong or right. Seattle falls to No.3 in our NFL power rankings.
4. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
The Ravens shot themselves in the foot on Sunday against the Steelers. 4 turnovers and still barely lost. Lamar Jackson continues to struggle in big games, but the roster the Ravens boast is one of the best in the league. Their only losses come against the No.1 ranked Chiefs and the No.3 ranked Steelers. Not something to hang your head on. Their dynamic rushing game will continue to cause teams problems, if they’re able to limit the turnovers, this will be a tough team to be come the Playoffs. Baltimore starts at No.4 in our first NFL power rankings.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)
This team confuses me. I’m not sure why everyone is talking about their defense being elite. The defense has done well up to this point, but I don’t trust it. The only reason this team has 6 wins is because of Tom Brady. Brady deserves most if not all of the credit, this football team has been in every game since their Week 1 loss to the Saints, and Brady doesn’t commit the costly turnovers that other quarterbacks do. This is far from a complete team, but their quarterback gets an A+ from us, and as long as Brady’s performances continue – this will be a tough team to beat. It also helps that Antonio Brown will be suiting up soon. Tampa Bay starts at No.5 in our NFL power rankings.
6. Buffalo Bills (6-2)
With a tough schedule coming up, the Bills could find themselves out of the top 10 and potentially fighting the Dolphins for the division. Their defense hasn’t lived up to expectations, but these next 5 games will tell us if the Bills are contenders or pretenders. Schedule aside, this team doesn’t beat themselves. Expect them to be a tough out in the Wild-Card and Divisional Round.
7. Green Bay Packers (5-2)
Another team that drives me nuts, the Packers have shown they will be contending for an appearance to this years NFC Championship game. My main concern is the way they lose football games. When things go right for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, they’re one of the best teams in the league. When things don’t go according to plan, the Packers get punched in the face and lose badly. With a 13-3 record last year, and more than likely to win 12 games this year – the Packers will tell us who they really are in the playoffs this year. The Packers are No.7 in our NFL power rankings this week.
8. Tennessee Titans (5-2)
Derek Henry continues to justify the contract that was given to him (unlike some Running Back I know in Dallas). Ryan Tannehill has found his perfect home and the team looks really good. They’re coming off a bad loss to the Bengals but it’s nothing too alarming. This is a grit and grind football team, and they’ll continue to punish teams as the season goes on.
9. Arizona Cardinals (5-2)
The offensive line has stood out up to this point in the season, and that’s saying something considering how dynamic the offense has been for the Cardinals. Kyler Murray has only been sacked nine times this year compared to the 23 times up to this point last year. With the defense beginning to find their step, the Cardinals will look to compete till the end of the NFC West title and potential top seed in the NFC.
10. New Orleans Saints (5-2)
Sean Payton has done very well with the team considering the amount of injuries that have plagued them offensively. The Saints are very dynamic on offense, and it’s won they 5 games so far. The biggest concern would be defensively, the Saints allow the sixth most points per game in the NFL. They’ll need to improve tremendously if they want to compete for a trip to the NFC Championship game.
11. Indianapolis Colts (5-2)
Matt Eberflus’ defense is the real deal. I had many questions about this team, but boy did they answer many of them in their dominating performance against the Detroit Lions. Yes it’s only a win against the Lions, but the Colts were finally able to put together a complete performance for sixty minutes. Their dynamic backfield will give most teams problems, and as long as Philip Rivers doesn’t turn the ball over the Colts could be a Darkhorse team come the Playoffs.
12. Cleveland Browns (5-3)
Kevin Stefanski has done pretty good job, and if the weather was friendlier the Browns could be sitting here at 6-2. Now forget the what-ifs, the loss of Nick Chubb has clearly hurt the teams ability to enforce themselves on teams. The loss of OBJ may have given Baker more freedom to distribute the ball without having to worry about Odell complaining. The Browns need to use Kareem Hunt better, but with Nick Chubb coming back sooner than expected, the Browns will have their dynamic-duo back.
13. Miami Dolphins (4-3)
The Tua project got off to a good start with a win against the Los Angeles Rams. Though it really wasn’t because of Tua. What I like most about this team, is that I can trust Brian Flores and the defense. I know week to week what I’m getting, and I can’t say that about the Raiders, Rams or Bears. All of who I have behind the Dolphins in the rankings.
14. Las Vegas Raiders (4-3)
Higher on our list than most rankings, but it’s well deserved. The Raiders have quality wins against the Chiefs and Saints. Their only bad loss was to the pitiful Patriots. This team isn’t on my contenders list, but considering the teams behind them, it’s tough not to put them here at No.12. The Raiders have six very winnable games remaining on their schedule, so this could be the year Jon Gruden gets the team into the playoffs.
15. Los Angeles Rams (5-3)
The Rams are only here because of their record, which isn’t saying much considering four of their five wins come against the NFC East. This team is so inconsistent, and it’s frustrating to watch. With five divisional games left, I would say they finish 1-5 in their division. The Rams will probably be a wild-card team, but don’t expect much more than that from them. McVay has his work cutout this year, and questions have to be asked about Jared Goff.
16. San Francisco 49ers (4-4)
Trading away Kwon Alexander told me everything I needed to know about the 49ers intentions this year. They’re looking forward to the offseason and the draft. I do have them at 16 mainly because I believe in their coaching staff, but they will continue to drop more and more as the season goes on. With a Thursday Night matchup against the Packers coming up, it seems all but downhill from here. They’re missing their Star Quarterback and Tight End and I don’t expect them to win more than 1 or 2 games for the rest of the year.
17. Chicago Bears (5-3)
Nothing really impresses me about this team. Matt Nagy isn’t helping himself with this quarterback situation, and Nick Foles looks like a below-average quarterback. The defense is good enough to win them some games, but I believe the Bears will continue to collapse the rest of the way. My guess is they finish with 7 or 8 wins at the most. Sorry Bears fans.
18. Detroit Lions (3-4)
Coming off a bad loss (and not their first bad loss of the year) the Detroit Lions find themselves in an awkward position. Kenny Golladay is hurt, and the media have been bashing them, but the Lions schedule over the next 5 weeks is very friendly. Detroit’s only hope is to go 4-1 over the next five weeks. Matthew Stafford is starting to find himself in the passing game, and the team must improve defensively if they want to push for the final Wild-Card spot. This far into the rankings, we’re really comparing bad football teams to semi-bad football teams. Every team past this point is either inconsistent, bad or just terrible.
19. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1)
Now top of their awful division, the Eagles are likely to win their division and make the playoffs. Other than Carson Wentz making plays, this team is too hurt to really challenge in the playoffs. If they were in any other division, we’d be discussing a rebuild.
20. Carolina Panthers (3-5)
Matt Rhule has done a very good job in his first year as head coach for the Panthers. Teams have figured out how to play and beat the Panthers, and it won’t be until McCaffery comes back that this team can be more dynamic and unpredictable on offense. As serviceable as Mike Davis has been, this isn’t a playoff team without McCaffery. Their record isn’t horrible, but I don’t see how this team wins more than 6 games in this division.
21. Denver Broncos (3-4)
Drew Lock silenced many of his haters with an important comeback against the Chargers that gives the team an optimistic outlook for the rest of the season. Their schedule isn’t an easy one, but they sit 1.5 games out of the final Wild-Card spot. They’ll be a 7 win football team, 8 at the most. Don’t expect more than that.
22. Minnesota Vikings (2-5)
After a terrible start to the season, the Vikings beat a very good Packers team on Sunday. Dalvin Cook gave it to the Green Bay defense, but there are too many holes in their game. The Vikings should learn from this season, get a high draft-pick and look to move on from Kirk Cousins. The Cousins project peaked in value and impact, and now is the correct time to move on. There are many good pieces in Minnesota, with Hunter out till next season. There’s nothing wrong with looking forward.
23. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5-1)
Joe Burrow is the real deal, and Bengals fans will wake up every Sunday for the next 10-15 years knowing that they have a shot because of their Quarterback. This is nowhere near a complete team, but I feel the offense only needs improvement at the line of scrimmage. I like their receivers and running backs. With an improved O-Line and pass-rush, this could be a playoff team in years to come.
24. Los Angeles Chargers (2-5)
Similar to the Bengals fans, Chargers fans have a lot to look forward to. Justin Herbert has been playing exceptional, the only issue is that the defense is much worse than we thought. If the Chargers defense lived up to their hype, they could be competing for a Wild-Card spot. Problem is this team has more issues on defense than we expected, and with rumors that they’re shopping their safety King, this looks like a dead year for them.
25. New England Patriots (2-5)
Not much to say about this football team, Cam Newton can’t do it all by himself. The defense has been ok, but the offense is just horrendous. The salary cap is clearly hurting their ability to recover, and it could be a few seasons before we see the Patriots competing for their division.
26. Houston Texans (1-6)
Coming off a bye-week, the Texans will look to take advantage of a friendly schedule over the next 4 weeks. With games against the Jaguars, Browns, Patriots and Lions. Their playoffs are basically over, but the team can show it’s real colors and look to fight it out.
27. Atlanta Falcons (2-6)
The Falcons find themselves in an awkward situation. While they did beat the Panthers on Thursday Night, there’s really nothing to look forward to. I’d expect them to be sellers at this point, but if everything stays together they’ll finish with 4 or 5 wins at most. Team is need of a rebuild.
I’ll let the name of their team do the talking on this one.
29. Dallas Cowboys (2-6)
How bout’ them Cowboys. Just pathetic, the coaching staff needs to go. Someone please feed Zek release or trade paperwork. The team is made up of selfish individuals and a terrible coaching staff. Somehow, they’re still in the hunt for the division – but don’t expect them to do anything really. Great job Jerry Jones, you nailed it with this roster and coaching staff.
30. New York Giants (1-7)
I really like what I’ve seen from Joe Judge from a culture and mentality standpoint. They’re fighting and giving their best, but they’re just not a good football team. Daniel Jones to me, isn’t a franchise quarterback. I’d expect them to address that by going after Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)
Minshew Mania is finally over. This is a bad football team, and there’s no covering that up. The one bright spot has been the emergence of running-back James Robinson. Other than that, the Jaguars are still a bad football team and will look to win the draft lottery for Lawrence or Fields.
32. New York Jets (0-8)
J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS. How Adam Gase isn’t gone blows my mind. Pray if you’re a Jets fan, because this team, culture and organization needs a complete redo.