When esteemed colleague Mitch Goldich told me it was my turn to assemble the MMQB “Power Rankings”, I was thrilled! I would finally have the opportunity to write about my true passion, inventor / engineer / futurist Nikola Tesla, whose innovations made the modern electric power system possible and who was superior to Thomas Edison in every way imaginable.
But then Mitch explained to me that I was actually just ranking soccer teams, which seems a lot less interesting and also largely useless as there is already a whole system for determining who is the best team (they keep score of matches, they keep track rankings, hold eliminatory playoff matches based on those rankings, etc.).
But apparently there̵
So, if you’ve come to worry about how I rank the 32 NFL teams, read on. And if you want to learn more about Nikola Tesla, go to your local library. Or if you don’t like reading, check out this music video for the mid-level song “Edison’s Medicine “by the band Tesla. (Yes, there was a hair metal band named after Nikola Tesla, and they wrote a song that accurately banged Thomas Edison, because that’s just what people did in the early 90s. .)
1. Green Bay Packers
Last week: hello
Next week: in Tampa Bay
The offense effectively fused Aaron Rodgers’ talent with Matt LaFleur’s modernized system – something many thought couldn’t be done – which is why they continued to rack up points even without Davante Adams. The Green Bay’s only vulnerability is the back-end of the defense, although it has a strong pass run and a true No. 1 in Jaire Alexander, so it’s not that vulnerable. However, I can’t help but notice that the Packers didn’t play a game in week 5. Planned goodbye week … or discord between the coach and the quarterback? (Kidding, but it could be a segment of one of those mid-day “debate” shows, right?)
2. Kansas City Chiefs
Last week: defeat to Las Vegas 40-32
Next week: in Buffalo (Monday)
Back in early 2019 – and including post-season – the Chiefs had been 14-0 with an average winning margin of 14.4 points when their offensive was fully sound before Sunday. The loss of Raiders moves that record to 14-1 with an average differential of +12.9 points. There are, objectively, protection issues that haven’t been there since the top five suffered a string of injuries around this time last season (the dark days of Cameron Erving, blindside protector), but come on … it’s the Chiefs . They will be fine by November.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week: defeat in Chicago 20-19
Next week: against Green Bay
On Thursday night the NFL gods of incompetence conspired against Tampa Bay, a lazy program that sent them on a trip to TNF as their opponent played consecutive home games, a string of injuries for the short week, an overwhelmed referee crew, and the league’s refusal to adopt a sky judge to correct their game-altering mistakes. These things happen. Although the only real concern for the Bucs coming out of TNF is the injury to Vita Vea: he was playing at an All-Pro level. However, once the receiving body becomes healthy, this is the most complete team in the NFC. I don’t like writing it.
4. Baltimore Ravens
Last week: 27-3 win over Cincinnati
Next week: in Philadelphia
There are questions up front, many of which stem from the inside line’s rocky performance (which is what happens when your Hall of Fame right guard retires after an All-Pro season). But what this defense did to poor Joe Burrow on Sunday was a little too much, and their overtaking Cleveland in week one will come in handy in the AFC North three-way game (which is the only match so far between Baltimore-Cleveland-Pittsburgh ).
5. Los Angeles Rams
Last week: Win in Washington 30-10
Next week: in San Francisco
With the exception of the slow start in Buffalo, the Rams have done pretty much exactly what they want to do against all the opponents they have faced this season. And the fact that they opposed the bills – it was fair to ask whether Jared Goff could or not – was very encouraging. It seems the coach has figured things out.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last week: win over Philadelphia 38-29
Next week: against Cleveland
You’d have to go back to the days of Kordell Stewart / Slash to find an offense against Steelers that looked as fun and creative as the one they threw against the Eagles. Well, maybe not “creative” as they only borrow from the McVay and Shanahan types, but when you finish your 38-point day with the guy who scored three consecutive touchdowns completely uncovered the seam for a quarter, you’ve won enough in the chess game.
7. Seattle Seahawks
Last week: win against Minnesota 27-26
Next week: hello
Let’s put Russell Wilson and his metaphorical food preparation aside for a moment. The Seahawks have already had three strict escape. Their chance of winning at numberFire was less than 50% in the last three minutes against the Patriots (up from 47.7% with 36 seconds left), Cowboys (35.6% with 2:40 left) and Vikings (3, 6% !!! with 1: 27 left). And that’s despite Seattle’s historically high offensive efficiency in the red zone, which made up for the fact that they’ve bet more than all but four teams this season (Football Team, Jets, Bears and Bengals, that’s a company). The point is: Seattle’s offense is great, but this level it is not sustainable. And, as you already know, the defense is pretty bad. Right now defensive coordinator Ken Norton is masking it with a hefty dose of security blitz, but once opponents get used to the fact that their already struggling secondary is playing one less man in cover, there’s no it’s nowhere to hide, especially once the takeaways (as does an unhurried passing team have 10 takeaways in five games?!?!) dry up, as happened to this unit at the end of last season. Or, maybe the Seahawks will go 14-2 because all those numbers are meaningless, so you can knock on my door and give me one of these:
8. New Orleans Saints
Last week: Win vs. Chargers 30-27
Next week: hello
Michael Thomas should be back after goodbye week as long as he stops punching people. While they may not be the record-breaking offense of recent seasons, Drew Brees handing out to Thomas and Alvin Kamara will yield his fair share of points. Concern is a defensive backfield that didn’t add to the sum of its parts in five games.
9. Tennessee Titans
Last week: Buffalo 42-16 win
Next week: against Houston
On Tuesday night the defense forced Josh Allen and the Bills to play on their terms (like in no big show), and the offense had no problems even without two of his top three catchers. Methodical was the theme of the evening. At this rate, the Titans could have a chance in a 9-0 season.
10. Buffalo Bills
Last week: Defeat in Tennessee 42-16
Next week: vs Kansas City (Monday)
Josh Allen is still a bit streaked and showed up on Tuesday night. The second interception was due to a combination of indecision and inaccuracy, and while it shouldn’t have led to an interception, the first quarter shot behind Andre Roberts which resulted in an INT was simply a mistake. The absence of John Brown, the deficit after a slow start and the Titans’ approach took away the big game (a late TD for TJ Yeldon was the only 20+ yard game Allen scored throughout the season. night). That said, Allen will be fine. The problem in Buffalo is the lack of depth in the secondary. The Bills needs Three Whites back in line with Mahomes coming to Orchard Park on Monday.
11. Indianapolis Colts
Last week: defeat in Cleveland 32-23
Next week: against Cincinnati
It’s clear this offensive line will have to stay healthy in 2020: with LT Anthony Castonzo out against Cleveland they failed to keep Philip Rivers clean and Rivers responded with a slump reminiscent of his 2019 campaign. The defense is expected to return to the top. five once Darius Leonard and Julian Blackmon are back, and they’re built to rack up wins behind that defense and a ball control attack.
12. New England Patriots
Last week: hello
Next week: against Denver
That we live in a world where Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham were almost starting for the Patriots instead of Cam Newton is hard to understand. We will forgive Bill Belichick and his staff as this defense managed not to miss a beat despite losing Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy. With Newton’s return this week, they can play the defense plus ball formula and with any team in football.
13. Cleveland Browns
Last week: victory against Indianapolis 32-23
Next week: in Pittsburgh
The Browns are getting plenty of take away behind Myles Garrett’s defensive player of the year performance so far. But Garrett also faced reserve OTs in consecutive weeks after feasting on the football team and Bengals front five. Namely, this takeaway rate (11 over the four straight wins) won’t last forever, and at that point the quarterback will have to take a step forward. Considering the conditions this season (much improved offensive line, drastically better system, star-studded weapon collection), Baker Mayfield wasn’t particularly sharp. This is bad news (We’re 4-1, but uh-oh, our quarterback isn’t playing great!) or great news (We’re 4-1, and our quarterback isn’t even playing great!). Brown’s fans probably aren’t picky.
14. Las Vegas Raiders
Last week: Kansas City win 40-32
Next week: hello
Derek Carr scored a distinctive victory in Kansas City and was promptly overshadowed by a million other storylines. The Las Vegas defense will be a week-to-week proposition, but if Henry Ruggs’ presence finally pushes Carr to attack downstream consistently, this offense can take him to January.
15. Philadelphia Eagles
Last week: defeat at Pittsburgh 38-29
Next week: against Baltimore
Whatever was wrong with Carson Wentz in the first three games of the season is no longer wrong. He was fantastic in a lost effort in Pittsburgh: of his two interceptions one was a Hail Mary and the other was due to a blatant defensive penalty, he made a series of mind-blowing shots and worked with magic to buy late time , and he was inches from completing two of the season’s best jumps. And that was all with his only proven weapon, Zach Ertz, sleepwalking while playing (apparently Travis Fulgham will be carrying the recipient body for a while). Jim Schwartz’s defense has a couple of headaches every week (especially that body of linebacking—Yup), but it looks like he’s about to click for the Eagles, and they’re only halfway through the game behind a team of Cowboys who just lost their quarterback.
16. Minnesota Vikings
Last week: defeat in Seattle 27-26
Next week: against Atlanta
Sometimes you put the perfect game plan together, execute it well, make all the right situational decisions … and run short because your boyfriend slipped and picked the wrong hole on the fourth and thumb, while their boyfriend tore a rainbow along the sideline despite the fourth and 10th being well covered. Or because sometimes the soccer gods simply decide they would like to point and laugh at you. Sorry, Mike Zimmer.
17. Miami Dolphins
Last week: Win in San Francisco 43-17
Next week: against the New York Jets
I was waiting for someone to take advantage of the 49ers’ injury-ravaged defense, but what Ryan Fitzpatrick did to them on Sunday seemed just plain mean. Byron Jones is back in training, meaning rookie Noah Igbinoghene (whose game would be charitably described as “error prone”) can develop from the driving range and the sideline, as expected. Fitzpatrick will always be a wild card, but no one should want to play with dolphins right now.
18. Carolina Panthers
Last week: Win in Atlanta 23-16
Next week: against Chicago
Matt Rhule’s coaching staff embarrassed his last three counterparts – Chargers, Cardinals, Falcons – by managing to get Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff fired right after Sunday’s game. The rush to pass is emerging, Joe Brady and Teddy Bridgewater are making it work offensively even without Christian McCaffrey, and the Panthers are good enough to play with anyone right now.
19. Chicago Bears
Last week: Tampa Bay victory 20-19
Next week: in Carolina
If you were to take the Bears’ performance for five weeks and simulate it 10 million times, you’d have more instances of the franchise being suspended due to a Mothra attack on the city of Chicago than the Bears sitting at 4-1. They are -104 in the net yardage and -1 in the turnover differential. But here we are! Sitting down 4-1 and moving forward with a top five defense has them squarely in the post-season mix, because the NFL uses the win-and-lose record rather than October’s power rankings to determine its playoff pitch.
20. Los Angeles Chargers
Last week: defeat in New Orleans 30-27 OT
Next week: hello
I’m not sure you could get four better performances from a rookie quarterback, and the Chargers have managed to lose all four games. But after pushing Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady to the brink, then entering New Orleans without Melvin Ingram and with a limited Joey Bosa and tossing the game’s winner off the uppercut, the Chargers rank pretty high on the leaderboard. of the power of moral victory.
21. San Francisco 49ers
Last week: defeat to Miami 43-17
Next week: against the Los Angeles Rams
It is a defensive system that needs a quick pass. Last year they had Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner and Dee Ford. This year they don’t. Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t physically (or mentally) right on Sunday, and an offense from Kyle Shanahan may never seem so bad again. But right now, this is a mediocre defense and an offense with a lot of question marks. Staying in the playoff hunt will be a challenge.
22. Houston Texans
Last week: win over Jacksonville 30-14
Next week: in Tennessee
Romeo Crennel is now 3-1 in his career as an interim head coach, so if Cal McNair and Jack Easterby know what they’re doing, they’ll drop him the provisional tag and finish 9-7. Sunday against the Jaguars was the first time the Houston receivers have consistently won this season, even if they failed to win against what was largely the Jacksonville training team defense, it would be time to prepare it for 2020.
23. Detroit Lions
Last week: hello
Next week: in Jacksonville
I understand that, sometimes under a new manager, a team has to take a step back before they can take a step forward. After all, Bill Belichick started 5-13 after taking over a Patriots team that hadn’t had a losing record in the previous four seasons and had made the playoffs in three of those four seasons. Everyone was asking for his job, the quarterback of the franchise who had signed for a record deal has liquefied his guts. . . and then the Patriots won the Super Bowl in 78 consecutive seasons (approximately). But in Matt Patricia’s case, it’s year 3, they handed out talented players at a discount to bring “his boys” into the building, and the defense, his side of the ball, has progressively worsened since he arrived. There’s still time to turn things around – no one noticed with those early Belichick Patriots – but all the evidence points to another wasted year of Matthew Stafford’s sunset peak.
24. Arizona Cardinals
Last week: Win at the New York Jets 30-10
Next week: Dallas (Monday)
As the cardinals can attest, an afternoon in East Rutherford will cure what ails you. Though losing Chandler Jones is a big blow, and the attack has to prove that he can attack downstream (doing it against those corners of the Jets doesn’t really turn out much) rather than relying on the quick hit and Kyler Murray climbs.
25. Dallas Cowboys
Last week: victory over the New York Giants 37-34
Next week: v Arizona (Monday)
The prospect of Andy Dalton getting involved in what appeared to be the Cowboys offense this summer was interesting. But Dalton has always fought in muddy pockets, and losing both early tackles means he will play from many muddy pockets (the Giants, beware, may have the mildest edge rusher in football). They are in the right division and once Leighton Vander Esch is back, perhaps the defense will move from the all-time bottom fifth to the old regular fifth this season. Either way, it’s hard to project the Andy Dalton Cowboys as anything other than a bottom-ranking team.
26. Atlanta Falcons
Last week: defeat to Carolina 23-16
Next week: in Minnesota
In the end, Arthur Blank didn’t let himself be tempted by another kind of year starting 1-7 and 7-1 by Dan Quinn. The Falcons need a new defensive approach, because the Seattle-style system they’ve run for years relies on their starters to stay healthy, and they don’t have starters to stay healthy.
27. Denver Broncos
Last week: hello
Next week: in New England
The bright side of the COVID-related postponement is that Drew Lock has another week to get back to health – they’re good enough to steal a few games with Lock in the middle. But the man, the injuries to Lock, Von Miller, Courtland Sutton and A.J. Bouye is the kind of consequence normally reserved for the recipients of the mummy’s curse (appropriate reference to the season, Happy Halloween to all).
28. Cincinnati Bengals
Last week: defeat in Baltimore 27-3
Next week: in Indianapolis
Getting kicked in the face by crows happens to the best of us, but it served as a reminder that despite two straight games without defeat, there is still a lot of work to do. Cin City.
29. New York Giants
Last week: defeat in Dallas 37-34
Next week: against Washington
The headache was the collapse against the 49ers. The Giants may be 0-5, but in two of those defeats they drove deep into the opponent’s territory with a chance to win or draw in the last minute, and on Sunday they lost on a last-second kick, provoked by an exceptional hold … in Dallas. They are weakened, but it looks like they will steal some games in 2020.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last week: defeated in Houston 30-14
Next week: against Detroit
When the day comes when the human race is extinct and the aliens descend to Earth and try to reconstruct who we were and how we lived, the enduring and unsolved mystery of our civilization’s time will be how the Jaguars beat the Colts in the First week. of the 2020 NFL season.
31. Washington Football Team
Last week: Los Angeles Rams 30-10 defeat
Next week: to the New York Giants
Alex Smith is an amazing story. But if what Dwayne Haskins saw in rehearsal last week looked like what the rest of us saw on the pitch from Kyle Allen and Smith against the Rams, I can understand why Haskins was violently ill for days. Washington had 108 attack yards on Sunday, unfathomable for a pro football team in 2020. Over 29 shots with Smith at the quarterback, the football team gained 25 yards. According to my Mike McCarthy brand analysis machine, this is 0.86 yards per game.
32. New York Jets
Last week: Defeat to Arizona 30-10
Next week: in Miami
With Joe Flacco in the quarterback, Sunday the Jets were less than a score from the Cardinals in the second half on Sunday, which is kind of a win?