32. Jacksonville Jaguars. There is no question that the Jaguars are shipping out their most talented players and eyeing a rebuild. After playing their way to the AFC Championship game in 2018. They performed above expectation due to a terrorizing defense which graced the nickname of “Sacksonville.” Since then, the Jaguars have traded or released all of their star players including potentials Hall of Famers, Jalen Ramsey and Calais Campbell. With some quality quarterbacks in the upcoming draft it seems as if they are entering the “Tanking for Trevor (Lawrence)” sweepstakes. Quarterback Gardner Minshew seems to be a decent quarterback but is getting little to no help from the front office.
31. Washington Redskins. Unlike the Jacksonville Jaguars it seems as if the the Redskins are going into the 2020 season with some hope. With a proven and capable coach in Ron Rivera, and potential game changer on the defensive line with Chase Young, it seems as if the team could be better than last year. This being said, it is hard to believe that Dwayne Haskins is their franchise quarterback for the future. Without an excellent quarterback in a day and age of some of the best quarterback play we have ever seen, it’s difficult to see the Redskins offense keep up with the rest of the league. The foundation is being built for Washington in the future, but their time has not yet come.
30. New York Giants. The Giants seem to be in a similar situation as the inter division rival the Washington Redskins. Both NFL East squads have recently drafted quarterbacks that have a lot to learn. Although Daniel Jones hasn’t quite entered star status, he has shown glimpses of being a capable franchise quarterback for the Giants’ future. Jones’ biggest weakness last season was holding onto the ball. He fumbled 18 times which is not a stat that could possibly lead to a successful offense. Luckily, the Giants improved their offensive line in the draft by drafting a tackle out of Georgia, Andrew Thomas. This will relieve the pressure off of Jones and help create larger holes for running back Saquon Barkley. Much like Washington, their future is bright but they seem to be a year or two away still.
29. Cincinnati Bengals. The Cincinnati Bengals are going to be one of the most exciting teams in the league in 2020. After a dreadful season in 2019, they received the number one pick in the draft. They selected star quarterback Joe Burrow, who has just finalized one of the best college careers in the history of the game. The Bengals have historically been an extremely conservative team and rarely spent large money on players. This off season they finally spent big money and have built a formidable roster. They seem to be set up to win more games then last season, but still have to compete in a very strong AFC North, each team in their division have a strong pass rush. Burrow will most likely spend his first season getting a little beat up. Burrow is the future of the franchise, and already has some decent weapons with AJ Green, Tee Higgins, and Joe Mixon. Once they have a defense they will be a force in the league.
28. Carolina Panthers. The Carolina Panthers are a peculiar team and have made some off season moves that seem questionable. After Cam Newton’s injury in 2019 the team took a nose dive and fired head coach Ron Rivera. The team recently hired Matt Rhule, who has seen success everywhere that he has been. I believe that he will one day be on the greatest coaches in the league, but they still have a couple more years of building a championship caliber roster. One of their off season acquisitions was quarterback Teddy Bridgewater that has also won on every team he has been on, including going 5-0 backing up superstar Drew Brees. With the retirement of Luke Keuchly, their defense will be desperate for leadership. Kuechly was one of the best to do it and the quarterback and anchor of their defense. Like the Bengals, the Panthers also find themselves in a division that will have high scoring offenses that I just don’t see them slowing down.
27. Chicago Bears. The Bears being as low as 27 might come as a surprise to some football fans, but we all know that when you have two quarterbacks you really don’t have any. Trubisky, while ending strong in 2019, is not the future of the Bears. Sure they signed Nick Foles, Foles has proven to be one of the best backups in NFL history, but when thrown into a starting role has been disappointing. Since the departure of Vic Fangio the scary Bears defensive seems to not look quite as scary. They still are an above average defensive team, but are not good enough to carry a dud of an offense. Luckily, Matt Nagy is a great coach and can find a way to energize their offense.
26. Miami Dolphins. Like the Cincinnati Bengals, the Dolphins will be an intriguing team in 2020. In 2019, it was starting to look like the Dolphins would remain winless by the end of the season. Brian Flores proved haters wrong and coached a team with very limited talent to an unexpected five wins, one being a victory over arch rival New England Patriots. Dolphins fans should be overflowing with hope and excitement at the trajectory of their franchise. After drafting star Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, they finally have a potential superstar quarterback. The Dolphins had double digit draft picks and dominated the draft setting them up for the future. Watch out for the Miami Dolphins in the future. They will win some ball games in 2020, but I do not see them making the playoffs quite yet.
25. Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers were one of the biggest disappointments in 2019, before the season started the narrative was that they could be a championship contender. After finishing the season last in their division and only winning five games, it was clear that some changes needed to be made. After 16 seasons, the Chargers parted ways with Phillip Rivers, and signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Taylor is a capable quarterback but does not seem like a quarterback that can lead the team to a playoff birth. The Chargers also drafted a young stud out of Oregon, Justin Herbert. Although the Chargers fixed their biggest weakness in their offensive line, and have one of the most talented rosters in the league, their coaching and city situation seem off and might be degrading their chances of success.
24. Los Angeles Rams. Oof. A team that recently was in the Super Bowl seems to be in a tailspin. The Rams have many big names on their roster, including all-time great Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. They may have stars, but seem to be in a pickle, tied up in horrible contracts and a lack of draft picks. One of these contracts was given to former number one pick Jared Goff. It is true that Goff may not have been a complete bust, but he has under performed and has proven to be unreliable in intense situations. The Rams signed him for four years and 134 million dollars. This might result in a lack of help for a quarterback that is not successful without a great defense and top notch offensive weapons. One bright spot is coach Sean McVay, that can hopefully make the most out of a tricky situation.
23. Minnesota Vikings. This is one team that may come as a shock to some people. The Minnesota Vikings have always seemed to find their way into the playoffs in the recent years, or at least be in contention. Unfortunately, the team seems to be lacking in some critical areas this upcoming season. They lost weapon Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills, who was one of the lethal deep threats in the league. They also lost their brilliant offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski. Their other star offensive player Dalvin Cook just came out and said that he would hold out until given a fair contract. Things are looking a little messy for Coach Zimmer and the Vikings. Minnesota has always prided themselves in their defense, now it seems it is their only hope.
22. Detroit Lions. The Lions over the Vikings and the Bears? This can’t be right! Well it very well might be. Matt Stafford has continually been one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the league, but just hasn’t been able to escape the grasp of his horribly run franchise. In 2019, the Lions were looking to be a decent team until Stafford was ruled out for the season with a back injury. In the 2020 draft the Lions selected D’Andre Swift and cornerback Jeff Okudah. The Lions haven’t had a star running back since Barry Sanders, but if Swift can be productive, watch out for the Detroit offense in 2020. They may not make the playoffs, but they could be in the hunt.
21. Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders were a bit of a surprise in 2019, they were only a game or two from making the playoffs. Head Coach Jon Gruden and staff were easy to criticize at first, but have proven to be capable at producing a winning product. It is very possible that the Raiders won the 2019 draft as they chose star after star, including star running back Josh Jacobs and edge rusher Maxx Crosby. It may seem logical that the Raiders could take the leap and be even better next season, this may be true, but I see the Broncos being the team in the division to take the next step not the Raiders. But who knows, I have doubted Gruden before.
20. Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals were beneficiaries of a very lopsided trade acquiring one of the best wide receivers in the league, De’Andre Hopkins. With the addition of Hopkins the Cardinals already excellent offense will most likely be even better. After winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year, Kyler Murray has proven to get the job done and is the future franchise quarterback for Arizona. One of the biggest question marks for the Cardinals is, how legit is coach Kliff Kingsbury? Clearly, he is a talent as an offensive coordinator but can he create a winning culture in one of the most difficult divisions in the NFL? With San Francisco and Seattle both in the division it seems unlikely that Arizona will find themselves in the playoffs, but could be a bubble team for 2020.
19. New York Jets. The Jets at 19? Who would have thought? The New York Jets will be a respectable team in 2020. In 2019, they were plagued with injuries and lost their young star quarterback to mono for a couple games early in the season. After he returned the Jets improved dramatically. They finished the season 6-2 knocking off some of the better teams in the league. They made off season moves to sure up their offensive line and protect Darnold, and hopefully create space for Le’Veon Bell, which would help to create a balanced offense. The Jets’ weakness shifted from offensive line to lack of offensive weapons. Hopefully, this can be altered in the future creating a complete and scary roster. The Jets might mess around and find themselves in playoff contention.
18. New England Patriots. It is difficult to bet against the greatest coach of all time Bill Belichick. It would be his greatest accolade of all if he were to take a team with no offensive weapons to the playoffs. He has committed to young Auburn alumni Jarrett Stidham at quarterback, and claims he has what it takes to take the reigns after the departure of Tom Brady. There is no question it will fun to see what Bill has up his sleeves (or lack thereof). Could their stealthy defense carry them to the playoffs without the luxury of having one of the greatest quarterback of all time?
17. Houston Texans. Ouch. Bill O’Brian has made some questionable moves this off season, sending away their greatest offensive weapon Hopkins to the Cardinals for David Johnson who didn’t even start. Deshaun Watson has been punished year after year, because of a turnstile of an offensive line. Watson has literally carried his team every year, but this year he has less weapons then ever. If JJ Watt gets injured again this season the Texans will be all out of star power and most likely will not have enough firepower to beat the talented Colts and Titans squads. If Watson finds his way to the playoffs with this team, he deserves some awards.
16. Cleveland Browns. The Cleveland Browns are a good team. Boy does that sound strange. But it is true, the Browns roster is unreal and should have limited excuses if they do not have a winning record in 2020. Quarterback Baker Mayfield took a major step back from his mesmerizing rookie season. His frustration was clear and real as he failed to connect with his star receivers time after time. He was given no help from his incompetent head coach Freddie Kitchens who continuously opted out of handing the ball off to a terrific backfield of Nick Chubb and company. In 2020, the Browns hired a new head coach Kevin Stefanski, who seems like a perfect fit that should guide the Browns to a dominant 2020 season. The Browns are in a difficult division, but have the roster to match the Steelers and even the Ravens punch for punch.
15. Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons seem to be unpredictable year after year. But one thing is certain, the Falcons will have a high-flying air raid offense. Matt Ryan consistently lets it fly and torches defenses. It helps that he has an inhuman receiver in Julio Jones. If newly signed running back Todd Gurley can be the running back before his injury in Los Angeles, the Falcons have the potential to be the best offense in the NFC. They still have some question marks including coach Dan Quinn and a defense that can’t seem to be consistent. The Falcons could win the division and I wouldn’t be surprised, or they could be last in their division and I wouldn’t be surprised. Let’s just sit back and see what they can do.
14. Denver Broncos. Every year there is a team that double their wins and surprises the league. This year I think the Broncos have what it takes to challenge the Chiefs for the AFC West Title. Drew Lock showed signs of stardom and finally might be the heir to Peyton Manning that Elway has been looking for all these years. With the additions of Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler in the draft, joining star receiver Courtland Sutton and tight end Noah Fant, Lock has no excuse of lacking weapons. Phillip Lindsey and Melvin Gordon join forces in the backfield to make a terrifying running attack. Head coach Vic Fangio is a defensive minded coach that has always had a terrific defense. There is no question the Broncos should make some noise and possibly flirt with a playoff birth.
13. Dallas Cowboys. Since Dak Prescott took the reigns when Romo went down, it has seemed as if the Cowboys had one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, and 2020 will be no different. The narrative was that coach Jason Garrett was anchoring the team from reaching its full potential. They hired Mike McCarthy as their head coach in hopes he could help the team go from underachievers to Super Bowl Champions. It is safe to say they have the talent to make that a reality. With one of the best running back offensive line combinations, and now two deep threats in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. The offensive will go as far as Prescott takes them. Their defense is not flawed as well, due to the efforts of linebackers Jalen Smith and Layton Vander Esch. It is uncertain what exactly is holding Dallas back, but, they seem to have a trend of shooting themselves in the foot.
12. Tennessee Titans. Choosing the division winner between Tennessee and Indy is a coin toss. Both teams should make some noise in the AFC. Last year the Titans shocked the world and rode Derrick Henry all the way to the AFC Championship. Tennessee managed to keep most of their star players from last season, there is no reason why they wouldn’t be a force to be reckoned with next season as well. Not only do they have talent, but their talent is young. Tannehill and AJ Brown were a match made in heaven, it seemed every week they were hooking up for a 50 yard touchdown. It is safe to say it will be a battle for the AFC South crown.
11. Indianapolis Colts. How in the world could the Colts go from out of the playoffs to ranked 11 in the polls? Offensive line. With a line lead by superstar Quentin Nelson, veteran quarterback Phillip Rivers will have all day to pick apart defenses. He will have some quality weapons to throw to and with the best line in the league newly drafted Jonathon Taylor should punish defenses on the ground. It seemed as if last year the only thing the Colts were missing was solid quarterback play, and if Rivers can be what we all know he is capable of, the sky is the limit.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh surprised the world last season by competing with the rest of the league without their star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After he was ruled out for the season with an injured elbow, the Steelers relied on the efforts of Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges. Both quarterbacks seemed uncomfortable and unfit to be a starter in the league. Even with an offense that seemed to be in neutral week after week, they managed to stay in the playoff hunt relying fully on a young star-studded defense. TJ Watt and Bud Dupree took turns overwhelming quarterbacks while Joe Haden and Minkah Fitzpatrick seemed to be picking off balls every single week. In 2020, they will have Big Ben back behind center tossing the ball to an array of explosive receivers. Unfortunately, they share a division with the Ravens who might have the best roster in football, so winning the division seems impossible, but if the defense can maintain domination the Steelers should be fighting for a wild card spot in the AFC.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Adding the greatest quarterback of all time and one of the best tight ends of all time to your roster should automatically place you in contention for a Super Bowl correct? I think so. Tom Brady is growing old, and it seems nearly impossible that he is still playing at a high level. But, Father Time is undefeated and is licking his chops with Mr. Brady. Even with Brady’s resume, it is safe to say he might be playing with one of his best rosters ever in Tampa Bay. Through direction of head coach Bruce Arians, the Buccaneers should compete with the Saint for the NFC South crown. They also have a sneaky good defense that played on a whole other level at the end of last season. Tampa is a mystery but could surprise us next season.
8. Green Bay Packers. The 2020 draft was a strange one for the Green Bay Packers, they have one of the best quarterbacks in the league with Aaron Rodgers, yet they selected a quarterback in the first round. Arguably, the Packers best player are their quarterback and their running back, yet their first two picks were a quarterback and running back. That being said it is easy to criticize now, but who knows what these players will become. The Packers are a solid team all around, their defensive improved dramatically from 2017 to 2018. Their only weakness is a lack of weapons for Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams is a stellar receiver but the only next level option that Rodgers has. Last year the Packers made it to the NFC Championship but fell to the Niners and their overbearing pass rush. They don’t seem to have improved much from last year so they should be a playoff team but not better.
7. Philadelphia Eagles. Watch out for Carson Wentz and his Eagles in 2020. The previous year they turned heads as they took a injury stricken team to the playoffs. By the end of the season they were playing with receivers from their practice squad and still managed to make the postseason. There will be no excuses this year as they have fulfilled all of their off season needs in the draft. They drafted a star receiver from TCU Jalen Reagor and filled their defensive back needs by signing Darius Slay. The rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys will still be highly competitive, but much like last year I think the Eagles have the edge. I believe that the Eagles, when healthy, are a Super Bowl contender.
6. Seattle Seahawks. Last years battles between Seattle and San Francisco were must see TV. With two of the best teams in the NFC residing in the same conference, it was a recipe for good football. This next season should be no different. Russell Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and continues to leave people awestruck with his mobility on the football field. With DK Metcalf going into his second year and Tyler Lockett just growing better they will be hard to stop. Running backs Carson and are bruisers that punish defenses and wear them down over time. If Seattle can manage to find a pass rush there is no reason they can’t beat anyone they play next season.
5. Buffalo Bills. The Bills have finally made it, since their infamous Super Bowl appearances in the 90’s, the Bills have been a laughing stock. Since they hired coach Sean McDermott they have gotten better every year. They have been superb at drafting young defensive talent to the point where they could be in the running for the best in the league. With big names like Ed Oliver, Tre’Davious White, Micah Hyde, etc they are stacked and ready to make some noise in 2020. There are still some questions whether Josh Allen is their franchise quarterback, but it is clear that he is good enough to establish a winning culture, and with the addition of Stefon Diggs he will have an arsenal of high-quality targets to throw to.
4. New Orleans Saints. Could it finally be the Saint’s year? Perhaps. One of the most tortured franchises in the recent years have been the New Orleans Saints. They have been a top ten years for the past couple season and have seemed to come up short time after time. With what must be the finals years of Drew Brees career, their championship window is a ticking time bomb. Their roster is stacked and is only getting better. With the addition of Emmanuel Sander the Saints now are overflowing with weapons including Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. With Tom Brady selecting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Saints and Buccs rivalry just got a lot more fun, and will be must-watch TV.
3. San Francisco 49ers. Will the 49ers digress like the Super Bowl runner ups have in the last couple of years? I do not think so. It seems impossible that such a deep roster and coaching staff could not be a championship contender. Though quarterback Jimmy Garrapolo has his limitations, he is still gets the job done and can play above expectations. The Niners may have lost defensive linemen DeForest Buckner, but they replaced him in the draft with South Carolina stud Javon Kinlaw. San Francisco took pride in their high-powered running attack and unreal pass rush. There is nothing that tells me they will not dominate again with the same strategy.
2. Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens seemed like they would have a cake walk to the Super Bowl in 2019, after earning the number one seed for the tournament. Unfortunately, they came up short to a solid Tennessee Titans. The Ravens had more Pro Bowlers than any other team and it was impossible to point out a weakness. After gaining even more solid players like Derek Wolfe and Calais Campbell and drafting a superhuman running back in J.K Dobbins they look even scarier than last season. They will certainly give the Chiefs a run for their money this next season as the best team in the NFL. Especially because it is still uncertain how to slow down one of the most athletic quarterbacks the league has ever seen in Lamar Jackson.
- Kansas City Chiefs. This seems like a no brainer, if not just a safe placement for the reigning Super Bowl Champions. The Chiefs spared no expense and seemed to keep a similar squad around to run it back. One of the most high scoring, and exciting offenses will return lead by mastermind Andy Reid. Patrick Mahomes and company will have not have an easy road due to the fact that a team hasn’t won back to back Super Bowls since 2004. With weapons everywhere on the field and a quarterback that seems to perform miracles weekly, it seems unreal that they will be beaten out.