NFL 2020 Offseason Power Rankings

Welcome to the first edition of the Broadway Sports NFL Power Rankings: 2020 Offseason. Throughout the year, nine of our contributors will submit their full rankings, 1 to 32. Below is the aggregate results of those rankings.

Joining me is Mike Herndon, Justin Melo, Jimmy Morris, Robert Greenlaw, Wes Wisley, Austin Nelson, Josh Hong, and Justin Graver. Where a contributor’s rankings fell outside the norm of the group, they’ve written a short blurb to explain their strange choices.

Here’s where we landed in our offseason rankings as we head into training camp…

To see the full list of everyone’s individual rankings click here.

Highest Rank:1stLowest Rank:1st

The Chiefs were the only consensus team in our ranks, with all nine contributors respecting the reigning Super Bowl champions.

Highest Rank:2ndLowest Rank:4th
Highest Rank:2ndLowest Rank:4th
Highest Rank:2ndLowest Rank:5th
Highest Rank:3rdLowest Rank:6th

Wes Wisley: Why I put the Tennessee Titans the highest at No. 3 

Wes: The offense boasts 10 starters returning from last season’s AFC championship run along with second-year offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, who has been labeled a potential head coaching candidate for the next hiring cycle. This offense is big, physical and built to wear down defenses. Some say the offense will regress, but Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown and Jonnu Smith proved they are one of the best RB/WR/TE trios in the NFL. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is a perfect fit in this offense and can maximize production with his accuracy, comfort within the scheme and emerging talent at the skill positions. This is a top-five offense.

On defense, a healthy Jeffery Simmons has the potential to make an Aaron Donald/J.J. Watt/Chris Jones type of impact. Kristian Fulton was a steal in the 2nd round of the 2019 draft and should offer immediate impact for the secondary. Even though the defense lost some key players, they still play a hard-nosed, disciplined style of football and live by the bend-don’t-break mentality. It will be interesting to see how head coach Mike Vrabel handles the defensive coordinator role after Dean Pees’ retirement, which raised debate about whether or not a defensive coordinator should have been hired. This will be something to monitor as the season progresses.

Highest Rank:4thLowest Rank:11th

Joshua Hong: Why I put the Dallas Cowboys the highest at No.4

Josh: The Cowboys under the Jason Garrett Era were the NFL equivalents of the Texas Longhorns. Talented roster with high expectations that consistently underperformed. Now, seasoned head coach Mike McCarthy takes over for the fired Garrett, and I believe he can turn this arguably top-three roster in the league into a legit contender.

Cowboys Nation, we’re baaack.

Highest Rank:6thLowest Rank:9th
Highest Rank:6thLowest Rank:10th
Highest Rank:6thLowest Rank:12th
Highest Rank:9thLowest Rank:15th
Highest Rank:7thLowest Rank:14th

Mike Herndon: Why I put the Pittsburgh Steelers the highest at No. 7

Mike: In 2019, the Steelers very nearly snuck into the playoffs with Duck Hodges and Mason Rudolph behind center thanks to a truly dominant defense (3rd in the NFL per Defensive DVOA). The defense will remain almost completely intact in 2020 with dynamic edge rushers T.J. Watt (the best Watt in the NFL right now) and the recently franchise-tagged Bud Dupree flanking a stout defensive line featuring stars Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. On offense, of course, they’ll get Ben Roethlisberger back, giving Pittsburgh a massive boost at the game’s most important position. With rising talents in JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson (one of my favorite breakout candidates in the NFL), and James Washington to throw to, the Steelers offense should — at the very least — no longer be the glaring weakness that it was in 2019. If it jumps back anywhere near what it was in 2018 (6th in Offensive DVOA), that will make Pittsburgh a truly formidable force in the AFC North.

Highest Rank:8thLowest Rank:20th

Jimmy Morris: Why I put the Patriots the lowest at 20

Jimmy: Full disclosure, this was picked before Cam Newton signed and before they had half of their defense opt-out. With that being said, Cam sucks so his signing didn’t make them better. Look up this roster. The only shot they have to finish higher than 20th is if Bill Belichick really did make a deal with the devil.

Highest Rank:9thLowest Rank:15th
Highest Rank:8thLowest Rank:17th

Zach Lyons: Why I put the Philadelphia Eagles the lowest at No. 17

Zach: I just think they’re overrated. They had the 6th-easiest schedule last year according to Football Outsiders and backed into the playoffs. Three of their top five receivers (Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Marquise Goodwin) are injury prone AND 30 years or older. Is a 34-year-old DeSean Jackson really going to turn this offense around? They didn’t fix their pass defense either outside of trading for Darius Slay. Now they head into 2020 with a much harder strength of schedule (according to Sharp Football Stats), facing the NFC West, the Cowboys 2x, Ravens, Packers, Saints, and a much better Steelers team. Outlook: Not so good.

Highest Rank:14thLowest Rank:19th
Highest Rank:13thLowest Rank:20th

Justin Graver: Why I put the Los Angeles Rams the highest at No. 13

Justin: Call me crazy, but I see a big bounce back year for the Rams on the horizon. The Rams struggled with roster turnover and injuries last season, as well as a shaky run game with Todd Gurley’s arthritis issues (and a shaky Jared Goff, but that may not change), and despite all that, they still managed to hit 9 wins. That wasn’t the result of a fluky one-score-game record or an easy schedule, and their 2020 schedule pits them against the AFC East and the NFC East, two divisions that should provide at least four winnable games in Washington, Miami, and both New York teams despite the 9th-hardest overall strength of schedule (according to Vegas win totals). I think Sean McVay is a problem-solver ready to make major improvements from last season’s debacle. It remains to be seen if the bold move to hire unproven 37-year-old defensive coordinator Brandon Staley will pay off, but if it does, the Rams could see a trip back to the playoffs, especially with the expanded playoff format coming in 2020.

Highest Rank:14thLowest Rank:20th
Highest Rank:9thLowest Rank:22nd
Highest Rank:12thLowest Rank:23rd

Austin Nelson: Why I put the Atlanta Falcons the lowest at No. 23

Austin: The Falcons are this low solely because of their awful new uniforms. Kidding. Sort of.

The Falcons had high hopes a season ago, but started slower than expected with a 1-7 start. This season may be another tough test as they have the fifth-hardest schedule in the league. Another reason for finishing 7-9 last year? Having the 30th-ranked rushing offense. The good news for the Falcons is that they signed 2017 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Todd Gurley. Gurley, who has fought knee injuries the last few years, is “supposedly” healthy and will provide Matt Ryan and Julio Jones some balance to an already prolific offense. The defense is the real question mark for the Falcons. Can they keep teams off the scoreboard (which was their problem a year ago)? Dan Quinn will have to reel off some wins against New Orleans and Tampa Bay or else. The Falcons are boom or bust in 2020.

Highest Rank:17thLowest Rank:25th
Highest Rank:16thLowest Rank:24th
Highest Rank:18thLowest Rank:26th
Highest Rank:19thLowest Rank:28th
Highest Rank:20thLowest Rank:30th
Highest Rank:21stLowest Rank:29th
Highest Rank:24thLowest Rank:31st
Highest Rank:21stLowest Rank:29th
Highest Rank:22ndLowest Rank:29th

Robert Greenlaw: Why the Los Angeles Chargers are at No. 28 

Robert: The L.A. Chargers were the 6th worst team in the NFL in 2019 if you go by last year’s draft order. Typically when you have that high a draft pick, you are in position to draft your QB of the future. Unfortunately for the Chargers, they selected Justin Herbert as their future QB. In addition to not being a believer in Justin Herbert, I am a believer that the Chargers are cursed. Injuries seemingly occur every year to big time players on that team and I’ll change my mind on them when they prove the curse is over. 

Highest Rank:21stLowest Rank:30th
Highest Rank:29thLowest Rank:32nd

Justin Melo: Why I put Washington ahead of the Carolina Panthers

Justin M: It’s been a rough few weeks for the Washington football team. As they continue to dominate the headlines for all the wrong reasons, I was tasked with writing why I’d rank them above a team like the Panthers in these power rankings. For all the bad they’ve done off the field, I believe Washington will do some good things on the field in 2020. Ron Rivera is a good football coach and should help get this team back on track. Carolina somehow got worse when they fired Rivera in-season last year, and that’s usually a sign that you made the wrong decision. Washington already has a stout defense that should at least be middle of the pack once again this coming season. Franchise QB Dwyane Haskins is heading into his second season as a pro and should take a step forward. Terry McLaurin is a budding star at the WR position and rookie Antonio Gibson should bring some much needed versatility to what was a one-weapon offense last season.

I see Carolina going in the opposite direction, at least for now. Panthers fans should be excited about the Matt Rhule era, and I love that the franchise is swinging for the fences with this hire. I can see it ultimately working out down the road, but I think it’s going to be a bumpy ride. I don’t see Teddy Bridgewater as the answer at the QB position, and the somewhat surprising retirement of Luke Kuechly leaves a massive hole in the middle of their defense. The Rhule tenure could end up being a good one in Carolina, but will come with a lot of losing in 2020.

For the reasons listed above, I expect Washington to win more games than Carolina in 2020.

Highest Rank:30thLowest Rank:32nd
Highest Rank:28thLowest Rank:32nd

Who is too high? Who is too low? Drop a comment down below!

Have your own power rankings? Click here to go to the forum and put yours up!

Comments

  1. We have some varying opinions about the Texans lol.

    Highest at 9
    Lowest at 22

    I’d bet 9 is because of Deshaun & 22 is for BOB.

    They will NOT win the division this year.

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