Week 1 of the 2020 NFL Season has come and gone, and in reality, we still don’t know much about how the league’s 32 teams stack up against each other.
Were wins by the Washington Football Team, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Arizona Cardinals flukes, or a sign of good things to come? Are Cam Newton’s New England Patriots a good team, or did they just face a soft Miami Dolphins squad?
While it’s way too early to tell which teams are the best in the NFL, we rank them anyway. The Post-Week 1 Power Rankings attempt to paint a picture of the league’s landscape after each team has played one game. Many of these rankings could drastically change with just one win or loss, but they serve as the starting point in my eyes for all 32 teams.
- Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
- The defending Super Bowl champions opened their season with a 34-20 victory over the Houston Texans, and even hosted some real fans (not cardboard cutouts) on Thursday Night Football. Patrick Mahomes passed for 211 yards and three touchdowns.
- Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
- Lamar Jackson (275 yards, three passing touchdowns, seven rushes, 45 yards) and the Ravens defense handled the Cleveland Browns 38-6.
- New Orleans Saints (1-0)
- Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara carried the Saints to a 34-23 victory in Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers debut. Brady threw two interceptions including a pick six in to the hands of Janoris Jenkins.
- Seattle Seahawks (1-0)
- Russell Wilson kicked off the season with four passing touchdowns, Jamal Adams looked like a monster on defense, and Seattle beat Matt Ryan and the Falcons 38-25 in Atlanta.
- Green Bay Packers (1-0)
- I may not have been high on the Packers in my 2020 NFL Predictions, but I’ll give credit where it’s due: Aaron Rodgers and the Packers looked great against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings did rally for 24 points in the fourth quarter, so while Green Bay’s 43-34 win was impressive, there could be defensive concerns for the Packers.
- San Francisco 49ers (0-1)
- Coming in as the highest-ranked team that didn’t win in Week 1, I think it’s too early to put a lot of weight on San Francisco’s opening week loss. The 49ers lost 24-20 at home to the Arizona Cardinals, but Jimmy Garoppolo and Rasheem Mostert played well. George Kittle exited early due to injury. The defending NFC Champions still rank highly in their conference.
- Buffalo Bills (1-0)
- Josh Allen (two passing touchdowns, one rushing) and the Bills took care of the New York Jets 27-17. I would rank them a little higher, but it was only the Jets, so I’ll need a bugger sample size.
- Tennessee Titans (1-0)
- Tennessee beat the Broncos 16-14 in Denver, but it didn’t have to be that close: kicker Stephen Gostowksi left 13 points on the field with four missed field goal attempts and an extra point. If he made all his kicks, Tannehill and the Titans would have won 29-14. Watch out for the Titans in 2020.
- Minnesota Vikings (0-1)
- While the Vikings once found themselves down 29-10 at home against the Packers, they rallied for 24 fourth quarter points, resulting in a respectable 43-34 loss.
- New England Patriots (1-0)
- See Full Article: Cam Newton Wins 1st Patriots Start 21-11 over Dolphins
- Arizona Cardinals (1-0)
- Kyler Murray had one passing and one rushing touchdown as the Cardinals stunned the 49ers for one of the biggest upsets of Week 1. New weapon DeAndre Hopkins got to work early, catching 14 passes for 151 yards. I thought Arizona would be good in 2020, but after beating the 49ers, their ceiling is even higher.
- Houston Texans (0-1)
- I still see the Texans, even without Hopkins, as a good team in 2020. They lost 34-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs in the season opener, but let’s be honest: who’s beating Mahomes and the Chiefs in Kansas City? Until Houston loses to teams without the reigning Super Bowl MVP, I’ll still rank them in the top half of the league.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1)
- Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be a great team this year. They open with a modest #13 ranking after dropping their season opener to the Saints 34-23. New Orleans is a great team, so there’s hardly any shame in this loss. Still, Brady didn’t have to throw two picks, and the defense could have played better.
- Los Angeles Rams (1-0)
- The Rams outlasted the Cowboys 20-17 on Sunday Night Football in the first ever game at SoFi Stadium. Robert Woods picked up 105 yards on six catches, and Jared Goff finished 20-of-31 with 275 yards and an interception. Los Angeles could be a player in a crowded NFC West.
- Chicago Bears (1-0)
- Down 23-6 in the third quarter, it was looking like an ugly start to the season for Chicago. But three passing touchdowns from Mitch Trubisky in the fourth quarter allowed the Bears to squeak out a 27-23 victory.
- Dallas Cowboys (0-1)
- Dallas had a decent showing against the Rams on Sunday Night Football, but ultimately needed to put up more points with Dak Prescott’s offense. Ezekiel Elliot had a good game, gaining 96 yards on 22 carries and scoring a rushing touchdown.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)
- Ben Roethlisberger looked good in his return to the field. Then again, their opponents had a new head coach, as well as the worst record in the NFL over the past three seasons. Recap: Roethlisberger’s Return Spoils Judge’s Debut, Steelers Beat Giants 26-16
- Las Vegas Raiders (1-0)
- Las Vegas got three touchdowns from Josh Jacobs on the ground, and held off a late rally from Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers for a 34-30 victory. Only the Ravens and Packers scored more points than the Raiders in Week 1.
- Philadelphia Eagles (0-1)
- Carson Wentz and the Eagles were crusing with a 17-0 halftime lead, but then broke down and allowed Washington Football Team to score 27 straight an win the game. Given Philadelphia’s strong core and playoff appearence last year, I still rank them in the Top 20 and well above Washington. Until I see more from both teams, I’ll consider Week 1 a fluke.
- Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
- This ranking may upset some purists. In Power Rankings, higher ranked teams should be able to beat lower ranked teams. So why are the Colts ranked a spot higher than the Jaguars, after losing 27-20 in Jacksonville? Indianopolis has a better roster, Philip Rivers was great in his team debut, and Gardner Minshew isn’t completing 19-of-20 passes every week.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0)
- That’s not meant to discredit Minshew’s perfromance: he balled out. While I would’ve imagined Jacksonville to be one of the NFL’s worst teams in 2020, perhaps Minshew Mania can give the Jaguars a few more wins throughout the season.
- Los Angeles Chargers (1-0)
- Tyrod Taylor (16-of-30, 208 yards) had a servicable start, and a two-headed rushing attack of Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelly helped propel Los Angeles to a 16-13 victory. The Chargers avoided overtime as Bengals kicker Randy Bullock missed a game-tying field goal attempt at the buzzer.
- Carolina Panthers (0-1)
- Teddy Bridgewater didn’t get a win in his Panthers debut, but Carolina did put up 30 points, the eighth-most in the league. The Panthers defense will have to improve in order to move Carolina up in the rankings.
- Denver Broncos (0-1)
- While their margin of defeat could have been as many as 13 more points if not for missed kicks by the Titans, Drew Lock and the Broncos had the lead until there was 0:14 left in the fourth quarter. Don’t count out Denver as a darkhorse wildcard contender.
- Atlanta Falcons (0-1)
- The Falcons didn’t do anything to establish a new identity in 2020. Matt Ryan put up flashy numbers (37-of-54, 450 yards, two touchdowns,) the expensive new running back had a decent night (14 carries, 56 yards and a touchdown,) and Atlanta still lost 38-25 to the Seahawks.
- Detroit Lions (0-1)
- Detroit nearly had Chicago beat, but let up 21 points in the fourth quarter and failed to score any points in response. Just like with Matt Ryan and the Falcons, stellar statistical play from Matthew Stafford will seem to go wasted by subpar defense. Adrian Peterson had 14 rushes for 93 yards on the ground in his Lions debut.
- New York Giants (0-1)
- The Giants showed bright spots in their first game under rookie head coach Joe Judge. But two interceptions from Daniel Jones and an abysmal night on the ground from Saquon Barkley doomed New York on Monday Night Football. Recap: Roethlisberger’s Return Spoils Judge’s Debut, Steelers Beat Giants 26-16
- Washington Football Team (1-0)
- Washington Football Team stunned fans and bettors alike with a 27-0 run to close the game against Carson Wentz and the Eagles. Second overall pick Chase Younfg was impreessive, but I’m hesitant to rank Washington highly with just one win under their belt.
- Cincinatti Bengals (0-1)
- First overall pick Joe Burrow missed a wide-open pass to A.J. Green in the endzone that likely could’ve swung the result of the game. Or if Joe Mixon didn’t commit a rare fumble. Or if Burrow didn’t throw a shovel pass interception. And especially if Randy Bullock didn’t miss a game-tying 31-yard field goal attempt. If Cincinnati can improve on these mistakes, they could be a decent team.
- New York Jets (0-1)
- The Jets defense was weak without Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold has still yet to mak the jump to above average NFL starter, and the Bills beat the Jets 27-17 in Buffalo. Le’Veon Bell (six carries, 14 yards) will be out for a couple weeks. The Jets don’t rank last beacuse they scored 17 points, which the next two teams combined to score, and played a solid Buffalo team.
- Cleveland Browns (0-1)
- You could definitely make the argument for the Browns as the worst Week 1 performers: they scored a league-low six points. But with Lamar Jackson and a strong Baltimore Ravens defense set plow through any team not named the Chiefs in the AFC, I can’t fully blame Cleveland just yet.
- Miami Dolphins (0-1)
- The Dolphins slot in last place of my opening Power Rankings, but I don’t think they’ll stay here. After a strong finish in 2019 and solid offseason, Miami has a chance to emerge from the cellar in 2020. They just couldn’t get much done in Week 1, and three interceptions thrown byRyan Fitzpatrick definitely didn’t help. See Also: Cam Newton Wins 1st Patriots Start 21-11 over Dolphins
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