Culver City Observer -

By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters, PFWA Members 

2020 NFL Power Rankings – Week 01

Chargers and Rams Begin Season in Middle of the Pack

 

September 10, 2020

Jevone Moore

Defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) begins his 7th season leading the Rams defense

1. Kansas City Chiefs (0-0): The Chiefs picked running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire from LSU with the last pick in the first round, shoring up a weakness at running back. The defending Super Bowl Champions are loaded on offense and have a solid defense. They will be tough to beat. Next: -9.5 at Houston Texans - Thu, Sep. 10 – O/U 54.5

2. New Orleans Saints (0-0): This could be the year that the Saints finally get back to the Super Bowl. The Saints added veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and veteran defensive back Malcolm Jenkins to a team that was not lacking in talent. Next: -3.5 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 49.5

3. Seattle Seahawks (0-0): The acquisition of Jamaal Adams from the Jets for two 1st round draft picks is an indication that the Seahawks want to win now. Adams is a generational talent and the kind of player that can take the defense to another level. Next: -1.5 at Atlanta Falcons – Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 48.5

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0): What is sometimes forgotten about the Buccaneers is that this is a talented team that could not stop turning the ball over last season. The acquisition of quarterback Tom Brady will solve that issue and help make this team a Super Bowl contender. Next: +3.5 at New Orleans Saints - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 49.5

5. Indianapolis Colts (0-0): The Colts lacked an explosive passing attack last season and the signing of quarterback Philip Rivers will upgrade that area. Rivers will be playing with one of the top offensive lines in the NFL, something he did not have with the Chargers. He will also have a new receiving weapon in 2nd round pick Michael Pittman from USC, who is similar to ex-teammate Keenan Allen. Next: -7.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars – Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 45.5

6. Las Vegas Raiders (0-0): Running back Josh Jacobs rushed for 1,150 yards as a rookie, averaging 4.8 yards per carry in 13 games. With two talented rookie starting wide receivers and a top five offensive line, the Raiders just need quarterback Derek Carr and the defense to do their part. Next: -3 at Carolina Panthers - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 47.5

7. Buffalo Bills (0-0): The Bills upgraded their wide receiver position with acquisition of Stefon Diggs from the Vikings for multiple draft picks. The Bills also drafted wide receivers Gabriel Davis and Isaiah Hodgins, fourth and sixth-round selections in the 2020 draft, respectively. These additions should help lift quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills to the AFC East title.Next: -6.5 vs New York Jets - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 39.5

8. Minnesota Vikings (0-0): The Vikings had 15 draft picks in the 2020 NFL draft, the most in the NFL draft since it was reduced to seven rounds in 1994. Nine made the 53-man roster and four others made the practice squad. In the 2019 NFL draft, the Vikings selected twelve players and ten are still on the roster. This evolution of the roster has allowed the Viking to retain their star players. Next: -2.5 vs Green Bay Packers – Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 45.5

9. Dallas Cowboys (0-0): How does a team with the talent of the Cowboys go 8-8 in 2019? That is the question that new head coach Mike McCarthy will have to answer. The Cowboys had six players make the pro bowl last season. Next: -3 at Los Angeles Rams - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 51.5

10. Tennessee Titans (0-0): The free agent signing of Jadeveon Clowney this week could be a significant addition to the Titans defense. The Titans are hoping Clowney and the addition of Vic Beasley Jr. (8.0 sacks in 2019) will improve the pass rush and help get them to the Super Bowl. Next: +2.5 at Denver Broncos - Mon, Sep. 14 – O/U 41.5

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0): Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is back and should give the Steelers the lift they need to get back to the playoffs. Their defense is already among the best and led the NFL in takeaways in 2019 with 38. Next: -5.5 at New York Giants – Mon, Sep. 14 – O/U 47.5

12. Baltimore Ravens (0-0): The Ravens lost 8-time pro bowl guard Marshall Yanda to retirement and 7-time pro bowl safety Earl Thomas due to "personal conduct that has adversely affected the Baltimore Ravens." These two players will be difficult to replace and quarterback Lamar Jackson cannot continue to carry the Ravens with his legs. Next: -7.5 vs Cleveland Browns – Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 48.5

13. Green Bay Packers (0-0): The Packers have quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a solid offensive line and running back Aaron Jones. They did little in the offseason to help Rodgers at the receiving positions, but if the running game improves, they could make the playoffs, again. Rodgers is that good. Next: +2.5 at Minnesota Vikings - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 45.5

14. Philadelphia Eagles (0-0): The Eagles need running back Miles Sanders to have a good year and to keep quarterback Carson Wentz healthy. Wentz will need his two rookie wide receivers, first round pick Jalen Reagor and sixth round pick John Hightower, to develop quickly. Next: -6.5 at Washington Football Team – Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 42.5

15. San Francisco 49ers (0-0): The 49ers lost Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to free agency. They also lost left tackle Joe Staley to retirement. The Niners will still be good, but it is difficult to envision their return to the Super Bowl in 2021. Next: -7 vs Arizona Cardinals – Sat, Sep. 13 – O/U 47.5

16. Los Angeles Chargers (0-0): The Chargers have started slowly in each of the past five seasons. That needs to change this season. They have a top five NFL defense, even with the loss of safety Derwin James. If they can run the ball, avoid the injury bug, and get off to a good start, they have a shot at returning to the playoffs. Next: -3 at Cincinnati Bengals - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 43.5

17. Houston Texans (0-0): The Texans still have quarterback DeShaun Watson and defensive end J.J. Watt, two of the best in the NFL at their positions. Unfortunately, the Texans lost star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in a questionable trade and did not do much in the draft or free agency. Next: +9.5 at Kansas City Chiefs – Thu, Sep. 10 – O/U 54.5

18. Los Angeles Rams (0-0): The Rams need their 2nd round picks, running back Cam Akers and wide receiver Van Jefferson, to play well. Both are listed as starters on offense and both need to contribute to give the Rams a well-rounded offense. Next: +3 vs Dallas Cowboys - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 51.5

19. Cleveland Browns (0-0): There is no question that the Browns have good talent at quarterback, running back, tight end and wide receiver. The offensive line has been upgraded. So, what will keep this unit from being explosive and winning football games? Next: +7.5 at Baltimore Ravens - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 48.5

20. Denver Broncos (0-0): Quarterback Drew Lock played well last season as a rookie, going 4-1 in five starts. But he is the least experienced starting quarterback in a competitive AFC West. He will have to show that last season was no fluke for the Broncos to have a shot at the playoffs. Next: +2.5 at Tennessee Titans - Mon, Sep. 14 – O/U 41.5

21. Atlanta Falcons (0-0): Todd Gurley is now the lead running back with the Atlanta Falcons and that may help an already talented offense, led by quarterback Matt Ryan. The Falcons will hope that Gurley is the 2017 version of himself, when he was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. He will need to be with the Falcons porous defense. Next: +1.5 vs Seattle Seahawks – Sun, Dec. 22 – O/U 48.5

22. New England Patriots (0-0): The Patriots may have stolen quarterback Cam Newton, who was just sitting out there without a home. The question for the Pats, is their enough talent around him to win another division title? Next: -6.5 vs Miami Dolphins – Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 42.5

23. Arizona Cardinals (0-0): The Cardinals are becoming a team that fans will want to watch. The acquisition of DeAndre Hopkins has given the Cardinals a star wide receiver to go along with their future Hall of fame wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald. Quarterback Kyler Murray is a dual threat quarterback and the addition of rookie linebacker Isaiah Simmons gives the Cardinals an exciting team to watch. Next: +7 at San Francisco 49ers - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 47.5

24. Chicago Bears (0-0): The Bears look like a team headed in the wrong direction. Sure, they have a good defense led by Khalil Mack, but the offensive side of the ball looks mediocre at best. Next: +3 at Detroit Lions - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 44.5

25. New York Jets (0-0): The Jets need quarterback Sam Darnold to stay healthy and they need running back Le'Veon Bell to stay healthy. These two players and their performances will dictate whether the Jets can have any success in 2020. Next: +6.5 at Buffalo Bills - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 39.5

26. Carolina Panthers (0-0): Teddy Bridgewater, acquired through free agency from the Saints, is the new starting quarterback and Matt Rhule, direct from Baylor, is the new head coach. They will both be leaning on All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey, who led the team in rushing yardage, receiving yardage, receptions, and touchdowns in 2019.Next: +3 vs Las Vegas Raiders - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 47.5

27. New York Giants (0-0): It will be interesting to see if running back Saquon Barkley bounces back this year after a subpar sophomore season. The Giants used the 4th pick overall to select left tackle Andrew Thomas from Georgia and a 3rd round pick to add a right tackle, Matt Peart. They cannot win without a consistent running attack. Next: +5.5 vs Pittsburgh Steelers – Mon, Sep. 14 - O/U 47.5

28. Detroit Lions (0-0): The signing of running back Adrian Peterson to a one-year contract does not make a lot of sense. The idea was to have second round pick DeAndre Swift and Kerryon Johnson as the 1-2 punch with Bo Scarborough and Ty Johnson backing them up. Where does Peterson fit in? Next: +3 vs Chicago Bears – Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 44.5

29. The Washington Football Team (0-0): A lot of things need to change with this organization, starting with their interim name. Rookie defensive end Chase Young and rookie running back Antonio Gibson should bring some excitement and hope to a team that could use it. Next: +6.5 vs Philadelphia Eagles – Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 42.5

30. Cincinnati Bengals (0-0): Joe Burrow should keep a diary to share his experiences with next year's first overall pick, Trevor Lawrence. Burrow is going to be a good NFL quarterback, but playing for the Bengals in his rookie season will likely not be pretty. Next: +3 vs Los Angeles Chargers - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 43.5

Jevone Moore

Defensive tackle Jerry Tillery (99) begins his 3rd season with Chargers formidable defense

31. Miami Dolphins (0-0): The Dolphins may one day regret letting quarterback Josh Rosen go for nothing. Rosen was waived to get down to 53 players. His contract is guaranteed for the next two seasons and he will be paid $5.1 million over this two-year period from the Dolphins. Rosen decided to join the practice squad of the Buccaneers, selecting stability and an opportunity to learn behind Tom Brady. He will make $8,400 per week on the practice squad. Next: +6.5 at New England Patriots - Sun, Sep 13 – O/U 42.5

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0): The Jaguars appear to be playing for the first pick in the 2021 NFL draft or what is known as the "Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes." They do need to consider the fact that Lawrence will need some talent around him. Trading defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and releasing running back Leonard Fournette does not make the team better, in 2020 or 2021. Next: +7.5 vs. Indianapolis Colts - Sun, Sep. 13 – O/U 45.5

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2020