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NFL Power Rankings: The World of Football Gets Shaken Up

We’re almost at the halfway point of the 2020 NFL season. Where does your favorite team land on our Power Rankings?

Russell Wilson by Larry Maurer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

NFL Power Rankings: The World of Football Gets Shaken Up

Estimated Reading Time: 13 Minutes

NFL Week Six came and went with only the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, and the Seattle Seahawks remaining unbeaten. Aaron Rodgers got smacked by Tom Brady in the battle of the GOAT’s leading to a new King on top of the NFC North. The NFC East may have a Champion with less than 7 wins and the New York Giants at 1-5 are still very much alive. Finally, Kirk Cousins continued to make fantasy owners happy despite tormenting Vikings fans on every play.

Not to mention every single terrible team is beginning to salivate more and more over Trevor Lawrence.

Lets check out our first Power Rankings of the 2020 NFL Season:


Spectacular in every sense of the word on Sunday in their 38-7 route of Cleveland. The defense continues its’ dominance only allowing 220 yards, (75 on the ground), four sacks and a Johnny-on-the-spot pick six by Minkah Fitzpatrick. James Conner led the offense with 101 yards and a touchdown and rookie Chase Claypool (74 receiving yards, 1 touchdown) continued to flash. Not all was great, however, as Devin Bush was lost for the season. The Steelers play the Titans next week for the #1 spot in these rankings.


Here’s a good thing, bad thing and a cool thing for the Titans. The good? The Titans ran past the Texans 42-36 in overtime on Sunday led by Ryan Tannehill’s MVP performance and Derrick Henry’s 264 all-purpose yards (58 of which won the game in OT). The bad? Houston was the third team to hang 30 points on Tennessee this season (26 in the second half) and left tackle Taylor Lewan was lost for the season. Cool thing? Derrick Henry reached a speed of 21.62 miles per hour on a touchdown run,


Andy Reid’s club totaled 245 rushing yards in their 26-17 easy win over the Buffalo Bills.  Behind rookie Clyde Edward-Helaire’s 161 yards, the Chiefs had more rushing yards (245) than passing (225) for the first time in the Patrick Mahomes era. Expect this team to top the rankings soon.


The Seahawks are 5-0 for the first time in franchise history entering their bye last week. Even better? Due to the Packers loss the Hawks now have a slight lead for the NFC’s top overall seed and the only first round bye. Is there any question Quarterback Russell Wilson is the MVP at this point?


The Buccaneers scored 38 unanswered points in Sunday’s statement win vs. the formerly unbeaten Packers. The offense calmly executed a game plan led by efficient Tom Brady (17-of-27 passes for 166 yards, two touchdowns), vintage Rob Gronkowski (5 receptions, 87 yards, 1 TD) and a third straight 100-yard day from Ronald Jones II. Greg Auman from The Athletic details something even more impressive:

The Bucs came in leading the league in penalties, had managed to commit more turnovers in the first five games with Tom Brady than they did last year with Jameis Winston and got Brady sacked three times in their previous game, a one-point loss at the Bears.

And yet when Sunday’s game ended, the Bucs had pulled off a super-rare trifecta: zero penalties, zero turnovers and zero sacks allowed.


Were the Packers exposed as frauds or is it “that sh*t happens” as Aaron Rodgers eloquently put it? Rodgers (35.4 passer rating) had one of the worst games of his career in the 38-10 loss to Tampa Bay, highlighted by (nearly) two picks sixes within a few minute span. The defense was awful and has regressed from last season’s form. The Pack were once again dominated by a good team; lets hope their Left Tackle isn’t seriously hurt moving forward.


“Would you rather lose pretty or win ugly? I think that we’d rather win ugly” said Nick Foles following Chicago’s 23-16 win on Sunday. Despite Chicago’s offense continuing to sputter (59 rush yards against a terrible run defense), this team is NFL’s biggest surprise at 5-1 thus far. The Bears won this game on the back of their up-and-coming defense (2 interceptions, one forced fumble and 4 sacks). This unit is starting to show signs of returning to 2018 form which should scare the NFL:


A 5-1 record looks great on paper for Baltimore. If you look a little deeper, however, you will see that their opponents thus far have a combined record of 8-20-1. Fans shouldn’t have felt great after Sunday’s game vs the Eagles: The team was a failed two point conversion from entering overtime following a 17-0 halftime lead. The bye week is this week and it’s a great time before a key match up at home against the Steelers.


The Colts’ offense was on full display in their 31-27 comeback win against the Bengals. 2018 Phillip Rivers rose from the dead with a 371 yard, 3 Touchdown masterpiece with unlikely contributors Marcus Johnson and Trey Burton. It’s on the defense to pick it up after two poor showings now. Good teams find ways to win, however, and the Colts did that on Sunday.


The Bills didn’t look great in their 27-16 loss against the Chiefs on Monday. The defensive line was pushed around giving up 46 rushes for 245 yards and their “MVP” Quarterback had less than 100 passing yards entering the 4th Quarter. If the Bills have any shot moving forward, Josh Allen needs to step up. The Bills may still be the top team in the AFC East but it’s clear (at the moment) they are not at the same level of the top AFC teams.


The Saints entered a bye week following their 31-28 comeback win against the Chargers. In the win, Drew Brees appeared to regain some semblance of himself and receiver Emmanuel Sanders has gained steam as a solid third option. With a scoring differential of just +3, the Saints hope the return of Michael Thomas will help significantly.


The Cardinals walked into AT&T Stadium on Monday Night and decimated the Dallas Cowboys 38-10. Kyler Murray (Who has a 7-0 record in Jerry World dating to high school) didn’t have a great stat line, but that didn’t matter as the story of the night was their defense who forced two fumbles and two interceptions. The Cards have it rough going forward with Seattle twice, Miami and Buffalo, so they better enjoy this for now.


The Rams fell 24-16 in a key divisional match up against the 49ers. It was a disappointment considering that their Quarterback choked in the fourth quarter, their top two receivers were shut down (7 receptions, 40 yards) and their coach mismanaged their 2nd half timeouts. Yes, Los Angeles is 4-2, but the four wins don’t look great as they all came against the NFC East.


Lets not put it lightly- the Browns were punched in the face by Pittsburgh 38-7 on Sunday. Odell Beckham threw another sideline fit and Baker Mayfield had a paltry stat line of 10/18, 110 yards and 2 interceptions. Coach Stefanski pulled him late in the 3rd Quarter claiming “I didn’t want to see him get hit one more time”. Most coaches probably would have after this:


The Raiders had an unfortunate week to have a bye post defeating the Chiefs in Kansas City 40-32. Jon Gruden gets his former team in Prime Time next week followed by seven of their final eleven games against team’s with losing records.


The 49ers scored a gritty 24-16 win against the division rival Rams in week six.  Jimmy Garoppolo (268 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT) bounced back from his abysmal Week 5 performance behind key contributions from George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. The key play of the game came from injured corner Jason Verrett. Verrett had his first interception since week one of 2016 with a key pick in the end zone on 4th and Goal with the team leading 21-9:


Following a promising 3-2 start, Carolina hit a wall against a dominant Bears defense. Chicago’s defense flustered Teddy Bridgewater all day. only allowing one touchdown in eleven possessions. The team showed heart having a chance to tie the game before a back-breaking interception late. It doesn’t get easier with the Saints, Chiefs and Bucs coming up.


The Dolphins are a sneaky team to watch out for in the Wild Card race at 3-3 overall. Their defense looks top notch with the NFL’s fourth-best point differential (plus-47) and their running game is improving behind  Myles Gaskin’s career day on Sunday. The Dolphins and their coaches were pretty jacked up about the win:


How could you not give the Patriots a mulligan for their 18-12 loss against the Broncos? The team barely practiced for two weeks due to positive COVID tests and their offensive line was completely shuffled after after right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor went down in the first half. We can talk about what wrong and there was plenty of it, but that Pats still were in the game until the final minutes. An amazing streak ended in the loss:

The Patriots also entered Week 6 with a 39-0 record under head coach Bill Belichick when not allowing a single touchdown. Denver snapped that streak Sunday.


The Lions finally put a full game together by defeating the Jaguars 34-16. Rookie D’Andre Swift scored twice while racking up 116 yards on just 14 carries and big play receiver Kenny Golladay finally looked healthy with 105 yards on just four receptions. At 2–3, they’re a game out of the NFC playoff picture and their schedule softens up considerably from here till Turkey day. Lions fans- do you want the playoffs, or your coach fired?


The Broncos went into Foxborough and took down the New England Patriots 18-12 on the leg of Brandon McManus’ six field goals. What do we make of these Broncos? They can’t score touchdown’s, their Quarterback didn’t look great coming off of injury (189 yards and two picks on 10-of-24 passing). On the positive, Denver’s defense held the Patriots to only 12 points and their young pass rushers Bradley Chubb (1 sack, 4 tackles) and undrafted Malik Reed (2 sacks) flashed in the win.


I’m not sure if there has ever been a 1-4-1 team that felt so good about its’ playoff chances. Led by their gritty QB Carson Wentz, the Eagles showed impressive fight by coming back from a 17-0 halftime deficit in their 30-28 defeat vs. Baltimore. The Eagles should be leading the East with the Giants, Cowboys and Giants (2x) next on their schedule. In other news, Eagles fans aren’t practicing social distancing much:


It was a good time for a bye week for the Chargers this week after four straight losses all within a touchdown. Chargers fans have to be encouraged with Quarterback Justin Herbert looks like the new face of the franchise. Next challenge? Learning to win close games.


Led by the amazing Deshaun Watson (28-of-37 for 335 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions), the Texans overcame a 21-10 half time deficit and almost brought down division leading Titans losing 42-36 in overtime. The problem? The Texans defense gave up 601 yards and almost 9 yards per play. No wonder Deshaun Watson was so upset when they lost the coin toss to begin overtime:


The Bengals lost a close one this week 31-27 at Indianapolis. The team exploded out of the gates with 21 straight points and still lead after the 3rd Quarter. Quarterback Joe Burrow (313 passing yards), while not throwing a touchdown pass, still looked promising in defeat. Burrow clearly needs better protection but Bengals fans should be encouraged.


This team was an embarrassment in their 38-10 loss on MNF at home to Arizona. What can you do when your $90 million running back fumbles the ball on consecutive touches and Quarterback throws the ball 54 times for 10 points? The morning newspaper graded them as an F in every facet of the game, the fans are calling for the coaches to be fired after SIX WEEKS and anonymous players are already trashing the staff. Awesome…


Following Dan Quinn’s firing, the Falcons responded in grand fashion with a dismantling of the porous Vikings 40-23. The Falcons led 20-0 at the half led by QB Matt Ryan’s vintage performance (30/40, 371 yards, 4 TD) and Julio Jones return from injury with a vengeance (8 receptions for 137 yards and 2 TD’s).


Remember when most writers at The Turf thought this Vikings team was the class of the NFC North? Well I do, and the Quarterback agrees: “The reality is if the pace I’m on in terms of the interceptions, if that were to continue, I won’t finish the season,” Kirk Cousins signed a two-year, $66 million extension in March and holds a hefty cap $41 million cap hit next year. Well, at least he is great for your fantasy team!


The Giants barely took down the Redskins 20-19 in the battle to stay out of the NFC East cellar. Not too much excitement here other than Daniel Jones’ 49 yard rush where he reached a top speed of 20.64 MPH (Seventh fastest in the NFL in Week 6). The Giants are one win out of first place.


The Jaguars season continued to spiral out of control with a 34-16 loss to the Detroit Lions. The Jags only mustered 44 yards on the ground on 16 carries to the Lions who entered Sunday allowing 170.25 rushing yards per game. Jacksonville has been awful outside of their surprise week one win. It’s time for some Trevor Lawrence dreaming in Jacksonville.


Washington lost 20-19 on Sunday to the previously winless Giants. Although the Giants were pretty miserable on offense all game (Only 240 yards), the Football team trailed most of the game. Washington cut the lead, however, to 20-19 with less than a minute left. Coach Rivera elected to go for the two point conversion to win the game and lost. Why go for it Coach?:

“I told them in the locker room, I said guys, I play to win. I told you guys that’s a part of my philosophy, the only way to learn to win is to play to win, and that’s what I want those guys to understand, that’s the mentality. Some of those fourth downs, I went for it because I believe that, again, that’s the mentality, we have to do certain things to win football games, and if taking a gamble is part of it, that’s what I’m doing.”

Questions remain at all over for this team, especially at the Quarterback position. It doesn’t look great for the worst team in the worst division.

32. NEW YORK JETS (0-6)

Another scoreless effort for these Jets last week against the Dolphins. Should the team fire Adam Gase? I’m not so sure that you would want your team to rally around a new coach (See Falcons & Texans) when Clemson’s Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was 22-of-27 for 391 yards and five touchdowns and built a 52–7 lead in the first half against a Georgia Tech team that’s 2–1 in ACC play?

Thank you for reading our first edition of NFL Power Rankings. What do you think? Please leave a note below as we love to hear your opinion!

Tim is a grateful believer, husband to Kristin, Father to Isabelle living in Los Angeles as both an actor and Claims adjuster. He was born and grew up eight blocks from Wrigley Field and is a die hard Chicago fan (Especially Bears). He is incredibly grateful to The Turf for giving him a chance to pursue a passion of his.

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