NFL Preseason Power Rankings For 2020

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BetMGM @BETMGM Jun 16, 2021, 2:20 PM
Tennessee Titans against Kansas City Chiefs at AFC Championship Game on January 19, 2020

The NFL regular season is set to start soon, but many NFL sports betting fans are undoubtedly wondering which teams might succeed and which teams might fail. In this article we reveal our preseason power rankings for 2020. 

Our preseason power rankings

We may just be warming up for the new NFL season, but if you’re into online sports betting there’s no better time to start assessing teams than now. 

32 – Washington Football Team (formerly the Washington Redskins)

New head coach Ron Rivera definitely has his work cut out for him with this team. A terrible last season record of 3-13, the team’s identity crisis, and other controversies seems to be weighing the players down both on and off the field. 

The return of Alex Smith to the field after recovering from a broken leg could give the team and fans some hope, but at this point there’s no indication that he’s guaranteed to make it onto the field, let alone join the team as starting QB. 

31 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Devine Ozigbo ofJacksonville Jaguars against Indianapolis Colts at TIAA Bank Field

The Jaguars’ 6-10 performance meant only one thing: some drastic roster changes. QB Nick Foles, DE Calais Campbell, and CB A.J. Bouye are out. CB C.J. Henderson, WR Laviska Shenault, LB K’Lavon Chaisson, and CB Josiah Scott are in. Rookie QB Gardner Minshew may have been brought in to fill Foles’ shoes after he was injured last season, but he’ll be continuing where he left off as the team rebuilds. 

However, the Jaguars still need to do major work on their defense before they lose the “Sacksonville” nickname they’ve earned over the last few years. 

30 – Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals got their first choice in rookie Joe Burrow, the star quarterback from LSU, who’s expected to hit the ground running as a starter. He should look great with WR A.J. Green, as well as recently drafted WR Tee Higgins. 

However, there are big questions around whether even a star like Burrow can make up for a team that performed so terribly last season. Their division is stacked and even Burrow might not be able to make much of a difference.

29 – Detroit Lions

Star quarterback Matthew Stafford is back after being diagnosed with non-displaced fractures in his upper thoracic spine towards the end of 2019, as well as a false-positive COVID-19 test earlier this year. The drafting of CB Jeff Okudah, the player who reportedly learned the ins-and-outs of American football by playing Madden, may be struggling a bit during training camp, but he’s expected to fit in well on Detroit’s defense. 

This may not give them much of a shot at the Super Bowl, but these changes may have a greater impact on the NFC North. 

28 – New York Giants

If the Giants are looking to turn things around, it’ll probably be with the assistance of Daniel Jones. The tough rookie QB has shown flashes of potential by being able to shrug off pressure and make great passes, but they’re just flashes. If coach Joe Judge can help him be more consistent, it will help the Giants to turn around their disastrous 4-12 record from last season.

The other key changes are on the defense, with LB Blake Martinez and DB James Bradberry joining the team. They won’t completely turn around the Giant’s defense on their own, but the team’s undoubtedly better off than they were last season, when they were consistently near the bottom of the defensive rankings. 

27 – Carolina Panthers

Matt Rhule joined as a head coach at the start of this year, and Joe Brady followed as offensive coordinator. Many are hoping this will give the Panthers a chance to turn around what could only be described as a disastrous performance in the second half of the 2019 season, with 8 losses in a row from Week 10. 

However, their already weak defense is not looking amazing coming into this new season either. Even with the draft being focused on addressing this issue by bringing in players like DL Derrick Brown, S Jeremy Chinn, and DE Yetur Gross-Matos, the Panthers are still likely to have one of the worst defensive teams in the league.   

26 – New York Jets

The Jets have brought in a number of free agents to improve their weak offensive line, but even with the resources being thrown in, the rest of the team is undoubtedly lacking. There’s the loss of Jamal Adams, and the fact that LB C.J. Mosley has decided to opt out, meaning their defense is looking like a shadow of its former self.

This may leave quarterback Sam Darnold, a player who some have described as underwhelming, without the support he needs to turn the Jets around.

25 – Miami Dolphins

Ryan Fitzpatrick of Miami Dolphins  at Gillette Stadium on December 29, 2019

QB Tua Tagovailoa was drafted by the Dolphins earlier this year, after being medically cleared following a hip injury in November last year. This may see him land a spot on the starting roster over the much more experienced Ryan Fitzpatrick, especially with reports coming in that he’s matching Fitzpatrick during training camp. But it’s more likely that he’ll end up as backup over Josh Rosen, at least for now. Either way, this is good for the team that’s desperate for a new QB and will either light a fire under Fitzpatrick or see him replaced.

On the defense we have the addition of several new players, including LB Kyle Van Noy, DE Shaq Lawson, and CB Byron Jones, which will hopefully help avoid being the team with the most points scored against them each game .

24 – Los Angeles Chargers

Philip Rivers, the starting QB for the Chargers since 2006, is gone and now playing for the Colts. Tyrod Taylor is set to replace the iconic Rivers for now, but will he be able to fill the void? If he doesn’t, the pressure will be on rookie Justin Herbert to step up. RB Melvin Gordon also packed it in and signed with the Broncos, leaving many people questioning what the Chargers offense will look like in the post-Rivers era.

Thankfully their defense remains relatively untouched.

23 – Denver Broncos

The Broncos may have brought some new defensive and offensive players, with the likes of Jurrell Casey, A.J. Bouye, and Graham Glasgow joining the team, but most people want to know one thing: is Drew Lock ready? Many believe that yes, Drew Lock deserves all the hype and attention he’s getting right now.

The coaching staff clearly believe this, but without OT Ja’Wuan James, there’s no doubt that Drew Lock will be a little bit more vulnerable this season.

22 – Cleveland Browns

It seems that the Browns are going to have to find their footing under a new head coach yet again after Kevin Stefanski was brought in at the start of this year. This makes him the fifth new coach in eight years. Combine this with the ups and downs of Baker Mayfield, and Browns fans have every right to be a bit worried.

They did manage to snare some talent in free agency with OT Jack Conklin, TE Austin Hooper, and OT Jendrick Wills, so this might give their supporters some hope.

21 – Arizona Cardinals

In a move that many thought was a joke, the Houston Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins, currently viewed as one of the best wide receivers, to the Arizona Cardinals. QB Kyler Murray will undoubtedly welcome Hopkins to the team, and we should see the emergence of another powerful receiving tandem.

With LB Isaiah Simmons also joining the team, the Cardinals may cause some upsets, and will likely be one of the more exciting teams to watch this season.

20 – Las Vegas Raiders

With the addition of Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski, the Raiders have acquired a number of free agents to help strengthen their linebacker corps. 

There’s also the chance that starting QB Derek Carr could be replaced by backup Marcus Mariota if his performance is lacking, but with Mariota supposedly struggling at the training camp, Carr likely doesn’t have much to worry about. The addition of WR Henry Ruggs may also cause some surprises later this season.

19 – Chicago Bears

Kyle Fuller of Chicago Bears against Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium

With the team’s offensive performance taking a major hit in 2019, it’s unsurprising that changes were made to the roster. QB Nick Foles has been brought in, putting pressure on Mitch Trubisky to step up or step down. 

While the Bears retained their defensive strength throughout last season, two defensive starters have opted out with NT Eddie Goldman and safety Jordan Lucas opting out, leaving as many questions around their defense as their offense.

18 – Atlanta Falcons

Many analysts think the main focus should be providing QB Matt Ryan with the tools he needs to secure more TDs. Even with RB Todd Gurley and TE Hayden Hurst, the Falcons likely don’t have enough to lift their offense out of mediocrity.

Their defense did see some improvements towards the end of last season, but there are questions about whether that was just a lucky streak or a sign of genuine growth.

17 – Los Angeles Rams

With a pretty terrible performance in 2019, financial troubles, and a host of other issues, things aren’t looking good for the LA Rams. They lost key players like RB Todd Gurley and didn’t really do much to make up for it with free agency, which is unsurprising considering their money issues. 

At very least they look like they have a solid defense with DE Leonard Floyd, DT A’Shawn Robinson, and safety Terrell Burgess.

16 – Houston Texans

Some were left wondering what the Cardinals were thinking when they traded out WR DeAndrew Hopkins, with many believing this to be the worst move of the offseason. The Cardinals loss is the Texans’ gain, as QB Deshaun Watson should be able to easily secure the division title with Hopkins on the team.

That being said, even with the potential that the Hopkins/Watson duo brings, there are still issues with the Texans defense, which hurts the team’s chances of making it further up the ranks. 

15 – Pittsburgh Steelers

The youngest QB to ever win the Super Bowl, star Ben Roethlisberger, has rejoined the team after recovering from surgery for an elbow injury. If the 38 year old can avoid a repeat injury, the Steelers are likely to see improvements over their performance last season. 

On the plus side, even if Roethlisberger isn’t performing as well as he used to, the Steelers have one of the best defenses in the league, and with no opt-outs, they’re looking to be in a much more comfortable spot than a lot of other teams.

14 – Indianapolis Colts

After stumbling hard in 2019, the addition of Philip Rivers to the roster will improve the impact of the team in their division. Not only because Rivers is seen as a step up from Jacoby Brissett by a lot of people, but also because Rivers has worked with the head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni before. With early reports describing how Rivers is picking up where he left off with Reich and Sirianni, things are looking good for the Colts in this regard.

The addition of talented defensive player DeForest Bucker should also give Colts fans hope for the future. 

13 – New England Patriots

One can’t talk about the Patriots without mentioning the departure of Tom Brady. With 20 seasons at the Patriots, the GOAT leaves behind some massive shoes to fill. Then there’s also the fact that the team is going to have to spend some time adjusting to their new starting QB, no matter who they get.

The changes to the roster get worse with Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung opting out, and removing two important starters from the Patriots’ defensive lineup. 

Even with the addition of QB Cam Newton, head coach Bill Belichick will need to come up with a plan to overcome all the difficulties that the Patriots are facing this season. 

12 – Philadelphia Eagles

Josh McCown of Philadelphia Eagles against Seattle Seahawks in NFC Wild Card Playoff game

Expectations are looking up for the Eagles thanks to the addition of WR Jalen Reagor, CB Darius Slay and safety Will Parks to the roster. 

Reagor is expected to be behind DeSean Jackson for the starting position, but there’s no doubt that Reagor has the skills to make the starting roster. With 104 pass defenses over seven seasons, Slay should also be a boost to the team’s defensive power. Parks is expected to bring additional versatility as a DB. 

11 – Dallas Cowboys

Can Mike McCarthy, the new head coach, do better than Jason Garrett and make up for the loss of CB Byron Jones, LB Robert Quinn, and center Travis Frederick? Even without these players, the Cowboys still have a talent packed roster for McCarthy to work with. It’s also expected that McCarthy should be able to help the Cowboys defense improve even further.

Cowboys fans are undoubtedly hoping that the new coach is the one to help them make it to the playoffs, even with QB Dak Prescott’s contract issues causing some concern. 

10 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The hype is all about Tom Brady, the six time Super Bowl winner, and undoubtedly veteran quarterback at the age of 43. He will be playing on a team that’s packed with receiving talent with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski. There’s particular focus on the veteran duo of Brady and Gronkowski, and what their experience can bring to the offense. 

The team also turned to free agency to boost their defense, so it’ll be interesting to see what defensive coordinator Todd Bowles can do with these new additions to further improve their performance. This is also another team without any opt-outs, so they should also look extremely comfortable moving into the new season. 

09 – Buffalo Bills

While there may be some questions around inconsistent QB Josh Allen, the addition of DE Mario Addison, DE A.J. Epenesa, CB Josh Norman, and WR Stefon Diggs have taken what many people considered a solid team and made them division favorites. One of the best defenses in the league just got better, and there’s hope that the presence of Diggs on the team will help Allen step up.

However, with a tendency to fumble, some have doubts that Allen will be able to deal with the pressure and may in fact buckle under it.

08 – Minnesota Vikings

The offseason was not kind to the Vikings with the loss of WR Stefon Diggs, DE Everson Griffen, and CBs Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes. 

Justin Jefferson was brought in as a replacement for Diggs, and his performance at the training camp highlights how he’s undoubtedly got the talent, skills, and football IQ to be a starter. 

Even with the defensive losses, the Vikings still have a tough defense, and expectations are high that head coach Mike Zimmer can make things work and give the Vikings a shot at the Super Bowl.

07 – Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry of Tennessee Titans against Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium

Coming off a successful 2019, many are wondering whether or not the Titans can continue their performance. Many believe the run that led them to the AFC Championship Game was great, but are not sure if the Titans will be able to repeat their performance again this season.

If QB Ryan Tannehill can make up for the mistakes he made against Kansas, and if RB Derrick Henry can prove to all his critics that he is the best RB in the league, the Titans may be able to deliver another AFC Championship Game.

06 – Seattle Seahawks

QB Russell Wilson is ranked as the No. 2 player in the NFL top 100, which is unsurprising considering performance has earned him a QB rating of more than 106 for the past two years. With such an impressive player at QB, some might say the Seahawks might make it far on the strength of his play alone. 

Then there’s the addition of safety Jamal Adams, a necessary addition after the team after the loss of DE Jadeveon Cowney on a team that already had a relatively weak defense. 

They’re likely to make it to the postseason with the current roster, but fans shouldn’t expect much more from them than that.

05 – Green Bay Packers

The Packers made it all the way to the NFC finals with QB Aaron Rodgers, and if he gets the support he needs, they might make it this year. Even with the drafting of QB Jordan Love, Rogers still has some time to show the world what made him a franchise legend. With new WR Devin Funchess opting out this season, it’ll be up to WRs Davante Adams and Aaron Jones to give the Packers another shot at the NFC Finals on the offense. 

At very least the Packers still have one of the strongest defensive rosters, which will also help boost their chances at an NFC  final.

04 – San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers made it all the way to the Super Bowl, and are undoubtedly hoping to do the same again this season. The team isn’t quite the same as it was last year however. 

DT DeForest Buckner and WR Emmanuel Sanders are not part of the 49ers anymore, but the team has managed to bring in some new talent with DT Javon Kinlaw and OT Trent Williams. Kinlaw is noteworthy as he will bring even more success to the 49ers already fantastic defense, while Williams is seen as a steal by many.

All the team has to do is avoid a Super Bowl hangover.

03 – New Orleans Saints

Ask anyone who knows anything about the NFL, and they’ll all say that this is a team with very few weaknesses. This impressively complete roster is bringing back QB Drew Brees, once rumored to be retiring. They’re also adding WR Emmanuel Sanders to their offensive roster, which should give Brees another weapon to play with. 

This is another team that won’t be as heavily impacted by opt outs, as none of their starters are sitting this season out.

02 – Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are a powerhouse team that were literally nipping at the heels of the Kansas City Chiefs, and were expected to make it to the Super Bowl until the Titans took them by surprise. The league’s MVP, QB Lamar Jackson, will undoubtedly be looking to avoid a repeat of last year and make it to the Super Bowl.

The additions of DE Derek Wolfe and DE Calais Campbell on defense will make up for the loss of safety Earl Thomas, while the addition of RB J.K. Dobbins and WR Devin Duvernay will add more depth on offense. Could this be the version of the Ravens to dethrone the Chiefs? We’ll have to wait and see, but there’s no doubt that they’re one of the strongest teams in the league. 

01 – Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City Chiefs against San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium

No team is perfect, but there’s a reason the Kansas City Chiefs are on the top of virtually everyone’s power rankings: even with some important players opting out, they’re still an incredibly strong team. QB Patrick Mahomes isn’t slowing down, and after getting the largest deal in NFL history, Mahomes is likely to give the Chiefs everything he’s got. Keep him alongside WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce, and the Chiefs will continue to have a dangerous offense. 

With a massive $63 million dollar guarantee for Mahomes, as well as a lot of money being thrown at the other key players, the Chiefs didn’t have as much room as they’d like in free agency. The Chiefs also lost a number of key players to opt outs, particularly RB Damien Williams.

With any other coach in charge, I’d say the Chiefs might have taken a bit of a hit compared to last year, but with Andy Reid running the show, there’s very little doubt that he’ll make it work and keep the Chiefs at number one.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.