The 2020 NFL regular season is winding down. By now, teams have separated themselves as Super Bowl contenders, playoff contenders, and well, already eyeing what to do in the upcoming draft.
There have been historically good teams this season. There’s also been historically bad. Here are the best and worst teams in the NFL, ranked 1-32, entering Week 15.
Tier 1 — Super Bowl Contenders
Teams that have a legitimate shot at playing in the Super Bowl.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (12-1)
The Chiefs were pushed last week by a solid Miami team, but they were able to extend their win streak to eight games. When this team decides to turn it on, can anyone stop them?
2. Green Bay Packers (10-3)
Right now, the team we trust the most out of the NFC is Green Bay. New Orleans just lost to Philadelphia as Drew Brees tries to work his way back from injured ribs. And Seattle isn’t looking as impressive now compared to September. The Packers have their flaws, both defensively and on special teams. But this offense is rolling and is good enough to make up for those flaws.
3. New Orleans Saints (10-3)
As stated above, New Orleans lost to the Eagles and rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts, who was making his first career start. It’s no reason to panic just yet for Saints’ fans. The team is still balanced, but the question is how soon can Drew Brees return?
4. Buffalo Bills (10-3)
The Bills have won six of their last seven games, including beating Seattle 44-34 in early November and Pittsburgh 26-15 last week. The offense is explosive, led by Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. And the defense just held the Steelers to a season-low 15 points.
5. Seattle Seahawks (9-4)
The Seahawks are still searching for that statement win to prove how serious of a threat they are. After a 4-0 start, Seattle went 4-4 before hammering the Jets last week. A 9-4 record is impressive, but no result screams NFC favorite.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)
Pittsburgh’s inability to run the football is starting to take its toll on the offense, averaging just 89.1 yards per game to rank No. 31. Ben Roethlisberger and the passing attack have slowed down as well. The Steelers’ last three games saw the offense score 19, 17, and 15 points. Two straight losses are a concern, but this team did start the season 11-0, so let’s not discount this team making a run just yet.
Tier 2 — Playoff Contenders
Teams firmly in the playoff picture that are good enough to win a postseason game or two.
7. Tennessee Titans (9-4)
The Titans are No. 2 in rushing offense, No. 19 in passing offense, and No. 26 in total defense. This team lacks the necessary explosiveness to make a run to the Super Bowl. However, Tennessee is going to give one of the Tier 1 teams a serious scare.
8. Los Angeles Rams (9-4)
Consistency has kept LA from entering the Super Bowl contenders conversation. We know this: The Rams are a playoff team and have the potential to be a dangerous one. No offense wants to face this defense. The question is, what kind of game will Jared Goff and the offense have – good or just average?
9. Indianapolis Colts (9-4)
From a journalistic integrity standpoint, we would never say we’re cheering for a specific team. And this writer has no fandom toward the Colts. But anyone can admit it’s been cool to see what Philip Rivers has done this season with his new team. He’s likely a Hall of Famer, but owns just a 3-4 playoff record. Seeing him and the Colts make a playoff run would be a great storyline.
10. Baltimore Ravens (8-5)
After a three-game losing streak, the Ravens have won two straight. Lamar Jackson hasn’t played like his 2019 MVP self, although engineering two late scoring drives to defeat Cleveland 47-42 on Monday Night Football could be the boost he needs.
11. Cleveland Browns (9-4)
Losing a close one to Baltimore doesn’t take away from the excitement surrounding this team. It’ll be important for Cleveland not to let an emotional loss zap its momentum. The Browns should go 2-0 against the Giants and the Jets in the next two weeks. Then it’s a huge showdown with Pittsburgh in the regular-season finale.
12. Miami Dolphins (8-5)
Even after allowing 33 points to Kansas City, it’s safe to say Miami is legit on defense. The unit will keep the Dolphins competitive in any game. A middling offense scoring just 25.4 points per game won’t be enough in the playoffs, even though Tua Tagovailoa has a bright future ahead of him.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)
The Bucs beat a playoff-contending Minnesota team last week, but the win didn’t do much to increase confidence in them threatening for a championship. The offense still isn’t in sync, and if it’s not clicking now, what’s going to change in the playoffs?
Tier 3 — Filling Out The Playoff Bracket
Teams still in the hunt for the playoffs.
14. Arizona Cardinals (7-6)
Arizona is at the No. 7 spot right now in the NFC, but Minnesota and Chicago are right there at 6-7. The Cardinals looked good against a hot New York Giants team. They have to finish strong against the Eagles, 49ers, and Rams.
15. Las Vegas Raiders (7-6)
The Raiders are straight-up struggling on defense. In the last three games, they allowed 43 points against Atlanta, 28 against the Jets, and 44 against Indianapolis. Right now, Las Vegas is two spots out of the playoffs.
16. Minnesota Vikings (6-7)
Minnesota is one spot out of the No. 7 seed, making Dan Bailey’s three missed field goals and one PAT in a 26-14 loss to Tampa Bay even more excruciating.
17. New England Patriots (6-7)
The momentum came to a halt for New England after suffering a humbling 24-3 loss to the Rams. A lot has to go right for this team to make the playoffs.
18. Washington (6-7)
Just like that, Washington is atop the NFC East standings with a four-game winning streak and staring at the No. 4 seed. The defense, ranked in the Top 10 in yards and points allowed, will be leaned on to lead this team to the postseason.
19. New York Giants (5-8)
New York’s four-game winning streak came to a screeching halt with a 26-7 loss to Arizona. The NFC East is still open for the taking, but offensive woes will likely prevent that from happening for the Giants.
20. Chicago Bears (6-7)
The Bears are right on the outside looking in on the playoffs. But the reason for that is because of a 5-1 start to the season. Chicago’s playoff hopes aren’t gone, but they shrink every week.
Tier 4 — We’re On To 2021
Teams that are eyeing the future.
21. San Francisco 49ers (5-8)
Too many injuries and offensive inconsistencies for the 49ers to overcome this season. The franchise will rebound and rebuild for next year.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (4-8-1)
Not only did Philly snap a five-game losing streak with a rookie QB making his first start, the Eagles defeated one of the top teams in the NFC, New Orleans. It’s not unreasonable to think this team can win its final three games against Arizona, Dallas, and Washington. Can Jalen Hurts get it done?
23. Detroit Lions (5-8)
Expect an overhaul for the NFL’s worst defense. There’s a lot to replace both on the field and on the sidelines.
24. Denver Broncos (5-8)
Drew Lock gives Denver a glimmer of hope at the quarterback spot. The defense is in a good spot as well, even though statistically, Denver doesn’t rank well. The offense turning the ball over too much can take part of that blame.
25. Carolina Panthers (4-9)
How different would this season have been if Christian McCaffrey was healthy? He’s arguably the most valuable skill-position player for a team. Carolina has a lot of problems to fix this season, but the roster isn’t in complete shambles. McCaffrey’s injury is enough to make this team below-average in 2020.
26. Los Angeles Chargers (4-9)
Justin Herbert is the future for this franchise. Sports fans can struggle with optimism, especially when your team is 4-9. Herbert gives a reason for Chargers fans to be excited about the direction this team is going.
27. Atlanta Falcons (4-9)
A team used to competing in the playoffs, how much does Atlanta look to retool its roster for the long haul and not just to compete better next season. This is an important draft for the Falcons, not only to find a future quarterback but to add players that can help this team win games years down the road.
28. Dallas Cowboys (4-9)
The offense has been woeful without Dak Prescott. The defense has given up an NFL-high 30.8 points per game. There’s plenty to be concerned about for Dallas fans.
29. Houston Texans (4-9)
The Texans have their guy at quarterback in Deshaun Watson. But he needs weapons. And the defense needs a complete turnaround.
30. Cincinnati Bengals (2-10)
The Bengals are yet another team with a promising young quarterback but question marks all over the roster. Joe Burrow is going to need a lot of help. Getting him protection to prevent another injury is key.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-12)
Nothing has gone right for this team in 2020 besides landing the top undrafted free agent in running back James Robinson. You can build around him. There’s just a lot of pieces that are needed as part of that building process.
32. New York Jets (0-13)
Another week, another loss. The Jets need their franchise quarterback with the No. 1 pick. Let’s just hope the franchise doesn’t ruin that player’s potential, AKA the hype around Trevor Lawrence.
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Sam Herder is a writer for BetMGM and HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.