Welcome to your first 2021 NFL Power Rankings. We’re certainly glad we waited an extra few days as the signing of Cam Newton by the New England Patriots certainly sent shock waves through the football community.
And in an effort to make this work obsolete as quickly as possible, I expect that Antonio Brown and Jadaveon Clowney will find landing spots as soon as that publish button is clicked.
Even still, can’t let the fear of failure slow us down. We’ll drive forward and bring you a look into how the NFL landscape currently looks.
32. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
This ought not be a shocker, the Jags are a bad team. I did like some of the pieces they added in the draft, specifically corner CJ Henderson, and receivers Laviska Shenault Jr. and Collin Johnson. But they lost 3 good players in AJ Bouye, Calais Campbell, and Marcell Dareus. Most importantly though, Doug Marrone is still the coach. I feel good about the Shenault and Johnson draft picks in part because they’ll be catching balls from Trevor Lawrence in 2021
31. CAROLINA PANTHERS
The Panthers certainly have more upside than this ranking would suggest. But theres just something that feels off. They used all 7 draft picks on defensive players. Which seems like it’d really improve the defense until you look at the names they lost on that side: Luke Kuechly, Mario Addison, James Bradberry, Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Eric Reid. Then you realize that they’re just treading water, at best. On offense they brought in former late first round pick Teddy Bridgewater. Teddy played well in Drew Brees’ absence last season. But really, historically Teddy had been a very “okay” quarterback. He’s got DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson to throw to, but really the star of the show is Christian McCaffrey, behind an at BEST mediocre o-line. With a rookie head coach? I’m not optimistic.
30. WASHINGTON __________________
The skins just plain suck. Every time they take one step forward, they seem to take two steps back. That being said, I’m a believer in Ron Rivera. I just think that this is a beginning of the rebuild, not the year it jumps off. A couple of former Ohio State Buckeyes provide reason for optimism as Dwayne Haskins and Terry McLaurin flashed in 2019, the later more than the former. Another Buckeye, Chase Young was landed using the #2 overall selection in this spring’s draft. He should have a Bosa like impact on the front seven. Unlike Nick and Joey though, he won’t be surrounded with complimentary talent.
29. CINCINNATI BENGALS
Okay, here’s a secret. I think the Bengals did really well this off season in their rebuild. But they’re still the Bungles, their quarterback is still a rookie who still only had one (REALLY) good (LIKE HISTORICALLY GOOD) season of college ball, and they play in what I believe will be the toughest division in football in 2020. They brought in a couple of corners from Minnesota in Trae Waynes & Mackensie Alexander. Plugging DJ Reader into the D-Line mix next to Geno Atkins could be BIG, both physically, and in results. I’m a big fan of their draft, even after the selection of Joe Burrow to be the new face of the franchise. Tee Higgins, along with Tyler Boyd and AJ Green? That’s not a bad trifecta. And then I see a lot of promise in the 3 linebackers selected, Logan Wilson, Akeem Davis Gaither, and Markus Bailey. They really add something to the middle layer of the defense, as well as special teams. Things may finally be looking up in the Queen City.
28. CHICAGO BEARS
I liked their first three draft picks. I think Jaylon Johnson is going to be a steal lining up opposite of Kyle Fuller. I LOVE Eddie Jackson and his extension in the secondary. Khalil Mack is a beast. Adding Robert Quinn, and having Roquan Smith continue to develop is huge. This defense can be first rate. But the old saying goes, If you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. And while I don’t always agree with the cliche’, when you’re talking about Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky, its spot on. Optimists will point to Foles’ Super Bowl run with Philly. Realists will point to his time with Kansas City, Los Angeles, Philly the first time, and Jacksonville and see that Chicago will be looking to land Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields next spring. They should’ve backed up the brinks truck for Cam Newton instead of making a move for Foles. That decision should eventually cost Ryan Pace his job.
27. LOS ANGELES RAMS
Oh Rams, look how the mighty have fallen. This team isn’t devoid of talent. Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp are all good players. But they have no balance on their roster. They overpaid their quarterback, and ran their former franchise back into the ground. Now they have a poor offensive line (their best o-lineman is about 130 years old). The front seven has talent, but not enough depth for the talent to not get worn out. And Goff, at best, is a good game manager. He’s not going to take this team and put them on his shoulders. This will be a long season for LA. But hey, at least they got new uniforms.
26. NEW YORK JETS
Poor Sam Darnold. If this kid has a lick of sense he won’t sign an extension when the time comes. This is a mismanaged franchise. Their best player, safety Jamal Adams wants out already. They’ve spent the last 20 years trying to undo the Patriots instead of focusing on themselves and how to build the base of a good football team. They’ve completely revamped their offensive line, which is a plus, but the talent they brought in wasn’t all prime beef so to speak. The corner play was seriously lacking last year, but they didn’t select a corner in the draft until the 5th round, and Pierre Desir was the “headline” attraction amongst their free agency signings. A return to health by CJ Mosley will help, but this team is lacking on both sides of the ball, and on the sidelines.
25. HOUSTON TEXANS
I mean Deshaun Watson is good, real good, but he’s not superman. The team traded away the player, that for our money, was the best receiver in football the last few years, DeAndre Hopkins, for draft picks, and a running back, David Johnson, who has talent, but hasn’t been able to fully showcase it for a few years now. The receivers remaining are certainly skilled, but lack that alpha dog that Hopkins was. Its like a starting rotation with a bunch of really good #3 starter types, with no Ace. That just doesn’t end up working. Bill O’Brien the coach isn’t bad. Bill O’Brien the GM has got to go. The good news is that in this division, with their foundation, the Texans can be a prime bounce back team in 2021. But much like the rest of the world, 2020 will not be their year.
24. ATLANTA FALCONS
This team really needs a fresh start. I don’t expect that Dan Quinn survives the season as head coach. They could/should potentially start 5 former first round draft selections on the offensive line, including 2 from the 2019 draft. They’ve got one of, if not the, top pairs of wide receivers in the league with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. They’ve got a former MVP caliber quarterback. And if healthy (a GIANT if), a top tier running back in Todd Gurley. So why are they so low? Because their defense S-U-C-K-S. Can’t wait for the 49-45 losses to the Saints and Bucs this year. Even with the big buck signing of Dante Fowler, and using their first round on corner AJ Terrell the defense will be a huge deficiency.
23. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
I’ve seen some touting the Chargers as a potential playoff team. Even with the expansion to 7 teams a conference I don’t see that happening. Simply put, I’m not 100% sold on Justin Herbert, but I am 100% convinced that Tyrod Taylor is at best mediocre. Sure he’s a solid stopgap option, but he’s not a “lead our team to the playoffs” type guy. On paper I like the signing of Chris Harris away from division rival Denver, but I suspect the money paid out will not be equal to the production that the Chargers can expect from the 31 year old corner. This feels like a team that should be kicking off a rebuild as they move into a new stadium. Showcase Joey Bosa and Mike Williams. Instead they’re trying to hold onto the would be contender status they enjoyed for so many years under Philip Rivers.
22. DENVER BRONCOS
Like two ships crossing in the night we see the Chargers descending the charts while the Broncos begin their ascension. After securing who they believe to be their quarterback of the future in Drew Lock during the 2019 draft, the team went ahead and made 10 selections in the 2020 draft. Plenty of those names draw our attention as pieces that could be around the for the next decade. Names like Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, their top two selections out of Alabama and Penn State respectively. They’ll team with 3rd year receiver Courtland Sutton to provide Lock with some aerial weapons with upside. Lloyd Cushenberry III and Netane Muti should help the interior offensive line, while Albert Okwuegbunam could prove to be a steal to pair with last year’s first round tight end Noah Fant. Elway wasn’t shy about spending on free agents either adding AJ Bouye, Melvin Gordon, Jurrell Casey (via trade), and Graham Glasgow. This is a young team on the rise. It’ll be interesting to see how Vic Fangio fares in his second season.
21. MIAMI DOLPHINS
If you were ask what AFC East team is most likely to end the Patriots reign, I’d tell you its the Dolphins, not the Bills. Certainly Buffalo has a good football team, but I love what Miami is building. Brian Flores is going to be a long time, successful, head coach in the NFL. I LOVE their draft, two starting caliber O-linemen (Austin Jackson, & Robert Hunt), an athletic freak corner back (Noah Igbinoghene), a solid even when playing average for him defensive lineman (Raekwon Davis), some nice depth pieces for the defense (Brandon Jones, Jason Strowbridge, and Curtis Weaver), an interior offensive lineman with starter potential (Solomon Kindley), swiss army knife piece to use on offense (Malcolm Perry), and then of course, a franchise quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa. The team didn’t just rest there though, they added veterans to augment the youngsters, creating a real nice blend of age and youth while also creating valuable depth with guys like Matt Breida, Ereck Flowers, Jordan Howard, Shaq Lawson, Ted Karras, Elandon Roberts, Kyle Van Noy, and Emmanuel Ogbah. Last but not least, we can’t overlook the signing of Byron Jones to pair with a hopefully (and expected to be) healthy Xavien Howard at cornerback. The Dolphins are on the serious upswing. I suspect 2022 is when they’ll arrive in the upper echelon of the league, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we see flashes of it this year.
20. NEW YORK GIANTS
Another team on the upswing, the Giants bottomed out last year. The Dolphins struck gold by hiring a Patriots coach, the Giants will see how they can do with a Patriots special teams coordinator. I think Judge will do just fine, but until we see the Giants on the field, that’s only a best guess. The team already has 7 players with Patriots ties. The Giants have had some good drafts the last two years, building a nice foundation. The offensive line could actually be a strength this season, allowing the team to showcase its premier talent, Saquon Barkley. The closest thing the league has seen to Barry Sanders since he returned, Barkley is a threat to break any touch into a touchdown, from anywhere on the field. They should be a threat to be .500 this season, and are probably a year away from the playoffs.
19. ARIZONA CARDINALS
I expect the Cardinals to be downright prolific on offense, and a threat to challenge for a playoff spot. I know they went 5-10-1 last year, but last year’s #1 pick Quarterback Kyler Murray now has a year under his belt, and has DeAndre Hopkins at his disposal now. Hopkins, along with Christian Kirk, and Larry Fitzgerald should put a lot of point on the board. If one of the trio of second year receivers (Hakeem Butler, Andy Isabella, and Keesean Johnson) steps up, this team will cause fits for defenses. Defensively the addition of Devon Kennard, and Jordan Phillips will help, but the real key will be adding Isaiah Simmons out of Clemson. Is Simmons a linebacker? A safety? Who knows, and who cares, he’s a football player. D-Coordinator Vance Joseph should find some exotic uses for his new favorite toy.
18. TENESSEE TITANS
I understand not wanting to mess with what works. I understand having to pay big bucks for a quarterback on the open market. That being said, I suspect the Titans will end up regretting the Ryan Tannehill contract. He had a period where he caught fire and was simply en fuego. I don’t believe that is sustainable. The team is built around bell cow back Derrick Henry. It’ll be interesting to see how they do with teams really focused on Henry, and Jack Conklin now in Cleveland. Sending Jurrell Casey to Denver didn’t do the defense any favors. Neither did the retirement of Cameron Wake, or the departure of Logan Ryan. I suspect the Titans regress to their mean this year after punching above their weight class the second half of 2019.
17. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
I’ll say it, I’m a Mike Mayock fan. I know the Clelin Ferrell pick in 2019 was a head scratcher, but its been identifiable that he is looking for young guys with winning backgrounds. He made 7 selections in the 2020 draft. Four out of the seven were from Alabama/Clemson/Ohio State. I like the addition of Marcus Mariota. Las Vegas has a big Hawaiian population, and he’ll be a VERY popular guy in Sin City if he can wrestle the job away from Carr. The team has a solid O-Line, speed on the outside, a 3 down back to carry the loan in Josh Jacobs, and an emerging defense. The Raiders seem poised to make a solid claim on second in the division behind the Chiefs, but feel like they’ll fall just shy of a wild card spot.
16. DETROIT LIONS
This is very likely Matt Patricia’s last chance. After two years, a 9-22-1 record has got to be disappointing. If Matt Stafford can stay healthy, which is always a precarious position for him, the Lions can challenge for the playoffs. The offense is poised to be balanced and potent. The running back depth chart includes Kerryon Johnson, D’Andre Swift, Ty Johnson, and Bo Scarborough, which is to say it is deep and talented. TJ Hockenson is expected to make a leap in his second year. He flashed his enormous potential early in the season before fizzling out. Expect much bigger things in year two. The defense added 9 pieces that should make them instantly better, and significantly deeper. Danny Shelton, Jamie Collins, Desmond Trufant, Jeff Okudah, Duron Harmon, Julian Okwara, Jayron Kearse, Reggie Ragland, and Darryl Roberts are all new and all should see significant snaps. This feels like a real boom or bust scenario. Either the new talent takes hold early, and the team competes for a wild card berth, or it blows up early and Patricia is fired before Halloween. I’m betting on the former.
15. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
This is no knock on Alexander Mattison or Mike Boone, but if Dalvin Cook holds out, this ranking will be significantly impacted. While in the long run I believe Justin Jefferson will be a better player than Stefon Diggs, 2020 will not be the long run. The talents of Jefferson and Theilen seem to have some overlap as each is best suited to be in the slot. The team made 15(!) selections in the draft this year. Two of the more prominent names you’ll see in the fall are corners Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler. Each will be thrust into a prominent role as the team lost corners Mackensie Alexander, Xavier Rhodes, and Trae Waynes to free agency. This team will be younger, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t expect it to be better.
14. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
The Eagles went into the off season knowing they had to improve the talent on the edges, specifically the defensive secondary and the wide receiver position. To that end they added veterans Marquise Goodwin, Darius Slay, and Nickell Robey-Coleman before heading into the draft to get Jalen Reagor, K’Von Wallace, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins. Even with the additions, a large part of the hope for the season hinges on how well returnees Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey perform. Many expect Miles Sanders to be a breakout fantasy star in 2020. Expect the star of the camp to be Jalen Hurts, well at least the focus of the media. Carson Wentz has a big contract, and a propensity to get hurt. All that added up to Hurts being selected in the second round.
13. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Guys leave, retire, etc. And you simply can’t count out the Steelers. Even with abysmal quarterback play in 2019 the team managed to eek out a .500 record. They’ve got their 2 time super bowl winning quarterback back in Ben Roethlisberger, and a more than solid group of running backs in John Conner, Benny Snell, and Jaylen Samuels. Adding Eric Ebron and Derek Watt should added another dimension to the offense. The defense should fare well, especially with Minkah Fitzpatrick around from day one. If JuJu Smith-Schuster bounces back, and Diontae Johnson makes a second year leap, this team should solidly be in the playoff mix.
12. BUFFALO BILLS
A week ago most (not all) had anointed the Bills the winner of the AFC East. They are an emerging team, with a young quarterback, and exciting young running back, and added a #1 type receiver in Stefon Diggs. All the while the Patriots were losing front seven defenders left and right and Tom Brady was in Florida. None of the Bills’ situation has changed. They have added some much needed talent at the offensive skill positions. They improved their front seven personnel, and if Josh Norman can have a bounce back season after a miserable experience in Washington then he and Tre’davious White would form a high level corner duo. I would expect the Bills to be in the hunt for the division this year, and at worst, be in the hunt for a wild car berth.
11. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
The Colts made 2 splashy moves this off season adding a stud defensive lineman from San Fran by sending their first rounder to the 49ers for DeForest Buckner. That was the follow up move to their adding long time Chargers Quarterback Philip Rivers in free agency. If young receivers Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman can emerge to give TY Hilton some help the Colts could be a force. As it is they can rely upon a solid run game that was led by Marlon Mack in 2019. 2020 could see a new lead dog though as rookie Jonathan Taylor was a stud and half in college. Either back should enjoy the luxury of running behind left guard Quenton Nelson who is flat out one of the top handful of players in the league, at any position. A lot was expected of Indy in 2019 before Andrew Luck abruptly announced his retirement. With Rivers in the fold, there isn’t any reason they can’t reach those levels in 2020
10. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
There have been rumblings about Antonio Brown possibly landing in Seattle. IF that is true, and IF Brown has his head on straight, the Seahawks would leapfrog a few teams. Russell Wilson is in the top group of quarterbacks in the league. But even he needs weapons. The Seahawks did SOME to address that in the off season, but probably not enough. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf can do some damage from the wide receiver position. If tight end Greg Olsen has anything left in the tank he’d essentially function as the 3rd receiver. Otherwise that job would fall to Philip Dorsett. And that is not optimal. The team re-made the offensive line and added Carlos Hyde as insurance as both Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny are coming off injuries, like they do every year. Having safety Quandre Diggs in the fold from day one will help the defense. It’d be even better if youngsters like LJ Collier, Alton Robinson, and Jordyn Brooks can emerge to contribute. The Seahawks ranking primarily is the result of having Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson.
9. GREEN BAY PACKERS
The Packers selected exactly zero wide receivers in this year’s draft. A draft chock full of receiver talent by all accounts. Hell, they saw receiver Geronimo Allison and tight end Jimmy Graham leave their team, but stay within the division. The hope is that Devin Funchess can produce something, anything really, and that one of the young receivers steps up from amongst Allen Lazard, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. If not, the team with all world quarterback Aaron Rodgers will NEED to rely on the ground game. Something they ought to consider doing anyways when you add Boston College’s AJ Dillon to a group that already includes Aaron Jones, and Jamaal Williams. The defense has seen an infusion of draft picks and free agency dollars in the last couple of off seasons and is now a respectable group. This is a contender for the super bowl. Not the favorite, but it shouldn’t shock anyone if they’re there in February.
8. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
How are they only 8th? Well, first off, they were below .500 last season. Yes, they added Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, and that is certainly a prolific, proven tandem. A tandem that has logged a few miles on it. The skill position players have nothing to hide, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Gronk, OJ Howard, Cameron Brate, Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Dare Ogunbowale, and Ronald Jones are a deep and talented group, and there is no doubt they’ll put up some points. There was a concern about the line, but the drafting of Tristan Wirfs should alleviate some of that concern. The real question is on defense. The secondary is at best, young and unproven. At worst, they’re about as stout as a wet paper towel. The front seven has talent, but has no depth to speak of. This is a team capable of being in the Superbowl. Its also a team capable of slipping to .500 or worse if one guy (Brady) goes down.
7. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
The 49ers seem snake bitten already, and camp hasn’t even started yet. Their most exciting young piece on offense, Deebo Samuel, broke his foot. They used a first rounder on Arizona State receiver Brandon Aiyuk, so they’ll have some talent until he returns. They lost Joe Staley to retirement, but added Trent Williams to play left tackle. They traded away DeForest Buckner, but added Javon Kinlaw in the first round. They traded away Matt Breida, but that was after seeing Raheem Mostert emerge. Everything seemed to break right for the team in 2019. It doesn’t appear they’ll be as blessed in 2020
6. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
After mentally preparing for months for the Jarrett Stidham era to begin, we’re now getting ready for the Cam show in New England thanks to the vet minimum signing of quarterback Cam Newton. There is no forseeable downside to this signing for the Pats. It still feels very likely that Stidham will get a chance in 2020, based upon Newton’s injury history. But if he doesn’t, that means Cam is healthy, and this is a super bowl contender. With the return of center David Andrews, and the return of the fullback to the offense with the signing of Danny Vitale this was going to be a ground oriented offense anyways. Adding Newton to the mix will make RPO a popular term in New England this fall. The secondary is the best in football, and the front seven lost more than a couple of guys, but then received an injection of youth via the draft. A lot of people doubted the Pats after Brady left, especially the receivers left on the roster (I for one believe that Edelman, Sanu, and Harry will do just fine. Harry especially I expect will turn heads in year two). And seemingly every time the world has counted the Pats out over the last 20 years, they’ve bounced back to be in the Super Bowl. We’ll see if they can do it again.
5. CLEVELAND BROWNS
I HATE, and I mean HATE to say it. I L-O-V-E-D the Browns off season. I love the move to bring in Kevin Stefanski. I loved the draft selections or Jedrick Wills, Grant Delpit, Jordan Elliott, Jacob Phillips, Harrison Bryant, Nick Harris, and Donovan Peoples-Jones. There wasn’t a guy amongst their seven selections that had me musing what the hell were they thinking. I loved their free agent signings. Last off season was about the splash moves they could make. The Odell Beckham Jr, Kareem Hunt, Olivier Vernon moves. This year’s additions flew under the attention of the national media, but adding guys like Andrew Billings, Jack Conklin, Andy Janovich, Karl Joseph, Kevin Johnson, and Andrew Sendejo are how you win football games. Sure they made some splashes as they made Austin Hooper the highest paid tight end. If they can convince returner David Njoku to pull back his trade demand they can run some real fun double tight end formations. Worst case, they can add an asset for Njoku while still having Hooper, and 4th round pick Harrison Bryant in the mix at tight end (though neither is an accomplished blocker). We haven’t mentioned how motivated Myles Garrett should be following his suspension. This will be a tough team. All the hype surrounding the team last fall, all the expectations that they embraced, with folly, last August, its all evaporated. All that’s left is a talented football team, free to fly under the radar. This will be a playoff team who can challenge the Ravens for the division.
4. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Watching two old dogs, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, fight it out to win this division should be fun. Sean Payton always has some tricks up his sleeve. I expect a bit of a bounce back from Alvin Kamera. They went into the season expecting Kamera to increase his workload. I expect that’ll be scaled back a bit, with the trade off being that with Kamera, less can equal more. Veteran Emmanuel Sanders, an accomplished route runner, was added to the receiver mix, and should make a nice side kick to Michael Thomas who is one of the top 2-3 receivers in the game. He put up monster numbers in 2019, including 149 receptions. Former Saint Malcolm Jenkins returns to the secondary where corner Marshon Lattimore is one of the more unheralded stars in the league. As long as Drew Brees is healthy and playing, the Saints will be super bowl contenders
3. DALLAS COWBOYS
This is gonna piss some people off. But the Cowboys are good. Like really good. They had a terrific draft with CeeDee Lamb falling into their laps in the first round. Then, when they needed a corner in the first round, but didn’t select one because Lamb was too good to pass up, they had first round level corner Trevon Diggs fall to them in the second. Then they saw Neville Gallimore fall to them in the third, and Tyler Biadasz fell into the 4th where he was ripe for the picking. Everything really turned up roses for Jerry Jones while drafting from his yacht. If Aldon Smith can be 70% of what he was before his drug induced suspension, this will be a favorite to represent the NFC in the Superbowl. The caveat being that the lack of a long term deal for franchise QB Dak Prescott doesn’t derail the train. Prescott is poised to put up some numbers. Amari Cooper, Ceedee Lamb, and Michael Gallup is EASILY the best group of receivers he’s ever worked with. And none of that even brings up the fact that Ezekiel Elliott is probably the best back in football. Barkley is certainly his rival in terms of talent, but Zeke is so much more consistent and battle tested. And last, but not least, the ginger clapper Jason Garrett is gone. Replaced by former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. This team was poised to make a jump based on the change of leadership alone. With the added influx of young talent, this should be an exciting year in Dallas.
2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Why are the defending superbowl champs not number 1? Because the way their roster is created just makes their position so precarious. Certainly Patrick Mahomes is a wizard at the quarterback position. Certainly the addition of Clyde Edwards-Helaire at running back out of LSU will help balance things (he’s got a bit of Kareem Hunt in him without the off the field baggage). That off the field baggage is another concern for more than one Chiefs player. Former GM John Dorsey, who drafted a lot of these guys, clearly had zero concern for character red flags. Something that bit him in the ass during his time in Kansas City, and subsequently Cleveland. The defense is at best, just okay. This team’s success is based upon the “first team to 50 wins” formula. Which works really well, as long as the opposition isn’t able to control the ball for large chunks of time. As long as Mahomes is healthy, this is a threat to win the whole thing. I also think they’re a threat to be upended by an injury with little to no depth outside the wide receiver room.
1. BALTIMORE RAVENS
The Ravens keep rolling. I thought last year was gonna be rough one for them. Instead Lamar Jackson came out and made the AFC look like the ACC. The defense developed guys. Made trades. They made the moves they had to make to re-create a championship level defense. They added a ball hawk corner in Marcus Peters all the while Marlon Humphrey developed into a shutdown corner on the opposite side. Earl Thomas stepped in an became the leader Ed Reed used to be. They’ then went out and added some vets chomping at the bit to contribute to a championship defense in Derek Wolfe, and Calais Campbell. During the draft it was a case of the rich get richer. Patrick Queen out of LSU will fit into the linebacker core perfectly. As will Malik Harrison. They added some developmental receivers with great hands in Devin DuVernay and James Proche. And last but not least was second rounder J.K. Dobbins. Certainly Mark Ingram was the man in 2019, and will still be the lead dog in 2020, but Dobbins is certainly going to add some pop to that backfield, and should emerge as a star in 2021. John Harbaugh has himself a squad. Top to bottom this is a top notch franchise.
- Written by Jason Sullivan
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