Preseason NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs No. 1, Buccaneers Over Patriots

Before Week 1 kicks off, here's our look at how all 32 teams shake out. From the defending champs to the team expected to have the No. 1 pick next year.
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The NFL season is upon us! And while so much of this season will look different from anything we’ve seen before, some staples of the fall simply never go away. Like, yes, power rankings.

You may not be allowed to go to an NFL game in certain cities this year, but as always you can come to our site every Tuesday for power rankings throughout the season. Come back to the site Wednesday for our staff predictions on playoff brackets, award winners and more. But below is how we see the 32 teams right now.

This week’s NFL Power Rankings Poll voters:

Albert Breer, Senior NFL Reporter
Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Mitch Goldich, Editor/Writer
Conor Orr,
Staff Writer
Jenny Vrentas, Senior Writer

nfl-preseason-power-rankings-chiefs-week-1

1. Kansas City Chiefs

Points in poll: 192
Highest-place vote: 1 (6 people)
Lowest-place vote: 1 (6)
Last season: 12-4, won Super Bowl
Week 1: vs. Houston

Season preview

There was only one unanimous decision in our poll: putting the defending Super Bowl champs back in first place. They will be there until somebody knocks them off.

2. Baltimore Ravens

Points in poll: 179
Highest-place vote: 3 (5)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (1)
Last season: 14-2, lost in divisional round
Week 1: vs. Cleveland

Season preview

The Ravens didn’t actually receive a second-place vote in our poll, as those were split between the Saints, 49ers, Seahawks and Titans. But with so many voters putting last year’s top seed in the AFC in the third spot, they garnered enough votes to leapfrog those other teams.

3. New Orleans Saints

Points in poll: 176
Highest-place vote: 2 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (1)
Last season: 13-3, lost in wild-card round
Week 1: vs. Tampa Bay

Season preview

The Saints, like the Ravens, hope to rebound after a disappointing playoff exit. But our top-ranked NFC team returns with a loaded roster.

4. San Francisco 49ers

Points in poll: 175
Highest-place vote: 2 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 7 (1)
Last season: 13-3, lost in Super Bowl
Week 1: vs. Arizona

Season preview

Will there be a Super Bowl hangover in the Bay Area? Whether our voters see one coming or not, they mostly gave the defending NFC champions the respect they earned last year.

5. Philadelphia Eagles

Points in poll: 162
Highest-place vote: 5 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 7 (1)
Last season: 9-7, lost in wild-card round
Week 1: at Washington

Season preview

The Eagles have ranked very highly in this poll, dating back to before last season. Our voters clearly expect them to be better than the injury-depleted squad we watched last year.

6. Seattle Seahawks

Points in poll: 151
Highest-place vote: 2 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1)
Last season: 11-5, lost in divisional round
Week 1: at Atlanta

Season preview

The Seahawks remain one of the most polarizing teams in the league. You read that right: They earned one vote for second place and one for 17th. You can debate amongst yourselves which one is more surprising. But most of our voters have them firmly in the NFC playoff picture.

7. Tennessee Titans

Points in poll: 146
Highest-place vote: 2 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (2)
Last season: 9-7, lost in AFC championship game
Week 1: at Denver

Season preview

It’s easy to forget the Titans only won nine games last season, but our voters treated them like they’d pick up where they left off—steamrolling the Patriots and Ravens in a pair of road playoff wins.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

Points in poll: 144
Highest-place vote: 4 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 15 (1)
Last season: 8-8, second place in AFC North
Week 1: at New York Giants

Season preview

The Steelers should again have one of the best defenses in football, and a healthy Ben Roethlisberger makes them a top-10 team.

9. Dallas Cowboys

Points in poll: 142
Highest-place vote: 7 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (2)
Last season: 8-8, second place in NFC East
Week 1: at Los Angeles Rams

Season preview

The most notable part of the Cowboys’ offseason was failing to sign Dak Prescott to a long-term deal. But they have him for 2020, no matter what the future brings, and that makes them a preseason top-10 team.

10. Green Bay Packers

Points in poll: 131
Highest-place vote: 5 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (1)
Last season: 13-3, lost in NFC championship game
Week 1: at Minnesota

Season preview

One of last year’s most polarizing teams checks in at No. 10. Even if they don’t duplicate their 13-3 record, they’re expected to be a factor in the NFC.

11. Houston Texans

Points in poll: 128
Highest-place vote: 8 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (1)
Last season: 10-6, lost in divisional round
Week 1: at Kansas City

Season preview

DeAndre Hopkins is gone, but Deshaun Watson has been paid and the Texans still bring back plenty of talent.

12. Buffalo Bills

Points in poll: 126
Highest-place vote: 11 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 14 (2)
Last season: 10-6, lost in wild-card round
Week 1: vs. New York Jets

Season preview

It’s been a long time since the Buffalo Bills entered the season as the highest rated team in the AFC East, but it’s not the strangest thing that’s happened in 2020.

13. Minnesota Vikings

Points in poll: 120
Highest-place vote: 6 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (1)
Last season: 10-6, lost in divisional round
Week 1: vs. Green Bay

Season preview

The Vikings were another polarizing team in our rankings, coming in anywhere between sixth and 19th. We’ll learn plenty from a Week 1 game against the Packers.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Points in poll: 119
Highest-place vote: 10 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1)
Last season: 7-9, third place in NFC South
Week 1: at New Orleans

Season preview

Yes, Tom Brady’s new team comes in one spot ahead of his old team. Can we just fast forward to Sunday for Brady vs. Drew Brees already?

15. New England Patriots

Points in poll: 114
Highest-place vote: 10 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (1)
Last season: 12-4, lost in wild-card round
Week 1: vs. Miami

Season preview

Obviously we are all focused on how Cam Newton replaces Tom Brady, but the number of defensive players who opted out of New England this season could be just as a big a story.

16. Indianapolis Colts

Points in poll: 109
Highest-place vote: 5 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (2)
Last season: 7-9, third place in AFC South
Week 1: at Jacksonville

Season preview

The Colts just barely crack the top half of our rankings, though they do have an admirer who placed them in the top five. They are built to win now if Philip Rivers plays the way the Colts expect him to.

17. Los Angeles Rams

Points in poll: 105
Highest-place vote: 7 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (1)
Last season: 9-7, third place in NFC West
Week 1: vs. Dallas

Season preview

Last year the Rams would have been a playoff team if the postseason had expanded to seven in each conference a year earlier. This year they’ll kick off a new era by christening their stadium on Sunday Night Football.

18. Atlanta Falcons

Points in poll: 98
Highest-place vote: 12 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (1)
Last season: 7-9, second place in NFC South
Week 1: vs. Seattle

Season preview

The Falcons finished strong last season, we’ll see if that momentum carries over into 2020.

19. Los Angeles Chargers

Points in poll: 84
Highest-place vote: 16 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (1)
Last season: 5-11, fourth place in AFC West
Week 1: at Cincinnati

Season preview

It wouldn’t be early September if we weren’t all talking ourselves into the Chargers. But not everyone is taking the bait, particularly after the news of Derwin James’s injury.

20. Arizona Cardinals

Points in poll: 79
Highest-place vote: 18 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (1)
Last season: 5-10-1, fourth place in NFC West
Week 1: at San Francisco

Season preview

The Cardinals got so much hype in the spring and summer as a breakout candidate in Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray’s second year, it’s a little surprising to see that all of our votes put them between 18th and 22nd.

21. Las Vegas Raiders

Points in poll: 73
Highest-place vote: 18 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (1)
Last season: 7-9, third place in AFC West
Week 1: at Carolina

Season preview

The Raiders have playoff hopes in their first season in Vegas, but our voters say they have a little work to do to get there.

22. Detroit Lions

Points in poll: 66
Highest-place vote: 15 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (2)
Last season: 3-12-1, fourth place in NFC North
Week 1: vs. Chicago

Season preview

Matt Patricia enters his third season as Lions coach, coming off back-to-back last place finishes. It may be now or never in 2020.

23. Denver Broncos

Points in poll: 64
Highest-place vote: 20 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 24 (2)
Last season: 7-9, second place in AFC West
Week 1: vs. Tennessee

Season preview

Is Drew Lock going to be a franchise QB? People have wildly different views of him after his five starts last season, but our voters have mostly come to a consensus on where to rank the Broncos.

24. Cleveland Browns

Points in poll: 62
Highest-place vote: 21 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (5)
Last season: 6-10, third place in AFC North
Week 1: at Baltimore

Season preview

The Browns were 13th in our preseason power poll last year, not as egregious an overhype as we thought. But we’re not falling for that again quite yet.

25. Chicago Bears

Points in poll: 46
Highest-place vote: 24 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (1)
Last season: 8-8, third place in NFC North
Week 1: at Detroit

Season preview

The Bears are sticking with Mitchell Trubisky for Week 1, and we’re sticking them fourth in the NFC North to start the season.

26. Miami Dolphins

Points in poll: 41
Highest-place vote: 24 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (1)
Last season: 5-11, fourth place in AFC East
Week 1: at New England

Season preview

Most of us are pretty bullish on Brian Flores’s work down in Miami. But even after a surprising five wins last year, it’s hard to find room to move the Dolphins up.

27. New York Jets

Points in poll: 39
Highest-place vote: 26 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (1)
Last season: 7-9, third place in AFC East
Week 1: at Buffalo

Season preview

There doesn’t seem to be much optimism about the Jets this season, but we promise to keep an open mind.

28. New York Giants

Points in poll: 32
Highest-place vote: 25 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (4)
Last season: 4-12, third place in NFC East
Week 1: vs. Pittsburgh

Season preview

The Giants rank even lower than the Jets to kick off what could be a very long year in New York.

29. Cincinnati Bengals

Points in poll: 26
Highest-place vote: 28 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (2)
Last season: 2-14, fourth place in AFC North
Week 1: vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Season preview

Joe Burrow will be the only rookie QB to start Week 1, and there’s a good chance he’ll make last year’s miserable season all worth it.

30. Carolina Panthers

Points in poll: 20
Highest-place vote: 28 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (1)
Last season: 5-11, fourth place in NFC South
Week 1: vs. Las Vegas

Season preview

In comes Matt Rhule for Year 1 of what appears to be a multi-year rebuilding project.

31. Washington

Points in poll: 12
Highest-place vote: 30 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (1)
Last season: 3-13, fourth place in NFC East
Week 1: vs. Philadelphia

Season preview

It was a turbulent offseason in Washington, for way too many reasons, and Ron Rivera’s new team actually comes in one place behind his old one.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars

Points in poll: 7
Highest-place vote: 31 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (5)
Last season: 6-10, fourth place in AFC South
Week 1: vs. Indianapolis

Season preview

Whether they’re tanking or not, Trevor Lawrence Watch is officially on.