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Postseason NFL Power Rankings Poll: Bills Surge Into Playoffs, Chiefs Hold Down Top Spot

And we're back! After using a rotating system for most of the season, the MMQB’s staple Power Rankings Poll has made its highly anticipated return for the playoffs.

You can check out our preseason poll to see how much things have changed after 17 weeks of action, or even look at our midseason poll to see if we were successfully able to correct our early mistakes. It was a doozy of a year—an unprecedented one, some might repeat into oblivion—but, for better or worse, the NFL managed to pull off all 256 regular-season games. So now that we’ve made it through 2020, it’s time to exhale for a second and look at how we have things stacked up before the postseason take us on another wild ride.

This week’s NFL Power Rankings Poll voters:

Greg Bishop, Senior Writer
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

Bills quarterback Josh Allen celebrates a touchdown with running back Zack Moss against the Dolphins.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (14–2)

Points in poll: 223
Highest-place vote: 1 (6)
Lowest-place vote: 2 (1)
Last week: loss vs. Los Angeles Chargers 38–21
Next week: Bye

With 256 games in the books, the Chiefs end up right where they were when the season started: holding down the No. 1 spot.

2. Green Bay Packers (13–3)

Points in poll: 215
Highest-place vote: 1 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 3 (3)
Last week: win at Chicago 35–16
Next week: Bye

The Packers did garner one first-place vote, depriving the Chiefs of a unanimous honor. A fitting reward for a fellow No. 1 seed with the likely MVP at quarterback.

3. Buffalo Bills (13–3)

Points in poll: 212
Highest-place vote: 2 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (1)
Last week: win vs. Miami 56–26
Next week: vs. Indianapolis

The Bills swept the AFC East and tied a franchise record for wins this season, and now have their eyes set on even bigger goals.

4. New Orleans Saints (12–4)

Points in poll: 201
Highest-place vote: 3 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (1)
Last week: win at Carolina 33–7
Next week: vs. Chicago

The Saints weathered Drew Brees’s absence and posted a typical 12-win season we’ve come to expect from them. But speaking of weather, the road to the Super Bowl goes through Lambeau.

5. Baltimore Ravens (11–5)

Points in poll: 195
Highest-place vote: 4 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (2)
Last week: win at Cincinnati 38–3
Next week: at Tennessee

The Ravens failed to match last season’s gaudy record, but they still look scary heading into Lamar Jackson’s third crack at the postseason.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (12–4)

Points in poll: 191
Highest-place vote: 4 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 7 (1)
Last week: loss at Cleveland 24–22
Next week: vs. Cleveland

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The Steelers have fallen off since their 11–0 start, but a 12-win season (resting some stars in Week 17) is still a great bounce-back season.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11–5)

Points in poll: 183
Highest-place vote: 5 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 8 (1)
Last week: win vs. Atlanta 44–27
Next week: at Washington

The Bucs went all-in to chase a championship and will now be favored on wild-card weekend with Tom Brady looking to add to his postseason legacy.

8. Seattle Seahawks (12–4)

Points in poll: 176
Highest-place vote: 7 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 8 (6)
Last week: win at San Francisco 26–23
Next week: vs. Los Angeles Rams

Russell Wilson’s MVP campaign fell apart around midseason, but the defense finding its bearings may be even more important to a Super Bowl run. (And we still know what Russ is capable of in any given game.)

9. Tennessee Titans (11–5)

Points in poll: 164
Highest-place vote: 9 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (1)
Last week: win at Houston 41–38
Next week: vs. Baltimore

The Titans won’t surprise anyone this year in the postseason, but they’ll again have to go on the road if they can survive the first round.

10. Indianapolis Colts (11–5)

Points in poll: 159
Highest-place vote: 9 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (3)
Last week: win vs. Jacksonville 28–14
Next week: at Buffalo

The Colts may be a No. 7 seed, but they are still good enough to hang with the teams above them in a deep AFC.

11. Los Angeles Rams (10–6)

Points in poll: 157
Highest-place vote: 9 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (2)
Last week: win vs. Arizona 18–7
Next week: at Seattle

It’s hard to say if our voters punished the Rams for reaching the playoffs with John Wolford under center or rewarded them for it.

12. Cleveland Browns (11–5)

Points in poll: 150
Highest-place vote: 10 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (5)
Last week: win vs. Pittsburgh 24–22
Next week: at Pittsburgh

The Browns are headed to the postseason. It’s hard not to feel good for the players and their fans. It’s also hard not to be excited for a rivalry rematch next week.

13. Miami Dolphins (10–6)

Points in poll: 134
Highest-place vote: 13 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1)
Last week: loss at Buffalo 56–26

It’s no surprise the Dolphins are our highest-ranked team on the outside of the playoff bubble.

14. Chicago Bears (8–8)

Points in poll: 125
Highest-place vote: 14 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (1)
Last week: loss vs. Green Bay 35–16
Next week: at New Orleans

The Bears backed into a playoff spot in the NFC, but 8–8 with a No. 7 seed is still enough to get in the top half of our poll.

15. San Francisco 49ers (6–10)

Points in poll: 122
Highest-place vote: 13 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (1)
Last week: loss vs. Seattle 26–23

This ranking shows a lot of respect for a squad that ultimately finished 6–10. Needless to say the 49ers will be higher next preseason when their long list of injured players can return.

T-16. Las Vegas Raiders (8–8)

Points in poll: 112
Highest-place vote: 14 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (1)
Last week: win at Denver 32–31

The Raiders showed flashes in their first season in Vegas, but John Gruden is still looking for his first winning season since returning to the league.

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T-16. Los Angeles Chargers (7–9)

Points in poll: 112
Highest-place vote: 13 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (1)
Last week: win at Kansas City 38–21

Anthony Lynn is out in L.A., but the team seems to have answered its most important question this season with the promise shown by Justin Herbert.

18. Arizona Cardinals (8–8)

Points in poll: 109
Highest-place vote: 16 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (1)
Last week: loss at Los Angeles Rams 18–7

The Cardinals were a preseason darling to make a leap in Kliff and Kyler’s second year together, and they certainly had their moments. But a 2–5 finish with multiple chances to get into the playoffs makes the season a real disappointment.

19. Minnesota Vikings (7–9)

Points in poll: 102
Highest-place vote: 15 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (2)
Last week: win at Detroit 37–35

The Vikings dug themselves too big a hole early in the season, and continued their trend of alternating years in and out of the playoffs.

20. New England Patriots (7–9)

Points in poll: 97
Highest-place vote: 16 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (1)
Last week: win vs. New York Jets 28–14

Let’s not draw any sweeping conclusions about whether Tom Brady or Bill Belichick deserves all the credit for their run together, but in Year 1 without Brady (and without all the players who opted out, and without any talented pass-catchers), the Patriots sunk to a low we haven’t seen in a while.

21. Washington Football Team (7–9)

Points in poll: 82
Highest-place vote: 13 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (1)
Last week: win at Philadelphia 20–14
Next week: vs. Tampa Bay

The Washington Football Team won perhaps the worst division in NFL history. Congratulations? Well, Ron Rivera won’t apologize, and both he and Alex Smith deserve their moment on the postseason stage next weekend.

22. New York Giants (6–10)

Points in poll: 77
Highest-place vote: 21 (3)
Lowest-place vote: 24 (1)
Last week: win vs. Dallas 23–19

The Giants have their gripes about how the NFC East race finished, but a different outcome Sunday night wouldn’t change the fact that our voters don’t have any teams from that division in the top 20.

T-23. Carolina Panthers (5–11)

Points in poll: 63
Highest-place vote: 23 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (2)
Last week: loss vs. New Orleans 33–7

Matt Rhule laid some foundation for a successful rebuild in his first year on the job, but the season came to an end with more moral victories than actual wins.

T-23 Denver Broncos (5–11)

Points in poll: 63
Highest-place vote: 23 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (1)
Last week: loss vs. Las Vegas 32–31

Many thought the Broncos were talented enough to compete for a playoff spot in 2020, but this ranking reflects that they were a nonfactor for most of the year. In their defense, they are one of several teams hoping the injury bug won’t hit them as hard next year.

25. Atlanta Falcons (4–12)

Points in poll: 62
Highest-place vote: 22 (4)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (2)
Last week: loss at Tampa Bay 44–27

The Falcons enter a new era in need of some roster changes and some new vibes. How on Earth did they lose some of those games they blew this year? Many of the folks involved have plenty of time to think about it.

26. Dallas Cowboys (6–10)

Points in poll: 54
Highest-place vote: 22 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (1)
Last week: loss at New York Giants 23–19

When the Cowboys franchise-tagged Dak Prescott and signed Andy Dalton to be his backup, they could not have expected Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert would both start meaningful games. It was that kind of season in the NFC East. Now Dallas has to decide how much Dak is worth as it tries to get back on top of the division.

27. Philadelphia Eagles (4-11-1)

Points in poll: 41
Highest-place vote: 25 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (1)
Last week: loss vs. Washington 20–14

Did any team face a disaster quite as messy in 2020 as the Eagles’ situation with Carson Wentz? It’s possible the big question at quarterback will overshadow the many other questions this team needs to answer this offseason.

28. Detroit Lions (5–11)

Points in poll: 39
Highest-place vote: 25 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (2)
Last week: loss vs. Minnesota 37–35

The Matt Patricia era is over without much to show for it. Is the Matt Stafford era over as well?

29. Houston Texans (4–12)

Points in poll: 33
Highest-place vote: 28 (5)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (2)
Last week: loss vs. Tennessee 41–38

Count the Houston Texans on the long, long list of those happy to see the year 2020 come to an end. But they have a million questions to answer this offseason.

30. Cincinnati Bengals (4-11-1)

Points in poll: 20
Highest-place vote: 29 (1)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (2)
Last week: loss vs. Baltimore 38–3

Joe Burrow’s torn ACL was one of the season’s more unfortunate injuries. He showed promise in his 10 starts, but now we have to see how much his rehab will disrupt his offseason prep for Year 2.

31. New York Jets (2–14)

Points in poll: 16
Highest-place vote: 30 (2)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (5)
Last week: loss at New England 28–14

The Jets occupied the bottom spot in our rankings for most of the season, and plenty of their fans wish they were still there. But they still have the No. 2 pick and an important offseason ahead.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1–15)

Points in poll: 7
Highest-place vote: 32 (7)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (7)
Last week: loss at Indianapolis 28–14

The Jaguars are on the clock. And the consensus worst team in football will have a reward to show for it this spring.