The SI AllDolphins Pre-Camp AFC Power Rankings

Alain Poupart

The Dolphins' offseason has earned praise on a few occasions in recent months, most recently from ESPN, which called them the most improved team in the league.

But how do the Dolphins stack up after this influx of talent? It's time for the ever-popular power ranking, as we stack the teams in the AFC.

Note that this list could be affected by continued developments related to COVID-19, such as the New England Patriots losing five players who decided to opt out.

With that in mind, here we go:

1. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

2019 record: 12-4, Super Bowl champs

2019 rankings: 6th in total offense (379.2 yards per game), 17th in total defense (349.6)

Biggest offseason move: The signing of QB Patrick Mahomes to a 10-year contract

Breakdown: The Chiefs offense will remain a major problem for the rest of the league as long as Mahomes is healthy. The defense isn't special, but there are enough playmakers to keep things under control and let the offense win games.

2. BALTIMORE RAVENS

2019 record: 14-2, lost in division playoffs

2019 rankings: 2nd in total offense (407.6), 4th in total defense (300.6)

Biggest offseason move: Getting Calais Campbell in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars should provide a big boost for the defense

Breakdown: The Ravens' devastating running game only got better in the offseason with the draft selection of Ohio Sate star J.K. Dobbins, though the playoff meltdown against Tennessee was a bit troublesome.

3. BUFFALO BILLS

2019 record: 10-6, lost in the wild-card playoffs

2019 rankings: 24th in total offense (330.2), 3rd in total defense (298.3)

Biggest offseason move: Trading a first-round pick to acquire WR Stefon Diggs from Minnesota

Breakdown: This truly has to be the year for the Bills to replace New England atop the AFC East. This is a team that's talented and deep, though it's vital for QB Josh Allen to take the next step and stay healthy because the backup spot is a mess.

4. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

2019 record: 7-9, no playoffs

2019 rankings: 25th in total offense (327.4), 16th in total defense (346.8)

Biggest offseason move: Signing QB Philip Rivers as a free agent

Breakdown: The Colts long had a franchise QB with Andrew Luck but no offensive line to protect him. Then they put together a great offensive line, but Luck retired. Now they have both elements and we expect Rivers to thrive after years of playing behind a mediocre Chargers line.

5. PITTSBURGH STEELERS

2019 record: 8-8, no playoffs

2019 rankings: 30th in total offense (276.8), 5th in total defense (304.1)

Biggest offseason move: Re-signed LB Bud Dupree after tagging him as a franchise player

Breakdown: The truth is no personnel move for the Steelers was going to be or could ever be as significant as simply Ben Roethlisberger coming back to guide the offense. The Steelers have a Super Bowl-caliber defense and just need their offense to be solid, which it wasn't last year after Big Ben was sidelined.

6. HOUSTON TEXANS

2019 record: 9-7, lost in the divisional playoffs

2019 rankings: 2nd in total offense (407.6), 28th in total defense (388.3)

Biggest offseason move: Trading WR DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals

Breakdown: That we have the Texans ranked this high is a testament to the respect we have for QB Deshaun Watson. It will be interesting to see if he can maintain his level of play after that abomination of a trade.

7. TENNESSEE TITANS

2019 record: 9-7, lost in AFC Championship Game

2019 rankings: 2nd in total offense (407.6), 21st in total defense (359.5)

Biggest offseason move: Re-signing free agent RB Derrick Henry

Breakdown: It might look strange to put Tennessee only seventh after the Titans reached the AFC Championship Game, but the reality is we have a hard time seeing either Henry or Ryan Tannehill duplicating their 2019 performances and the Titans also lost three key players in the offseason in tackle Jack Conklin, defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and cornerback Logan Ryan.

8. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

2019 record: 12-4, lost in divisional playoffs

2019 rankings: 15th in total offense (354.0), 1st in total defense (275.9)

Biggest offseason move: Signing QB Cam Newton to replace Tom Brady

Breakdown: We're not the first to say it's always going to be a mistake to underestimate the Patriots as long as Bill Belichick is the coach, but this is a team that's taken a lot of hits. You can talk about Brady all you want, but the real damage was at linebacker, where four key contributors are gone, including Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts going to Miami via free agency and Dont'a Hightower opting out.

9. DENVER BRONCOS

2019 record: 7-9, no playoffs

2019 rankings: 28th in total offense (298.6), 12th in total defense (337.0)

Biggest offseason move: Selecting WR Jerry Jeudy in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft

Breakdown: The Broncos sure look like a trendy pick after they went 4-1 with 2019 rookie Drew Lock at quarterback. But Lock still has to prove he can do it over a full season.

10. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

2019 record: 5-11, no playoffs

2019 rankings: 10th in total offense (367.4), 6th in total defense (313.1)

Biggest offseason move: Letting QB Philip Rivers leave as a free agent

Breakdown: With Rivers gone after 14 seasons as the team's starting quarterback, the Chargers suddenly have a big question mark at the position whether it's Tyrod Taylor or rookie Justin Herbert who starts. But that defense could be one of the best in the league.

11. CLEVELAND BROWNS

2019 record: 6-10, no playoffs

2019 rankings: 22nd in total offense (340.9), 22nd in total defense (361.6)

Biggest offseason move: Hiring Kevin Stefanski as head coach

Breakdown: Remember how the Browns were such a chic pick at this time last year. Well, it certainly didn't pan out that way because Freddie Kitchens was in over his head as a head coach and because people suddenly decided that Baker Mayfield was this great quarterback. For the Browns to contend this year, Mayfield had to make significant improvement, but there is a lot of talent on this roster.

12. MIAMI DOLPHINS

2019 record: 5-11, no playoffs

2019 rankings: 27th in total offense (310.0), 30th in total defense (397.8)

Biggest offseason move: Selecting QB Tua Tagovailoa in the 2020 NFL draft

Breakdown: Whether Tagovailoa plays a down or starts the whole season, the Dolphins clearly should be a better team in 2020 because they have better talent everywhere on the roster. But the question is whether that will translate into many more victories.

13. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

2019 record: 7-9, no playoffs

2019 rankings: 7th in total offense (374.9), 13th in total defense (339.6)

Biggest offseason move: Selecting WR Henry Ruggs III in the 2020 NFL draft

Breakdown: The Raiders are a hard team to peg because there is offensive talent there, but the defense doesn't seem like it will be good enough. There's also a reason the Raiders were 1-5 down the stretch after putting themselves in playoff contention.

14. CINCINNATI BENGALS

2019 record: 2-14, no playoffs

2019 rankings: 26th in total offense (323.1), 29th in total defense (393.7)

Biggest offseason move: Selected QB Joe Burrow in the 2020 NFL draft

Breakdown: If nothing else, the Bengals should be fun to watch this season because of Burrow. There is an awful lot of talent around him on offense, so this team should make a move this season.

15. NEW YORK JETS

2019 record: 7-9, no playoffs

2019 rankings: 32nd in total offense (273.0), 7th in total defense (323.1)

Biggest offseason move: Trading S Jamal Adams to Seattle for a package including two first-round picks

Breakdown: This should be a make-or-break season for Adam Gase in New York, and the Adams is not going to help him this year. With Adams, the Jets had the makings of a dominant defense with the return of linebackers C.J. Mosley and Avery Williamson from injury. The biggest question mark, though, is whether Gase can get Sam Darnold and Le'Veon Bell going.

16. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

2019 record: 6-10, no playoffs

2019 rankings: 20th in total offense (341.8), 24th in total defense (375.4)

Biggest offseason move: Trading DE Calais Campbell to Baltimore

Breakdown: The Jaguars clearly are in rebuilding mode after trading not only Campbell, but also CB A.J. Bouye and QB Nick Foles in the offseason. Leonard Fournette and Yannick Ngakoue are still around after trade rumors swirled around them all offseason, but this is team that appears headed for a rough year.

Comments (6)
No. 1-2
KimFitz
KimFitz

This is a great article. I love seeing where every team ranked and it's hard to believe how high the Chargers ranked in both O and D while having only 5 wins. It's also great seeing the Jets O rank lower than ours - and I cant wait til Gase gets fired so I can finally heal from all the resentments I have towards him, but it's kinda difficult to heal with him in our division; esp, after watching what happened with Adams. It brings back the Landry and Ajayi drama. I know, I sound like a broken record with this guy. And I do need to get over it already!!

palmbeachdolphin
palmbeachdolphin

As long as the Jets are bad I really don't care. Gase is an idiot but the Jets are morons for hiring him! Hahahahaha!


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