The Kansas City Chiefs open 2020 as Super Bowl favorites, but who follows them, and which tier does your team fall into?
Below, I have every NFL team, sorted into five different categories. Along with each team is their projected record. Let us know in the comments section how you would have done things differently!
Super Bowl Favorites:
Kansas City Chiefs (13-3): I almost always lean towards a team not repeating as Super Bowl champs, but I just have to with the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes, on his new deal, is easily leading the most talented team in the NFL.
New Orleans Saints (13-3): The Saints have all the pieces to win the Super Bowl, but they have for quite a few years as well. They need to put it all together before Drew Brees retires, which is coming soon.
Baltimore Ravens (12-4): I'm very interested to see how Lamar Jackson does in his second year. He will obviously be facing very different defenses from the ones he saw his rookie year. Also, can his style lead to playoff success?
Seattle Seahawks (12-4): As long as Russell Wilson is at the helm, the Seahawks will contend for the Super Bowl. They weren't great last year, but have added a few pieces. Seattle is a darkhorse (kind of) to win it all in 2020.
San Francisco 49ers (11-5): I really don't think that there is much denying that the 49ers played above themselves last year. They will regress, and are stuck in a very tough division, but should still be a playoff team and Super Bowl contender.
Dallas Cowboys (10-6): The Cowboys offense will be one of the league's best next year. It will be interesting to see how new head coach Mike McCarthy fits with this star studded team.
New England Patriots (10-6): I know it might sound crazy, but for the offense the 2020 Patriots will have, Cam Newton is a better fit than Tom Brady. Losing pieces on the defense hurts, but as long as Bill Belichick is there, the Pats will contend.
Minnesota Vikings (11-5): You know the Vikings defense is going to be good. In terms of their offense, anything can happen. They could be a Super Bowl contender, but they could also miss the playoffs.
Green Bay Packers (10-6): Aaron Rodgers is going to come out of the gate with a fire under his belt, but this team doesn't have enough depth. Aaron Jones and Davante Adams are excellent players, but beyond them this team struggles.
Philadelphia Eagles (9-7): Jalen Reagor's importance to the Eagles cannot be understated. If he can lift this offense, the Eagles will be no doubt contenders. The problem is their offense was pretty poor last season so that might be tough.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7): Let's calm down the hype a bit. Tom Brady is 43, and really wasn't all that great last year. Gronk hasn't played in over a year. The Bucs will be good, but not as good as people think.
Fringe Playoff Teams:
Buffalo Bills (9-7): The Bills were AFC East favorites before Cam Newton, but they were never really Super Bowl contenders. They have an elite defense though, and their offense added Stefon Diggs and Zack Moss, so there is room for optimism.
Tennessee Titans (9-7): Absolutely everything went right for Tennessee in 2019. They will be competitive in 2020, but the Titans have already said that Derrick Henry will get less touches. That means a worse offense.
Arizona Cardinals (8-8): The Cardinals have all the pieces to have a very good offense. Their defense is another story, and they are in a very difficult division. They still should be competitive for the playoffs though.
Indianapolis Colts (9-7): The Colts added a ton of pieces. Phillip Rivers, Michael Pittman, and Jonathan Taylor join this offense, but probably the biggest move was trading for DeForest Buckner. The Colts are going to be an above average team.
Denver Broncos (8-8): As much as Broncos fans want to think so, Drew Lock is still largely unproven. He does have a ton of talent to help him out on offense though. Denver could easily earn a playoff berth with this defense if Lock plays well.
Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7): I think people should be a little more concerned about Roethlisberger returning from injury than they are. James Connor is also a big question mark. If they put it together though, the Steelers will be competitive.
Houston Texans (8-8): There are a lot of questions surrounding the Texans this year. Is David Johnson healthy? Does Bill O'Brien have command of his team? How far can Deshaun Wastson carry them?
Los Angeles Rams (8-8): It's pretty shocking that the Rams were in the Super Bowl just two years ago. They've lost Todd Gurley, their defense has become very average, and they are in the toughest division in the NFL.
Cleveland Browns (7-9): This is a make or break year for Baker Mayfield. He's got loads of talent on offense, an improved offensive line, and a very easy schedule. He does have a new head coach, but there are no excuses for Mayfield anymore.
Detroit Lions (8-8): The fact is, with Matthew Stafford healthy, the Lions have a very strong offense. Their defense was pretty horrendous last season, but a few additions, like third overall pick Jeff Okudah should help.
Not so great:
Atlanta Falcons (6-10): The Falcons ended last season on a positive note, and added Dante Fowler and Todd Gurley from the Rams, but this just doesn't feel like a team that could contend. It could happen, but then again, why didn't it last year?
New York Jets (6-10): The Jets top two picks were Mekhi Becton (OL), and Denzel Mims (WR). They are clearly putting a focus on helping Sam Darnold out. Like Mayfield, it is now Darnold's turn to prove he is the QB of the future.
Chicago Bears (6-10): Nick Foles is definitely better than Mitch Trubisky, but at the same time he is by no means the fix for Chicago. The Bears are going to need their defense to absolutely carry them, and that still might not be enough.
Las Vegas Raiders (5-11): Looking at the Raiders roster, they have the high end talent to compete for the playoffs. But is Derek Carr really the guy to get them there? In addition, beyond those star players, they really don't have much.
New York Giants (5-11): The Giants have put the pieces together to have a strong offense. But last year it wasn't their offense that let them down. Sure, they weren't great, but this defense was horrendous and it will be again in 2020.
Los Angeles Chargers (5-11): Even with the Chargers talent on offense, they finished just 21st in points per game last year. Now they have Tyrod Taylor at QB. They couldn't seem to win close games, and
Miami Dolphins (4-12): The Dolphins are wisely building up pieces around Tua Tagovailoa, but they are not going to be good in 2020. They had 2019's worst defense, and failed to score 20 ppg. That is ugly.
Cincinnati Bengals (4-12): This Bengals offense has a bright future (Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Tee Higgins, etc.), but this team is going to be abysmal in 2020. Hopefully for them, they will get another top three draft pick.
Carolina Panthers (5-11): The Panthers used all their picks this past draft on defense in an effort to improve that group for the future. Their next step will be finding their QB of the future in the 2021 draft.
Washington Football Team (3-13): Dwayne Haskins is not the quarterback Washington seems to think he is. I don't think he will ever be a consistent NFLer. This team has a long way to go to contention.
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13): It's pretty crazy to think the Jags were in the AFC title game just a few years ago. Now they might just be the league's worst team. Like the Panthers, they will be looking for that franchise QB in the 2021 draft.