NFL power rankings: Chiefs remain clear favorites in AFC
Behind the prowess of Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, it’s hard to look beyond the Kansas City Chiefs for next season’s NFL power rankings.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars
This is a rebuilding year in Duval. If Gardner Minshew proves he’s the long-term solution, it’s a successful campaign for the Jaguars.
15. New York Jets
The Jets are a complete mess. It’s tough seeing Adam Gase as the answer at head coach, and now the defense is without C.J. Mosley (COVID opt out) and Jamal Adams (trade). Just a brutal situation.
14. Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati is going to be fun behind Joe Burrow and a cast of solid weapons. The problem is a defense which could allow 30 points per game.
13. Miami Dolphins
Miami is undoubtedly trending in the right direction. However, the Dolphins have a young team and ample free-agent additions who didn’t have the proper offseason to gel. Could be a tough start.
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12. Las Vegas Raiders
Much like the Bengals, the Raiders should score plenty of points. The issue is going to be playing in a very good division without anybody who can cover at a Pro Bowl level. It’s a tall order.
11. Los Angeles Chargers
If the Chargers were going to get good quarterback play, pencil them in for the playoffs. While the defense looks loaded, the offense will sputter if Tyrod Taylor doesn’t have a career year and then some.
10. Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson is the only reason Houston is this high on the list. You could make a compelling argument no decent team got worse this offseason.
9. Cleveland Browns
Hard to go higher than this with the Browns. Cleveland has talent all over the offense and a new head coach in Kevin Stefanski. Prove-it time for Baker Mayfield.
8. Denver Broncos
Denver is similar to the Raiders and Bengals, but with a much better defense. The weapons are excellent. The question for the Broncos is whether Drew Lock is capable of a playoff run.
7. New England Patriots
The NFL power rankings don’t look as good for the Pats this year. If Cam Newton is healthy, the Patriots will contend for a playoff spot. If not, they’ll have a top-10 pick.
6. Indianapolis Colts
Philip Rivers needs to find one more quality year in his satchel. If Rivers can do so, the Colts have enough talent to compete for the AFC South crown.
5. Tennessee Titans
Can Ryan Tannehill be good again, and will Derrick Henry lead the league in rushing? Tennessee needs both answers to be in the affirmative.
4. Buffalo Bills
If Josh Allen takes a step forward, look out.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have a ton of talent, but the entire seasons riding on whether Ben Roethlisberger’s elbow can hold up for another season.
2. Baltimore Ravens
The loss of Earl Thomas is going to sting, but the rest of the unit remains strong and the running game is absurd. It’s all about January.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. Good luck