NFL Power Rankings Post-Super Bowl: Tampa Bay wins it all

Our post-Super Bowl NFL Power Rankings look at the best teams in the league after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. How do all 32 NFL teams stack up? Let’s dive in following Super Bowl 55.

NFL Power Rankings, Post-Super Bowl | 32-21

As you read through these NFL Power Rankings, remember that they are not predictions. These are simply a list of how good each team is right this minute. Here’s how all 32 teams rank in my post-Super Bowl NFL Power Rankings — including the best teams at the bottom of this page.

32) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15)

After losing 15 games in a row and being outscored by 186 points, it became obvious that Jacksonville was the NFL’s worst team in 2020. On a yards per play basis, Jacksonville had the NFL’s worst defense, and they were one of only two teams to average less than a full yard per offensive snap than they gave up on defense.

But for those terrible results, the Jaguars have earned the right to draft Trevor Lawrence, and they also have a new head coach in Urban Meyer.

31) Cincinnati Bengals (4-11-1)

Joe Burrow’s rookie tape was impressive, and the Bengals have their franchise quarterback, but Burrow’s season was cut too short. Cincinnati absolutely must do a better job of protecting him. Plus, only the Jets’ offense was worse on a yards per play basis, and their 6.1 yards allowed per play was also near the bottom of the league.

In the end, Cincinnati finished with a 4-11-1 record and a -113-point differential. 

30) Detroit Lions (5-11)

The Lions lost their last four regular season games and six of their last seven to finish the season 5-11. They had the worst scoring differential of any team in the NFC by a wide margin and the NFL’s worst defense in yards per play allowed.

Dan Campbell takes over, and Matthew Stafford has already been shipped out in return for Jared Goff and draft capital.

29) New York Jets (2-14) 

The Jets only won two games this year and had the NFL’s worst point differential, but they certainly improved down the stretch, and now Robert Saleh takes over the controls in New York. Their offense averaged the fewest yards per play by a wide margin in 2020. 

28) Carolina Panthers (5-11)

The Panthers finished Matt Rhule’s first season at 5-11 and gave up 52 more points than they allowed, but overall, this season should be considered a success and a building block for things to come. Somewhat surprisingly, the Panthers produced as many yards per play as their defense allowed.

27) Houston Texans (4-12)

The Texans’ 4-12 record earned Houston the third pick in the draft, but that selection belongs to the Dolphins. Deshaun Watson threw for more yardage than any quarterback in football last year, and this might shock you, but Houston led the NFL in average yards per play. But will Watson return next year?

And the Texans had the league’s third-worst yards allowed per play on defense. David Culley is Houston’s new head coach and has a massive challenge on his hands. 

26) Philadelphia Eagles(4-10-1)

The Eagles record in 2020 was 4-11-1, and they were outscored by 84 points. Philadelphia made a coaching change, and now it is Nick Sirianni’s job to get this operation turned around. Philadelphia’s five yards per play was better than just three offenses. 

25) Denver Broncos (5-11)

The Broncos lost their final three games to finish the 2020 season at 5-11. They also won just one game in their division, which is quite concerning. They were without Courtland Sutton and Von Miller for pretty much the entire year, but still, this was a team that scored 123 fewer points than they gave up. 

The Broncos come in 25th in my post-Super Bowl NFL Power Rankings.

24) Atlanta Falcons (4-12)

The eyeball test week to week showed that this was better than a 4-12 team and their point differential was only -18. Yet, that is where Atlanta inevitably finished the 2020 season.

Their defense also allowed 6.2 yards per play — only Detroit and Jacksonville were worse. Arthur Smith is Atlanta’s new head coach, and the Falcons have the makings of an excellent offense under Smith. The Falcons now own the fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft.

23) New England Patriots (7-9)

In the end, the Patriots finished the season 7-9 despite having one of the NFL’s worst rosters. But Bill Belichick’s team gave up a full half yard per play more than they produced on offense. 

22) San Francisco 49ers (6-10)

This was just a brutal season for San Francisco with injuries, but they should be next year’s hot pick for “worst-to-first” after finishing 6-10 the year after going to the Super Bowl. But the Niners did only allow 14 more points than they allowed. Even more encouraging, San Francisco’s +.7 yards per play differential was bettered by only four teams. 

21) Dallas Cowboys (6-10)

The 6-10 Cowboys did improve from early in the year and won three of their last four games. Clearly, they improved as the season went along. But the Cowboys were outscored by 78 points and were without Dak Prescott for most of the season. 

NFL Power Rankings, Post-Super Bowl | 20-11

We kick off the top 20 of these post-Super Bowl NFL Power Rankings with the New York Giants. Let’s continue our march as we count down to the best teams in the NFL after the end of the season.

20) New York Giants (6-10)

New York was amazingly in the playoff hunt until the end and finished the season with six wins but a point differential of -77. They were without Saquon Barkley for almost the entirety of the season and averaged fewer yards per play than all but three teams. 

19) Washington Football Team (7-9)

The Football Team went to the playoffs despite a 7-9 record but did have a positive point differential. Their 4.9 yards per play was the second-worst in football. Still, that ended up being good enough to win the putrid NFC East. However, Washington was the Buccaneers’ first victim in the postseason, though. 

18) Minnesota Vikings (7-9)

The Vikings finished their rollercoaster season at 7-9 and gave up 45 more points than they scored. This might come as a shock, but the Vikings’ 6.2 yards per play on offense was the fourth-best in the league. Yet, they allowed 6.1 yards per play on defense — only four defenses were worse. 

17) Las Vegas Raiders (8-8)

Vegas finished their season at .500 but were -44 in point differential. This defense that gave up six yards per play still needs an awful lot of work. Will it be Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota behind center for the Raiders in 2021?

16) Los Angeles Chargers (7-9)

Los Angeles finished one game under .500 and were outscored by 42 points. The Chargers did win four in a row to complete their year, and there is a lot to work with here, namely Justin Herbert, going forward for new head coach Brandon Staley. 

The Chargers come in 16th in my post-Super Bowl NFL Power Rankings.

15) Arizona Cardinals (8-8)

Arizona finished the season at .500 but did score 43 more points than they gave up. On a positive note, the Cardinals produced .4 more yards per play than they allowed. Still, it could be argued that this is the fourth-best team in the NFC West when we get to opening day in 2021. 

14) Chicago Bears (8-8)

The Bears went to the playoffs but were quickly eliminated in New Orleans. They won eight games in the regular season and scored just two more points than they allowed. They only averaged 5.1 yards per offensive play and were -.3 in yards per play differential, which was 22nd in the league. 

13) Miami Dolphins (10-6)

The Dolphins are very much trending in the right direction. They won 10 games this year and outscored their opponents by 66 points.

Related | 2020 NFL All-Pro Team: Defense

What is really worrisome is that Miami’s defense allowed .6 more yards per snap than the Dolphins offense produced. Only four teams were worse in yards per play differential. 

12) Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)

The Steelers once-promising season ended in ugly fashion at home against the Browns in the Wild Card round. At one point, the Steelers were 11-0 but finished the year at 12-4. They scored 104 more points than they allowed and had one of the NFL’s best defenses. However, their 5.2 yards per offensive play was amongst the worst in the league. 

11) Cleveland Browns (11-5)

The Browns went to the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and beat the Steelers in the first round before falling in Kansas City in the postseason’s Divisional Round. Cleveland won 11 games in the regular season but had a negative point differential. 

Teams ranked 10-6

We’re getting closer to the top five best teams in the NFL post-Super Bowl Power Rankings but first, let’s take a look at who is ranked 10-6. We begin with the Colts.

10) Indianapolis Colts (11-5)

Indianapolis won 11 games last year and boasted a +89-point differential. The Colts season ended in Buffalo with a 27-24 loss in the Wild Card round, but while they have a solid foundation, Indianapolis is currently without a starting quarterback.

9) Tennessee Titans (11-5)

The Titans won the AFC South with an 11-5 record, but Tennessee couldn’t get past the Ravens in the first round of the playoffs. They lost just one game in the AFC South this year, and their 6.1 yards per offensive play was amongst the NFL’s best.

Related | 2020 NFL All-Pro Team: Offense

Derrick Henry won his second straight rushing title and went over 2,000 rushing yards for the year, but this offense could lose some key pieces (including Arthur Smith, who is already the head coach of the Falcons) this offseason. 

8) Seattle Seahawks (12-4)

Seattle finished 12-4 for the season and won their final four games of the regular season. They were the NFC West champions, and only three teams in the NFC had a better point differential, but the Rams knocked them off in the first round of the playoffs, and the offense wasn’t nearly as potent late in the year. 

7) Baltimore Ravens (11-5)

After beating Tennessee in the first round of the playoffs, the Ravens were dismissed by Buffalo in the Divisional Round. Baltimore finished the regular season on a five-game winning streak, an 11-5 record, and the NFL’s best point differential.

Nonetheless, a lot of questions remain concerning the Ravens’ passing game and their style of offense. 

6) New Orleans Saints (12-4)

In the playoffs, New Orleans beat the Bears then lost to Tampa Bay in the second round. The 12-win Saints also didn’t lose a game in the NFC South in 2020 and had the NFC’s best point differential.

On the other hand, this is the NFL’s most cash-strapped team and likely will be without Drew Brees. 

The top 5 NFL teams

We kick off the top five of these NFL post-Super Bowl Power Rankings with the Rams along with the other four best teams in the league.

5) Los Angeles Rams (10-6)

The Rams won their first playoff game but couldn’t keep up with Green Bay the following week. During the regular season, Los Angeles scored 76 more points than they allowed and had the league’s second-best yards per play differential.

The Rams certainly didn’t sit on their hands, trading Jared Goff and serious draft capital to Detroit for Matthew Stafford. 

4) Green Bay Packers (13-3)

The Packers won six in a row to finish the regular season to get a bye week for the playoffs. They beat the Rams in the postseason before falling to Tampa Bay in the NFC Championship.

The Packers lost just one game in the NFC North and clearly look like the class of that division. They have won 13 games in both of Matt LaFleur’s as head coach and boasted a +140-point differential in 2020. Only two offenses averaged more yards per play than Green Bay. 

3) Buffalo Bills (13-3)

This was an extremely successful season for the Bills, who made it to the AFC Championship Game in which they fell short in Kansas City. Josh Allen made massive strides in his development from a year ago as Buffalo’s offense averaged six yards per play.

During the regular season, the Bills won 13 games with a +126-point differential. Buffalo also was undefeated in the AFC East, and this looks like their division going forward. 

2) Kansas City Chiefs (14-2)

Kansas City finished the regular season with a 14-2 record, and their Week 17 loss was of no consequence as the Chiefs had a bye week in the playoffs wrapped up. They outscored their opponents by 111 points. Kansas City’s 6.4 yards per play was the best in the league. This is a tremendous football team that didn’t play their best on Super Bowl Sunday with such a lopsided result that no one saw coming.

1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5)

Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their Super Bowl victory was extremely impressive, especially from a physicality and efficiency standpoint. During the regular season, Tampa Bay won 11 games and produced 137 more points than they gave up. Needless to say, the Tom Brady experiment was a very successful one for the Buccaneers, who averaged six yards per play in 2020 and had the NFL’s best yards per play differential. They were very deserved champions.

Matt Williamson is a Senior NFL Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @WilliamsonNFL.

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