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    NFL Power Rankings, Week 1: Who cracks the top 5 to start 2020?

    The 2020 NFL season is set to kick off. Where do all 32 teams stack up? Matt Williamson provides his NFL Power Rankings for Week 1.

    Here is the deal with NFL Power Rankings. They are not predictions. If a team projects to have an easy or difficult schedule ahead of them, that matters not for this exercise. These are very simply a list of how good each team is right this minute. As for these NFL Power Rankings for Week 1, included with all 32 teams is an under the radar, but highly relevant, nugget about each franchise from the 2019 season that most people wouldn’t be aware of.

    Related | NFL Preseason Power Rankings: 2020 Season
    Related | NFL Power Rankings, Week 2: A few new teams land in the top 10
    Related | NFL Power Rankings, Week 3: What team can best overcome injuries?
    Related | NFL Power Rankings, Week 4: Which teams are rising to the top?

    Be sure to check back every Tuesday morning throughout the 2020 regular season. You can visit and bookmark our NFL Power Rankings page for easy access to all of my power rankings throughout the 2020 season. Now, where does your favorite NFL team land on this list heading into Week 1 of the 2020 NFL Season?

    NFL Power Rankings: Week 1

    32) Jacksonville Jaguars

    The Jaguars went into halftime, on average, losing by 5.8 points. That was worst in the league and awfully difficult to overcome.

    31) Carolina Panthers

    Not a lot went well for the Panthers last year, but they did benefit from having penalties go in their favor in 2019. How much? 186 more yards than their opponents.

    30) Miami Dolphins

    In terms of yards per play differential, only the Bengals were worse than Miami. The Dolphins allowed 1.1 yards per play more than they gained in 2019. Cincinnati and Miami were the only two teams worse than -.7 in this category.

    29) New York Jets

    The Jets had a lot of problems last year, especially on offense. But it didn’t help this side of the ball that New York’s average starting field position was the fourth-worst in the league.

    28) Washington Football Team

    Washington’s opponents scored a whopping 169 points more than Washington did in 2019. Only the Dolphins were worse.

    27) New York Giants

    When factoring in the final win/loss percentage of all of New York’s opponents in 2019, the Giants ended up playing the NFL’s easiest schedule…and still only won four games. Eli Manning is gone. Can new head coach Joe Judge and second-year quarterback Daniel Jones get them over that mark this season?

    26) Chicago Bears

    The Bears sack differential was one of the worst in the league last year. Surprisingly, the problem here was more on Chicago’s defense and pass rush, with just 32 sacks.

    25) Cincinnati Bengals

    Not only did the Bengals earn the first overall pick in the draft last year, but they had the worst yards per play differential in the league as well. On a per play basis, Cincinnati’s opponents gained 1.2 yards more than the Bengals offense was able to muster.

    24) Las Vegas Raiders

    The Raiders won seven of their 16 games last year, but only five teams had a worse point differential than the -106 produced by Oakland.

    23) Arizona Cardinals

    Something that Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray will need to work on in year two is possessing the football, which could defensive coordinator Vance Joseph a great deal. Last year, only Washington held the football less.

    22) Cleveland Browns

    One under the radar area in which the Browns defense must improve in on first downs. Only the Raiders were worse, as Cleveland allowed 6.64 yards per play on first downs.

    21) Atlanta Falcons

    When factoring in the final win/loss percentage of all of Atlanta’s opponents in 2019, the Falcons played the second most difficult slate of opponents in the NFL.

    20) Houston Texans

    If you reverse the outcome of all of Houston’s games last year that were decided by one score or less, the Texans would have been a 5-11 team. Instead, they finished 10-6 and won the AFC South. Now, you have to think that Deshaun Watson in great in these situations, but history shows us that it won’t likely be repeatable.

    19) Denver Broncos

    The Broncos offense finished the season ranked 28th in red zone offense. However, their defense was the best in the league.

    18) Detroit Lions

    The Lions offensive line allowed 15 more sacks than their defense generated. Even with inexperienced quarterbacks playing for an injured Matthew Stafford, Detroit’s defense was to blame. The Lions defense had just 28 sacks over their 16 games.

    17) Los Angeles Chargers

    If you reversed the outcome of all the Chargers one-score games last year, they would have been a 12-4 football team, which is rather startling.

    16) New England Patriots

    The Patriots defense was excellent last year, but one (of many) ways this side of the ball helped Tom Brady’s offense was giving New England the league’s best average starting field position.

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