NFL power rankings: You might be surprised where Detroit Lions rank

Detroit Free Press

The 2020 NFL season will begin Thursday, and the Detroit Lions open their season on Sunday. Here’s where all 32 teams rank to start the campaign: 

1. Chiefs

As long as Patrick Mahomes stays healthy, the Chiefs will be the favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champs.

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2. Ravens

Gutsy call by an AFC favorite to release starting safety Earl Thomas last month, but the Ravens are still an easy choice at No. 2.

3. 49ers

The 49ers play in the toughest division football, which could cost them playoff seeding. But as the defending NFC champs, they deserve to open the season No. 3 on this list.

4. Saints

The Alvin Kamara contract extension was a must to keep this offense functioning at an elite level.

5. Seahawks

Adding Jamal Adams to an already-good defense makes Seattle a legit Super Bowl contender. 

6. Cowboys

My hunch is Dallas will be a good team this year. That Week 1 game in Los Angeles against the Rams will prove it right or wrong real quick.

7. Titans

I’m still not buying the Ryan Tannehill rebirth, but Tennessee’s defense has to count for something.

8. Vikings

They lost run-stuffer Michael Pierce to a COVID-19 opt-out, but added one of the NFL’s best pass rushers in Yannick Ngakoue.

9. Buccaneers

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski one spot ahead of Bill Belichick.

10. Patriots

Yes, Cam Newton is going to have a big year in New England.

11. Bills

So tempted to pick Buffalo to win the AFC East, but, you know, it’s the Bills.

12. Eagles

If I had any faith in Carson Wentz staying healthy, the Eagles would be higher on this list. 

13. Packers

One day everyone will realize how tragic it was that the Packers let the offensive talent languish around Aaron Rodgers for the better part of a decade.

14. Colts

If Philip Rivers has anything left in his arm, the Colts will make the playoffs.

15. Texans

They have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and so little at the other offensive skill positions.

16. Cardinals

Can Kyler Murray do what Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson did in their second seasons and will his team to the playoffs?

17. Rams

So many people overlook this Rams team that might have solved its running back woes by drafting Cam Akers.

18. Lions

I think the Lions have a legitimate shot to make the playoffs this year, but I can’t put them any higher on this list based off last season’s failures.

19. Browns

The new, low-key Baker Mayfield has me thinking he’s headed for a nice bounce-back year.

20. Bears

So Nick Foles takes over as starting quarterback in Week 2, right?

21. Raiders

With a favorable second-half schedule, don’t sleep on the Raiders as a playoff contender in their first season in Vegas.

22. Steelers

It feels weird starting the Steelers so low, but until Big Ben proves he has something left, this is where they belong.

23. Chargers

The Chargers have their bye in Week 10, or about the same time Justin Herbert will be ready to take over as starter.

24. Falcons

Their quarterback is 35, their No. 1 receiver is 31, and their best running back has the knees of a 40-year-old.

25. Broncos

A lot of people think Drew Lock could be this year’s breakout quarterback. If that’s the case, the Broncos will finish a lot higher on this list.

26. Dolphins

The fact that Tua Tagovailoa has his own documentary has convinced me that the Lions made the right choice to pass on him in the draft.

27. Giants

I’m going over 1,250 yards rushing for Saquon Barkley this fall.

28. Bengals

Four first-round quarterbacks and Joe Burrow is the only one getting the starting nod in Week 1.

29. Jets

There are four truly bad teams in the NFL this year, and the Jets might be the most dysfunctional of all.

30. Washington

How long till the NFL forces Daniel Snyder to sell the team?

31. Panthers

Carolina won’t be very good this season. But at home, in Week 1, with no film to go on, they might be sneaky competitive Sunday vs. the Raiders.

32. Jaguars

Do Jaguars fans care more about Sunday’s season opener against the Colts, or how their future quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, does Saturday in his opener against Wake Forest? 

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Lions content. 

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