By: Steven Tauro
October 7, 2020
JUST MISSED: The New England Patriots – It is fair to say that Bill Bellichek has made some questionable personell decisions in recent history, but regardless of those choices has still managed to get his team prepared to be a legit team in the AFC. Even without the GOAT himself, Tom Brady, the New England Patriots are a scary team with Cam Newton in the lineup. We saw what the team looked like in Week 4 without him, and we do not want to see that again! If the Patriots had a more talented roster they would be in the Top 10 already.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – I'm sure this team will be argued to be viewed as a legit contender, especially with the inconsistent play to this point, but I think Tampa Bay looks better than what I was expecting coming into the season. The truth is Brady still doesn’t look like old Tom, but he never will. A lot of success in the NFL comes with change and adaptation, day by day, week by week, and so far that team has done that extremely well. Even with an overwhelming amount of injuries to start the year, the Bucs are on top of the NFC South and are looking to continuously get better as the year goes on. If the pick 6’s stop, Tampa may be even higher on the list.
9. Indianapolis Colts – If you looked at this list of teams before the year started and argued that the Colts would be a Top 10 team in the Power Rankings, the only person that would have believed you would have been Louis Areniello and Anthony Sinatra. Offensively and defensively they are clicking! Indy is not as flashy as the Chiefs and they do not have the big names on their defense like the Steelers but are still winning extremely gritty games. The running game with JT, is no joke and that defense is only going to get better, if they can stay healthy. If Phillip Rivers and TY Hilton can get on the same page, there will be two legit threats in the AFC, coming from the South.
8. Los Angeles Rams – If you guys are consistent with tuning in to our podcast, Since the Sandbox – Football & Basketball, I have been saying all offseason that the Rams are legit. Last year the team had a depleted offensive line and an inconsistent run game, which significantly held them back. This team is two years removed from a Super Bowl run and have the same core of guys. The defense can be dominant at times, with two of the best players in football Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, while the offense is pushing on all cylinders. Last week the Rams did have a low scoring game against the Giants, but they have had a sneaky solid defense SO FAR. Lets not forget the Rams put up 29 4th quarter points against a team that is above them in the rankings!
7. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers are back. Do you guys remember around a decade ago the Steelers were pushing for Super Bowls with Leveon Bell and Antonio Brown as offensive studs, while having a TOP 10 defense and great coaching? That team is together with a younger nucleus and they are trying to make some noise in a stacked AFC. Big Ben looks great after overcoming a huge injury in the offseason and with the Ravens and Browns having a 3-1 record through the first 4 games, and the Steelers undefeated, things are just getting good!
6. Tennessee Titans – People doubted this team last year, and the people are still doubting this team. STOP SLEEPING ON THE TITANS! This team may not have the super stars on their roster, but they play more cohesive then a lot of other teams around the league. The Titans offense is an extremely slept on unit and that defense has a lot of young talent that is still learning. If Mike Vrabel can rally his team after the COVID outbreak scare, then I believe Vrabel deserves to have his name in consideration for Coach of the Year.
5. Buffalo Bills – Call me crazy, but the Buffalo Bills are playing like a Top 5 team in all of football. There is still plenty of football to be played and a lot can happen in the course of a couple of weeks, but to this point Buffalo’s QB Josh Allen has taken great strides in an offensive shaped for him, the defense just got Josh Norman healthy to go opposite of Tredavious White, and the team is winning competitive games on the road. The acquisition of Stefon Diggs is really adding a nice vertical touch to the man that can sling it all around the yard. Things will get interesting when the Patrots and Bills get a division matchup.
4. Baltimore Ravens – Listen, I get it. The Ravens NEED to start playing better from behind and beat legitimate contenders, no question! That is the only downfall you can say about this team. For 13 out of 16 games in the course of the season, Baltimore arguably looks like the most dominant team in football. In the offseason, I expressed the same concerns we’re still talking about with this team, but they are still a Top 5 football team. From coaching, to offense, defense, special teams, and discipline they are amongst the best. Im expecting to see the growth to win the big game THIS YEAR.
3. Green Bay Packers - If we go back to the offseason, the Packers were expected to win the NFC North, but I don't think anybody expected them to come out and be a Top 3 team in all of football. There was so much speculation that Rodgers was "declining" and the first round quarterback, Jordan Love, was a huge distraction. The BAD MAN in Aaron Rodgers is here to stay and he's doing it with a depleted offense! The relationship with second year Head Coach, Matt LeFleur, has only flourished and as the year continues I look to see the Packers beat some great teams. Hopefully that defensive unit can stay healthy to keep Green Bay on the top of the Power Rankings.
2. Seattle Seahawks - Once again, the Seattle Seahawks are a team we're talking about as being absolutely dominant, at least offensively. The defense has certainly had their struggles, which may be surprising to some after the Jamal Adams acquisition, but I believe that its still to early to say that will be a horrible unit all year. Adams came in late, Bobby Wagner is still a top linebacker, and Sahquill Griffin is an underrated corner around the league, who should receive a contract extension before the year is over or in the upcoming offseason. The offensive depth for the Hawks is there for all units and I expect the team to score points early and often with DANGER-RUSS at the helm. Maybe this year hell get the respect he deserves and win an MVP.
1. Kansas City Chiefs - The Super Bowl champs worked hard this offseason to keep their team together, which included some lucrative contracts for Patrick Mahomes and Chris Jones. Two of the best players on their team are locked up for the foreseeable future and it is a great direction for the team going forward. Even with a stacked AFC this year the Chiefs are hot, winning their first 4 games beating two top teams in their conference in the Ravens and the Patriots. Obviously the Chiefs forte starts at the Quarterback postion, and then carries over to the rest of the offense, but do not sleep on that Kansas City defense. Steve Spags, former super bowl winning coach with the New York Giants, has that unit playing extremely well and is extremely underappreciated.
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