JetNation Final Power Ranking (All 32) – Jets Analysis
- Kansas City Chiefs (14-2) – The Chiefs rested key starters Sunday and get an additional bye week having secured the top spot in the AFC. They enter the playoffs as the clear favorite to reach the Super Bowl. They have displayed a penchant for playing close games recently. They are likely to be more focused and on point once the playoffs begin. Last Week: 1
- Buffalo Bills (13-3) – The Bills are rising on their way into the post season. On the whole, they are ahead of schedule for contending for the AFC crown. The defense has keyed their ascension to elite status. Last Week: 2
- Green Bay Packers (13-3) – The Packers ensured that the NFC playoffs are going thorough Lambeau Field. You have got to like the Pack’s chances to make the big game given their success at home. Aaron Rodgers is the favorite in the race for MVP. Last Week: 3
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) – Tampa has their offensive machine firing on all cylinders. The injury to Mike Evans is a concern. Antonio Brown has been productive, but it would be a huge loss if Evans misses any time. Last Week: 4
- Seattle Seahawks (12-4) – Sunday was the first time in the last seven weeks that anyone scored 20 or more points against the Seahawks, and the game wasn’t all that meaningful to Seattle. The ground game will need to find some rhythm in the post season for the Seahawks to advance. Russel Wilson is incredible, but the offense needs at least the threat of a run here and there. Last Week: 5
- New Orleans Saints (12-4) – The Saints locked down the #2 seed Sunday and a home date against the Bears, who limp in after getting drubbed by the Packers. Winning after this week will require a healthy Brees and Michael Thomas on the field as well as Alvin Kamara, who is in the Covid protocol. In the absence of any of those three, the Saints stay in the post season will be a short one. Last Week: 6
- Baltimore Ravens (11-5) – The Ravens come into the playoffs on a five-game run and playing their best football of the season. The Ravens were installed as a 3.5-point favorite as the visitors against the Titans. The game pits the league’s top two rushing attacks against each other. Last Week: 7
- Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) – The Steelers enter the post season as the league’s enigma. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Pittsburgh make a super bowl run or get knocked out in the first round. I’m leaning slightly toward the former, though the run game issues don’t bode well for long-term success in the post season. Last Week: 8
- Indianapolis Colts (11-5) – The Colts took care of the Jags to qualify for the playoffs. If not for the melt down in Pittsburgh, the Colts would be riding a five-game win streak into the post-season. Last Week: 10
- Cleveland Browns (11-5) – At long last the Browns will have a playoff game. There will be few surprises as the Browns visit division rival Pittsburgh. It’s somewhat troubling that Cleveland struggled to notch the win Sunday with the Steelers playing without their starting QB. The Browns will need more from their passing game if they are to pull the upset. Last Week: Unranked
- Tennessee Titans (11-5) The Titans edged Houston in a must-win Sunday. The defense hasn’t played well enough to make you think the Titans can replicate last year’s run in the AFC playoffs. The team has to face the surging Ravens and will need to deal with the only rushing attack in the league more potent than their own.
- Los Angeles Rams (10-6) – Quarterback play will determine how far the Rams go in the playoffs. If Goff can play well, the Rams have enough talent to compete with anyone in the league. If he is off, they will be one and done.
- Miami Dolphins (10-6) Miami laid an egg in its finale and missed the playoffs. Despite the disappointing end of the season, the team exceeded expectations, and, with a solid draft, will be a major player in the AFC for years to come.
- Arizona Cardinals (8-8) The Cardinals are the Dolphins of the NFC. They have to be bitterly disappointed about how the year ended, but excited about the future given the way the team has come along. The team needs to find some OL and running game help for Kyler Murray in the offseason.
- Chicago Bears (8-8) The Bears limp into what figures to be a short stay in the playoffs. This team will enter the offseason still in search of a long-term answer at QB. It seems that the Bears are just a signal caller away from possibly being special. Of their eight losses, only two were by more than a TD and a two-point conversion.
- New England Patriots (7-9) There were no tears outside New England when the Pats were eliminated from post season play for the first time in forever. The team enters the offseason as part of the glut of teams trying to figure out who will play QB in 2021. There are glaring needs at WR, OL, and RB as well.
- Washington Football Club (7-9) The team found a way to win one of the weakest divisions in history. If Ron Rivera doesn’t win coach of the year, they should stop awarding the honor. The defense is more than solid. The offseason needs to be focused on how to put some points on the board, so the defense doesn’t spend all day on the field.
- Minnesota Vikings (7-9) The Vikings defense was a disappointment in 2020. The team only held one opponent under 20 points. The team leader in sacks registered just five for the season. They will need to upgrade at all spots in the defensive side to compete next year.
- Las Vegas Raiders (8-8) The Raiders were thinking playoffs for much of the year, but a defense that allowed just under 30 points per game killed the dream. The secondary and the pass rush need a major overhaul in the offseason if the team intends to take a step forward in 2021.
- Los Angeles Chargers (7-9) The future looks bright in LA with the emergence of record-breaking quarterback, Justin Herbert. Herbert set the season record for rookies with 31 touchdown passes on the year. Balance in the running game and the talent in the secondary need to be addressed to improve on the seven wins from 2020.
- San Francisco 49ers (6-10) The Niners need to make a decision on Jimmy G. Does the team ride with Garoppolo or make a move? Whoever the QB is next year, he needs help at WR and on the OL. The defense needs a return to health for Nick Bosa and some additional help in the pass rush.
- New York Giants (6-10) The defensive line was a nice surprise for the Giants in a difficult season. Saquon Barkley’s return will add a boost to the offense, but more consistency is needed from quarterback Daniel Jones. The team may elect to add competition for the position in 2021 as Jones regressed from a promising rookie season.
- Dallas Cowboys (6-10) The offseason story in Dallas will be what it was all last offseason: what about Dak’s contract? The Cowboys should pull the trigger quickly one way or the other, so they can move ahead on their many other areas of need.
- Philadelphia Eagles (4-11-1) One of the few highlights of 2020 was the play of Jalen Hurts. Hurts gives the team flexibility at the quarterback position, though salary cap restrictions may hamper the team’s options with regard to Carson Wentz. Regardless of who lines up at QB, the team has glaring needs at WR and OL, and a major upgrade is needed in the secondary.
- Carolina Panthers (5-11) The Panthers never recovered from an 0-5 start and the loss of Christian McCaffery. Hard to imagine McCaffrey would be so key to the team’s performance since many thought him unable to step in as an every-down back when he came out of college. The defense didn’t have a player reach five sacks on the year, so the rebuild needs to start there.
- Denver Broncos (5-11) The team needs to make a decision on Drew Locke. If he is the man in Denver, he needs to raise his completion percentage from a league’s worst among starting QBs. Upgrading the OL will help Locke or whoever the team decides will start at QB in 2021. The CB position is a glaring weakness that needs to be addressed in the offseason.
- Atlanta Falcons (4-12) The Falcons opened the year losing five straight and finished it losing five straight. There are grumbles about moving on from veteran QB Matt Ryan. It would be a mistake. Ryan can still play, and if the team can find the help is desperately needs on the OL, he will show it in 2021.
- Cincinnati Bengals (4-12) The team had to love what it saw from rookie QB Joe Burrow before he was hurt. If he can recover, and if the team can address the dearth of talent on the OL that got him injured, the Bengals will be fun to watch in 2021.
- Houston Texans (4-12) The Texans are one of the few teams in the league’s basement that does not have a problem at QB. Watson is one of the league’s brightest stars. He needs help at WR, TE, and OL. The defense gave up 29 points per game and has holes everywhere. The team will also need to forget the disastrous trade that sent DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona if they want to rebound in 2021.
- Detroit Lions (5-11) It’s hard to imagine how the team can have so little talent after drafting in the top ten for so many years. Trading Matthew Stafford may be the best way to finally get the rebuild on the right track. He deserves better after playing well for so many years with no chance at winning anything.
- NY Jets (2-14) The Jets, like Detroit, are also to be commended on their ability to maintain a roster with so little talent while picking in the top of the draft year after year. The coach has been sent packing, and the team finds itself in the market for a franchise quarterback. Stop me if you’ve seen this movie before.
Somehow Sam Darnold has more TDs than INTs over his short career despite playing behind a human sieve of an offensive line and throwing to WRs and TEs that would struggle to find roster spots anywhere else. One could argue that amassing 45 TD passes over his 38 games played with the supporting cast he has endured and with the abject lack of imagination from his coaching staff makes Darnold worth keeping. Shouldn’t we at least see what he might do if he could huddle with someone…anyone else that can play the game? It would give the Jets options at #2 in the draft if they committed to Darnold, but the front office may feel like the talent in the draft is too good to pass up.
There are needs literally everywhere on both sides of the ball. The team would do well to take a ‘best player available’ approach to the draft. The salary cap situation is a positive, though it’s hard to imagine the team being able to persuade a big-time talent to sign. The brand is just too toxic right now to see the Jets making a major splash in free agency. The focus has to be on drafting well, and the team has the extra picks to enable it to make some strides in 2021. If they could improve their depth in free agency, and make some solid decisions on draft day, the fans may go into the offseason following 2021 with the historically elusive feeling that things are at least moving in the right direction.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15) The Jags appear poised to draft a franchise quarterback after finding a way to play worse than the Jets in 2020. Whoever plays QB for Jacksonville in 2021 will benefit from being able to hand the ball to rookie RB James Robinson. Robinson was one of the only bright spots on the season. He rushed for over 1,000 yards and caught 49 passes for the year. The defense must be a focus after landing a franchise QB. The team allowed the most points in the league and totaled only 18 sacks and 17 turnovers all season.
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