Well, that was fast. We’re almost halfway through the 2020 NFL season, and the true contenders seem to be rising to the top. The Pittsburgh Steelers are now the only undefeated team left in the league, but the Kansas City Chiefs are hot on their trail. As for the New York Jets, well, you’ll be scrolling for a while to reach that sorry bunch. Here are our NFL power rankings as we approach Week 8:
1 — Pittsburgh Steelers (6-0)
The Chiefs might be the Super Bowl favorites at the moment, but the Steelers are the only team left with a zero in the loss column. Until that changes, Pittsburgh has to hold the No. 1 spot. The Steelers will have a chance to prove they belong there when they meet the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8.
2 — Kansas City Chiefs (6-1)
The Chiefs are the reigning Super Bowl champs, and they somehow have a more impressive roster now than they did a year ago. If it wasn’t for a puzzling loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5, Kansas City would be No. 1 going away.
3 — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-2)
The Buccaneers already have two losses, but boy do they look like a juggernaut right now. Tom Brady is looking better every game, and Antonio Brown is set to join the already-lethal offense next week. Good luck, NFC.
4 — Green Bay Packers (5-1)
The Packers served up a dud against the Buccaneers last Sunday, but they got their groove back this week against a reeling Texans team. Aaron Rodgers looks rejuvenated this season, and no defense will want to face the future Hall of Famer come playoff time.
5 — Baltimore Ravens (5-1)
The Ravens failed their only true test this season against the Chiefs. Baltimore was never in that game from the opening kick. They’ve handled business against the bottom-dwellers, but they have to beat a legitimate contender before being called one themselves.
6 — Tennessee Titans (5-1)
Tennessee suffered its first loss of the season in Week 7 against the Steelers. Like the Ravens, the Titans haven’t been tested too much thus far, but Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry have been impressive to start the year.
7 — Seattle Seahawks (5-1)
Russell Wilson and company have escaped close finishes all season, and they finally fell short in the end against the Cardinals in Week 7. Wilson makes the Seahawks a Super Bowl contender every year, but their defense needs some serious improvement going forward.
8 — LA Rams (5-2)
The Rams could easily be 6-1 if a pass interference call goes their way against the Bills. LA has been solid on both sides of the ball for most of the year, but they’ll only go as far as Jared Goff can take them.
9 — Arizona Cardinals (5-2)
Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins make up one of the most exciting offensive duos in the NFL. The defense can’t stop a runny nose, but Arizona has the weapons to win shootouts all season.
10 — Buffalo Bills (5-2)
The Bills have struggled a bit since their 4-0 start. Josh Allen no longer looks like the MVP candidate he once was, and the defense isn’t what it used to be in years past. Still, Buffalo should cruise to an AFC East title and find itself in the postseason for the second straight year.
11 — Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
Besides a shocking loss to the Jaguars to open the season, the Colts have looked like a playoff team all season. If Philip Rivers can limit his turnovers and rely on his defense, Indianapolis can challenge Tennessee for the AFC South.
12 — San Francisco 49ers (4-3)
Talk about a Super Bowl hangover. The 49ers started the 2020 season 2-3 and were ravaged by injuries along the way, but San Francisco is back to looking like their old selves.
13 — New Orleans Saints (4-2)
What the heck is going on with Michael Thomas? The Saints have dearly missed the All-Pro wide receiver in the passing game, but once he returns they should be back to playing like the Super Bowl contender once were.
14 — Cleveland Browns (5-2)
The Browns are off to their best start since 1994. They’ll have to continue the rest of the way without star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., but they can ride their defense and running game to a playoff appearance.
15 — Chicago Bears (5-2)
The Bears are a 5-2 team on paper, but they’ve looked more like a 3-3 group this season. Neither Mitch Trubisky nor Nick Foles can get the offense going, which isn’t good news for the brutal schedule they have in the next few weeks.
On the outside looking in
16 — Las Vegas Raiders (3-3)
The Raiders have been up and down all season. It’s hard to pinpoint who they are as a team week-to-week, so we’ll put them right in the middle at No. 16.
17 — Carolina Panthers (3-4)
Matt Rhule has led the Panthers to one of the more surprising starts of the NFL season. Carolina doesn’t have the talent to be considered a true contender, but they’re exceeding expectations so far and get Christian McCaffrey back soon.
18 — New England Patriots (2-4)
Normally, it would be a sin to place the Patriots outside the top 10, but this isn’t the Patriots of years past. Cam Newton looks worse every week, and the defense is finally feeling the effects of all their opt-outs. New England isn’t a playoff team in 2020.
19 — Detroit Lions (3-3)
Detroit is a frisky bunch. They can play almost any team close, but they don’t always finish the job in the end. Matt Stafford might’ve saved the Lions’ season with his late-game heroics on Sunday.
20 — Miami Dolphins (3-3)
It’s finally ‘Tua Time’ in Miami. The Dolphins have won two straight in dominating fashion, and head coach Brian Flores believes now is the time to gun for the AFC East crown. This should be fun.
21 — Philadelphia Eagles (2-4-1)
The Eagles haven’t looked impressive in the slightest this season, but first place is still first place. Hey, maybe Doug Pederson deserves an apology from everyone who crushed him for playing for the tie against the Bengals.
22 — LA Chargers (2-4)
Justin Herbert is the real deal, but it hasn’t translated to many wins in LA just yet. The future is bright for the Chargers with him under center.
23 — Denver Broncos (2-4)
Drew Lock returned to the field on Sunday, but he looked horrible in the snow against the Chiefs. The Broncos just don’t have the talent on either side of the ball to make a playoff push in 2020.
24 — Washington Football Team (2-5)
Somehow, the team with no name is a half-game out of a playoff spot through seven weeks of the season. Don’t be surprised to see Washington go on a run over the next few games.
The ‘Tank for Trevor’ sweepstakes
25 — Minnesota Vikings (1-5)
Everything that could’ve gone wrong for the Vikings has gone wrong in 2020. Kirk Cousins looks miserable. The defense can’t stop anyone. The team is already selling players for future draft picks. Tank for Trevor Lawrence?
26 — Houston Texans (1-6)
Bill O’Brien made one of the worst trades in recent memory when he shipped DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona. Now, he’s out of the league and the Texans are a bottom-dwelling team in 2020.
27 — Cincinnati Bengals (1-5-1)
Joe Burrow has the Bengals playing inspired football, but they just haven’t figured out how to win yet. Cincinnati fans should be encouraged about the future, though.
28 — Atlanta Falcons (1-6)
The Falcons are defying the odds this season, and not in a good way. Atlanta has lost three games this year in which they had better than a 95% chance to win at some point. It’s honestly impressive how they find new ways to lose every week.
29 — Dallas Cowboys (2-5)
From preseason Super Bowl hopes to a possible top-five pick in the 2021 NFL draft, the Cowboys have had a nightmare of a season. Things won’t be getting better any time soon either with Andy Dalton in concussion protocol.
30 — New York Giants (1-6)
The Giants had a chance to put themselves right in the thick of it in the NFC East last Thursday, but their playoff hopes stumbled along with Daniel Jones with nothing but grass in front of him.
31 — Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6)
Remember when the Jaguars were 1-0? Good times, good times. Seven weeks later, Jacksonville has lost six straight and finds itself back in the depths of hopelessness. Sigh.
32 — New York Jets (0-7)
No surprises here. At this point, we’re all just rooting for an 0-16 finish. Don’t let us down, Jets.