NFL power rankings after Super Bowl 55: Buccaneers are No. 1, but who's next?
NFL power rankings, 2020 season's final edition (previous rank in parentheses):
1. Buccaneers (6): The newly minted champions became first team to score at least 30 points four times in one postseason, vanquishing three former Super Bowl MVPs (Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes) along the way. Next up ... depending on how the 2021 league schedule falls? QB Tom Brady and, presumably, TE Rob Gronkowski getting a shot at New England and old friend Bill Belichick.
2. Packers (2): They seem fully recommitted to Rodgers, now a three-time league MVP, after a tough loss at Lambeau Field in the NFC title game. But what will GM Brian Gutekunst do to help his QB, who could lose RB Aaron Jones to free agency?
3. Chiefs (1): With a little luck, their decimated offensive line could be restored – perhaps even improved – to its previous Super Bowl 54 level. For Mahomes' sake, it needs to be.
4. Bills (3): Big steps in 2020, winning the AFC East for the first time in a quarter-century and reaching the conference title game. Could a Super Bowl breakthrough be around corner for the Mafia?
5. Rams (13): Since upsetting the Seahawks to reach the divisional round, Los Angeles added QB Matthew Stafford and subtracted a ton of draft capital ... but also Jared Goff's ungodly contract. This team should be legitimate Super Bowl contenders in 2021 and 2022.
55 THINGS WE LEARNED:From Buccaneers' victory against Chiefs in Super Bowl 55
FIVE QUESTIONS:Facing Super Bowl 55 champion Buccaneers in 2021
FIVE QUESTIONS:Facing Chiefs in 2021 following Super Bowl 55 loss
6. Ravens (5): Next orders of business? Extending QB Lamar Jackson's contract and getting him a No. 1 receiver ... though maybe not in that order.
7. Browns (9): Finally headed in a productive direction, they'll have to ask themselves whether they're a better team with or without WR Odell Beckham Jr. moving forward.
8. Seahawks (7): What happened to the offense? "Teams just started to figure us out," according to WR DK Metcalf. Be interesting to see what QB Russell Wilson and Co. figure out in 2021 with some new cooks in the kitchen.
9. Titans (10): A year ago, we wondered what RB Derrick Henry would do for an encore. Asking that anew, should we wonder if he'll break Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record in 2021?
10. Saints (4): The Brees era apparently comes to a close with another aborted playoff run. Looking ahead, New Orleans' future may hold Jameis Winston at quarterback and a 2021 draft potentially stripped of valuable picks if team's latest COVID violations are especially egregious.
11. Steelers (8): They need to figure out how the future looks with QB Ben Roethlisberger and maybe without him ... which might mean turning to Dwayne Haskins.
12. Dolphins (12): They've got two offensive coordinators, two first-round picks, two really good corners ... but need to find out if they have one really good QB.
13. Cardinals (14): If you're into interpreting retweets, sure seems like QB Kyler Murray would like Arizona to start reinvesting in the trenches.
14. Colts (11): Appropriate that a team in Indianapolis would have a beautifully crafted race car ... but no idea who's going to drive it.
15. Washington (15): Given they played the champion Bucs as tough as anyone in the playoffs – while winging it at QB – every reason to be optimistic heading into Year 2 under Ron Rivera.
16. Patriots (17): Sounds like 2020 opt-outs Dont'a Hightower, Patrick Chung, Brandon Bolden and Marcus Cannon are opting back in. Tom Brady, not so much.
17. Chargers (18): It's been an electric rise for new head coach Brandon Staley, though he'll have to be careful not to short-circuit rookie of the year Justin Herbert's development after his 2020 coaching support group was stripped away.
18. Cowboys (23): Want a little advice, Jerry? Make QB Dak Prescott's deserved contract extension the first item on the offseason checklist this year instead of the last.
19. 49ers (24): They'll be welcoming a lot of talented players back from injury ... but not departed DC Robert Saleh and perhaps not QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
20. Bears (16): After a valiant charge to postseason, they're back to Square One times two – still looking for an answer at quarterback while hoping for a smooth break-in for rookie DC Sean Desai.
21. Falcons (19): New GM Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith are in a peculiar predicament with this aging team, perhaps wishing they could reset like Detroit has.
22. Vikings (21): Getting Danielle Hunter (neck) and Michael Pierce (opt-out) back on the D-line in 2021 should immediately begin solving a lot of problems.
23. Raiders (20): Seems like the annual Derek Carr rumors are off to an early start ... while unclear how many other QBs could more effectively mask a defense clipped for 30 points a week.
24. Broncos (25): New GM George Paton seems like a strong hire, one who might soon be taking the quarterback evaluation test predecessor John Elway so frequently failed.
25. Giants (22): DL Leonard Williams was probably their best player in 2020, but can New York afford to franchise him again given how much the offense needs?
26. Panthers (26): Plenty of work for Matt Rhule and Co. to do heading into Year 2, but sure seems like they're already keen on a quarterback switch.
27. Bengals (27): QB Joe Burrow's recovery from a torn ACL appears on track. Now Cincy needs to get the rebuild of the O-line in front of him on track.
28. Eagles (28): Tanking in Week 17, angering players, belatedly firing the coach, inviting a quarterback controversy. It's already been a tremendous 2021.
29. Jaguars (32): Rookie NFL coach Urban Meyer may be the far bigger question mark in 2021 than presumed rookie QB Trevor Lawrence. Wouldn't be surprising if this team gets a wild card ... but would be equally unsurprising if it remains a train wreck.
30. Jets (31): Is any team embarking on a more fascinating offseason? If QB Sam Darnold is fetching first-round offers, can GM Joe Douglas really say no?
31. Lions (30): Welp, apparently new coach Dan Campbell will be focusing on detached kneecaps for now since everything else "starts two years out, and it doesn’t start right now."
32. Texans (29): Maybe the most disastrous start to an offseason any team has had since the time that one club traded All-Pro WR DeAndre Hopkins for a few kicking tees.
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