Check our ranking of the top 10 NFL teams in 2020. It might help you decide who's going to win the Super Bowl.
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With the 2020 NFL season entering its closing kick, the importance of understanding the league's pecking order has never been more crucial. For religious bettors and watch-for-fun-fans alike, now is the time when we need to have a grasp on which teams are the cream of the crop.
Who will make the NFL playoffs? Who should be considered the favorite to win the AFC? And how about the NFC? Most importantly, which team(s) have the inside track on taking home the Super Bowl trophy? These are all questions that can be answered by looking at the late-season hierarchy. It is our hope that this ranking of the 10 best NFL teams of the 2020 season can assist you in deciding upon favorites for all the year-end accolades.
Before we get started, and in the name of the context, here's an updated look at all the teams still laying Super Bowl odds, courtesy of BetOnline:
|AFC Team||NFC Team|
|Arizona Cardinals||+3300||+1400||Baltimore Ravens|
|Atlanta Falcons||+25000||+2500||Buffalo Bills|
|Carolina Panthers||+50000||+200000||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Chicago Bears||+15000||+8000||Cleveland Browns|
|Dallas Cowboys||+25000||+75000||Denver Broncos|
|Detroit Lions||+15000||+100000||Houston Texans|
|Green Bay Packers||+900||+2500||Indianapolis Colts|
|Los Angeles Rams||+1600||+300000||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Minnesota Vikings||+6600||+325||Kansas City Chiefs|
|New Orleans Saints||+750||+50000||Los Angeles Chargers|
|New York Giants||+25000||+4000||Las Vegas Raiders|
|Philadelphia Eagles||+8000||+4000||Miami Dolphins|
|San Francisco 49ers||+15000||+7500||New England Patriots|
|Seattle Seahawks||+1200||+300000||New York Jets|
|Washington Football Team||+100000||+550||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+750||+3300||Tennessee Titans|
Just a fair warning: These Super Bowl lines will continue to shift between now and the start of the NFL playoffs. Make sure you're double-checking them before deciding on an investment. But now, let's rank the 10 best teams out there.
Top 10 Teams of the 2020 NFL Season
Ranking NFL teams is a largely subjective process. We've decided to make it more of an objective endeavor.
The folks over at Pro Football Reference developed a metric called Simple Rating System (SRS), which seeks to create a hierarchy of teams by going beyond the win-loss column. What they do is weight point differential against the strength of schedule to come up with a cumulative score that paints a more accurate picture of the best squads in the league.
Though this method isn't idiotproof, it is valuable. Sure, it's impressive that the Pittsburgh Steelers are undefeated, but does that mean they're also the best team in football when they've played one of the easiest schedules so far? It might. It also might not. Our rankings, presented in reverse order, aim to contextualize everything as best as possible.
10. Tennessee Titans"Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans" by AJ Guel Photography is licensed under CC BY 2.0
SRS Score: 3.4
The Titans defense has underperformed relative to expectations. After turning in top-12 stopping power last season, en route to their playoff berth, they place 20th in points allowed per game this year.
While that's not spectacular, it's been good enough for them to ride the coattails of their offense. They are a whopping fifth in points scored per game, on the back of a rushing attack that's led by star running back Derrick Henry, and that ranks sixth in both yards per rushing attempt and total touchdowns.
9. Seattle Seahawks"Seattle Seahawks, 2000" by Seattle Municipal Archives is licensed under CC BY 2.0
SRS Score: 3.4
Technically, the Seahawks have the same SRS score as the Titans. They get the nod at ninth instead because they've played out a slightly tougher schedule.
There's no mystery behind their success. Their defense is shoddy; it ranks 26th in points allowed per game. They get here by riding the coattails of their offense, which is third in points per game and continues to be powered by star quarterback and MVP candidate Russell Wilson.
8. Miami Dolphins"Miami Dolphins offense" by San Diego Shooter is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
SRS Score: 4.1
Feel free to be surprised that the Dolphins land at No. 8. We sure are.
Giving significant playing time to a rookie under center, like Miami is doing with Tua Tagovailoa, is usually a recipe for general badness. Not for the Dolphins. They rank a pleasant 14th in points scored per game and are further buoyed by their top-two defense.
Also helping them: Their wickedly easy schedule. Only the Washington Football Team has played out a more favorable slate.
7. Los Angeles Rams"Los Angeles Rams" by All-Pro Reels is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
SRS Score: 4.1
The Rams get priority over the Dolphins despite having an identical SRS score because they've survived the tougher schedule. Of course, at this rate, they may be preparing to forfeit serious ground.
Los Angeles has lost twice this season to the San Francisco 49ers, who are banged up beyond comprehension and currently occupying the last place in the NFC West. And while the Rams defense mostly holds up their end of the bargain, ranking fourth in points surrendered per game, the offense continues to let them down. Los Angeles needs quarterback Jared Goff to up his completion rate if they're going to be serious contenders.
6. Green Bay Packers"Green Bay Packers Huddle" by Mike Morbeck is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
SRS Score: 6.3
Kudos to the Packers for making such a high appearance.
Or should we say kudos to quarterback Aaron Rodgers?
Green Bay opted against surrounding him with any more significant talent at wide receiver or tight end. He has somehow piloted them to the league's best offense anyway. If we're being honest, he's probably not getting enough MVP love.
5. Baltimore Ravens"Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens" by LostBob Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
SRS Score: 7.3
Defense continues to be the Ravens' calling card. They are third in points allowed per game, and the eye test matches up with the rankings. They are absolutely suffocating, particularly when looking at their front seven.
Whether they're actually Super Bowl contenders remains to be seen. Star quarterback Lamar Jackson has faded since last season. Baltimore seems reluctant to rely on him at all. They are 32nd in total passing attempts, and on the occasions, they do air it out, they're a discouraging 24th in net yards per throw. They might tumble down these rankings before long.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers"Josh Freeman | Tampa Bay Buccaneers" by Seatacular is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
SRS Score: 7.6
A lot of people think Bucs QB Tom Brady is done. He begs to differ.
Yes, at 43, the clock is ticking. And he's had some bad games, especially in recent weeks. He also certainly needs to do a better job of cutting down his interceptions.
At the end of the day, though, he's still steering a top-seven offense that also happens to rank ninth in total yards and fourth in total touchdowns. He's upped his completion rate compared to last year, as well.
This is all to say, the Bucs are hardly pushovers. They're real.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers"Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tenn. titians 9-13" by Paula R. Lively is licensed under CC BY 2.0
SRS Score: 9.2
The third-place might seem low for the NFL's only undefeated team. It's not.
There's something distinctly distrust worthy about Pittsburgh's offense. They might be sixth in points scored per game, but they have a bare-bones rushing attack and very little big-play potential down-to-down.
That's not to take anything away from them. Undefeated is undefeated. But they're not a Super Bowl bet to make willy nilly, either.
2. Kansas City Chiefs"Kansas City Chiefs stretching" by San Diego Shooter is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
SRS Score: 9.2
Another SRS tie is broken by the strength of schedule. The Chiefs have played out a substantially more difficult slate than the Steelers. It also helps that they just appear to be the flat-out better team.
Not only is Patrick Mahomes the best QB in football right now, but he's throwing to the NFL's two leading receivers. Correct: This means Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill rank second and first, respectively, in pass-catching yards. That's just not fair.
Then again, with Mahomes under center, the Chiefs are never fair.
1. New Orleans Saints"Drew Brees | New Orleans Saints" by Seatacular is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
SRS Score: 10.0
The Saints' reign at the top may not last too much longer. Running back Alvin Kamara has been struggling for a while, and quarterback Drew Brees is out for the foreseeable future as he recovers from a plethora of different rib injuries.
Still, there's something to be said for the Saints' balance. They rank in the top five of both points scored and points allowed, which means they're capable of winning games on either side of the ball.
What's more is that, even with Brees on the shelf, they've succeeded in the face of a slightly harder-than-normal schedule—all while picking up victories by an average margin of absurd 9.2 points per game.