16. Minnesota Vikings (4-5)
Just before the midpoint in the power rankings, there is a dramatic fall-off in team records between #15 and the rest of the league. The Vikings represent the best of this lower tier. After losing five of their first six games, the team has had a bit of a ‘rebirth’. A road win versus the Packers highlights the three-game winning streak the Vikings are currently riding. RB Dalvin Cook will need to carry the team on his back if the Vikings want to even have a chance to sniff the playoffs in the second half of the season.
Previous Ranking: 22
17. New England Patriots (4-5)
The Patriots are the most difficult team in the NFL to judge. They have the ability to jump up and beat teams like the Raiders and Ravens but have also lost to the 3-6 Broncos and gotten blown out by the 49ers. Sporting the 29th ranked scoring offense but a top 10 scoring defense, it’s difficult to tell how the season will shake out for Bill Bellicheck and company. With only a couple “cupcake games” remaining on the schedule, it will take a monumental rally for the Patriots to continue their playoff streak that dates back to 2009.
Previous Ranking: 12
18. San Francisco 49ers (4-6)
While injuries have decimated the team, the schedule hasn’t done them any favors either. The beginning of their schedule was relatively easy but their last 3 opponents (all losses) are a combined 20-7. San Francisco still has games versus Washinton and Dallas but still has to play the Bills and the other three teams in the NFC West. Considering how beat up Jimmy Garoppolo is (currently on IR with a high ankle sprain) they should just let him sit out the rest of 2020.
Previous Ranking: 18
19. Chicago Bears (5-5)
A Bears team that was 5-1 at one point has now lost four games in a row and offered a tryout to QB Deshone Kizer shows the team is headed in the wrong direction. If it was up to the Bears defense (7th in points allowed) the team would be in contention for a playoff berth. Unfortunately, their 31st ranked offense will make that dream next to impossible to realize.
Previous Ranking: 11
20. Detroit Lions (4-5)
The best thing that can be said about the Lions is they have been competitive in most of their games this season. QB Matthew Stafford and the offense are middle of the pack (literally 16th out of 32 in points scored) but the defense is allowing nearly 30 points per game this year; which makes them 29th in the league.
Previous Ranking: 23