2020 NFL Team Tiers: Where each team fits heading into the season

NFL Team Tiers - Patrick Mahomes holding Lamar Hunt Trophy
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Alex Alarcon


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Content Manager for Pickswise.com The home of free sports picks and experts best bets.

As the 2020 NFL season is slowly approaching, it’s time to take a deep hard look at the teams who are contenders, playoff teams, hold potential, pretenders, and of course the bottom of the barrel. Before we dive into the 2020 NFL team tiers, make sure you bookmark our free NFL picks page which gives expert analysis each week during the season. Now, let’s explain each tier below.

Contenders – Reaching the Super Bowl is very possible. The Lombardi trophy could be with one of them in 2020. 

Playoff teams – Making the playoffs is a very reachable goal, but reaching the Super Bowl might be an uphill battle 

Potential – The team holds a lot of potential talent, but there are still some concerning questions that might hurt them in 2020. 

Pretenders – They might pull off some upsets in 2020, but they are nowhere near playoff ready. 

Bottom of the Barrel – These are the teams that could be fighting for the number one draft pick come next April

With each tier fully explained, let’s take a look at where each team fits heading into the 2020 season.


Kansas City Chiefs: The defending Super Bowl champions will be a contender for quite some time as long as they have QB Patrick Mahomes.

Baltimore Ravens: After holding the best regular-season record in 2019, expect Lamar Jackson and company to reach for the trophy once again.

New Orleans Saints: QB Drew Brees is not slowing down especially with one of the leagues best WR’s in Michael Thomas.

San Francisco 49ers: One of the most feared defenses will make another strong push for the holy land.

Seattle Seahawks: During the past five seasons, they have only had single-digit wins once. They are consistent and will stay on that road in 2020

Philadelphia Eagles: Riddled with injuries in 2019, expect a new look Eagles team ready to shine in 2020.

Playoff Teams

Dallas Cowboys: With having one of the best offensive lines and RB’s in the league, Dallas could be a force to reckon with in the playoffs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Adding on Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski will do the trick.

Green Bay Packers: They might have drafted for the future, but Aaron Rodgers and Devante Adams will still win a lot of games for GB.

Minnesota Vikings: With a powerful defense along with Cousins and Cook running the show on offense, Minnesota could win the North in 2020.

Buffalo Bills: Without Tom Brady in the division, expect Josh Allen to take the crown in the AFC East.

Pittsburgh Steelers: QB Ben Roethlisberger is healthy and will make the Steelers a legit threat in the AFC.

Los Angeles Rams: Even with a tough NFC West division, the Rams have the talent on both sides of the ball to squeeze into the playoffs.

Indianapolis Colts: With the addition of veteran QB Philip Rivers, this Colts offense is ready to fly.

Tennessee Titans: Their divisional rival colts might have added a new QB, but Derrick Henry could steal the spotlight once again.


Cleveland Browns: Everyone is still patiently waiting for the Browns to finally explode. Tick Tock, Tick Tock.

Chicago Bears: Could a new quarterback spice up the Bears offense? Maybe.

Atlanta Falcons: The offense could be rocking in 2020, it’s the defense that concerns me.

Denver Broncos: QB Drew Lock has all the weapons he needs to finally run the show.

Los Angeles Chargers: Their secondary could be the best in the league. Let’s see how long they wait until they start QB Justin Herbert.

Arizona Cardinals: With landing one of the best wide receivers in the game, Arizona could easily move up in the NFC West.


New England Patriots: Bellichick will still pull off some impressive wins, but can he do it consistently without Tom Brady?

Houston Texans: Wide receiver Brandin Cooks is replacing Hopkins on the offense. That’s all you need to know.

Las Vegas Raiders: QB Derek Carr will continue to be consistently average, but still win against some of the best. Thankfully they have Marcus Mariota now…

Detroit Lions: One of the best CB’s in the league Darius Slay left in favor of the Eagles. Stafford cannot do it all.

New York Giants: QB Daniel Jones will slowly improve in the league, but nowhere near championship level.

Bottom of the Barrel

Miami Dolphins: With drafting practically a brand new team, it will take some time for them to get settled in.

New York Jets: Until QB Sam Darnold stops seeing ghosts on the field, they will be settling in nicely at the bottom of the league.

Carolina Panthers: With the loss of star LB Luke Kuechly, this defense might be the worst in the league.

Washington Redskins: It’s hard to allow a young franchise quarterback to improve with such a tragic offense.

Cincinnati Bengals: Rookie QB Joe Burrow is step one in improving the Bengals. I’m patiently waiting for step two.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Minshew Mania can only last for so long. I would not be shocked if they do hold the No. 1 pick for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Do you agree with Pickswise’s NFL Team Tiers heading into the 2020 season? Comment down below on where you would place each team in our NFL Team Tiers list.

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