The first official week of the 2020 National Football League (NFL) season is in the books, which means it is time to unveil our second power rankings of the week, which continues to find the Kansas City Chiefs in the top spot followed by the Baltimore Ravens (second) and Seattle Seahawks (third).
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Noontime’s Week Two Power Rankings (Sept. 15, 2020)
1. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0, LW: No. 1): The defending Super Bowl champions looked pretty impressive last week against the Houston Texans.
2. Baltimore Ravens (1-0, LW: No. 3): Lamar Jackson and the Ravens rolled past the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and should have no problem scoring its second win of the 2020 season this weekend when Baltimore visits Houston for a 4:25 p.m. kickoff.
3. Seattle Seahawks (1-0, LW: No. 9): Russell Wilson was unstoppable on Sunday against an Atlanta Falcons team that did not have an answer with hows to stop the Seahawks’ offense.
4. New Orleans Saints (1-0, LW: No. 4): Drew Brees and the Saints looked A LOT better than Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
5. New England Patriots (1-0, LW: No. 11): In Bill Belichick we trust. And the same should be said for Cam Newton, too.
6. San Francisco 49ers (0-1, LW: No. 2): The 49ers offense did not look great against the Arizona Cardinals, especially quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
7. Buffalo Bills (1-0, LW: No. 8): Quarterback Josh Allen completed 33 of 46 passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for a game-high 57 yards on 14 carries in the Bills’ initial win of the 2020 season against the New York ‘Football’ Jets.
8. Tennessee Titans (1-0, LW: No. 6): The Titans are a good team. But they did not look great last night against the Denver Broncos, especially the special teams.
9. Green Bay Packers (1-0, LW: No. 13): The Minnesota Vikings had no answer for Aaron Rodgers, who completed 32 of 44 passes for 364 yards and four touchdowns.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0, LW: No. 10): Daniel Jones may have thrown more passes in last night’s contest, but Ben Roethlisberger looked much better as the veteran signal-caller completed 21 of 32 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1, LW: No. 5): Bruce Arians is not afraid to speak his mind about quarterback Tom Brady. But what will Arians say if Brady and the Bucs don’t beat the Carolina Panthers on Sunday?
12. Arizona Cardinals (1-0, LW: NR): Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins were fun to watch against the 49ers last weekend.
13. Los Angles Rams (1-0, LW: No. 17): The Rams may have squeaked out an opening day win against Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys but they certainly proved they can march up and down the field.
14. Dallas Cowboys (0-1, LW: No. 7): Mike McCarthy was NOT happy about a late-game pass interference call, which helped the Rams escape with a three-point win. The Boys are already banged up on both sides of the ball and face a must-win on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (0-1, LW: No. 14): So, who had the Eagles losing to the Washington Football Team in week one?
16. Houston Texans (0-1, LW: No. 16): The Texans looked OK, but not great last week against the Chiefs. But how will they look this week against the Ravens?
17. Denver Broncos (0-1, LW: NR): The Broncos had a chance to beat the Titans last night, but Drew Lock and the offense only moved 18 yards on its final drive.
18. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0, LW: NR): Somehow, the Chargers scored a dramatic opening day win against the Cincinnati Bengals. Will this trend continue this week, as well as going forward?
19. Las Vegas Raiders (1-0, LW: No. 20): Somehow the Silver and Black won a wild road game against the Carolina Panthers.
20. Atlanta Falcons (0-1, LW: No. 18): The Falcons looked lost against the Seahawks last week, but should be able to attack the Cowboys’ weakness this week: the Dallas secondary.
On the Rise: Chicago Bears and Washington Football Team
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was frustrated by boos during the NFL’s moment of unity. (PHOTO COURTESY: Wikipedia.org)
By Matt Noonan
Football – well, professional football, to be exact – has officially returned.
And while many may be discussing the Kansas City Chiefs‘ opening day win over the Houston Texans this morning – and yes, throughout the afternoon and evening, too – there seems to be another storyline worth noting that might be a tad bit more important. And that would be the moment of unity, which occurred prior to last night’s kickoff.
Before the initial play of the 2020 National Football League (NFL) was recorded, members of both the Chiefs and Texans met at midfield where coaches and players locked arms to show they are united in the doing their part to assist with bringing an end to racial injustice, which will certainly be a major theme throughout this particular season.
As players locked arms, fans – perhaps not all of them? – booed them for the pregame gesture. And one player – Houston’s J.J. Watt – appeared frustrated by the response, telling members of the media after the contest concluded that the boos were “unfortunate.”
“I don’t fully understand that,” Watt told members of the media, via the team’s YouTube channel. “There was no flag involved. There was nothing involved other than two teams coming together to show unity.”
Watt’s remarks are spot on – we should not boo these coaches and players, but instead adhere to the advice of Kansas City’s coach Andy Reid, who believes “we can all learn from this, and really it’s just to make us all better, even a stronger country than we already are.”
Our country is in turmoil and it is not just because of the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, but too many frequent incidents of racial injustice that are being seen regularly on the nightly news. And for these actions to stop, we must be willing to not just talk about these actions, but also listen to those that can assist all of us with understanding what it is we need to do to move forward.
Similar to Watt, I am mystified why fans elected to boo these coaches and players instead of embrace this powerful stance, but this pregame gesture is just the first of many powerful moments to come. And we need to be respectful to whatever gestures or stances do occur as the 2020 season unfolds.
I am hopeful for better days to come – I am an optimist – but I also believe both listening and talking politely with each other will be the way we move forward.
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are the favorites to win the Super Bowl. (PHOTO COURTESY: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
By Matt Noonan
Welcome to the official start date for the National Football League (NFL).
Are you ready for some football?
Whether or not, the season – yes, a new season of professional football – begins this evening with the Houston Texans visiting the Kansas City Chiefs in what should be an intriguing matchup.
Yet, before the defending Super Bowl champions begin their quest for a second-straight title later today, allow me to share my predictions for the upcoming season, including who I think will celebrate a championship next February in Tampa Bay, Florida.
Listen to our Noontime Sports 2020 NFL Season Preview (and yes, predictions, too) on Apple Podcast and Spotify!
Noontime’s NFL 2020 Predictions
AFC East Champions: Buffalo Bills
AFC North Champions: Baltimore Ravens
AFC South Champions: Tennessee Titans
AFC West Champions: Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Wild Card Teams: Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC Championship Prediction: Kansas City over Tennessee
NFC East Champions: Dallas Cowboys
NFC North Champions: Minnesota Vikings
NFC South Champions: New Orleans Saints
NFC West Champions: Seattle Seahawks
NFC Wild Card Teams: Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Championship Prediction: New Orleans over Tampa Bay
Super Bowl Prediction: Kansas City over New Orleans
Coach of the Year: Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans)
Offensive Player of the Year: Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs)
Defensive Player of the Year: T.J. Watt (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Offensive Rookie of the Year: CeeDee Lamb (Dallas Cowboys)
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Chase Young (Washington Football Team)
Comeback Player of the Year: Cam Newton (New England Patriots)
Listen to our Noontime Sports 2020 NFL Season Preview (and yes, predictions, too) on Apple Podcast and Spotify!
It’s time to start producing some football content for NoontimeSports.com – we love football.
And while we know this fall will be different – we will miss covering the small colleges here in New England – it is time to kick-off our National Football League (NFL) coverage with our first (of many) Noontime Top 20 Polls.
Like we have in the past, specifically with our New England D-III Football Poll, we will be producing a weekly Noontime Sports NFL Top 20 Poll, pending of course there is a season and games are played. But as we know, nothing is certain, especially during a pandemic, so hopefully this post (and poll) provides you with some hope for the 2020 season.
Noontime’s Preseason Top 20 NFL Poll (Tuesday, August 4, 2020)
1. Kansas City Chiefs: The defending Super Bowl champions will certainly have a target on their back once they begin their title defense on Thursday, September 10 against the Houston Texans.
2. Baltimore Ravens: Quarterback Lamar Jackson seems extremely motivated to lead his team on a deep postseason run. Will that happen this year?
3. San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers were the best team in the NFC last year and should once again be a team to watch (and beat) in what should be a rather competitive NFC West.
4. New Orleans Saints: The Saints want to erase the memories of last year’s early postseason exit to the Minnesota Vikings. Expect another big year from quarterback Drew Brees, along with some new acquisitions, including Malcolm Jenkins and D.J. Swearinger.
6. Seattle Seahawks: Never count out Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, but will they be able to continue their previous momentum from years past without fans in the stands this year?
7. Tennessee Titans: As long as the Titans stay healthy, this team will be tough to stop. Also, can quarterback Ryan Tannehill continue his success from a year ago? And will this team once again run through halfback Derrick Henry?
8. New England Patriots: Yes, the Patriots have lost a great deal of depth and experience with eight players electing to opt-out for the upcoming season, but it is hard to count out coach Bill Belichick and newly acquired signal-caller Cam Newton.
9. Buffalo Bills: The Bills will certainly challenge the New England Patriots for the top spot in the AFC East, especially with some impressive new pieces on both sides of the ball, including Josh Norman and Stefon Diggs. Hopefully, quarterback Josh Allen has improved his accuracy (fingers crossed!).
10. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz played an entire season last fall for the Green and White, and should continue his progress – he is one of the best signal-callers in the game (in our opinion). In addition to Wentz taking another step forward, every member of the organization must stay healthy, too.
11. Green Bay Packers: So, what is the future hold for quarterback Aaron Rodgers? Who knows, but as long as he is under center, then we should not count out Go Pack Go.
12. Dallas Cowboys: A new sheriff is in town – his name is Mike McCarthy – and his resume includes a Super Bowl championship with the Green Bay Packers. We are excited to see the new schemes McCarthy implements, as well as some touchdown passes from Dak Prescott to CeeDee Lamb.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger wants to do everything he can to lead the Steelers to victory, but does he have enough left in the tank?
14. Indianapolis Colts: Can Philip Rivers make the Colts a team to beat not just in the AFC South, but the entire conference? Also, similar to Ben Roethlisberger, how much is left in the tank?
15. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings were like the Dallas Cowboys last season, but made the playoffs. This team has the potential to win big games, but can they put it all together for an entire season, as well as 60 minutes?
16. Houston Texans: Every year, it seems like this team has the potential to do great things, but never does. For starters, the offensive line needs to do a better job protecting Deshaun Watson, while the defense needs to improve.
17. Cleveland Browns: A new era begins in Cleveland – how many times have you heard this saying before? – but will first-year coach Kevin Stefanski really get this team trending in the right direction?
18. Los Angeles Rams: It is hard to count out the Rams, especially with so much talent on both sides of the ball, but they took a step backward last season. The Blue and Yellow may be playing in a new stadium this fall – they will also be wearing some new uniforms, too – but they bid farewell to some key pieces on both sides of the ball, as well as defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
19. Atlanta Falcons: After a bad start to its 2019 campaign, the Falcons regrouped and won six of eight contests, including an end of season win against the Buccaneers in overtime. Expect that end of season momentum to translate to future success in 2020.
20. Arizona Cardinals: Yes, the Cardinals of Arizona are on our list. And the reason: wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
On The Rise: Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, and Miami Dolphins