Brynn Anderson/Associated Press
Save for the two games left on Monday night, Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season is already in the books.
Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson have already thrown their hats into the MVP race, which each has won in the past two seasons. Aaron Rodgers, the 2011 and 2014 winner, suggested Sunday he could be in the running, too.
Cam Newton opened his New England Patriots career with a victory. Tom Brady couldn’t do the same with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers already have their first loss after opening last season with an 8-0 start. The defeat was handed to them by the Arizona Cardinals, who didn’t get their first win in 2019 until Week 5.
While it’s never wise to overreact to one week of football—especially a season opener for teams who didn’t get a preseason—this is still our first data point for the new campaign. Things have changed. Maybe not in a dramatic way, maybe not permanently, but teams are moving up and down the power rankings while Super Bowl odds are changing.
We’ll get to both below, using the latest Super Bowl odds from Vegas Insider (as of 8:30 a.m. ET Monday).
NFL Power Rankings (Super Bowl Odds)
1. Kansas City Chiefs (+450)
2. Baltimore Ravens (+500)
3. New Orleans Saints (+1000)
4. Seattle Seahawks (+1200)
5. San Francisco 49ers (+1000)
6. Green Bay Packers (+3000)
7. New England Patriots (+4000)
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (+2500)
9. Dallas Cowboys (+1200)
10. Buffalo Bills (+3000)
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1200)
12. Minnesota Vikings (+2500)
13. Tennessee Titans (+4000)
14. Houston Texans (+6000)
15. Los Angeles Rams (+5000)
16. Arizona Cardinals (+6000)
17. Philadelphia Eagles (+2500)
18. Indianapolis Colts (+2500)
19. Atlanta Falcons (+5000)
20. Los Angeles Chargers (+5000)
21. Denver Broncos (+4000)
22. Las Vegas Raiders (+4000)
23. Chicago Bears (+5000)
24. Miami Dolphins (+10000)
25. Detroit Lions (+8000)
26. Cincinnati Bengals (+17000)
27. New York Giants (+10000)
28. New York Jets (+15000)
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (+30000)
30. Washington (+30000)
31. Cleveland Browns (+5000)
32. Carolina Panthers (+15000)
Week 1 Stock Watch
Stock Up: Seattle Seahawks
Wow. While most probably had the Seahawks getting the better of the Falcons, their 38-25 triumph was surgically precise—even by Seattle’s standards.
It was MVP behavior from Russell Wilson, who had 322 passing yards and added 29 rushing. He had as many touchdown throws as incompletions (four), and his 88.6 completion percentage seems impossibly high considering he connected on throws of at least 17 yards to five different receivers.
“Just being himself,” Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett remarked. “He’s a premier player in this league for a reason.”
Seattle’s defense didn’t have the strongest debut (Matt Ryan passed for 450 yards and a pair of scores), but it’s worth noting the Seahawks had allowed just 12 points through three quarters.
They looked scary good, and Wilson looked as potent as any quarterback in this league. If you weren’t mentioning the Seahawks in your Super Bowl LV discussions, this is your signal to start.
Stock Down: Cleveland Browns
Woof. Like the Seahawks, the Browns didn’t officially do something unexpected. They were projected to lose to the Ravens, and they did.
But anyone hoping to find reasons for optimism after last season’s 10-loss disappointment were once again left lacking.
The Browns didn’t just lose; they were bulldozed by a 38-6 count. Their first drive ended with a Baker Mayfield interception, their first of three turnovers on the day. Their kicker, Austin Seibert, missed his only two attempts: a 41-yard field goal and an extra point. Their punter, Jamie Gillan, lost a fumble on a disastrous fake-punt call inside of their 30-yard line.
“We have to be concerned about the Browns,” WKYC’s Jim Donovan wrote. “You cannot make the kind of mistakes they made and expect to win anywhere.”
Losing to the Ravens doesn’t mean the Browns are destined to have a bad year, but they will if they can’t clean up their execution in a hurry.
Stock to Monitor: San Francisco 49ers
As their NFC West rival Rams can attest, the 49ers aren’t guaranteed a chance to make up for their Super Bowl loss or even earn a playoff spot. They didn’t spoil that with Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Cardinals, but it quietly upped their difficulty level by a not-insignificant degree.
“The loss to the Cardinals could prove costly in the difficult NFC West,” ESPN’s Nick Wagoner wrote. “The Niners went 5-1 in NFC West games last year, including two close victories against Arizona. But if they’re going to replicate that, they have zero margin for error.“
The Seahawks won 11 games last season, but they had to play the nine-win Eagles on the road in the divisional round because the 49ers won the NFC West title. No team can afford to give up ground in this race, especially with Arizona and L.A. starting with impressive victories (the latter over the Dallas Cowboys) .
The 49ers still might have the division’s (if not the conference’s) most talented roster, which is why their stock isn’t budging yet.
But all the questions around their wide receivers only grew more glaring in Week 1. Granted, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk weren’t around, but still—San Francisco’s wideouts combined for just four receptions and 41 yards. It doesn’t matter how good George Kittle or this rushing attack is—the Niners can’t calculate a winning formula with those numbers.