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LA Chargers: Where the Bolts fit in the NFL power rankings

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 01: Running back Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers leads his team onto the field before a game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on December 1, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 23-20. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 01: Running back Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers leads his team onto the field before a game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on December 1, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 23-20. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

2020 NFL Power Rankings: Rebuilds and decliners

These are teams that are doing somewhat better in their rebuild than the bottom feeders, as well as those that have declined from recently being a playoff contender.

. New York Jets. 27. 30. .

The Jets are going in the right direction. Last season was tough given Sam Darnold’s mono diagnosis that took him out for a sizable part of the season. When Darnold came back, he was still clearly not quite in the swing of things but led the team to a 7-9 finish after their disastrous start.

The draft was really solid for the Jets, but all the questions around the team at this juncture really surround Jamal Adams and whether he’ll be extended. He’s the best player on the team as well as one of the clear leaders. Whether New York can reach an extension with him will be key to their future.

59. . . . Miami Dolphins. 26

Considering the Dolphins were dead last in most power rankings a year ago, they’re moving on up. With the most selections in the draft, Miami was able to load up on talent at a number of positions. They now have their quarterback of the future in Tua Tagovailoa.

The roster is certainly in a better place than it was last year. DeVante Parker broke out into being a terrific receiver this year. Offensive skill players as well as the secondary both have a lot of potential this year. The culture Brian Flores established in year one is hard to not like.

Despite, the growing amount of positives, Tagovailoa is still a rookie and the team needs a lot of help in the trenches.

. . . Carolina Panthers. 25. 87

Matt Rhule is the new coach in Carolina. His priorities were shown in the draft after the team went all defense on their picks in the 2020 draft. Derrick Brown was a great addition in the first round, and I’m particularly keen on what Troy Pride Jr. can do in the NFL.

Teddy Bridgewater is a solid starter. He may not be the most dynamic quarterback, but he’s not going to lose games for teams either. Christian McCaffrey is a great weapon he has, as well as a solid receiving group.

The offense is pointing up, but the defense is still in need of a serious rebuild that is underway.

24. 57. . . . Chicago Bears

Chicago’s defense is the only reason I’m not selling the Bears entirely. Good luck on offense, Chicago. Nick Foles is probably the best option at quarterback following Mitch Trubisky getting his option declined. Foles hasn’t put together a good regular season since 2013.

The offense lacks at key skill positions, but at least they do have nine tight ends! There’s no doubt that Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, and the rest of the defense are great. 2019 revealed that the offense is struggling to find any real direction at all. Without a capable offense, the ceiling for the Bears is ultimately 7-9 and 8-8. It wouldn’t surprise me if it ended up being even lower.

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