2021 Preseason Power Rankings
With the 2021 NFL season approaching quickly, it is time to release our first set of NFL power rankings. This will be a two part special with the second tier of rankings coming out next week.
This week’s edition of the 2021 NFL power rankings will rank teams 1-16, with a splash of what has the team ranked in this specific slot. As the Season starts and changes week to week the list will constantly update. Also, a position of where the team being discussed will finish in their Division will be listed as well as it’s too early for win/loss records for the season.
2021 NFL Power Rankings #1: Kansas City Chiefs (1st in AFC West)
First up in the NFL power rankings is the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs still hold the best offensive trio in the NFL with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill. A massive offensive line upgrade with Orlando Brown and Joe Thuney will allow the Chiefs to be right back in Super Bowl contention and run away with the AFC West. Expect the Chiefs to have a fire lit under their behind after that Super Bowl embarrassment!
2021 NFL Power Rankings #2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1st in NFC South)
“How can you not have the Bucs at #1?” I know it sounds crazy, but I am going to start the 2021 season off with a clean slate. All the starters for the Super Bowl champs are returning to try to repeat their 2020 Season. Brady will have the ship as motivated as ever and I believe they will have another great season and reach the NFC Championship.
2021 NFL Power Rankings #3: Buffalo Bills (1st in AFC East)
Buffalo looks to build off their amazing cinderella season in 2020. Josh Allen blossomed into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in just his second season as a starter. Stefon Diggs will continue to be an All-Pro level wide receiver. The addition of Emmanuel Sanders will make this Buffalo offense even more of a threat to go along with a physical defense. AFC East Champs, book it!
2021 NFL Power Rankings #4: Cleveland Browns (1st in AFC North)
The Browns took a major leap in their first year under head coach Kevin Stefanski and look to continue to build off of 2020. With the additions of Jadeveon Clowney and John Johnson, Cleveland has the ability to obtain both a top five offense and defense. Now that is a recipe for success! Expect the Ravens to battle it out with the Browns for the division, but the offseason upgrades will be too much for Baltimore to handle.
2021 NFL Power Rankings #5: Baltimore Ravens (2nd in AFC North)
Lamar Jackson is still arguably the most dynamic weapon at the Quarterback position and the franchise finally got him some wide receivers. By signing Sammy Watkins in free agency and drafting Rashod Bateman in the first round, expect Lamar’s air numbers to improve. A playoff run should be in no doubt as long as they stay healthy in 2021.
2021 NFL Power Rankings #6: Los Angeles Rams (1st in NFC West)
The Rams got a major addition to the Quarterback room with Stafford. My biggest concern is the health of Stafford especially with the longer season coming up this Fall. The loss of Defensive Coordinator along with defensive captain John Johnson will put alot of pressure on the rest of the defensive unit. Those two defensive losses may be something even Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey can’t account for. The NFC West should go down to the wire.
2021 NFL Power Rankings #7: Green Bay Packers (1st in NFC North)
Now this ranking is based off of the MVP of the 2020 Season being under center along with being a participant in their summer training camp. Green Bay has reached back to back NFC Championships and easily has a top five roster with Rodgers fully committed. If all goes back to normal Green Bay should walk away with the division title.
2021 NFL Power Rankings #8: Indianapolis Colts (1st in AFC South)
I love the upgrade at quarterback. Philip Rivers could not throw the ball over 50 yards and the team fell just short to the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round. Wentz and Frank Reich are reunited. They were the QB and coordinator duo the year Wentz finished second in the MVP voting behind Tom Brady in 2017. With a phenomenal offensive line and a rising defensive unit, I believe the Colts can possibly make a run for the AFC title game.
The Rest of This Week’s Power Rankings: #’s 9-16
#9: Washington Football Team (1st in NFC East)
Next up in the NFL power rankings is the Washington Football team. With Ryan Fitzpatrick coming in to solve the quarterback problem, the Washington Football Team look to build off of their great 2020 season. Coach Ron Rivera is officially cancer free and looks to take this defense to the top of the National Football League, led by Montez Sweat and Chase Young.
#10: Seattle Seahawks (2nd in NFC West)
Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett look to continue to own one of the best offenses in the NFL. With a total upgrade in the the division, this will be the most difficult season for whoever wins the NFC West. Can Wilson and the Seahawks incredible pass game overcome the strong defenses of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Arizona?
#11: Tennessee Titans (2nd in AFC South)
The addition of Julio Jones has the NFL world drooling at the mouth. I still believe this team has some weaknesses on both the offensive and defensive lines. Regardless, the passing game should be opened up this season with AJ Brown and Julio Jones due to the fact teams still have to account for Derrick Henry. The loss of Jonnu Smith as well as the offensive coordinator Arthur Smith will be the reason why this team may just miss the 2021 NFL playoffs.
#12: Dallas Cowboys (2nd in NFC East)
The return of Dak Prescott will be great for the league. The offense was off to a historical start in 2020 before he ended up having the season ending ankle injury. The defense still lacks playmakers even with the drafting of Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. Look for Dallas to compete all year long with the Washington Football Team for the NFC East crown.
#13: New England Patriots (2nd in AFC East)
The Patriots and Dolphins should be neck and neck all season competing for the second slot in the AFC East. Expect Cam Newton to make improvements having a second season in the system, along with an upgrade of pass catchers in Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. However, neither the Pats or Dolphins have as complete of a roster as the Bills do. I do think Belichick will get his team back to the playoffs.
#14: Miami Dolphins (3rd in AFC East)
The biggest question for the Dolphins this season is if Tua Tagovailoa is ready to take the throne? Although he led the Dolphins to a 5-2 record in his starts in 2020, it was definitely the defense that helped him reach such a polished record. Old man Fitzpatrick had to take over for most of the season due to head coach Brian Flores believing “Tua wasn’t ready.” They should be in contention with New England for second place in the AFC East.
#15: Minnesota Vikings (2nd in NFC North)
If Aaron Rodgers does not play in 2021, then the Vikings can take control of the NFC North. However, they still are not capable of being a top 10 team due to the inconsistency of the quarterback. Justin Jefferson should continue to cement himself as a top wide receiver in the league.
#16: Los Angeles Chargers (2nd in AFC West)
Lastly in this week’s NFL power rankings is the Los Angeles Chargers. Justin Herbert should take strides in his second season involved in an offense with playmakers such as Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Austin Ekeler. A coaching change should create a new atmosphere for the Bolts to build off of. At the end of the day, they are still the little brother in the AFC West to the Kansas City Chiefs.
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-Fred O’Brien (@FOBSportsNFL)