The NFL Power Rankings before the start of the regular season

The NFL Power Rankings before the start of the regular season

We take a first look at the pecking order of the 32 National Football League franchises as of the start of the 2021 regular season

Hours are running out for Dallas cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers kick off the 2021 regular season, and automatically that leads us to think about which franchises are better and which are worse compared to their versions of the previous campaign

For now, the hierarchy of the reigning champions of the Super Bowl LV, Bucs, but his position in the place of honor did not come unanimously among the voters. On the other hand, the team that did receive unanimous votes for their position were the Houston Texans last in our weekly list.

Without further ado, and with 17 regular season games for the first time for each franchise, we present the NFL Power Rankings from prior to starting the 2021 campaign:

The defending champions enter the 2021 season with all their starters from last year under contract, that continuity could be a double-edged sword: on the one hand, the players have greater chemistry to execute the team system, on the other all the League teams have surely studied their moves and now know what to expect from them. If the Buccaneers aren’t innovative on offense, that continuity will do little good. – EC

The two-time AFC champions reinforced the weakness with which they were exhibited in the last Super Bowl and look like serious contenders to return for the third time in a row, just like the Bills and Patriots did. – LMV

The Bills have one of the most well-rounded rosters in the NFL, and over the summer they turned a weakness into a strength with the way they handled the defensive end position. Another successful season in a row would do wonders for the approval of their new stadium. – RZ

Baltimore suffered heavy blows to its backfield during the offseason, fortunately for them that unit will not suffer the losses of JK Dobbins and Justice Hill as long as Lamar Jackson remains healthy. The quarterback’s presence has more of an impact on running backs than its wide receivers, so expect plenty of Ravens yards that way. – EC

They had the novel to follow during the preseason with the Aaron Rodgers dispute and it will continue to be the topic of conversation, but the No. 12 resolves like few others on the grid and that will reassure everyone for now in Green Bay. – LMV

Without making too much noise, Cleveland has assembled a squad with few holes, and now hopes only to add specific pieces that help the team to give the missing stretch. Veterans like Jadeveon Clowney and safety John Johnson III were hired for just that reason. – RZ

This could be the last call in Tennessee, the window of a championship will remain open while Derrick Henry is in full swing and because of his running style it is very likely that we will soon see him paying the price of the punishment he suffers every week, add that game now extra we will have in the season and running back attrition could be terrible for the Titans’ aspirations. – EC

The Matthew Stafford era begins after the trade that sent Jared Goff to the Lions. They think that’s the point that separated them from the Super Bowl, but I’m not sure that was the whole problem. – LMV

The quarterback rotation experiment has a poor record of success in the NFL, but the Niners are confident it will be a good first step in the transition from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance. More important, still, is the recovery of so many injured from last season. – RZ

I don’t find a more intriguing team this season than the Chargers, they have a young quarterback with a privileged arm who showed great progress towards the end of 2020 and the defense seems to have the right pieces in place, unfortunately for them they share a division with the Chiefs. but they will surely be fighting for a playoff berth at the end of the season. – EC

Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson seem to have the formula to always stay in the fight despite multiple modifications, but now the rival to beat in the NL West is the Rams. – LMV

No quarterback will be more criticized with every slightest mistake than Dak Prescott, after a whole faction of fans mobilized to speak out against him receiving a contract extension in Dallas. Either way, he’s by far the best quarterback in his division, and that means the Cowboys have a lead from the starting line. – RZ

The key in Pittsburgh is simple: protect Ben Roethlisberger. The veteran quarterback needs all the help they can give him to stay healthy in a season that will be long and exhausting for his battered arm. As long as Roethlisberger is under center the Steelers will have aspirations, otherwise we’ve already had examples in the recent past of how tough life can be in Pittsburgh. – EC

New England was one of the worst-hit teams by players who opted out last season and now several of them are back, but the story to follow is their new quarterback, rookie Mac Jones. – LMV

Sean Payton handed over the keys to the ship to Jameis Winston instead of Taysom Hill, and that means New Orleans will be able to continue to exploit Hill’s versatility in specific situations during the game. That’s important, because the Saints’ arsenal looks a little less intimidating than in other years. – RZ

Kirk Cousins ​​has two lethal weapons at his disposal with wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, but they need running back Dalvin Cook to stay healthy to balance his attack and not become one-dimensional, something that has held them back repeatedly recently. – EC

Arizona was an intriguing team with Kyler Murray at the controls and now they have added more “toys” to the arsenal with the addition of AJ Green lining up opposite DeAndre Hopkins. They may not have many victories at the end of the year, but their matches will certainly be entertaining. – LMV

The Colts’ big bet is Carson Wentz, but Wentz’s big bet is not getting vaccinated. Let’s see how many games pass before Indy is forced to start with Jacob Eason at the controls, and if that is due to COVID-19, or that Wentz keeps playing as he did in 2020. – RZ

The Dolphins will go as far as criticized quarterback Tua Tagovailoa takes them, unfortunately what little we saw of him last season does not bode well for what to expect in 2021 and now Ryan Fitzpatrick is gone for late wins. minutes to Miami. – EC

Giving the starting job to Justin Fields seemed like a better option than starting the season with Andy Dalton at the controls, and everything indicates that it will only be a matter of time before that change is made. – LMV

Washington has put its faith in the quarterback with the most passing attempts in his career without ever playing a postseason game, Ryan Fitzpatrick. After conquering the division with a 7-9 record, it is unlikely to believe that Washington will face the same fate in 2021. – RZ

In Jon Gruden’s fourth year as head coach, we should expect at least a solid team in Las Vegas, but that doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case. The Raiders have offensive weapons to compete with Derek Carr, Josh Jacobs, Henry Ruggs III and Darren Waller, the problem is that the defense has not been up to the task to defend advantages, that is a recipe that will not get them anywhere. – EC

Atlanta starts the Arthur Smith era with a lot of talent despite the loss of Julio Jones and with the “advantage” that both the Saints and Panthers are in full transition. The Bucs are the winners in all of this, but they won’t fare as badly as you might think. – LMV

The Broncos staged one of the true quarterback competitions of the summer, with Teddy Bridgewater beating Drew Lock. But this team has been incessantly linked to names like Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson, so whoever finishes the season at the helm of Denver’s offense might not be on the roster, yet. – RZ

The return of Saquon Barkley might not be enough in New York if Daniel Jones does not raise his level to ignite the Giants offense, this could be his last chance to establish himself as a starting quarterback and if he does not take advantage of it, do not be surprised if the team he takes another quarterback in the first round of the next draft. – EC

I understand if the fans in Carolina do not show much confidence in their new quarterback Sam Darnold, but the talent in the receiving corps and the fact that there is not as much pressure from the press as in NY will allow him to pay better dividends. – LMV

Joe Burrow’s return is enough to excite the Cincinnati fans. The problem is that the first reports regarding his former collegiate teammate Ja’Marr Chase with the Bengals have not been exactly what was expected. – RZ

Philadelphia was a disaster last year largely due to injuries and then-coach Doug Pederson’s terrible handling of his quarterbacks’ situation, relegating Carson Wentz – when he seemed undeserving – to the rookie job. Jalen Hurts, who showed very little. This year Wentz and Pederson are gone, so Hurts faces pressure to produce with an offensive cast devoid of stars. – EC

The Urban Meyer-Trevor Lawrence combo is worth following throughout the season and, despite the improvement they will have, there are still many issues to be resolved before thinking about playing the AL South. – LMV

With Zach Wilson at the helm of the aircraft, and Robert Saleh at the helm from the sides, a new era begins for some Jets that try to forget in any way possible the bitterness that Adam Gase caused while passing through the Big Apple. – RZ

The Lions seemed to throw the season overboard before it started when they traded Matthew Stafford to the Rams for Jared Goff, who couldn’t shine in an offense that had enough weapons around him, so in Detroit, with With a limited workforce, expectations are not encouraging. – EC

Houston is a mess from start to finish. They are the main contenders to win the first overall pick in the next draft and starting the season with Tyrod Taylor at the controls is the best indication of that. – LMV

They participated in these NFL Power Rankings for ESPN: Erick Cervantes (EC), Luis Miguel Vasavilbaso (LMV) and Rafael Zamorano (RZ).

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