NFL Power Rankings 2021: Week 2 Edition

The 2021 NFL regular season officially kicked off last Thursday night! The buzz around the league is at an all-time high after a great weekend of football. 

With all the Week 1 action now in the books, it’s time to get into my NFL Power Rankings: Week 2 edition.

NFL Power Rankings

1: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-0

Previously ranked: 1

Despite having four fumbles and over 100 yards of penalties, the Buccaneers still pulled out a victory in their season opener. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay offensive weapons put on a show. 

On defense, the Buccaneers had their fair share of struggles, but they played excellent red-zone defense. If Tampa Bay can cut down on their self-inflicted mistakes, they’re going to be very very tough to beat. 

2: Kansas City Chiefs 1-0 

Previously ranked: 2

The Browns played the Chiefs about as well as you can and still, the Chiefs came away with a win. Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce are the best offensive trio in the NFL. The way those three can take over the game at the snap of a finger is remarkable.

The Kansas City defense and the offensive line play will be two things to monitor moving forward. Both groups had some low points in Week 1. 

3: Los Angeles Rams 1-0

Previously ranked: 5

The new-look Rams offense with Matthew Stafford at the helm is fun to watch. Sean McVay seems to be relishing the opportunity to work with Stafford. Los Angeles put a beating on the Bears on Sunday night. 

The Rams need to be more stout against the run, but besides that, this was a great way for Los Angeles to kick off the 2021 season. 

4: Seattle Seahawks 1-0 

Previously ranked: 8

Seattle tends to impress early in NFL seasons and 2021 looks to be no different. The Seahawks beat the Colts pretty handily. With Russell Wilson, Chris Carson, D.K. Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett, the Seahawks have one of the more explosive offenses in football. The defense played well too. Although, I would still be cautious about their secondary moving forward. 

The next step for Seattle is maintaining its fast start. That’s something they haven’t always been able to do.

5: Cleveland Browns 0-1

Previously ranked: 6

Yes, the Browns lost to the Chiefs, but they proved they were for real, even in defeat. Cleveland didn’t at any point look overmatched by Kansas City. In fact, they looked like two AFC contenders duking it out.

Cleveland has more than enough talent to beat anyone in the NFL, but they must improve on closing games both offensively and defensively. 

6: Arizona Cardinals 1-0 

Previously ranked: 11

The Cardinals flat out bullied the Titans in Week 1. Kyler Murray was spectacular, and the defense, led by Chandler Jones, was dominant. There wasn’t much at all to complain about. It was a great team victory.

Arizona is in a tough NFC West, but if they can consistently play up to their full capabilities, they have the roster talent to compete for the division title.

7: San Francisco 49ers 1-0 

Previously ranked: 10

The 49ers let the Lions back into the game late, but for most of the game, San Francisco showcased just how good they can really be. The 49ers have playmakers at just about every position on the field. Plus, Jimmy Garoppolo had a strong performance.

The problem is, the injury bug has already begun to strike San Francisco. Jason Verrett is out for the year and Raheem Mostert will miss a large chunk of games. This team can be very good if relatively healthy, but that’s a big if.

8: Pittsburgh Steelers 1-0 

Previously ranked: 18

The Steelers are going to have one of the best defenses in all of the NFL. Pittsburgh made an elite Bills offense look very pedestrian on Sunday. The defense alone will win the Steelers a good amount of games.

What will ultimately limit their upside is the lack of offense. Ben Roethlisberger still looks limited and the running game is still non-existent. All that said, their win in Buffalo was one of the best wins of Week 1.

9: Buffalo Bills 0-1

Previously ranked: 4

Sunday’s game was a struggle for Buffalo. Josh Allen didn’t play well, the running game wasn’t much of a factor, and the offensive line couldn’t handle the Steelers pass rush. 

Still though, the Bills are going to bounce back. It’s simply hard to expect an immensely talented Buffalo offense to continue to play that poorly. They’ll face a good test this Sunday when they take on the Dolphins.

10: Baltimore Ravens 0-1

Previously ranked: 7

Yes, the Ravens lost to the Raiders in overtime, but it’s important to not overreact to a Week 1 loss on the road. Lamar Jackson played well and the Ravens will win a lot of games this year. 

More concerning than the loss is the injuries that have been piling up for Baltimore the past couple of weeks. The loss of star corner Marcus Peters to an ACL injury is already making a negative impact. The Ravens gave up 435 passing yards to Derek Carr. 

Again, the Ravens will win games this season, as they have good coaching and a good roster, but their playoff aspirations are a big question mark.

11: New Orleans Saints 1-0 

Previously ranked: 17

In the most surprising result of Week 1, the Saints crushed the Packers. Jameis Winston had an efficient performance and the defense never let up on Aaron Rodgers. 

It will be interesting to see if the game against the Packers was an aberration or what we should expect going forward. It’s hard to say just yet, but regardless, their victory against Green Bay was impressive.

12: Los Angeles Chargers 1-0

Previously ranked: 12

Although the Chargers stayed at the same spot in this week’s rankings, they’re headed in the right direction.

Los Angeles won against the Washington Football Team on the road. The final score could have been much more lopsided had the Chargers been better in the red zone. That said, Justin Herbert was effective and the offensive line was much improved from a season ago. Rashawn Slater looks like someone who could start at tackle for the next decade. 

The Chargers may not win the AFC West, but they’ll at least give the Chiefs a challenge.

13: Green Bay Packers 0-1

Previously ranked: 3

There were very few positive takeaways from the Packers’ performance on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers played some really bad football and often looked disinterested in being out there.

It’s only one game though, and the Packers have a roster more than good enough to turn things around. Green Bay is still the easy favorite in the NFC North. 

All that said, it is a bit concerning that the Packers came out that slow, considering all the drama that went on this offseason. Where Green Bay goes from here will be interesting to watch.

14: Miami Dolphins 1-0

Previously ranked: 16

The Dolphins picked up a major division win against the Patriots in Week 1. Miami’s defense was stout and won the game with their strong play in the red zone. 

The concern for Miami remains with the offense. Tua Tagovailoa had some nice moments but also some concerning ones as well. Plus, the offensive line looks to be one of the bottom-tier groups in the NFL. Brian Flores and the defense will carry this group to wins, but the offense needs to play better if Miami wants to be true contenders in the AFC.

15: Dallas Cowboys 0-1 

Previously ranked: 14

Dak Prescott is back! He looked amazing in the Cowboy’s season opener. The Dallas passing offense as a whole looks great. Ezekiel Elliott will need to get more involved, but his lack of carries in Week 1 was likely the game plan heading into last Thursday.

The Cowboys’ secondary is going to be what holds this team back. Dallas has some talent in the front seven, but the secondary just isn’t up to par just yet.

16: New England Patriots 0-1

Previously ranked: 13

The Patriots lost on Sunday, but the way Mac Jones performed can ease some of the pain from the loss. It’s still early, but Jones’ future looks bright. 

Because the rookie quarterback showed the ability to perform well right away, the Patriots are going to contend for a playoff spot. It’s important to note that if not for a few costly fumbles, the Patriots looked to be heading towards a victory against Miami.

Aside from the quarterback position, the most intriguing thing to watch in New England moving forward will be the corner position. Can the Patriots’ high-level front seven mask some of the issues New England has at corner? 

17: Las Vegas Raiders 1-0

Previously ranked: 22

Derek Carr had a masterpiece performance on Monday night. He, along with Darren Waller, led the Raiders to a victory over the Ravens. Las Vegas looks like a team that can compete for an AFC Wild Card spot. The offense has high potential and the defense can be opportunistic.

Can the Raiders sustain this level of play though? We’ve seen in recent years how inconsistent this organization can be, so I need to see more similar performances before I move the Raiders up too far in the power rankings.

18: Tennessee Titans 0-1

Previously ranked: 9

It was shocking how bad the Titans’ offense looked. The lack of play-action was unsettling. 

If the Titans offense, the supposed strength of this year’s team, continues to play as they did against Arizona they’re going to be in for a long season. It should be noted, the Tennessee defense played just as bad as the offense. 

19: Denver Broncos 1-0

Previously ranked: 21

Denver is going to have a great defensive unit this seaosn. Getting Von Miller back is such a blessing. He was a force on Sunday. The Denver secondary is high-level as well.

The concern is going to come on the offensive side of the ball. Teddy Bridgewater looked excellent on Sunday, but will that continue the rest of the season? It’s hard to expect that, but we’ll see.

20: Washington Football Team 0-1

Previously ranked: 15

Washington lost their game and their starting quarterback on Sunday. Ryan Fitzpatrick is expected out for 6-8 weeks. Taylor Heinicke looked good in limited action last season, but the 2021 outlook of the Washington offense has become muddled.

On a positive note, the Washington defense looks as advertised. The group held a good Los Angeles offense in check for most of the game. 

21: Indianapolis Colts 0-1

Previously ranked: 19

The Colts’ offense didnt perform well, but the bigger concern was the play of their secondary. It’s possible the lackluster performance had more to do with facing an elite quarterback like Russell Wilson than it was a sign of things to come, but it’s something to monitor going forward.

Despite the concerns, the Colts still look to have a solid shot to win the AFC South. The division is extremely weak this year and it will likely come down to Indianapolis or Tennessee.

22: Cincinnati Bengals 1-0 

Previously ranked: 26

The Bengals took a nice leap in this week’s power rankings. Joe Burrow looked good and Joe Mixon looked even better. If the Cincinnati offensive line can hold up, the Bengals are going to have an explosive offense.

Being in the AFC North and still having weak spots on the offensive line will make it hard for the Bengals to make the playoffs, but they’ll be a fun team to watch.

23: Philadelphia Eagles 1-0 

Previously ranked: 28

Just as you shouldn’t overreact to a Week 1 loss, you shouldn’t overreact to a Week 1 win either. Still though, the Eagles played fantastic in all three phases of the game against the Falcons. More importantly, Jalen Hurts looks like the real deal.

Due to the roster being a bit young at important positions, I still think the Eagles will finish near the bottom of the NFC, but they look to be heading in the right direction nonetheless.

24: Minnesota Vikings 0-1

Previously ranked: 20

The Vikings are a tough team to figure out. Minnesota should be much better than what they are. They have a roster filled with good players on both sides of the ball. 

The issue Sunday was that the defense didn’t play up to expectations. Minnesota feels like a team that will be right around .500 all season long. Considering the number of high-level players on this roster, that has to be considered a disappointment.

25: Carolina Panthers 1-0

Previously ranked: 25

Yes, Carolina won in Week 1, but it was against the Jets and there were some major red flags. The primary one being the offensive line play. The Panthers did a poor job keeping Sam Darnold free of pressure. That’s going to be an issue all season.

The defense looked good though. There will be some growing pains though, considering they’re a young group. Bottom line: The Panthers have a solid foundation to build on, but they aren’t completely there just yet.

26: Chicago Bears 0-1

Previously ranked: 23

Chicago opened the seaosn on the road against a top NFL team, so it’s hard to knock them too much. That said, neither side of the ball was good enough. 

The Chicago secondary was flat-out bad. Andy Dalton looked like Andy Dalton, which isn’t terrible but also won’t win you many games. When will Matt Nagy turn to Justin Fields? That is the big question.

27: New York Giants 0-1

Previously ranked: 27

To have a competent offense this season, the Giants will need to run the ball well and not commit turnovers. Unfortunately, in the season opener, the Giants couldn’t run the ball and they turned the ball over. 

New York did face a tough defense, so it theoretically should get easier from here, but it’s hard to have much faith in a Daniel Jones-led offense. 

28: Houston Texans 1-0

Previously ranked: 32

Houston had a nice showing against the Jaguars in Week 1. This feels more like an outlier than what to expect moving forward, but it’s a nice win. The Tyrod Taylor to Brandin Cooks connection looked elite.

Ultimately, Houston is going to struggle to beat more talented teams, but they will be at least competitive against most of the league.

29: Atlanta Falcons 0-1

Previously ranked: 24

Atlanta has more roster talent than most of the other bottom-tier NFL teams, but they looked lost on Sunday. 

Nothing on offense or defense went right. The defense was expected to struggle, but it’s surprising that the offense couldn’t move the ball whatsoever. New head coach Arthur Smith has a lot of work ahead of him.

30: Detroit Lions 0-1

Previously ranked: 31

Detriot showed a lot of heart to battle back and after being down 38-10 against the 49ers. The Lions ended up losing 41-33. 

With that kind of heart, the Lions may be able to pick up a few games here and there this season. However, the talent level of the roster will make them one of the worst teams in the league. The good news is that at least as of right now, the team has bought in on the new coaching regime.

31: New York Jets 0-1

Previously ranked: 30

Looking at the stat sheet you may not think Zach Wilson played all that well, but he had a good first performance. He’ll continue to make some mistakes, but he looks promising.

The offensive line, on the other hand, is a major work in progress. New York allowed a ton of quarterback pressures. The lack of proven talent that the Jets have along the offensive line and at corner is jarring.

32: Jacksonville Jaguars 0-1

Previously ranked: 29

The Jaguars looked like an absolute mess in Week 1. To get blown out by a lowly Houston Texans team is a bad look. Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence showed a few flashes of brilliance, but for the most part, he played like a rookie. 

As long as Lawrence develops throughout the season the Jaguars will be fine with losing games. The question is: Do the Jaguars have enough talent around Lawrence to allow him to develop?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *