2021 NFL power rankings after Week 1: Packers stumble, Cardinals rumble

NFL energy rankings, 2021 post-Week 1 version (earlier rank in parentheses):

1. Buccaneers (1): Poor begin by a protection that was the true Tremendous Bowl 55 MVP. However while you’ve acquired QB Tom Brady and a solid of offensive ability gamers that might have served because the beginning lineup within the 2017 Professional Bowl, OK for the D to take an early mulligan.

2. Chiefs (2): The re-engineered offensive line usually held up effectively – significantly given three gamers with zero NFL expertise have been debuting – as did Kansas Metropolis’s proclivity to fall into double-digit holes earlier than dramatically climbing out of them.

3. Rams (6): The Matthew Stafford-Sean McVay marriage appeared all it was cracked as much as be – by means of one recreation anyway. Stafford’s Week 1-best 156.1 QB ranking is the best in league historical past for a participant debuting with a brand new staff.

4. Browns (3): Their previous two video games have been at Arrowhead Stadium, the place they’ve given Chiefs all they will deal with. Now think about if Cleveland had WR Odell Beckham Jr. within the lineup … or merely a punter who may area a snap.

5. Saints (16): New NBC soccer analyst Drew Brees kidded (proper?) Sunday that “I assume apparently that is what the Saints have been lacking.” He was referring to QB successor Jameis Winston, who struck downfield – a functionality that ought to open up your entire assault and particularly assist RB Alvin Kamara. Is that this offense truly higher? To date, so good given what New Orleans simply did to the Packers … and beneath suboptimal circumstances.

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6. Seahawks (10): Glass half empty – QB Russell Wilson was sacked three extra instances (for disgrace, O-line). Glass half full – the protection shone in Indianapolis and notched three sacks of its personal. Given what simply occurred to their subsequent opponent, Tennessee, anticipate D to take sack lead after Week 2.

7. Cardinals (21): If we’re crowning offensive and defensive gamers of the yr after Week 1, good likelihood Arizona would have each given the opening day performances of QB Kyler Murray (5 TDs) and OLB Chandler Jones (5 sacks).

8. Steelers (17): They have been hardly dominant in upset of Buffalo. However robust protection, a re-commitment to the run and opportunistic particular groups may carry Pittsburgh a great distance as soon as once more.

9. Cowboys (14): Encouraging begin for QB Dak Prescott after shining in his first recreation in 11 months … although far much less encouraging begin for a rebooted protection that merely must be common however did not attain that bar in Tampa regardless of producing 4 turnovers.

10. Payments (5): The offensive line allowed QB Josh Allen to get hit eight instances, sacked three and was flagged for six holding penalties in opposition to Pittsburgh. In any other case, it was stellar.

11. 49ers (9): Are they the staff that led Detroit 38-10 by means of 2½ quarters, or the one which held on for a 41-33 win … and is already coping with one other rash of accidents after dropping CB Jason Verrett to a torn ACL and RB Raheem Mostert to his personal season-ending knee surgical procedure?

12. Dolphins (11): The place was fourth-year TE Mike Gesicki? Two targets, no catches, whereas batting a ball into the air that price QB Tua Tagovailoa a decide. Ge-sickly.

13. Chargers (12): Fairly spectacular 16-game begin (4,673 passing yards and 32 TDs) for QB Justin Herbert … and he is even profitable shut video games now!

14. Packers (4): “It is only one recreation,” mentioned QB Aaron Rodgers following Inexperienced Bay’s embarrassing loss to New Orleans. “We performed dangerous. I performed dangerous. … One recreation. We have got 16 to go.” If Rodgers is fortunate, All-Professional LT David Bakhtiari (ACL) will likely be again for 11 of these video games.

15. Broncos (18): Their .683 profitable proportion in Week 1 is the NFL’s greatest for the reason that 1970 merger, however it hasn’t helped them end a season above .500 since 2016. However this staff appears harmful (and fashionable, coach Vic Fangio sporting an FDNY hat on the sideline Sunday).

16. Raiders (24): They did their greatest to return up snake eyes in debut in entrance of Las Vegas followers however in the end hit blackjack.

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17. Patriots (13): RB Damien Harris squandered a 100-yard day with a fourth-quarter fumble New England could not get well from. Good luck getting out of Belichick’s doghouse, Damien …

18. Ravens (8): Their obvious defensive decay might be much more problematic than their depleted working again room after coughing up what ought to have been a Week 1 W.

19. Titans (7): LT Taylor Lewan took the blame for the offensive struggles, however that does not clarify why the Tennessee protection remains to be getting crushed like a drum.

20. Bengals (28): And now we all know why rookie Evan McPherson was the one kicker drafted in 2021, his game-winning FG in time beyond regulation following a 53-yarder within the fourth quarter. Icy.

21. Washington (19): QB Ryan Fitzpatrick set a report by making a Week 1 begin for his sixth completely different membership earlier than sustaining a hip damage more likely to price him at the very least half the season. However it might be a silver lining for the WFT because it takes an prolonged take a look at Taylor Heinicke, who may have a long-term future right here.

22. Eagles (30): No staff rushed for extra yards in Week 1 than Philadelphia’s 173, a great indication the offensive line is again and would possibly gasoline a better-than-expected season.

23. Panthers (23): QB Sam Darnold’s relaunch and RB Christian McCaffrey’s return understandably commanded lots of consideration, however Carolina’s protection opened season with a stifling efficiency (6 sacks, 252 yards allowed).

24. Vikings (15): If you commit a dozen penalties for 116 yards, and your greatest participant (RB Dalvin Cook dinner) fumbles in time beyond regulation? Welp. Not harbingers for the marketing campaign you need.

25. Colts (20): Carson Wentz turned Indianapolis’ fifth completely different Week 1 starter up to now 5 seasons. The Colts misplaced all 5 openers.

26. Bears (25): Whereas the world obsesses with making rookie QB Justin Fields the starter, not sufficient persons are speaking about how dangerous Chicago’s offensive line and protection are.

27. Texans (32): Good to see rookie coach David Culley and QB Tyrod Taylor, neither precisely flush with good NFL luck, break from the gate with such a decisive victory of their Houston debuts.

28. Jets (27): Darnold’s NFL debut (Sept. 10, 2018) marked the NYJ’s final win in September. His Panthers debut marked the Jets’ tenth consecutive defeat within the month.

29. Lions (31): Dan Campbell’s costs confirmed there’d be no stop in them … onerous because it should be to remain engaged while you’ve surrendered at the very least 30 factors in seven consecutive video games.

30. Giants (22): QB Daniel Jones coughed up the ball for the fortieth time. Joe Choose tossed away timeouts. RB Saquon Barkley is not himself (but). Even the protection stinks. In any other case, every thing is ok for a staff that hasn’t crept above .500 since 2016.

31. Falcons (26): They seemed like a staff that ought to have drafted Fields fourth general and began utterly over, no?

32. Jaguars (29): [Air horn sounds.] Higher hydrate, Coach Meyer, appears like it should be a protracted – very lengthy – season up right here within the large leagues.


Comply with USA TODAY Sports activities’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: NFL energy rankings Week 1 2021: Packers crumble, Cardinals rumble

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