NFL Power Rankings 2021: Which teams are legit contenders?


The NFL Energy Rankings ask a number of questions. The highest tier of groups is simple to delineate. The worst groups are likewise straightforward to decipher. That’s why the group of eight PFN staffers creating the preliminary 2021 NFL Energy Rankings pinched the rankings. As a gaggle, we began on the high and shortly went to the underside and labored our manner again up. The theme of the conversations? Questions. Numerous these groups have totally different questions that must be answered.

And please bear in mind, we don’t hate your favourite soccer workforce.

2021 NFL Energy Rankings, Tier 4 | Flawed or rebuilding rosters

These groups all have flaws important sufficient to make it an extended shot for them to make the playoffs in 2021.

32) Houston Texans

Catastrophe. Deshaun Watson performed unbelievable soccer in 2020, and so they gained 4 video games. They didn’t get any higher within the offseason, we all know nothing about Watson’s future, and it will take a miracle for him to copy his 2020 manufacturing. A no brainer for the worst workforce in soccer heading into 2021.

31) Detroit Lions

The Lions can follow their kneecap-biting strategies as they hang around on the backside of the 2021 NFL Energy Rankings. The Lions are at present the favourite to choose first total within the 2022 NFL Draft. In the event that they do certainly find yourself on the backside, it’s certainly as a result of the Jared Goff commerce didn’t work out.

Getting the long run franchise quarterback within the constructing heading into Dan Campbell’s second 12 months is crucial. This can be a franchise that’s squandered expertise for a lot too lengthy.

30) Jacksonville Jaguars

Talking of disarray, an City Meyer-coached workforce, all people. I don’t make something of the Tebow signing. Hiring a disgraced power coach just for him to resign lower than two days later is proof.

Then, they drafted Travis Etienne with their second first-round choose. That’s not the difficulty. The difficulty was their assertion about utilizing him as a third-down again. I can’t see this marriage of coach and NFL meshing, and for that cause, we now have them towards the underside of our preliminary 2021 NFL Energy Rankings.

29) Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles are a roster in shambles proper now, which lands them at twenty ninth in our preliminary 2021 NFL Energy Rankings. The middle-to-right sort out mixture is excellent when wholesome, however the remainder of the offensive line is a multitude. The protection is in shambles with no nice choice at linebacker and plenty of query marks within the secondary.

It simply doesn’t appear to be a cohesive unit in the intervening time. Until Jalen Hurts takes a major leap, it’s troublesome to see them wherever however towards the underside of the NFL.

28) New York Jets

After lopping off the snake’s head that was Adam Gase, the Jets intelligently went a totally totally different route by hiring Robert Saleh as their subsequent head coach. Joe Douglas appears to have a strong grasp on the personnel selections in New York, because the Jets had among the best drafts of 2021.

Zach Wilson additionally performs the sport in such an exuberant method that he’ll nonetheless be thrilling even when he struggles as a rookie. They’re nonetheless in full rebuild mode, however the Jets appear to be in liftoff for the primary time in a very long time as a substitute of crashing all the way down to Earth.

27) Carolina Panthers

I’ve religion that Matt Rhule will construct a contender in Carolina. In simply two seasons, he turned Temple from a laughing inventory to a 10-win squad. Then, he did it once more in a horrific state of affairs down in Waco, taking a 1-win workforce and turning it into an 11-win workforce in a matter of two years. Rhule appears to be somebody gamers can relate with and rally round.

However the workforce isn’t there but. Buying and selling for Sam Darnold slightly than sitting on the eighth choose and drafting a quarterback was dangerous, bordering on irresponsible. Nonetheless, if Darnold does lastly spherical right into a Tony Romo clone, they seem like geniuses. If he’s dangerous once more, they’re a roster nonetheless on the upswing that’s most likely able to take one of many high few quarterbacks within the 2022 NFL Draft.

26) Atlanta Falcons

These preliminary 2021 NFL Energy Rankings assume that Julio Jones is not going to be a Falcon in 2021. It’s merely not believable at this level, given their cap state of affairs and his need to play for a competitor. The secondary has obtained funding over the previous few seasons, however the return has been disappointing up to now.

Their lack of a stud move rusher solely magnifies their defensive woes. Atlanta is a rebuilding workforce caught with a quarterback and weapons ok to win them a couple of video games.

25) Pittsburgh Steelers

It’s time to have a chat, Steelers followers. You’re privileged. You’re spoiled, even. Pittsburgh’s had fewer head coaches of their historical past than most groups have had previously 15 years. Your workforce’s final shedding document occurred in 2003.

However all good issues should come to an finish. Roethlisberger is over the hill and treats the ball like a scorching potato when it’s in his palms. Happily, that’s a very good factor as a result of their offensive line has regressed considerably. Their protection ought to nonetheless be strong, however shedding Bud Dupree is important.

24) Las Vegas Raiders

If I mentioned I had any clue what the plan was in Las Vegas, I’d be mendacity. Too many selections really feel like I’ve spent all evening constructing a backroll enjoying Texas maintain ’em earlier than strolling over to the roulette desk and placing all of it on the inexperienced.

The dismantling of 60% of the offensive line didn’t make sense when it occurred and nonetheless doesn’t at this time. They shocked us with one more head-scratching first-round choose and took three safeties of their subsequent 4 picks. I’m astonished some suppose this workforce is a respectable contender in 2021. In the event that they do, I’ll admit that Gruden and Mayock are wizards.

23) Chicago Bears

The Bears are in a transition interval inside their franchise. It is going to be attention-grabbing to see what occurs after 2021 with head coach Matt Nagy and basic supervisor Ryan Tempo. They did the precise factor on this previous draft by buying and selling up for Justin Fields. They adopted that up by making an attempt to deal with the issues on the offensive line by buying and selling up for Teven Jenkins. This season needs to be about constructing blocks for the Bears.

22) Cincinnati Bengals

Hear, I imagine the Bengals ought to have drafted Penei Sewell to guard Joe Burrow. Nonetheless, drafting a participant your quarterback threw 20 touchdowns to in a single school season gained’t have me on the streets with a torch and pitchfork. The Bengals are in a bizarre spot the place the AFC North is an impressive division, and there are nonetheless holes to fill on the roster, however they’ve sufficient expertise to stay aggressive for the 2021 NFL season.

21) New York Giants

The Giants are one other roster dragged down by their quarterback. If Jameis Winston is a Ferrari 488 that continues to blow a head gasket for some foolish cause, Daniel Jones is the Ford Mustang model of that. His 39 turnovers lead the league since getting into the NFL in 2019. I ought to say that he’s extra like a Mustang with a large supercharger on it as a result of his athleticism is larger than Winston’s.

The Giants are in an odd state of affairs as a result of their roster exterior of the inside offensive line is strong. I’m undecided they’ll be dangerous sufficient to safe their subsequent quarterback within the 2022 NFL Draft, even when Jones doesn’t progress this season.

20) Denver Broncos

The Broncos have one in all my favourite rosters in your complete league. They’re stout within the trenches, have an above-average receiving corps, two over-achieving linebackers plus Corridor of Famer Von Miller, and fairly probably probably the most intriguing secondary within the NFL. So why are they twentieth within the preliminary 2021 NFL Energy Rankings? Ding ding ding! That’d be Drew Lock.

This isn’t to low cost the chance for progress on the place. Moderately, it’s an acknowledgment of what we’ve seen so far. Not drafting Fields was a choice. Both they’ve confidence in Lock, or they’ve one thing huge up their sleeve. The addition of Teddy Bridgewater might push Lock towards enchancment. At the least, I’m certain that’s their hope for the transfer.

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