NFL Week 1 Power Rankings: Buccaneers start season at No. 1, but Bills will stand in way of Super Bowl repeat

The issues that coaches roll out as motivational instruments can generally be amusing. Think about Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians and one in all his 2021 techniques.

His crew, recent off a Super Bowl victory final February, returns 22 starters, a rarity on this free company period and, even simply as necessary, now has over a full 12 months of Tom Brady studying and operating the offense.

With that as a backdrop, Tampa Bay needs to be a crew that could be a Tremendous Bowl favourite once more. Even Arians has to know that.

But there he was throughout a minicamp this spring telling me that final season was nice and all, however one thing continues to be lacking. He pointed to the banners within the crew’s indoor facility and mentioned they’ve a Tremendous Bowl-champion banner, however they did not get a division-winning banner.

As trite as that will sound when it comes to motivation, he is proper. The Bucs received the Tremendous Bowl as a wild card crew, profitable three video games on the highway, which is hard to do. That is why profitable the NFC South is a prime purpose for the Bucs and Arians this season — and a motivational tactic.

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It is onerous to imagine that Tampa Bay will not try this with all of the expertise that’s again, coupled with Brady being rather more comfy within the offense. This Tampa Bay crew is definitely higher than final 12 months’s, which is why it opens within the prime spot in my 2021 Energy Rankings, which the champs virtually all the time do within the first rankings.

That does not imply they’re a lock to win it once more. Repeating is hard, even for a seasoned, gifted crew like Tampa Bay. However I do suppose the Bucs will get again to the Tremendous Bowl, solely to fall quick.

The Buffalo Payments will win all of it. That is the 12 months Payments quarterback Josh Allen cements himself as among the finest within the NFL by main the Payments to their first Tremendous Bowl victory. Allen nonetheless has doubters, regardless of his MVP-like season in 2020.

There’s a large a part of me that thinks Allen is just scratching the floor of what he may be as a passer, which is why I’m bullish on the Payments. Coach Sean McDermott and coordinator Leslie Frazier can have the protection improved over final season — they should be higher dashing the passer — and that can show to be the impetus to get this crew to the Tremendous Bowl and win it.

The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Inexperienced Bay Packers will once more be within the combine, however this time it is the Payments who beat the Chiefs within the AFC Championship Sport to maneuver on and win all of it, beating Brady, who introduced a whole lot of distress to Buffalo in his time with the Patriots.

Whereas the Payments Mafia shall be pleased with these first rankings, I do know most of you will see that one thing to complain about. Oh, properly. Possibly you should use it as motivation.

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The champs all the time open within the prime spot in my rankings, which is why the Bucs are right here. I do not count on them to maneuver far off this spot in any respect this season. 0-0-0



It is a deep, gifted crew that has the weapons to attain a bunch on offense. The protection shall be higher as properly, which is why they’re my decide to win all of it. 1 0-0-0



The rebuilt offensive line ought to make the offense get again to scoring factors in an enormous approach with Patrick Mahomes lighting it up. There are some considerations in regards to the protection which have to enhance. 1 0-0-0



Shock, shock. Aaron Rodgers is again. Since he’s, they’re as soon as once more a crew that may win all of it. That is one other crew that has to make strides on protection to get to a Tremendous Bowl. 0-0-0



The expertise is there, so it is time to stay as much as the expectations. The Browns are the favourite within the AFC North for a motive. Can they deal with the hype? 0-0-0



Irrespective of who performs quarterback, that is the crew I believe will win the NFC West. Jimmy Garoppolo will seemingly begin the season, however Trey Lance will get snaps as properly. They’re wholesome once more, which is unhealthy news for the remainder of the division. 0-0-0



The massive difficulty is whether or not the passing recreation will enhance sufficient this season. Lamar Jackson is an incredible weapon, however the passing recreation needs to be higher to win all of it. 0-0-0



Matt Stafford brings his gunslinging mentality to the offense. That is a great factor. The protection ought to once more be among the many finest, which is why some are selecting the Rams to be a Tremendous crew. 1 0-0-0



They’ve added some good veteran items in J.J. Watt and A.J. Inexperienced, exhibiting it is time to make an actual playoff push. It is a large season for coach Kliff Kingsbury. 1 0-0-0



They need to rating rather a lot with all of the weapons, together with Derrick Henry and Julio Jones, so it is all in regards to the protection for this group. They have been dreadful final season, so any enchancment ought to give them a division title. 11 0-0-0



Mac Jones shall be a rookie starter, which may be difficult – irrespective of how good he appeared within the preseason. Invoice Belichick once more has the expertise to get this crew again into the postseason. 1 0-0-0



Carson Wentz is the massive query mark right here. He has to remain wholesome, however even then there are those that marvel if he is the man. The younger protection should carry this crew early within the season. 1 0-0-0


Football Team

The protection shall be nasty, perhaps even the most effective within the NFL. So the massive query is whether or not Ryan Fitzpatrick may be ok on offense. I believe he may be. 0-0-0



Dak Prescott is again, the offensive line is wholesome once more and the protection has added some key gamers. That is the 12 months Mike McCarthy has to get this crew a division title. 0-0-0



It is all about Tua Tagovailoa. If he makes the strides, they are going to be a playoff crew – and perhaps extra. If not, there shall be adjustments coming. 0-0-0



The protection, which is normally the calling card for Mike Zimmer-coached groups, shall be again to taking part in at a excessive stage after a foul 2020. Couple that with a great offense, and the Vikings needs to be again within the postseason. 0-0-0



The protection will carry this crew, which suggests Teddy Bridgewater has to only handle the offense with out turning it over. Denver will push for a playoff spot. 0-0-0



They nonetheless have Russell Wilson, which all the time makes them a menace. The important thing to their season would be the enchancment of the protection, which suggests enchancment of the go rush. I’m not certain it is ok, which is why they’re the fourth crew within the division in my ebook. 6 0-0-0



Jameis Winston opens because the starter at quarterback within the post-Drew Brees period, however you realize the Taysom Hill gimmick shall be an enormous half as properly. Sean Payton loves the make-up of this crew, however will the fallout from being displaced by a hurricane influence their begin? 1 0-0-0



I do not see a sophomore droop for Justin Herbert, which suggests the offense shall be explosive behind an improved offensive line. The protection will get again Derwin James, which can assist that facet develop. 1 0-0-0



Ben Roethlisberger is again, and he is appeared good to date. However the greatest query is the offensive line. They made large adjustments there. The protection shall be excellent once more. 1 0-0-0



They’re a tricky crew to guage beneath first-year coach Arthur Smith. Matt Ryan ought to put up large numbers, however the protection has points dashing the passer, which may hold this crew down. 0-0-0



Andy Dalton opens the season because the beginning quarterback, but it surely’s solely a matter of time/video games earlier than Justin Fields takes over. The Bears are the third crew of their division, which is why Fields needs to be taking part in quickly. 0-0-0



It is a prove-it 12 months for quarterback Daniel Jones. He has to point out he is the long-term reply. Getting a wholesome Saquon Barkley again will assist. The priority is the road in entrance of him. 0-0-0



They are going to once more be enjoyable to look at on offense, but it surely’s the protection that is a matter. They have been terrible final 12 months, which is not a great factor in a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. 0-0-0



It is all about Jalen Hurts. If he can present he is the long-term man, the Eagles shall be a lot increased than this come December. The division is not nice, so that can assist their probabilities. 1 0-0-0



The Trevor Lawrence-era begins, and he shall be a celebrity. The issue is that they lack expertise at some key spots. The protection has pass-rush points that might lead to rather a lot large performs towards that unit. 1 0-0-0



Sam Darnold is the quarterback – for now. He is basically in a prove-it 12 months. If he struggles, you possibly can guess they are going to be focusing on a alternative subsequent 12 months. The younger protection needs to be higher. 0-0-0



Joe Burrow is coming off a significant knee damage, which is why there may be concern about his play. He has appeared off in camp. In time, I believe he’ll get again to taking part in at a excessive stage. They only is perhaps a 12 months away from competing within the division. 0-0-0



New coach Dan Campbell can have this crew taking part in powerful, bodily soccer. The query is the expertise. They do not have sufficient but to compete within the division. Jared Goff will play higher than the consultants suppose. 0-0-0



It will be an extended rebuild for Robert Saleh and the Jets. Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson can have some rising pains this 12 months, but it surely’s all in regards to the future for the Jets. This season shall be the 1st step. 0-0-0



They may not be as unhealthy as some suppose due to all of the veterans on the roster. They are going to be a feisty crew, even when they do not win a whole lot of video games. The issue is they simply haven’t got a ton of top-level expertise. The Deshaun Watson scenario additionally hangs over this crew. 0-0-0 | NFL Week 1 Energy Rankings: Buccaneers begin season at No. 1, however Payments will stand in approach of Tremendous Bowl repeat


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