2021 Pickwatch Power Rankings: Week 2
Where does each team in the NFL stand heading into Week 2?
Each week during the 2021 NFL Season, Pickwatch Head of Content Michael Schottey takes a look at where each team stands.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (-3)
You wanna be the worst? You have to lose to the worst, and the Jaguars did that with aplomb in Week 1. Now, there are already rumors that head coach Urban Meyer has worn out his welcome and may not be in this for the long haul.
31. Houston Texans (+1)
Beat the Cleveland Browns next week and I promise I’ll start saying extremely nice things about you, Texans. Until then, you’ve just proven the Jaguars are an even bigger mess.
30. Detroit Lions ( - )
Too little, too late against a very good San Francisco 49ers team. Eventually, quarterback Jared Goff needs to lead a team and not just be along for the ride.
29. Atlanta Falcons (-3)
I thought the offense might have a little fire power in Week 1, but nope. The wheels are gonna come off head coach Arthur Smith’s honeymoon phase awfully quickly if they can’t move the ball.
28. New York Jets ( - )
Expectations are low for the Jets, and they clearly played hard in an attempted comeback against a solid Carolina Panthers team. It’s a tough stretch ahead, though.
27. Philadelphia Eagles (+4)
On our Monday episode of Three & Out, I publicly apologized to the State Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but co-host Samantha Bunten brought up a good question: Are the Eagles better than we thought or are the Falcons just even worse? Probably a little of both.
26. New York Giants (-4)
Another year of this being one of the most boring football teams on the Planet Earth.
25. Las Vegas Raiders (+2)
Getting an overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens is impressive. Putting up 33 points against their really good defense is even more so. I’m probably gonna regret not sliding them up even higher.
24. Minnesota Vikings (-6)
The Cincinnati Bengals sold out against running back Dalvin Cook and the passing game couldn’t handle the load. This is a better team than their play shows and that falls on head coach Mike Zimmer who may have the hottest seat in football after Week 1.
23. Denver Broncos (+2)
I love watching the Broncos play football, and they’ve got easy matchups against the Jaguars and Jets the next few weeks before things get tougher. If the offense learns to just hold their own...
22. Chicago Bears (+1)
I’m firmly in the “continue the Andy Dalton era” at least for a few more weeks, but wow is the Bears' starting QB making it difficult.
21.Carolina Panthers (+3)
I swear to all that is holy, Matt Rhule...you punt from the opponent’s 33-yard line again, and I will put you at No. 32 for the rest of the season.
20. Tennessee Titans (-5)
Literally every stud the Titans are supposed to have played terribly on Sunday. You can't beat quality opponents unless your stars step up.
19. Cincinnati Bengals (+4)
18. New England Patriots (-2)
I’m still positive about what the Patriots can do this season, but QB Mac Jones is every bit a rookie.
17. Washington Football Team (-8)
One of the bigger slides of the week, this has a lot to do with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s injury, which will keep him out multiple weeks.
16. Indianapolis Colts (-2)
There’s nothing embarrassing about losing to the Seattle Seahawks, but looking offensively inept at home? That’s troubling. QB Carson Wentz has to remember that the guys on the outside of the field are called “wide receivers” and he can throw to them.
15. Miami Dolphins (+4)
Beating Patriots head coach Bill Belichick at just about everything Bill Belichick does well? Good on ya’ head coach Brian Flores.
14. Los Angeles Chargers (-1)
This offense has (a lot) more firepower than it showed against a good Washington Football Team defense. The problem? I’m not sure they have an “easy” matchup on their schedule until November.
13. Dallas Cowboys (-3)
Going toe-to-toe with the defending champs in primetime was impressive. I wouldn’t worry about running back Ezekiel Elliott, either. He’ll be just fine.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (+8)
I still think I was right about some of the issues that the Steelers are going to have this season between QB Ben Roethlisberger’s arm and a defensive backfield that lacks talent, but man oh man did I forget about how this team can just dominate in the trenches.
11. Arizona Cardinals (+6)
I spent an entire offseason thinking this Cardinals team could look like it looked on Sunday but whispering it because I didn’t want to go too far out on that limb. Now, I’m all in.
10. Cleveland Browns (-3)
Finish a game...like, at some point.
9. Baltimore Ravens (-3)
It’s a short week and then the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football? That’s called going from bad to worse.
8. New Orleans Saints (+4)
Like with the Cardinals, I had notions that the Saints offense could look good, but not this good! QB Jameis Winston is in the early MVP running, but this week’s divisional matchup against the Panthers will test his consistency.
7. San Francisco 49ers (+1)
Maybe a game against the Lions shouldn’t have been that interesting...
6. Los Angeles Rams (+5)
I’ve been trying to slowplay QB Matthew Stafford’s impact on the offense—if only to counter the rampant positivity. I should not have done that. The next four weeks (Colts, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Seahawks) are going to do a lot to set the Rams’ place in the NFC.
5. Green Bay Packers (-2)
You don’t have to win every contest against top-notch teams, but you should at least look like you want to be there.
4. Buffalo Bills (-1)
3. Seattle Seahawks (+2)
I was already pushing further in on the Seahawks than I was comfortable with before, but now it’s just reckless. The offense has a chance to be the best in the NFL and while the defense has question marks, it’s better than advertised.
2. Kansas City Chiefs ( - )
All offseason, I tried to remind people that the Chiefs’ offensive line would need time to gel, and going up against a tough Browns front showcased that face nicely. Way to come back in exciting fashion, but don’t be surprised if the next few weeks still have some choppy waters.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( - )
We’re all used to QB Tom Brady looking like an ageless wonder, but WR Antonio Brown and tight end Rob Gronkowski are defying Father Time as well. I’m calling for a 50-burger against the Falcons this week.