NFL writer Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic published his latest NFL power rankings on Monday, with the Bucs topping the list.
It should come as no surprise to see the Bucs atop many NFL power rankings at this time of the year. Especially as they were able to re-sign all 22 starters from their Super Bowl victory and all 31 players who managed to log at least 200 snaps in the 2020 season. Here is what Kapadia wrote about the Bucs’ placement:
“The defending Super Bowl champs are taking “run it back” to another level. They had 31 players log at least 200 snaps on offense or defense last season. All 31 are back, along with head coach Bruce Arians, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
One potential hurdle for the Bucs: Their depth will likely be tested more than last year when they had the best injury luck in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders’ research. But unless Tom Brady shows signs of decline at the age of 44 — and it’s unlikely anyone will be bold enough to predict that happening — Tampa Bay figures to be in the mix at the end.”
Behind the Bucs are their AFC counterparts from Super Bowl LV, the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs come in at No. 2 on the heels of two consecutive Super Bowl appearances. In addition, the Chiefs made a number of offseason moves to best ensure a potential shot at finding themselves in the big game for a third straight season.
After witnessing the disastrous results of rolling out a thin and depleted offensive line against Tampa Bay in February, the Chiefs made the unit a massive priority. With the addition of tackle Orlando Brown Jr., guard Joe Thuney and center Austin Blythe, Kansas City quickly solidified the left side of their line. The Chiefs also brought in guard Kyle Long before drafting Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey and Tennessee’s Trey Smith. What was looking like a potential weak link in their offense just a short time ago has now become a formidable position group heading into training camp. Add in the rest of Kansas City’s offensive weaponry and a great coaching staff, and the Chiefs will likely be in the mix for at least another year.
Rounding out Kapadia’s Top-5 are the Buffalo Bills, the Green Bay Packers and the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens fell to Buffalo in the AFC Divisional Round last offseason. The following week, the Bills and Packers watched their 2020 postseason runs crumble in conference championship games against the Chiefs and the Bucs. All three teams will return loaded rosters with MVP-caliber quarterbacks unless Green Bay sees Aaron Rodgers walk out the door in the coming months.