By Lorenzo Robinson

Football preseason is a tremendous time for fans across the country. Everyone is undefeated, every quarterback is a legend, and every coach is an all-time great. However, the hope and optimism that currently exists around the league will soon turn into sadness and despair for 16 of the 32 teams after week one. That is life in the National Football League. Who are the contenders? Which teams are in rebuild mode? Can one of the seven new head coaches take their new team to the promised land? This is where every team stands entering the 2021 season. 

Texans QB Deshaun Watson’s situation has the potential to change the NFL landscape.


32. Houston Texans

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

30. New York Jets

29. Cincinnati Bengals

28. Detroit Lions

27. Philadelphia Eagles

26. Las Vegas Raiders

 New head coach David Culley has his work cut out for him in Houston. With a stripped-down roster, ownership turmoil, and the impending departure of the team’s best QB Deshaun Watson, they will be among the bottom-feeders all season. NCAA coaching legend, Urban Meyer, has made the jump from college to the NFL, where he will be asked to turn around a team that won one game in 2020. Top draft pick, Trevor Lawrence, gives the franchise plenty of optimism heading into the year, but can the rookie signal caller carry one of the league’s youngest rosters? The Jets have shown signs of competency after years of mismanagement. Rookie QB Zach Wilson and first-year head coach Robert Saleh will be allowed to learn on the job in the tough AFC East.  

Cincinnati brings plenty of hope into 2021. Led by second-year QB Joe Burrow and a talented receiving corps, their fans have plenty of reasons to expect improvement. Detroit enters the year with a first-year coach in Dan Campbell and a reshaped roster, but former LA Ram Jared Goff will be on a mission in 2021. The QB will be his new team’s unquestioned leader. Philadelphia is just a few years removed from a Super Bowl victory, but this team is drastically different from the one that took down the Patriots in 2018. Second year QB Jalen Hurts faces a crucial season as he must prove himself to the new regime. The Raiders have a talented roster on paper. To take another step, they will need one of their recent first-round picks to perform. 

WFT DE Chase Young will look to build upon his stellar rookie season.


25. New York Giants

24. Atlanta Falcons

23. Denver Broncos

22. Carolina Panthers

21. Washington Football Team

20. Chicago Bears

19. Minnesota Vikings


The Giants fielded one of the NFL’s most improved defensive units in 2020. If third year QB Daniel Jones can take the next step and if star RB Saquon Barkley can stay on the field, they will be a more efficient team this season. The Atlanta Falcons are in the dreaded state of purgatory, as they are not bad enough to secure a high draft pick, but they are not good enough to seriously contend in the NFC. After trading superstar WR Julio Jones, they will rely on 2020 All-Pro Calvin Ridley and 2021 first round pick Kyle Pitts to make plays for veteran QB Matt Ryan. Denver enters the season with a quality roster, but uncertainty at Quarterback. Consistent play from either Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater can turn potential into progress in the Mile High city. Carolina has one of the league’s most talented offenses, led by All-Pro RB Christian McCaffery and talented receivers Robby Anderson and DJ Moore. However, if they want to be a factor in the NFC wildcard race, their young defense must grow up fast.  

Washington’s defense is one of the top units in the NFL. As the offense rounds into form with veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick now at the helm, DE Chase Young and the company will allow them to compete with anyone. Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy enters a make-or-break season in his fourth campaign. QB Andy Dalton has been in the NFL for many years, but how long can he hold off the talented and flashy first round pick Justin Fields? The Vikings are a solid team from top to bottom. Kirk Cousins has always been solid, but the Vikings will need more from him to become a real threat in the NFC. 

The NFC East will likely be decided by the health of Cowboys QB Dak Prescott.


18. Indianapolis Colts

17. Arizona Cardinals

16. Miami Dolphins

15. Dallas Cowboys

14. New England Patriots

13. Pittsburgh Steelers

12. New Orleans Saints

The Colts have been one of the most well-run organizations in the League. Their ceiling will ultimately depend on the health of QB Carson Wentz, who is looking to bounce back from a subpar 2020. Arizona has as much high-end star power as anyone in the League. QB Kyler Murray, WR Deandre Hopkins, and S Budda Baker will garner headlines, but they will be heavily reliant on offseason acquisitions to improve on the front lines. The Dolphins’ rebuild took an exciting turn last year, as the team won ten games for the first time since 2016. Tua Tagovailoa is poised to take another step forward with help from a revamped receiving corps and more play-calling freedom. The Cowboys’ offense has a case to be the most talented group in the NFL. Defensive improvement with new coordinator Dan Quinn is expected, while a healthy season from Dak Prescott can push Dallas towards true contender status. 


New England returns many key faces from one of the league’s best defenses. Thus, their fate will be determined by the other side of the ball. Rookie QB Mac Jones will look to help the Pats’ offense improve from a rough 2020 season. Pittsburgh’s fast start in 2020 proved to be fool’s gold, as they were undone by a faulty running game and a one-dimensional passing attack. First round pick RB Najee Harris will be asked to lead the rushing attack, but is Ben Roethlisberger capable of leading a downfield passing attack at this stage of his career? The Saints return plenty of talent, but longtime QB Drew Brees decided to retire after the team’s playoff loss last season. The Michael Thomas saga has added unnecessary scrutiny to a team that should be focused on getting the new starter Jameis Winston up to speed.    

QB Lamar Jackson hopes to lead the Ravens to their first Super Bowl since 2013.


11. Los Angeles Chargers

10. Tennessee Titans

9. San Francisco 49ers

8. Seattle Seahawks

7. Baltimore Ravens

6. Los Angeles Rams

5. Green Bay Packers


The Chargers seem to bring a talented roster into every season, but this one feels different. Second year QB Justin Herbert set the league on fire in 2020 with a banged-up roster. If the Bolts can stay relatively healthy, they will be a factor in the AFC. The Titans made the move of the offseason, acquiring star wideout Julio Jones from the Atlanta Falcons. He joins dynamic WR AJ Brown and dominant RB Derrick Henry to form a dangerous offensive trio. However, defense holds the keys to turning this group into a Super Bowl threat. After injuries derailed the 2020 season, the 49ers enter 2021 with health and optimism. George Kittle will likely reprise his role as the team’s receiving and blocking extraordinaire, while Fred Warner leads a talented defense. They made a Super Bowl with Jimmy Garoppolo at QB two seasons ago. On the contrary, does head coach Kyle Shanahan believe that first round pick Trey Lance raises the team’s ultimate ceiling? The Seattle Seahawks were a fun watch last year due to QB Russell Wilson’s heroics and WR DK Metcalf’s athletic feats. Defensively they improved, thanks to star Jamal Adams arrival. Everything is in place for them to make a run, but will head coach Pete Carroll finally listen to the masses and “Let Russ Cook”? 

QB Lamar Jackson returns to lead the Ravens in what will be his third full season as a starter. After two straight years with over 1,000 rushing yards, Jackson will be on a mission to prove doubters wrong about his ability to win big games. He will have help from a battle-tested defense and a talented receiving corps that hopes to make life easier on the former MVP. Head coach Sean McVay genuinely felt that his team was a Quarterback away from a Super Bowl berth in 2020. Thus, he went out and traded for star signal caller Matthew Stafford. Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey will lead a defense that was the League’s best in 2020, but they will need help from the offense if they are going to reach their full potential. All eyes will be on the McVay-Stafford pairing this season. Green Bay looked like the best team in the NFC for most of the 2020 season, but they fell just short of a Super Bowl appearance after losing a home conference title game to the Buccaneers. QB Aaron Rodgers is back for one final season in Wisconsin, with hopes to add another Lombardi trophy to his illustrious resume. Davante Adams and Arron Jones will take the pressure off him on the offensive side of the ball. Can their defense make enough key stops to win big in 2021? 

Brady and the Buccaneers are trying to be the first team since the 03-04 Patriots to win consecutive titles.


4. Cleveland Browns

3. Buffalo Bills

2. Kansas City Chiefs

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Browns have compiled one of the most talented rosters in the League. From WR Odell Beckham Jr., to DE Myles Garrett, to RB Nick Chubb, to CB Denzel Ward, they are not short on big names. It’s the “under the radar guys” like LB Sion Takitaki, WR Rashard Higgins, and OL Joel Bitonio that makes them special. New additions like DE Jadeveon Clowney, CB Troy Hill, and S John Johnson III will fill necessary roster holes. They are a team with no weaknesses, so the pressure is on QB Baker Mayfield to get this team to the promised land. 

Buffalo has finally given one of the best fanbases in the League. QB Josh Allen became an MVP caliber player in 2020, with help from All-Pro receivers Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley. Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer are the best safety duo in the game, and CB Tre’Davious White has a case to be the league’s best corner. They believe they are close to taking the final step, so they will rely on their continuity in what figures to be another successful season. 

Kansas City appeared to be one of the safest bets to repeat as Super Bowl Champions all season long. They ran through a very tough schedule, clinching the first seed in the AFC. After dispatching the Browns and Bills, they were seen by many as their favorites in the Super Bowl. However, the Bucs gave the Chiefs a slice of humble pie in the form of a 31-9 shellacking. While the loss was embarrassing, it does not mean that the sky is falling in Missouri. QB Patrick Mahomes is still the best in the world. Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire still make up one of the league’s best skill position groups. S Tyrann Mathieu is back to patrol the back line. They will be the heavy favorites to win the AFC West. If their revamped offensive line gels and produces, they could easily see themselves in the driver’s seat for a second championship in three seasons. 

Tampa Bay has one of the most talented teams the League has ever seen. Tom Brady is back to lead them after capturing his seventh Super Bowl Ring. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown form the best trio of receivers that Brady has ever played with. Defensively, the Bucs have the perfect mix of experience and youth. LB Lavonte David has long been one of the League’s best defensive players. However, his performance on the big stage has given him more recognition than ever before. LB Devin White, CB Carlton Davis, and S Antoine Winfield Jr. grew up fast en route to a Super Bowl victory. It will be interesting to see how the team adjusts to being the prey instead of the predator. As long as Brady and the defense stay healthy, they will be viewed as the favorites to win it all again.  

For more news and updates about Reinhardt events, follow our social media platforms:






Leave comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *.