A new season is about to get started from the National Football League, which means we’re also prepared for the weekly onslaught of Power Rankings columns that attempt to rank every NFL franchise from best to worst. Given that the K.C. Chiefs have been to consecutive Super Bowls, it’s expected to see them at or near the top of preseason power rankings once again. The question is who else will be included.
The Chiefs lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV last February, and Tom Brady and company are back for another championship run after returning all 22 starters (and even many of their reserves). This spells out the pretty simple reasoning for both the Chiefs and Bucs occupying the top spots of nearly every NFL preseason power rankings list.
NFL preseason power rankings are out en masse.
Over at ESPN. a survey of their NFL writers put the Chiefs just over the Bucs at 1-2 overall in their preseason poll, with the Buffalo Bills cresting at No. 3 overall.
Over at Sports Illustrated where the vote totals are a bit more transparent, the Chiefs are still No. 1 but there was at least one voter who had them at No. 4 overall. It’s an interesting turn that someone likely believes they could fall from their perch atop the AFC. Still the Chiefs are clearly number one.
"The Chiefs start in the top spot despite losing last year’s Super Bowl. But they have been to the big game two years in a row and are the betting favorites to win it again."
The Ringer has the teams flipped from most of the others with the Bucs up top until proven otherwise. Even though we’re a Chiefs site, the Ringer likely has it right only because every team who wins the Super Bowl and returns so many players should feel the road runs through them until the on-field product shows something different and in the preseason, the Bucs should likely be No. 1.
The folks at NBC Sports are thinking the same thing as the Ringer staff with their preseason power rankings. They have the Bucs over the Chiefs at No. 1 and 2, respectively. In fact they ask the same question outright:
"How can we not put the defending champs in the top spot? The Bucs have brought back all 22 starters from last season’s Super Bowl-winning roster, including legendary quarterback Tom Brady. With a full and normal offseason and preseason to build chemistry and practice, there’s a good chance an already good Bucs offense will be even better in 2021."
That’s likely the sort of question that will continue into the regular season, even after both teams have won several games and maybe even lost some more. Don’t forget the Bucs finished the regular season at 11-5 and still dominated the Chiefs in the biggest game of the year. It’s very possible that these rankings remain similar to this for the duration of the season until the score is settled once again in Super Bowl LVI.