NFL power rankings following the 2021 trade deadline

Matthew Stafford Rams
Matthew Stafford leads the NFL's best team. Photo from Sky Sports.

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here: The NFL Power Rankings 2021. This time, following quite a heated NFL trade deadline that brought some minor moves with it.

The best NFL teams this season didn’t need much help to continue their winning ways. But as we take a look at the trade deadline grades, there’s no doubt that some of them performed way better than others. In the end, those moves could be the difference between going home empty-handed or taking the Vince Lombardi trophy with you.

Obviously, with no marquee names on the move this time, it’s not like the big picture of the league changed drastically with a couple of trades that went down today. But still, some teams are in a far better position today than they were yesterday.

NFL Power Rankings 2021

For the purpose of this article, we’re only going to talk about the top-15 teams in the league. The rest aren’t very likely to make the playoffs and they know it, as they proved it by being sellers during today’s deadline.

15. Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs desperately lacked help and they didn’t do enough to solve their issues. Andy Reid continues to trust his offense to lead the way and that may not be enough come playoff time.

Patrick Mahomes, as talented as he is, is forcing things and looks out of sync with Tyreek Hill. They’re in serious danger of not making the playoffs even with Melvin Ingram on board.

14. Patriots

The New England Patriots keep getting better every week and that’s terrible news for the rest of the league. Mac Jones has embraced his role as the team’s leader and their defense is one of the most suffocating and disciplined you’ll find.

They still lack more weapons.


13. Steelers

It’s not always pretty but somehow, someway, the Pittsburgh Steelers get the job done. Their defense continues to be big time and Najee Harris continues to give their running game a new dimension. Ben Roethlisberger looks… suboptimal out there, but they’ve been competent enough.

12. Saints

Sean Payton did it again. Down his top two choices at quarterback, he sent Trevor Siemian out there and he delivered.

The New Orleans Saints defense is for real but their offense, which was already decimated, will be a big concern going forward.

11. Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders were in the middle of controversy due to Jon Gruden’s situation so the bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for them.

Hopefully, Darren Waller will be back to full strength and they’ll continue to be a legit competitor under the radar.

10. Chargers

Bill Belichick continues to own young quarterbacks and the Los Angeles Chargers couldn’t get past the Patriots’ tough defense.

This team features plenty of talent and has been one of the best NFL teams this season but there are still some question marks about their character.

9. Titans

The Tennessee Titans would’ve been ranked higher if it wasn’t for the fact that they suffered the toughest loss of the season.

Superstar running back Derrick Henry will miss 6-10 weeks. He’s the focal point of their offense and they’ll now rely on Ryan Tannehill‘s arm.

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8. Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens will be fresh off a much-needed bye week.

Their defense has been solid but their running back situation should be much clearer next week. Lamar Jackson has once again shut down his critics but he still lacks more weapons.

7. Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals suffered the most embarrassing loss of the week. Not only did they lose to the Jets but also, they allowed some guy called Mike White to torch them for 409 yards and 3 touchdowns.

It was a major letdown spot for them after some impressive wins this season.

6. Bills

It took them way more than expected but in the end, the Buffalo Bills still managed to get the job done against the Dolphins.

They have the best defensive unit in the league and an explosive offense but their character against winning teams is yet to be tested.

5. Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be just fine as long as they don’t play the Saints every week.

They’re still stacked on both sides of the football, although they continue to be prone to give up big plays. We’re not going to read too much into this, as they’re tailor-made for the playoffs.

4. Cowboys

No Dak? No problem.

The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the best NFL teams this season and proved it again with a gutsy and ugly road win over the Minnesota Vikings. Maybe, expecting 325 yards and 2 touchdowns from Cooper Rush every week is a lot to ask, but they’ll be just fine while Dak Prescott continues to heal.

3. Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals didn’t make a lot of noise mostly because they didn’t need to. Adding Zach Ertz to that offense was unfair and they just need to regroup after that tough loss to the Packers. Kyler Murray is the real deal, although DeAndre Hopkins‘ health will continue to be a concern going forward.

The only big question remaining for the Cardinals is whether they’re pretenders or contenders, as they’ve been known for underperforming when it matters the most. They surrounded Murray with plenty of talent so there’s no more room for excuses.

2. Packers

Aaron Rodgers is a BAD man. He didn’t need Davante Adams or any of his top 3 receivers to beat the undefeated Arizona Cardinals. The Packers are for real and would be at the top of the NFL power rankings 2021 if it wasn’t for the Von Miller trade.

Matt LaFleur looks like the kind of guy who has learned from his past mistakes. He’s made some big adjustments and their defense is much better, even without Jaire Alexander. This might as well be Rodgers’ lance dance at Lambeau Field and they know it.

1. Rams

Well, it’s not a secret that the Los Angeles Rams were already one of the teams to beat out of the NFC. And now that they’ve revamped an already scary defense with Von Miller, there’s just no way they’re not considered the best team in the league, at least in terms of their roster.

The Rams feature the most explosive offense in the league with Matthew Stafford logging 22 passes through 8 weeks. Darrell Henderson has given them big balance on the ground, and Cooper Kupp is on pace to have a historic season.

Add that defense to the mix and I don’t see how any other team is beating them in the playoffs.

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