Chiefs second to Buccaneers in latest USA TODAY power rankings
USA TODAY has been fairly steadfast in its power rankings this offseason.
Nate Davis has maintained that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the top team following Super Bowl LV. They’ve been the top team in his power rankings after free agency, the draft and ahead of the preseason. Now, with less than a week to go until the season opener, Davis still has the Buccaneers on top over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here is what he had to say about Kansas City’s placement in his power rankings:
“Their revamped offensive line projects to have three players (rookie C Creed Humphrey, RG Trey Smith and RT Lucas Niang) who have combined for zero NFL starts. Could be a rough beginning for a team that will see Myles Garrett, Calais Campbell and Joey Bosa in September.”
The idea that the Chiefs’ offensive line won’t be prepared to face Myles Garrett, Calais Campbell and Joey Bosa because of the number of rookies starting is lazy analysis. Only one of those rookies allowed a single pressure during the preseason and none of them were flagged for penalties. Each of those rookies beat out veteran players at their respective positions — veterans who started meaningful games for teams as recently as last season. It’s one thing to temper expectations, but let’s not act like these guys won’t be up to the task because they’re rookies.
We really shouldn’t be too upset over the outcome in these power rankings, with Tampa placing over Kansas City. After winning Super Bowl LIV and returning most of their starters, the Chiefs were also heavily favored in the power rankings. Until someone proves otherwise, that tends to be the case. As K.C. learned last season, it’s tough to go back-to-back and maintain that high standard of play for another 19 (this year 20) games.