The latest NFL power rankings from The Athletic aren’t terrible, but they still managed to disrespect the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay comes in at No. 8 in The Athletic’s power rankings this week.
That’s a reasonable ranking for a 2-1 Green Bay team.
The disrespect comes from the fact that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — the team the Packers just beat on the road this past Sunday — is at No. 7 in their rankings.
On their opening two drives, the Packers scored 14 points and gained 146 yards.
On their final nine drives, not including an end-of-game kneeldown, they scored zero points and gained 169 yards.
Still, it was enough to just barely hold on for a difficult win against one of the league’s best defenses. As Matt Schneidman writes, this is a Packers team built to win in different ways than the ones we’re used to. With David Bakhtiari returning on a limited basis and Elgton Jenkins back, plus the expected jelling of a young wide receiver corps, there’s hope for the offense to improve as the season goes on.
Can someone make this make sense?
The Packers’ one loss was to the Minnesota Vikings, who are ranked No. 10 in The Athletic’s power rankings. So it’s not like Green Bay has an egregiously bad loss on their resumé.
Sure, one of the Packers’ wins was against the Chicago Bears, a team that isn’t expected to reach the playoffs this season (they’re No. 24 in The Athletic’s power rankings). But Chicago, despite going through a major rebuild, is 2-1 after three weeks.
So Green Bay has beaten the No. 7 team and the No. 24 team and lost to the No. 10 team.
Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has beaten the No. 17 team and the No. 28 team and lost to the No. 8 team.
The Athletic’s own rankings suggest that the Packers should be ranked higher. It makes zero sense how Green Bay can beat Tampa Bay, have better wins, and still be ranked lower.
I guess this is the Tom Brady effect. I know he’s the GOAT, but that doesn’t mean he should get a free pass when his team’s resumé this season simply isn’t as good as the Packers’ resumé.
Featured image via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports