NFL Power Rankings: Number 25, Carolina Panthers
Though much of the league has given up on him, Sam Darnold is a very capable young quarterback if he’s coached appropriately and is surrounded by talent. That didn’t happen in New York.
Darnold will look much better under Matt Rhule than he looked under Adam Gase. That shouldn’t be a surprise. Without the pressure of playing in New York, he should take off and become the quarterback we thought he could be. He just isn’t good enough to lead the Carolina Panthers out of a last-place finish in the NFC South, not right now anyway.
NFL Power Rankings: Number 24, Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan is aging, and the Atlanta Falcons are a long way from where they were when he won the NFL’s MVP Trophy. Perhaps it should also be mentioned that his former offensive coordinator during that season, Kyle Shanahan, has been the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers since the 2017 NFL season.
Atlanta’s new head coach, Arthur Smith, is a bit of an offensive genius himself. He’ll need to grind a little to turn the Falcons into a winner, but he’ll need a little patience from Arthur Blank and Rich McKay. This isn’t going to happen overnight. This division still belongs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.