NFL Preseason Standings 2021: How the AFC and NFC shape up

What were the 2021 NFL preseason standings for both the AFC and NFC? Which teams tried to win in preseason, and who just used it to warm up?

While the NFL standings at the end of preseason have no bearing on the playoffs come January, it is intriguing to see how each of the 32 NFL teams performed in their games in August. Let’s take a look at the 2021 NFL preseason standings.

AFC preseason standings

How did the 16 AFC teams perform in the preseason?

Baltimore Ravens (3-0)
Buffalo Bills (3-0)
Cleveland Browns (3-0)
Denver Broncos (3-0)
New England Patriots (3-0)
Indianapolis Colts (3-0)
Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
New York Jets (2-0-1)

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)*
Las Vegas Raiders (2-1)
Houston Texans (2-1)
Tennessee Titans (2-1)
Miami Dolphins (2-1)
Cincinnati Bengals (1-2)
Los Angeles Chargers (1-2)
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)

NFC preseason standings

Which NFC teams played well in the preseason, and who struggled?

Chicago Bears (2-1)
San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
Arizona Cardinals (1-1)
New Orleans Saints (1-1)
Washington Football Team (1-2)
Carolina Panthers (1-2)
Seattle Seahawks (1-2)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)

Philadelphia Eagles (0-2-1)
Detroit Lions (0-3)
Atlanta Falcons (0-3)
Green Bay Packers (0-3)
Los Angeles Rams (0-3)
Minnesota Vikings (0-3)
New York Giants (0-3)
Dallas Cowboys (0-4)*

*includes the pre-Week 1 Hall of Fame Game 

What is different about the preseason in 2021?

For the first time, there will be just three preseason games in 2021. This is due to the addition of a 17th regular-season game for the upcoming season. However, the positioning of the preseason in the calendar has not changed. The three weeks will still take place through the middle of August, with an extended break between the team’s third preseason game and their opening game of the regular season.

Therefore, it will be interesting to see how NFL teams approach this preseason and the standings will give us an indication of that. Many teams have treated that fourth preseason game as an extended tryout for the back end of the roster. However, now we may see that occurring earlier in the process.

On top of that, how teams balance the health of their stars versus getting them “game-ready” will be interesting to watch. Usually, the third preseason game is the slightly extended run for the starters. However, with NFL cuts just a matter of days after Week 3 of the 2021 preseason, we may see more starters in Week 2.

After we did not see a preseason in 2020, the 2021 edition will at least have nostalgia, if not some excitement.

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