NFL Power Rankings: Week 2
A wild NFL Week 1 featured a few great comebacks, a few unexpected blowouts and many players rising to the occasion on opening day. But how does every team stack up with one game down? We answer that question with the Week 2 NFL power rankings.
1. New England Patriots (1-0)
What possibly could have gone better for the Patriots in their season opener? Tom Brady threw for 341 yards and was only sacked once in a 33-3 blowout victory over the Steelers. With Antonio Brown officially joining next week, it could be a long time before we see the Patriots drop a game.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
The Chiefs didn’t show an ounce of regression from last year. Patrick Mahomes came right out of the gate throwing for almost 300 yards and two touchdowns in just the first half. The only concern is how the Chiefs can fare without Tyreek Hill now that he is out with a shoulder injury.
3. Los Angeles Rams (1-0)
What a game for Cory Littleton, who recorded 14 tackles, an interception and a fumble against the Panthers. Even with Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley having fairly quiet performances, the Rams were still able to get it done.
4. New Orleans Saints (1-0)
That was a close one for Saints nation. In what was possibly one of the best Monday Night Football games of the decade, Wil Lutz became the hero the Saints needed, nailing a 58-yard game-winning field goal in the same game that he missed a 57-yard attempt. New Orleans will be fired up for its matchup next week against the Rams in a rematch of last year’s NFC championship game.
5. Dallas Cowboys (1-0)
In a game that started slow, the Cowboys ended up finding their momentum soon enough, as Dak Prescott tossed four touchdowns and posted a perfect passer rating of 158.3 against the Giants.
6. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
That was quite a spectacular showing from Lamar Jackson, who gave all of Baltimore a ray of hope in a 59-10 destruction of Miami. It doesn’t get much harder next week, as Baltimore visits the 0-0-1 Cardinals who struggled early against Detroit.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
It seemed like the Eagles were in for a long season of disappointment after being down 17-0 at halftime against Washington. But Carson Wentz was able to make it click in the second half, along with the help of Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery. Even an old favorite, DeSean Jackson, showed some promise.
8. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0)
Austin Ekeler took every step possible in filling in for Melvin Gordon. Ekeler’s game-winning touchdown against the Colts prevented what would have been an amazing upset by Indianapolis, which lost Andrew Luck just weeks ago. It wasn’t all great for the Chargers though. The defense needs to improve before they take on an offense-heavy Detroit Lions team next week.
9. Seattle Seahawks (1-0)
Either the Seahawks are vastly overrated or the Bengals are vastly underrated. We won’t know the answer until at least next week. However, we do know that the Seahawks need some work on their offensive line and need to get the ball deep to Tyler Lockett more often. But in the end, a win is a win, no matter how ugly.
10. Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
The Vikings gave the Falcons absolutely no hope from the very start. The much-improved Vikings offense came out and scored three touchdowns in their first four drives and never let up. On top of it all, they didn’t even need Kirk Cousins to put in work, as he only had 10 passes all game.
11. Green Bay Packers (1-0)
Good news: The Packers defense looked as good as it has in years against Chicago. Bad news: The offense looked incapable for almost the entire game. The Packers were able to find the end zone once on an impressive drive in the second quarter, but the highlights for the offense stop there. The defense is definitely something to be excited about though, as Green Bay goes on to play Minnesota next week.
12. Tennessee Titans (1-0)
It’s easy to forget that the Titans were just one game away from the playoffs last year, and they did everything right to make people remember that after a huge 43-13 win against the Browns. The Titans defense could very well be a dark horse early on for the best defense in the league.
13. Houston Texans (0-1)
The Texans were able to contend against a team that nobody thought they’d be able to contend against. The two-minute defense could use some work, as it allowed the Saints to record the game winning field goal in the waning seconds, but if the offense can play well enough that a two-minute defense is not needed, then the Texans are in business.
14. Chicago Bears (0-1)
The two biggest questions that the Bears had coming into this season were if they could continue to sustain an elite defense and if the offense could improve to the level where it needs to be. The defense is absolutely everything we expected and more, making Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense look absolutely lost. But the Bears offense just couldn’t get it done, however. Scoring only three points, the offense needs improvement fast or it’ll be a long season for the Bears.
15. Carolina Panthers (0-1)
A very close contest against a very good Rams team bodes well for Carolina. Chrisitan McCaffrey and Cam Newton were playing great football and showed plenty of promise for this year’s Panthers team.
16. Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
When Andrew Luck announced his retirement, the Colts were instantly counted out from contention. However, the Colts proved why you should never count out a team before a single game is even played, thanks in large part to Marlon Mack, who got it going against a good Chargers defense.
17. San Francisco 49ers (1-0)
San Francisco's defense looked greatly improved against Tampa Bay last weekend, taking advantage of many mistakes caused by Jameis Wiston and the Buccaneers offense. However, the 49ers need to find a way to improve Jimmy Garoppolo if they want to contend.
18. Oakland Raiders (1-0)
The Raiders played absolutely lights out in what was the very last Monday Night Football game played in Oakland. Derek Carr finished 22 for 26, and Tyrell Williams had over 100 yards in his first game in the silver and black. With all of the offseason distractions for that happened in Oakland, it’s promising to see that it all had zero effect on the level of play.
19. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
Zac Taylor did an outstanding job in his coaching debut with the Bengals. Both the offense and defense were clicking. Being able to keep it close with an elite Seattle Seahawks squad shows a lot of promise, despite the loss.
20. Buffalo Bills (1-0)
The entire Bills defense deserves MVP honors for how they were able to prevent the Jets from staying firm on the gas pedal after going up 16-0. The offense was finally able to make it click, getting the come-from-behind win thanks to a defensive performance that ensured that the game didn’t get too out of hand early.
21. Washington Redskins (0-1)
The Redskins looked like two completely different teams out there on Sunday. They were able to completely shut down Carson Wentz and his offense to go up 17-0 in the first half, but Jay Gruden failed to adjust to the Eagles’ exploitation of the defense in the second half, and it all went downhill from there. The offense quit and the defense got tired.
22. Detroit Lions (0-0-1)
The Lions let up and started acting like they had won the game after taking an 18-point lead against the Cardinals in the fourth quarter. Arizona was able to get it together late and found a way to tie the game. The Lions need to find a way to close out games if they want to contend.
23. Atlanta Falcons (0-1)
The Falcons were more competitive than the score showed, but some costly mistakes prevented them from capitalizing on a working offense. Hopefully they can work out those mistakes quickly before they take on Philadelphia next week.
24. Arizona Cardinals (0-0-1)
The Cardinals were definitely on the right side of their tie against Detroit on Sunday after scoring 18 unanswered points. Kyler Murray got it going in the fourth quarter and looked impressive, finding an old favorite in Larry Fitzgerald, who posted 113 receiving yards and a touchdown. Now Arizona has to find a way to make it work in more than just one quarter.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)
The Steelers showed a lot of slack in their offense after scoring only three points in a very disappointing game on all sides of the ball. James Conner struggled to run the ball all game, and Ben Roethlisberger couldn’t make the connections he needed to make. The Steelers just can’t seem to get a win in New England.
26. New York Jets (0-1)
The defense was the highlight for the Jets early, snagging four Bills turnovers, but neither the offense nor defense could a thing late as the Bills scored 17 unanswered. The offensive line needs to be better in order to allow Sam Darnold more time to throw the ball.
27. Cleveland Browns (0-1)
The Browns were probably the most hyped team going into the season, but they proved absolutely none of it on Sunday. The team recorded 180 yards in penalties, Baker Mayfield failed to make anything click and threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter, and the defense showed absolutely no improvement, letting the Titans absolutely run wild.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
Nick Foles looked lost before his injury took him out of the game, and the Jacksonville defenders let Kansas City have their way with them. However, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew did have a solid performance after taking over for Foles. Unfortunately, just “good” won’t be good enough for this Jaguars team, which need to find a way to get their defense going again.
29. New York Giants (0-1)
The Giants showed some promise in the opening minutes of their game against Dallas, but all hope quickly vanished once Dak Prescott and the Cowboys got rolling. Eli Manning looks lost out there and is unable to stay consistent. The team is hurting without Odell Beckham Jr., and they can’t rely on only Saquon Barkley to win games.
30. Denver Broncos (0-1)
The Broncos were simply unprepared for the Raiders that they faced on Monday Night. Joe Flacco couldn’t get the ball into the end zone even once, and the Broncos instead settled for three field goals. The once-hyped defense showed absolutely nothing, recording not a single sack nor turnover. This will be a long season for Denver if the team continues to come out so unprepared.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1)
The Buccaneers have been historically good in their season opener, having not lost one since 2015. However, that came to an end on Sunday after losing to the 49ers, 31-17. Jameis Winston continued to struggle, throwing three interceptions. Maybe it’s time for the Buccaneers to explore a new option at quarterback.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-1)
When you lose so bad that some of your players want to be traded because they feel they are a part of a tanking culture, you know that something is going horribly wrong in Miami. The defense looked slow and tired, allowing Baltimore to score 41 points in one half. It’s hard to see how the Dolphins can turn this ship around after such a horrific display.
John Murphy is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.