Analysis

Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

What you see in Week 1 isn’t always what you get in late December and January. In fact, it usually isn’t.

Are the Bills as good as they looked against the Rams? Probably, but we’ll see. How about the Chiefs? Are the Eagles ready to make another run at a Lombardi Trophy? Was the Dolphins’ 20-7 win over the Patriots an indication of a reversal of fortune for both teams? Were all those people who were saying terrible things about the Bears wrong? For the second straight year, the Packers got their lunch eaten in Week 1. Was it another fluke or the real deal?

Too soon to say. For now, a look at our ever-changing power rankings following some very unpredictable Week 1 results:

 

1. Buffalo Bills (1-0)

Previous: 2

Last week: W31-10 at Rams | This week: v. 1-0 Titans

Good news: The Bills’ defense solidified its claim as the league’s best unit, holding the Super Bowl champion Rams to their lowest yardage output (243 yards) in 34 games.

Bad news: They turned the ball over 4 times against the Rams – 2 turnovers and 2 fumbles. Yes, they still managed to win by 21 points, but they need to protect the football better.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)

Previous: 3

Last week: W44-21 at Cardinals | This week: v. 1-0 Chargers

Good news: Patrick Mahomes’ 5-touchdown performance would seem to suggest that the Chiefs offense is going to be just fine and dandy without Tyreek Hill.

Bad news: They ran out of Andy Reid’s favorite food—cheeseburgers—on the flight home.

3. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0)

Previous: 4

Last week: W24-19 v. Raiders | This week: at 1-0 Chiefs

Good news: Justin Herbert now has thrown 72 TD passes in 33 career starts.

Bad news: The Chargers may have to face the Chiefs in Week 2 without their top receiver, Keenan Allen, who left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)

Previous: 5

Last week: W19-3 at Cowboys | This week: at 1-0 Saints

Good news: That 11-day vacation Tom Brady took didn’t seem to have any effect on his play.

Bad news: WR Chris Godwin, who was coming off a December ACL tear, strained his hamstring against the Cowboys and could miss Sunday’s division game against the Saints.

5. Los Angeles Rams (0-1)

Previous: 1

Last week: L10-31v. Bills | This week: v. 0-1 Falcons

Good news: The Falcons are an ideal bounce-back opponent for the Rams after getting their butt kicked by the Bills.

Bad news: Left tackle looks like it could be an issue for the Rams. Andrew Whitworth’s replacement, Joseph Noteboom, gave up 3 sacks, 3 hits and 2 hurries in the loss to the Bills.

6. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)

Previous: 7

Last week: W38-35 at Lions | This week: v. 1-0 Vikings

Good news: A.J. Brown didn’t waste any time giving the Eagles a return on their $100 million investment. The wide receiver had 10 catches for 155 yards in his first game with them.

Bad news: The Eagles’ supposedly improved defensive line had an underwhelming game. They sacked Jared Goff just once and had problems all day with the Lions’ offensive line.

7. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)

Previous: 6

Last week: L20-23 v. Steelers | This week: at 0-1 Cowboys

Good news: The Bengals’ defense held the Steelers to 13 first downs and 267 total yards.

Bad news: The Bengals spent a lot of time and money trying to improve Joe Burrow’s protection after he was sacked a league-high 51 times last season. That improvement was nowhere to be found against the Steelers. Burrow was sacked seven times and pressured a total of 17 times.

8. Miami Dolphins (1-0)

Previous: 12

Last week: W20-7 v. Patriots | This week: v. 1-0 Ravens

Good news: A Dolphins defense that finished ninth in takeaways last season (26), forced three turnovers against the Patriots, including a fumble that was returned for a TD.

Bad news: Even with the addition of Tyreek Hill, the Dolphins managed just one offensive touchdown against the Patriots.

9. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)

Previous: 14

Last week: W24-9 at Jets | This week: v. 1-0 Dolphins

Good news: Their defense was dominant against the Jets. They gave up just one TD, and that was with one minute left in the game.

Bad news: Ravens’ run game was a non-factor in Week 1. They averaged just 3.0 yards per carry against the Jets.

10. Denver Broncos (0-1)

Previous: 10

Last week: L16-17 at Seahawks | This week: v. 0-0-1 Texans

Good news: Broncos defense held DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett to a combined 64 yards on 10 receptions

Bad news: Russell Wilson and the offense was 0-for-4 in the red zone and 0-for-3 in goal-to-goal situations. Twice they fumbled on the one-yard line.

11. Minnesota Vikings (1-0)

Previous: 15

Last week: W23-7 v. Packers | This week: at 1-0 Eagles

Good news: Justin Jefferson picked up where he left off last year. Targeted 11 times by Kirk Cousins, he had 9 catches for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Packers.

Bad news: The Vikings, who finished 29th in opponent rush average last season (4.7), gave up 6.2 yards per carry to the Packers.

12. San Francisco 49ers (0-1)

Previous: 8

Last week: L10-19 at Bears | This week: v. 0-1 Seahawks

Good news: The 49ers ran the ball effectively against the Bears, rushing for 176 yards. WR Deebo Samuel equaled his career-high for rushing attempts with eight (for 52 yards).

Bad news: The Trey Lance era got off to a rocky start. Lance completed just 13 of 28 passes and averaged 5.9 yards per attempt.

13. Las Vegas Raiders (0-1)

Previous: 17

Last week: L19-24 at Chargers | This week: v. 0-1 Cardinals

Good news: Davante Adams and Derek Carr picked up where they left off at Fresno State. Adams had 10 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown against the Chargers.

Bad news: Five more division games against Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson lie ahead.

14. Dallas Cowboys (0-1)

Previous: 13

Last week: L3-19 v. Bucs | This week: v. 0-1 Bengals

Good news: Micah Parsons is a beast.

Bad news: QB Dak Prescott needs surgery on a right thumb injury and will be out 6-8 weeks. But they have an experienced backup to take his place. Oh, wait. They don’t.

15. Green Bay Packers (0-1)

Previous: 9

Last week: L7-23 at Vikings | This week: v. 1-0 Bears

Good news: Packers got crushed in Week 1 last year and went on win 12 of their next 16 games.

Bad news: Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling don’t live here anymore, and the belief that Aaron Rodgers can win games even if he’s throwing to a bunch of schmoes, is incorrect.

16. Indianapolis Colts (0-0-1)

Previous: 11

Last week: T20-20 at Texans | This week: at 0-1 Jaguars

Good news: Colts came back from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to tie the Texans.

Bad news: Colts came back from a 17-point deficit to tie the Texans. Yeah, those Texans.

17. New Orleans Saints (1-0)

Previous: 24

Last week: W27-26 at Falcons | This week: v. 1-0 Bucs

Good news: Jameis Winston brought the Saints back from a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit, completing 13 of 16 passes for 213 yards and two TDs down the stretch.

Bad news: Winston won’t be doing that this week against the Bucs’ defense.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)

Previous: 26

Last week: W23-20 at Bengals | This week: v. 0-1 Patriots

Good news: The Steelers’ defense sacked Joe Burrow 7 times and picked him off 4 times.

Bad news: The straw that stirs their pass rush, T.J. Watt, suffered a pec injury that could keep him on the shelf until at least December.

19. Arizona Cardinals (0-1)

Previous: 18

Last week: L21-44 v. Chiefs | This week: at 0-1 Raiders

Good news: Only five more weeks until DeAndre Hopkins gets back.

Bad news: Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs blew through the Cardinals like wind through a screen door. Mahomes completed 30 of 39 passes for 360 yards and 5 TDs. Wasn’t sacked and didn’t have an interception.

20. Seattle Seahawks (1-0)

Previous: 28

Last week: W17-16 v. Broncos | This week: at 0-1 49ers

Good news: Geno Smith completed 17 of 18 passes for 164 yards and 2 touchdowns in the first half.

Bad news: He had just 31 passing yards in the second half.

21. Tennessee Titans (0-1)

Previous: 16

Last week: L20-21 v. Giants | This week: at 1-0 Bills

Good news: Titans sacked Giants QB Daniel Jones five times, including two each by DE Jeffrey Simmons and LB Rashad Weaver.

Bad news: Giants rushed for 238 yards against the Titans, including 164 by Saquon Barkley. That’s the most rushing yards the Titans have given up in a game since 2018.

22. Detroit Lions (0-1)

Previous: 20

Last week: L35-38 v. Eagles | This week: v. 1-0 Commanders

Good news: If you took the Lions and the points, congratulations.

Bad news: The Lions’ defense came up small in the red zone and on third down. The Eagles converted 4 of 5 red-zone opportunities into TDs and converted 10 of 17 third-down opportunities.

23. Washington Commanders (1-0)

Previous: 22

Last week: W28-22 v. Jaguars | This week: at 0-1 Lions

Good news: This week at least, the good Carson Wentz (four TDs, two in the last 9 ½ minutes) prevailed over the bad Carson Wentz (two early-fourth quarter interceptions on consecutive passes that the Jaguars converted into 10 points).

Bad news: They gave up 6.8 yards per carry to the Jaguars and are going to have problems stopping the run in Detroit this week.

24. Cleveland Browns (1-0)

Previous: 25

Last week: W26-24 at Panthers | This week: v. 0-1 Jets

Good news: Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are going to make things a lot easier for Jacoby Brissett as he subs for suspended Deshaun Watson. Chubb rushed for 141 yards against the Panthers. Hunt had 2 TDs, including one on a 24-yard run.

Bad news: They needed a 58-yard field goal with eight seconds left to beat the Panthers.

25. New York Giants (1-0)

Previous: 27

Last week: W21-20 at Titans | This week: v. 0-1 Panthers

Good news: The Giants won their first season-opener since 2016, and Saquon Barkley had his best rushing performance (164 yards) since his 2020 knee injury. All in all, a good day for the Jints.

Bad news: Giants converted just 2 of 10 third-down opportunities against the Titans.

26. New England Patriots (0-1)

Previous: 16

Last week: L7-20 at Dolphins | This week: at 1-0 Steelers

Good news: Admit it, you’re enjoying this, aren’t you?

Bad news: It looks like the Patriots’ offense really is as disheveled as everyone thought.

27. Chicago Bears (1-0)

Previous: 30

Last week: W19-10 v. 49ers | This week: at 0-1 Packers

Good news: It seems the Bears aren’t quite the dumpster fire that all of the talk-show know-it-alls predicted.

Bad news: The Bears’ run game needs to be the match that lights the offense. But, they averaged just 2.7 yards per carry on the ground against the Niners.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)

Previous: 19

Last week: L22-28 at Commanders | This week: v. 0-0-1 Colts

Good news: Jags forced three turnovers, including two in the fourth quarter that produced two scores.

Bad news: They committed 13 penalties.

29. Carolina Panthers (0-1)

Previous: 20

Last week: L24-26 v. Browns | This week: at 1-0 Giants

Good news: Baker Mayfield and the offense showed some grit battling back from a 20-7 deficit before losing on a long field goal.

Bad news: Panthers converted just one of four red-zone opportunities into touchdowns.

30. Houston Texans (0-0-1)

Previous: 31

Last week: T20-20 v. Colts | This week: at 1-0 Broncos

Good news: Another solid game for Davis Mills. He had 2 TD passes and no interceptions. In his last six games dating back to last season, he’s thrown 11 TD passes and just 2 interceptions.

Bad news: They blew a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter. Only a 42-yard FG miss in OT by Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship averted a loss.

31. Atlanta Falcons (0-1)

Previous: 32

Last week: L26-27 v. Saints | This week: at 0-1 Rams

Good news: The Saints needed a 51-yard field goal with 19 seconds left to beat a team that’s supposed to be in rebuilding mode.

Bad news: The Rams aren’t in a very good mood after getting blown out by the Bills. Look for them to take it out on the Falcons.

32. New York Jets (0-1)

Previous: 29

Last week: L9-24 v. Ravens | This week: at 1-0 Browns

Good news: Defense held Ravens to 63 yards on 21 carries. Lamar Jackson had just 17 yards on 6 carries.

Bad news: Jets converted just 2 of 14 third-down opportunities. Joe Flacco was 6-for-13 for 32 yards on third down.

WATCH MORE: Marty Morninwhig on the Special Skills of Kyler Murray

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