2023 NFL Week 2 Power Rankings: Cowboys Rise Into Top 5, Jets Tumble

The results of opening day can lead to a variety of overreactions, which is why it’s important to consider more than just the results on the scoreboard.

Every Tuesday, we’ll provide updated power rankings. The rankings will be driven by who the teams are at the moment. Those stances will be centered on every team’s talent, reliability and current level of success. 

Betting markets will also influence our stances, as will each team’s path to contention within its conference. We’ll also be aware of each team’s looming schedule difficulty.

NFL Week 2 Power Rankings

1. San Francisco 49ers

Previous Rank: No. 5

Last Game: 49ers 30, Steelers 7

The San Francisco 49ers dominated the Steelers in every aspect of this game, to the point that this contest was over early. We already knew San Francisco has an elite defense, that’s no surprise. Brock Purdy’s ability to make plays in muddy pockets is a great sign for the 49ers’ long-term outlook. If Purdy continues to play like he did on opening day, the 49ers are the team to beat in the NFC.

Up Next: at LAR, vs. NYG (TNF), vs. ARI, vs. DAL (SNF)

2. Philadelphia Eagles

Previous Rank: No. 2

Last Game: Eagles 25, Patriots 20

The Philadelphia Eagles‘ offense wasn’t particularly impressive in this contest, but a road game against Bill Belichick is no easy task. Philadelphia’s defense was exceptional in the first half where rookie DT Jalen Carter showed he’s already a difference-maker. The Eagles let the Patriots crawl back into this contest late, but a win in New England looks like a line drive in the box score.

Up Next: vs. MIN (TNF), at TB (MNF), vs. WAS, at LAR

3. Kansas City Chiefs

Previous Rank: No. 1

Last game: Lions 21, Chiefs 20

Patrick Mahomes received little help on opening night, as his pass catchers dropped eight passes against Detroit. One of those tipped off WR Kadarius Toney’s hands and led to a Lions defensive touchdown. On the bright side, Kansas City’s defense held Detroit to just 14 points on offense without Chris Jones. This week, Travis Kelce could return to action against Jacksonville’s beatable secondary.

Up Next: at JAX, vs. CHI, at NYJ (SNF), at MIN

4. Dallas Cowboys

Previous Rank: No. 6

Last Game: Cowboys 40, Giants 0

The Dallas Cowboys annihilated the Giants on Sunday night in all phases. The Cowboys have a premium pass rush and an improved secondary on defense. Offensively, Dallas can win on the ground and in the air. Like it or not, the Cowboys are one of the most complete teams in the NFL.

Up Next: vs. NYJ, at ARI, vs. NE, at SF (SNF)

>> READ: Cowboys Put NFC on Notice

5. Jacksonville Jaguars

Previous Rank: No. 7

Last Game: Jaguars 31, Colts 21

We now know with certainty Calvin Ridley is going to be a difference-maker for Trevor Lawrence. The Jacksonville Jaguars‘ offensive tackle situation is still a little questionable, but overall, this is a top-10 offense. Defensively, the Jaguars’ blue chip edge duo is a strength, but their secondary is still a weakness. Last week’s matchup in Indianapolis was closer than the score would indicate, as Jacksonville pulled away late. The Jaguars get a much tougher test with Kansas City coming to town in Week 2.

Up Next: vs. KC, vs. HOU, vs. ATL (England), vs. BUF (England)

6. Buffalo Bills

Previous Rank: No. 4

Last Game: Jets 22, Bills 16

Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills lost to the Jets on Monday night despite Aaron Rodgers exiting in the first quarter. Buffalo will be fine long term, as they’ve been among the most consistent teams over the last several years. However, they lost to Zach Wilson in front of a national audience. You can’t keep a 0-1 team in the top five after that.

Up Next: vs. LV, at WAS, vs. MIA, vs. JAX (England)

7. Cincinnati Bengals

Previous Rank: No. 3

Last Game: Browns 24, Bengals 3

The Cincinnati Bengals had a brutal opening day in rainy Cleveland. Joe Burrow and company certainly didn’t play well, but the Browns’ defense caused most of that. If Deshaun Watson had played well, the score in this contest could have been considerably worse.

Cincinnati has been to each of the last two AFC Championship games, so it’s hardly time to push the panic button. That said, next week’s game against the rival Ravens isn’t exactly a get-well spot, either.

Up Next: vs. BAL, vs. LAR (MNF), at TEN, at ARI

8. Baltimore Ravens

Previous Rank: No. 8

Last Game: Ravens 25, Texans 9

The Baltimore Ravens beat the rebuilding Texans comfortably on opening day. While Baltimore’s defense impressed, Lamar Jackson’s new-look offense did not. We talked about this in-transition group suffering some growing pains early in the year, so this isn’t unexpected. However, Week 2 brings a far greater challenge as Baltimore heads to Cincinnati to face Burrow in a bounce-back spot.

Up Next: at CIN, vs. IND, at CLE, at PIT

9. Detroit Lions

Previous Rank: No. 11

Last game: Lions 21, Chiefs 20

The Detroit Lions had a great win in Kansas City on opening night, no question about it. However, they scored 14 points on offense while benefiting from a defensive touchdown off a tipped pass. The Lions’ defense played well, but the Chiefs were without Kelce.

Kansas City pass-catchers also dropped eight passes. The Lions are an ascending team and a legitimate threat in the NFC, but Kansas City played one of their worst games in years on opening night.

Up Next: vs. SEA, vs. ATL, at GB (TNF), vs. CAR

10. Miami Dolphins

Previous Rank: No. 13

Last Game: Dolphins 36, Chargers 34

Tua Tagovailoa shredded the Chargers for 466 passing yards. Tyreek Hill had 11 receptions for 215 receiving yards and two scores. We already knew the Miami Dolphins’ offense was dangerous, but we’re only one week into the season, and they already had a ceiling game. In Week 2, we’ll see if their defense can take a significant step forward against rival New England.

Up Next: at NE, vs. DEN, at BUF, vs. NYG

11. Los Angeles Chargers

Previous Rank: No. 9

Last Game: Dolphins 36, Chargers 34

The Los Angeles Chargers have a premium offense that can beat you in both phases, and they showed that on opening day. But their defense simply can’t close out games against high-caliber offenses. That said, an opening day loss to Miami isn’t the end of the world, and Los Angeles is still well-positioned to start 3-1.

Up Next: at TEN, at MIN, vs. LV, vs. DAL (MNF)

12. Cleveland Browns

Previous Rank: No. 17

Last Game: Browns 24, Bengals 3

Watson badly misfired on roughly half a dozen passes on opening day. He had his moments, especially as a runner, but he was inconsistent. The Cleveland Browns‘ pass rush and secondary looked like top-five groups against the loaded Bengals. If Cleveland’s defense plays this well in Pittsburgh on Monday night, the Browns could start 2-0.

Up Next: at PIT (MNF), vs. TEN, vs. BAL, BYE

13. New York Jets

Previous Rank: No. 10

Last Game:

It doesn’t feel good to drop a team multiple spots after it knocks off the Bills in primetime. That said, all signs point towards Rodgers’ injury being serious. That means Wilson is back at quarterback for the foreseeable future. Needless to say, that downgrade significantly reduces New York’s ceiling.

Up Next: at DAL, vs. NE, vs. KC (SNF), at DEN

>> READ: Jets’ Outlook Without Aaron Rodgers Is Bleak

14. New Orleans Saints

Previous Rank: No. 14

Last Game: Saints 16, Titans 15

The New Orleans Saints’ win against the Titans wasn’t pretty, but Derek Carr threw for more than 300 yards in his first start with the team. Both that and New Orleans’ defensive performance were major positives for the Saints’ long-term prospects. Given their league-easiest schedule, the Saints can finish with double-digit wins if they finish more drives while playing effective defense.

Up Next: at CAR (MNF), at GB, vs. TB, at NE

15. Green Bay Packers 

Previous Rank: No. 22

Last Game: Packers 38, Bears 20

Jordan Love played well in his first appearance as the Green Bay Packers‘ new starting quarterback. However, the Packers’ key to success will be largely determined by their talented defense playing to its potential. It’s only one game against a Bears team that finished 2022 with the worst record in the league, but Green Bay’s defense impressed on opening day.

Up Next: at ATL, vs. NO, vs. DET (TNF), at LV (MNF)

16. Pittsburgh Steelers

Previous Rank: No. 16

Last game: 49ers 30, Steelers 7

The Pittsburgh Steelers got blown out at home on opening day by the 49ers. San Francisco has played in three of the last four NFC championship games, so if you’re going to get embarrassed on opening day, it’s less of a problem when a team such as the 49ers does it.

Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, the team now hosts a Browns defense that held the Bengals to three points in Week 1. It will be on Pittsburgh’s defense to prevent a 0-2 start.

Up Next: vs. CLE (MNF), at LV (SNF), at HOU, vs. BAL

17. Seattle Seahawks

Previous Rank: No. 12

Last Game: Rams 30, Seahawks 13

The Rams blowing out the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle was among Week 1’s biggest surprises. Geno Smith and the Seahawks’ offense only scored 13 points against the Rams’ defense, which is a genuine concern. Smith has one of the better offensive supporting casts in the league, and he absolutely bombed against what is expected to be a below-average defense. Maybe this game ends up being a fluke, but the chances of Smith turning back into a pumpkin went way up after opening day.

Up Next: at DET vs. CAR, at NYG (MNF), at CIN

18. Minnesota Vikings

Previous Rank: No. 15

Last Game: Buccaneers 20, Vikings 17

The Minnesota Vikings lost an opening day home game to a team with Baker Mayfield at quarterback. Kirk Cousins threw for more than 300 yards, but he also threw a costly interception that swung the game. One game doesn’t make a season, but Minnesota starts 0-1 with a brutal stretch looming.

Up Next: at PHI (TNF), vs. LAC, at CAR, vs. KC

19. Atlanta Falcons

Previous Rank: No. 19

Last Game: Falcons 24, Panthers 10

The Atlanta Falcons could have the best running game in football, but QB Desmond Ridder looks like little more than a game manager. Atlanta’s improved defense impressed against Bryce Young in his NFL debut, but after a Week 2 date with the Packers, the Falcons’ defense will be tested by the high-performing offenses of the Lions and Jaguars. We’ll have a much better idea of who this team really is after that stretch.

Up Next: vs. GB, at DET, vs. JAX (England), vs. HOU

20. Los Angeles Rams

Previous Rank: No. 25

Last Game: Rams 30, Seahawks 13

The Los Angeles Rams‘ bludgeoning of rival Seattle was one of the most surprising outcomes from opening week. Matthew Stafford could end up in the Hall of Fame one day, so it’s no real surprise he played well. But the Rams’ defense holding Seattle to 13 points is a genuine surprise. Los Angeles plays three title contenders in its next four games, so we’ll see where the Rams truly stand in the league’s hierarchy soon.

Up Next: vs. SF, at CIN (MNF), at IND, vs. PHI

21. Tennessee Titans

Previous Rank: No. 21

Last Game: Saints 16, Titans 15

The Tennessee Titans lost a winnable game this week. Ryan Tannehill’s three interceptions were the biggest culprit, but an overturned pick-six was a major factor, too. The Titans’ front four is still the strength of their defense, while Carr threw for more than 300 yards in the air last week. So far, not much has changed between the 2022 Titans and what we’re seeing right now. What’s worse is the Titans will face three teams in a row with a better roster than theirs.

Up Next: vs. LAC, at CLE, vs. CIN, at IND

22. New York Giants

Previous Rank: No. 18

Last Game: Cowboys 40, Giants 0

The Cowboys obliterated the New York Giants on Sunday night. The Cowboys’ pass rush dominated this game, and their secondary left few opportunities. Thankfully for New York, it faces a Cardinals team that is on the opposite end of the defensive spectrum.

This is a classic bounce-back spot for Daniel Jones and the Giants offense. You can throw out a horrifying loss on opening day to a contending team. However, if New York struggles in Arizona, it could be time to push the panic button in Week 3.

Up Next: at ARI, at SF (TNF), vs. SEA (MNF), at MIA

23. New England Patriots

Previous Rank: No. 26

Last Game: Eagles 25, Patriots 20

The Eagles scored a defensive touchdown early and then forced a fumble on the next drive, leading to a short-field touchdown for Philadelphia. Outside of those two plays, you could argue New England Patriots gave the Eagles everything they could handle.

The Patriots’ defense is rock solid. But if Mac Jones plays as well as he did Sunday, New England’s absolutely brutal schedule is the only thing keeping this team out of the playoffs.

Up Next: vs. MIA, at NYJ, at DAL, vs. NO

24. Las Vegas Raiders

Previous Rank: No. 27

Last Game: Raiders 17, Broncos 16

The Las Vegas Raiders snuck out of Denver with a one-point win in a defense-driven contest. That doesn’t seem like a sustainable method of victory given the Raiders’ roster. On top of that, the Raiders have a difficult schedule stretch on the horizon. When facing teams like the Bills and Chargers, scoring 17 points won’t cut it.

Up Next: at BUF, vs. PIT, at LAC, vs. GB

25. Denver Broncos

Previous Rank: No. 20

Last Game: Raiders 17, Broncos 16

The Denver Broncos already look like a better, more stable football team this season, but a home loss to the Raiders is an obvious negative. Russell Wilson played an efficient but largely conservative game on opening day.

Despite Denver playing a strong defensive game against its rival, Wilson’s offense fell short, as it often did last season. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Denver’s offense improved as the season progressed, especially when Jerry Jeudy returns. But for now, the Broncos aren’t there yet.

Up Next: vs. WAS, at MIA, at CHI, vs. NYJ

26. Washington Commanders

Previous Rank: No. 24

Last Game: Commanders 20, Cardinals 16

The Washington Commanders struggled against the worst roster in the league on opening day. The Commanders’ defense was good, as expected, but Sam Howell and the offense left a lot to be desired. A trip to Denver is a far more arduous task than a home game against the Cardinals.

Up Next: at DEN, vs. BUF, at PHI, vs. CHI (TNF)

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Previous Rank: No. 30

Last Game: Buccaneers 20, Vikings 17

Credit to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense for holding the Vikings to just 17 points in Minnesota. Baker Mayfield and the offense left a lot to be desired, but the Buccaneers did enough to win. A similar outing from both units could lead to a 2-0 start with a home game vs. Chicago on deck.

Up Next: vs. CHI, vs. PHI (MNF), at NO, BYE

28. Chicago Bears

Previous Rank: No. 23

Last Game: Packers 38, Bears 20

Justin Fields had some flashy moments last Sunday, but ultimately, the Chicago Bears‘ offense was inconsistent. Even though the unit struggled against a talented Packers defense, better days are ahead.

It’s the Bears’ defense that’s concerning. The talent the team added this offseason paid no obvious dividends on opening day. Until that changes, the Bears have to be considered a bottom-tier team with an unreliable but high-ceiling offense.

Up Next: at TB, at KC, vs. DEN, at WAS (TNF)

>> READ: Time Is Running Out for Justin Fields

29. Carolina Panthers

Previous Rank: No. 28

Last Game: Falcons 24, Panthers 10

Bryce Young did some encouraging things on opening day, but ultimately, the Carolina Panthers‘ offense wasn’t much of a factor in Atlanta. The Panthers are a rebuilding team with a thin skill group. We expect Carolina to struggle through its first six games. 

Up Next: vs. NO (MNF), at SEA, vs. MIN, vs. DET

>> READ: Grading Rookie QB’s Week 1 Performance

30. Houston Texans

Previous Rank: No. 29

Last Game: Ravens 25, Texans 9

The Houston Texans put together a solid defensive effort against the Ravens while generating more pressure than expected. Houston’s offense, on the other hand, accomplished little in Baltimore. We expect Houston to be a scrappy team with a solid defense and a bottom-tier offense for the foreseeable future. If the Texans lose to the Colts this Sunday, a 0-5 start is possible.

Up Next: vs. IND, at JAX, vs. PIT, at ATL

31. Indianapolis Colts

Previous Rank: No. 31

Last Game: Jaguars 31, Colts 21

Anthony Richardson had a strong NFL debut and kept the Indianapolis Colts within striking distance. That said, the Colts’ run game was virtually nonexistent without Jonathan Taylor. Counting on a rookie quarterback such as Richardson to carry an offense is a big ask. On defense, the Colts’ front made an impact, but their secondary is a weakness quality quarterbacks will exploit.

Up Next: at HOU, at BAL, vs. LAR, vs. TEN

32. Arizona Cardinals

Previous Rank: No. 32

Last Game: Commanders 20, Cardinals 16

The Arizona Cardinals gave the Commanders a scare in Washington, so credit to them for that effort. Unfortunately, Arizona is still a team with bottom-tier lines on both sides of the ball and the worst quarterback situation in the league until Kyler Murray returns.

Up Next: vs. NYG, vs. DAL, at SF, vs. CIN

Ryan is the associate director of fantasy and betting at The 33rd Team. Follow Ryan @RyanReynoldsNFL on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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