The new season is on its way and there are already a few big surprises. Sure, it’s only one game, but the Green Bay Packers’ defeat and the Seattle Seahawks’ win in particular have rocked the NFL Power Rankings.
NFL Power Rankings week 2
1. (1) Kansas City Chiefs
It took three-quarters of the game for the Chiefs’ defense to pick up steam and stop the Browns somewhat. Luckily for Kansas City, that’s all it needs as long as Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are on the field. Visiting the Ravens on Sunday, the defense can show whether it can be there from the start.
2. (2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Four turnovers, 100 penalty yards and 450 yards against. Tampa Bay is the first team to win despite this. Glass half full: winning on a bad day makes you a champion. Glass half empty: the Bucs still have a lot of work to do to really have a chance at title renewal. You can’t get away with this in the play-offs.
3. (7) Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford passed his first test with flying colours. He looks like he’s on a mission to prove that the Detroit defeats weren’t his fault. The defense was also back as we can expect from the Rams. If there’s a weak spot, it’s the run game, as Darrell Henderson and Sony Michel couldn’t quite absorb the loss of Cam Akers.
4. (9) Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have traditionally started the season strong. The Colts were trumped on all fronts. It’s not for nothing, however, that Russell Wilson has never received a vote as the league’s MVP. The question is therefore: how long will he maintain this level this season?
5. (5) Cleveland Browns
The Browns played a clear first half against the Chiefs and were rightfully ahead. Only, of course, it remains the Chiefs. Two mistakes and no matter how well you play, they know how to turn the game around. On Sunday against the Texans, the Browns can probably afford these mistakes.
6. (4) Buffalo Bills
The Bills seemed to get away with a lesser game from Josh Allen in the first half. After the break, however, the Steelers managed to score twenty points in a row. The biggest concern: Allen’s low percentage (59 percent); ten percentage points below his accuracy from last season. However, the Steelers barely opted for the blitz to pressure the quarterback, but that didn’t bother Allen last season either.
7. (6) Baltimore Ravens
Even without JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards, the Ravens again had the most rushing yards in the entire NFL in the first week. Thanks of course to Lamar Jackson. However, it was his two fumbles that ultimately made the difference in the spectacle in the desert.
8. (3) Green Bay Packers
A truly shocking performance by the Packers. Nearly everything that could go wrong went wrong for Green Bay. Anyway, it’s only week 1 and the team even has a week longer this year to get everything back on track. Knowing Rodgers, this will work too.
9. (12) Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray is seen as a contender to become the next MVP and against the Titans it became clear why. Still, the quarterback was overshadowed by Chandler Jones on Sunday. The pass rusher is on track to hit a record 85 sacks this year.
10. (10) San Francisco 49ers
A big lead and a first shine from Trey Lance when it really counts. It could have been a great Sunday for the 49ers. Afterwards, however, it was mainly about the almost giving away 41-17 lead and the injuries of Raheem Mostert and Jason Verrett. In that regard, little has changed in Santa Clara
11. (18) New Orleans Saints
Winning 38-3 in Jacksonville is a result that people normally don’t talk about too long. Unless you’ve moved out and receive the Packers there. Jameis Winston is the deserved new quarterback for the Saints and Sean Payton can think of things that Drew Brees couldn’t. That should still give some surprises (and interceptions).
12. (15) Pittsburgh Steelers
After last season’s collapse, the team was written off by many before the season started, but Big Ben is still there. Although he was not the main reason for the Steelers victory. That was the defense and the special teams, partly because of a blocked point from which a touchdown was scored.
13. (14) Miami Dolphins
All attention went to Mac Jones on Sunday, but it was Tua Tagovailoa who left Foxborough as the winning quarterback. The Dolphins’ defense picked up where it left off last season, forcing two crucial turnovers. Tua wasn’t spectacular, but it was good enough for the win. With the Bills on the program, Miami can already send out a clear signal in the AFC East at the start of the season.
14. (13) Dallas Cowboys
A small defeat visiting the champion. It shows that the traditionally high expectations this year are not entirely unjustified. Still, the Cowboys will feel like they’ve missed a golden opportunity. Kicker Greg Zuerlein is already under a magnifying glass.
15. (16) Los Angeles Chargers
Except for a crazy interception, Justin Herbert didn’t seem to suffer from a sophomore slump. Even though the Chargers failed to decide the game in the first half. That was mainly due to the receivers, who after eight months seemed to have forgotten how to catch a ball. Nevertheless, the Chargers managed to win an exciting match. That alone is a welcome change from previous years.
16. (8) Tennessee Titans
The Titans have to chase the Houston Texans. It’s really there. What should worry Titans fans the most is the way they lost to the Cardinals. And they do, judging by the booing the players heard when they left the field at halftime. How wonderful it is that the fans are back in the stadiums.
17. (11) Indianapolis Colts
Carson Wentz would thrive in Indianapolis because he would have an offensive line in front of him that could protect him. Three sacks and ten quarterback hits later, that doesn’t seem to come true either. Combined with a defense that Wilson failed to stop before half-time, that resulted in a defeat that felt bigger than the final score indicated.
18. (22) Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders surprised with a win in the opening game of the season. Especially since Jon Gruden’s squad didn’t play very well at all. Lots of bad passes, drops and personal mistakes. Rookie Alex Leatherwood proved why there was a lot of criticism for his choice in the first lap, as his false start almost cost the team the win. The Raiders still need some improvement if they want to keep up with the rest of the AFC West.
19. (25) Denver Broncos
Teddy Bridgewater showed what the Broncos need at quarterback. A game manager who makes no mistakes and does not throw turnovers. Hence, the Broncos have already called the Packers to say they can keep Aaron Rodgers and not need him anymore.
20. (17) New England Patriots
Afterwards, nobody talked about the defeat, but especially about the game of Mac Jones. The new quarterback played the best of all rookie playmakers, without producing standout highlights. It was Damien Harris’ unnecessary loss of possession that prevented Jones’ debut from ending with a win.
21. (27) Philadelphia Eagles
Perhaps the most surprising performance came from the Philadelphia Eagles. On both sides of the ball, the game looked better than expected. It’s no surprise that the Falcons would score, but the defense wouldn’t allow a touchdown. A nice boost on the way to a tough program, because the next games are against the 49ers, Cowboys, Chiefs, Panthers and the Buccaneers.
22. (24) Carolina Panthers
Matt Rhule scored from the 33-yard line, from the Jets. Instead of a 51-yard FG, he went for an 18-yard run. He got away with it against the Jets, but against better teams the Panthers will have to be more aggressive to have a chance.
23. (29) Cincinnati Bengals
Ja’Marr Chase was fantastic in his debut and the connection with Joe Burrow was straight back to college. However, the only way the Bengals can justify that pick is if Burrow stays whole for the entire season. On Sunday it became painfully clear that the offensive line needs reinforcements to really protect the young quarterback.
24. (20) Washington Football Team
After six passes, Ryan Fitzpatrick had to leave the field with a hip injury. A condition that you would expect in Tom Brady, but it is hoped for the Football Team that the damage is not too bad and that Fitzmagic can come back this season. Taylor Heinicke did a great job as a substitute, but he is not good enough to lead the Football Team to the play-offs. Not even in the NFC East
25. (19) Minnesota Vikings
Is Mike Zimmer on the hot seat yet? In the preseason, the coach regularly complained about the efforts of his players. Against the Bengals, it turned out that they didn’t really react well to it. The comeback in the second half obscured much, but the Vikings started with a painful defeat. With away games against the Bears and Steelers on the schedule, things can quickly get unsettled in Minneapolis.
26. (21) Chicago Bears
It gets weirder with the game as to why Andy Dalton is the starter. Especially if you have Justin Fields. The rookie only learns how to play in the NFL by actually playing a lot in the NFL. Starting with Dalton is symbolic politics. Although Matt Nagy will mainly point to the stand. Shared leader in the NFC North is better than many critics had expected prior to the season.
27. (26) New York Giants
Those who had hoped that a long offseason and good preparation would help Daniel Jones were disappointed. The young quarterback occasionally shows potential, interspersed with stupid loss of possession. The latter is perhaps even more common, because Jones has already lost 40 balls in 26 games after his fumble on Sunday. Not a recipe for victories.
28. (32) Houston Texans
The Texans have already exceeded many people’s expectations for this season and the win over the Jaguars wasn’t even stolen. Tyrod Taylor looked fine as a quarterback. Whether this is mainly hope for the Texans or bad news for the Jaguars will be revealed on Sunday. For the Texans, it will be a completely different story against the Browns.
29. (23) Atlanta Falcons
A home game against the Eagles seemed like a great game to start the season and gain some confidence. There won’t be much left of that. The Eagles were better on all fronts. That an attack with Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts did not go further than two field goals is very disappointing. It begs the question of whether the Falcons have any idea what they’re up to.
30. (28) New York Jets
The defeat to the Carolina Panthers must have given the fans of the Jets some bright spots. The team recovered after the break and Robert Saleh radiated confidence in his players. However, the offensive line must worry him, because as was played on Sunday, Zach Wilson is waiting for an injury.
31. (31) Detroit Lions
Dan Campbell will point to his side’s final two minutes, in which the Lions nearly made up a 41-17 deficit. The fact remains, however, that the Lions were 24 points behind two minutes before the end and with a bit of luck managed to give the game an exciting finish.
32. (30) Jacksonville Jaguars
The question is not whether Urban Meyer regrets his choice for the Jaguars, but how much. It doesn’t seem to be a happy marriage. Whether Trevor Lawrence ‘s disappointing start has something to do with that is impossible to say. There were certainly positive plays from the rookie, but the three interceptions were entirely his own fault. It remains bizarre that this is Lawrence’s first defeat in the regular season; in high school, college and NFL.