The NFL season is now underway, and 31 teams are putting their foot forward for the Lombardi trophy.
The season started off strong for 15 teams, but another 14 teams had minor setbacks to their season. There was even a tie, which is something the NFL rarely expects to see, especially in Week 1. But for those 14 teams that lost, there is still hope for them to bounce back, as the season is still young. This can be said for every team unless you’re the Dolphins, then, well, it is just going to be a very long season.
Here are the Week 2 power rankings for the NFL:
1. New England Patriots (1-0) (Last Week: 1): The Patriots showed why I ranked them as the best team in the NFL during Sunday night’s prime time game against the Steelers, as the Tom Brady led Patriots absolutely dominated the whole game.
For the first time in a few years, the Patriots showed no rust to start the season. Their offensive attack was almost perfect, and that is still without their new addition in Antonio Brown.
2. New Orleans Saints (1-0) (Last Week: 3): The Saints won a nail-biter against the Texans on Monday night, and even though it was a close game the Saints seemed to have played more soundly in the second half. A slow start in the first half showed that the team was just rusty after a long offseason, but Drew Brees is still himself as he was accurate slinging the football to multiple receivers.
Alvin Kamara still looks like one of the best running backs in the league still, and the Saints defense looks much improved as they racked up six sacks on the night.
3. Los Angeles Rams (1-0) (Last Week: 2): The Rams definitely had a slow offensive start, as they deferred the running game to Malcolm Brown in the first half. Even with Brown taking half of Todd Gurly’s plays, the MVP-caliber back still shined in the 14 carries that he received.
The team is still intact, having one of the best wide receiving corps, and their defense is still near the top as well. I expect the defense to have better games, as holes were shown here and there throughout the game. For the Rams to exceed and become the favorite, better quarterback play from newly-extended Jared Goff must be shown.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) (Last Week: 6): You should not be surprised if I said Patrick Mahomes threw for three touchdowns in a game, but it might shock you to who those touchdowns went to. Sammy Watkins caught all three of Mahomes touchdown throws, as the Chiefs took care of the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon.
It seems that the Chiefs offense will be as explosive as it was last year, even with the possibility of Tyreek Hill missing a few games with an injury.
5. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0) (Last Week: 4): I do not believe the Chargers are going to be missing the production of Melvin Gordon anytime soon. New starting running back Austin Ekeler showed up for their opener against the Colts and tallied the game-winning score.
The Chargers depth is incredible, as they have talent at every position. Although their defense faulted in the second half, I am very confident the Chargers will bounce back and become a top-10 defense in the league.
6. Dallas Cowboys (1-0) (Last Week: 9): I know they faced the Giants, but that does not hinder my approval of their offense. Dak Prescott had a beautiful game slinging the ball to every receiver. Ezekiel Elliott had a solid game on the ground. This offense will probably not have another game of 400-plus passing yards but it seems that this could be the year Dak Prescott starts to throw more confidently, which could mean a Cowboys revival.
7. Baltimore Ravens (1-0) (Last Week: 12): “Pretty good for a running back” according to Lamar Jackson after a fantastic game against the Dolphins. The Ravens offense was on fire Sunday afternoon, as they would put up 59 points in a game that just seemed unfair.
Their offense was so dynamic and the score differential was so high that Robert Griffin III decided to get a part of the action and throw a touchdown. If the Ravens can exploit teams into thinking Jackson is a run-first quarterback, then more games like this one will keep occurring in favor of the purple and black.
8. Houston Texans (0-1) (Last Week: 11): It is not uncommon for a team without a win to be ranked higher than teams with wins. But Houston lost in the final seconds by a field goal to the highly-ranked Saints. The Texans were up most of this game as well.
Their offense led by Deshaun Watson seemed undefendable. Their running back duo in Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson worked to everyone’s surprise, and the only fault that this team had was closing out the game. If the Texans can protect their franchise quarterback, this team will continue to rise.
9. Chicago Bears (0-1) (Last Week: 5): How can I have the Bears above the Packers right after they lost to them Thursday night? Well, it’s actually a simple answer. The Bears’ defense is way too talented and productive to drop lower than this spot. They kept Aaron Rodgers on his feet all night, pressuring him and forcing him to throw the ball quickly. The only reason why the Bears lost this game was that their offense was terrible. I believe that this offense will eventually pick it up and rise to at least middle of the pack. If they do, Chicago will be the best team in the league.
10. Green Bay Packers (1-0) (Last Week: 14): I personally believe that the Packers beating the Bears was a fluke. Their defense was average and took advantage of a mediocre quarterback who was clearly rusty from the long offseason.
The Packers offense was not something to be proud of either. The Bears locked up every running attack Green Bay threw at them. Aaron Rodgers was getting pressured seemingly every play and was hit over a dozen times.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) (Last Week: 8): Is the year 2013? DeSean Jackson must have been born to play in an Eagles jersey because he plays his best football with Philly. Jackson caught two touchdowns for the Eagles in a comeback win against their divisional rival the Washington Redskins.
It was a slow start for their defense, as they let the Redskins tear their secondary into shreds. Carson Wentz had an alright game but was not anything special for the Eagles. For the Eagles to be serious contenders, they will need Wentz back to MVP form or this team will falter, as their Super Bowl window is starting to close.
12. Seattle Seahawks (1-0) (Last Week: 10): Russell Wilson needs help on the offensive line as soon as possible. Wilson was sacked four times and was hit on nine other dropbacks. The secondary was scorched by Andy Dalton, of all quarterbacks.
It seems the Seahawks are still trying to make the playoffs and are reluctant to start a rebuild. This team will be stuck in mediocrity all year and in future years if nothing is done, and it was proved by a needing a last-second win over the lowly Bengals.
13. Minnesota Vikings (1-0) (Last Week: 16): The Vikings are a running team. Kirk Cousins had his chance last year to be the guy in Minnesota but ultimately failed to get the team’s support after a disappointing year.
Cousins threw the ball 10 times…yes you heard me correctly, Cousins threw the ball just 10 times, completing eight for 98 yards. Their running game looked great, as Dalvin Cook accumulated over 110 yards on the ground and two scores. The Vikings defense is still primed to make a deep run in the playoffs, but for now, the team’s success relies on the health of Cook.
14. Carolina Panthers (1-0) (Last Week: 18): Cam Newton’s era is starting to dwindle as a franchise quarterback. Christian McCaffrey had a monstrous game against the Rams with 209 total yards from scrimmage. By the end of the year, McCaffery will be the face of the franchise, if he isn’t already. The season will be judged on the success that this player has throughout the year.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) (Last Week: 7): I should honestly put the Steelers lower, but I’ll be nice for now. I have never seen a Steelers team play this poorly and be demoralized this early on in the season.
It was the first game of the season and the players did not want to be there after the first half. Ben Roethlisberger did not have a bad game, as most of his incomplete passes were either well defended or dropped by receivers.
The run game was abysmal, to say the least, as they struggled to give meaningful carries to James Conner in the rush game as he was repeatedly stuffed. I am sure most Steeler fans are wishing that they had the talents of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown again to help out their offense.
16. Tennessee Titans (1-0) (Last Week: 17): It was a surprise offensive turnout for Marcus Mariota and company, as they put up 43 points in a blowout win against the Browns. This game might be a fluke win, as I believe Mariota will go back to his old ways and barely throw one touchdown a game if the Titans are lucky.
Their run game was not what I expected either, but it should pick up as the season continues while their passing game decreases to better suit their running-centric offensive game plan.
17. 49ers (1-0) (Last Week: 19): Congratulations San Francisco, you had a game where Jimmy Garoppolo played well and did not get injured. However, the injury bug did not miss this team, as running back Tevin Coleman will be week-to-week with an ankle injury.
The run game is far from looking great anyways, but Garoppolo will not be able to do it all for every game. The biggest outlook on this team is to have a healthy season and try to compete for a playoff spot that relies on the passing game and defense.
18. Cleveland Browns (0-1) (Last Week: 13): I hope when Baker Mayfield said “I woke up feeling dangerous,” that does not mean that he will have a disastrous sophomore year. Every aspect of the Brown looked like the team that was under the helm of Hue Jackson- pitiful, sad and just bad at football. The talent on this team should still be able to bounce back, but they will need Mayfield to rebound after having a terrible game.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) (Last Week: 22): Nick Foles is injured, Myles Jack had a temper tantrum and yet, they held their own against the Chiefs. Foles will be missing half the season or even longer with a shoulder injury, so who knows what the Jaguars will continue to do with the season.
Will they try and compete or tank and build their team for a healthier season next year? Without having a solid quarterback on the roster, it is very unlikely for a team to make a string of wins to come together.
20. Atlanta Falcons (0-1) (Last Week: 15): It was an ugly loss to say the least. Devonta Freeman was a non-factor in the running game and Matt Ryan had a terrible first half. I hate seeing such a talented team on both sides of the ball play so poorly, year-in and year-out. Their Super Bowl window looks to be closing more and more rapidly if nothing changes soon.
21. Indianapolis Colts (0-1) (Last Week: 23): The Colts are better than I expected, not much better, but definitely better. Jacoby Brissett is a solid quarterback that can run and toss the long ball. He can win them a handful of games, and keep the team relevant against tougher opponents as we saw against the Chargers. Marlon Mack is the Colts featured back yet again, as he rushed for 174 yards. The Colts offense is very talented and could surprise many teams if they continue to play well on offense.
22. New York Jets (0-1) (Last Week: 20): The Jets defense is definitely one of the best in the league talent-wise, but their offense under sophomore year quarterback Sam Darnold is not yet in first gear. Le’Veon Bell, who played his first game since the playoffs in 2018, showed great promise to revive the Jets offense and take some of the pressure off of Darnold. But in order for the Jets to succeed, they will need Darnold to become more aggressive and accurate in the red zone.
23. Buffalo Bills (1-0) (Last Week: 26): Get out the folding table and matches Bills mafia, because this undefeated record will not last long. Josh Allen seems to have improved a little bit, but the receiving corps. and running game still seems irrelevant to make a serious case for a playoff spot. But hey, enjoy the undefeated season thus far.
24. Washington Redskins (0-1) (Last Week: 30): The biggest mistake the Redskins did this weekend was not blowing a 17-point lead, nor was it letting DeSean Jackson throwing back the clock to 2013. It was benching their veteran running back Adrian Peterson.
I do not care how old Peterson is, he is one of their best offensive players, and that is saying something. The offense can not rely on Keenum’s arm, look at what happened in Denver when they tried it.
Washington’s defense may have started off strong but I do not expect that to last, just like Peterson’s time with the team if they continue to put him as a healthy scratch. Wins for this team are seemingly going to be hard to find if they continue the awful play calling and coaching.
25. Oakland Raiders (1-0) (Last Week: 24): I do not care if they won a game, it was against a team that is equally bad. Derek Carr looked fantastic though, but it will be hard to continue his success without having a good receiving corps. Josh Jacobs had a great first game and Raider fans are hoping that he continues this success.
If Jacobs becomes the back that the Raiders think he will, this team might be relevant in the playoffs, but the keyword is might. The defense needs to step up as well.
26. Denver Broncos (0-1) (Last Week: 21): Losing to the Raiders is a big wake-up call. The running game was below average, the passing game got started too late in the game, and the defense was less than adequate. The Broncos just did not look good at all, everything was just mediocre at best and in this league, that will not get you anywhere.
27. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) (Last Week: 27): Why are the Bengals this low? Well, just like every year they start off the season hot. They only lost by one point to the Seahawks, and will probably win a game or two in the next two or three weeks.
But then what? Andy Dalton will not lead you back to the playoffs anymore, and the team can not rely on Joe Mixon to lead the team to success. On the bright side, John Ross finally looked like the wideout that deserved to be picked in the first round. Maybe it’s a breakout year for him while A.J Green recovers from last year’s injury.
28. New York Giants (0-1) (Last Week: 28): Saquon Barkley is an absolute stud at the running back position, and will have another fantastic season. The next best thing that the Giants have is the 2020 draft, where they could possibly have the No. 1 overall pick.
29. Arizona Cardinals (0-0-1) (Last Week: 32): Kyler Murray in his first game led the Cardinals to a comeback that resulted in a …tie? Well, if it was against a formidable team then it will look really good, right? Oh, they faced the Lions.
I’m being very friendly with the Cardinals, as Murray showed promise in his first game. But this team offensively outside of David Johnson and an old Larry Fitzgerald is just straight underwhelming. Their defense is injured and scattered as well. This team will ride the hype of a tie, and hopefully, show something more against a better team or they will be heading back down on this ranking.
30. Detroit Lions (0-0-1) (Last Week: 25): I have no words. The defense on the Lions should be average, Stafford is a good quarterback. Their receivers are not awful, but the Lions just can not buy a win. Maybe it is the coaching of Matt Patricia. If it is, this will be his final year as a head coach in Detroit.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) (Last Week: 29): This is the last year of Jameis Winston if he continues this play. The Buccaneers can be described in one word: sloppy. The Bucs show flashes of being a good team then the following play they’ll turn the ball over or allow a huge gain.
Coach Bruce Arians has a lot of work to do for this team to be relevant again, and it might be time to consider a quarterback change.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-1) (Last Week: 31): A group of players from the Dolphins after the blowout loss to the Ravens have demanded a trade. That is all I have to say.