NFL POWER RANKINGS: WEEK 2

BY ADAM GREENE

It’s time to deliver that weekly performance review and sometime public spanking that we call the NFL Power Rankings.

We had, what I believe, may have been the greatest Week 1 in recent NFL history, with upsets, tight finishes and historic performances galore. Not all of them great. There was almost too much to talk about heading into Week 2, but we’re going to give it a try anyway.

1. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (1-0)

In what turned out to be a tremendous Kickoff Game to start the season, the Bucs came from behind in the final minutes to down the Dallas Cowboys, showing how champions just consistently find a way to get it done. Last week: No. 1

2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (1-0)

As long as Patrick Mahomes is on the field, the Kansas City are never out of it. No matter what the score is. If there’s time on the clock and Mahomes has the ball, be afraid. Last week: No. 2

3. LOS ANGELES RAMS (1-0)

Of all the hyped up trades and offseason moves, the only one to deliver as promised last Sunday was Matthew Stafford and the Rams. Stafford posted a 156.1 passer rating, the highest ever for a QB making his debut with a new team in a 34-14 win over the Chicago Bears. Last week: No. 5

4. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (1-0)

Russell Wilson re-opened the kitchen in Indianapolis last week and dropped a solid meal on the Indianapolis Colts. As good as it was, I’m not sure Indy will be leaving the Yelp! review it properly deserves. Last week: No. 7

5. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (1-0)

While the rest of NFL punditry gave up the Steelers for dead this season, I seem to be the only one able to remember that this has been a consistent playoff contender for the last two decades or so. Last week: No. 8

6. BUFFALO BILLS (0-1)

Falling to the Steelers isn’t a bad loss in the opener, especially since it was close. But it makes Sunday’s trip to Miami all the more important. Buffalo can derail its season real quick with an 0-2 start. Last week: No. 3

7. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1-0)

The 49ers made it a little too interesting at the end against the Detroit Lions and the fact that they lost not one, but two starters to season ending injuries doesn’t bode well. But they won and, on offense at least, looked good doing it. Last week: No. 10

8. ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-0)

The Cardinals make the biggest jump of the week after a complete dismantling of the Tennessee Titans on the road. And, yes, all four NFC West teams are in the Top 8 for good reason. Last week: No. 21

9. CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-1)

Here’s the problem with the Browns. They’re a good team. They’re a playoff team. They have one of the best rosters in the league. But as we saw last week surrendering a two-score lead late in the game to the Chiefs, they still find a way to be the old Browns when it can hurt them the most. Last week: No. 9

10. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (1-0)

I was surprised that so many TV pundits picked the Washington Football Team to knock off the Chargers last week. The only weakness this squad has in inexperience at QB and coach. The talent is there. Last week: No. 12

11. MIAMI DOLPHINS (1-0)

A victory over the New England Patriots is sweet, but making a game of it, and maybe stealing a win from the Bills would put the Dolphins alone atop the AFC East already. Last week: No. 13

12. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (1-0)

After the Saints curb stomped the Green Bay Packers 38-3, former New Orleans QB, future first ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer and NBC analyst Drew Brees said, “I guess, apparently, this (the deep ball) is what the Saints have been missing.” Which is 100 percent true and a hell of a thing for him to admit on his first regular season broadcast. Good for him. Last week: No. 14

13. BALTIMORE RAVENS (0-1)

I’ll give Greg Roman a little credit. For about a half of football he attempted to run a real NFL offense. But with the game on the line he went right back to his Tecmo Bowl playbook with predictable results. Last week: No. 11

14. GREEN BAY PACKERS (0-1)

There’s bad, then there’s what Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers unleashed in Jacksonville last Sunday. At this point Rodgers might have wished he’d bolted for Jeopardy! Or at least signed on to turn letters on Wheel of Fortune. Though I’m not sure he could pull off Vanna White’s wardrobe. Last week: No. 4

15. TENNESSEE TITANS (0-1)

The egg the Titans laid on their home field makes this week’s trip to Seattle a must win. In the entire history of the NFL, teams that start the season 0-2 have an 11 percent chance of making the playoffs. Last week: No. 6

16. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (1-0)

The Raiders knocked off the Ravens in what could already be one of the best games of the year. In fact, they had to do it twice. Last week: No. 20

17. DENVER BRONCOS (1-0)

The Teddy Bridgewater call has already paid dividends, but nothing has made as much difference as having Von Miller back on defense. Last week: No. 15

18. DALLAS COWBOYS (0-1)

If the first game is any indication, Mike McCarthy has completely abdicated control of the offense to OC Kellen Moore. This might work out after all. Last week: No. 22

19. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (0-1)

Bill Belichick’s issues with when facing his former assistants and players as head coaches continue, but it just so happens that this week’s opponent, Robert Saleh, never worked for the Super Genius. Last week: No. 17

20. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (1-0)

After watching the Eagles dismantle the Falcons, I can tell you, definitively, I still know nothing about this team. Atlanta could just be that awful. Now, knock of the 49ers and we’ll have something to talk about. Last week: No. 25

21. CINCINNATI BENGALS (1-0)

I told everyone not to sleep on the Bengals this season, but for some reason the hardest folks to convince were Cincinnati fans. Last week: No. 26

22. CAROLINA PANTHERS (1-0)

I thought the Panthers might be the third worst team in the league coming into Week 1. They won handily over the Jets, who are now, in these rankings, the second worst team in the league. So my prediction hasn’t hit the rocks just yet. Last week: No. 27

23. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (0-1)

Carson Wentz didn’t have a bad game after virtually no practice last Sunday, but a “meh” performance wasn’t good enough to stay in the game with the Seahawks and it won’t be this week against the Rams. Last week: No. 18

24. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (0-1)

Back in my 7 Bold Predictions article in the preseason, I prognosticated that Taylor Heinicke would take over for Ryan Fitzpatrick before the season ended. I didn’t think it would be Week 2. No. 19

25. HOUSTON TEXANS (1-0)

All through the offseason and preseason I was convinced that the Texans were the worst team in football and I was not alone. I even went as far as to predict they could be the NFL’s first 0-17 team. Well, they’re not going to do that, but that doesn’t mean they’re good. It probably just means the Jaguars are that bad. Last week: No. 32

26. DETROIT LIONS (0-1)

The Lions losing to the 49ers last week was a foregone conclusion. The fact that they made it close and Jared Goff played pretty well weren’t. They’ve got the Packers this week at home to prove it wasn’t a fluke. Last week: No. 31

27. CHICAGO BEARS (0-1)

When the Bears host the Bengals Sunday, a quarterback will be roundly booed and it won’t be the guy suiting up for Cincy. Andy Dalton doesn’t deserve it, but Justin Fields is too good to leave on the bench and everyone knows it. Last week: No. 23

28. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (0-1)

Well, it’s halfway through the week and Kirk Cousins hasn’t caught COVID-19 yet, so I guess that’s something. He might want to fake it to get out of the ass whipping the Cardinals have on tap for him Sunday. Last week: No. 24

29. ATLANTA FALCONS (0-1)

I had the Falcons penciled in as the No. 7 seed in the NFC playoff race. There’s 16 games to go, but I’m not feeling confident about the pick. Last week: No. 16

30. NEW YORK GIANTS (0-1)

Thursday night the Giants find themselves more than a field goal underdog to a team fielding a QB making his third NFL start. And I like that line. This could be a long season in the Big Apple. Last week: No. 30

31. NEW YORK JETS (0-1)

They’ve invested in a new quarterback and new coach, but maybe paying a little more attention to the offensive line would have been a good idea. Wilson was sacked six times by the Panthers last Sunday. Last week: No. 29

32. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (0-1)

Hello darkness my old friend. You’re at the bottom of the power rankings once again. A couple more performances like that an Urban Meyer might have to fake pancreatitis to take the open job at USC. Last week: No. 28

The NFL season is officially upon us. Place your bets on the Week 2 schedule at BetOnline.AG.

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