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NFL Power Rankings: Let's welcome Patriots back to No. 1

Tim Tully
September 11, 2018 - 9:22 am

Week 1 was filled with some wild upsets, disappointing top teams and some surprise heroes through the first 16 of will be 256 games this season. Here’s where everyone stands heading into Week 2. (Previous rank in Parenthesis)


Biggest Jump: Ravens (+10)

Biggest Dump: Detroit Lions (-11)

Best Win: Kansas City (38-28) @ LA Chargers

Worst Loss: Detroit 48-17 @ home vs New York Jets

Most impressive in Defeat: Chicago Bears 

Power Matchup for Week 2: (1) New England @ (5) Jacksonville

1. New England Patriots (3): The new leader in the clubhouse will certainly please you as the Patriots follow the recipe laid out in the Week 1 rankings: do as Brady does, and wins will follow. The Patriots pass rush looks like a strength after Week 1, which is a huge boost for a team that spends most of their time in the lead. 

2. Philadelphia Eagles (1): Rarely will a win drop you a spot, but the Eagles offense was so putrid Thursday night I couldn’t justify them in the top spot. The Eagles defense did a great job stifling the Falcons offense. But even with a dominant performance on defense, the Falcons still had a chance to win as the clock hit zero. Carson Wentz can’t come back fast enough. 

3. Minnesota Vikings (4): The Vikings handed Jimmy G his first career loss as a starter in large part to their pass rush forcing the young QB into some ill-advised interceptions. Kirk Cousins looked great in his first start in purple. The Vikings are going to be very tough to stop all year. 

4. Green Bay Packers (8): The first half of the Packers-Bears Sunday Night game could have had Packers fans in a full panic, but with Rodgers returning healthy for the second half, he was a man on fire, and nobody is going to stop No. 12 is as locked in as he was late on Sunday. 

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars defense looked just as dominant as last year, except Jalen Ramsey lost his battle with Odell Beckham Jr. It’s a win in their book as they kept him from making a game-changing play despite his 11 catches for 111 yards in the game. Hopefully Leonard Fournette is healthy enough to face off against New England in our Week 2 Power Matchup.

6. Los Angeles Rams (6): It took the Rams a while to look like themselves on offense, but as Todd Gurley heated up the Rams were able to gash the Raiders in the second half and maintain their spot in the rankings. 

7. Kansas City Chiefs (9): All aboard the Pat Mahomes train. There are issues on defense for the Chiefs, but their offense is as advertised, in large part to Tyreek Hill’s video game speed and agility. 

8. New Orleans Saints (2): The great Survivor pool disaster left the Saints 0-1 after Ryan Fitzpatrick had a career day putting up 48 on the Saints. Drew Brees played nearly perfect, as did Michael Thomas but it wasn’t enough. I still like the Saints chances in the NFC, and I will attribute the Week 1 loss to the Bucs taking out some serious anger on the Saints. 

9. Carolina Panthers (13): The Panthers defense might be back to where they were in 2015 where they won the NFC. Dallas had no answer for what the Panthers were throwing at them. Cam Newton and Norv Turner looked to be gelling well, as Newton ran for 59 yards in the Panthers’ win. They have work to do in the passing game but I’ll give them a pass against what I believe to be a very good pass defense for the Cowboys. 

10. Baltimore Ravens (20): Although they played Buffalo, the Ravens looked as dominant as any team in beating the Bills and a 47-3 win earns the Ravens this week’s biggest jump in the rankings.  

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (10): The Steelers are going to get a bit of a pass this week, the weather in Cleveland was as close to hurricane level conditions as the coast of Lake Erie can provide. Although the Steelers ended up in a tie with the Browns, their defense keeping Ben Roethlisberger and Co. in the game after giving the ball up five times provides a glimmer of hope for the Steelers who got a stellar performance for LeVeon Bell stand-in James Connor in his first start. 

12. Houston Texans (11): The Texans got the worst draw in the league having to play in New England in Week 1. Despite a slow start, the Texans came back and had a chance to tie the game late. If they stay healthy the Texans may challenge Jacksonville for the south and maybe even a bye in the AFC. 

13. Atlanta Falcons (7): If there was room I would move the Falcons even further down. Matt Ryan looked terrible against an Eagles secondary that he should’ve had no problem slicing and dicing. The Falcons Red Zone ineptitude has become the identity of their team and will haunt them until they find out a way to get the ball into the end zone consistently. 

14. Los Angeles Chargers (12): You’d think as a team who sees the Chiefs twice a year would have a better plan to stop Tyreek Hill. The Chargers played the Chiefs tough without their best player, Joey Bosa, but it wasn’t enough in Week 1. The Chargers don’t suffer too much of a drop due to that injury. And there are uncertainties surrounding the new look Chiefs offense that is going to be one of the league’s best this season. 

15. Denver Broncos (16): The Broncos made a very low-risk move to add Case Keenum this offseason and through one game it looks to be paying off. Keenum controlled the Denver offense well in a close win over Seattle. 

16. Washington Redskins (21): The Redskins picked on a weak Cardinals team on Sunday, powered by two newcomers in Alex Smith and Adrian Peterson. The Redskins play a third-place schedule this season and could fight for a wild card spot behind their two really strong groups on the offensive and defensive lines. 

17. Seattle Seahawks (18): It’s Russell Wilson vs the World this season for the Seahawks. Wilson played a solid game for the Hawks but without the Legion of Boom holding his opponents down, the former Badger is going to face an uphill battle week after week this year. 

18. Tennessee Titans (14): Titans fans might be upset about losing to Miami, but the rain delay and all the weirdness that comes along with that should allow the Titans to call the loss a fluke and move on. 

19. San Francisco 49ers (19): It turns out winning isn’t as easy as Jimmy Garrappolo made it seem last season. The Vikings defense dominated for most of the game but the 49ers should hold their heads high for keeping it to a one-score game. 

20. Cincinnati Bengals (24): The Bengals won a shootout with the Colts in Week 1, getting a scoop and score touchdown to cap things off. This could be one of the random years that Cincinnati lights up defenses all year en route to a 10-win campaign. 

21. Chicago Bears (22): Chicago fans might have been planning their parade route after a dominant first half at Lambeau Field. Khalil Mack might be even better than advertised but the Bears knew what was coming as soon as Aaron Rodgers re-entered the game. The Bears should have never kicked to make the score 23-17 and gave Rodgers the ball back. The Packers were scoring a touchdown if they got the ball. Matt Nagy has hopefully learned that lesson. 

22. Dallas Cowboys (15): I told you that defense was going to be something. On the opposite side of the ball, Dallas looked completely lost as Dak Prescott appeared hesitant and indecisive all day. If Dallas has another game offensively as putrid as Week 1, Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan might be looking for new jobs. 

23. New York Giants (26): The Giants fought hard against Jacksonville however the Jags were a different team once Leonard Fournette exited the game in the first half. Although the score won’t reflect it, the Giants offense never really got any traction against the Jaguars defense outside of a 68 yard Saquon Barkley touchdown run. 

24. Oakland Raiders (23): The first half between Oakland and the Rams looked like Jon Gruden was going to be able to brush off the Khalil Mack trade in his post-game press conference. In the second half the Rams dominated Oakland.

25. Miami Dolphins (29): I’m still not sold on the Dolphins and I’ll add the same disclaimer that I gave the Titans, the delay and all the weirdness involve made this game a wash for me. 

26. New York Jets (30): Start Spreading the news? The Jets look like they may have finally found a quarterback and their young talent on defense completely decimated the Lions offense in Week 1. I’m going to have to see the Jets beat the Patriots before they get the super jump, but what an impressive win to start the year. 

27. Indianapolis Colts (28): Andrew Luck looks to be healthy, which is a good sign for the Colts. A bad sign for the Colts is that their defense is horrific. 

28. Detroit Lions (17): Is there still time for Matt Patricia to get his old job back? The Jets claim to have known the Lions offensive signals coming into the game and the Lions had no answer on either side of the ball all night for the new Big Green Machine. 

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (32): The Buccaneers get my first ever fluke of the week award. Ryan Fitzpatrick scores 5!! TD’s on the Saints? Tampa Bay certainly felt disrespected after a long offseason and showed it on offense. That being said they still let up 40 points to the Saints and I don’t think counting on a Fitzpatrick led unit to score 2 points south of 50 is a great plan going forward. 

30. Cleveland Browns (31): The Browns are undefeated! The Great Erie Slopfest between the Browns and Steelers should give Clevelanders hope, but getting five takeaways and losing is a bad look for Tyrod Taylor right out of the gate. The crazy weather keeps both teams rather stagnant after the tie, but you have to keep in mind that last season the Steelers only beat the 0-16 Browns by 3 in Week 1. A lot of football left. 

31. Arizona Cardinals (27):  The Cardinals got David Johnson back! At least that’s what I heard. Losing 24-3 on opening day at home to the Washington Redskins is not the best look for Steven Wilks’ first game as head coach. 

32. Buffalo Bills (25): The Bills may legitimately go winless this season. They went back to the Peterman well once again, and once again they were poisoned. The Bills might as well let Josh Allen sling it around and see what they have because this team is going nowhere fast.