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NFL Week 2 Power Rankings: A week to forget for the NFC South

Saints, Falcons tumble after troubling losses

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

We are through the first week of the NFL season and there have already been some major surprises. Some potential contenders disappointed while potential bottom feeders dominated. Not everyone has found their footing yet this season, but here where everyone stands a week into the season.

  1. Minnesota Vikings (1-0; won 24-16 vs SF) (- No change)

The Vikings defense was dominant in their season opener against the 49ers and it look like new quarterback Kirk Cousins is already clicking with receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. The best team in the NFL looked great, big surprise.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0; won 18-12 vs ATL) (-)

Philadelphia played a sloppy season opener but was able to escape with a victory as the Falcons redzone woes struck them again. Nick Foles looked terrible, but with Carson Wentz on the horizon, Eagles fans have nothing to worry about.

3. Los Angeles Rams (1-0; won vs OAK) (-)

It took a while for everything to click but once the Rams offense got going late in the third quarter the game was all but over. Jared Goff and Brandin Cooks looked like they built chemistry before our eyes, and despite the win, it’s hard to imagine Aaron Donald will have a worse game this season.

4. New England Patriots (1-0; won 27-20 vs HOU) (-)

The Brady-Gronk connection is still alive and well and New England got a huge performance from their pass rush as they stomped Deshaun Watson and the Texans. Cordarelle Patterson also looked like a legitimate weapon on this New England offense.

5. Green Bay Packers (1-0; won 24-23 vs CHI) (+4)

Aaron Rodgers did an Aaron Rodgers and shattered the hearts of Bears fans everywhere. Their run defense looked shaky and they were the beneficiary of a terrible performance from Mitch Trubisky, but this Packers team will contend as long as Rodgers is around.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0; won 20-15 vs NYG) (+5)

Jacksonville played one of the worst games they might play all season but still walked out of MetLife Stadium with a win Sunday. Blake Bortles looked awful, Leonard Fournette left the game early with an injury and the secondary has some trouble containing Odell Beckham Jr. down the stretch. It is hard to complain about a road win in messy weather, though.

7. Baltimore Ravens (1-0; won 47-3 vs BUF) (+5)

Any team that has the luxury of playing against Nathan Peterman is bound to look great, but the Ravens looked incredible in their season opener. Their defense looked impenetrable and held Peterman and Josh Allen to a combined 98 passing yards on 33 attempts.

8. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0; won 38-28 vs LAC) (+11)

The Patrick Mahomes era has arrived and boy are we excited. Mahomes and receiver Tyreek Hill carved up a great Chargers defense and put together an offensive masterclass. Their defense quietly had a poor performance and was bailed out by a ton of Chargers errors, but the Chiefs offense looked great.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0; won 34-23 vs IND) (+3)

Andy Dalton, Joe Mixon and A.J. Green all looked great as the Bengals rallied to defeat the Colts on Sunday. They scored 24 unanswered points and their defense sealed the deal for them late after they had a shaky day. Not the best game but a win on the road against a quarterback like Andrew Luck isn’t anything to complain about.

10. New Orleans Saints (0-1; lost 48-40 vs TB) (-5)

What happened? Marshon Lattimore played the worst game of his young career and Ryan Fitzpatrick made him pay in an NFC South barn burner. The offense still looked great, but the defense that shocked everyone in 2017 may be in for a huge regression.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0-1; tied 21-21 vs CLE) (-3)

Ben Roethlisberger was awful as the Steelers were the first team in over a year to leave a game against the Browns without a win. If there are any positives that the Steelers can pull from this game, though, it’s that James Conner looks like a really good replacement for Le’Veon Bell.

12. Washington (1-0; won 24-6 vs ARI) (+4)

Washington dominated the Arizona Cardinals. Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson looked like an incredible running back duo. Alex Smith looked great in his first start on a new team, and the defense held a shut out until the team entered garbage time late in the fourth. Watch out for Washington.

13. Atlanta Falcons (0-1; lost 18-12 vs PHI) (-6)

The Falcons had a chance to get a huge victory over a fellow NFC contender that could affect playoff seeding down the line. They failed to take advantage of a terrible Nick Foles performance and Matt Ryan played one of the worst games of his career in a troubling loss.

14. Los Angeles Chargers (0-1; lost 38-28 vs KC) (-8)

Philip Rivers played a great game on Sunday but the rest of his team let him down. His receivers dropped two open touchdowns and the defense had no answer for Tyreek Hill. Joey Bosa’s return should be a huge help for them next week but for now this team still looks like the same old Chargers.

15. Tennessee Titans (0-1; lost 27-20 vs MIA) (-5)

Tennessee got caught in a late Summer Miami monsoon and lost a sloppy game. The losses of both Marcus Mariota and Delanie Walker could cost this team big time down the stretch. The Titans lost a lot in Week 1.

16. Carolina Panthers (1-0; won 16-8 vs DAL) (+4)

Carolina’s defense dominated the Cowboys and Cam Newton and the offense made due with the lack of talent they had on the roster. Not an impressive, signature, win by any means but a win against another wild card contender is always great.

17. San Francisco 49ers (0-1; lost 24-16 vs MIN) (-2)

San Francisco had a lackluster start to 2018. While the team’s offense showed some flashes they were poor in the red zone and a terrible turnover near the goal line cost them big time. They were playing against the team ranked No. 1 here, though, so they get a little bit of slack.

18. Houston Texans (0-1; lost 27-20 vs NE) (-4)

Deshaun Watson returned with a whimper as the Texans looked outclassed in Week 1. Watson was under constant duress as his offensive line failed him, and his sporadic accuracy hindered the offense. One of his favorite targets in Will Fuller should return next week, which adds this offense’s big-play potential that we fell in love with last season.

19. Miami Dolphins (1-0; won 27-20 vs TEN) (+7)

Miami eventually won a long-delayed game against the Titans. Mariota’s exit definintly played a huge factor but getting a win in the return of quarterback Ryan Tannehill should be a huge confidence boost in a locker room that underwent a lot of turnover this offseason.

20. Chicago Bears (0-1; lost 24-23 vs GB) (+1)

Oh man. It’s rare that I get to be this right. As I said in last week’s power rankings, the front seven was going to be among the best in the league but a bad offense and shaky secondary would be their downfall. Guess what?

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0; won 48-40 vs NO) (+8)

What? With Ryan Fitzpatrick forced to start due to the suspension of quarterback Jameis Winston this game looked over before it started. The New Orleans defense that was so great last year was supposed to take full advantage of Fitzpatrick’s usual turnover prove style of play. Instead, he roasted them. The veteran threw for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns, embarrassing the Saints for a huge Week 1 win.

22. Denver Broncos (1-0; won 27-24 vs SEA) (+3)

Von Miller proved once again why is he one of the best to ever do it as he came up huge in the Broncos season opening victory. Case Keenum was shaky, pairing his three touchdowns with three interceptions, but the Broncos defended their home turf against a team led by Russell Wilson and that’s always something to be proud of.

23. New York Jets (1-0; won 48-17 vs DET) (+7)

Sam Darnold looked amazing after an early blip. Darron Lee played the game of his life and the Jets clowned Matt Patricia and the Detroit Lions in their season opener.

24. Dallas Cowboys (0-1; lost 16-8 vs CAR) (-7)

Dallas may be in for a rough season. Dak Prescott and the offense looked horrible all day as they barely put up a fight against the Panthers. The scoreboard was very generous to them and doesn’t at all reflect how badly they were outclassed Sunday.

25. Cleveland Browns (0-0-1; tied 21-21 vs PIT) (+2)

The Browns finally ended their losing streak. While a tie is never a result you want getting a result against the team that has dominated your division for the better part of a decade is huge. This is something that Cleveland can build on going forward no matter how lackluster is looks at face value.

26. Seattle Seahawks (0-1; lost 27-24 vs DEN) (-4)

The talent-strapped Seahawks fell to the talent-strapped Broncos in a battle of NFL has-beens last Sunday. Russell Wilson spent a lot of time running for his life and the Seahawks offense was boom or bust all day and couldn’t really sustain a drive

27. Indianapolis Colts (0-1; lost 34-23 vs CIN) (+1)

Andrew Luck looked great in his return to NFL football, but the rest of the team failed him. The Colts seemed to be in control for much of the game but a few late gaffes and a comeback from the Bengals snatched victory out of their hands.

28. Oakland Raiders (0-1; lost vs LAR) (+3)

The Raiders brand of smash mouth football looked great for three quarters but in the end they were out-talented by a good team in the Rams.

29. Detroit Lions (0-1; lost by a lot vs NYJ) (-11)


30. New York Giants (0-1; lost 20-15 vs JAX) (-7)

If not for a long touchdown run by Saquon Barkley late in the game this would have been a putrid performance by the Giants offense. Barkley could never really get going before that run, the offensive line was poor and receiver Sterling Shepard had a rough day as well. This team is in trouble.

31. Arizona Cardinals (0-1; lost 24-6 vs WAS) (-7)

The Arizona Cardinals didn’t look like a team that belonged on the same field as their opponents Sunday. No one other than David Johnson did anything on offense and the defense was sloppy and frustrated all day. Arizona may be in for a long season.

32. Buffalo Bills (0-1; lost 47-3 vs BAL) (-)

Nathan Peterman started and threw for 24 yards and 2 interceptions on 18 pass attempts. Yeah.

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