Sports

NFL Power Rankings entering Week 2


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Round 1

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AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

The NFL season kicked off spectacularly Thursday, and the play was thrilling through the weekend. Sure, there were a couple of duds. There always are. However, the overall performance was at the level of why the NFL has become America’s sport. (Editor’s note: The power rankings will be updated after Monday Night Football.)

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1, lost to Houston Texans)

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Embarrassing. Awful. Horrendous. Next: vs. Broncos.

31. New York Giants (0-1, lost to Denver Broncos)

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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants were dull and dominated by the Denver Broncos. This was not a good start for Joe Judge’s crew. It also makes one believe this is going to be another sucky season for football fans in the Big Apple. Next: at Washington (Thursday).

30. Detroit Lions (0-1, lost to San Francisco 49ers)

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USAT

Do not buy into rallying from 38-10 down to lose 41-33. Next: at Packers, Monday Night.

29. Atlanta Falcons (0-1, lost to Philadelphia Eagles)

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Another team starting a new era in a disgraceful way. The Falcons were home, and got thrashed by the Philadelphia Eagles. The offense Arthur Smith brought to the ATL didn’t translate to these birds. Next: at Buccaneers.

28. Tennessee Titans (0-1, lost to Arizona Cardinals)

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Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com

Tennessee Titans also begin the season 0-1. They were manhandled by Chandler Jones and the Arizona Cardinals. While the future is brighter for Mike Vrabel than the team below him in these rankings, one can not underestimate how getting destroyed by Kliff Kingsbury is not a good signal. Next: at Seahawks.

27. New York Jets (0-1, lost to Carolina Panthers)

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Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing is more Jets than to start a new era and allow a long touchdown pass to a pair of players from the previous one. Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson made the secondary look foolish. And whoever thought — or wrote — this season was going to be different, shame on you. Next: vs. Patriots.

26. Houston Texans (1-0, defeated Jacksonville Jaguars)

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s not get carried away. They played against a college coach who is overmatched in the pros, and there is every chance he will find a way to wreck the No. 1overall pick. Still some praise for David Culley in his first game as an NFL coach — NFL coaching experience — and Tyrod Taylor, as Houston is atop the AFC South. Next: at Browns.

25. Carolina Panthers (1-0, defeated New York Jets)

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Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Good to see Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson get their revenge. The fact is the Jets are not a true test for any team. The Panthers, however, have a solid offense and the defense pounded a rookie QB. Next: vs. Saints.

24. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0, defeated Atlanta Falcons)

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

In a battle of former AFC South coordinators, Nick Sirianni took a step toward being embraced by Philadelphia. Jalen Hurts was dazzling, and the Eagles look like they have moved on from Doug Pederson—big time—in a healthy way Next: vs. 49ers.

23. Minnesota Vikings (0-1, lost to Cincinnati Bengals)

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Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services

Should anyone be surprised by Minnesota coming up short? The Vikings simply don’t deliver, and 2021’s opener was no different. They found a way to lose to a team they should have defeated, per usual. Next: at Cardinals.

22. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0, defeated Minnesota Vikings)

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Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services

Give Zac Taylor credit; he knows this is a huge year for his coaching staff, and he made a bold move near the end of overtime. Joe Burrow delivered with a perfect pass on a fourth down and inches. The play set up the game-winning field goal and the next thing you know, Cincinnati is 1-0. Next: at Bears.

21. Green Bay Packers (0-1, lost to New Orleans Saints)

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers has to be wondering if he made the right call … to return to the Packers. Green Bay was dismantled by New Orleans to the tune of 38-3. Talk about a complete failure of an opening weekend. That said, why worry? Up next are the Lions at Lambeau Field.

20. Denver Broncos (1-0, defeated New York Giants)

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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

All Teddy Bridgewater does is win. The quarterback backed up Vic Fangio’s decision to start him with a solid performance as the Broncos clobbered the Giants. This is an interesting team because it has an offense to go with a strong defense. The problem is the Chiefs and Chargers are also in the AFC West, and Denver will be put to a test. Next: at Jaguars.

19. Washington Football Team (0-1, lost to Los Angeles Chargers)

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Fitzpatrick was lost to a hip injury, but the WFT was able to play the Bolts tough. The key is… will the veteran be out for a significant time? Taylor Heinicke is a charming story but not sure you want him at the controls week after week. Next: vs. Giants (Thursday).

18. Las Vegas Raiders (0-0, vs Baltimore Ravens, Monday)

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AP Photo/Ben Margot

The Raiders catch an injury-ravaged Raiders team in Las Vegas on MNF. Next: at Steelers.

17. Chicago Bears (0-1, lost to Los Angeles Rams)

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Dalton was solid. Justin Fields scored a touchdown. The Bears’ secondary was burned and burned and turned inside out. Next: vs. Bengals.

16. Indianapolis Colts (0-1, defeated Seattle Seahawks)

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries consumed the preseason, and the Colts were not able to overcome them against Seattle. Next: vs. Rams.

15. New England Patriots (0-1, lost to Miami Dolphins)

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Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Mac Jones did fine in his debut as a rookie for the Patriots. That being said, they lost by a point. A fumble by Damien Harris on what could have been a game-winning drive sealed the loss—and the running back’s spot in Bill Belichick’s doghouse, despite a 100-yard game. Next: at Jets.

14. Miami Dolphins (1-0, defeated the New England Patriots)

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AP Photo/Winslow Townson

Tua earns another week, hopefully, after a performance that didn’t require a ton of criticism. The second-year quarterback was 16-of-27 in an offense that had new looks. It also is the second victory over the Patriots for Tagovailoa, who has Miami in first place — alone — in the AFC East. Next: vs. Bills.

13. Dallas Cowboys (0-1, lost to Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

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Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

It was all about Dak Prescott in the Cowboys’ opener. He passed, passed, and passed some more. The battle with the Bucs went down to the wire, and the Cowboys found themselves on the short end. Next: vs. Chargers.

12. Baltimore Ravens (0-0, at Las Vegas Raiders, Monday)

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: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The injury-ravaged Ravens visit the Raiders. Next: vs. Chiefs.

11. Arizona Cardinals (1-0, defeated Tennessee Titans)

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George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe this is the year Kliff Kingsbury is able to shake mediocrity? A huge game from Chandler Jones and Kyler Murray on the road in Tennessee. The performance by Jones was nothing short of manhandling and dismantling the Tennessee line. Next: vs. Vikings.

10. San Francisco 49ers (1-0, defeated Detroit Lions)

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Junfu Han via Imagn Content Services

The 49ers were impressive, then they weren’t, and needed to hang on against the Lions. We’re going to believe the first half was the real team. Next: at Eagles.

9. New Orleans Saints (1-0, defeated Green Bay Packers)

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AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Looks like Sean Payton made a prudent decision. Fans in Jacksonville have not seen the home team win by five touchdowns in years. Jameis Winston over Aaron Rodgers? Go figure. Stunning stuff. (Oh, the Jaguars’ faithful would love to trade their franchise for the one that played on Sunday.) Next: at Panthers.

8. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0, defeated Washington Football Team)

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: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers put on a good showing in overcoming some tough calls and taking down Washington on the road. Next: vs. Cowboys.

7. Los Angeles Rams (1-0, defeated Chicago Bears)

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford was sharp and shredded the Bears’ defense. The Rams opened with a solid performance and got the job done against a team they had to defeat. You can’t afford to lose games against weaker teams in the NFC West. Next: at Colts.

6. Buffalo Bills (0-1, lost to Pittsburgh Steelers)

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Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills had — and blew — a double-digit lead against the Steelers. Not the start the Bills Mafia expected from a team with such high hopes. Next: at Dolphins.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0, defeated Buffalo Bills)

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Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers are always tough. They fell behind double digits in the first half, and Mike Tomlin made the corrections after the break. Next: vs. Raiders.

4. Cleveland Browns (0-1, lost to Kansas City Chiefs)

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AP Photo/Ed Zurga

The Browns showed well against the Chiefs, but again, did not do enough to take down Kansas City on the road. They will be a tough team to deal with in 2021, and have to hope they get another shot at Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs. Next: vs. Texans.

3. Seattle Seahawks (1-0, defeated Indianapolis Colts)

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Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson simply doing Russell Wilson things. A quartet of touchdown passes and another victory. Next: vs. Titans.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0, defeated Dallas Cowboys)

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AP Photo/Scott Audette

The Bucs had four turnovers — one was on a Hail Mary at the end of the half — and still found a way to win. At some point, turnovers have to bite Tampa Bay, don’t they? Next: vs. Falcons.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0, defeated Cleveland Browns)

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Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Another thriller with some amazing play-making by the Chiefs on offense. They are tough, and continue to be the top dog in the regular season. Next: at Ravens.

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