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NFL Power Rankings - Week 2

There's a new #1 this week. . .

Seth Dunlap
September 13, 2017 - 7:35 pm

The NFL didn't waste any time giving us big time matchups in the 2017 season.   The top two seeds in last year's AFC playoffs faced off in the season opener that saw the defending champion Patriots get mauled at home by the Chiefs.   Then on Sunday we saw a possible preview of the NFC title game between the Packers & Seahawks that looked every bit like two heavyweights slugging it out at Lambeau, the Cowboys reasserting their hold on the NFC east against the Giants, and the Raiders besting the Titans on the road in a matchup of two up-and-coming powers.   

That's a lot to sort out, but let's try to do it in our initial NFL Power Rankings of the season.

  1. Green Bay Packers (1-0) - They once again dominated Seattle at home in a game that turned into a defensive tractor pull.  If the Pack's defense is as good as they showed on Sunday they'll be the team to beat in the NFC.
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) -  Hate on Andy Reid and Alex Smith all you want but this team is a legit contender in the AFC.  The question will be can they overcome Eric Berry's injury?  For at least a week they are the kings of the conference.
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) -  Who saw them struggling with the Browns on the road?  Not a great opener but it's still a win in the division on the road.
  4. Dallas Cowboys (1-0) - A federal appeals court judge could be the most impactful person in the NFL this season.  That's not hyperbole.  If Ezekiel Elliot remains eligible for the entirety of 2017 the Cowboys will be playing into the Divisional round of the playoffs.  Mark it down.  
  5. New England Patriots (0-1) - Even IF you think Brady's age will start to show (and I do) this team is too talented at nearly every position to not be one of the AFC favorites.  Oh, and let's not forget what happened the last time the Patriots had an embarassing home loss to the Chiefs.  
  6. Minnesota Vikings (1-0) - They were impressive on Monday Night.  Stephon Diggs is a budding star, and Dalvin Cook looks like he will be in the Rookie of the Year conversation.  If that offense had improved to go with an already very good defense, watch out.
  7. Oakland Raiders (1-0) - Lot's of people were jumping off the Raiders bandwagon right before the season started.  Call it premature buyers remorse.  Do they have flaws? Yes, especially defensively on the back end.  But this is a team you can reliably count on to be around in January.
  8. Atlanta Falcons (1-0) - Fans in the ATL may scoff at the #7 spot, but I'm not hating.  Remember, I was the one who last year said they were going to be a contender in the NFC when nobody else was.  Something just isn't right with that offense.
  9. Seattle Seahawks (0-1) - Get past the final score and the loss at Lambeau.  You watched perhaps an all-time great defense absolutely maul Aaron Rodgers and an elite offense for 60 minutes, and that's after dealing with an all-time worst ejection of their starting cornerback Jeremy Lane.  That offensive line though, yikes. 
  10. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) - I've been saying it is a year too soon for the Eagles.  I may be wrong as they seem to be rebuilding from the Chip Kelly era in a hurry.  The NFC is just so top heavy this year I don't think they are any true threat to the Big Four of Green Bay, Dallas, Seattle, and Atlanta.  They look like a possible Wild Card contender however.  
  11. Baltimore Ravens (1-0) - Look, the Bengals are bad.  Really bad.  But the Ravens just waxed their division rivals 20-0 at their place in the opening week.  A deserving spot in our top 10 this week.
  12. Denver Bronocs (1-0) - I am just not a believer in Trevor Siemian.  Not in him leading this Broncos team back to true contention in the AFC.  Call me relatively unimpressed after their squeaker at home against the Chargers. 
  13. New York Giants (0-1) - I'm not going to penalize the Giants too much for losing on the road to a division rival without Odell Beckham.  Regardless of his absence that offense has to be better.
  14. Detriot Lions (1-0) - Where are the Matt Stafford haters this week?  Yeah, though so.
  15. Tennessee Titans (1-0) - I'm in no way ready to jump off the Titans bandwagon after a tough loss to the Raiders as home in week 1.  Yet if Marcus Mariota is going to take the next step towards becoming an elite quarterback he can't lose big games like this in his own building.  
  16. Los Angeles Rams (1-0) - Whoah! That was an eye opener.  This was my dark horse pick in the NFC this year, and if Jared Goff can finally give them a semblance of solid quarterback play they are going to give everybody fits with that defense.
  17. Carolina Panthers (1-0) - The defense looked great.  Against the 49ers.  So let's moderate our optimism in Carolina a bit.  I am still highly concerned about Cam Newton and that offense who only mustered 171 yards of passing against a bad secondary.
  18. Miami Dolphins (0-0) - I would have had the Dolphins squarely in the middle of these rankings before week 1.  I'll keep them here after the postponement due to Hurricane Irma.  
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0) - See above
  20. Arizona Cardinals (0-1) - I've been confused for weeks as to why so many people thought Carson Palmer and this Cardinals offense was going to magically morph back into their 2015 version when they made the NFC title game.  Now, how are they going to do that with their best player sidelined for 2-3 months?
  21. New Orleans Saints (0-1) - That was as tough of a spot as this offense will be put in all season long; on the road, against an elite defense, in prime time.  The Saints offense will be fine.  That defense, however, has major issues to fix. 
  22. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) It was a surprising win for the Jaguars, who haven't had many of those the past decade.  Houston isn't an easy place to win, but the Texans dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey certainly factored in. Perhaps they aren't the dumpster fire so many thought they'd be this season? 
  23. Los Angeles Chargers (0-1) - Philip Rivers is going to go down as one of the many very good quarterbacks to never win a title that almost certainly could have if he wasn't stuck in a dysfunctional franchise for the majority of his career.  How are those Marty Schottenheimer years looking now?
  24. Houston Texans (0-1) - I can't remember watching team with a great defense incapable of finding competent quarterback play over multiple season like we have with the Texans.  Let the DeShaun Watson era begin.  
  25. Buffalo Bills (1-0) - Congrats on your week 1 win against one of the league's two worst teams.  Enjoy it while you can.
  26. Cleveland Browns (0-1) - You have to be impressed, in a relative Cleveland Brown-y sense, by their close loss to Pittsburgh last week.  It looks like this team is making serious strides in season two of the DePodesta/Jackson era.  #TrustTheProcess
  27. Cincinatti Bengals (0-1) - I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.  The Bengals window has completely closed. Can a quarterback play much worse than how Andy Dalton did in the shut out?
  28. Washington (0-1) - Disfunction at its finest.  Real talk, I do not know how this franchise becomes consistently successful while Daniel Snyder is the owner.  
  29. Chicago Bears (0-1) - Did we write off John Fox too soon during this rebuild project? He has proven before he is one of the best rebuilders of franchises in the league, having done it at both Carolina and Denver previously.  I'm still in a wait-and-see mode with them, but their competitiveness agaisnt Atlanta was a good sign.
  30. San Francisco 49ers (0-1) - That offense is worse than we thought.  I didn't think that would be possible before the debale against Carolina.
  31. Indianapolis Colts (0-1) - This team is just terrible without Andrew Luck.  They need a complete and extended rebuild around him.  Pagano should be gone in a few weeks.
  32. New York Jets (0-1) - If you see a win on their schedule please tweet me @sethdunlap because I can't find it.
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