Ah, Week 2 of the NFL, the week where everything we learned in Week 1 and thought we knew after a long offseason of changes gets thrown out the window. […]
Ah, Week 2 of the NFL, the week where everything we learned in Week 1 and thought we knew after a long offseason of changes gets thrown out the window.
The New Orleans Saints debuted at #3 in last week’s Power Rankings after a 38-3 blowout win over the Green Bay Packers, then turned around and lost to the Carolina Panthers by 21 points. The Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills looked like they may have lost a step in Week 1, but both delivered impressive wins in Week 2. Some Baltimore Ravens fans were alarmed by the team’s overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders last week, but were pleasantly surprised by Lamar Jackson’s first career win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Long story short, the 2021-22 NFL season has barely begun, and we’re still learning a lot about how the league’s 32 teams stack up against one another.
With the Chiefs going down, who tops this week’s Power Rankings? Where do the Raiders and Panthers rank after surprising 2-0 starts? What about the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans after bounce-back wins?
Tom Brady threw five touchdown passes and the Buccaneers scored 20 points in the fourth quarter of a 48-25 win over the Falcons. That win alone might have not been enough to push Tampa Bay over Kansas City, but with the Chiefs losing, there’s a new #1 team in this week’s Power Rankings.
Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) [Last Week: 1]
The Chiefs are still the team to beat in the AFC, but after losing to the Ravens on Sunday Night Football, Kansas City isn’t an invincible team. If not for a ferocious comeback against the Browns in Week 1, Kansas City could even be 0-2. A loss to a strong Ravens team isn’t cause for alarm just yet, but the Chiefs have a mere +3 point differential through two weeks.
Los Angeles Rams (2-0) [Last Week: 9]
With teams in the Top Ten losing left and right in Week 2, Matthew Stafford and the Rams catapult up six spots to #3. While the Rams 27-24 win over the Colts didn’t come easy, Los Angeles is now 2-0 with wins against two playoff teams from a season ago.
Baltimore Ravens (1-1) [Last Week: 10]
In his fourth career matchup with Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson was finally able to overcome the Chiefs. Baltimore did it with a dominant rushing attack and defense when it counted: the fourth quarter. While Baltimore did fall to Las Vegas in overtime last week, beating the Chiefs re-establishes the Ravens as a legitimate contender.
Seattle Seahawks (1-1) [Last Week: 4]
After jumping out to a 24-9 halftime lead, Seattle allowed Derrick Henry to run all over their defense as Tennessee came back and won in overtime. It’s just one game, but a mere 6-point performance in the second half, as well as losing at home, aren’t great signs for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
Arizona Cardinals (2-0) [Last Week: 6]
The Cardinals improved to 2-0, as Kyler Murray racked up four more total touchdowns in Week 2, but Arizona’s defense struggled to contain Minnesota’s offense in a narrow 34-33 victory.
Buffalo Bills (1-1) [Last Week: 8]
Buffalo bounced back from a loss to the Steelers in Week 1 with a dominating 35-0 blowout over the Miami Dolphins this week, returning to expected form.
Cleveland Browns (1-1) [Last Week: 5]
Cleveland beat the Texans 31-21 this week, and nearly beat the Chiefs last week. A case could be made for the Browns to be higher, but this isn’t a slight to them, rather a testament to how strong the teams in front of them are.
Las Vegas Raiders (2-0) [Last Week: 15]
After wins over the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, the only question is why aren’t the Raiders higher on this list? I’ve seen this story before, with the Raiders jumping out to a hot start with wins over the Chiefs and Saints last season. A couple more weeks of solid play, and the Raiders could be the sleeper team no one saw coming this season.
Tennessee Titans (1-1) [Last Week: 14]
After a flat-out disappointing performance in Week 1, that largely carried over to the first half of this week’s game, the Titans came alive in the second half against the Seahawks. Winning in Seattle is tough, but the Titans prevailed 33-30 in overtime behind three touchdown runs from Derrick Henry.
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) [Last Week: 7]
Assuming the Raiders are a good team this year, the Steelers shouldn’t have too much to worry about. They lost 26-17 at home to Las Vegas, but with an impressive win over the Bills under their belt, Pittsburgh is right in the thick of a competitive AFC.
Dallas Cowboys (1-1) [Last Week: 11]
Dallas probably played better in Week 1, even in a losing effort to the Buccaneers, but were happy to come home with a 20-17 win over Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers to claim their first win of the season.
New Orleans Saints (1-1) [Last Week: 3]
Who is this New Orleans Saints team? After beating the Packers 38-3 and winning in all phases of the game, New Orleans lost 26-7 to the Panthers in a dude performance this week. Obviously, we’ll need to see more before we can tell exactly what type of team Jameis Winston and the Saints will be this season.
Green Bay Packers (1-1) [Last Week: 13]
Green Bay rebounded from their Week 1 embarrassment with a decisive 35-17 victory over the Lions on Monday Night Football. The Packers still fall near the middle of the pack for now, with most of the teams in front of them putting up better performances through two weeks, and with wins stronger than one against the Lions.
San Francisco 49ers (2-0) [Last Week: 12]
The 49ers improved to 2-0, but didn’t exactly dominate Jalen Hurts and the Eagles in a 17-11 road victory. San Francisco lags just behind some of the elite teams in the NFC.
Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) [Last Week: 17]
The Chargers offense had a solid effort moving the ball against the Cowboys defense, but was only able to find the endzone once on Sunday. A slew of field goals with just one touchdown isn’t going to cut it most weeks in today’s NFL.
Carolina Panthers (2-0) [Last Week: 25]
The Panther’s one-score win over the Jets in Week 1 didn’t turn many heads, but after a 26-7 victory over the Saints, Carolina has officially popped up on the NFL’s radar. For a team quarterbacked by Sam Darnold, I still need to see more, but between the explosive Christian McCaffrey and a stingy defense, I may have been wrong about the Panthers.
Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) [Last Week: 18]
The Eagles may have only scored 11 points in Week 2, but they kept it close in a 17-11 loss to the 49ers. Jalen Hurts led the game in both passing and rushing yards for both teams.
Indianapolis Colts (0-2) [Last Week: 20]
Carson Wentz and the Colts are off to an 0-2 start, but the Seahawks and Rams are tough opponents for anyone. If anything, Indianapolis’ 27-24 loss to Los Angeles was a step in the right direction.
Miami Dolphins (1-1) [Last Week: 16]
After beating the Patriots in Week 1, the Dolphins failed to show up against the Bills in Week 2, getting shut out in a 35-0 loss.
New England Patriots (1-1) [Last Week: 19]
The Patriots bounced back from a narrow loss to Miami in Week 1 with a 25-6 win over the Jets. New England may be able to move up this list in short time, but a win over the hapless Jets isn’t enough to move the needle this week.
Denver Broncos (2-0) [Last Week: 22]
Teddy Bridgewater has been excellent for the 2-0 Broncos this season, but with wins against only the Giants and Jaguars, Denver still has to prove they’re here to be a contender all season long.
Washington Football Team (1-1) [Last Week: 21]
While Washington ends up sliding two spots, their 30-29 victory over the Giants on Thursday Night Football was a great show of resiliency with starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick sidelined (even if it took some colossal mistakes fro the Giants to earn the win.)
Chicago Bears (1-1) [Last Week: 23]
Chicago got in the win column with a 20-17 victory over the Bengals, but it wasn’t exactly the prettiest performance. The Bears were aided mightily by three straight interceptions of Joe Burrow on three straight pass attempts.
Minnesota Vikings (0-2) [Last Week: 27]
Minnesota’s offense came alive in a thrilling 34-33 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Kirk Cousins and company should be able to pull off a few wins this year with their offense alone.
Detroit had one of the best performances in the NFL this year in the fourth quarter against the 49ers in Week 1. Besides that one epic quarter though, Jared Goff and the Lions haven’t been anything to write home about.
Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) [Last Week: 26]
The Bengals managed just three points through three quarters in Chicago, ultimately losing 20-17 after a more exciting fourth quarter. Three straight interceptions thrown by Joe Burrow doomed a comeback attempt.
Houston Texans (1-1) [Last Week: 28]
Tyrod Taylor went down against the Browns, a shame with how well the veteran quarterback has been playing. Houston only lost by ten against a good Cleveland team this week.
Atlanta Falcons (0-2) [Last Week: 32]
In Week 1, I ranked the Falcons dead-last after a six-point outing against the Eagles. This week, Atlanta held the Buccaneers close through three quarters, trailing 28-25, before the wheels fell off in a 48-25 loss. Even with the defensive collapse, Matt Ryan’s offense did enough to elevate the Falcons from the #2 slot.
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) [Last Week: 29]
The Jaguars have been outscored by 26 points through two weeks, the third-worst mark in the league, and have only put up 34 points, the fourth-worst mark in the league.
New York Jets (0-2) [Last Week: 31]
Zach Wilson’s four interceptions killed any chance of the Jets staying in the game with Mac Jones and the Patriots. New York has scored just 20 points through two weeks against the Panthers and Patriots.
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