New Arena’s Week 2 NFL Power Rankings: Overreaction Time!

An 0-1 record doesn’t mean a team’s season is over. However, there were certainly some crucial takeaways, resulting in plenty of movement in our power rankings. As is typically the case in Week 1, it was an extremely ugly week of football. Offenses looked sloppy and out of rhythm, and Eli Manning, Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer, Tom Savage and Scott Tolzien all looked like they had never been asked to play quarterback before.

Remember, it’s only Week 2, but after 60 minutes of football for every team not named the Buccaneers or Dolphins, here’s how all 32 teams stack up:

1. New England Patriots

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 1
Week 1 result: L vs. KC 42-27

With plenty of hype surrounding an undefeated season, Thursday’s loss against Kansas City was shocking to say the least. However, the defeat shouldn’t cause reason for panic. The offense will be elite, the defense can’t possibly play worse and the Patriots have won the Super Bowl each of the past three times they started the season 0-1. Somehow, even when New England loses, they win.

2. Green Bay Packers

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 2
Week 1 result: W vs. SEA 17-9

Sunday’s victory over the Seahawks was by no means pretty, but an important victory in terms of NFC supremacy. The touchdowns weren’t there, but Aaron Rodgers was his usual brilliant self, and the defense’s pass rush was surprisingly potent. If the defense can perform at that level consistently, this is New England’s biggest challenger.

3. Oakland Raiders (3)

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 6
Week 1 result: W @ TEN 26-16

In a sneaky difficult Week 1 road game, the Raiders outclassed the Tennessee Titans. Coming off last season’s scary leg injury, Derek Carr didn’t show any rust, and Marshawn Lynch’s presence should help Oakland win the time of position battle in most games. The defense will have some growing pains, but this offense is dynamic enough to beat any team.

4. Seattle Seahawks (1)

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 3
Week 1 result: L @ GB 17-9

Winning at Lambeau Field against Aaron Rodgers & Co. is always difficult, as Seattle came up just short in Week 1. Despite the dreadful showing by the offense, the Seahawks’ defense looks as scary as ever. Look for Russell Wilson and the offense to find their groove at home this week against the 49ers.

5. Kansas City Chiefs (2)

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 7
Week 1 result: W @ NE 42-27

No team came away with a more impressive victory in Week 1 than the Kansas City Chiefs. En route to shocking the defending Super Bowl champs, Kansas City’s offense led by Alex Smith, Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce is finally potent enough to compete with the top teams. However, a season-ending Achilles injury to the heart and soul of the Chiefs’ defense, Eric Berry, is a devastating blow to their success moving forward.

6. Atlanta Falcons (2)

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 4
Week 1 result: W @ CHI 23-17

Atlanta dropping on this list despite winning is more a product of how good Oakland and Kansas City looked than anything else. A magnificent goal-line stand in the final minute secured an important victory against an underrated Chicago Bears squad. Matt Ryan and the offense weren’t firing on all cylinders, but that side of the ball will be just fine. This week, we will get a much better idea of whether the Falcons have moved on from last season’s Super Bowl defeat as they host the Packers Sunday night.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (2)

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 5
Week 1 result: W @ CLE 21-18

It was a strange week for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite first-round pick T.J. Watt and Antonio Brown playing like superstars, the narrow victory over Cleveland left something to be desired. Le’Veon Bell looked out of sorts with only 47 total yards, and Ben Roethlisberger was underwhelming targeting anyone not named Antonio Brown. Set to take on a stingy defense in the Minnesota Vikings this week, Pittsburgh’s offense will need to be much sharper if they’re to emerge 2-0.

8. Dallas Cowboys (4)

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 12
Week 1 result: W vs. NYG 19-3

Dallas could not have had a better week. Ezekiel Elliott avoided the implementation of his six-game suspension (for now), and the Cowboys absolutely humiliated the New York Giants on national television. Despite losing numerous key pieces this offseason, the defense looked tremendous, and the methodical offense should continue to win the time of possession battle. Dallas might not finish 13-3 again, but they are once again in the hunt for the NFC’s #1 seed.

9. Baltimore Ravens (10)

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 19
Week 1 result: W @ CIN 20-0

Aside from a Danny Woodhead injury, Baltimore’s Week 1 beat down of Cincinnati couldn’t have gone much better. The defense looked tremendous, the run game was surprisingly effective, and Joe Flacco wasn’t asked to do much. In other words, it was Baltimore Ravens football.

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1)

2017 Record: 0-0
Previous Ranking: 9
Week 1 result: PPD

2017’s Hard Knocks squad has quietly assembled one of the most dangerous offenses in the NFL. Third year quarterback Jameis Winston looks like a future superstar, and will be flanked by Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and rookie O.J. Howard, and the defense led by Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David should be a top-10 unit. This is a team fully capable of reaching the postseason for the first time since 2007.

11. Philadelphia Eagles (2)

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 13
Week 1 result: W @ WAS 30-17

Carson Wentz is the real deal. He is going to make some ill-advised throws throughout the season, but his moxie and ability to extend plays has him looking like a future superstar. As long as the defense can continue to give opposing offenses fits, this Eagles squad will be competing for the NFC East crown this season.

12. Minnesota Vikings (6)

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 18
Week 1 result: W vs. NO 29-19

The Vikings absolutely dominated the Saints on national television. Sam Bradford was magnificent, Dalvin Cook broke Adrian Peterson’s record for rushing yards by a Minnesota rookie in his first game, and the defense was as physical as expected. As long as Minnesota can get a few explosive plays from Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen each week, this is a team firmly in the thick of the NFC playoff race.

13. New York Giants (5)

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 8
Week 1 result: L @ DAL 19-3

If Week 1 is any indication, no Odell Beckham Jr. means no chance for the New York Giants. The star wide receiver didn’t play against Dallas, and in his absence, Eli Manning & Co. manufactured a total of three points. Led by Landon Collins, the defense still looked elite and should keep them in most games. However, if New York’s offense doesn’t improve dramatically, they will miss the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons.

14. Carolina Panthers (2)

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 16
Week 1 result: W @ SF 23-3

Despite struggling to get the run game going and Cam Newton only completing 56-percent of his passes, the Panthers completely humiliated a weak 49ers squad. With Luke Kuechly back and fully healthy, this defense will try to regain its 2015 form. Set to take on Buffalo in Week 2, we won’t know how good this team is until a Week 3 showdown with New Orleans.

15. Tennessee Titans (1)

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 14
Week 1 result: L vs. OAK 26-16

The Titans came up short in their home opener against a tough Oakland Raiders squad, but there was still plenty to like from their performance. The defense played well against a dynamic Raider offense, and Mariota was his typical turnover-free self. Look for Tennessee to get their rushing attack going with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry against the Jaguars this week, as the Titans definitely don’t want to start the season 0-2.

16. Houston Texans (5)

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 11
Week 1 result: L vs. JAX 29-7

The Texans are one of the few teams who can compete for “worst week” honors. Starting quarterback Tom Savage lasted a full half before being benched by Bill O’Brien, and the Texans were completely humiliated by the Jaguars in front of their home crowd. With rookie Deshaun Watson now at the helm backed by a top-five defense, Houston will have its ups and downs and probably finish 9-7 like it always does.

17. New Orleans Saints (2)

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 15
Week 1 result: L @ MIN 29-19

It takes a particularly inept defense to get Jon Gruden to say, “Sam Bradford looks like a young Drew Brees out there.” In their 29-19 defeat to the Vikings Monday night, the New Orleans defense let Bradford go 27-of-32 for 346 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. 2017 looks to be much of the same for the Saints – either win in a shoot-out, or don’t win at all.

18. Detroit Lions (8)

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 26
Week 1 result: W vs. ARI 35-23

Fresh off signing the richest contract in NFL history, Matthew Stafford’s first pass of the season went for a pick-six. But after that point, there wasn’t much that went wrong for the Lions. Stafford settled in and tossed four touchdowns and the defense exceeded expectations, forcing four turnovers while limiting the Cardinals to two offensive touchdowns. The lack of a running game remains a concern, but with Stafford’s consistent fourth quarter brilliance, Detroit should be in the thick of the playoff hunt.

19. Los Angeles Chargers (1)

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 20
Week 1 result: L @ DEN 24-21

If you thought moving from San Diego to Los Angeles would be enough to turn the Chargers’ luck around, Week 1 confirmed that wouldn’t be the case. A furious comeback against Denver was thwarted by a blocked field goal as regulation expired. It wasn’t all bad for the Chargers though. The offense showed promise against a tough Denver defense, and Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram wreaked havoc all night. Look for the Chargers to make a statement against the Dolphins in their home opener this week.

20. Denver Broncos (1)

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 21
Week 1 result: W vs. LAC 24-21

Even with the thrilling victory over the Chargers, I still think the Broncos are the weaker team of the two. Denver’s defense looked phenomenal, but their lack of a passing attack is concerning. Trevor Siemian looked a bit better than his 2016 self, but still leaves plenty to be desired. If C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles can combine for 120 rushing yards per week like they did against the Chargers, this is a playoff team. However, I just don’t think it’s sustainable.

21. Los Angeles Rams (2)

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 23
Week 1 result: W vs. IND 46-9

The Sean McVay era could not have gotten off to a better start. While playing against Scott Tolzien certainly helps, the defense looked tremendous under Wade Phillips’ tutelage. Jared Goff was more comfortable and confident in the pocket, and the Rams’ offense actually played like a competent one. They take on a much better Washington team in Week 2, but with Aaron Donald expected to return to the lineup, the Rams should start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2001.

22. Cincinnati Bengals (5)

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 17
Week 1 result: L vs. BAL 20-0

The Bengals also have a compelling case for worst week honors. Andy Dalton threw four interceptions and fumbled once, cementing his place in the record books with the third worst quarterback performance since 2006. Things can only improve for the offense, and the defense performed well despite constantly being put in precarious situations. I’ll go out on a limb and say Cincinnati gets their first points of the season in Week 2 against Houston.

23. Miami Dolphins (1)

2017 Record: 0-0
Previous Ranking: 22
Week 1 result: PPD

All it took was a freak Ryan Tannehill injury in practice for Jay Cutler to come out of retirement. Having played under Adam Gase while in Chicago (and experiencing surprising success), in theory, Cutler should thrive playing alongside Jay Ajayi, Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills. However, Cutler’s teams haven’t experienced on-field success since 2012. With an average defense and plenty of AFC teams jockeying for a playoff berth, Miami seems unlikely to return to the postseason for the second straight year.

24. Arizona Cardinals (14)

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 10
Week 1 result: L @ DET 35-23

The best word to describe Arizona’s first game would be “nightmare.” Not only did it feel like we witnessed Carson Palmer crumble before our eyes with three interceptions against a below average Detroit defense, but David Johnson suffered a dislocated wrist and will miss the next 2-3 months. Despite a strong defense littered with playmakers, 2017 already feels like a lost season that will have Arizona selecting a quarterback in the first round of the 2018 Draft.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (3)

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 28
Week 1 result: W @ HOU 29-7

How good was Jacksonville’s defense against the Houston Texans? The Jaguars are currently on pace for 160 sacks this season (the NFL record is 72.0). Led by offseason acquisition Calais Campbell’s 4.0 sacks, Jacksonville’s defensive line made life miserable for both quarterbacks the Texans trotted out. It’s clear the Jaguars have shifted to a defensive-minded, grind-it-out approach, which should serve them well with Blake Bortles leading the offense. Plus, Week 1 showed they have a fully capable every down running back in the form of Leonard Fournette. His 26-carry, 100-yard performance has him looking like a strong bet to lead all rookies in rushing yards.

26. Washington Redskins (2)

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 24
Week 1 result: L vs. PHI 30-17

Week 1’s home game against the Philadelphia Eagles did not go according to plan. A questionable call on a fumble/incomplete pass essentially put the game out of reach for Washington, but there were concerns across the board. Kirk Cousins didn’t look sharp, the offense only mustered 64 rushing yards, Terrelle Pryor and Jamison Crowder struggled, and the defense couldn’t contain Zach Ertz or Nelson Agholor. They have the perfect opportunity to get back on track this week against the Los Angeles Rams.

27. Buffalo Bills

2017 Record: 1-0
Previous Ranking: 27
Week 1 result: W vs. NYJ 21-12

The Bills are in sole possession of first place in the AFC East, but beating the Jets does not warrant any praise. The rushing attack with LeSean McCoy looked solid, but Buffalo plays their first game against a real NFL team this Sunday at Carolina.

28. Chicago Bears (1)

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 29
Week 1 result: L vs. ATL 23-17

If there is such thing as a moral victory in the NFL, the Chicago Bears definitely secured one in Week 1. Five yards and an extra point away from pulling off a 24-23 upset over the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons, things look much less grim in Chicago than originally anticipated. The stout defense is one of the most underrated in the league, Mike Glennon played like the game manager Chicago expected, and Tarik Cohen looks like the game-changing playmaker the team so desperately needs. Aside from the season-ending injury to Kevin White, Chicago feels about as good as they possibly could while sitting 0-1.

29. Cleveland Browns (1)

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 30
Week 1 result: L vs. PIT 21-18

Much like the Bears, the Browns actually impressed during their 21-18 defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cleveland rebounded nicely from a catastrophic first drive that ended with a blocked punt for a touchdown, as Hue Jackson’s squad looked like a competent NFL team. Rookie DeShone Kizer wasn’t spectacular, but he showed glimpses of promise that should have fans excited. The defense had no answer for Antonio Brown, but did a terrific job containing Le’Veon Bell. Cleveland won’t be reaching the playoffs this season, but fans can rest easy knowing they will improve upon last year’s 1-win season.

30. San Francisco 49ers (1)

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 31
Week 1 result: L vs. CAR 23-3

The hype train for Kyle Shanahan turning the 49ers around may have been a bit premature. That’s not to say it won’t be done, but many thought they’d shock the Panthers in Week 1 en route to a surprisingly successful 2017. 3 points and 217 total yards later, it’s clear this will be a 2-3 year project. The defense looked solid limiting Carolina’s dynamic offense, but with Brian Hoyer clearly not the long-term answer, San Francisco should be licking their chops at the thought of selecting Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold in the 2018 Draft.

31. Indianapolis Colts (6)

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 25
Week 1 result: L @ LAR 46-9

The biggest takeaway from Week 1 was that Andrew Luck should be handed the 2017 MVP award. The fact that he has led this roster to any victories demonstrates his brilliance. With Luck sidelined and Scott Tolzien under center, Chuck Pagano’s squad got run out of the building by the Rams. It doesn’t matter if it’s Tolzien or Jacoby Brissett under center in Week 2, this team doesn’t crack the top 30 without Luck on the field.

32. New York Jets

2017 Record: 0-1
Previous Ranking: 32
Week 1 result: L @ BUF 21-12

Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson are great. Jamal Adams and Darron Lee have the potential to be special. The rest of the team is atrocious. Their sole existence in 2017 is to help people advance in their survivor pools.

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