The NFL season kicked off this past weekend, and I for one was fucking elated. Even though the action was sans fans for the most part and there were no preseason games (which mean more for the fringe players than the starters), the product on the field was really fantastic. We saw old faces in new places, a couple of big upsets, and for the most part really competitive games. Another encouraging sign was the NFL’s defense against the Big Rona, with only two players across the entire league testing positive over the first week of the season. Based on the way the MLB kicked off their season, I’d say the League is doing just fine. In a preview of the second week of the season, here are AFTR PRTY’s Week 2 NFL Power Rankings.
(Photos via Getty Images/ Associated Press)
1. Kansas City Chiefs
The defending champs looked like the defending champs against a good Texans team. Can’t knock them off the top spot until they lose.
2. Baltimore Ravens
You could say the Ravens somewhat expectedly dismantled the Browns, but the closing line was only -7.5. I’ll be taking the Ravens spread in every game the rest of the year.
3. New Orleans Saints
In the battle of QB’s born in the 1970s Drew Brees was decent, but the Saints continued to show why they very well could’ve been NFC champs 3 years in a row if not for 3 plays.
4. Seattle Seahawks
I think its time we start accepting that the Seahawks will have a chance in nearly every game they play as Russel Wilson is their QB.
5. Green Bay Packers
The above holds true for the Packers and Aaron Rodgers. Vikings were favorites here too, and Rodgers & Co. dismantled them with over 500 total yards.
6. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams should have enough weapons on offense to put up points, and this defense is really good. While the Cowboys had some questionable play calling, they held the top offense in 2019 in yards per game more than 50 yards below that average.
7. New England Patriots
The Dolphins didn’t offer a great barometer for where the Pats are at, but Cam Newton looked like Cam Newton, and the defense looked strong even with several key losses. The season’s first test against Seattle looms.
8. San Francisco 49ers
I don’t think I realized how important Deebo Samuel is to this team until watching last week’s game. The Niners looked lost on offense and Jimmy G was unable to generate much offense on his own. They will need to be better on that side of the ball to get back to the Super Bowl.
9. Dallas Cowboys
The offense still hums, but so far Mike McCarthy wasn’t able to turn around their close game woes of last year. The loss of Leighton Vander Esch is big and the defense will need to plug some gaps until he returns.
10. Buffalo Bills
I don’t really know what to make of this team, but so far it seems like they have the potential to take another step forward this year. Love the Stefon Diggs pickup.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben looked shaky, but this defense will keep them in a lot of games this year. They made the Giants O-line look like the JV for a large part of the game.
12. Minnesota Vikings
Unfortunately for the Vikings, I think they’ve sealed their fate as an 8-12 win team who won’t seriously threaten as a serious championship contender.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week one for TB x TB did not go according to script, but it was a tough opponent for your first game with a new team in 20 years. Brady will look to get sharper as the season progresses.
14. Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray seemed to enjoy his new target DeAndre Hopkins, and this squad looks to be building a real identity in Kliff Kingsbury’s second year.
15. Tennessee Titans
While the Gostkowski kicking woes were bad, I think the Titans offense should take equal blame for the team scoring 16 points. After looking explosive late last year in a surprise AFC championship game, Tannehill and co. will need to create more in the way of big plays to repeat that run.
16. Houston Texans
I absolutely love Deshaun Watson, but cannot understand the decision to part with Hopkins. Against a beatable Chiefs secondary, the offense did not look threatening enough.
17. Las Vegas Raiders
Jon Gruden’s Raiders are certainly going to play their brand of football, and they look talented enough for that to keep them competitive this year.
18. Los Angeles Chargers
This defense is very talented even without Derwin James. If Tyrod Taylor can play solid, this team could be a lot like the playoff team he led in Buffalo.
19. Chicago Bears
Mitch Trubisky turned it on late when they needed it, and Chicago will hope he can build on a strong finish. I think it’s all about confidence for Mitch, and there’s nothing like a come from behind Week 1 win to feel good about yourself.
20. Atlanta Falcons
I’m holding out hope that the Falcon’s defense will play well enough to let this team compete in the NFC South this year. This offense will be fun to watch regardless.
21. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles could turn around and win the NFC East and we will all forget about this snafu, but in my opinion, good teams don’t blow 17-point leads to THE Washington Football Team.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars
It’s hard to believe that this franchise was on the doorstep of the Super Bowl three years ago with Blake Bortles as their QB, but the NFL can be a crazy place. I love Gardner Minshew’s balls to the wall attitude and don’t think this team will be quite the doormat some might’ve expected.
23. Indianapollis Colts
I really didn’t like the Phillip Rivers move. This team doesn’t feel like they’re a step away from contention, and committing to a 38-year-old QB doesn’t make sense to me
24. THE Washington Football Team
Dwayne Haskins showed some grit leading his team from down 17 against a division rival. I think he will end up being a fine starting QB in this league and the Redsk...I'm sorry, THE Washington Footbal Team will hope that the team can grow along with him.
25. Denver Broncos
As last year’s rookie QB’s go, I’m a fan of Drew Lock as well. Hopefully, this offense will look a little stronger once Courtland Sutton returns.
26. Detroit Lions
Oh, the poor Lions. Only you could blow a 17 point lead in the fourth quarter to a team led by Mitch Trubisky. I think this team actually has the potential to move up these ranks as the season progresses, but at some point, the Lions as a franchise need to stop shooting themselves in the foot.
27. Carolina Panthers
The offense should be able to put up points, but getting burned for 34 points by the Raiders is not a strong start for this defense. I like the roster, but I’m not sure Matt Ruhle was the right man for the job.
28. Cincinatti Bengals
Tough that Joe Burrow wasn’t able to get his first NFL win, but this team’s not going 0-16. A surprisingly strong showing from their defense in Week 1.
29. Cleveland Browns
After believing game after game for over a year that the Browns would get it going, I’m officially writing them off. I’m hoping this might inspire them to reach their potential since nothing else seems to.
30. New York Giants
I just don’t think the Giants have enough talent and depth across the board to be competitive this year. The offensive line will need to allow Saquon to get out of the backfield in future games.
31. New York Jets
For Sam Darnold to take a step forward, you need to give him weapons he can use. They can’t rely on 70-yard Jamison Crowder touchdowns every week.
32. Miami Dolphins
Tua will be hoping that the Dolphins leave him on the bench the whole year, tank, and give them a good spot in the draft to grab some help for him.