The first weekend of NFL action is officially in the books. The defending champs looked unstoppable, Patrick Mahomes was cruising once again, a lot of former No. 1 picks struggled and we got an early game of the year candidate on Monday Night Football. It was a wild first week. The Dolphins look like they will be hard to beat … in the race for the first overall pick. Lots of rookies made debuts. Overall, it was just really nice to have meaningful NFL football back.
With this being just the second week of rankings there is a ton of movement right now, as NFL teams look to establish the new hierarchy for the 2019 season. As a result, we have a completely reshuffled top 10, including a new top team. When I last published power rankings, Antonio Brown was still in Oakland, otherwise the Pats would have been the number one team. Check out where every team stands after one week of NFL games.
1. New England Patriots: 1-0 (Last Week: 2)
Talk about dominance. The Patriots looked to be on another level with an incredible showing against the Steelers. Tom Brady was in midseason form. The defense kept Ben Roethlisberger on the run all night and stonewalled the Pittsburgh ground game. In the past, we’ve seen New England take a few weeks to get into gear, but with this performance and the addition of Antonio Brown on the horizon, there is legitimate talk of this team challenging the 2007 Patriots.
2. Kansas City Chiefs: 1-0 (Last Week: 4)
Turns out Patrick Mahomes was ready to pick back up right where he left off. He tore apart the Jaguars defense on Sunday, while missing his most explosive receiver in Tyreek Hill for majority of the game. Sammy Watkins might like to debate that most explosive tag as well after he put up a ridiculous nine-catch, 198-yard, three-touchdown statline. Kansas City did allow Gardner Mishnew to do a lot of damage after replacing an injured Nick Foles, so there is room for improvement. Also, that LeSean McCoy signing is looking pretty good for them right now after his 81 yards on 10 carries. This offense is flush with playmakers even in Hill’s absence.
3. New Orleans Saints: 1-0 (Last Week: 3)
That. Was. Stunning! New Orleans rebounded in the best way possible from the awful endings to the past two seasons with an emotional comeback. Drew Brees looked in fine form, despite the uncharacteristic interception early on. The Saints definitely started slow, but played their best when it mattered. There is a lot to like about the pass rush as well with six sacks. Allowing the almost game-winning touchdown on just two plays signals the defense has a ways to go, but escaping with a win is important.
4. Los Angeles Rams: 1-0 (Last Week: 1)
It was a season-opening win for the Rams, but far from a convincing one. The timeshare at running back actually worked quite well, but Jared Goff did not have his best game. Los Angeles did just enough to hold off a surging Carolina team it had held without a touchdown for the first thirty minutes. This team has a ton of talent and it managed to avoid a complete Super Bowl hangover, but the Rams didn’t look sharp in the process. With a visit from the still probably pretty upset Saints after last year’s game coming up, Sean McVay has a lot of work to do.
5. Los Angeles Chargers: 1-0 (Last Week: 7)
It was far from a comfortable win for this Chargers team, but it still counts. Los Angeles looked explosive on offense both through the air and on the ground. There are questions to be asked of the defense though that allowed a number of big plays of its own. Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson made everyone forget about Melvin Gordon and Philip Rivers played almost flawless, save an incredible interception by Malik Hooker. It was a solid start, but the Chargers will need to play even better to compete with the Chiefs.
6. Minnesota Vikings: 1-0 (Last Week: 10)
Meet Kirk Cousins, the game manager. Cousins threw the ball 10 times. That’s it. He played the whole game and attempted 10 passes. Minnesota ran the ball 38 times for 172 yards and three touchdowns, including one by Cousins himself. Dalvin Cook flashed the potential he has when healthy and Alexander Mattison impressed in his debut. You might be a bit bummed if you have Adam Thielen or Stefon Diggs on your fantasy team, but this ball control offense looks like it might just work. It kept Atlanta out of rhythm and took a ton of pressure off the defense.
7. Philadelphia Eagles: 1-0 (Last Week: 6)
Slow starts seem to be pretty typical for the Eagles under Doug Pederson. Sunday was no exception as Washington jumped all over the opportunity to build an early lead. Philly stayed the course though and chipped away. If not for a late, meaningless (well it was meaningful in Vegas) touchdown, the Eagles would have capped off a double-digit victory. Carson Wentz played great and Philadelphia ran the ball well. There is still a lot to be desired from that secondary though after allowing Case Keenum and a bunch of unproven receivers to rack up 380 yards.
8. Green Bay Packers: 1-0 (Last Week: 12)
If you had told me the Packers were only going to managed 10 points in Chicago, I would’ve expected the Bears to win comfortably. Instead, the Green Bay defense showed up in a big way, holding the Mitchell Trubisky and company out of the end zone. Considering the fact the Pack only managed 213 yards of total offense, that was crucial. It was a slog of a game, but Green Bay’s defense played better than it did at any point last year. The offense will probably pick it up a bit, as pretty much any matchup other than the Bears will be a bit easier.
9. Chicago Bears: 0-1 (Last Week 5)
Welcome back down to Earth Bears fans. Mitchell Trubisky played like the inconsistent passer we saw during his rookie season with a pick and just 5.1 yards per attempt. Chicago still played lights out on defense, getting to Aaron Rodgers early and often and bottling up the run game. Turns out it was not enough, as the Bears drop to 0-1, shockingly placing them last in the NFC North after one week. They won’t stay there, but the offense needs to find its groove with a trip to Denver coming up.
10. Dallas Cowboys: 1-0 (Last Week: 15)
Zeke is back and honestly, it might not have mattered with how well the Cowboys played. Dak Prescott tossed four touchdown and threw for over 400 yards. The wide receiving core looked great and Jason Witten even scored a touchdown. The defense was solid, but did get burned a handful of times by Saquon Barkley. The excitement around Tony Pollard definitely dropped off after a tough start to the year. With two forced fumbles defensively, there are a ton of positives for Dallas to take away from this game.
11. Baltimore Ravens: 1-0 (Last Week: 16)
Wow. That’s probably the best way to summarize Baltimore scoring a franchise record 59 points on Miami. Lamar Jackson looked like Joe Montana picking apart a decent Dolphins secondary. Most of the damage was done in big chunks as well, rather than just grinding down the Dolphins defense. There is not much to criticize from this performance from the Ravens. With Arizona up next, it might be a few weeks before this squad is truly tested.
12. Tennessee Titans: 1-0 (Last Week: 18)
Where in the world did that come from? Tennessee dominated the Browns in Cleveland for a 43-13 victory. Derrick Henry looked sharp, and Marcus Mariota was solid if unspectacular. The defense was cooking, sacking Baker Mayfield five times and intercepting him twice. It also came up with a safety and a defensive touchdown courtesy of Malcolm Butler. This is the formula the Titans could very well ride to a division title, as Mike Vrabel has the defense playing at a really high level. Back-to-back divisional games will help us figure out if Tennessee is for real.
13. Houston Texans: 0-1 (Last Week: 13)
The Texans were so close to pulling off a huge opening week win in New Orleans. It was a really tough way to lose, but there is a lot to like about how the Texans played. Deshaun Watson played extremely well and the running game looked really good. However, there is plenty to not like about this performance as well. Watson got battered, taking six sacks, and the run defense was gashed by the combination of Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray. Houston also gave up 370 passing yards to Drew Brees. There is still a lot to work out for this newly assembled team.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers: 0-1 (Last Week: 8)
Losing Antonio Brown definitely hurts the offense, but the defense flat out fell apart in New England. They did nothing to get after Tom Brady and struggled to find any way to slow down the passing game. It is concerning when Phillip Dorsett torches the secondary for a pair of touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger failed to find the end zone. James Connor never got going with 21 yards on 10 rushes. It was a failure to launch in the worst way for Pittsburgh who can just be thankful the Browns and Bengals lost as well.
15. Atlanta Falcons: 0-1 (Last Week: 9)
That was far from an ideal way for the Falcons to start the season. Atlanta committed three turnovers and gave up four sacks to Minnesota. Matt Ryan finally turned things around a little bit with some late success, but it was a lackluster performance for the whole team. The Falcons cannot avoid the injury bug either as first round pick Chris Lindstrom hit the IR on Monday. He could return later this season, but that is a blow to an offensive line that struggled a lot last season. A Sunday night game against Philadelphia awaits them and Atlanta would love to avoid a 0-2 hole to dig out of.
16. Seattle Seahawks: 1-0 (Last Week: 14)
That was a surprisingly close call for the Seahawks. It was mostly due to a questionable showing from the Seattle offense. Russell Wilson took four sacks and the top rushing offense from a year ago managed 2.9 yards per carry. The secondary also got burned twice by John Ross. On the plus side, the defense forced two Andy Dalton fumbles and kept Joe Mixon to pedestrian numbers. Seattle was lucky to win this game, but a win is a win. A trip to face the reeling Steelers is on deck, which represents another tough test.
17. Cleveland Browns: 0-1 (Last Week: 11)
So maybe the Browns aren’t quite who we thought they were, even if Delaine Walker knew otherwise. Cleveland got steamrolled by the Titans at home in a woeful outing. Baker Mayfield will need to take better care of the football, but the offensive line will need to take better care of Mayfield. After trading Kevin Zeitler for Olivier Vernon during the offseason, the Browns never really replaced him in the starting lineup. Even if there are a ton of targets to throw to, Baker will need more time to get the ball to them. A game against the Jets should make things easier for a team who just got punched in the mouth.
18. Indianapolis Colts: 0-1 (Last Week: 22)
It’s hard not to play the what if game here with the Colts. It will be hard not to all season. Indy came up just short of taking down the Chargers in overtime. Marlon Mack was great, the defense had a few big plays and Jacoby Brissett was … actually he was pretty good. He didn’t throw for a ton of yards, but he took care of the football and tossed a pair of touchdown passes to T.Y. Hilton. Had Indianapolis won the toss to start overtime, it might have been a different story. The Colts are still a solid team, but definitely do not feel as complete without Andrew Luck.
19. San Francisco 49ers: 1-0 (Last Week: 21)
Last season, the 49ers had two interceptions as a team. On Sunday, they picked off Jameis Winston three times. Already, this team is surpassing levels from last year. It wasn’t a dominant performance from Jimmy Garoppolo, but he was solid in his regular season return. Tevin Coleman is going to miss some time with an injury though, leaving Matt Breida as the starter. With three straight games against the AFC North coming up, all the teams that lost in Week 1, San Francisco could be a sneaky team to pick for a hot start.
20. Carolina Panthers: 0-1 (Last Week: 20)
It was a tale of two halves for Carolina. The Panthers managed just three points in the first half, but exploded for 24 in the second. It just wasn’t enough to beat the Rams. Christian McCaffrey was otherworldly again, but Cam Newton had a forgettable day. He had no touchdown passes, an interception and negative rushing yards. Los Angeles forced him to beat them as a passer, which he almost found a way to do in the second half, but it was too little, too late.
21. Oakland Raiders: 1-0 (Last Week: 26)
What a week for the Raiders. Antonio Brown was suspended, then back in the starting lineup, all for him to end up in New England. That all happened before they even took the field. The play on the field made a lot of people forget about how tumultuous a week it had been off it. Oakland dominated Denver, even if they only won by eight points. Derek Carr proved he has truly figured out Jon Gruden’s system and the offensive line won the night. It did not allow that Broncos’ pass rush to bring down Carr once and opened up some nice running lane for the impressive Josh Jacobs. However, the competition gets much tougher as the Chiefs roll into town for an AFC West showdown.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars: 0-1 (Last Week: 19)
Hopes of a rebound season under Nick Foles deflated quickly after the newly signed quarterback broke his collarbone. Jacksonville traded for Josh Dobbs on Monday from Pittsburgh as a result. All might not be lost, as Gardner Mishnew played extremely well in relief. He went 22-25 for 275 yards and two touchdowns. He did throw one interception, but it was a positive performance for the rookie quarterback. Unfortunately, the Jags defense gave up 40 points to Patrick Mahomes and company, even without Tyreek Hill for most of the game. The season is far from over after one week, but the defense needs to play better.
23. Denver Broncos: 0-1 (Last Week: 17)
It was an inauspicious start to the season for Denver. The supposedly vaunted defense was nowhere to be found as Von Miller and Bradley Chubb were held in check by the Oakland offensive line. It was really a debut to forget for Vic Fangio on defense as Derek Carr carved up the secondary. Now the Broncos were down a couple key contributors on that side of the ball, but the Raiders had control of this game from the very beginning. Joe Flacco will need to settle in quickly as this offense looks to find its footing. This won’t get any easier with the Bears coming to town.
24. Buffalo Bills: 1-0 (Last Week: 25)
It wasn’t always pretty, but a win over a division rival on the road is huge for Buffalo to start the season. Down 16 to the Jets, Josh Allen engineered a big comeback. That retooled receiving core looked pretty solid as John Brown made an immediate impact. There were a lot of early miscues as the Bills committed four turnovers, but bouncing back from that and finding a way to win showed a lot of maturity from an overall young group.
25. Washington: 0-1 (Last Week: 30)
Nothing like inducing a little panic in a division rival early in the year. Case Keenum balled out in his debut for Washington, with 380 yards through the air. There is some bad news, as Derrius Guice seems to be headed for the bench for a few weeks. There is a decent amount of depth in the backfield though with Chris Thompson, Adrian Peterson and Wendall Smallwood on the roster. They will need a bit more success running the ball after managing just 28 yards on 13 attempts against the Eagles. Still, this was a very promising start for the team despite the final result.
26. New York Jets: 0-1 (Last Week: 24)
Oh boy. Where to even start here? The defense played lights out for three quarters and even scored eight points. Meanwhile, the Jets offense sputtered and only managed to find the end zone once, despite receiving great field position from a number of forced turnovers. Jamison Crowder and Le’Veon Bell integrated themselves well, but overall this was a major disappointment for the debut of Adam Gase’s offense in New York. Toss in continued kicking woes and the Jets are in midseason form for unresolved issues.
27. Cincinnati Bengals: 0-1 (Last Week: 31)
Well that was not what most expected of the Bengals to open the season. Cincinnati held the Seahawks relatively in check and showed some explosiveness on offense. John Ross showed up after two years of absolutely nothing with two massive touchdowns. If not for a ridiculous Andy Dalton screw up, the Bengals could have emerged from new head coach Zac Taylor’s debut with a shocking victory. It is a step in the right direction though, as Cincy appears to be much more competitive this season.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 0-1 (Last Week: 23)
We probably just witnessed the beginning of the end for the Jameis Winston era in Tampa Bay. With three interceptions, including a pick-six, and an 8.6 QBR, Winston fell flat versus San Francisco. He actually got some help from his running game, as the Bucs running backs averaged 5.1 yards per carry. The defense wasn’t great, but the pick-six from Vernon Hargreaves was a nice touch. It was a rough start for a Tampa team that had higher hopes for the 2019 season. We will need to see some major improvement across the board.
29. Detroit Lions: 0-0-1 (Last Week: 27)
Up 15 in the fourth quarter against a rookie quarterback and the team who earned the first overall pick last year. Should be a slam dunk right? Not for Detroit. The Lions underwent a massive collapse, mostly by their own doing. A questionable timeout call and a disappearing act by the defense led to a bitter tie. No one expected the Detroit to be pushing for a playoff spot, but if this is how the team is going to play this season, Matt Stafford and Matt Patricia could be on their way out of town.
30. Arizona Cardinals: 0-0-1 (Last Week: 29)
It was about as ugly a start as possible to the Kyler Murray era. Then, the former Heisman winner channeled the magic he often found at Oklahoma and led an incredible fourth quarter comeback. Sure it resulted in a tie rather than a win, but there were signs of optimism for that offense. Unfortunately, the defense looks extremely weak. Getting a full strength secondary will make a huge difference, but this is still a talent-deprived roster with a rookie quarterback. Expect growing pains.
31. New York Giants: 0-1 (Last Week: 28)
So it turns out that trading away your best pass rusher makes it really difficult to stop Dak Prescott. The Giants secondary looked pathetic trying to track down Dallas receivers all game long as Prescott shredded New York for more than 400 yards passing. Some questions certainly arise about Saquon Barkley’s usage as well, mostly that he didn’t get the ball enough. He had 120 yards rushing, on just 11 carries. Just run the ball with him more. Seems like a logical solution. I think the Daniel Jones hype might cool a bit after that debut fumble. The Giants are destined for a top-five pick.
32. Miami Dolphins: 0-1 (Last Week: 32)
I am tempted to put a few college teams above the Dolphins after that showing. It clear this team is angling for the number one pick and possibly a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Ravens dropped 59 points on the Fins and dominated in every facet of the game. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen both struggled. No one on defense had an answer for Lamar Jackson, who tore up Miami through the air. With the Patriots on tap next week, things are definitely going to get worse before they get better.