Stewart love on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 9:00AM
The dust has settled on NFL’s opening weekend, and there’s plenty to discuss.
The Los Angeles Rams delivered a statement win late Monday night, while several first-year head coaches got off to ugly starts with their new clubs.
Here’s a look at where each team stands in NESN.com’s NFL power rankings entering Week 2. (To check out our Week 1 power rankings, click here.)
1. Los Angeles Rams (1-0; Last week’s rank: 2): The Rams went into the Black Hole and walked all over the Oakland Raiders in Jon Gruden’s coaching debut. It’s early, but Sean McVay’s group appears to have the talent to make a deep playoff run.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0; 1): The defending Super Bowl champions took care of business at home on Opening Night. It wasn’t pretty, but a win’s a win.
3. Minnesota Vikings (1-0; 3): The Vikings’ offense looked in sync under the direction of new quarterback Kirk Cousins against an up-and-coming San Francisco 49ers squad. Minnesota’s next test will be an even tougher one: a road tilt against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
4. New England Patriots (1-0; 4): Given the amount of roster changeover in the offseason, the Patriots looked impressive against a tough opponent in the Houston Texans. New England’s defense, specifically, could continue to surprise people.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0; 8): Jacksonville’s defense met expectations in its season opener, but the offense looked rather anemic. That won’t fly in Week 2 against the Patriots.
6. Green Bay Packers (1-0; 7): What more can you say about Rodgers? As long as No. 12 is under center, expect the Packers to be a mainstay in the top 10 of the power rankings.
7. New Orleans Saints (0-1; 5): New Orleans’ loss to the NFC South rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers arguably was the biggest surprise of Week 1. The Saints’ offense is too high-flying for the losing to continue, though. Expect them to bounce back this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0-1; 6): Six turnovers is unacceptable, especially against an inferior opponent like the Browns. But much like New Orleans, Pittsburgh is far too talented to remain on the schneid. The Steelers’ most positive takeaway from their Week 1 tie? James Conner looks like a more-than-capable replacement at running back while Le’Veon Bell’s holdout prolongs.
9. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0; 19): You don’t want to put too much stock in one game, but Patrick Mahomes made about as good of a first impression as possible. Tossing four touchdown passes against a strong division rival on the road is tough to beat.
10. Los Angeles Chargers (0-1; 10): Expectations were high for the Chargers entering the season, and they received a punch to the mouth courtesy of the Chiefs in Week 1. Luckily for the Bolts, a Week 2 meeting against the lowly Buffalo Bills awaits.
11. Carolina Panthers (1-0; 12): The Panthers squeaked out a season-opening win against the Dallas Cowboys, but Cam Newton and Co. didn’t look particularly great. Carolina still has the potential to be one of the stronger teams in the NFC, though.
12. Atlanta Falcons: (0-1; 9): No one would have faulted the Falcons for losing on the road against the Eagles, but Atlanta looked pretty darn sloppy. The defense held its own, though, so the Falcons could be a force to be reckoned with once the offense comes along.
13. Houston Texans (0-1; 11): The Texans will go as Deshaun Watson goes, but the second-year QB didn’t do much going to kick off the campaign. The Patriots tend to have that effect on most young QBs, so there shouldn’t be much cause for concern in Houston.
14. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0; 16): The Indianapolis Colts aren’t a defensive juggernaut by any means, but there’s a lot to be excited about with this Bengals offense. Second-year running back Joe Mixon very well could be this season’s breakout offensive star.
15. Washington Redskins (1-0; 25): The Redskins’ schedule definitely is conducive to a favorable start. After a Week 1 win over the Arizona Cardinals, Washington likely will keep it going at home against the Colts this Sunday.
16. Denver Broncos (1-0; 26): Case Keenum proved he can light it up with his new offense, but the veteran quarterback also threw three interceptions. Denver’s defense isn’t as vaunted as it used to be, so the Broncos will need Keenum to clean things up moving forward.
17. Baltimore Ravens (1-0; 22): It’s clear Joe Flacco still has plenty left in the tank, but it’s tough to get a real read on the Ravens given just how bad the Bills look this season.
18. New York Giants (0-1; 15): It didn’t take Saquon Barkley very long to make his presence felt in the NFL. It will be a work in progress, but one has to imagine the Giants offense will get it going sooner rather than later.
19. Tennessee Titans (0-1; 13): The good news for the Titans: They appear to have dodged a serious injury bullet with Marcus Mariota. The bad news: Veteran tight end Delanie Walker will be lost for the remainder of the season after breaking his ankle in Week 1.
20. Seattle Seahawks (0-1; 17): It’s tough to totally count out the Seahawks as long as Russell Wilson is under center, but it’s clear Seattle is a mere shell of what it used to be. The seventh-year QB will have the weight of the world on his shoulders throughout the season.
21. Chicago Bears (0-1; 24): The Bears had a road win secured until they didn’t. Chicago couldn’t overcome the buzzsaw that is Rodgers, but there’s certainly a lot to be excited about with the new-look Bears.
22. Dallas Cowboys (0-1; 20): We doubt the Cowboys regret releasing Dez Bryant, but it’s clear the wide receiver position is a major concern for Dallas. As such, the pressure will continue to mount on Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
23. Tampa Bay Buccanneers (1-0; 28): Tampa Bay deserves a boatload of credit for its stunning win over the Saints, but it’s tough to imagine the Bucs will keep it up, especially with the Eagles on deck in Week 2.
24. New York Jets (1-0; 31): Sam Darnold impressed in his NFL debut, and the Jets’ defense looked pretty strong against Matt Stafford and Co. But given New York’s youth and inexperience, expect a lot of ups and downs for Gang Green this season.
25. San Francisco 49ers (0-1; 18): It only was a matter of time before Jimmy Garoppolo came back down to earth. It should be interesting to see how the young signal-caller responds to his first loss as an NFL starter.
26. Detroit Lions (0-1; 14): There quite literally was nothing to be excited about for the Lions against the Jets. First-year head coach Matt Patricia has a lot of work to do in getting his team ready for Week 2.
27. Miami Dolphins (1-0; 27): Both the Dolphins and Jets surprised most by securing season-opening wins. Now, we’ll get to see which team is more of the real deal when they square off this Sunday in the Meadowlands.
28. Oakland Raiders (0-1; 21): Derek Carr and the Raiders’ offense were clearly overmatched by the Rams’ talented defense. Things won’t get any easier next week on the road in Denver.
29. Cleveland Browns (0-0-1; 29): The Browns no longer appear to be a laughingstock, but the mistakes Cleveland made against Pittsburgh were very on par to the ones that plagued the team in the past. In turn, we continue to wait for the Browns’ first win since the 2016 season.
30. Indianapolis Colts (0-1; 30): Andrew Luck looked pretty comfortable under center, but the Colts’ overall lack of talent likely will keep Indy near the bottom of the power rankings all season.
31. Arizona Cardinals (0-1; 23): It sure doesn’t seem like Sam Bradford is the Cardinals’ answer at quarterback. Could Josh Rosen be the solution? We’ll have to wait and see.
32. Buffalo Bills (0-1; 32): No offense to head coach Sean McDermott, but we won’t need to go back and look at the tape to further evaluate the Bills’ Week 1 performance.