NFL power rankings: Packers, Patriots pop back up; 49ers, Cowboys, Eagles flop into Week 2by Vinnie Iyer
Week 1 in the NFL 2020 has already created quite a shakeup from our initial preseason power rankings at Sporting News. As expected, there were more than a few unexpected results that shook up the league's hierarchy.
Some of the top stayed the same, but the aftershocks were felt with several teams dropping out of the top 10. On the flip side, some surprising victories by those at the bottom changed everything to muddle the middle, too.
It's only one game,but some contenders are already facing big holes going into Week 2 while some upstarts have great confidence they can continue to stun after Week 1.
Here are Sporting News' updated NFL power rankings entering Week 2:
WEEK 1 OVERREACTIONS
Aaron Rodgers for MVP, Tom Brady is done, 49ers are hung over
NFL power rankings
1. Kansas City Chiefs 1-0 (last week's ranking: 1)
Patrick Mahomes had his typical game post signing his mega contract. But how about that loaded defense and running game coming through, too, vs. the Texans. The Super Bowl 54 champions will be hard to remove from this spot all the way through Super Bowl 55.
2. Baltimore Ravens 1-0 (2)
Lamar Jackson showed he's not interested in giving back the MVP to Mahomes with more top running and elite passing. The Ravens' new-look defense made a nice statement, too, by thrashing the Browns.
3. New Orleans Saints 1-0 (5)
The Saints rewarded Alvin Kamara and he rewarded them immediately by carrying their offense against the Buccaneers. They also had to be pleased to get the big plays back defensively.
MORE: Breaking down Tom Brady's Buccaneers debut
4. Seattle Seahawks 1-0 (6)
Russell Wilson wants to let everyone know he should be in the conversation for his first MVP. Jamal Adams didn't waste any time against the Falcons in laying the hammer down as their new defensive enforcer.
5. Buffalo Bills 1-0 (10)
The Bills had their way with the Jets as Josh Allen looked every bit the part of a complete Year 3 quarterback. Their defense swarmed and made it look easy, too as the new AFC East favorites.
6. Green Bay Packers 1-0 (12)
Aaron Rodgers is still letting it rip at a high level, almost taking it personally that they drafted Jordan Love and didn't draft him wide receivers. They also keep running the ball well, dismantling the Vikings. It's been a while since they were as explosive.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers 1-0 (8)
The Steelers should feel great after finishing 8-8 with their high defensive floor in 2019, especially with their passing prowessabout to be restored and more running game confidence in 2020. They have their great Big Ben and fine JuJu back.
8. New England Patriots 1-0 (13)
Cam Newton did what he needed to do in his debut and to win more games for the Patriots going forward: Lean on running, including his own, and the defense. It would be reallyinteresting if he can show the MVP form as a passer, too, soon.
MORE: Breaking down Cam Newton's Patriots debut
9. Arizona Cardinals 1-0 (16)
Kyler Murray has bulked up and now has a dominant go-to wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins. Kliff Kingsbury's offense was in a balanced groove against the 49ers and the defense is starting to get more out of playmakers, too.
10. Los Angeles Rams 1-0 (17)
The Rams have Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, and that elite defensive talent trickled down to others nicely against the Cowboys. They also proved they still have the same running and receiving identity in their simple offense with Malcolm Brown and Van Jefferson instead of Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks.
11. San Francisco 49ers 0-1 (4)
The 49ers took some lumps offensively as their wide receiver injuries caught up to them against the Cardinals. Their defense also proved it has a few more holes away from core stars Nick Bosa and Richard Sherman.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-1 (3)
The Bucs were sloppy against the Saints and it wasn't just Tom Brady. They were not sound in blocking and tacklingand undisciplined in racking up penalties. Bruce Arians has much to clean up for them to live up to contending status.
13. Los Angeles Chargers 1-0 (20)
The Chargers grinding out a victory over the Bengals on a long road trip, showing great resolve and toughness with more of a grittier offense with Tyrod Taylor. Their defense managed to get stronger against the run and survived no Derwin James early.
MORE: Bad call, blown kick spoil Joe Burrow's Bengals debut
14. Minnesota Vikings 0-1 (9)
The Vikings' defense looked lost and confused with some big changes up front and in the secondary. That broke up their run-heavy offensive game plan, but at least Kirk Cousins was up to the rallying task. Mike Zimmer needs to get their formula back on track, stat.
15. Dallas Cowboys 0-1 (11)
The Cowboys with Mike McCarthy were about the same as the Cowboys with Jason Garrett — losing close games late because of falling short in the clutch finishing plays. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott keep doing their best, but blocking and defensive issues keep creeping in at wrong times.
16. Washington Football Team 1-0 (32)
What was that? Ron Rivera was an inspiration in cleaning up the culture of the team and you can tell the players already love playing for him. Don't forget about his defensive influence, felt right away in Chase Young and a talented front against the Eagles.
17. Philadelphia Eagles 0-1 (7)
What was that? The Eagles' offensive line is now a weakness and they still have consistency and injury issues at wide receiver. They also should be more of a dominant defensive unit, vs. one that has key lapses.
MORE: NFL explains pass interference penalty in Cowboys-Rams game
18. Las Vegas Raiders 1-0 (23)
The Raiders' defense has improved but there are stillplenty of weaknesses to exploit. Thankfully, their run-oriented offense puts them in better position to get the big pass plays when they need them.
19. Tennessee Titans 1-0 (22)
The Titans are a literal wild card of team. They could build on the success with Mike Vrabel, Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill and the defense with Jadeveon Clowney in the mix. They also could regress with limitations around Tannehill and some second-level and secondary concerns.
20. Chicago Bears 1-0 (24)
What was that? Mitchell Trubisky had a classic stinker until he turned into Matthew Stafford-like Captain Comeback against the Lions. The running game and defense being better support helps.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-0 (31)
Gardner Minshew wants to be their franchise quarterback long-term and played like it, grateful his team stuck with him into Year 2. The running game and defense avoided the expected dropoff early, too, showing well against the Colts.
22. Houston Texans 0-1 (14)
The Texans have a good offensive baseline with Deshaun Watson and now David Johnson. But their defense is bound to keep having major pitfalls even when not playing the Chiefs.
23. Denver Broncos 0-1 (21)
The Broncos lost Von Miller and that is a big blow to their good defensive vibes. Wide receiver injuries are already bringing down their offensive optimism with Drew Lock, too.
24. Cleveland Browns 0-1 (15)
The Brownies were burnt toast from the get-to in Baltimore. Baker Mayfield took his early lumps in the new offense like he was in the old one. The running game and run defense were encouraging signs, though.
25. Atlanta Falcons 0-1 (18)
The Falcons are the same team as last season. They want to be more reliant on the run now with Todd Gurley, but then they realize their major defensive weaknesses and amazing passing game strengths — Matt Ryan throwing to Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley — force them to embrace a different identity. Unfortunately, it's not a winning one for Dan Quinn.
26. Indianapolis Colts 0-1 (19)
The Colts were hoping that Philip Rivers would clean up quarterback but that didn't manifest yet against the Jaguars. They also looked a little lost defensively against both run and pass. This doesn't look like a playoff rebound team for Frank Reich.
27. New York Giants 0-1 (25)
The Giants are excited to have their offense at full strength for Jason Garrett, but their defense, despite the pickups of Blake Martinez and James Bradberry, is made to be picked apart in transition.
28. Cincinnati Bengals 0-1 (26)
The Bengals saw a confident Joe Burrow in his debut, but they also saw his rookie-ness in missing a few throws and succumbing to pressure against a good Chargers pass defense. That said, they had to be very pleased with their defensive improvement, even with the bad special teams ending.
29. Carolina Panthers 0-1 (28)
The Panthers made the right call offensively with Joe Brady, Robby Anderson and Teddy Bridgewater adding to what they had minus Cam Newton. But beyond not feeding Christian McCaffrey on that critical fourth-and-1, the real concern all season long will be poor defense in every which way.
30. Detroit Lions 0-1 (27)
The Leos are usually the ones making the fourth-quarter save with Stafford, but instead their defense continued to melt down, which now has Matt Patricia at 9-23 and not looking like he will last another season.
31. Miami Dolphins 0-1 (29)
The Dolphins weren't all that competitive in New England as their defense folded easily against the run and their offense couldn't do anything with the pass once DeVante Parker was sidelined. They will likely be taking a step or two back from 5-11.
32. New York Jets 0-1 (30)
The Jets showed little life offensively or defensively under Adam Gase in Buffalo with more struggles from Sam Darnold, which look really bad in relation to Allen, Jackson and even Mayfield in the same draft class. Maybe Gase and Darnold want to force the Jets into a new offensive-minded coach and QB situation in 2021?