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NFL Power Rankings: Week 2

C.J. Anderson

C.J. Anderson

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Our first week of real NFL action certainly delivered in terms of drama with an incredible 11 of 16 games within one score. Perhaps just as important after a long offseason full of predicting how teams will play, we’re finally able to put on the game tape and figure out how everybody stacks up with each other on the field.

Related: NFL 2016 Regular and Postseason Predictions

With that in mind, it’s time to sort out the contenders from the pretenders. Factoring in everything from overall roster strength, to quarterback play, to the head coach’s track record, here is the latest edition of NFL power rankings and where every team stacks up from 1 to 32.

Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers 

Last week: 2

NFL Power Rankings: Packers

Aaron Rodgers looked like he might have to make room for another MVP award with the way he played in hot and humid Jacksonville. Perhaps more impressive was the defense limiting the Jaguars to 1.8 yards a carry.

2. New England Patriots

Last week: 5

NFL Power Rankings: Patriots

Tom who? Winning on the road at a NFC contender without Rob Gronkowski was probably the most impressive aspect of Jimmy Garoppolo’s debut.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

Last week: 8

NFL Power Rankings: Steelers

Pretty much everybody thought the offense would be one of the best in the league and that was on full display Monday night. The defense may be a few steps ahead of last season too.

4. Denver Broncos

Last week: 10

NFL Power Rankings: Broncos

We knew the defense would be good but the offense may be ahead of schedule. Still seems like Trevor Siemian is just buying time for Paxton Lynch though.

5. Carolina Panthers

Last week: 5

NFL Power Rankings: Panthers

Giving up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter is a troubling start but there’s still enough, especially on offense, for things to come together and start rolling again.

6. Kansas City Chiefs

Last week: 11

NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs

An incredible comeback continued the Chiefs winning ways in the regular season. When everybody’s healthy this team should be even higher in the rankings.

7. Houston Texans 

Last week: 6

NFL Power Rankings: Texans

The offense was a bit shaky but you can see plenty of promise. J.J. Watt wasn’t as effective as he normally is but the defense still found a way to take down Jay Cutler.

8. Arizona Cardinals

Last week: 1

NFL Power Rankings: Cardinals

Forget the missed field goal at the end, no reason to lose at home to a team without its two best offensive players and give up more than seven yards per pass.

9. Seattle Seahawks

Last week: 4

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks

They won, which was the most important thing but goodness does that offensive line look like a work in progress that’s not actually progressing

10. Cincinnati Bengals

Last week: 7

NFL Power Rankings: Bengals

Perhaps it was fitting they were ranked No. 7 last week considering that’s the number of sacks they gave up. Aside from that, the Andy Dalton/A.J. Green pairing looks great.

11. Oakland Raiders

Last week: 12

NFL Power Rankings: Raiders

How about the stones for Jack Del Rio? The offense may be even better than expected, which is good considering some of the defensive struggles on Sunday.

12. New York Giants

Last week: 14

NFL Power Rankings: Giants

Winning on the road against a division rival is nice but the ability for the offense to convert in opponent’s territory and a surprisingly solid run defense has to be just as good a sight to Giants fans. Easily the class of the NFC East after Week 1.

13. Baltimore Ravens

Last week: 13

NFL Power Rankings: Ravens

Impressive defensive performance and it looks like Joe Flacco might have a nice connection with a rejuvenated Mike Wallace.

14. Jacksonville Jaguars

Last week: 16

NFL Power Rankings: Jaguars

Sure it was a home loss but it was an encouraging one given how the young core played against a top-tier team.

15. Minnesota Vikings

Last week: 9

NFL Power Rankings: Vikings

The defense looked great but it’s clear the offense will be a work in progress for several more weeks.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last week: 22

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NFL Power Rankings: Buccaneers

The run game performance was a little concerning but Jameis Winston does not appear as though he’ll be suffering from any sophomore slump.

17. Dallas Cowboys

Last week: 15

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys

The game plan of controlling the clock and letting Dak Prescott play within the system worked ok but it was shocking how limited the team was running the ball.

18. Detroit Lions

Last week: 27

NFL Power Rankings: Detroit Lions

This team might be involved in a lot of shootouts. Matthew Stafford may not have Calvin Johnson anymore but he is not lacking for options.

19. New Orleans Saints

Last week: 21

NFL Power Rankings: Saints

They are who we thought they were: a great offensive team that will have to outscore every opponent.

20. Indianapolis Colts

Last week: 18

NFL Power Rankings: Colts

They have Andrew Luck and a few offensive weapons but the offensive line and pretty much every spot on defense is questionable.

21. Miami Dolphins 

Last week: 23

NFL Power Rankings: Dolphins

Adam Gase can’t be happy that so many scoring opportunities resulted in no points but at least the defense stepped up.

22. New York Jets

Last week: 19

NFL Power Rankings: Jets

Pass rush looked really good but that didn’t seem to help out the secondary as much as one would have expected. This will always be a team that goes only as far as the offense takes it.

23. Chicago Bears

Last week: 26

NFL Power Rankings: Bears

Not completely surprising to see the offense struggle against the Texans’ defense but Chicago seemed like a completely different team after half time. Receiving corps will give teams trouble down the road though.

24. Washington Redskins

Last week: 17

NFL Power Rankings: Redskins

Kirk Cousins’ inaccuracy cost several promising drives and the defense is not going to enjoy going over the Week 1 game film.

25. Atlanta Falcons

Last week: 24

NFL Power Rankings: Falcons

Almost no running game is not going to help a defense that looks like it will continue to struggle in a division full of good offenses.

26. San Diego Chargers

Last week: 28

NFL Power Rankings: Chargers

Good news is the Chargers were really competitive on the road at a division rival. The bad news was the double whammy of blowing a 17-point lead and losing Keenan Allen.

27. Philadelphia Eagles

Last week: 29

NFL Power Rankings: Eagles

We’ll grade them on the curve since they played the Browns but Philly has to be thrilled with Carson Wentz’ debut.

28. Buffalo Bills

Last week: 20

NFL Power Rankings: Bills

One of the worst offensive performances in a long time for the Bills and now Sammy Watkins’ status is up in the air, along with left tackle Cordy Glenn. Not great for a team that will be playing on a short week.

29. San Francisco 49ers

Last week: 32

NFL Power Rankings: 49ers

Chip Kelly’s Bay Area debut was... something for most of the game. At least the 49ers won and the defense looked ok.

30. Tennessee Titans

Last week: 30

NFL Power Rankings: Tennessee Titans

Marcus Mariota has to be better with the football but everybody understands there’s a long way to go with this roster.

31. Los Angeles Rams

Last week: 25

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That was certainly not even some 7-9, 8-8 stuff on Monday night by Jeff Fisher’s team. Something says Jared Goff will be suited up next week.

32. Cleveland Browns

Last week: 31

NFL Power Rankings: Cleveland Browns

Still plenty of time to buy more Cavaliers gear.

— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.