The S3’s NFL Power Rankings: Week 2; Already A New #1

Written by on 09/12/2023

The first week of the NFL season was crazy, to say the least!  And the S3’s NFL Power Rankings for Week 2 will reflect that.  Upsets were all over the place, not just by a team losing, but by how much they lost by.  And poor Jets fans…. four plays into your season and you’re already questioning whether or not you can make the playoffs, even with a miraculous overtime win.  Let’s be honest, Jets fans.  Do you really believe that Zach Wilson is still going to bring your team to the playoffs?  And what happened to the Steelers in Week 1? I understand losing to the 49ers.  The majority of the teams that play them this season will probably lose.  But losing by three (plus) scores at home in your season opener?  Yeah, you’re dropping faster in this week’s NFL Power Rankings than a Patrick Mahomes pass to Kadarius Toney.

  1. San Francisco 49ers (1-0 +2): The San Francisco 49ers have moved up to the #1 spot and leapfrogged the Eagles for a number of reasons; First, they went on the road and won against a Steelers team that was picked by many to at least compete for the AFC North title this season.  Second, their victory was by more than three scores.  And third, Christian McCaffrey is simply unstoppable, and was so against what was a Top 5 defense in Pittsburgh.  And oh yeah, that defense!! NEXT GAME: at Los Angeles Rams (1-0)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0, E): Yes, the Philadelphia Eagles went into New England on “Tom Brady Night” and defeated the Patriots.  But they tried everything to give that game away and needed a 4th down incompletion in their red zone to hold on for the 25-20 victory.  Outside of the victory, there is not much to be excited about for the Eagles win.  They didn’t have a 100 yard receiver, they didn’t have a 100 yard rusher, Hurts only threw for 170 and a TD (held under 40 yards rushing), and they were spotted 16 points in the 1st Quarter.  I expect a much better performance in Week 2.  NEXT GAME: Thursday Night Football vs. Vikings (0-1)
  3. New York Jets (1-0 +3): Four plays into the season and all seemed lost…..literally LOST.  Did you have Zach Wilson leading this team to a victory after taking over for Aaron Rodgers (achilles, out for year)? Even with that, they still won while Whitehead picked off Josh Allen three times. I was impressed and moved them up this week.  But I’m not jumping on the Zach Wilson bandwagon.  NEXT GAME: At Dallas (1-0)
  4. Dallas Cowboys (1-0 +5):  The Dallas Cowboys were the one team that I said had the most pressure to perform heading into Week 1.  And boy did they ever perform!  How about a 40-0 BEATDOWN to your divisional rival to start the season?!!  NEXT GAME: vs New York Jets (1-0)
  5. Baltimore Ravens (1-0 +2): Up two spots with their victory over the Houston Texans.  Not a big leap because it was the Texans.  Keep an eye on Zay Flowers as the season progresses.  I expect bigger performances moving forward.  NEXT GAME: At Bengals (0-1)
  6. New Orleans Saints (1-0 +2): A one-point win over the Titans is nothing to write home about.  But the Derek Carr experiment in New Orleans is off to a good start.  I think the Saints will be in good shape if they can get through Week 3 with a winning record, and then they get Alvin Kamara back.  NEXT GAME: Monday Night Football (Game 1) vs Carolina (0-1)
  7. Kansas City Chiefs (0-1 -6):  The Chiefs were without future Hall of Fame Tight End Travis Kelce.  And I don’t recall Kadarius Toney ever dropping that many passes in a game.  So I’m giving the Chiefs the benefit of the doubt and saying they are still a Top 10 team.  Let’s see if Kelce can get back on the field in Week 2.  NEXT GAME: At Jaguars (1-0)
  8. Buffalo Bills (0-1 -5): Josh Allen is on track for 68 turnovers this season with his 3 INT, 1 FL showing in an overtime loss to the Jets.  The good news is that the offseason “riff” between Diggs and Allen seemed to be non-existent last night.  And if you have not done so already, TE Dalton Kincaid is worth putting on your Fantasy Football roster moving forward.  NEXT GAME: vs Raiders (1-0)
  9. Green Bay Packers (1-0 +6): Even without Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers still own the Chicago Bears.  We’ll have to see about the health of Aaron Jones moving through this week, but I expect him to be back.  Granted, it was the Bears, but I think Jordon Love answered all the questions he needed to as the new leader of this team.  NEXT GAME: at Falcons (1-0)
  10. Miami Dolphins (1-0 +6):  The Dolphins let us know two things in their 36-34 victory over the Chargers this past weekend.  First, the offense can score at will.  Second, the defense can allow points at will.  You can’t expect to lean on 400 yards passing by Tua every game.  That defense has a lot of work to do before they become a legitimate threat.  The good news coming into Week two? Tua has never lost to the Patriots. NEXT GAME: Sunday Night Football vs. Patriots (0-1)
  11. Detroit Lions (1-0 +6): Yep, I picked the Detroit Lions to go into the defending champions house on opening night and take the victory.  But let’s pump the breaks a little because a one-point win isn’t much to build on if you’re going to contend for the NFC North title this season.  NEXT GAME: vs Seahawks (0-1)
  12. Cleveland Browns (1-0 +10): Shocked is just one word that comes to mind after the Browns beat down rival Cincinnati by three scores to start the season.  There is excitement in the Dawg Pound once again and it’s because DeShaun Watson showed signs of his former self in this victory.  NEXT GAME: at Steelers (0-1) Game 2 for Monday Night Football
  13. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1 -7): I don’t know who that was on the field for the Bengals in their loss to the Browns, but I expect a much better performance in Week 2 in another tough division rivalry game.  NEXT GAME: vs Ravens (1-0)
  14. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0 +5): After allowing a 14-point third quarter and losing the lead, the Jaguars answered with their own 14-point quarter in the 4th to cement their ten-point victory over the Colts.  NEXT GAME: vs. Kansas City Chiefs (0-1)
  15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0 +14): You should give props to Baker Mayfield as the Buccaneers were all but written off completely and were seen as a team looking toward getting their next quarterback in the 2024 Draft.  Is he the answer?  Time will tell but he looked good in Week 1.  NEXT GAME: vs. Bears (0-1)
  16. Minnesota Vikings (0-1 -6) Definitely not what was expected from such a high flying offense in Minnesota for Week 1.  Pretty much on par for what we expected from the defense heading into Week 1.  They’ ll try and right the Viking ship in a tough Week 2 matchup.  NEXT GAME: Thursday Night Football at Eagles (1-0)
  17. Los Angeles Chargers (0-1 -5): Maybe the Chargers should have considered doubling Tyreek Hill.  Oh wait, they did. And it didn’t work out.  Let’s hope they don’t make Ryan Tannehill look like a potential MVP in Week 2.  NEXT GAME: at Titans (0-1)
  18. Los Angeles Rams (1-0 +6):  The Rams were another pleasant surprise for me this week.  I’m not sure why though.  The Rams are (almost) healthy.  They have an MVP quarterback who is healthy again, and their defense is showing signs of being dominant once again. Really tough task in Week 2 though. NEXT GAME: vs. 49ers (1-0)
  19. Washington Commanders (1-0 +2): The Commanders were another team in Week 1 that seemed to do everything they could to give the game away (to the Arizona Cardinals).  But they inevitably beat a team that they should have beat.  NEXT GAME: at Broncos (0-1)
  20. Las Vegas Raiders (1-0 +3): Yeah, I cringed seeing that hit that Jimmy G took early on against the Broncos.  I thought to myself “not again.”  But he jumped up and eventually led the Raiders to their first win of the season.  NEXT GAME: at Bills (0-1)
  21. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1 -10): If I could just hide my Grinch-like smile for a second… I was “very” disappointed in the Steelers showing this weekend.  No, I didn’t expect them to beat the 49ers.  But that was terrible and it happened in front of their home crowd. NEXT GAME: vs Browns (1-0) Game 2 of Monday Night Football
  22. New England Patriots (0-1 -4): You can’t spot the opposing team (let alone the Eagles) 16 points in the 1st Quarter and expect to win.  And yet, the Patriots had a shot to win in the end and came up short.  On top of that, apparently Ezekiel Elliott has fumble problems (who knew?).  But the Bill O’Brien offense showed spark with Mac Jones (316 yards, 3 TD’s, 1 INT) hitting 8 different players with at least two receptions.  The Tight Ends played a similar role, which gives me memories of offenses past.  And for a team that doesn’t have a wide receiver that can get behind the defense, Kendrick Bourne did it TWICE for two touchdowns. The defense is looking really good already, and Rookie CB Christian Gonzalez already looks like he’s going to live up to the hype of a first round draft pick. NEXT GAME: at Dolphins (1-0) Sunday Night Football.  Note about this game: Tua has never lost to the Patriots.
  23. Seattle Seahawks (0-1 -10):  One of the largest drops in my power rankings.  That was a terrible showing at home against the Rams. Only 112 passing yards by Geno Smith and the offense was completely shut out in the 2nd half.  NEXT GAME: at Lions (1-0)
  24. Tennessee Titans (0-1 -4): Three interceptions and zero offensive touchdowns was a terrible start to the season for the Titans.  And Derek Henry is going to need to do better than 63 yards rushing to give them a chance moving forward.  NEXT GAME: vs. Chargers (0-1)
  25. Atlanta Falcons (1-0 +2): Hey, you won a game! But it was against the Panthers. Your Week 2 opponent is a little tougher.  NEXT GAME: vs. Packers (1-0)
  26. Denver Broncos (0-1 +E):  The Denver Broncos stayed put in this week’s NFL Power Rankings.  Yes, they lost, but it was a 1-point loss to a division rival.  Not the start new head coach Sean Payton was looking for, but I expect them to continue to improve moving forward.  NEXT GAME: vs Commanders (1-0)
  27. New York Giants (0-1 -12): One, we’re going for one!! When you’re the only team in the entire NFL shut out (by 40 points), any positive this week is a good thing. And look, you get to play the Cardinals this week! NEXT GAME: at Arizona (0-1)
  28. Chicago Bears (0-1 -3): But what about all the “MVP” offseason hype around Justin Fields?  That got shut down really quick.  The Bears will continue to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season.  NEXT GAME: at Buccaneers (1-0)
  29. Indianapolis Colts (0-1 -1):  There were some positives for the rookie quarterback in his first start.  The downside for the Colts, however, is that they go into week 2 knowing that they just can’t run the ball.  13 rushes for 14 yards by someone who is actually a running back is not going to cut it.  The good news going into Week 2?  A rookie quarterback will get his first win!  NEXT GAME: at Texans (0-1)
  30. Arizona Cardinals (0-1 E): Hey, this team might be able to win (as I’m watching the game)…. Oh wait, I’m watching the Cardinals. No they can’t.  NEXT GAME: vs. Giants (0-1)
  31. Carolina Panthers (0-1 E) Bryce Young didn’t play great. But it wasn’t terrible.  Pretty much what you expected to see for a rookie quarterback in his first start. Tougher matchup in Week 2.  NEXT GAME: vs Saints (1-0) First game on Monday Night Football
  32. Houston Texans (0-1 E): CJ Stroud threw for more yards in Week 1 against the Ravens than Lamar Jackson did.  So there’s a positive. And no interceptions.  Good chance for their first win in Week 2. NEXT GAME: vs. Colts (0-1)

Jeff Demers “JD”

Host of The S3 with JD Podcast

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