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NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs retain top spot as Broncos rise

Week 2 is in the books which means it's time for power rankings! The impressive Chiefs have stayed top, but who is nipping at their heels?


Week 1 was an aberration for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, but not for the Kansas City Chiefs. Against a tough Philadelphia side, Andy Reid’s team were dynamic on offense and destructive on defense.

Elsewhere, Minnesota had to play without Sam Bradford against the Steelers, which took that game from a potential Super Bowl matchup to just another game. In the primetime Sunday night game Atlanta christened the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium with an offensive explosion that was reminiscent of 2016 and should spark fear in the entire league.

At the other end of the spectrum, the New York Jets were blown out in Oakland and the Cardinals & Colts played out a dire overtime game that no one will be rewatching.

How has all that affected our power rankings? Let’s find out!

  1. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (Previous: #1)

    The Chiefs are looking fantastic so far! The team is hitting on all cylinders with depth almost everywhere. Alex Smith has looked far more like a playmaker than a game manager so far this season, distributing the ball around the field with impressive confidence. (Kyle Pineda)

  2. 2 Oakland Raiders (Previous: #3)

    The Raiders didn't play down to their opponent as they smoked the Jets 45-20. Derek Carr was imperious and Michael Crabtree dominated on the outside, picking up three touchdowns to pace the offense. (Kyle Pineda)

  3. 3 New England Patriots (Previous: #4)

    News of the Patriots' demise was greatly exaggerating. It may have only been the Saints defense but Tom Brady was his usual brilliant self, distributing the ball to basically everyone in an eligible number. Perhaps the best thing for New England was how well the defense played in slowing Drew Brees in the Superdome. (Toby Durant)

  4. 4 Atlanta Falcons (Previous: #5)


    Atlanta has owned Green Bay in their last three meetings going back to last year. The Vic Beasley injury is concerning, but with arguably the most high-powered offense in NFL they should remain as the favorite in the NFC. (Chris Cook)

  5. 5 Pittsburgh Steelers (Previous: #7)

    A tricky game turned easy once Sam Bradford was ruled out. The sluggish start for Le'Veon Bell and an injury to TJ Watt are worrying for the Steelers. However, the return of Martavis Bryant is going to make this offense extremely hard to contain. (Toby Durant)

  6. 6 Green Bay Packers (Previous: #2)

    Sunday night's game against Atlanta led to a multitude of injuries for the Packers on top of the loss. They're still a powerhouse in the NFC, but they'll need to get healthy to maintain their position, as well as finding a way to at least slow the Falcons offense. (Alex Freeman)

  7. 7 Denver Broncos (Previous: #15)

    It was a complete performance from top to bottom by the Denver Broncos. They took away the run early and quickly forced Dallas into a pass-heavy offense which suited them perfectly. Offensively, Trevor Siemian looked like a very useful quarterback as he fed Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, keeping the 'Boys defense off balance all day. If the offense is this good all season then Denver are a Super Bowl contender. (Toby Durant)

  8. 8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Previous: #12)


    The run game took a while to get going but in every other aspect, the Bucs looked dangerous. The defense shut down the Bears run game and made Mike Glennon's day miserable. The special teams unit forced a turnover and remained solid-to-good in other phases (except for one PAT). Jameis still needs to develop chemistry with D-Jax but two deep would-be touchdowns that Jackson let slip is an ominous portent for future opponents. When the game was put away, the Bucs run game finally took over, grinding out yards and controlling the clock. Don't let the lone Chicago garbage-time touchdown fool you - the Bucs looked dominant from whistle to whistle. (Gur Samuel)

  9. 9 Detroit Lions (Previous: #10)

    The Lions handled the Giants fairly comfortably. Though unspectacular the Lions are 2-0 and the offense and defense are playing well. Matt Stafford is looking good and they even managed to get Ameer Abdullah going in the running game. (Remy Cabache)

  10. 10 Philadelphia Eagles (Previous: #13)

    The Eagles surprisingly held their own against the team that blew out the defending champs in Week 1. Carson Wentz was impressive once again. Unfortunately, the Eagles' run game was nonexistent and the offensive line really struggled against a talented Chiefs defensive line. The defense also fell apart in the fourth quarter, allowing the Chiefs to score 14 points and ultimately come away with the lead.

  11. 11 Baltimore Ravens (Previous: #16)


    With eight interceptions and two fumble recoveries through two games, it's time to take the Ravens' defense serious again. They'll go as far as their defense and the leg of Justin Tucker can take them. (Alex Freeman)

  12. 12 Dallas Cowboys (Previous: #6)

    After hopes in Dallas skyrocketed last season, the breakout rookies of last year are finally showing they are human. Zeke Elliott was held to eight rushing yards (Even Tom Brady had nine rushing yards this week) against the Denver Broncos and Dak Prescott looked confused the entire game. It was their first "Welcome to the NFL" kind of game. There were a few plays here and there that show us the Cowboys have potential, but this week was a huge let down for Dallas on every level; players, coaching staff, and front office. (David Payne)

  13. 13 Seattle Seahawks (Previous: #8)

    It took seven quarters of football, but the Seahawks offense finally got into the endzone. For as good as the defense has looked in two games, the lack of offensive production is a big worry for Seattle. However, we have seen this before. Pete Carroll sets his team up to peak in November and December, not September, so let's not write them off too soon. (Toby Durant)

  14. 14 Minnesota Vikings (Previous: #9)

    Their Week 2 game against Pittsburgh could have told us a lot about these Vikings, but instead Sam Bradford was sidelined by knee trouble and we didn't get to see what this team can do against a legitimate playoff team. Even without Bradford though, the defense played well for its 69 snaps and 34 minutes. They limited Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown which is very rare. (Toby Durant)

  15. 15 Tennessee Titans (Previous: #20)


    The Titans may be 1-1 but I believe they're the clear favorites for the AFC South. They are by far the most complete and balanced team in the AFC South, and they're one of the most complete teams in the NFL. Derrick Henry needs to be the lead back, but other than that this team is poised to make a playoff run. (Remy Cabache)

  16. 16 Carolina Panthers (Previous: #11)

    The Panthers defense has only conceded single digits in their opening two games, albeit but against weak oppositions. There is concern on the offense though, with Greg Olsen's broken foot, Cam Newton's overall health, and Christian McCaffrey's performances. (Kyle Pineda)

  17. 17 Miami Dolphins (Previous: #17)

    The Jay Cutler/Adam Gase era in Miami got off to a good start with an impressive win on the road against the Chargers. With some winnable games on their upcoming schedule, look for the Dolphins to establish themselves as serious AFC playoff contenders. (Chris Cook)

  18. 18 Washington Redskins (Previous: #24)

    The Redskins were in control against the Rams, but couldn't quite put them away, which will be a worry for their playoff hopes this season. Chris Thompson's explosive play made up for some continuing chemistry issues in the passing game. (Toby Durant)

  19. 19 Los Angeles Chargers (Previous: #23)

    The Chargers stayed competitive throughout the game, but rookie kicker Younghoe Koo blew it once again and missed a field goal in the final seconds for the second consecutive week. The Chargers are certainly a capable team on both sides of the ball, as they manage to score points and keep games close. If the Chargers do want to win some games though, they should seriously consider moving on from Koo, as he has made just one of his four field goal attempts thus far.

  20. 20 New York Giants (Previous: #18)


    It was another horrible offensive performance on Monday night against the Lions. Eli Manning was under siege in the pocket for most of the night, and when he wasn't he was making off-target throws or the receivers were dropping it. The defense was strong, but it can't survive on a steady diet of poor field position and heavy time of possession deficits. (Toby Durant)

  21. 21 Jacksonville Jaguars (Previous: #14)

    After making the Texans look pretty pathetic the Jags came out with a dud against the Titans. Bortles was horrible, Fournette couldn't carry the team, and the defense wasn't creating the same havoc as a week ago. This team has to find consistency to reach the heights their roster should be capable of, and they have to find a new QB. (Remy Cabache)

  22. 22 Los Angeles Rams (Previous: #26)

    Jared Goff better enjoy his first career win from Week 1, because he looks hard-pressed to get another one this year. Tavon Austin was once again an expensive non-entity in the offense, but at least Aaron Donald is back. (Alex Freeman)

  23. 23 Houston Texans (Previous: #21)


    Yes, the Texans may have won but there remain several painfully prominent issues in this Texans lineup. With an ever-increasing list of injuries to both starters and backups, and an already weak O-line and receiving corps, this potentially potent Texans team is quickly becoming favorites to be one of this seasons biggest disappointments. (Anthony Wood)

  24. 24 New Orleans Saints (Previous: #19)

    The Saints are in trouble. The defense is the same issue that it has been for years now, but the offense is no longer bailing them out. At home against a Patriots defense that gave up 42 points last week, Drew Brees and co. should have made this game a shootout. Instead, they stumbled around all game. Sean Payton has to be on thin ice. (Remy Cabache)

  25. 25 Arizona Cardinals (Previous: #25)

    Without David Johnson and John Brown, the Cardinals struggled to pull one out in OT against the Colts. They have plenty of talented pieces on their defense to keep them in games, but can they figure out their offensive issues? (Chris Cook)

  26. 26 Buffalo Bills (Previous: #22)

    Buffalo's performance against the Panthers was extremely disappointing. A tough matchup turned into a winnable game, but without LeSean McCoy playing like his usual self the offense stalled continuously. Still, the defense played well enough to keep the Bills alive, however it will be a long season if the offense is this inconsistent. (Toby Durant)

  27. 27 Chicago Bears (Previous: #27)

    After looking competitive against the defending NFC Champs in Week 1, Da Bears came crashing down to earth against Tampa. Where Mike Glennon looked poised at times against the Falcons, especially on the two-minute drill to close out the game, he looked terrible against his former team this past Sunday. As immobile in the pocket as always, Glennon lost the ball on a fumble and was sacked two more times, and threw two picks - one for a touchdown - just to put the icing on the Awful Cake. Worse still, Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen combined for an appalling 20 yards on 16 carries. Trubisky may not get the nod soon, but John Fox has to be seriously considering switching out Glennon for third string QB Mark Sanchez. Oh well, at least Leonard Floyd popped off on tape with backfield penetration and sheer hustle, even if it didn't show up on the stat sheet. (Gur Samuel)

  28. 28 Cleveland Browns (Previous: #29)

    Just one week after almost defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns failed to replicate their impressive performance against the Baltimore Ravens. DeShone Kizer looked like a rookie. He took too long to throw the ball and threw three interceptions. While the Browns will not compete this year, they are much improved from last season and Kizer will continue to develop and get better as the season progresses.

  29. 29 San Francisco 49ers (Previous: #31)


    This team has some bright spots on the roster; the defense is stingy and Carlos Hyde looks great. However, with Hoyer at QB and the receiving corps as it is, this team isn't going to get better results any time soon. (Remy Cabache)

  30. 30 Indianapolis Colts (Previous: #30)

    Unlike some of the teams at this lower end of the scale, the Colts aren't actively trying to tank in the way that, say, the Jets could be accused of. They are, however, victims of circumstance, and as in 2011 when Peyton Manning missed the season from injury, Luck being on the bench not only confirms how important he is to the team, but also reveals just how many glaring weaknesses there are in Indy. If Luck isn't back soon, there may come a point where Chuck Pagano writes the season off and shuts #12 down until 2018. (Gur Samuel)

  31. 31 Cincinnati Bengals (Previous: #28)

    The Bengals look downright dreadful so far. They have failed to score an offensive touchdown in both of their games. Andy Dalton looks broken and has not played like the Pro Bowl quarterback he was not too long ago. Letting Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler walk was a massive mistake, as the Bengals' offensive line looks straight-up awful so far. Things do not look pretty in Cincinnati and the Bengals must get it together soon or Marvin Lewis may find himself looking for a new job.

  32. 32 New York Jets (Previous: #32)

    Another week goes by and it looks increasingly likely that Sam Darnold will be lining up under center for the Jets in 2018. Josh McCown and the passing game look pretty bad. The running game is nonexistent. The defense just gave up 45 points to the Oakland Raiders. Brace yourselves Jets fans, because this year is not getting any prettier. 

Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?

Toby Durant

A passionate and opinionated writer, I am currently the NFL editor for RealSport. However, I also contribute to F1, WWE, Football, and other sections of the site, and I have covered the NFL International Series for RealSport and previously contributed to SB Nation.

 

I also have 10 years playing and coaching experience in American football, starting at the University of Nottingham and including a stint as defensive coordinator at Oxford Brookes University. I may be a Patriots fan but all aspects of the sport interest me, from guard play to special teams.

NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs retain top spot as Broncos rise

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