November 25, 2020

NFL Power Rankings: 49ers, Vikings drop dramatically heading into Week 2


With the 2020 season upon us, it’s time for a serious look at teams with Week 2 NFL Power Rankings.

The NFL Week 2 schedule is set to begin on Thursday with the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns doing battle. The Raiders will open up Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium against the New Orleans Saints to close out Week 2.

With the lines set for Week 2 after a tremendous opening slate of football, we provide you with the NFL power rankings.

NFL Week 2 schedule: Game-by-game predictions and lines

Skip to specific sections below:

1. Kansas City Chiefs (1)

In Week 1, we saw why the Chiefs are the team to beat in the NFL and could repeat as Super Bowl Champions. Patrick Mahomes earned his record contract , Chris Jones (1.5 sacks in Week 1) is living up to his deal and rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the biggest star of the game. A Week 2 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers could be another blowout victory.

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2. Baltimore Ravens (2)

The Ravens handled their business and made it look easy, in Week 1. Lamar Jackson shined, completing 20-of-25 passes for 275 yards and three scores. Baltimore’s offense backfield committee rushed for 107 yards and two scores. Meanwhile, this defense forced three turnovers with a pair of sacks. Deshaun Watson is in trouble against this team in Week 2.

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3. New Orleans Saints (4)

In the NFL’s Game of the Week, the Saints demonstrated why this is their best shot at winning a Super Bowl in years. Alvin Kamara, who signed a lucrative extension days before the game, got very comfortable in the end zone. More impressively, the Saints’ defense put pressure on Tom Brady and frustrated the best quarterback in NFL history. This is a scary, scary team.

4. Seattle Seahawks (7)

When Seattle’s offense is clicking, there are few things prettier to watch in the NFL. The passing attack dominated Atlanta’s secondary as Russell Wilson (31-of-35, 322 yards, four touchdowns) threw with surgeon-like precision. It’s evident this offense is ready to roll, but the defense must step up for the Seahawks to even merit top-three consideration.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (8)

It wasn’t always pretty on Monday Night Football, but the Steelers made plays on both sides of the ball when it mattered. One of the NFL’s best defenses held Saquon Barkley to six rushing yards on 15 carries, while quarterback Daniel Jones threw two interceptions and averaged six yards per pass attempt. If Big Ben stays healthy, this is the Steelers best team in years.

6. San Francisco 49ers (3)

The 49ers already had to deal with the Seahawks in the NFC West, now the Cardinals will be a problem. This is the best division in football and San Francisco’s margin for error this season is slimmer than ever. Our biggest concern is Jimmy Garoppolo, who didn’t exactly inspire confidence that he can thrive in big games. Fortunately, he won’t need to for this team to dismantle the New York Jets in Week 2.

NFL Week 2 odds and one-liners

7. Green Bay Packers (12)

The reports of Aaron Rodgers’ demise were greatly exaggerated. While you can point to Minnesota’s revamped and inexperienced secondary, Rodgers has also struggled against Mike Zimmer’s defenses in previous seasons. On Sunday, he ripped the Vikings’ defense to shreds. A 364-yard, four-touchdown performance proves Rodgers can still play at an elite level and that makes the Packers a Super Bowl contender.

8. Buffalo Bills (9)

Buffalo’s path to an AFC East crown started with an utter thrashing of the New York Jets. The Bills’ defense looked sharp, shutting down New York’s rushing game and making life difficult on Sam Darnold. More importantly for Buffalo, Allen looked sharper with 33-of-46 attempts completed and three total touchdowns. This team should have no problem beating the Dolphins in Week 2.

Buffalo Bills season preview: Why the Bills can win the AFC Easat

9. Tennessee Titans (11)

It might not have been a great performance in Week 1’s win over Denver. With that said, Mike Vrabel’s squad did just enough to come out on top on “Monday Night Football.” That included Derrick Henry going for over 100 yards on the ground after showing up in style. Ryan Tannehill also played mistake-free football. These two components have Tennessee in the top 10 heading into Week 2.

10. Dallas Cowboys (5)

Maybe Jason Garrett wasn’t the only problem. In his Cowboys’ debut, Mike McCarthy’s decision cost his team a chance to play in overtime. While fans will point fingers to the iffy OPI call that sealed the Cowboys’ fate, that was the final ingredient in a recipe of issues. The secondary is suspect and right tackle will be a turnstile until La’el Collins comes off injured reserve. The Cowboys can still be an excellent team, but they don’t look like a Super Bowl contender.

NFL Week 1: Winners, losers from Rams’ controversial win over Cowboys

NFL Power Rankings 11-20

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6)

Entering the season, many picked the Buccaneers as the team to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LV. It’s certainly possible that happens, but it’s time to recognize Tom Brady is in decline. He had one of the worst quarterback performances in Week 1 and kept the Buccaneers from keeping this game close. Tampa Bay’s defense looks respectable and Mike Evans will get healthier, but this team isn’t quite as good as some hoped.

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12. Arizona Cardinals (17)

We expected Arizona’s offense to take flight with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins. Sure enough, it took this unit to another level and the All-Pro receiver had his way with San Francisco’s secondary. Of course, the Cardinals don’t upset the 49ers if not for Kyler Murray’s dazzling touchdown run and this defense stepping up in the second half. This is a playoff team.

13. New England Patriots (15)

NFL teams really let the Patriots have Cam Newton. The former NFL MVP made his debut in New England in Week 1 and he made his presence felt early. Any concerns about Newton’s foot were answered in an outstanding performance that lit up the NFL world. Next week’s Sunday Night Football clash against the Seahawks will be an epic Week 2 battle.

14. Los Angeles Rams (19)

The Rams seemed destined to spend the 2020 season sitting at the bottom of the NFC West. An overhaul to the offense signaled a transition year, but we didn’t see that in Week 1. Instead, new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley’s defense looked outstanding and contained an electrifying offense. If Jared Goff protects the football and the Rams’ offense can be efficient, this team has a shot at winning the division

15. Minnesota Vikings (13)

It turns out, playing without your star edge rusher and relying on untested cornerbacks can be costly. When the Vikings couldn’t immediately pressure Rodgers, he dropped dimes deep down the field with Davante Adams and Allen Lazard making huge plays. Minnesota’s offense can put up points, but Kirk Cousins and this secondary might be a problem all year.

Related: Winners/losers from Packers victory over Vikings

16. Philadelphia Eagles (14)

Should we give Philadelphia a mulligan given that it was without seven starters, the entire right side of its offensive line included, last week? Perhaps. Even then, blowing a 17-point lead to the Washington Football team, only to lose by double digits is about as ugly as it gets. Carson Wentz’s performance was disastrous, too.

17. Indianapolis Colts (10)

Philip Rivers. The future Hall of Famer made his Colts debut last week, losing to the lowly Jaguars in the process. He’s now thrown multiple interceptions in five of his past eight starts. To add insult to injury (literally), the Colts lost starting running back Marlon Mack for the season with an Achilles injury.

18. Las Vegas Raiders (25)

There’s still some issues on the defensive side of the ball for Las Vegas, primarily having to rely on two young corners in that of Damon Arnette and Trayvon Mullen. Even then, Week 1’s 34-30 win over the Panthers was about as impressive as it gets. Derek Carr turned the corner. Running back Josh Jacobs scored three touchdown. The Raiders’ first game as the face of Nevada sports went swimmingly.

19. Chicago Bears (29)

Overcoming a multi-score deficit in the fourth quarter against a division rival is one thing. Seeing much-maligned quarterback Mitchell Trubisky throw three fourth-quarter touchdowns is a completely different thing. It might have been against a bad Lions team, but this was super impressive. After all, the 21 points Chicago scored in that final stanza is more than it dropped in 10 games a season ago.

20. Atlanta Falcons (20)

Atlanta’s going to be a tale of two different units in 2020. Matt Ryan tossed for 450 yards and completed nine passes to three different wide receivers. That’s impressive. Without Vic Beasley and Desmond Trufant, two key veterans the Falcons moved on from, they allowed four touchdowns passes by Russell Wilson in Week 1’s loss. It’s not going to be enough for this team moving forward.

NFL Power Rankings 21-32

21. Los Angeles Chargers (23)

Pulling off a narrow win against Joe Burrow and the Bengals in his first NFL start is what it is. Not a tremendous performance from Anthony Lynn’s squad in Week 1. As of right now, this team is not in the same stratosphere as the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. That’s the harsh reality.

22. Houston Texans (18)

Where to start with head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien. Horrible coaching decisions were part of the reason Houston was blown out by Kansas City in Week 1. More than that, the downgrade on offense from DeAndre Hopkins to the likes of Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb will be the Texans’ downfall in 2020.

Related: Winners/losers from Texans blowout Week 1 loss

23. Denver Broncos (22)

Absolutely hate to see it. Denver entered Week 1 with star edge rusher Von Miller likely lost for the season. Courtland Sutton was ruled out for the opener. Meanwhile, Pro Bowlers Phillip Lindsay and A.J. Bouye suffered injuries. Adding to the mess, head coach Vic Fangio can’t handle game management if his career depended on it. All of this led to a narrow two-point loss to Tennessee on Monday Night Football.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (31)

Gardner Minshew’s 19-of-20 outing against the Colts in Week 1 was a recod-setting performance from the young quarterback. He also connected with rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. on a touchdown. These are the two future battery makes in Duval. Can they come through again against Tennessee in Week 2?

25. Carolina Panthers (21)

It’s going to be all about the defense in Caroina this season. A young unit, this side of the ball yielded three touchdowns to star Raiders running back Josh Jacobs in Week 1. We’re aso concerned about a young secondary that was picked apart by Derek Carr in a 34-30 loss last week.

26. New York Giants (24)

Without Golden Tate in the mix last week against the Steelers, second-year quarterback Daniel Jones struggled big time. That incuded an interception to cap off a 19-play drive. Meanwhile, Saquon Barkley went for six yards on 15 attempts. If these two don’t pick it up, the Giants are going to be in major trouble.

27. Washington Football Team (31)

Washington’s comeback win over Philadelphia was among the biggest surprises of Week 1. Down 17-0, Dwayne Haskins led the team to 27 unanswered points. The defense, led by Chase Young, stepped up big time. Can this team repeat it against the Arizona Cardinals come Sunday?

Related: Washington’s Week 1 win over Philadelphia

28. Cincinnati Bengals (28)

Joe Burrow played pretty well in his NFL debut. In fact, the Bengals would have forced overtime against the Chargers had Randy Bullock had not missed a chip-shot field goal late in the game. At the very least, Cincinnati seems more competitive than last season.

29. Cleveland Browns (16)

Ugly. There’s no other way to go about it. Baker Mayfield continuing to make the very same mistakes that defined his sophomore campaign. Odell Beckham Jr. struggling to do anything of substance. It al resulted in a humiliating 38-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Can Cleveland rebound against the Bengals Thursday night?

Related: Browns embarrassed in season opener

30. Miami Dolphins (27)

At some point, the Dolphins are going to have to turn to rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Ryan Fitzpatrick just did not have it in a blowout loss to the New England Patriots last week. He also lacks the skill-position players to lift him up. Will it be Tua time if Fitz struggles against an elite Bills defense in Week 2?

31. Detroit Lions (26)

Blowing a 17-point fourth quarter lead at home against Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears was about as bad as it gets to open the 2020 season. One now has to wonder whether Matt Patricia will be the first head coach fired this season. Just ugly stuff.

32. New York Jets (30)

Boasting the weakest skill-position group in the NFL, New York had no real chance against the Bills last week. Adam Gase is in over his head. It’s not going to get better against an angry San Francisco 49ers team in Week 2.

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Author: Matt Johnson