Week 2 added both clarity and confusion on team perceptions. A few clubs took a huge step backward after regular-season-opening victories while other squads earned a second look as potential contenders.
The Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked off their 2017 campaigns against bottom-tier squads, but the initial optics for both Florida clubs look promising.
For the most part, expectations met reality with two head-turning exceptions. The Denver Broncos walloped the Dallas Cowboys. Based on the Seattle Seahawks' tight battle with the rebuilding San Francisco 49ers, should we look at Pete Carroll's group as a mediocre club in 2017?
For context on the newest power rankings, take a look at the previous standings released prior to Sunday's matchups. After the 32-team listing, we'll delve into Week 2 narratives that affected the pecking order.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
2. Atlanta Falcons (2-0)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)
4. Green Bay Packers (1-1)
5. New England Patriots (1-1)
6. Oakland Raiders (2-0)
7. Denver Broncos (2-0)
8. Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
9. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
10. Baltimore Ravens (2-0)
11. New York Giants (0-1)
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
13. Miami Dolphins (1-0)
14. Carolina Panthers (2-0)
15. Detroit Lions (1-0)
16. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
17. Tennessee Titans (1-1)
18. Washington Redskins (1-1)
19. Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
20. Houston Texans (1-1)
21. New Orleans Saints (0-2)
22. Los Angeles Chargers (0-2)
23. Los Angeles Rams (1-1)
24. Arizona Cardinals (1-1)
25. Buffalo Bills (1-1)
26. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)
27. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)
28. Cleveland Browns (0-2)
29. San Francisco 49ers (0-2)
30. Chicago Bears (0-2)
31. Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
32. New York Jets (0-2)
Kansas City Chiefs Take Top Spot
In a very short time, we've learned injuries won't stop the Kansas City Chiefs. The team released veteran wideout Jeremy Maclin, but Tyreek Hill exploded on the national stage for seven catches, 133 yards and a touchdown against the New England Patriots.
In Week 1, the Chiefs found a bigger star in running back Kareem Hunt, who replaced Spencer Ware as the lead ball-carrier in the backfield. The rookie third-rounder racked up 246 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns in his NFL debut. Then, he followed up with 109 yards in total with two scores against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. The Toledo product also put the game away with a late rushing touchdown.
The Chiefs' resiliency doesn't stop on the offensive side of the ball. Safety Eric Berry suffered a ruptured Achilles in Week 1. As a result, Daniel Sorensen took on an expanded role and delivered three quarterback hits. He also led the team in tackles along with Eric Murray.
We often forget that coaching matters in the NFL, and Andy Reid ranks among the best head coaches without a Super Bowl ring. Through tireless preparation, the Chiefs will overcome obstacles and compete in January.
Denver Broncos Surge to No. 7
Initially, the Denver Broncos ranked in the bottom half of power rankings, but two weeks taught us a few things about this AFC West squad.
Head coach Vance Joseph isn't going to allow this club to fall by the wayside within the division, and the Broncos look every bit as impressive as the Oakland Raiders and Chiefs in their victories.
On Sunday, the Broncos dismantled the Dallas Cowboys at Sports Authority Field at Mile High with a distracting lightning delay that lasted approximately an hour. Furthermore, quarterback Trevor Siemian moved the ball up and down the field against a stingy secondary under defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
Denver's dominant Week 2 performance makes you question whether or not the Cowboys will finish as a playoff team. Broncos running back C.J. Anderson looks primed for a Pro Bowl season. He racked up 154 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2.
Right now, the AFC West remains a three-team race for the division title.
Seattle Seahawks Fall to No. 8 Despite Win
The Seahawks fought down to the bitter end with the 49ers in Sunday's contest. Quarterback Russell Wilson couldn't settle in the pocket and needed his legs to bail him out of trouble on multiple occasions.
In 2017, the Seahawks went seven quarters without scoring a touchdown until Wilson's late pocket scramble in which he found Paul Richardson in the end zone to put his team in the driver's seat.
Stemming from the offensive line issues, the running backs have struggled out of the backfield aside from seventh-rounder Chris Carson. Tight end Jimmy Graham has been non-existent through two games.
Carroll has ample time to tweak a few things, specifically in the backfield or offensive line. The Seahawks defense can't flourish if the offense fails to extend drives.
The Seahawks will win a non-competitive division, but they must address their roster voids to make a deep playoff run.