NFL Power Rankings: B/R's Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 2
Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season didn't disappoint.
OK, that's not entirely accurate. In Cleveland, it most assuredly did—the most-hyped team of the offseason got drilled in an effort that landed somewhere in between putrid and pathetic.
But elsewhere around the league, plenty of things went right. The Baltimore Ravens opened the season (and a can of you-know-what) with an offensive explosion against the lowly Miami Dolphins. The Minnesota Vikings turned back the clock with an old-school offense in an emphatic win against the Atlanta Falcons.
And the defending champs sent a clear message that they aren't going anywhere by stomping a mudhole in the Pittsburgh Steelers on national television.
The first overall pick in the 2019 draft led a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback that ended in the season's first tie. Rookie wide receivers for the Ravens and Redskins had huge first games. And as it turns out, the Indianapolis Colts might not be out of Luck after all.
As they do every week, Bleacher Report NFL analysts Brent Sobleski, Gary Davenport and Brad Gagnon have gotten together to sort through the first weekend of NFL action and slot the teams from worst to first.
This week's edition features another AFC East sandwich.
One of the pieces of bread is looking a tad moldy, though.
Note: "High" and "Low" signifies the highest and lowest individual rankings in a given week.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-1)
Last Week: 32
Week 1 Result: Lost vs. Baltimore 59-10
If Week 1 was any indication, you can Gorilla Glue the Miami Dolphins to the bottom spot in these power rankings.
The Dolphins were annihilated by the Ravens in Week 1. Per Reuters, Baltimore not only set a franchise record for points scored in a game but also came just three points shy of tying the league record for most points in a season opener.
We knew that Miami wasn't going to be any good in 2019. Heck, the Dolphins know they aren't any good—they spent the latter portion of the offseason shedding veteran talent and traded their best offensive lineman (Laremy Tunsil) in a package that netted a pair of first-round draft picks.
But there's a difference between "bad" and "dusted at home by seven touchdowns" bad.
To say that it's going to be a long season in South Florida is one whopper of an understatement.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, a number of Dolphins players contacted their agents about requesting trades. If that's to be believed, more than a few players want no part of that long campaign.
31. New York Giants (0-1)
Last Week: 27
Week 1 Result: Lost at Dallas 35-17
It's not easy to pile up 470 yards of total offense and lose in the NFL.
Not only did the Giants accomplish that feat Sunday in Dallas, but they also lost convincingly.
At first glance, it looks like Big Blue played relatively well. Eli Manning topped 300 passing yards. Saquon Barkley eclipsed 100 rushing yards on just 11 carries. And tight end Evan Engram sailed past the century mark on 11 receptions with a score.
The problem is that the Giants couldn't gain yardage as fast as they gave it up. Even though the Cowboys struggled to run the ball, New York surrendered a whopping 494 yards. Dak Prescott accounted for over 400 of them, throwing four touchdown passes without a pick.
We suspected that the Giants were going to struggle defensively in 2019.
But the unit we saw against the Cowboys was exponentially worse than that.
It's not going to matter who plays quarterback if New York can't stop anyone.
The Giants couldn't even slow down the Cowboys in Week 1.
30. Detroit Lions (0-0-1)
Last Week: 26
Week 1 Result: Tied at Arizona 27-27
For most of Sunday's matchup with the Cardinals, the Detroit Lions had things well in hand. They had stymied the Arizona offense and led 24-6 in the fourth quarter.
Then something terrible happened.
The Lions Detroited.
They weren't quite able to pull off a full Detroit and lose the game, but they surrendered 18 unanswered points to a team that had done nothing for three-plus quarters and eventually found themselves the not-winners, not-losers of the first tie of the 2019 season.
Detroit was in complete control of this game right up until it wasn't. What looked like an easy win wasn't. While there were many things this contest was not, there's one thing that it was: a reminder that the Lions are not a good football team.
"Detroit choked away a 24-6 fourth-quarter lead and was lucky to even tie the game thanks to Tramaine Brock's dropped interception with five seconds left to play," Sobleski said. "The Lions did everything to give this game away, and they would have against a better team.
"This year's eighth overall draft pick, T.J. Hockenson, became only the second tight end since the league merger in 1970 to post 100 receiving yards and score a touchdown in his debut. So the performance wasn't all bad."
It was just mostly bad.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1)
Last Week: 23
Week 1 Result: Lost vs. San Francisco 31-17
The 2019 season is a make-or-break one for Tampa quarterback Jameis Winston. At the end of this season, the Bucs will have to decide whether Winston is their quarterback of the future or a waste of the first overall pick in the 2015 draft.
The problem—much as it's been the past four years—is that Winston can't get out of his own way.
Against the 49ers, he barely completed more than half of his passes for fewer than 200 yards and tossed three interceptions—two of which were returned for touchdowns. He all but single-handedly gift-wrapped this game for the opposition.
The arrival of new head coach Bruce Arians was supposed to bring out the best in Winston—to help him finally take the next step.
But maybe the cold, hard truth is that there is no next step.
And this flawed, error-prone passer is as good as Winston is going to get.
28. Washington Redskins (0-1)
Last Week: 29
Week 1 Result: Lost at Philadelphia 32-27
For a time Sunday, it looked like the Washington Redskins were going to pull off Week 1's biggest upset. They raced out to a 17-0 lead over the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field and led 20-7 at halftime.
During intermission, though, Washington apparently remembered it isn't a good team, because the Redskins were outscored 25-7 in the second half and fell to 0-1.
Case Keenum's debut with the team went about as well as Washington could dare hope, as he recorded 380 passing yards, three scores and no interceptions. Rookie receiver Terry McLaurin shone as well, hauling in five throws for 125 yards and a score.
The NFL debut of second-year tailback Derrius Guice was, um, less auspicious. The 22-year-old, who missed last year with a torn ACL, carried the ball 10 times—and gained 18 yards. As if that wasn't bad enough, Guice hurt his non-ACL-injured knee and will miss some time, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Maybe making Adrian Peterson a healthy scratch wasn't the wisest of decisions.
27. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
Last Week: 31
Week 1 Result: Lost at Seattle 21-20
If there was one team that won even though it lost, it has to be the Cincinnati Bengals, who headed to CenturyLink Field, arguably the hardest stadium to play in.
More than a few pundits expected the Bengals to get blasted by the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1.
Instead, they were in the game the whole way and led in the second half. Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton had his best performance in a long time, passing for a career-best 418 yards and a pair of touchdowns in new head coach Zac Taylor's debut.
The Bengals outgained the Seahawks by nearly 200 yards, and the NFL's worst defense in 2018 allowed fewer than 250 yards of total offense. But Cincinnati also committed three turnovers and made just enough miscues to allow Seattle to steal a win late.
Still, it was a better-than-expected debut for the Bengals, who may be a tougher out than we thought—if tailback Joe Mixon's ankle injury is indeed healed sooner rather than later.
26. Denver Broncos (0-1)
Last Week: 24
Week 1 Result: Lost at Oakland 24-16
The 2019 Denver Broncos look a lot like the 2018 Broncos. And the 2017 Broncos.
That's not a compliment.
The hope in Denver this year was that Joe Flacco would make just enough plays to accentuate a strong running game and stout defense.
Yeah. About that.
Against an Oakland defense that was dead-last in the NFL in both points allowed and sacks in 2018, the Denver offense did next to nothing. Flacco looked like the old quarterback Baltimore benched in favor of Lamar Jackson last season. The rushing attack came up short of 100 yards.
But the real surprise was Vic Fangio's defense. Derek Carr could count his incomplete passes on one hand. Tailback Josh Jacobs racked up a pair of scores in his NFL debut.
And the Broncos were beaten more soundly than the scoreboard indicated.
Facing an angry Chicago Bears team Sunday at Mile High should be fun.
25. Arizona Cardinals (0-0-1)
Last Week: 30
Week 1 Result: Tied vs. Detroit 27-27
For the first three quarters of Sunday's tilt between the Lions and the Cardinals, it looked like the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray era was going to get off to a rocky start. The offense had been a hot mess, Murray's passer rating was in the 20s and the Redbirds trailed Detroit 24-6.
And then it was like a lightbulb came on. Whether it was with quick passes or deep throws, Murray and his offense started to click. Buoyed by big games from tailback David Johnson and veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals came roaring back to tie the score.
A tie is how things ended—a fitting conclusion to an odd game that left Gagnon scratching his head.
"This team could skyrocket further or plummet next week," he said. "If indeed the offense started to take off, like in the fourth quarter and overtime against the Lions, we could have something special on our hands. But if that was an anomaly against a bad opponent, it'll be an up-and-down year. The jury just started deliberating, and this is a complicated case."
24. Oakland Raiders (1-0)
Last Week: 28
Week 1 Result: Won vs. Denver 24-16
The Oakland Raiders have been through quite the tumultuous couple of weeks. Something to do with a brouhaha about a wide receiver or something.
When it came time for Oakland to actually play, though, it answered the bell.
The Raiders' eight-point win over the rival Broncos comes with a caveat (Denver is awful), but there's no denying it provided reason for optimism for a team that went 4-12 last year in Jon Gruden's first season back in town.
Quarterback Derek Carr misfired on just four of his 26 passes.
Tyrell Williams looked the part of a No. 1 wide receiver for one game at least, catching six passes for 105 yards and a score.
Rookie tailback Josh Jacobs was fantastic in his NFL debut, piling up 113 total yards and finding the end zone twice.
And a pass rush that recorded all of 13 sacks last season dropped Joe Flacco three times.
The Raiders probably won't win again in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs. They might not even be good.
But they're better than last year—by a fair margin.
23. New York Jets (0-1)
Last Week: 19
Week 1 Result: Lost vs. Buffalo 17-16
For most of Sunday's game at Met Life Stadium, it looked the Jets had the situation in hand—even on a day in which the team managed just 223 yards on offense. An opportunistic defense forced four Buffalo turnovers, including a pick-six by new arrival C.J. Mosley. At the outset of the fourth quarter, the Jets had a 16-3 lead.
It didn't hold. Courtesy of two unanswered fourth-quarter scores (including a 38-yard pass to John Brown with just under three minutes left), the Bills came roaring back to stun New York.
The loss raised real concerns about a Jets offense that was expected to look much better under new head coach Adam Gase. Sam Darnold managed just 175 passing yards despite 41 attempts. New York's leading receiver (Jamison Crowder) averaged fewer than eight yards a catch. And while Le'Veon Bell topped 90 total yards and scored a touchdown in his Jets debut, he averaged just 3.5 yards a carry.
Next week's Monday night tilt with the Browns will come with a side of desperation for both teams.
"I have zero confidence in Gase, whose tenure with the Jets got off to a nightmarish start," Gagnon said. "Your team can't blow a 16-point lead to a division rival at home in your debut, and your offense can't generate eight points when you're supposed to be an offensive guru. This could be an immensely disappointing season for Gang Green."
22. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
Last Week: 18
Week 1 Result: Lost vs. Kansas City 40-26
Outside of Miami, there isn't a squad that had a worse Week 1 than the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It's not that the Jaguars were beaten by the Chiefs. That's bad—especially the part where Jacksonville's vaunted defense gave up 40 points, as well as 198 receiving yards and three scores to Sammy Watkins. But it wasn't totally unexpected.
It got much, much worse.
According to NFL.com, quarterback Nick Foles suffered a fractured clavicle that will require surgery. The Jags are placing him on injured reserve, although they hope to get him back later in the season.
Rookie Gardner Minshew II played well in Foles' stead, passing for 275 yards and two scores with a passer rating over 120. But losing their brand-new $88 million quarterback at the start of his tenure with the team is an absolute killer.
21. San Francisco 49ers (1-0)
Last Week: 20
Week 1 Result: Won at Tampa Bay 31-17
On behalf of the sport of football, we'd like to apologize to anyone who sat through all four quarters of Sunday's slopfest in Tampa. Penalties wiped out at least four touchdowns, and there were more defensive touchdowns than offensive ones.
The 49ers won the game, but it felt more like the Buccaneers lost it.
Jimmy Garoppolo's shaky preseason carried over into the first game that counted. San Francisco's three-headed rushing attack of Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert totaled only 100 yards on 30 carries, although Coleman was a spectator for much of the game after suffering a high-ankle sprain. San Fran gave the ball away twice and committed 11 penalties.
Oh, and linebacker Kwon Alexander got ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit to Jameis Winston.
While it's always good to get a win, this showing didn't inspire a ton of confidence in the Niners factoring into the NFC West race in 2019.
20. Atlanta Falcons (0-1)
Last Week: 14
Week 1 Result: Lost at Minnesota 28-12
The Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings came into Week 1 in a similar situation—fringe contenders coming off disappointing seasons who were looking to show they're ready to contend in 2019.
That's where the similarities end though—because only one of these teams looked the part of a contender Sunday.
Atlanta wasn't it.
At first glance, Atlanta's 345 yards of total offense doesn't look too bad. But much of that yardage came with game well in hand, the Falcons committed three critical turnovers and the Falcons managed less than 75 yards on the ground after falling behind early.
Add in that the Falcons were gashed on the ground to the tune of 172 yards, and Atlanta's disappointment has continued into the 2019 season.
Injury was added to insult as well. Per NFL.com, rookie first-rounder Chris Lindstrom suffered a broken foot in the game that landed the young guard in injured reserve,
If there's a silver lining, it's that the NFC South didn't have the best of weeks, with Carolina and Tampa Bay also falling on Sunday.
19. Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Last Week: 9
Week 1 Result: Lost vs. Tennessee 43-13
The 2019 Cleveland Browns entered the season with two foreign concepts: hope and hype.
Based on their Week 1 performance, neither appears to have been remotely justified.
After being humiliated by the Titans at home, the Browns look far more like the tomato cans of years past than the supposed playoff contender they seemed to be heading into the year.
The last time the Browns committed this many penalties in a game, Paul Brown was their head coach during the 1951 season. After getting within two in the second half, the Browns immediately allowed a 75-yard screen pass for a score and then turned it over on successive possessions.
The Titans converted both into touchdowns, and they later returned a third Baker Mayfield pick for another score.
"Browns fans endured two decades of awful football," Sobleski said. "Somehow, Cleveland's 30-point loss to Tennessee may have been the most embarrassing loss during that stretch because of expectations heaped upon the team. Sure, Cleveland is far more talented overall, but that doesn't matter when the group plays undisciplined football and lost its composure. Eighteen penalties for 182 yards is downright disgraceful."
"It didn't take long for the shine to get knocked off the Clowns," Davenport wrote. "Just a miserable, sloppy, undisciplined effort in Freddie Kitchens' debut as head coach. So much for expectations. Now it's time to see whether the Browns can handle adversity before the season gets away from them."
18. Buffalo Bills (1-0)
Last Week: 22
Week 1 Result: Won at New York Jets 17-16
It was deja vu all over again for the Buffalo Bills in Week 1.
Second-year quarterback Josh Allen turned in an uneven performance. Allen's completion percentage (64.9) was a welcome sight after he failed to complete 53 percent of his passes as a rookie. So was the game-winning dart to wide receiver John Brown, who finished with seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown in his Bills debut.
The four turnovers? Not so much.
The Bills scored only three points through three quarters, but they averaged more than five yards per carry and surrendered less than 225 total yards. That allowed Allen to eke out a one-point win with a fourth-quarter surge.
Run the ball, play defense, stay close and try to steal the game late. That's how the Bills were competitive over the second half of the 2018 season, and it's likely their best bet to be competitive this year as well.
17. Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
Last Week: 26
Week 1 Result: Lost at Los Angeles Chargers 30-24 (OT)
Ever since Andrew Luck's stunning retirement, we've all been wondering what the Indianapolis Colts would look like with Jacoby Brissett at the helm.
The answer is not bad.
Yes, the Colts fell in overtime to the Chargers. But it isn't Brissett's fault that the defense allowed 30 points and let the Bolts drive the opening kick of OT in for a game-winning touchdown.
The Colts offense held up their end of the bargain. Brissett threw a pair of scoring strikes to TY Hilton and posted a passer rating over 120. Marlon Mack gashed the Chargers for 174 yards on 25 carries. All told, the Colts tallied a respectable 376 yards of total offense.
However, the Colts defense allowed 435.
"These Colts are better than I expected," Davenport said. "Combine that with an impressive outing from Tennessee and Jacksonville's disaster under center, and the AFC South may well be even more wide-open than I thought—unless the Texans take charge of the division."
"The Brissett-led Colts gave the Chargers everything they could handle," Sobleski added. "Normally, a loss causes a squad to tumble in the rankings. Instead, the shock of Luck's retirement has worn off, and everyone realized Indianapolis is still pretty good after going toe-to-toe with one of the AFC's best teams."
16. Tennessee Titans (1-0)
Last Week: 25
Week 1 Result: Won at Cleveland 43-13
Although the Tennessee Titans have posted three straight winning seasons and nearly made the playoffs in 2018, they generated little buzz this summer. Just look at where they started in these rankings.
It's only one game, but it appears as though we might owe the Titans an apology.
Although the Browns served up this game on a silver platter, give the Titans their due credit. The pass rush harassed Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield all day. The defense picked off Mayfield three times, and the Titans converted all three turnovers into touchdowns. Tailback Derrick Henry had well over 150 total yards, and quarterback Marcus Mariota threw three touchdowns without a pick.
It's dangerous to read too much into a game where one team played so horribly. But if the Titans can keep this momentum rolling next week against the Colts, the AFC South may be even more wide-open than we thought.
15. Carolina Panthers (0-1)
Last Week: 13
Week 1 Result: Lost vs. Los Angeles Rams 30-27
If you're into moral victories, the Carolina Panthers gave the defending NFC champions all they could handle in Week 1. Tailback Christian McCaffrey was a force, piling up a jaw-dropping 209 total yards and finding the end zone twice.
However, moral victories don't do you much good in the standings. Carolina surrendered a staggering 166 yards on the ground to the Rams and sacked signal-caller Jared Goff only once.
Add in a pair of Cam Newton turnovers, and you have Carolina's eighth loss in nine games dating back to the midway point of the 2018 season. That one win was against New Orleans in a game where the Saints rested most of their starters.
It's hardly time to panic, but the Panthers need to shake this loss off quickly and get ready to host the Buccaneers on a short week.
It's already must-win time.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)
Last Week: 10
Week 1 Result: Lost at New England 33-3
Sunday's season opener against the defending Super Bowl champions was one heck of a test for a Steelers team that underwent major changes this offseason.
They failed it miserably.
James Conner and the rushing attack were nonexistent, in part because the Steelers trailed from the get-go. Pats corner Stephon Gilmore rendered new No. 1 wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster largely irrelevant. Pittsburgh's pass rush barely messed up Tom Brady's hair, sacking him only once and affording him all day to throw the ball.
That worked out about as well as one would expect.
"It's rare that you see the Steelers get absolutely waxed, even by a team as good as the Pats," Davenport said. "Pittsburgh barely gained 300 yards (a lot of which came in garbage time) and allowed more than 450. It's fair to wonder if other teams are going to copy how the Patriots defended the Steelers: take Smith Schuster away and dare Ben Roethlisberger to beat you with secondary receivers."
13. Seattle Seahawks (1-0)
Last Week: 15
Week 1 Result: Won vs. Cincinnati 21-20
As far as victories go, this one may have left a sour taste in the mouths of Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson and a Seattle team that was outplayed much of the afternoon by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Seattle's vaunted rushing attack was stymied, gaining only 72 yards and averaging less than three yards per carry. The Seattle offense as a whole was unimpressive, gaining a meager 233 total yards against a Bengals defense that allowed well over 400 yards per contest a year ago.
The Seahawks O-line also did no better protecting Wilson than it did opening holes for Chris Carson.
Yes, Seattle got the W, but it was an ugly victory. The Seahawks now have quite a bit of work to do ahead of their Week 2 trip to Pittsburgh.
Sobleski expects Seattle to get it together, though.
"The Seahawks barely secured a victory at home against the Bengals, but a win is a win. Furthermore, the organization's two biggest offseason additions, wide receiver DK Metcalf and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, both played extremely well. This group will continue to grow together and get better as the season progresses."
12. Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
Last Week: 16
Week 1 Result: Won vs. Atlanta 28-12
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Cousins managed only 89 passing yards against the Falcons. The $28 million man attempted only 10 throws the entire game, and yet the Vikings rolled.
Last year, Minnesota had one of the worst rushing attacks in the league. But the Vikings racked up 172 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries against the Falcons, which took pressure off Cousins.
Minnesota's defense deserves some of the credit, too. Although the Vikings gave up 345 yards of offense, they forced three Falcons turnovers (including two Matt Ryan picks) and sacked Ryan four times.
"I'm still a little skeptical of these Vikings," Davenport said. "I have my doubts as to whether that throwback game script will hold up in the long term. But there's no denying that Minnesota got the start to the season it wanted. The question now is whether the Vikings can keep it going next week at Lambeau."
Gagnon, on the other hand, is onboard with the run-first approach.
"Love the new offensive approach from Minnesota," he said. "It can't be easy to essentially take the ball away from your big-money quarterback, but the reality is Kirk Cousins is better used in a low-pressure role, and it appears the Vikings have smashmouth ingredients. We know they have the defense, and if they can keep winning like this, they'll be a tough out in January."
11. Houston Texans (0-1)
Last Week: 12
Week 1 Result: Lost at New Orleans 30-28
The best game of Week 1 was unquestionably the first of the two Monday-night affairs, an incredibly entertaining game in New Orleans won by the home team on a 58-yard field goal as time expired.
There's no shame for the Texans in losing to the Saints in the Superdome, especially after Deshaun Watson's thrilling touchdown pass to Kenny Stills with less than 40 seconds to go gave Houston the lead at 28-27.
But one thing that happened Monday night should concern the Texans, and it's something painfully familiar: the sight of Watson running for his life.
Granted, new left tackle Laremy Tunsil hasn't been in town two weeks yet, but when the Texans traded two first-round picks to Miami for him, they probably envisioned a front five that would allow fewer than six sacks and 11 quarterback hits.
That's what Houston surrendered in Week 1.
Losing in last-second fashion stings in the short term. But if that line doesn't get it together, the pain will be much more enduring.
10. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
Last Week: 17
Week 1 Result: Won at Miami 59-10
The Ravens had themselves a day against the NFL's worst team in Week 1.
As one might expect from a game in which the Ravens nearly put up 60 points, just about everyone on the Baltimore offense went off. Veteran tailback Mark Ingram II piled up 107 rushing yards and two scores in his first game with the Ravens. Rookie receiver Marquise Brown exploded for 147 yards in his NFL debut and scored on his first two career receptions.
The star of the show was quarterback Lamar Jackson, who had had more touchdowns than incomplete passes. The second-year signal-caller went 17-of-20 for 324 yards and five scores, giving him a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
After that wunderkind performance, Jackson couldn't resist taking a shot at critics.
"Not bad for a running back," he said.
"The Ravens are the class of the AFC North until a division rival proves it's on the same level," Sobleski said. "The Browns stunk. The Steelers looked inept. The Bengals played better than expected yet still lost. Lamar Jackson and Co. came out flying high and obliterated the rebuilding Dolphins, as they should have."
9. Chicago Bears (0-1)
Last Week: 6
Week 1 Result: Lost vs, Green Bay 10-3
Perhaps the Bears should give their starters a little more action in the preseason moving forward.
Their offense never quite managed to shake off the preseason rust during their loss to the rival Packers.
As a team, the Bears managed only 46 rushing yards on 15 carries. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was a mess, posting a 62.1 passer rating and throwing a back-breaking interception late that sealed the deal.
"Chicago's defense is great," Davenport said. "And the offense will play better moving forward than their miserable effort against the Pack. But it's fair to wonder if the Bears won 12 games last year in spite of Trubisky's play more than because of it. Getting just a field goal at home in a loss to their most hated rival is most assuredly not the start to the season the Bears had in mind."
8. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0)
Last Week: 11
Week 1 Result: Won vs. Indianapolis 30-24 (OT)
If Melvin Gordon III was hoping the Los Angeles Chargers would realize how badly they needed him after Sunday's game with the Colts, that didn't quite work out as planned.
If the Chargers' overtime win was any indication, the Bolts will be just fine whether Gordon is in L.A. or not.
With Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson leading the charge in Gordon's absence, the Chargers piled up 125 yards on 21 carries. Ekeler also caught six passes for 96 yards and two scores, bringing his total stat line to 154 yards and three trips to the end zone.
The Chargers amassed 435 yards of total offense in the win, and the AFC West has the look of a two-horse race between a pair of talented teams.
The Chiefs are more explosive. The Chargers are better defensively. And just like in 2018, this could go down to the wire.
7. Green Bay Packers (1-0)
Last Week: 7
Week 1 Result: Won at Chicago 10-3
Even against the Bears' stifling defense, the Green Bay Packers were likely disappointed that Aaron Rodgers and the offense managed only 213 total yards and one touchdown.
However, the Packers couldn't have been disappointed with the performance of their retooled defense. Although the Bears' offensive woes Thursday night were somewhat self-inflicted, the Packers still held them out of the end zone and limited them to 254 total yards.
After investing heavily in its pass rush this offseason, Green Bay sacked Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky five times Thursday. The Packers also snagged a late interception that sealed the win.
Green Bay doesn't have time to rest on its laurels, though. This coming Sunday, the Packers host a Vikings team that flattened the Falcons in Week 1.
The NFC North should be to be fun to watch in 2019.
"I'm not ready to dock my Super Bowl team based on some growing pains in that new offense," Gagnon wrote. "The revamped Green Bay defense was phenomenal Thursday. That looks like a top-five unit. And everybody struggles against the Bears defense!"
6. Dallas Cowboys (1-0)
Last Week: 8
Week 1 Result: Won vs. New York Giants 35-17
Let's get the negatives out of the way first. While the Cowboys dispatched their NFC East rivals with relative ease, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli can't be thrilled that they gave up 470 yards of offense to a bad Giants team.
Other than that though, it's smiles all around.
In his first game as the Cowboys' play-caller, Kellen Moore debuted an aerial buzzsaw on offense. With Ezekiel Elliott working his way back after his lengthy holdout and the run game scuffling as a result, Moore handed the offensive reins to Dak Prescott and the passing game.
That resulted in 405 passing yards and four touchdowns to four different receivers.
Said performance led Gagnon to make the call: The Cowboys are legit.
"Couldn't have asked for more from Dallas out of the gate," Gagnon said. "Dak Prescott looks like he's taken a huge step forward, and Michael Gallup's rise could transform this team by giving Prescott another elite weapon. We have to get used to the idea that this is a Super Bowl contender."
5. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
Last Week: 5
Week 1 Result: Won vs. Washington 32-27
Who says you can't go home again?
In a game where the Philadelphia Eagles fell into a 17-0 hole and faced a 20-7 halftime deficit, their star was a familiar face.
Veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson had a huge game in his return to the Eagles after a five-year hiatus. He reeled in eight catches for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 53-yarder that gave the Eagles their first lead of the game.
The reunion was nice. The comeback win was that much better. But no one in Philly was smiling about one thing in Sunday's win.
Veteran journeyman Case Keenum and a Washington receiving corps that's among the worst in the NFL roasted the Eagles' young secondary for 380 passing yards. For the Eagles to be taken seriously as a threat to teams like the Rams and Saints in the NFC, they'll need to vastly improve their pass defense.
4. Los Angeles Rams (1-0)
Last Week: 4
Week 1 Result: Won at Carolina 30-27
The Los Angeles Rams faced quite a few questions heading into a stiff test at Carolina in Week 1.
How well would they rebound from their lackluster showing in Super Bowl LIII? How would they handle tailback Todd Gurley II's balky knee?
The answered the latter question with a committee. Although they gashed the Panthers for 166 yards on the ground, Gurley had only 14 totes for 97 yards.
They answered the former question emphatically as well.
The Rams didn't have a gonzo day throwing the ball, but they put 30 points on the board against a quality opponent on the road. They made plays when they needed to and showed they remain the class of an NFC West division that didn't lose a game in Week 1.
Things don't get any easier from here, though. In Week 2, the Rams host the Saints in a rematch of last year's NFC Championship Game.
3. New Orleans Saints (1-0)
Last Week: 3
Week 1 Result: Won vs. Houston 30-28
For all the success the New Orleans Saints have had in recent years, Week 1 has been quite the bugaboo. Last year, Drew Brees was out-dueled by Ryan Fitzpatrick in a 48-40 loss to the Buccaneers. In 2017, it was a 10-point loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The year before that, it was a one-point loss at home—to the Oakland Raiders.
The Saints Week 1 jinx very nearly got them again. After Deshaun Watson found Kenny Stills to knot the score with less than 40 seconds to go, Houston kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn appeared to shank the PAT. But the Saints were flagged for roughing, and Fairbairn nailed the do-over.
However, this time Drew Brees wasn't having it, and after getting the Saints into nominal field-goal range Wil Lutz nailed a career-long 58-yarder as time expired to give the home team a two-point victory.
In the grand scheme of things, the win may not mean a ton.
But after two straight seasons of crushing last-minute defeats in the playoffs, maybe changing the beginning of the movie will have an effect on the end.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
Last Week: 2
Week 1 Result: Won at Jacksonville 40-26
The Chiefs had good news aplenty in their 14-point win over the Jaguars in Week 1.
Reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes picked up right where he left off, shredding one of the league's better defenses with 378 passing yards and three scores. All three touchdowns went to wideout Sammy Watkins, who tallied 198 receiving yards on the afternoon. Veteran tailback LeSean McCoy was impressive in his Chiefs debut, piling up over 90 total yards and averaging over eight yards per carry.
But there was some not-so-good news too.
Watkins had such a big game because Tyreek Hill suffered a shoulder injury that required treatment at a local hospital's trauma department and will sideline him for at least a few weeks. And the Kansas City defense allowed 429 total yards to a Jaguars team led by rookie backup Gardner Minshew for most of the afternoon.
"The 2019 Chiefs looked a lot like the 2018 Chiefs in Week 1, for better or worse," Davenport said. "The offense is a buzzsaw, and the defense is papier-mache. The more things change, the more they stay the same."
1. New England Patriots (1-0)
Last Week: 1
Week 1 Result: Won vs. Pittsburgh 33-3
In case anyone had forgotten who the NFL's best team is, the New England Patriots reminded them Sunday night by dropping a piano on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A defense missing linebacker Kyle Van Noy completely stifled Pittsburgh's supposedly high-octane offense. An offensive line that lost center David Andrews for the season gave Tom Brady enough time to binge-watch a season of Stranger Things before finding an open receiver, which caused him to erupt for 341 passing yards and three touchdowns.
It was a surgical procedure without anesthesia. And the Patriots made it look easy.
If that wasn't bad enough, they'll also add star wideout Antonio Brown to the mix when they take the field in Miami on Sunday.
Because Godzilla needed wings, I guess.