NFL Power Rankings: B/R's Expert Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 3

NFL StaffContributor ISeptember 22, 2020

NFL Power Rankings: B/R's Expert Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 3

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    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    Week 2 of the NFL season is typically when the wheat gets separated from the chaff.

    Since the NFL went to a 12-team playoff format in 1990, 62 percent of the teams that started 2-0 have made the postseason, per Scott Gleeson of USA Today. Conversely, only 12 percent of the teams that started 0-2 have reached the playoffs.

    In other words, the last things playoff contenders who stumbled in Week 1 wanted was to drop another game and officially land in scramble mode.

    For the Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles (all of whom made the playoffs in 2019), that's exactly what happened. The Dallas Cowboys also tried to dig themselves an 0-2 hole against Atlanta, but as it turns out, the Falcons are better excavators.

    It was a wild week filled with unexpected finishes, outstanding performances and a multitude of injuries that could seriously alter the NFL landscape.

    As is the case every week, Bleacher Report NFL Analysts Brent Sobleski, Brad Gagnon and Gary Davenport have gathered to sift through the rubble of Week 2 and rank the league's teams from worst to best.

    The team bringing up the rear is the same as last week. But as we head into Week 3, there's a new king of the NFL mountain.

32. New York Jets (0-2)

1 of 32

    Corey Sipkin/Associated Press

    High: 32

    Low: 32

    Last Week: 32

    Week 2 Result: Lost vs. San Francisco 31-13

    The New York Jets stink.

    In Week 2, Gang Green played a San Francisco 49ers team that played a big chunk of the afternoon without its starting quarterback, its No. 1 running back and its best pass-rusher. The 49ers also entered the game without their top wide receiver and All-Pro tight end.

    And the Jets still got their collective teeth kicked in.

    The Niners completely outclassed the Jets in every facet of the game. New York's offense was stale, predictable and inconsistent. The defense allowed an 80-yard touchdown to Mostert on the first play from scrimmage and a third-and-31 conversion on a run.

    "Most of us saw this coming the day they hired Adam Gase," Gagnon wrote. "That was one of several terrible decisions that have the Jets where they are right now. They can't even really start to rebuild until they move on from Gase, and possibly even Sam Darnold. It's a complete mess."

    "At this rate, Gase is going to be out of a job by Halloween," Davenport added. "And the Jets are going to have to decide whether or not to punt on Darnold in favor of Clemson's Trevor Lawrence in 2021."

31. Carolina Panthers (0-2)

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    Jason Behnken/Associated Press

    High: 30

    Low: 31

    Last Week: 31

    Week 2 Result: Loss at Tampa Bay 31-17

    It was already fixing to be a long season in Carolina.

    With star running back Christian McCaffrey expected to be out 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, it's going to get a lot longer.

    McCaffrey piled up 88 total yards and scored both of the Panthers' touchdowns Sunday against the Buccaneers, but he suffered the ankle injury late in their game. Although the fourth-year tailback said he was "fine" after the game, but Monday's MRI revealed otherwise.

    "Carolina's defense is terrible," Davenport said. "Teddy Bridgewater threw for more than 300 yards Sunday, but he was picked off twice. And now CMC is hurt. Looking at Carolina's schedule, it's hard to point out many matchups that look like potential wins. This team is going to be in the hunt for a top-five draft pick—and possibly the new quarterback that comes with it."

30. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)

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    Ron Schwane/Associated Press

    High: 27

    Low: 31

    Last Week: 30

    Week 2 Result: Lost 35-30 at Cleveland

    In his second NFL start, Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow threw for 316 yards and three touchdown passes against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night.

    The bad news for the Bengals was everything else.

    Burrow got next to no help from the ground game, as running back Joe Mixon averaged less than three yards per carry on 16 totes. Neither player got any help from an offensive line that was repeatedly blown off the line of scrimmage. Cincinnati's defense was gashed for over 200 yards on the ground and 434 yards total. And Burrow averaged only 5.2 yards per pass attempt.

    It's still too early to anoint Burrow as the NFL's next big thing under center. But his first two starts have given the Bengals significant optimism about their future, provided they can build a competitive roster around him.

    "Will Joe Burrow survive the season? Seriously, the Bengals look like they have a future star in this year's No. 1 overall pick, but the coaching staff and offensive line must find better ways to protect their franchise signal-caller," Sobleski wrote. "The Chargers and Browns combined to sack or hit the rookie signal-caller 20 times through the first two weeks of play."

29. Detroit Lions (0-2)

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    High: 28

    Low: 29

    Last Week: 28

    Week 2 Result: Lost at Green Bay 42-21

    It's shaping up to be a very Detroit Lions season—again.

    In Week 1, the Lions raced out to a big lead over the Chicago Bears, only to allow three unanswered fourth-quarter touchdowns in a four-point loss. In Week 2, the Lions decided the suspense of a close game was just too stressful and instead got blown out on the road by the Green Bay Packers.

    The Lions defense was terrible Sunday, even by their standards. The Packers racked up 488 total yards of offense, and Green Bay running back Aaron Jones torched Detroit for 236 total yards.

    Meanwhile, the Lions had only 307 yards as a team and ran for 89, 170 less than their opponent.

    The Lions are now 0-2 with a pair of losses in the division. And with the red-hot Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints on tap, Detroit appears to be on a collision course with an 0-4 start to the 2020 season.

28. New York Giants (0-2)

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    High: 26

    Low: 29

    Last Week: 27

    Week 2 Result: Lost at Chicago 17-13

    The New York Giants fell to 0-2 on the season after a four-point loss to the Chicago Bears, but it wasn't close to the worst thing that happened to them Sunday. 

    As ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed Monday, the Giants lost running back Saquon Barkley to a season-ending ACL tear in the first half.

    Simply put, that is a season-killer.

    To their credit, the Giants didn't just curl into the fetal position after their best player got hurt. After falling into a 17-0 hole, they had a chance to pull out a win on the game's final play.

    But with Barkley out for the year, the Giants will be forced to become a pass-heavy team. Given New York's issues on the offensive line, young signal-caller Daniel Jones had better stock up on Advil.

27. Atlanta Falcons (0-2)

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    High: 26

    Low: 28

    Last Week: 23

    Week 2 Result: Lost at Dallas 40-39

    The Atlanta Falcons have become the masters of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Atlanta's collapse in the second half against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI remains the biggest choke-job in franchise history. But Sunday's faceplant against the Dallas Cowboys was depressingly impressive in its own right.

    The Falcons led the Cowboys 29-10 at the half. With less than three minutes remaining, they were up nine. But Atlanta then allowed a quick touchdown to pull Dallas with in two, an inexplicable onside kick, and then surrendered enough yardage for Dallas to kick the game-winner.

    Combined with their embarrassing Week 1 thrashing at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, the Falcons are now 0-2. It isn't impossible to make the postseason after starting 0-2, but it isn't statistically likely, either.

    At this rate, neither is head coach Dan Quinn keeping his job beyond this season.

26. Miami Dolphins (0-2)

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    High: 25

    Low: 26

    Last Week: 26

    Week 2 Result: Lost vs. Buffalo 31-28

    In many respects, the 2020 Miami Dolphins look a lot like the 2019 Miami Dolphins.

    That isn't a compliment.

    The Dolphins won only five games last season, but they were a tough out most weeks. That's also been the case in 2020, as Miami hung in there against the Patriots on the road in Week 1 and came back to take a fourth-quarter lead against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

    But just like last year, the results haven't been there. After going ahead 20-17, the Dolphins allowed 14 unanswered points, and they gave up a jaw-dropping 524 yards of offense on the day.

    The Dolphins aren't going anywhere this season. Given that, it's fair to wonder when head coach Brian Flores will look toward the future and sit veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in favor of rookie Tua Tagovailoa.

25. Denver Broncos (0-2)

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    High: 24

    Low: 27

    Last Week: 18

    Week 2 Result: Lost at Pittsburgh 26-21

    Frankly, it's impressive that the Denver Broncos didn't get blown out in Pittsburgh on Sunday. An already banged-up Broncos team suffered a huge loss when quarterback Drew Lock went down early in the game.

    Unfortunately, the injury is relatively serious. Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the second-year signal-caller sprained the AC joint in his throwing shoulder and will be out between 2-6 weeks. 

    Backup Jeff Driskel fared surprisingly well in his place, throwing for 256 yards and two scores and making a game of it. But with Courtland Sutton suffering a season-ending knee injury, rookie Jerry Jeudy missing part of the loss and running back Phillip Lindsay out with a toe injury, Driskel is running short on offensive firepower.

    If the season gets away from them (again), the Broncos could face some tough decisions regarding their head coach and quarterback in the offseason.

    "Yes, the Broncos have been competitive despite their 0-2 start. At the same time, the team has been brutalized by injuries," Sobleski said. Lock could be out for more than a month. Lindsay could be out for a month as well, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. On top of it all, Von Miller is already out with a peroneal tendon tear. Denver must get healthy before the team actually matters." 

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)

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    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    High: 23

    Low: 30

    Last Week: 25

    Week 2 Result: Lost at Tennessee 33-30

    There are no moral victories in the NFL. However, it's hard to look at what the Jacksonville Jaguars did against the Tennessee Titans and not believe that they have at least some things to feel good about.

    The Jaguars weren't able to finish off the comeback against the Titans, as their two turnovers proved costly. But this was supposed to be the worst team in the NFL this year, not a team that could stand toe to toe with the Titans on the road.

    Quarterback Gardner Minshew II had another huge game, throwing for 339 yards and three touchdowns. Undrafted rookie running back James Robinson had both the first 100-yard game of his career and scored his first career touchdown.

    No one should be rushing to anoint the Jaguars a playoff contender. But two weeks into the season, they look far better than most would have anticipated entering the 2020 season.

23. Houston Texans (0-2)

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    High: 19

    Low: 24

    Last Week: 20

    Week 2 Result: Lost vs. Baltimore 33-16

    It's difficult for an NFL team that starts the season 0-2 to make the playoffs, but it isn't unprecedented. Just ask the Houston Texans, who pulled off the feat in both 2015 and 2018. 

    However, it's going to be even harder for the Texans to do so in 2020, largely because their schedule won't let up.

    In Week 1, the Texans opened against the defending Super Bowl champions on the road. On Sunday, they had a home date with a Ravens team that has now peeled off 14 regular-season wins in a row. In Week 3, the Texans have to go to Pittsburgh and play the 2-0 Steelers. In Week 4, they have a home date with a Vikings team that made the postseason last year.

    Hope isn't lost. the Texans play in a division where no team—not even the 2-0 Titans—appears to be significantly better than the others.

    But Houston's margin for error has already all but evaporated.

22. Cleveland Browns (1-1)

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    David Richard/Associated Press

    High: 20

    Low: 23

    Last Week: 29

    Week 2 Result: Won vs. Cincinnati 35-30

    No NFL team has a better one-two punch at running back than the Cleveland Browns' duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

    The Browns got their first win of 2020 because head coach Kevin Stefanski took advantage of that.

    Chubb was fantastic against a porous Bengals defense, gashing Cincinnati for 124 yards and two scores while averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Hunt was even better on a per-touch basis, piling up 101 total yards and finding the end zone twice himself.

    The Browns also got a better performance from quarterback Baker Mayfield. Four days after an awful showing against the Baltimore Ravens, Mayfield finished 16-of-23 for 219 yards and two touchdowns.

    But even in victory, there were signs that the Browns still have work to do. Mayfield threw an ill-advised red-zone interception, and Cleveland's defense was gashed for the second time in as many games, allowing more than 300 passing yards to Joe Burrow in his second NFL start.

    The Browns looked better in Week 2, but they remain more pretender than contender.

21. Washington Football Team (1-1)

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    Darryl Webb/Associated Press

    High: 20

    Low: 24

    Last Week: 19

    Week 2 Result: Lost at Arizona 30-15

    In Week 1, the Washington Football Team was one of the biggest surprises in the NFL, erasing a 17-0 deficit to stun the Philadelphia Eagles.

    There would be no miraculous comeback in Week 2. Washington fell behind the Arizona Cardinals 20-0 in the first half, and while the WFT made the score respectable in the second half, it was never a close contest.

    There were at least some bright spots. Dwayne Haskins was decent again, throwing for 223 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin reeled in seven passes for 125 yards and a score. And edge-rusher Chase Young continued his hot start in the NFL, notching four tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack.

    But Sunday's trip to the desert was a reminder that while the team without a name may be headed in the right direction, it still has quite a bit of work to do.

20. Philadelphia Eagles (0-2)

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    Laurence Kesterson/Associated Press

    High: 19

    Low: 24

    Last Week: 14

    Week 2 Result: Lost vs. Los Angeles Rams 37-19

    The Philadelphia Eagles are in serious trouble.

    When the Eagles blew a 17-0 lead last week against a bad Washington team, it was a glaring red flag. However, they were blasted by injuries on both sides of the ball, which could help explain away that dud.

    The Eagles got some of those injured players back ahead of their home opener against the Rams, which should have helped them get back on track. Instead, they committed three turnovers and gave up 449 yards, while quarterback Carson Wentz finished 26-of-43 for 242 yards and a passer rating of 56.6.

    The only thing standing between the Eagles and last place in the NFC East is the New York Giants. And with games against the San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens looming over the next month, Philly's season is perilously close to spiraling out of control... if it hasn't already.

19. Minnesota Vikings (0-2)

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    Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

    High: 16

    Low: 20

    Last Week: 11

    Week 2 Result: Lost at Indianapolis 28-11

    In the inaugural set of these power rankings, the Minnesota Vikings ranked inside the top 10.

    Last week, after losing at home to the Green Bay Packers, they just barely dropped out of the top 10.

    They no longer get the benefit of the doubt.

    On Sunday, the Vikings got pummeled by an Indianapolis Colts team that lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1. The offense was putrid, managing only 175 total yards and one garbage-time touchdown. Quarterback Kirk Cousins finished with all of 113 passing yards and three picks.

    Heading into the 2020 season, the Vikings were viewed as a Super Bowl contender in some circles. After two games, it looks like the only thing they will be in contention for is a top-five draft pick.

18. Chicago Bears (2-0)

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    High: 15

    Low: 21

    Last Week: 22

    Week 2 Result: Won vs. New York Giants 17-13

    It hasn't been especially pretty, but the Chicago Bears are 2-0.

    In the season opener, the Bears fell way behind the Lions before quarterback Mitchell Trubisky led them to a comeback victory with three fourth-quarter touchdown passes. In Week 2, it was Chicago's turn to get staked to a big lead, going up 17-0 before holding on for a four-point win.

    Chicago's record comes with an obvious caveat: The Lions and Giants combined to go 7-24-1 in 2019, and neither team has a win in 2020. But the Bears have genuine reasons for optimism moving forward.

    Running back David Montgomery tallied 127 total yards in the win and found the end zone. Chicago's defense tallied four sacks, forced two turnovers and held the Giants under 300 total yards.

    The Bears don't face a 2019 playoff team until they host the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 1, which could make them a real factor in the NFC North. However, at least one of our analysts remains skeptical.

    "I don't buy it yet," Gagnon wrote. "They weren't sustainably good against Detroit, and they nearly blew a three-score halftime lead to the terrible, Saquon Barkley-less Giants. This is a mediocre team that has backed into a pair of wins to start the year."

17. Indianapolis Colts (1-1)

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    High: 12

    Low: 19

    Last Week: 24

    Week 2 Result: Won vs. Minnesota 28-11

    Perhaps we were a bit premature in throwing dirt on the Indianapolis Colts after their listless Week 1 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    As bad as the Colts looked against the Jags, they looked equally impressive while blasting a Vikings team that many labeled a postseason contender entering the 2020 season. That was especially true on defense, where they allowed only 175 total yards, forced three turnovers and notched three sacks (including one for a safety).

    Combined with the first 100-yard rushing effort from rookie running back Jonathan Taylor, the Colts showed the recipe for remaining in contention in an AFC South that lacks a clear front-runner. Run the football. Play defense. Rock it old-school.

    The Colts' next four games all appear winnable on paper (vs. Jets, at Bears, at Browns, vs. Bengals). Indy could easily hit its bye week sitting at 4-2 or even 5-1.

16. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    High: 14

    Low: 18

    Last Week: 17

    Week 2 Result: Won vs. Atlanta 40-39

    If the Dallas Cowboys manage to accomplish anything in 2020, we'll look back on Sunday's wild win over the Atlanta Falcons as the turning point of their season.

    The Cowboys appeared hell-bent on falling to 0-2. The first half was a comedy of errors that included three turnovers and defensive lapses galore. At intermission, the Cowboys trailed 29-10.

    But in the second half, the Dallas offense exploded.

    By the time the Cowboys recovered an onside kick, drove down and kicked a game-winning field goal, the team had piled up a staggering 570 yards of offense. Quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 450 yards and accounted for four scores—one through the air and three on the ground.

    "The Cowboys are the best team in the NFC East," Davenport said. "But in 2020, that isn't saying much. The Dallas defense is banged up and hasn't looked good, and the Cowboys can't expect to win consistently if they keep making mistakes. This feels like a 10-win team that will get blown out on the road in the divisional round. In other words, not much has changed under new head coach Mike McCarthy."

15. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)

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    Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

    High: 11

    Low: 18

    Last Week: 21

    Week 2 Result: Lost vs. Kansas City 23-20 (OT)

    One of Week 2's biggest surprises came when Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor was surprisingly scratched just before the start of their game with the Kansas City Chiefs. That meant that rookie Justin Herbert would make his first career start against the defending Super Bowl champions.

    Although Herbert didn't get the win, he came close. He also had more passing yards (311), more yards per attempt (9.4) and a higher passer rating (94.4) than Patrick Mahomes. And Herbert became the first quarterback since 1954 to throw and run for a touchdown in the first half of his first NFL game, per SportsCenter.

    Herbert's reward for that sterling debut? Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn declared Taylor is still the starter "if he's 100 percent, ready to go," despite his mediocre outing in Week 1 against the Bengals.

    Nothing makes sense any more.

    "Chargers fans should be ecstatic despite the overtime loss to the Chiefs," Sobleski wrote. "Los Angeles went toe-to-toe with the reigning Super Bowl champs and didn't flinch, even with a rookie quarterback under center. Herbert looked exceptional in his debut, with an unflappable demeanor and the ability to make some high-level NFL-caliber throws. The Chargers' rookie class is exciting with Herbert, linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. and running back Joshua Kelley. Let the youth movement take over, because there's absolutely no reason to go back to Taylor as the starter."

14. San Francisco 49ers (1-1)

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    High: 14

    Low: 16

    Last Week: 9

    Week 2 Result: Won at New York Jets 31-13

    After getting stunned at home by the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1, the defending NFC champions badly needed a win against the lowly New York Jets to avoid the dreaded 0-2 hole.

    They got that win, but it came at a heavy cost.

    As ESPN's Nick Wagoner noted, the 49ers were brutalized by injuries Sunday. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sat out the second half after injuring his ankle. Ditto for running back Raheem Mostert, who topped 100 total yards with a score before hurting his knee.

    The injuries that could have the most long-term impact came on the other side of the ball. Reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa was carted off the field early with what wound up being a season-ending ACL tear, as was defensive tackle Solomon Thomas.

    It's a crushing blow to San Francisco's chances of repeating as the champions of the NFL's toughest division in 2020. And the news didn't get any better Monday, when ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that Niners running back Tevin Coleman will miss multiple games with a knee injury of his own.

    It's a dizzying array of maladies. And a backbreaker for the team in Gagnon's opinion.

    "Stick a fork in San Francisco," Gagnon said. "You can't come back from this much change and that many injuries with the margin for error as slim as it is in the NFC West. This is now a wild-card team at best, but the Cardinals, Rams and Bucs could make that a tough path."

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)

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    Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

    High: 12

    Low: 13

    Last Week: 15

    Week 2 Result: Won vs. Carolina 31-17

    In Tom Brady's two decades in the NFL, he has never started a season 0-2.

    That won't happen in 2020, either.

    Brady's second game as the starter for the Buccaneers wasn't perfect. He finished 23-of-35 for 217 yards, a touchdown toss to Mike Evans and his third interception.

    But a newcomer to Tampa helped pick up the slack. Bruising running back Leonard Fournette topped 100 rushing yards and a pair of scores, including the one that salted the game away, in his second game with Tampa.

    Given the number of new pieces in Tampa and the truncated offseason, it's no surprise that the Buccaneers are experiencing some growing pains. But with three winnable games coming up against the Broncos, Chargers and Bears before an Oct. 18 matchup with the soaring Green Bay Packers, the Buccaneers have some time to smooth out the rough edges before their next big test.

12. Tennessee Titans (2-0)

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    High: 10

    Low: 16

    Last Week: 13

    Week 2 Result: Won vs. Jacksonville 33-30

    The Tennessee Titans aren't exactly piling up the style points. But after outlasting the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, the Titans are all alone in first place in the AFC South.

    The win harkened back to what the Titans did last year on their way to the AFC Championship Game. Running back Derrick Henry carried the ball 25 times, albeit for only 84 yards. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for only 219 yards, but he also tossed four touchdown passes. The Tennessee defense was opportunistic, forcing two Gardner Minshew II interceptions and notching a pair of sacks.

    However, we're about to find out how good these Titans really are. Over the next month, they play three teams that made the postseason a year ago (the Vikings, Texans and Buffalo Bills), and another in the Pittsburgh Steelers that has started the season 2-0.

    The Titans, who allowed 480 yards of offense to the Jaguars, aren't without their flaws. But for now, they're in the driver's seat in the AFC South.

11. Las Vegas Raiders (2-0)

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    Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

    High: 9

    Low: 14

    Last Week: 16

    Week 2 Result: Won vs. New Orleans 34-24

    Break up the Las Vegas Raiders!

    That still looks a little weird.

    What doesn't look weird—two weeks into the season—is the Raiders offense. After struggling to score points the past two years under Jon Gruden, the Raiders have hung 34 on each of their first two opponents.

    In Week 1, running back Josh Jacobs carried the offense, finding the end zone three times in Carolina. On Monday night in the first game at Allegiant Stadium, it was the Darren Waller show—12 catches for 103 yards and a score.

    It was a big win for a team searching for respectability. Beating the Panthers is one thing. Downing Drew Brees and the Saints is another.

    The Raiders aren't going to get a ton of time to celebrate the victory, though. Sunday brings their first true road test—at Gillette Stadium against the New England Patriots.

    If the Raiders can pull that one out, people are really going to start talking about the Silver and Black.

10. New England Patriots (1-1)

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    High: 10

    Low: 12

    Last Week: 10

    Week 2 Result: Lost at Seattle 35-30

    Cam Newton apparently isn't washed up after all.

    After languishing on the open market for most of the offseason, Newton signed a prove-it deal to join the New England Patriots. And while two games is a relatively small sample size and the Patriots didn't get the win Sunday night at Seattle, Newton has been proving it all over the field so far.

    It's hardly a shock that Newton has been effective running the ball. He tallied 47 yards and two scores on 11 totes against the Seahawks. But it a surprise to see how well he's thrown the ball. The 2015 NFL MVP piled up 397 passing yards against the Seahawks and posted a passer rating of just under 95.

    The Patriots dynasty was supposed to be dead after Tom Brady departed for Tampa in free agency. But the new-look Pats nearly beat the Seahawks in Seattle. If Newton maintains this level of play, they can absolutely get back to the postseason.

    And Newton can start getting a spot on his mantle ready for the Comeback Player of the Year award he's going to win.

9. Los Angeles Rams (2-0)

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    Corey Perrine/Associated Press

    High: 8

    Low: 9

    Last Week: 12

    Week 2 Result: Won at Philadelphia 37-19

    The Los Angeles Rams might be back.

    After a 2019 season that the team would like to forget, the Rams have opened the 2020 campaign with a pair of impressive victories over NFC East teams. In Week 2, it was a 37-19 dismantling of the defending division champions in Philadelphia.

    On offense, Los Angeles ran for 191 yards and averaged almost five yards per carry, while Jared Goff threw for 287 yards and three scores with a passer rating north of 140. On defense, Aaron Donald and the Rams controlled the line of scrimmage and piled up three takeaways.

    There were legitimate questions entering the season about the Rams' chances of contending in a brutal NFC West given all of their personnel losses in the offseason. But through two weeks, the Rams look more like the Super Bowl team of two years ago than the iteration that missed the postseason in 2019.

    "Sean McVay appears to have gotten his mojo back after last year's disappointing performance," Sobleski said. "The creative play-calling and scheming to design opportunities for specific players in the offense is back. For example, the Rams saw a matchup they liked with tight end Tyler Higbee against the Eagles defense. Higbee caught five passes for 54 yards and three scores in the contest. With McVay setting everything up and Goff dealing, the Rams will be difficult to handle."

8. New Orleans Saints (1-1)

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    Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

    High: 4

    Low: 11

    Last Week: 10

    Week 2 Result: Lost at Las Vegas 34-24

    What the heck is up with the New Orleans Saints and their inability to go 2-0?

    The Saints have long been one of the NFC's most successful teams. But New Orleans hasn't won its first two games since 2013. And it dropped a sloppy affair in Las Vegas by 10.

    There's a lot the Saints would like to forget about Monday night's game. Drew Brees wasn't sharp, especially in the first half. The New Orleans defense had no answer for Raiders tight end Darren Waller, who topped 100 yards on 12 catches. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had one catch. And the Saints eclipsed 100 yards in penalties for the second time in as many weeks.

    Still, Davenport isn't hitting the panic button—yet.

    "The Saints are notorious slow starters," he said, "and the win over Tampa Bay in the opener means New Orleans is still in first place in the NFC South. With that said, the Saints have six days to wring the slop out—if they play like this Sunday at home against the surging Packers, it's going to get ugly quickly."

7. Arizona Cardinals (2-0)

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    High: 6

    Low: 8

    Last Week: 8

    Week 2 Result: Won vs. Washington 30-15

    The Arizona Cardinals might be legit.

    For the second time in as many weeks, the Cardinals took care of business, racing out to a 20-0 lead and holding off the Washington Football Team in their home opener. Quarterback Kyler Murray was exceptional, passing for 286 yards, rushing for 67 more and accounting for three total touchdowns. Defensively, the Redbirds allowed only 316 total yards, forced a pair of turnovers and sacked Dwayne Haskins four times.

    "It's a still a tad early to go crowning anyone in the desert," Davenport said. "But these new-look Cardinals look the part of a legitimate contender in the NFC West. Murray has been fantastic through two games. DeAndre Hopkins has been as advertised. And the Arizona defense has played well."

    With three straight games on tap against teams who are a combined 0-6 (vs. Lions, at Panthers, at Jets), the Cardinals could well roll into their Week 6 Monday nighter against the Dallas Cowboys undefeated. After that comes the biggest test to date: a home date with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.

    "The Cardinals may have beaten a banged-up 49ers squad and the Washington Football Team in back-to-back weeks, but I'm all-in on this team, its style of play and Murray leading the way," Sobleski said. "The NFC West will be brutal this year, but Murray is a legitimate X-factor and possible MVP candidate if he continues to play as he has so far. If nothing else, Arizona might be the most fun team to watch at the moment."

6. Buffalo Bills (2-0)

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    High: 6

    Low: 8

    Last Week: 7

    Week 2 Result: Won at Miami 31-28

    To take the next step as a franchise and make a deep playoff run in 2020, the Buffalo Bills need their young quarterback to do the same and improve as a passer in his third season.

    If Sunday's win in Miami is any indication, Josh Allen is doing just that.

    The former Wyoming standout had the best game of his career as a passer against the Dolphins, throwing for 417 yards and four touchdowns. Allen made good use of his new No. 1 receiver, connecting with Stefon Diggs on eight passes for 153 yards and a score.

    Through two games this season, Allen has thrown for an eye-popping 729 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions. However, those numbers come with an asterisk of sorts: They came against two of the NFL's worst defenses from last year.

    Next week's home tilt with the 2-0 Los Angeles Rams will be Buffalo's biggest test of the young season. But through two weeks, there's no denying that Allen and the Bills offense have been impressive.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    High: 5

    Low: 5

    Last Week: 5

    Week 2 Result: Won vs. Denver 26-21

    With Ben Roethlisberger back, it appears the Pittsburgh Steelers are as well.

    Just like he did in the season opener, Roethlisberger looked good in Sunday's win over the Denver Broncos, passing for 311 yards and a pair of touchdowns. One week after getting hurt against the New York Giants, running back James Conner amassed 121 total yards and a score on 18 touches. Youngster Diontae Johnson had a big day catching the ball, hauling in eight balls for 92 yards and a score. And one of the NFL's best defenses notched seven sacks and forced two turnovers.

    That the Steelers let a banged up Denver team back into this game after going up 17-6 is at least marginally concerning. And Pittsburgh's level of opposition so far this year has admittedly been less than imposing.

    But heading into the first of three straight games against 2019 playoff teams, the Steelers look like a legitimate contender and the biggest potential challenge to the soaring Ravens in the AFC North.

4. Green Bay Packers (2-0)

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    High: 4

    Low: 7

    Last Week: 6

    Week 2 Result: Won vs. Detroit 42-21

    The Green Bay Packers are known for their "Cheesehead" fans. But so far in 2020, the team is another dairy product.

    Straight butter, baby—as in on a roll.

    In Week 1, Aaron Rodgers' right arm led the Pack to a shootout win over the Minnesota Vikings. In Week 2, running back Aaron Jones racked up 236 total yards and three touchdowns in a win over the Detroit Lions.

    Through two games, the Packers have scored 85 points and put up more than 1,000 yards of offense. And while the Chicago Bears are also 2-0, the Packers have shown in emphatic fashion that they aren't giving up their perch atop the NFC North without a fight.

    "It's a great sign that the Packers are winning big and in different ways," Gagnon said. "It was vintage Rodgers in Week 1. And while Rodgers was still good against the Lions, Jones took over. With two divisional victories already under their belt, the Packers could be positioned to run away with the NFC North."

3. Seattle Seahawks (2-0)

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    High: 3

    Low: 3

    Last Week: 4

    Week 2 Result: Won vs. New England 35-30

    Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has never received a single MVP vote.

    If his 2020 season continues at this pace, that will change this year.

    Wilson was nothing short of amazing in Sunday night's win over the visiting Patriots. One week after eviscerating the Atlanta Falcons, Wilson completed 21-of-28 passes for 288 yards and five touchdowns to five different receivers.

    Through two games, Wilson is completing 82.5 percent of his passes for an average of 305 yards and 4.5 scores per game. He has just one interception, and that was a perfectly thrown ball that went right through Greg Olsen's hands Sunday night.

    "Wilson is playing at an indescribably high level right now," Davenport said. "His decision-making has been flawless. His passes are perfectly accurate things of beauty. If Wilson can come close to maintaining this level of play over an entire season, he's going to be named the league's MVP. And the Seahawks may be spending February in Tampa."

2. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)

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    Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

    High: 1

    Low: 2

    Last Week: 1

    Week 2 Result: Won at Los Angeles Chargers 23-20 (OT)

    Let's talk for a moment about kickers.

    Kickers aren't often the hero of an NFL game. But Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs earned that title in Sunday's comeback win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

    It isn't just that Butker hit a 58-yard field goal to win the game in overtime. Or that it was Butker's second 58-yarder of the game. That game-winner came after Butker hit a 53-yarder that was wiped out by a false start. And a 58-yarder that was wiped out by a Chargers timeout.

    That's just ridiculous.

    However, the fact that Kansas City needed overtime to dispatch a Chargers team led by a rookie quarterback making his first career start caused Gagnon more than a little concern.

    "The defending Super Bowl champions are 2-0 and loaded, but I can't justify keeping them ahead of the Baltimore Ravens after banged-up Kansas City struggled with the inferior Chargers on Sunday," he said. "They cut it too close, while the Ravens have now outscored their opponents by a combined 49 points."

1. Baltimore Ravens (2-0)

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    High: 1

    Low: 2

    Last Week: 2

    Week 2 Result: Won at Houston 33-16

    Being the NFL's best team in the regular season gets you a fat bag of nothing, as the Baltimore Ravens learned last year. Their 14-2 record became meaningless the moment the Tennessee Titans shocked them at home in the divisional round.

    But two weeks into the 2020 campaign, the Ravens once again look like the best team in the league.

    Lamar Jackson and the offense barely worked up a sweat in dispatching the reigning AFC South champions in their own house Sunday. On offense, the Ravens piled up 230 yards on the ground and amassed over six yards per carry. On defense, the Ravens barely allowed 300 yards of offense and just one touchdown.

    It was such a dominant performance that two of our analysts saw fit to install the Ravens atop these power rankings.

    "The Chiefs are 2-0 and the defending Super Bowl champions," Davenport said. "And next Monday night, the matter of which of these teams deserves the top spot here will be settled on the field. But the Ravens have been equal parts dominant and impressive through two games. Patrick Mahomes has his work cut out for him."