We made it. The NFL is back and we have already been gifted with some great football. For as much as we thought we knew coming into the season, there have already been plenty of surprises. The Green Bay Packers, who were a few points from the Super Bowl, lost by 35 to New Orleans. The Pittsburgh Steelers upset the Buffalo Bills on the road, and the Arizona Cardinals trounced the Tennessee Titans, to name a few. Although we’ve only seen one game from each team, where do they stack up and who cracks the top-10 in the first NFL Power Rankings in 2021?
Here are your Week 2 NFL Power Rankings.
NFL Power Rankings: Week 2
1) Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
New year, same old Chiefs. Last year, the Kansas City Chiefs looked like they were just waltzing through the first three quarters before turning it into hyperdrive in the fourth. That’s exactly what they did, thanks to some big mistakes by the Cleveland Browns. Down 22-10 at the half, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs had five second-half drives, not counting the kneels to end the game. They scored on four of them against a solid Browns defense. Kansas City is currently the team to beat.
2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
The Tampa Bay defense had some trouble with the Dallas offense, but then again, what team wouldn’t? The Buccaneers made plenty of mistakes on both sides of the ball and lost the turnover battle, four to one. Thanks to some questionable decisions by Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy and some interesting calls from the refs on their final drive, they had enough to get the win on opening night. While it wasn’t the prettiest performance, it speaks volumes to this team’s ability that they can win such an ugly game against a good team. The injury of cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting showed their depth in the secondary continues to be a weakness, however.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)
Did anyone expect this outside of Pennsylvania? Pittsburgh’s defense was better than last and Big Ben looked as good as he did at the peak of his career. Their offense struggled at times to get going, but that’s not surprising given the solid defense of the Bills. Call them whatever you want after last year’s failures, but they passed their first test with flying colors.
4) Los Angeles Rams (1-0)
Matthew Stafford is finally being revealed to the world, and it is a beautiful thing for football. Few watched the Lions outside of the NFC North and his introduction at the quarterback spot showed he was just what this team was missing. The defense is still as stout as ever and now they have a high-octane offense to support it as well. If you have any doubts as to the impact Stafford has, just look at the reaction from his teammates after his opening drive 67-yard touchdown to Van Jefferson.
5) Arizona Cardinals (1-0)
The Arizona Cardinals had the tough task of having to stop Derrick Henry coming in fresh after a long offseason. Arizona didn’t make it look like they even broke a sweat. Kyler Murray was a wizard on the field and Chandler Jones recorded five sacks. Both sides of the ball were on another level and it’ll be interesting to see if they can continue this success. As impressive as it was, it’s no secret that stopping Henry brings Tennessee’s whole offense to a halt.
6) Seattle Seahawks (1-0)
In case you had forgotten following his rough end to last season, Russell Wilson is an elite quarterback. He absolutely diced up a solid Indianapolis defense en route to a 28-16 win in Indianapolis. The defense looked solid and it was Tyler Lockett’s turn to put up some big numbers for the receivers. On only four catches, he logged 100 yards and two scores. Seattle needs another strong defensive performance next week against the Titans.
7) New Orleans Saints (1-0)
The New Orleans Saints beat the absolute brakes off of the Green Bay Packers. While the Packers had some major question marks coming in about their offensive line and new defensive coordinator, the Saints don’t deserve any less credit. Jameis Winston looked like a completely different quarterback and became the first quarterback to throw for five touchdowns while also failing to eclipse 150 yards. For as good as the Buccaneers are, they have competition in the NFC South.
8) Dallas Cowboys (0-1)
It could be argued that Dallas could be ranked as high as fourth in these NFL Power Rankings and you’d be justified. Although their defense was certainly spotty at times, they capitalized at some key points and their offense was just on another level. It needs to be seriously questioned if this is now the best offense in the NFL. Although the playcalling was questionable, Dallas was a few missed kicks away from winning this game in Tom Brady’s house.
9) Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Say what you will about how they found a way to choke this game away, but it is impressive how good this team was for three quarters. Some big mistakes may have doomed them, but they weren’t up double-digits at halftime simply by accident. Although they couldn’t find a way to stop Patrick Mahomes or Tyreek Hill, few can. If Cleveland can just clean up the little things, they could be seeing the Chiefs for a spot in the Super Bowl this postseason.
10) San Francisco 49ers (1-0)
It was a tale of two halves for San Francisco. The 49ers held a 28-point lead with just under eight minutes to play in the third and barely escaped with a win, thanks to them giving up 16 points in less than 50 seconds at the end of the game. Even with the near-catastrophic ending, the defense was stifling for almost all of the game, and it took nearly everything to go wrong for the Lions to mount the comeback. With what should be an easy matchup with the Eagles up next, don’t be surprised if they make a statement in Philadelphia next Sunday.