There is not seismic movement in the Power Rankings this week because every team in my top five was victorious in the second round of NFL games. But there are a couple of clubs who have slid just a little bit in the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins – don't blame me. Blame the Dallas Cowboys for looking so good in their first two outings.
The 49ers were given all they could handle by the Los Angeles Rams, but San Francisco’s defense came up big in the second half with a couple of timely interceptions. This was the first start of Brock Purdy’s career in which he didn’t throw a TD pass, but it didn’t matter. Plenty of others stepped up and the Niners have now won 12 regular season games in a row. That’s not easy to do.
The Eagles heard the boos early in their Thursday Night Football win over the Minnesota Vikings. So, they got very basic and ran the football 48 times for 259 yards and three touchdowns. It’s not been the smoothest of starts for Philadelphia, but they are 2-0 and Jalen Hurts is going to heat up at quarterback.
Powered by a Micah Parsons-led defense, the Cowboys have won their opening two games of the year by a combined score of 70-10. In hammering both New York teams, Dallas have laid down an early-season marker. They look complete, but it’s early and consistency has eluded so many Cowboys teams over the years.
The Chiefs are out of sorts on offense, there can be no doubt about that given the fact this team has scored 37 points in the first two weeks of the season. There are flashes between Patrick Mahomes and his wide receivers but no signs of anything special developing just yet. Fortunately, KC are playing well on defense.
There will be outrage among Fins Nation. The Dolphins have gone on the road to face difficult if not elite opponents and have played very well in defeating the Chargers and the Patriots to go 2-0. And I reward them with a drop in the rankings? I love how Miami won via the pass in Week 1 and on the ground in Week 2.
That was more like it from Josh Allen on Sunday as he threw three touchdown passes and, importantly, no interceptions in a 38-10 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. Allen went into Week 2 about as scrutinised as he has ever been in his NFL career and he answered by leading from the front as Buffalo got back on track.
If end zones in the NFL were 11 yards deep, the Jaguars would have taken down the Chiefs in Week 2. They came agonizingly close to scoring on a couple of Trevor Lawrence throws near the goal line but ran out of real estate. Those red zone woes aside, I still think the Jags are a good team and will make the playoffs.
Injuries are starting to mount for the Ravens – the latest being an ankle injury suffered by star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. – but John Harbaugh’s men are both mentally and physically tough. This was supposed to be a new-look, pass-heavy Ravens team in 2023. They look the same old bruisers to me and are 2-0.=
The Lions let one slip away at home to Seattle on Sunday, but such bumps in the road are to be expected for a team still trying to learn how to win regularly in the NFL. Perhaps more worrying than Week 2’s overtime loss to Seattle is the fact that Detroit has registered just one sack in two games this season.
The Falcons have made their season-long intentions clear. Through two weeks, Atlanta has rushed 71 times for 341 yards and three touchdowns. The Falcons may be driving Fantasy Football owners crazy, but the job share between Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier is not going away all the time Atlanta are winning.
The Bengals started last season 0-2 so there is no cause for alarm on that front just yet. But when quarterback Joe Burrow says that he tweaked his calf muscle in Sunday’s loss to Baltimore, that is a concern. Is this going to linger and be something that de-rails one of the more talented teams in the AFC?
Geno Smith continues to impress as Seattle’s quarterback. He threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner to Tyler Lockett. And Geno served up another classic hot mic moment as the referee told him: “I’m talking to America.” The NFL really does serve up wonderful moments each week.
Zach Wilson will be given time to get his feet under him as he goes about replacing Aaron Rodgers and keeping New York’s season alive, but only by the Jets coaching staff. The fans and media will be all over Wilson if he has many more interception-laced displays. And how long will the locker room be behind him?
The Saints are an unspectacular 2-0 but they are 2-0 and that leads to the old saying about not asking how you win, but how many you win? In the grand scheme of the whole league, New Orleans are a middle-of-the-pack outfit, but that might be enough to take the NFC South Division this year.
We’re only two games in but it’s clear the 1-1 Rams are not going to be the disaster that played out before our very eyes in 2022. Fifth-round rookie Puka Nacua has an NFL record 26 catches through two games and is evidence that Rams management can do more than just sign expensive veterans.
You want evidence that tells you when a coach is on the hot seat and feeling the pressure? When someone like Chargers head coach Brandon Staley has a press conference meltdown when asked about his team’s blown leads this season and dating back to last year. It feels early, but Staley has already blown his top.
The Packers have endured some early season ups and downs and their 1-1 record reflects that, but surely the team’s front office and coaching staff has to be delighted with the way young players have stepped up already in 2023? Jordan Love has six touchdown passes in two games and there has been a lot to like.
It’s incredible that after just two weeks of play, only nine teams have perfect 2-0 records. It’s probably even more incredible that one of those teams is the Buccaneers. But Baker Mayfield has played nicely at QB, Mike Evans is still a stud at receiver and the defense has played tough ball in the first two outings.
Defense bailed the Steelers out as they recorded win number one on the season at home against the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football. There were some brief moments of Kenny Pickett to George Pickens success, but I worry about the run game and the fact that the offensive line does not look much better.
The Vikings have been racking up impressive numbers from the likes of Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson, but turnovers have plagued this team and they are 0-2 as a result. It’s time for this team to tidy things up and get a win against the Chargers in Week 3. Find a way to win the games you were winning in 2022.
I like the way Washington have fought and scrapped their way to a 2-0 start, using some impressive young players such as running back Brian Robinson, receiver Terry McLaurin and I’m going to throw in quarterback Sam Howell because he made some very good throws in a narrow win over Denver. Promising.
It was devastating to see Nick Chubb go down with torn knee ligaments on Monday Night Football because the Browns running back is one of the most professional, upstanding players in the entire league. Everyone speaks so highly of Chubb and Cleveland’s offense – including Deshaun Watson – will be lost without him.
Is their life left in the old dog yet? Ryan Tannehill woke from his Week 1 hibernation to lead the Titans to an overtime victory against the Chargers. If they can have even brief moments of success in the passing game, it might make the world of difference because we know this defense is playing hard all year long.
Watching a lot of the Patriots loss to Miami on Sunday night, I was struck by the fact there is just not much in the way of offensive skill position talent to scare the opposition. Short passes to Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki – coupled with hitches to DeVante Parker – are not going to get the job done in today’s NFL.
The Giants must be all over the map, emotionally. Blown out in Week 1, they were heading for another embarrassing loss in Arizona only to find their way back for a late victory. But during that fightback, they lost star running back Saquon Barkley and he is now week to week in terms of availability with an ankle injury.
It was only against the Houston Texans, but there were a couple of promising signs from the Colts at the quarterback position. If he can stay healthy and take care of his body, Anthony Richardson is going to be fun to watch. And when called upon in relief, Gardner Minshew can still play the guitar… so to speak!
The Raiders were miserable on the road in Buffalo and how about this for an unwanted stat? Josh Jacobs (nine carries for -2 yards) is the first reigning NFL rushing champion to finish with negative rushing yards in a game since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger. This was a ‘throw the film away’ game for the Silver and Black.
There were more signs of life from Russell Wilson and Denver’s offense this past weekend, but Sean Payton must be fuming at how his team have started the 2023 season. The Broncos were presented with a couple of winnable games at home to the Raiders and Commanders yet they find themselves 0-2.
The offensive line has been shaky, rookie quarterback Bryce Young has made some painful mistakes, there are few difference-makers in terms of passing game targets and now linebacker Shaq Thompson is likely gone for the year with a broken leg. Welcome back to the NFL, Frank Reich!
There are some worrying signs for the Bears, also. Justin Fields has not shown growth in the passing game and has been slow seeing the field. But he is not the only struggler. The offensive line continues to cede too much pressure and some of the play-calling has been very limited indeed. Everything needs to improve.
While the whole of America has been spending the entire offseason writing off the Cardinals, they are only a handful of plays away from being 2-0. But finishing the job is, of course, one of the biggest skills in the NFL and Arizona have let winnable games against Washington and the Giants get away from them.
It might look like the same old same old in Houston as the Texans have opened the season 0-2. But there is a whiff of promise in the air due to the early-season form of rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud, who has played well behind a patchwork line; throwing for 384 yards in a Week 2 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.