NFL Power Rankings: Heading into Week 2

Week 1 is in the books, and no one knows anything. Up is down. Left is right. Sharks and bears living together in perfect harmony. Much like Bruce Arians, Week 1 is a noted liar, but the Broadway Sports crew is here to give you an update on where the power lies within this NFL landscape.

Below, you will find our collective Broadway Power Rankings for all 32 NFL teams, along with some analysis for certain teams that stand out amongst the pack.

Biggest Risers: After stealing the souls of everyone in Nashville, the Arizona Cardinals jumped up 13 spots.

Biggest Fallers: The Titans, Green Bay, and WFT were this week’s biggest fallers, and losers. All three teams dropped 13 spots.

As will happen every Tuesday until the offseason, nine of our contributors — Zach Lyons, Shaun Caulderon, Justin Melo, Jimmy Morris, Robert Greenlaw, Wes Wisley, Austin Nelson, Easton Freeze, Justin Graver, and TreJean Watkins — have submitted their power rankings. Below is the aggregate results of those rankings.

Here’s where we landed with our rankings as we head into Week 2…

Preseason Rank:1stHighest Rank:1stLowest Rank:2nd
Preseason Rank:2ndHighest Rank:1stLowest Rank:2nd

TreJean: All eyes were on the Chiefs and how they’d respond to their challenging opening season matchup against the Cleveland Browns. For the most part, Kansas City responded well. Patrick Mahomes was excellent once again and the offensive line did a good job protecting their franchise star from being beaten and battered.

On the other hand, the heavily emphasized run game looked weak and the defense was abused by Kevin Stefanski’s physical, run-first offense. Kansas City is still a top-tier team in the league, but they’re not without flaws either. Look for their run game to at least start to ramp up its effectiveness over the next couple of weeks.

Preseason Rank:6thHighest Rank:3rdLowest Rank:5th
Preseason Rank:13thHighest Rank:3rdLowest Rank:5th

Zach: Last offseason, it was announced that Jameis Winston had undergone surgery to restore his eyesight. My first reaction back then was: HE PLAYED BLIND? The next reaction was that dang a blind guy just threw 30 touchdowns in an offense that doesn’t play to his strengths, what can a guy that can actually see do in an offense that is much more suited for his skills?

We got the answer to that question as future-MVP-candidate Jameis Winston threw five touchdowns and zero interceptions while the Saints snuffed out the Packers. This is a highly dangerous team with Winston at the helm. The defense looked like its same old unstoppable self, and the run game was clicking, too. Sean Payton is one of the most underrated coaches in the NFL, and its time to Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!

Preseason Rank:10thHighest Rank:3rdLowest Rank:7th
Preseason Rank:7thHighest Rank:5thLowest Rank:8th

Austin: If anyone had the best loss of Week 1, it was the Browns. They faced arguably the best team in the league in a rematch of their 2020 Divisional game. The thing is: They showed they aren’t on the same level as the Chiefs. Cleveland controlled the game for three quarters then the Chiefs scored twice in three minutes. The Browns are going to be a tough team in 2021, but they aren’t one of the elite’s….yet.

Preseason Rank:14thHighest Rank:5thLowest Rank:8th
Preseason Rank:21stHighest Rank:7thLowest Rank:10th

Shaun: The Arizona Cardinals came into Nissan Stadium and fed all Titans fans, players, and coaches a piece of humble pie. The combination of J.J. Watt with apparently the greatest defensive player in NFL history gives that defense a front line they haven’t had in recent memory.

As far as the offense goes, the Cardinals finally have the receiver talent that Kliff Kingsbury needs to adequately run his offense at the professional level. Kyler Murray is undoubtedly the perfect quarterback for that specific system. Next week will tell us a lot all around the league, but it may be time to start taking Arizona a little more seriously.

Preseason Rank:3rdHighest Rank:9thLowest Rank:11th
Preseason Rank:8thHighest Rank:9thLowest Rank:12th
Preseason Rank:9thHighest Rank:9thLowest Rank:13th
Preseason Rank:15thHighest Rank:10thLowest Rank:12th
Preseason Rank:20thHighest Rank:13thLowest Rank:17th
Preseason Rank:12thHighest Rank:4thLowest Rank:19th

Justin G: The 49ers are one of the league’s best teams, but my fellow rankers have failed to notice. I have the 49ers as my number four team this week. The next highest ranker has them at 11, with one person putting them all th way at 19! Make it make sense…

The last time we saw this team with Jimmy Garoppolo and Nick Bosa, it was in the Super Bowl. Now they have the added upside of Trey Lance. Sure, they nearly blew a 21-point lead to the Lions in the final minutes. But that was with mostly backups on the field for their defense, and when it mattered, San Francisco made the final game-clinching stop. I don’t see many opponents knocking this team off, with some of the strongest competitors coming from their own division.

Preseason Rank:16thHighest Rank:13thLowest Rank:20th

Easton: The Chargers looked good Sunday, and Justin Herbert seems to have not changed a bit. He is still that dude. Despite the close victory over Washington, the Chargers moved the ball at will up and down the field. Does that mean they’re better than they actually looked on the scoreboard? Maybe. Or maybe it means that in a way, they’re still a little bit that same old chargers team we’ve watched for years that can’t get it done in the redzone.

Preseason Rank:24thHighest Rank:16thLowest Rank:18th
Preseason Rank:4thHighest Rank:12thLowest Rank:21st*

Wes: I initially ranked the Titans near the bottom (27th), but after listening to cooler heads, I settled at 21st. I know they are a better team than that. I had them ranked 4th going into Week 1. As good as their roster is, they have a lot of areas that must improve.

All three phases have room to improve, but the most shocking disappointment was on offense. What was supposed to be the strength of this team was the worst unit last Sunday. They are too good to look so bad, which is why it’s frustrating seeing them not even look competitive on opening day in Nashville.

How long it takes to improve all three phases will ultimately determine how the season plays out. If they can go to Seattle and play the way we know they can, that would ease some of the concerns.

Preseason Rank:5thHighest Rank:15thLowest Rank:20th
Preseason Rank:18thHighest Rank:16thLowest Rank:22nd
Preseason Rank:27thHighest Rank:16thLowest Rank:22nd

Greenlaw: Who Dey? Am I right? No rust for Joe Burrow and the Bengals who beat the Vikings in overtime on Sunday. They allowed Burrow to be sacked 5 times, which is going to be a problem, but they showed that when they have Burrow, they can be tough to take down. With no competition for snaps, Joe Mixon ran wild for 127 yards and a touchdown as he tries to avenge an awful 2020 campaign. Additionally, in a stunning revelation, it appears that Ja’Marr Chase did not, in fact, forget how to catch a ball or play wide receiver. 5 catches, 101 yards and a touchdown. The LSU connection between Burrow and Chase is very real and very dangerous. If they figure out how to keep Burrow healthy, the Bengals will be a much improved team this fall.

Preseason Rank:22ndHighest Rank:19thLowest Rank:22nd
Preseason Rank:28thHighest Rank:19thLowest Rank:25th
Preseason Rank:17thHighest Rank:19thLowest Rank:24th
Preseason Rank:11thHighest Rank:23rdLowest Rank:25th
Preseason Rank:19thHighest Rank:18thLowest Rank:28th
Preseason Rank:26thHighest Rank:24thLowest Rank:27th
Preseason Rank:32ndHighest Rank:23rdLowest Rank:28th
Preseason Rank:31stHighest Rank:26thLowest Rank:28th

Zach: At one point on Sunday, you could make the argument that this Lions team was going to end up at 32. They were a team where nothing was going in their favor. Okudah was having to get motivated on the sidelines and their number one receiver had to leave the game after a helmet-to-helmet hit.

Then, this Dan Campbell-led team sprung to life and almost came back and upset the 49ers. The Lions scored 16 points in the 4th quarter and showed more life, more heart, and more fight under their first-year head coach and much-maligned quarterback than the Titans did with all-star NFL players all around. The Titans players should be forced to watch the tape to see what they should’ve acted like instead of the statues and listless losers they were on Sunday.

Preseason Rank:25thHighest Rank:27thLowest Rank:30th
Preseason Rank:23rdHighest Rank:3othLowest Rank:31st
Preseason Rank:29thHighest Rank:29thLowest Rank:31st

Melo: That was bad. The Giants lost their Week 1 contest to the Broncos by a score of 27-13. Daniel Jones continued to be his erratic self. The Giants offensive line appears to be bad for the 67th season in a row. Saquon Barkley had absolutely no room to operate. Wash, rinse, repeat. It’s just Week 1, but I’m going to go out on a limb here. General manager Dave Gettleman, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and head coach Joe Judge will not be employed by the Giants in 2022. It will be a new regime, and a new starting quarterback as well.

Preseason Rank:30thHighest Rank:32ndLowest Rank:32nd

Who is too high? Who is too low? Drop a comment down below!

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