As the 2018-19 NFL season is underway, certain franchises have stepped into the spotlight. As the weeks progress, here are the NFL Power Rankings, brought to you by The Athletes Hub:
1. New England Patriots (1-0)
After holding onto a victory against the Houston Texans, Tom Brady proved once again that age is just a number. Completing 26-39 passes for 227 yards and 3 TDs, Brady and the Patriots will travel to Jacksonville next week.
2. Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
The Minnesota defense looked as strong as ever, coming away with 3 interceptions on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. While the offense still has some work to do, the Vikings are primed for a competitive game against Green Bay in week two.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0)
While the Jaguars defense looked similar to their 2017 selves, the offense needs to create separation towards the stretch. Jacksonville has the opportunity to knock New England off their throne in week two.
4. Los Angeles Rams (1-0)
Los Angeles was solid both offensively and defensively, forcing three interceptions on Monday night. The Rams could very well contain the most complete roster in the NFL, as they should be able to cruise towards a victory in week two against the Arizona Cardinals.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
Patrick Mahomes correlated his preseason success into week one, putting up 28 points through the air. Utilizing a superstar like Tyreek Hill will be important if Kansas City wants to be labeled as an AFC contender.
6. Green Bay Packers (1-0)
If Aaron Rodgers played a full game, the Green Bay Packers could very well see themselves at the #2 slot. Based on his knee injury, the Packers will take their worries and hold their breath for Rodgers to stay healthy against a stout defense in the Minnesota Vikings.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
The Philadelphia Eagles came away with a win over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, but it wasn’t impressive by any means. Nick Foles’ inefficiency in week one is a concern, as Philadelphia fans anxiously await the return of Carson Wentz.
8. Carolina Panthers (1-0)
The defense for Carolina held the Dallas Cowboys to a mere 8 points on Sunday, and were able to limit Ezekiel Elliot for the most part. With the electric energy surrounding Cam Newton, the Panthers took hold of a much-needed victory.
9. New Orleans Saints (0-1)
Marked as the highest team to lose in week one, New Orleans’ defense was exposed by a 35-year old in Ryan Fitzpatrick. I was impressed with Drew Brees’ ability to drive the offense, as Alvin Kamara handled the starting role properly.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0-1)
Without Le’Veon Bell for the time being, the Pittsburgh Steelers put up an embarrassing display in a 21-21 tie with the Cleveland Browns. Winning as a heavy favorite is important for a franchise such as Pittsburgh, as the New England Patriots are now labeled as an early favorite for the #1 seed in the AFC.
11. Atlanta Falcons (0-1)
A Thursday night loss to start the season is one thing, but the display Matt Ryan put on for the Atlanta Falcons is embarrassing. The Falcons, on both sides of the ball, could not find any spark. At this point, it’s hard to believe Ryan won an MVP award just a few years ago.
12. Washington Redskins (1-0)
Alex Smith correlated his success with the Kansas City Chiefs to the Washington Redskins, as the team dismantled the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. After witnessing the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants take losses in week one, the Redskins should be encouraged by their chances heading into week two.
13. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
Baltimore appeared fearless on Sunday, granted it was against the Buffalo Bills. The rumors of Joe Flacco not being elite are slowly silencing, but now the goal for the Ravens should be to prove a source of consistency.
14. Los Angeles Chargers (0-1)
The Chargers were unable to contain Kansas City, allowing Tyreek Hill to gather 268 total yards, including 2 touchdowns. This is an above-average franchise, but a blowout victory against the Buffalo Bills in week two will increase their momentum.
15. Chicago Bears (0-1)
The addition of Khalil Mack almost handed the Chicago Bears a victory over the Green Bay Packers, but Aaron Rodgers simply could not be stopped towards the end of the game. The inexperience of Mitchell Trubisky might be the downfall of the Bears in 2018, but he shows flashes of promise in the right moments.
16. Denver Broncos (1-0)
Escaping with a win over the Seattle Seahawks, this was the best quarterback play from the Denver Broncos in a long time. Case Keenum finished the game 25-39 with 329 yards and 3 TDs, which should be enough to win 9+ games this season.
17. Houston Texans (0-1)
Many offered the Houston Texans as a comeback team in 2018, but Deshaun Watson looked lost at best against the New England Patriots. A 62.9 QBR from Watson won’t be enough to clinch a division title, even if it’s the AFC South.
18. Oakland Raiders (0-1)
It would have been convenient to have Khalil Mack on the field Monday night, as Jon Gruden and company allowed for Todd Gurley to rush for 108 yards. The Raiders could not put up any momentum, even on their home turf, which is worrisome.
19. New York Giants (0-1)
The Giants almost escaped with an upset victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Eli Manning showed very little energy under center. With a complete receiving core like the one in New York, there is no excuse as to why Manning can’t find the end zone.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
I’m not sure Tampa Bay fans saw this one coming, as the Buccaneers shocked the world in a 48-40 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Perhaps it was a fluke, but Ryan Fitzpatrick made a statement as to why backup quarterbacks are a huge factor in today’s game.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)
The Cinncinnati Bengals played a clean game for the most part, but nothing really stood out. Andy Dalton, Joe Mixon and AJ Green all had solid games, as the team went on to defeat an inconsistent Indianapolis Colts. Against the Baltimore Ravens in week two, there is room to move up in the rankings.
22. Dallas Cowboys (0-1)
Perhaps it’s too early to put Dallas this low, but the offense looked lost. The centerpiece of this franchise is Ezekiel Elliot, who could not find room in the run game. The claims that Dallas contains the best offensive line in football are over, and Dak Prescott needs to find some light in the passing game.
23. New York Jets (1-0)
Monday night could not have gone any better for the New York Jets, as they pulled off an upset against the Detroit Lions. Based on the persistence of Sam Darnold, who was the youngest starting quarterback in the last 50+ years, there is definitely promise for a Jets team that is eager to climb up the rankings as the season continues.
24. Miami Dolphins (1-0)
After a weather delay on Sunday, Miami was able to outlast the Tennessee Titans 27-20. The promise for Ryan Tannehill is present, but the run game needs a true cowbell back, as Kenyan Drake offered 3.4 YPC.
25. Seattle Seahawks (0-1)
The expectations for Seattle are low, but Russell Wilson is holding the team afloat. The defense isn’t nearly what is was a few years back, as an early loss could be deflating for the Seahawks.
26. San Francisco 49ers (0-1)
Many appointed San Francisco as a playoff franchise for 2018, but I just don’t see it. Jimmy Garoppolo struggles to drive offenses down the field, and his lack of aggressiveness will stop the 49ers from winning games against elite teams.
27. Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
Although Andrew Luck played a full game for the Indianapolis Colts, nothing stands out about this franchise. The defense is below-average, and their stretch over the next month includes facing the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Texans, and New England Patriots.
28. Detroit Lions (0-1)
Matt Patricia can’t be pleased with his head coaching debut against the New York Jets, as the Lions fell into a downwards spiral. Matt Stafford is scheduled to make $26.5 million this year, and threw 4 interceptions to a defense that had a total of 11 in all of 2017.
29. Arizona Cardinals (0-1)
I believe Josh Rosen is the more talented quarterback on the Arizona Cardinals roster, but I can see the log behind starting Sam Bradford. That being said, there is very little to believe in with this franchise, as the Cardinals are at a standstill in terms of progression towards a rebuild.
30. Cleveland Browns (0-0-1)
Had Baker Mayfield started for the Cleveland Browns, they would have likely overcame the Pittsburgh Steelers in week one. Still, a tie is better than a loss. The inconsistency of Tyrod Taylor will be the only aspect that holds the Browns back in 2018.
31. Tennessee Titans (0-1)
After failing to defeat a subpar team in the Miami Dolphins, the Tennessee Titans took another loss when Delanie Walker was ruled out for the season. Listed as possibly the most reliable option for QB Marcus Mariota, the Titans are starting off towards the bottom of the rankings.
32. Buffalo Bills (0-1)
To start off the season, the Buffalo Bills will work their way from the bottom. I claimed Josh Allen was the worst early rookie QB in the 2018 draft class, and I will stand by that. Nathan Peterman didn’t prove to be a better option, as the Bills need to go back to the drawing board already.
Featured Image: Daily Herald