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. Los Angeles Rams (2-0) (+3)
The Rams appear as an early favorite in the NFC, dismantling the Arizona Cardinals 34-0 on Sunday. With the most complete roster in the NFL, Los Angeles may remain at the #1 slot for the next several weeks.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-0) (+1)
After defeating the New England Patriots on Sunday, I claimed that the Jacksonville Jaguars would dethrone the recently ranked #1 franchise. After doing so 31-20, Jacksonville looks like the most electric team heading into their week three matchup against a wounded Tennessee Titans.
3. New England Patriots (1-1) (-2)
After dropping to 1-1, the New England Patriots still are maintained as an AFC powerhouse. Traveling to Detroit for week three, Tom Brady and company should be capable of hitting their stride over the next few weeks. Newly-added WR Josh Gordon should be suited up and ready to go.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) (+1)
Although we are only two games into the new season, the Kansas City Chiefs are looking dangerous. Patrick Mahomes II has thrown the most touchdowns through the first two weeks (10) in NFL history, as the Chiefs hung on against a potent Pittsburgh Steelers roster.
5. Minnesota Vikings (1-0-1) (-3)
Special teams were an issue against the Green Bay Packers, as Daniel Carlson missed on three different field goal attempts. With a “gimme” game against the Buffalo Bills on their own turf, the Minnesota Vikings have an opportunity to earn back some momentum with Dan Bailey signed.
6. Green Bay Packers (1-0-1) (-)
After a controversial call against LB Clay Matthews to send the game into overtime against the Minnesota Vikings, the Green Bay Packers found themselves with a tie by the end of week two. With a difficult matchup against the Washington Redskins this weekend, this will be a telling week.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) (-)
The Eagles fell victim to a red-hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense, and lost WR Mike Wallace in the process. With the offense slowly losing depth, the light in the situation is that Philadelphia is on track to find Carson Wentz back on the field for week three against the Indianapolis Colts.
8. Carolina Panthers (1-1) (-)
Carolina had the opportunity to move up in the rankings, but fell to an inconsistent Atlanta Falcons roster that was without Devonta Freeman. Luckily, other franchises failed to impress in week two, leaving the Panthers at #8 for the time being.
9. New Orleans Saints (1-1) (-)
Even with a victory over the Cleveland Browns, the New Orleans Saints barely escaped in the fourth quarter. In week three, a hypothetical loss to the Atlanta Falcons would surely place the Saints outside the top ten.
10. Atlanta Falcons (1-1) (+1)
Many wrote off the Atlanta Falcons after their week one loss, but a victory over the Carolina Panthers brings the Falcons to the brink of the top ten. While I can’t put Atlanta above Carolina at this current moment, a victory over the New Orleans Saints in week three would potentially shoot them up to the #7 slot.
11. Chicago Bears (1-1) (+4)
After a victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, the Chicago Bears pass rush appears elite. With conservative play from QB Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears are slowly climbing their way into the top ten.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1-1) (-2)
While Ben Roethlisberger continues to appear mediocre at best, I am still impressed with the play of RB James Conner. After allowing Patrick Mahomes II to toss for 6 TDs, I am a bit worried that Pittsburgh may fall behind against a hot team such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week three.
13. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) (+1)
After a convincing victory over the Buffalo Bills in week two, the Los Angeles Chargers may be able to pick up momentum in week three against the #1 ranked Los Angeles Rams.
14. Washington Redskins (1-1) (-2)
Ranked as the best team within the NFC East, the play of Alex Smith has been impressive. While Adrian Peterson played a minor role in week two, this offense has the ability to pick apart just about any opponent.
15. Denver Broncos (2-0) (+1)
Despite a second half comeback against the Oakland Raiders, the Denver Broncos still have some work to do. For a team that was once deemed as one of the best units in modern football, Denver only recorded one sack (from Von Miller) on Sunday.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0) (+4)
The magic surrounding Ryan Fitzpatrick continues, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to put points on the board. With Jameis Winston’s return looming, this will be a developing story in the near future.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (2-0) (+4)
A high-scoring victory over the Baltimore Ravens places the Cincinnati Bengals in a comfortable position for week three. Although Cincinnati may struggle either against Carolina or Atlanta in the next two weeks, one victory would put them in a solid placement moving forward.
18. Dallas Cowboys (1-1) (+4)
The Dallas Cowboys found their identity in a victory over the New York Giants in week two, but there are still plenty of holes to fill. The offensive line is below-average, and the defensive front is missing pieces in David Irving and Randy Gregory.
19. Baltimore Ravens (1-1) (-6)
After a statement game in week one against the Buffalo Bills, the Baltimore Ravens fell flat in week two against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens now have four consecutive AFC opponents, which could make or break this franchise.
20. Indianapolis Colts (1-1) (+7)
The victory of the Indianapolis Colts over the Washington Redskins is intriguing, as nothing truly stood out in week two. Andrew Luck posted mediocre numbers, and the defense was slightly above-average. The Redskins have the better overall roster, which is why they are a few slots above.
21. Miami Dolphins (2-0) (+3)
I had the Miami Dolphins as a dark horse playoff franchise this season, and they are proving me right thus far. Simple victories over the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets have been assuring, but the Oakland Raiders are hungry for a victory in week three, so beware.
22. San Francisco 49ers (1-1) (+4)
The San Francisco 49ers slipped away with a win over the Detroit Lions in week two, but games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers will be telling. The play of Jimmy Garoppolo was fine last weekend, but he is still missing a standout performance.
23. Houston Texans (0-2) (-6)
Houston came into the season vastly overrated, but I can see the logic behind why. Deshaun Watson has been unimpressive so far, and the defense has let up 20+ points in back-to-back weeks.
24. New York Giants (0-2) (-5)
Although the New York Giants are falling down the rankings rather quickly, there is a glimpse of hope. Teams that start 0-2 have an 11% chance of making the postseason, but New York is only one game behind the rest of the NFC East. Not to mention, it’s still early in the season to count anyone out.
25. New York Jets (1-1) (-2)
The Jets were explosive in week one, but I believe week two is a fair evaluation of how this team will last in 2018. There are aspects to be hopeful for, but New York isn’t primed for success this season.
26. Seattle Seahawks (0-2) (-1)
After failing to keep up with the Chicago Bears on Monday night, the life in Seattle is deflating quickly. The Seahawks can’t rely solely on Russell Wilson for success anymore, as the NFC is becoming more competitive as time passes.
27. Oakland Raiders (0-2) (-9)
I have said it before, but the trade of Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears will continue to haunt the Oakland Raiders front office. The entire defensive unit has been less efficient than Mack alone through the first two weeks, and it will correlate in the standings by the end of the year.
28. Detroit Lions (0-2) (-)
The Detroit Lions should have started off 2-0, but based on locker room conflictions and on-the-field ineffectiveness, this is a franchise that has very little momentum going into week three. With a schedule that includes the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and Green Bay Packers in the next three weeks, the Lions could very well begin the season 0-5.
29. Tennessee Titans (1-1) (+2)
Although the Tennessee Titans sought out a victory in week two, I’m not a fan of their chances moving forward. The dilemma at the quarterback position is an apparent issue, and it will come back to bite them in future weeks.
30. Cleveland Browns (0-1-1) (-)
A change at the kicker and quarterback position in would have catapulted the Cleveland Browns to a record of 2-0. With changes on special teams on the horizon, it will only be a matter of time before Baker Mayfield is thrown into the fire.
31. Arizona Cardinals (0-2) (-)
After being blanked by the Los Angeles Rams in week two, there is a solid argument for the Arizona Cardinals being the worst franchise in the NFL. It will be interesting to see whether the Cardinals commit to Sam Bradford at quarterback once the team is out of the playoff picture.
32. Buffalo Bills (0-2) (-)
There is no change at #32, as the Buffalo Bills continue to struggle to find an identity. At this rate, the Bills may need to prepare a plan to draft a quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft.
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