NFL power rankings are always likely to look a little different after the teams have actually played a game, so let’s see what changes the Week 1 action have brought to the Pickswise Power Rankings! To kick off, we have a new #1 team and there are some big movers and shakers further down the list.
The big risers this week are the Rams (up 11), Patriots (up 7) and the Cowboys (up 6), while the major fallers include the Seahawks (down 8), Steelers (down 6), Bears (down 5) and Giants (down 5).
Even so, we’ve been pretty forgiving to previously high-ranked teams who lost in Week 1, but they’re on notice that bigger falls will follow if they fall into a much bigger hole.
You can also check out our early pick for NFL Week 2 and look at the latest NFL odds any time you like. Now, let’s get to the rankings.
Pickswise NFL Power Rankings for Week 2
1 (up 1) Philadelphia Eagles
Given that 3 of last week’s top 4 teams (Chiefs, Bengals and Bills) all lost, the Eagles were any easy choice to rise to top spot. Even so, their win over the Patriots wasn’t as comfortable as it should have been after they went up 16-0 in the first quarter. The sportsbooks don’t quite see it the same way, with FanDuel keeping the Chiefs as Super Bowl favorites, while DraftKings now prefers the 49ers, but the Eagles did more than most to suggest they will remain contenders.
2 (down 1) Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs had a lot of credit in the bank, so we’re not going to be too harsh for what was an easily avoidable loss to the Lions. They were without Travis Kelce and Chris Jones and still would have won if Kadarius Toney had made a catch or two. With Jones now back on board, it’s not time to panic in KC just yet.
3 (up 2) San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers move up 2 places after schooling the Steelers on the road. Those of us who are Brock Purdy truthers got more evidence that he is the answer at QB, while Brandon Aiyuk and Christian McCaffrey are pretty good, too.
4 (up 6) Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are fulling deserving of a 6-place hike in the rankings after winning 40-0 on the road against a team that made the playoffs last year. FanDuel still has Dallas 5th in its Super Bowl odds, behind the Bills, but DraftKings agrees with us and has the Cowboys 4th in its list at +900 odds.
5 (down 2) Cincinnati Bengals
Here’s one of those teams we’re being nice to because it was only Week 1. The Bengals were beaten up by the Browns defense, losing 24-3 with Joe Burrow having a career-low 82 passing yards and Tee Higgins managing to record zero receiving yards on 8 targets. Conditions were bad and Burrow is coming off his calf injury, but a further fall will be in store if they don’t show more against the Ravens this week. DraftKings has dropped the Bengals to 3rd favorites for the AFC North at +245 odds after that costly divisional loss.
6 (-) Jacksonville Jaguars
We have reached the first team who are in the same place as last week! That’s still higher than their Super Bowl odds, as the Jags rank only 12th in the outright betting at DraftKings (joint-10th at FD). They finished strongly after making harder work of beating the Colts than they should have, but with Calvin Ridley looking a major threat, it was a solid start.
7 (down 3) Buffalo Bills
A 3-place drop is the least the Bills deserve really after Josh Allen’s 3-pick overtime loss to a Jets team that unexpectedly had Zach Wilson at quarterback for all but 4 snaps. FanDuel still has them as 4th-favorites for the Super Bowl and they are 5th at DK, but it wasn’t a great start.
8 (up 1) Cleveland Browns
We had the Browns higher than most other power rankings at 9th last week and they probably did enough to be higher than this when whupping the Bengals. The sportsbooks have definitely noticed, and the Browns’ odds are as low as +1800 at DraftKings having been upwards of 30/1 in preseason. Deshaun Watson had some shaky moments in the pouring rain (but was a lot better than Burrow) and the Browns also lost right tackle Jack Conklin for the season, but it will be interesting to see what rookie man mountain Dawand Jones (nicknamed Thanos) does in his place.
9 (down 1) Miami Dolphins
I’ve actually dropped the Dolphins a place despite their win in that barnburner against the Chargers. Tua and Tyreek had a million yards each and they still won by only 2 points, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for their offensive stars to ease up. They’re still going to be a fun team to watch every week though.
10 (up 4) Detroit Lions
We were a little cautious on the Lions last week at #14 and they did take down the former #1 team, so they get a bump up the list into the top 10 but I think the Detroit hype is still a little over the top. FanDuel has them 9th in the odds now and they’re 8th at DK. It should be pretty noisy in the Motor City for the visit of Seattle this week.
11 (down 4) New York Jets
It was hard to know what to do with the Jets. They won a dramatic game against the Bills last night, but their power for the rest of the season is diminished by the likely loss of QB Aaron Rodgers. Zach Wilson has clearly benefited from having Rodgers around, and now he’ll be getting the practice reps too while that defense can take the team a long way. Even so, the injury to Rogers means a 4-place loss rather than a rise this week.
12 (down 1) Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are down one to accommodate the Lions’ rise, which is probably harsh, but it was hard for them to impress when they had only the Texans to beat. Rookie WR Zay Flowers made a great first impression but the Ravens’ bad injury luck returned with RB JK Dobbins heading the Week 1 casualty list. They are favorites for the AFC North with FanDuel now and joint-favorites with the Browns at DK.
13 (-) Los Angeles Chargers
Our second unchanged team in the rankings. It seems a familiar story: the Chargers played well against the Dolphins and showcased their talent but still found a way to lose.
14 (up 3) Green Bay Packers
The Packers move up 3 places this week as the ownership of the Bears passed from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love. It was a promising start with the Green Bay defense showing up well too.
15 (up 5) Atlanta Falcons
The Dirty Birds fly up 5 places in the rankings after posting one of the more baffling box scores of the week. Kyle Pitts was the leading receiver despite catching only 2 passes on 3 targets, while Drake London posted 0 receiving yards on 1 target. Tyler Allgeier and Bijan Robinson had it going, but Atlanta needs to find a way to make the most of what it has.
16 (up 5) New Orleans Saints
Another NFC South team with another 5-place rise. Derek Carr won his first game as Saints QB against the Titans but it wasn’t pretty as Rashid Shaheed scored the only TD in a game which saw 8 field goals converted.
17 (down 5) New York Giants
We move into the bottom half of the standings and no team deserved to be booted out of the top half more than the Giants after their humbling at home to Dallas. They’ve gone down 5 places but it could have been more.
18 (down 3) Minnesota Vikings
Fans of regression were punching the air as last season’s one-score game kings Minnesota suffered a narrow loss in Week 1. Justin Jefferson still had 150 receiving yards and rookie WR Jordan Addison and new starting RB Alexander Mattison both scored TDs, so there’s something to work with, but the Vikes have to move into the bottom half for taking this home defeat to the Buccaneers.
19 (up 11) Los Angeles Rams
Here were have the week’s biggest risers. The Rams may have been written off prematurely as they showed plenty of spark in a 30-13 road win over the Seahawks, replacing them in this slot. The Rams are 3rd favorites for the NFC West now at +1000.
20 (up 7) New England Patriots
Here’s the one that might have people scratching their heads as the Patriots move up 7 despite losing. The reason is that they gave the very highly ranked Eagles a proper test and showed enough to suggest that they will be more competitive than expected against lesser challenges. With the Dolphins, Jets and Cowboys coming up next it doesn’t get any easier for them, though.
21 (down 3) Denver Broncos
The Broncos looked pretty good for much of their game against the Raiders, but Las Vegas emerged as the only team in the AFC West to win this week. Kicker Wil Lutz missed a PAT and a field goal so it might be wise not to mark the Broncos down too much.
22 (down 6) Pittsburgh Steelers
The 2023 NFL preseason champions are not so good against starters, it turns out. The Steelers were being hyped like crazy after an unbeaten exhibition season, but the buzz has died down after the 30-7 loss to the 49ers. The loss to injury of DE Cam Heyward is a major blow too.
23 (up 2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Shake ‘n Bake, Bucs fans! Baker Mayfield got the W on his Bucs debut against the Vikings, despite passing for only 173 yards, which was around half Kirk Cousins’ tally. The Bears offer an opportunity to go 2-0 this week, but the Eagles lie in wait after that.
24 (up 2) Las Vegas Raiders
The unexpected early leaders of the AFC West are +1100 odds with FanDuel to be there at the end of the season. Jimmy Garoppolo posted a debut win and Jakobi Meyers showed up well, scoring 2 TDs before sustaining a nasty head injury.
25 (down 3) Washington Commanders
The Commanders got the win over the Cardinals, but when you struggle to get by the #32 team as a home favorite, you’re going to move down the rankings. We’ll know more about them after they’ve faced the Broncos, Bills and Eagles in their next 3 games.
26 (down 3) Tennessee Titans
The Titans’ quarterback change might be coming sooner than expected after Ryan Tannehill opened with 3 picks and a completion rate of 47.1% against the Saints. Competition between Malik Willis and Will Levis should be heating up in practice this week.
27 (down 8) Seattle Seahawks
I’ve given the Seahawks a mighty 8-place drop for their tame home defeat by the Rams. Maybe that will wake them up. Seattle gained only one first down while losing the second half 23-0 and picked up injuries along its offensive line.
28 (up 3) Indianapolis Colts
The Colts had some bright spots in their loss to the Jaguars, so they’ve actually moved up 3 places despite a 10-point home defeat — they are the final risers on the list, though.
29 (down 5) Chicago Bears
It’s down 5 spots for the Bears, who didn’t look great in their loss to the Packers. They’re +1000 at DraftKings to win the NFC North but don’t expect a line to be forming to take those odds.
30 (down 2) Carolina Panthers
The Panthers have a relatively friendly schedule but it’s hard to see them doing much with it and it would be no surprise if they stay in the bottom 5 of the rankings for the rest of the season. Rookie QB Bryce Young has another tough test against the Saints defense next week.
31 (down 2) Houston Texans
Continuing our tour of the rookie quarterbacks, it’s CJ Stroud and the Texans. Houston failed to score a touchdown against the Ravens, but they will have easier tests, starting with the Colts this week where they are just 1.5-point home underdogs.
32 (-) Arizona Cardinals
No change here. The Cardinals covered against the Commanders but new QB Josh Dobbs had only 132 passing yards. Their game against a Giants team fresh off a 40-point defeat has a strange kind of appeal.