Each Tuesday during the regular season, FanHouse will roll out its NFL Power Rankings. Our Week 2 rankings are below. For previous editions, click here.
This is not time for teams who lost in Week 1 to panic. There was a lot of bad football throughout the weekend, and we know little about who the most powerful teams in the league will be this year.
Even many of those who won looked like they had a lot of work still to do on their teams. It means that many of the teams that lost openers will be heard from again before it's all said and done.
- 1. Saints (1-0) | Last Week: 1
What a way to start the season for the defending Super Bowl champs. They faced their NFC title-game opponents from last year, didn't play their best, but still came away with a victory. The team made the mental errors expected from a team in their first week, but they didn't turn the ball over. And that's the mark of a champion. --Knox Bardeen
- 2. Patriots (1-0) | Last Week: 4
After taking a look at Tom Brady and Wes Welker shred the Bengals in the season opener, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Patriots start requiring all of their players to have gruesome knee injuries at some point in their career. Perhaps they'll start with their defensive backs because, big halftime lead or not, the Pats secondary lived down to their advance billing on Sunday. --Josh Alper
- 3. Texans (1-0) | Last Week: 15
Gary Kubiak said the focus of this offseason was more physical play and an emphasis on fixing the running game. A win against the Colts, with plenty of hard hits to Peyton Manning, and Arian Foster rushing for 231 yards and 3 TDs, means that the message got through ... at least for Week 1. --Stephanie Stradley
- 4. Packers (1-0) | Last Week: 9
It wasn't pretty -- especially in the second half -- but the Packers won a quality road game in Week 1. Making things work without Ryan Grant will be tough, but Green Bay is off to a good start, and it knows it will have to score a lot of points to win this division.
- 5. Vikings (0-1) | Last Week: 3
Give Minnesota's defense credit, because after that first touchdown drive the Saints had, everyone probably thought they were going to see a blowout. That didn't happen, and while the Vikings didn't look good on offense, the defense is still formidable.
- 6. Ravens (1-0) | Last Week: 5
The Ravens are used to winning ugly, so Monday night wasn't much of a shock. Baltimore has to run the ball better than it did Monday, but that shouldn't be a problem now that the Ravens aren't playing the Jets.
- 7. Colts (0-1) | Last Week: 2
Colts fans are trying to talk themselves off the ledge by saying the last time they lost to the Texans, they went to the Super Bowl. Those same fans will try to ignore the unstable, injured offensive line that could get Peyton Manning killed, poor run defense and learning that once again, safety Bob Sanders left the game with injury. --SS
- 8. Titans (1-0) | Last Week: 13
Both the Titans offense and defense dominated in the rout of the Raiders. Ho hum, Chris Johnson gets yet another long TD for 76 yards. Are the Titans back, or is it that they just played the Raiders at home? --SS
- 9. Steelers (1-0) | Last Week: 17
With Dennis Dixon at quarterback, Pittsburgh still found a way to pull out an overtime win over a good NFC team. It's a key first step toward keeping the team in good shape until Ben Roethlisberger returns.
- 10. Redskins (1-0) | Last Week: 16
With a little bit of help from Alex Barron and Tashard Choice, the Redskins pulled out a win over Dallas, despite their offense struggling to produce points all night. As Donovan McNabb becomes more comfortable in this offense, expect it to be more productive.
- 11. Cowboys (0-1) | Last Week: 6
Tony Romo looked sharp at times, but the holding penalty on the game's final play -- which was a touchdown pass to Roy Williams -- was a fitting end. Dallas was sloppy throughout the game, and the Cowboys didn't deserve to win.
- 12. Chargers (0-1) | Last Week: 7
The Chargers outgained Kansas City by nearly 200 yards Monday night, but lost by seven. This isn't new for San Diego ... the Chargers are very good at starting slow, and they always seem to find a way back.
- 13. Jets (0-1) | Last Week: 10
If there was anything good to take out of Monday's loss to the Ravens, it's that the Jets have as good a defense as advertised. They held firm a number of times, despite giving up some big plays to Joe Flacco, and the run defense was practically impenetrable.
- 14. Giants (1-0) | Last Week: 20
It wasn't a great day for Eli Manning, but he did find Hakeem Nicks for three scores, and the Giants abused Carolina starter Matt Moore and backup Jimmy Clausen. Shutting down Carolina's run game like they did might have been even more impressive.
- 15. Bengals (0-1) | Last Week: 11
Getting torched by Tom Brady and his receivers is not a shameful act, but the Bengals expected their offense to be more competitive in this game. Instead, it didn't get going until it was already 31-3. It's hard to imagine Cincinnati playing like this again.
- 16. Eagles (0-1) | Last Week: 8
Kevin Kolb's injury might have been the best thing that could have happened. Without it, the Eagles probably get blown out in their opener, and they may never have gotten a true glimpse of what Michael Vick could do for them. Unless Kolb picks things up quickly, it's only a matter of time before a switch is made.
- 17. Dolphins (1-0) | Last Week: 19
You never spit on any win in the NFL, but one shouldn't try to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse either. The Dolphins offense was not particularly impressive during Sunday's victory over the Bills, and Chad Henne didn't do anything to make Bill Parcells seem out of line for registering his disappointment in the starting quarterback. Next week will bring more answers because the jury's still out over here. --JA
- 18. Falcons (0-1) | Last Week: 12
Sunday's effort did not make them look like a team that could win 11 or 12 games this season. In an overtime loss this newly revamped Falcons offense could only muster three field goals. Sure they held Pittsburgh to just 15 points, but that was while facing a backup quarterback and they still gave up 108 yards receiving to Hines Ward. Next Week, the Falcons face an even bigger wideout in Larry Fitzgerald. --KB
- 19. Chiefs (1-0) | Last Week: 21
A very loud crowd at the renovated Arrowhead Stadium went home happy Monday night, as the Chiefs beat division rival San Diego. It marked a big moment for Kansas City, but the Chiefs have to deal with the reality that they were dominated throughout the night, and quarterback Matt Cassell struggled with his accuracy while under nearly constant harassment.
- 20. Seahawks (1-0) | Last Week: 27
The Seahawks looked tired of hearing the 49ers would run away with this division, and the team used Week 1 to make a statement against the supposed top team in the NFC West. Matt Hasselbeck was efficient, completing 18 of 23 passes and rendering the need for a running game useless. That was a good thing, as the Seattle running backs combined for just six rushing yards at the midpoint of the third quarter while the game was still in reach for San Francisco. A trip to Denver is next for the Seahawks. --R.J. White
- 21. Bears (1-0) | Last Week: 22
Controversy aside, the Bears had some good things happen. They moved the ball well, protected Jay Cutler pretty well, and Matt Forte had a huge game. Perhaps last year was simply a sophomore slump for Forte.
- 22. Cardinals (1-0) | Last Week: 22
The post-Warner era started just as you would expect, as the former Super Bowl contenders needed a late touchdown to skate by the Rams, last year's worst team in the league. Derek Anderson struggled with accuracy problems, connecting with Larry Fitzgerald on just three of 15 attempts. If he doesn't get his act together quickly, the Cardinals will have a tough time earning a second consecutive road win (this time in Atlanta) to start the season. --RW
- 23. Jaguars (1-0) | Last Week: 28
Jacksonville gets its must win in the Tebow Bowl. The Broncos' first-round pick, Tim Tebow, might have been getting all the attention, but his ineffectual two-yard rushing performance didn't match David Garrard's efficient (translated: not many total yards) three touchdowns. --SS
- 24. Buccaneers (1-0) | Last Week: 24
Tampa Bay had sold out Raymond James Stadium every game since 1997. That was until Sunday when it had 24,336 empty seats as the Cleveland Browns came to town. Sure it wasn't a sexy matchup, and the Browns did rack up 340 yards of offense, but Tampa Bay won the game. Josh Freeman gutted out a admirable performance after coming back quickly from a broken thumb. Things could be headed in the right direction. --KB
- 25. Panthers (0-1) | Last Week: 32
There may already be a quarterback controversy in Charlotte. Matt Moore posted a 32.6 quarterback rating and threw three interceptions on Sunday and was even rushed to the hospital after a hit from Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora. Head coach John Fox isn't ready to rule out Moore after a concussion, but the Panthers' fan base may be. --KB
- 26. Broncos (0-1) | Last Week: 26
Since last year's 6-0 start led to nothing, maybe losing the first game will end up helping Denver in a way. The Broncos have to establish more consistent flow on offense if they are to have a successful season.
- 27. Lions (0-1) | Last Week: 29
Despite an injury to Matthew Stafford, no running game, and too many turnovers, the Lions still should have beaten the Bears. Call the Calvin Johnson play anything you want, but it was the correct call based on the rule, and hopefully it's another lesson learned for NFL receivers.
- 28. Raiders (0-1) | Last Week: 24
That looked like the same old Raiders, getting stomped on in Nashville. It's a long season, but if anyone has reason to panic, it's the Raiders, who simply were overmatched by a team that is not believed to be a juggernaut.
- 29. Browns (0-1) | Last Week: 26
Jake Delhomme made some nice throws, and he made some ugly ones. That doesn't shock anyone who has followed him. The Browns used a lot of different personnel and threw different looks at Tampa Bay. In the end, the quarterback didn't make enough positive plays, especially in the second half.
- 30. Rams (0-1) | Last Week: 31
The Rams were able to take positive things away from Sam Bradford's first game under center, despite ultimately losing a close game to the Cardinals. Bradford acquitted himself well while being asked to throw 55 passes in his debut, and although three attempts were picked off, he had the Rams in a position to win the game in the fourth quarter. He also potentially found his go-to receiver, connecting for recent acquisition Mark Clayton 10 times. The Rams have a potentially winnable game in Oakland in Week 2. --RW
- 31. 49ers (0-1) | Last Week: 14
If you're a team in need of a wake-up call, it's good to get it out of the way in the first week of the season. The 49ers had trouble opening holes against what was thought to be a mediocre Seattle rush defense, leading to just a 2.2-yard per carry average for Frank Gore. Quarterback Alex Smith didn't prove any better, throwing two picks, one being returned for a touchdown. Mike Singletary surely had some choice words for his players after the game, and practice leading up to Week 2's game against the Saints should be particularly hellish. --RW
- 32. Bills (0-1) | Last Week: 32
Trent Edwards looked exactly like Trent Edwards, although one wonders if Johnny Unitas would begin to resemble Trent Edwards if he played in front of what the Bills are trying to pass off as an offensive line. The Bills didn't do a thing on Sunday to make anyone doubt the most dire of predictions for their record in 2010. --JA