Brad Biggs’ NFL power rankings for Week 2 of the 2020 season see the Arizona Cardinals make a big move up and the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers drop.
Last week’s ranking in parentheses.
1. Chiefs 1-0 (1)
Add rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire to this offense and look out. All he did was ramble for 138 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Texans. Wait until he starts catching passes out of the backfield.
2. Ravens 1-0 (2)
Lamar Jackson can win himself another MVP award if he plays the Browns every week. He got off to a heck of a start after his superlative season, completing 20 of 25 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for another 45 yards.
3. Saints 1-0 (4)
What is reported to be a high-ankle sprain for wide receiver Michael Thomas makes things more challenging for the offense with the Packers up next.
4. Seahawks 1-0 (6)
Seattle went into Atlanta, shut down the Falcons run game and emerged with its eighth victory in its last nine regular-season road games. The key? When the Seahawks travel to the Eastern time zone, they leave on Fridays to get acclimated. Seems as if it’s a plan that works.
5. Packers 1-0 (8)
Maybe the arrival of first-round pick Jordan Love has sharpened Aaron Rodgers, who sliced apart Minnesota’s young cornerbacks by completing 32 of 44 passes for 364 yards and four touchdowns.
6. Cardinals 1-0 (17)
That DeAndre Hopkins trade — and subsequent new contract — are looking like great investments after he caught 14 passes for 151 yards in an upset of the 49ers.
7. 49ers 0-1 (3)
The hangover for the Super Bowl loser is real, right? The 49ers feel it now after losing the Cardinals in the opener. Plus, tight end George Kittle has a sprained knee.
8. Bills 1-0 (12)
Buffalo’s defense figured to be pretty good and got off to a fast start forcing the Jets to go three-and-punt on their first three possessions. The Bills can go 2-0 in the division with a win over the Dolphins this week.
9. Patriots 1-0 (13)
Cam Newton attempted 19 passes and New England rolled up 217 yards on the ground with Newton leading with way with 75 in a victory over Miami. A heck of a way to start the new era.
10. Rams 1-0 (14)
Credit to Brandon Staley, a former Bears assistant, in his debut replacing Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator. The Rams held the Cowboys to 3 of 12 on third down in a 20-17 victory.
11. Titans 1-0 (10)
Tennessee survived a rocky offensive start and an even rockier beginning for kicker Stephen Gostkowski to win against the Broncos in Denver.
12. Steelers 1-0 (11)
Ben Roethlisberger still can stand tall in the pocket at 38 and he threw two touchdown passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster and another to James Washington in a comfortable Monday night win over the Giants. Benny Snell added 113 rushing yards.
13. Cowboys 0-1 (5)
Aldon Smith picked up a sack in his first game since Nov. 15, 2015, but the Cowboys fell a field goal short of the Rams in the opener, in part because of Mike McCarthy’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-3 in the fourth quarter instead of kicking a field goal.
14. Vikings 0-1 (7)
Fresh off his new contract extension, Dalvin Cook had 48 yards of offense in a loss to the Packers, who struggled against the run at times last season. Minnesota won’t win many games with that kind of output from their running back.
15. Raiders 1-0 (20)
Two first-round picks from last year were outstanding as running back Josh Jacobs rushed for 93 yards and three touchdowns, also adding 46 receiving yards, and safety Johnathan Abram, who missed 15 games in 2019, had a game-high 13 tackles (nine solo) in a road victory over the Panthers.
16. Buccaneers 0-1 (9)
Tom Brady didn’t play like the guy you were accustomed to seeing in a Patriots uniform for two decades, and Rob Gronkowski looked like a shell of himself after taking a season off, in a disappointing opening loss against the Saints in New Orleans. Maybe Tampa Bay has been overhyped?
17. Texans 0-1 (15)
Talk about a tough start. The Texans have extra time to prepare this week after playing Thursday against the Chiefs, but the Ravens, Steelers and Vikings are next.
18. Bears 1-0 (21)
Matt Nagy instilled some balance in the offense and Mitch Trubisky got hot. Hosting the Giants is a chance to start 2-0 for only the second time since 2010.
19. Chargers 1-0 (24)
The Chargers get their turn at SoFi Stadium and, of course, there won’t be any fans there for the AFC West matchup against the Chiefs. Seriously, how many Bolts fans would be there if COVID-19 didn’t have a grip on the sporting world? They didn’t show up the last two seasons in Los Angeles.
20. Colts 0-1 (16)
Running back Marlon Mack will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. That puts the spotlight on rookie Jonathan Taylor as the Colts don’t want to throw 46 times like they had to with Philip Rivers in an opening loss against the Jaguars in Jacksonville.
21. Falcons 0-1 (19)
Matt Ryan attempted 54 passes, threw for 450 yards and Atlanta still lost. The Falcons are now 3-8 when Ryan has to sling it 50 or more times. Ryan passed John Elway for ninth on the NFL’s all-time yardage list in the loss to Seattle.
22. Eagles 0-1 (18)
Carson Wentz was brutal in the opening loss to Washington but injuries are crushing Philadelphia. He has to find a way to keep the Eagles afloat while some of the key missing players — offensive tackle Lane Johnson, running back Miles Sanders and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, among others — are out.
23. Jaguars 1-0 (32)
Gardner Minshew is either going to be good enough to put the Jaguars out of position for a top quarterback in the 2021 draft or he’s going to be a legit trade piece if Jacksonville is in the right spot and wants to draft an arm. Minshew can play.
24. Washington 1-0 (31)
Rallying from 17 points down to stun the NFC East-rival Eagles in his debut in Washington has to rank as one of the most satisfying regular-season victories in Ron Rivera’s career considering he’s missing time each week for cancer treatment.
25. Broncos 0-1 (22)
Vic Fangio’s defense played hard but you expected that even without Von Miller. You didn’t figure sure-handed wide receiver Jerry Jeudy would have a case of the drops.
26. Dolphins 0-1 (26)
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions but more troubling has to be the defense being gashed for 217 rushing yards by the Patriots.
27. Lions 0-1 (25)
With each game that passes, the Jim Caldwell era looks better and better.
28. Giants 0-1 (28)
Fifteen carries for Saquon Barkley for a mere six yards is no way to get the offense going in the Joe Judge era. The offensive line is a problem.
29. Panthers 0-1 (29)
Matt Rhule was viewed as perhaps the brightest coach at the college level and that’s why the Panthers lured him to the NFL with a seven-year contract. So, why does he give the ball to fullback Alex Armah on fourth-and-1 with Christian McCaffrey in the backfield? Yeah, I don’t know either. Armah got stuffed and the Raiders took over on downs with 71 seconds to play. Game over.
30. Browns 0-1 (23)
Cody Parkey, who kicked in three games for the Titans last season, starts his second tour with Cleveland Thursday night when he replaces Austin Seibert. It will be Parkey’s return to a nationally televised game against the Bengals.
31. Bengals 0-1 (30)
Cincinnati had a shot late against the Chargers but Joe Burrow succumbed to the fate that has doomed so many No. 1 pick quarterbacks of late. Quarterbacks taken No. 1 overall are now 0-12-1 since David Carr won his debut with the Texans in 2002. Arizona’s Kyler Murray rallied for a tie in Week 1 last season when the Lions coughed up an 18-point lead.
32. Jets 0-1 (27)
With the offense already in turmoil, Gang Green has picked up where it left off last season, and the year before and, well, you get it.
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