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Week 2 NFL power rankings

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The 2018 NFL season is officially one week old. The Monday Night Football doubleheader brought an unexpected New York Jets blowout of the Detroit Lions, and then a blowout Los Angeles Rams win over the Oakland Raiders. I would argue both games were entertaining, just in very different ways.

The wrap of Week 1 means it is time to bring back our NFL power rankings. I have ranked out all 32 teams, although after only one week, there is still more questions than answers. With that in mind, I decided to go with a slightly more objective measurement for this first ranking. I ranked the teams based on point differential. With only one week under our belt, that means the 1-0 teams are the top 15 teams, the 0-1 teams are the bottom 15 teams, and the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers are right in the middle!

I’ll move to a more subjective basis for these rankings in the coming weeks, but I wanted to use this measurement just to see how crazy this first week was. I realize the blowouts came against bad teams, but even still, it’s worth a look.

The San Francisco 49ers show up at No. 25 thanks to their eight point loss to the Minnesota Vikings. It could have been a lot worse, but we saw the 49ers show some life in the second half. They had a legit shot to win the game, but too many mistakes cost them.

The Baltimore Ravens lead the way courtesy of a 47-3 thumping of the Buffalo Bills. I would have had the Bills at the bottom of my power rankings even in the subjective format because they look to be the team ready to lead the race to the top pick.

The Los Angeles Rams are the closest to a most realistic ranking, sitting third after a second half beatdown of the Oakland Raiders. It looked like the Raiders might spring the upset, but the Rams defense clamped down and the offense caught fire en route to 20 unanswered points in the second half.

The Detroit Lions are second from the bottom after Monday’s ugly loss to the New York Jets. The Lions are probably not a bad as they looked, nor the Jets as good as they looked. And yet, the Lions are in rough shape heading into Santa Clara later this week. I’m fascinated to see what the 49ers defensive line can do against the Lions struggling offensive line, and what Jimmy Garoppolo can do against that defense.

If I were thinking of this subjectively, I would probably have the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles at the top of the rankings, along with the Los Angeles Rams. Washington is intriguing to me. The switch from Kirk Cousins to Alex Smith is the big question mark for them. Some might view it as an upgrade in consistency, and they looked good in their opener. They host the Indianapolis Colts in a game they should win, and then host the Green Bay Packers in what will be their first big test of the regular season.

Week 1 power rankings

Rank Team LW
Rank Team LW
1 Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
2 New York Jets (1-0)
3 Los Angeles Rams (1-0)
4 Washington (1-0)
5 Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)
6 Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
8 Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
9 Carolina Panthers (1-0)
10 Miami Dolphins (1-0)
11 New England Patriots (1-0)
12 Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
13 Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0)
14 Denver Broncos (1-0)
15 Green Bay Packers (1-0)
16 Cleveland Browns (0-0-1)
17 Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0-1)
18 Chicago Bears (0-1)
19 Seattle Seahawks (0-1)
20 New York Giants (0-1)
21 Atlanta Falcons (0-1)
22 Houston Texans (0-1)
23 Tennessee Titans (0-1)
24 San Francisco 49ers (0-1)
25 New Orleans Saints (0-1)
26 Dallas Cowboys (0-1)
27 Los Angeles Chargers (0-1)
28 Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
29 Arizona Cardinals (0-1)
30 Oakland Raiders (0-1)
31 Detroit Lions (1-0)
32 Buffalo Bills (0-1)