NFL Power Ranking: Upset Week 1 Doesn’t Change Poll Dramatically

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Sometimes Week 1 of the NFL season makes incredibly meaningful. Sometimes it isn’t.

Take last season for example. The Green Bay Packers were absolutely smothered in their opening game in 2021, losing 38-3 to a New Orleans Saints team that played its first game without Drew Brees.

The Saints were considered a mediocre team going into the season – they finished 9-8 – and the instinct of some was to write the Packers off, especially after Aaron Rodgers showed up late for training camp after a dramatic low season. in which he considered retiring. (Sounds familiar?)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts after a defensive stop by Minnesota Vikings in fourth place during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, September 11, 2022, in Minneapolis. (TBEN Photo/Abbie Parr)

All the Packers did was win 13 of their last 16 games, secure the NFC North title for the third consecutive season and become No. 1 in the NFC. The Packers’ season ended in disappointment when they lost a divisional playoff game to the San Francisco 49ers, but few expected them to reach the heights they reached in the immediate aftermath of that loss.

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The Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans started their 2021 seasons in a similarly disappointing fashion, losing home games before recovering to win 11 and 12 games respectively, and their divisions in the AFC.

With that history in mind, I’ve put together my Week 2 NFL Strength Rankings. I try my best not to read too much into openers. As Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell said last week, more teams lose openers with the mistakes they make than they win by making great plays, which may explain some of the results we got.

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The Denver Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks (after fumbling twice on the goal line) in what was supposed to be Russell Wilson’s revenge game.

Featuring a healthy Saquon Barkley for once, the New York Giants defeated a Titans team expected to compete for the AFC South.

The Houston Texans tie the other AFC South contender, the Indianapolis Colts, despite a great day from Jonathan Taylor.

And the Chicago Bears beat the San Francisco 49ers on the little lake that was Soldier Field.

I didn’t think much about the Seahawks, Giants, Texans, or Bears going into the season, and I still have all four teams in the bottom third of my power rankings for now. Maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps one or more of those teams will finish the season as a playoff contender. But it’s week 1, way too early to give anyone a crown.

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Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

1. Buffalo Bills

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

3. Kansas City Chiefs

4. Rams in Los Angeles

5. Los Angeles Chargers

6. Baltimore Ravens

7. Minnesota Vikings

8. Green Bay Packers

9. Philadelphia Eagles

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alim McNeill (54) reacts to a first-half game against Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) at Ford Field, September 11, 2022.

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alim McNeill (54) reacts to a first-half game against Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) at Ford Field, September 11, 2022.

10. Saints of New Orleans

11. Miami Dolphins

12. Pittsburgh Steelers

13. Cincinnati Bengal

14. Las Vegas Raiders

15. Indianapolis Foals

16. San Francisco 49ers

17. Tennessee Titans

18. Cleveland Browns

19. New England Patriots

20. Dallas Cowboys

21. Arizona Cardinals

22. Detroit Lions

23. Washington Soccer Team

24. Seattle Seahawks

25. Denver Broncos

26. Chicago Bears

27. New York Giants

28. Houston Texans

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

30. New York Jets

31. Carolina Panthers

32. Atlanta Falcons

Contact Dave Birkett at: [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: NFL power rankings: Buffalo Bills top after week 1 upset