NFL Power Rankings: Week 2 (2021)

Well, that was fun, and we’ve still got 17 weeks to go! Many at the top of the Week 1 power rankings solidified their lofty standings, like the Buccaneers, Chiefs, and Rams. However, others, like the Packers and Bills, took unexpected tumbles in Week 1 thanks to uninspiring performances in their opening games. 

Despite the top two teams remaining static, we’ve got a ton of shake-up week over week. Four teams have risen or fallen at least seven spots, and in total, 10 teams have shifted five or more positions in the rankings. Check out the full 32-team list below.

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NFL Power Rankings Week 2

Big Movers

Buffalo Bills
Pittsburgh’s defense is outstanding, but the Bills didn’t really have much of a problem with anyone’s defense last year. Josh Allen and company won’t be sneaking up on any team this year. That much is evident after a 23-16 home loss to the Steelers. Not a great start to the season for one of the league’s preseason darlings.

Green Bay Packers
What was that? Aaron Rodgers went 15/28 for 133 yards and two interceptions against the Saints, and the Packers' defense was walked all over by Jameis Winston. It’s only one game, as Rodgers said, but it was an awful game. Last year, this defense was a concern, and they didn’t do much to put those rumblings to bed.

Philadelphia Eagles
In my Week 1 power rankings, I had the Eagles slotted in 27th and mentioned how every bit of me wanted to rank them higher, but I needed to see them prove it on the field first. Well, they did. Jalen Hurts is good, the defensive line is good as always, and DeVonta Smith looks like he’ll be catching passes from Hurts for a long time. This Eagles team isn’t a Super Bowl contender by any means and may not even be in the playoff hunt, but they’re headed in the right direction.

Tennessee Titans
The Titans' defense was horrible last year, and it may have been worse against Arizona on Sunday. The offense looked bad despite all the weapons, but that’ll improve as the new scheme becomes more familiar. However, it won’t matter if Tennessee doesn’t figure something out on defense. You can’t win in this league if your defense consistently allows 400 yards of offense.

Baltimore Ravens
I was confident that the Ravens could withstand a lot of these injuries. I was also on the ‘Baltimore’s offense isn’t broken’ side of the argument all offseason. It’s only one game, but I’m getting a bit nervous about both of my predictions. There’s either just not enough talent or not enough game planning because far too often, the Ravens are relying on Lamar Jackson to improvise.

Random Musings

NFC West
All four teams won their Week 1 matchup, and all four teams looked pretty good for the majority of their respective games - save the 49ers' mini-implosion in the fourth quarter against the Lions. This looked like the toughest division in football before the year started, and Week 1 did nothing to deter that notion. We very well may see three playoff teams from the NFC West.

Los Angeles Chargers
Perhaps the team I was highest on heading into the season was the Chargers, and while Sunday’s game wasn’t the prettiest of wins, it was a really solid road victory against a top-notch defense. Justin Herbert is the real deal, the Chargers' defense looks like an improved unit, and they were timely on both sides of the ball. Watch out for Los Angeles.

New York Giants
In the notes section of the above table, I wrote ‘new year, same problems on both sides of the ball.’ The Giants defense, which was ranked ninth in points allowed last year, couldn’t get off the field and allowed Teddy Bridgewater to compile the best QBR of any Week 1 quarterback. And then there’s the offense, which aside from a 42-yard completion on a free play, averaged just 4.7 yards per snap.

Cincinnati Bengals
This was a tough offseason for Bengals fans, despite getting Joe Burrow back and drafting Ja’Marr Chase. Burrow’s tentativeness in the pocket, Chase’s drops, and the lack of an offensive line cast a shadow on Cincinnati’s season before it even began. Does an overtime win against the Vikings automatically vault the Bengals into the playoff conversation? No, but it certainly does help fans feel a lot more optimistic about the future of this team.

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