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New England Patriots top NFL power rankings heading into Week 2’s AFC title game rematch

The New England Patriots took care of business in their opener to earn the top spot in the power rankings, while the Kansas City Chiefs impressed under Patrick Mahomes.

Jay Asser 2018/09/12

Week 1 of the season featured plenty of fireworks, but upsets were few and far between as almost all of the top teams began their campaign on the right note.

The New England Patriots were as methodical as always in handling their somewhat challenging opener against the Houston Texans to once again look like the class of the AFC.

Of course, it’s just one game, and a better test for New England is on the way as they’ll meet the Jacksonville Jaguars – who also won their opener – in a rematch of the AFC Championship Game in Week 2.

The New Orleans Saints, meanwhile, were the top team to be knocked off their perch as their defence let them down in a 48-40 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With the defeat, the Saints open up lower in our power rankings than they would have otherwise.

Check out where all the teams rank below.

1. New England Patriots

Record: 1-0

It was business as usual for New England in the opener and their pass rush was particularly encouraging – although that may have been a function of Houston’s shaky offensive line.

2. Philadelphia Eagles

Record: 1-0

The defending champions looked lacklustre all preseason and they weren’t all that much better in the opener as they won in ugly fashion.

3. Los Angeles Rams

Record: 1-0

The second half against Oakland showed what this team is capable of and that’s dominant play on both sides of the ball.

4. Minnesota Vikings

Record: 1-0

Their defence was as advertised against San Francisco while Dalvin Cook looked like a weapon who can take the offence to the next level.

5. Green Bay Packers

Record: 1-0

The comeback win over Chicago was even more proof that Green Bay are difficult to kill when Aaron Rodgers is on the field.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars

Record: 1-0

The formula remains the same for Jacksonville, who leaned on their all-world defence to outlast the Giants.

7. Kansas City Chiefs

Record: 1-0

Patrick Mahomes mania is here after the Chiefs attack showed signs of being special in their impressive win over San Diego.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

Record: 0-0-1

Pittsburgh’s defence was firing against Cleveland as they racked up seven sacks, but Ben Roethlisberger had an off day.

9. Atlanta Falcons

Record: 0-1

There’s no harm in losing to the defending champions on the road, but the Falcons have to get their act together in the red zone.

10. New Orleans Saints

Record: 0-1

Tampa Bay has talented offensive players, but that type of performance by the defence is inexcusable for a Super Bowl contender.

11. Carolina Panthers

Record: 1-0

They left their win over Dallas banged up as both tight end Greg Olsen and right tackle Darryl Williams exited with serious injuries.

12. Baltimore Ravens

Record: 1-0

Buffalo could very well be the worst team in the league this season, so it’s hard to read too much into the Ravens’ blowout.

13. Los Angeles Chargers

Record: 0-1

They keep finding ways to shoot themselves in the foot and they might also have the worst home-field advantage in the league.

14. Houston Texans

Record: 0-1

Offensive line struggles will hold them back, even if Deshaun Watson can compensate on occasion.

15. Washington

Record: 1-0

The Alex Smith-Adrian Peterson combination has worked well so far, but stiffer competition than Arizona is on the way.

16. Denver Broncos

Record: 1-0

Case Keenum made mistakes, but he also injected some life into an offence that has been one-dimensional for some time.

17. San Francisco 49ers

Record: 0-1

Minnesota will make a lot of teams look bad this season, so the 49ers can take some solace in things getting a little easier.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Record: 1-0

No one saw that explosion coming from Tampa, especially under Ryan Fitzpatrick who is making Jameis Winston an afterthought.

19. Chicago Bears

Record: 0-1

Before they collapsed against Rodgers and the Packers, Chicago showed promising signs that they can make a leap this year.

20. Seattle Seahawks

Record: 0-1

The loss of Doug Baldwin, even if it for a week or two, depletes an offence that was already so reliant on Russell Wilson.

21. New York Jets

Record: 1-0

Not only was Sam Darnold impressive in his debut, the Jets defence wreaked havoc and took pressure off the offence.

22. New York Giants

Record: 0-1

Their skills players, against most teams that aren’t Jacksonville, will be too much to handle.

23. Cincinnati Bengals

Record: 1-0

Their win over Indianapolis was largely uninspiring, but they do have a budding star in running back Joe Mixon.

24: Miami Dolphins

Record: 1-0

Tennessee was crippled by injuries in their meeting, so the Dolphins still have plenty to prove.

25: Tennessee Titans

Record: 0-1

If Marcus Mariota misses time, they’ll have a hard time avoiding an 0-2 hole to start the season.

26. Dallas Cowboys

Record: 0-1

The offence has to be better than it was against Carolina, even if Dak Prescott doesn’t have the best receivers to work with.

27. Detroit Lions

Record: 0-1

That was an embarrassing coaching debut for Matt Patricia, who has to regroup his side before a tough match-up against the 49ers.

28. Oakland Raiders

Record: 0-1

Derek Carr may just not be as good of a quarterback as many thought, and they could certainly use Khalil Mack.

29. Cleveland Browns

Record: 0-0-1

They can hang their hat on the fact they didn’t lose again and that their defence was encouraging against an explosive Steelers attack.

30. Indianapolis Colts

Record: 0-1

The good news is Andrew Luck looks like Andrew Luck again, but the rest of the roster is just too barren to compete.

31. Arizona Cardinals

Record: 0-1

The passing game was nonexistent with Sam Bradford and it doesn’t get any easier with the Rams next on the schedule.

32. Buffalo Bills

Record: 0-1

They’re in for a long year, but they should at least make a decision on whether or not they want to play Josh Allen and then stick to it.

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