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NFL Power Rankings: Eagles at the top; Saints drop

Eliot Shorr-Parks
September 13, 2018 - 5:30 am

Now that Week is in the books, here is an updated look at my NFL Power Rankings:

1. Eagles: The Eagles’ season-opening win wasn’t pretty, but it showed why they belong at the top of this list — they know how to win and they know how to dominate the line of scrimmage.

2. Patriots: The Patriots reminded everyone in Week 1 why they are still the favorite to win the AFC as they easily handled the up-and-coming Houston Texans.  

3. Jaguars: The Jaguars weren't very impressive in their win over the Giants, but like the Eagles, the fact they could win a game where they don't play their best is a sign of just how ready this team is to take the next step. 

4. Vikings: The Viking' win at home over the San Francisco 49ers was impressive. It won't be easy for many teams to go into Minnesota this season and come out with a win.  

5. Chiefs: So much for a slow start for the Chiefs. Quarterback Patrick Mahome looked great in the season opener. The Chiefs' offense is going to be one of the best in units in the NFL this seasoon

6. Rams: The Rams got an easy season-opener against a bad Oakland Raiders team, but they did what they were supposed to -- take care of business and win the game. 

7. Packers: The Packers will go as far as quarterback Aaron Rodgers will take them. If Week 1 was any indication, that is going to be pretty far.  

8. Saints: The Saints had perhaps the worst Week 1 loss in the entire NFL. Still, they are so talented on both sides of the ball that it is hard to drop them too far after the loss. 

9. 49ers: Message to those jumping off of the 49ers' bandwagon already -- opening up in Minnesota was a very tough first test, and they barely lost the game. Don't give up on this team after one week. 

10. Steelers: The Steelers didn't techinally lose, but chances are Pittsburgh isn't feeling great about their season-opening tie to the Cleveland Browns.

11. Chargers: The Chargers' loss to the Chiefs isn't anything to be worried about if you are a Chargers' fan. If they don't beat the Buffalo Bills this weekend, however, then it could be time to panic. 

12. Panthers: The Panthers beat a bad Cowboys team, so it is still hard to get a read on just how good this team is. One thing that is clear? Going into Carolina is not going to be easy for any team this season. 

13. Falcons: The Falcons’ exposed their biggest weakness in their season-opening loss — offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. As long as he is running the offense this team shouldn’t be viewed as a Super Bowl contender. 

14. Bears: The Bears have a ton of talent on both sides of the ball and seemed primed for a season-opening win over the Packers. It will only be a matter of time until they start turning those close losses into wins. 

15. Titans: The Titans loss to the Miami Dolphins -- which took over seven hours -- was not pretty. They should drop further in these rankings, but it isn't time to give up on the Titans just yet. 

16. Texans: The Texans shouldn't be expected to go into New England and beat the Patriots just yet. They should, however, be able to make it competitive. The fact they didn't really make it a contest was dissapointing.  

17. Broncos: The Broncos saw the good and the bad of new quarterback Case Keenum this past weekend. He is going to be an upgrade for them at quarterback, as evident by the three touchdowns he threw. The three interceptions, however, aren't going to cut it if the Broncos are going to compete for a playoff spot. 

18. Jets: The Jets' win over the Detriot Lions was impressive on both sides of the ball. The biggest takeaway, however, is just how well rookie quarterback Sam Darnold played. If he keeps it up, the Jets are going to be in serious contention for a playoff spot. 

19. Seahawks: The Seahawks’ roster is not good. As long as they have quarterback Russell Wilson, however, they will not be as bad as most experts are predicting. 

20. Ravens: It is hard to take too much away from the Ravens' beatdown of a bad Bills team. If they follow it up with another win, however, they could soon find themselves climbing up these power rankings.  

21. Redskins: Washington’s drop-off at quarterback from Kirk Cousins to Alex Smith isn’t as drastic as some might think, but they still don’t have enough talent on either side of the ball to compete for a playoff spot -- even if they did embarrass the Arizona Cardinals. 

22. Buccaneers: The Buccaneers had an extremely impressive Week 1 win, but with how much trouble they have had putting together good games consistently, it is hard to really see them as an improved team after just one game.  

23. Dolphins: The Dolphins got a win to start the season, but it wasn't a convincing win -- and it is hard to see them getting many more of them this season. 

24. Bengals: The Bengals might end up being better than some of the teams above them on this list, but it doesn’t matter — they won’t be winning a playoff game. It is hard to take them seriously. 

25. Lions: The Lions have been stuck in NFL purgatory. It seems like new head coach Matt Patricia is ready to finally get them out of it -- and take them right to the bottom of the league.

26. Colts: Quarterback Andrew Luck showed some flashes of being the same player he was prior to the injuries he has dealt with over the last year. If he stays healthy, the close loss the Colts suffered at the hands of the Bengals will soon turn into wins. 

27. Cowboys: Not even the return of running back Ezekiel Elliott helped quarterback Dak Prescott. We might not be far away from the debate on whether Prescott actually is the long-term answer for the Cowboys at quarterback. 

28. Browns: The Browns are more talented than they were last season. That much was clear by the fact that they tied the Steelers. Having Hue Jackson at head coach is just too much for any team to overcome. 

29. Giants: The Giants deserve some credit for competing with the Jaguars and keeping the game close. As long as Eli Manning is at quarterback and Pat Shurmur is their head coach, however, it is hard to see them winning more than a handful of games. 

30. Raiders: The loss of Khalil Mack was felt right away by the Raiders as they weren't able to get any pressure on Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff in their season-opening loss. 

31. Cardinals: The Cardinals’ goal in 2018 should be to find out what they have in rookie quarterback Josh Rosen. Until they do, nothing else matters. 

32. Bills: The Bills have one of the worst set of offensive skill players in the league. It is going to be a long season in Buffalo.

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at [email protected]!

 

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