NFL Power Rankings - Week 2: Vikings take over top spot, Steelers tumble

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The NFL Power Rankings are selected by a panel of theScore's football editors, including Mike Alessandrini, Jack Browne, Michael McClymont, and Arun Srinivasan.

1. Minnesota Vikings

Previous Rank: 2

Challenged right out of the gate, the Vikings handled a possible NFC title contender. An early opportunity at division supremacy comes in Week 2 versus the Packers. - McClymont

2. Los Angeles Rams

Previous Rank: 1

The Rams scored 33 points, albeit with a late gift from Derek Carr, despite never getting anywhere near top gear and Jared Goff looking sloppy on multiple deep shots. That's frightening. - Browne

3. New England Patriots

Previous Rank: 4

Though many expected a shootout, it was the Patriots' defense that shined in Week 1, halting Houston's hype train. An AFC championship rematch against the Jaguars is next. - Alessandrini

4. Philadelphia Eagles

Previous Rank: 3

The offense looked sloppy against Atlanta, but the defense was exceptional. Final score aside, Doug Pederson's squad defeated a playoff-caliber opponent without Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery, and Nigel Bradham, showing serious championship fortitude. - Alessandrini

5. Jacksonville Jaguars

Previous Rank: 8

Calais Campbell and Myles Jack were in top form, and the Jaguars are committed to their run-heavy offense. Last year was no fluke. - Srinivasan

6. Green Bay Packers

Previous Rank: 9

For a minute there, it looked like we'd be robbed of seeing Aaron Rodgers play a full season again. Thank goodness he only needs one good leg to do this. - McClymont

7. Kansas City Chiefs

Previous Rank: 11

Most NFL offenses have fallen in love with the death-by-a-thousand-cuts approach. The Chiefs, however, are going limb chopping with the unique Patrick Mahomes-Tyreek Hill combo. It might not be sustainable, but if it is, Kansas City could be a force in the AFC. - Browne

8. Atlanta Falcons

Previous Rank: 5

The Falcons are the most talented team in the league until they get to the red zone. If Atlanta doesn't learn to simplify its offense deep in opposing territory, the frustrating losses will continue. - Srinivasan

9. New Orleans Saints

Previous Rank: 6

The offense remains explosive, but Cam Jordan, Marshon Lattimore, and Co. were dreadful in the Saints' 48-40 loss to the Buccaneers. They have to be better if they're to remain a leading contender in the uber-competitive NFC South. - Srinivasan

10. Carolina Panthers

Previous Rank: 12

Cam Newton was an all-around threat, Kawann Short was unblockable, and the Panthers look like a Super Bowl contender again. It's only one week but sleep on Carolina at your own peril. - Srinivasan

11. Pittsburgh Steelers

Previous Rank: 7

Nothing new in Pittsburgh, just the Steelers playing down to inferior competition. Fans can only hope the team gets its act together before a matchup with the Chiefs' high-wire offense. - McClymont

12. Baltimore Ravens

Previous Rank: 17

The schedule makers did Baltimore some favors early. The Ravens rolled over the hapless Bills in Week 1 and get a chance to avenge last year's season-ending loss to the Bengals on Thursday night. - McClymont

13. Los Angeles Chargers

Previous Rank: 10

Joey Bosa is out for a few more weeks and the Chargers' kicking woes have carried over into 2018. What did Philip Rivers do to deserve this endless cycle of bad luck? - Browne

14. Washington Redskins

Previous Rank: 19

Alex Smith was surgical in his Redskins debut, while Greg Manusky's defense may finally be putting the pieces together. Washington has the look of a playoff contender. - Alessandrini

15. Denver Broncos

Previous Rank: 22

Von Miller apparently didn't like being surpassed as the league's highest-paid defensive player, as he showed no mercy in dominating the Seahawks' offensive line. - Browne

16. Houston Texans

Previous Rank: 13

It's never easy against the Patriots, but if the Texans can withstand a subpar night from Deshaun Watson and remain competitive, they'll be fine going forward. - Srinivasan

17. Chicago Bears

Previous Rank: 18

Khalil Mack can do everything. Only Aaron Rodgers kept this team from making a big jump in our rankings. - McClymont

18. New York Jets

Previous Rank: 30

What a start to the Sam Darnold era! After throwing a pick-6 to open his NFL career, the youngest starting quarterback in the Super Bowl era showed the poise of a 10-year veteran, leading the Jets to a dominant victory on Monday Night Football. - Alessandrini

19. San Francisco 49ers

Previous Rank: 16

Losing to perhaps the best team in football shouldn't be a major concern for Kyle Shanahan. However, the 49ers' inability to protect Jimmy G should be. - Browne

20. Tennessee Titans

Previous Rank: 14

Losing to the Dolphins is bad enough. If Marcus Mariota misses any time at all, it'll be a nightmare start to the season for the Titans with Delanie Walker done for the year. - Srinivasan

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Previous Rank: 29

Put your hands up if you had Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for over 400 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. No, you're lying. It's early, but the Buccaneers may be more explosive than we gave them credit for. - Srinivasan

22. New York Giants

Previous Rank: 21

New York couldn't squeak out a win against the Jaguars, but Odell Beckham Jr. won his individual battle against Jalen Ramsey, which is bad news for future opponents. An important division battle with the rival Cowboys looms. - Alessandrini

23. Cincinnati Bengals

Previous Rank: 25

There are positive signs all over for Cincy. Joe Mixon looks ready for a huge workload, Tyler Eifert made it out of a game fully healthy, and A.J. Green's still doing A.J. Green things. - McClymont

24. Dallas Cowboys

Previous Rank: 20

The Cowboys' offense looked as vanilla as ever versus Carolina, with Dak Prescott's performance resembling his second-year form rather than his stellar rookie campaign. If the unit continues to struggle, how long will it be before changes are made? - Alessandrini

25. Miami Dolphins

Previous Rank: 26

Miami's scoring unit, in the midst of an NFL-record long game, looked surprisingly efficient against the Titans. That included the immortal Frank Gore, who averaged 6.8 yards per carry at 35 years old. - Alessandrini

26. Detroit Lions

Previous Rank: 15

What was that on Monday night? Nothing's changed with Matt Patricia aboard, as the Lions still have the league's worst running game. - McClymont

27. Seattle Seahawks

Previous Rank: 23

Doug Baldwin has never received the credit he deserves. If the wideout misses significant time to a knee injury, the Seahawks' passing game could fall apart. - Browne

28. Oakland Raiders

Previous Rank: 27

Maybe the Raiders have to use those newly acquired firsts on a quarterback. In all seriousness, the Carr-Gruden connection is the key to the Raiders' season, so it's a major concern how lost the QB looked in a second-half meltdown against the Rams. - Browne

29. Indianapolis Colts

Previous Rank: 28

It's nice to see Andrew Luck back and prospering. Sunday also served as a reminder of the lack of talent surrounding Luck. - Srinivasan

30. Cleveland Browns

Previous Rank: 31

The Browns are undefeated! - McClymont

31. Arizona Cardinals

Previous Rank: 24

Arizona's uninspired offense scored just six points, and the uncreative usage of David Johnson was a major disappointment. The Cardinals' O can't play scared just because of Sam Bradford's injury history. - Browne

32. Buffalo Bills

Previous Rank: 32

It's going to be a long season in Buffalo. Hang in there, Bills fans. - Alessandrini

NFL Power Rankings - Week 2: Vikings take over top spot, Steelers tumble
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