NFL Week 2 Power Rankings: Steelers Climb After Opener; Colts, Rams Slide

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Opening weekend of the 2016 NFL season was rich with drama, as 11 of the 16 games were decided by seven points or fewer and four were decided by a single point.

Here’s a look at where each team stands in NESN.com’s NFL power rankings as we head into Week 2. (To see our Week 1 rankings, click here.)

1. New England Patriots (Week 1: 1): The kings stay the kings in these rankings after upsetting the Cardinals on the road in Jimmy Garoppolo’s first NFL start.

2. Arizona Cardinals (2): Despite what general manager Steve Keim might believe, Arizona’s loss to Garoppolo & Co., while surely disappointing, was not the end of the world. The Cards will be a tough out all season.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (6): Playing without the suspended Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers shook off a slow start Monday night to trample the Redskins 38-16 behind 143 rushing yards by DeAngelo Williams. It was the second-largest margin of victory of any game on opening weekend.

4. Green Bay Packers (5): A touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams in the final moments of the first half put the Packers ahead for good as they held off a pesky Jaguars squad in Week 1. Rodgers accounted for all three Green Bay touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) in a 27-23 win.

5. Seattle Seahawks (3): We won’t overreact to one game, but needing a last-minute touchdown to beat the Dolphins as 10 1/2-point favorites wasn’t how the Seahawks wanted to begin their season.

6. Carolina Panthers (4): The beatdown the Broncos put on Cam Newton bordered on unsettling. The Panthers’ franchise quarterback is a physical freak, but Carolina can’t have him taking those type of hits week in and week out.

7. Denver Broncos (9): Trevor Siemian actually looked pretty good in his real taste of NFL action. If he can maintain that, the Broncos will climb this list in a hurry.

8. Cincinnati Bengals (7): Andy Dalton was sacked seven times but still managed to carve up the Jets’ defense to the tune of 366 passing yards, his highest total since Week 3 of last season.

9. Oakland Raiders (10): Twenty-two points in the fourth quarter, a gutsy two-point conversion and the tweet of the weekend? That’s enough to earn Oakland a one-spot bump.

10. Kansas City Chiefs (9): Like the Raiders did, the Chiefs fell into a massive hole early before staging a wild comeback. The AFC West rivals combined to score 45 points in the fourth quarter and overtime of their respective season openers.

11. Houston Texans (13): Quarterback Brock Osweiler, running back Lamar Miller and rookie receiver Will Fuller all looked solid against the woeful Bears.

12. New York Jets (11): The Jets only lost to the Bengals by one point, but A.J. Green’s demolition of Darrelle Revis has to concern Gang Green supporters.

13. Baltimore Ravens (15): Baltimore held old friend Rex Ryan and the Bills to a single score in a 13-7 win.

14. New York Giants (16): Eli Manning’s troops did just enough to beat the Tony Romo-less Cowboys.

15. Minnesota Vikings (14): Minnesota’s defense was ferocious in a win over Tennessee, but failing to score a single offensive touchdown would result in a loss against most NFL opponents.

16. Washington Redskins (12): The Redskins led the Steelers 6-0 20 minutes into their Monday night matchup. They were outscored 38-10 the rest of the way.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars (18): The Jags hung right with the Packers all game. They could surprise some people this season.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (22): The Bucs’ climb up the rankings has begun after Jameis Winston’s four-touchdown performance against the Falcons.

19. Detroit Lions (21): Neither the Lions nor the Colts deserved to win their Week 1 matchup…

20. Indianapolis Colts (17): But Indy definitely deserved to lose after falling behind 21-3, rallying all the way back to take a 38-35 lead with less than a minute remaining and then immediately squandering it by allowing a game-winning field goal in the final seconds.

21. Buffalo Bills (19): Through one week, the Bills rank last in the NFL in yards and passing yards and second-to-last in points.

22. Atlanta Falcons (20): The Falcons just look destined for mediocrity this season.

23. Miami Dolphins (26): Kudos to Miami for hanging tough with Seattle. That front seven has the potential to be seriously disruptive this season.

24. Dallas Cowboys (23): C’mon, Terrance Williams. Just run out of bounds, man.

25. Chicago Bears (24): See: Falcons.

26. San Diego Chargers (27): We’re just going to leave this here:

Chargers

27. San Francisco 49ers (30): The Chip Kelly era got off to a rollicking start Monday night, hence the slight rankings bump.

28. New Orleans Saints (28): Saints defense: Still bad.

29. Los Angeles Rams (24): Rams offense: Possibly even worse.

30. Philadelphia Eagles (31): Is Carson Wentz the real deal? He certainly looked like it in Week 1, albeit against the miserable Browns.

31. Tennessee Titans (29): Three turnovers and dearth of offense in the second half doomed the Titans against the Vikings.

32. Cleveland Browns (32): The Browns lost to the Eagles in an early-season Toilet Bowl, and their quarterback already is on injured reserve. So, business as usual in Cleveland.

Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images

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