2023 NFL Power Rankings: 49ers, Cowboys climb; Giants, Bears plummet in Week 2


Week two might be the most difficult time to attempt a power ranking.

We went into the season full of hope and anticipation for what would happen. This past week some of our expectations were confirmed, while others came crashing down. We’re also stuck figuring out what part of Week 1 is real and what portion is not. We fall prey to the mirage of early success or panic when things are actually fine. There are some obvious overreactions but I did my best to be fair. Please let me know if I’m wrong. San Francisco 49ers

All the Brock Purdy speculation while it lasted was fun. It’s safe to say that if he led the 49ers in a 30-7 victory over Pittsburgh, his first game back from an elbow injury, he will be fine. San Francisco was able to impose its will on the Pittsburgh team, which had playoff ambitions. Purdy made a strong statement by proving that concerns over his outlook were exaggerated. If that’s true, then the Niners are a team that can make another run to the NFC Championship Game.

2. Philadelphia Eagles

Never apologize when you win an NFL game, but this one got away from them. It’s not the best plan to race out to a 16-0 lead in a blink of an eye and then hold on for dear live. But 1-0 is still 1-0. The Eagles’ renowned offensive line was unable to match New England’s defense. Their young defenders appeared to be capable of stepping in this season.3. Kansas Chiefs
It’s not a coincidence that Chris Jones returned to the Chiefs four days after they suffered a home loss in the season opener. Patrick Mahomes may be incredible, but the Chiefs are smart to realize that they need Travis Kelce or Jones to assist him. This offense would have been a disaster without Kelce’s playmaking abilities. Dallas Cowboys

The Giants had a chance Sunday night to make themselves known, but the Cowboys spent three hours dribbling the basketballs like they were tennis balls. Dave Helman talks about Dak Prescott and Cowboys’ defense in CRUSHING victory over Giants5.
Miami Dolphins

They may not be at the top of the power rankings but they are the most entertaining team in the NFL. This video-game offensive picked up right where it left off. And didn’t Tua tagovailoa seem very confident in the final quarter? These guys have a lot of potential. Combine that with an exciting pass rush. Baltimore Ravens
Nothing about the 25-9 win against Houston was particularly impressive, but maybe that’s the point. Houston’s pass-rush made Lamar Jackson uncomfortable in the first game of a new offensive strategy. The Ravens still win the game and cover the spread. What is the impact of J.K. Dobbins’ loss on things going forward?


Dave Helman discusses Dak Prescott, Cowboys defense in CRUSHING win over Giants

Buffalo BillsOh, Josh Allen. You are so, very talented, and yet so, chaotic. Allen’s 19 interceptions since the beginning of last season have now been thrown in 20 games. Allen’s four turnovers have been the biggest factor in the Bills going 0-1 after the Jets walked them off the field during overtime. I won’t overreact about the offensive line’s struggles against New York’s vicious pass rush. It’s one the best in the NFL. Allen’s recklessness is still a problem. The problem is this troubling trend of being off. What went wrong for Josh Allen and Buffalo Bills during Jets loss?

Cincinnati BengalsDon’t be alarmed by the rapid drop in rankings, Bengals fans. This week, your team has another opportunity to impress against the Ravens. They might, to be fair. It’s okay to not panic if the Bengals have managed to dig themselves out from 0-1 and even 0-2. There’s plenty to criticize, even though one of the best offenses in the league failed to score any touchdowns. Cinci’s offensive was woefully underprepared to handle Cleveland’s pass rush.
Detroit lions

“This ain’t the same Detroit”, is the fun rallying call, and they may be right. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Lions perform, but this is a great first impression. They beat the defending champions. An ugly, gritty win, but it signals that the Lions do in fact belong firmly in the NFC playoff discussion.10.
Jacksonville Jaguars

Credit the Jags for not panicking when they found themselves trailing late to the lowly Colts. Trevor Lawrence to Calvin Ridley looks like it’s going to be one of the most fun connections in the NFL. Trevor Lawrence to Calvin Ridley looks like it’s going to be one of the most fun connections in the NFL.

What went WRONG for Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills in loss to Jets?

NFL Power Rankings: Tua leads Dolphins’ rise, Giants fall & Rams made a statement to the NFL?11.
Cleveland Browns

It’s still too soon to say if Deshaun Watson is good or not. It’s too early to say if Deshaun Watson is good or not. What we know is that they can run like hell and get after the QB. In a dominance of Cincinnati, they did both impressively. If Watson picks up his play, they can jump from “formidable” to “contender.”12. Los Angeles Chargers
It feels unfair to punish the Chargers after they lost a Week One thriller to a contender for playoffs. It’s hard to believe that the Chargers can never win any of these games. How can you run 234 yards and finish with a +2 turnover differential, yet still lose a game? The latest example of Peak Chargers behavior.

Dolphins def. Chargers Week 1: Are Tua and Tyreek the most deadly duo?13.
New Orleans Saints

I am worried about the Saints offensive line. Tennessee’s defensive line isn’t bad, but Derek Carr won’t be able to do much if his protection is not good. The Saints were unable to protect him on Sunday and could not muster any run game. We do not apologize for winning, but offensive line problems are often bad luck.

NFL Power Rankings: Tua leads Dolphins' rise, Giants fall & Rams made a statement to the NFL?

14. Green Bay Packers
Sunday was Jordan Love’s second career start and Justin Fields’ 26th, and it’s fair if the 38-20 scoreline makes you wonder if the Bears will ever win in this rivalry again. Love’s ability to keep the Bears offense on track, and convert on third-and fourth-down, was impressive. The Packers can be tough to beat if Love consistently makes the right decisions. Greg Olsen’s reaction to Jordan Love’s and the Packers’ victory over the Bears

15. Seattle Seahawks
While the Seahawks didn’t have the worst weekend performance, getting hammered for 238 yard by Puka and Tutu isn’t exactly a way to cover yourself in glory either. Seattle’s performance was truly baffling. Even worse than the defensive failures was how this star-studded offensive completely disappeared after halftime.

16. New York Jets

Dolphins def. Chargers in Week 1: are Tua & Tyreek the most dangerous duo?

It is hard to know where to start. Aaron Rodgers is likely to be out for some time, if not even the entire season, due to his injury. If Rodgers is out for a long time, will New York look to replace him? If Rodgers is out for the long term, does New York look for a replacement?

Dave Helman reacts to Zach Wilson, New York Jets’ SHOCKING WIN against the Bills17.
Minnesota Vikes

I will say it, Minnesota was the superior team on Sunday. They just lost. It’s obvious that this will not help them make the playoffs but it’s still too early to panic. You can win the game if you eliminate your turnovers. No need to reinvent the wheel – although Thursday night in Philadelphia promises to provide a much bigger challenge.

'Hats off to Jordan Love and that offense' - Greg Olsen reacts to Jordan Love and the Packers defeating the Bears

18. Atlanta Falcons
Asked why Drake London didn’t touch the ball during his team’s win over Carolina by 24-10, Falcons coach Arthur Smith replied that he does not care about fantasy football. I would argue that it could have real-life consequences if the Falcons don’t achieve a little more balance in their offense. They won’t allow a touchdown every week.

19. Las Vegas RaidersEnd-zone interceptions can be the difference between winning and losing NFL games. After he threw it, Jimmy Garoppolo led the Raiders to two big drives that iced a road division victory. It was a win. Maybe not a spectacular one, but it was a win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The box score suggests the Bucs had no business beating the Vikings, but the scoreboard reminds you that they 100% did. Minnesota made three turnovers, two of which occurred deep in Tampa territory. The third resulted in a Buccaneers’ field goal. This is how an underdog pulls off an upset.

Dave Helman reacts to Zach Wilson, New York Jets' SHOCKING WIN against the Bills

21. New England Patriots
There’s nothing for the Pats to hang their heads about. New England took the reigning NFC champions apart after a terribly slow start. Mac Jones felt he had ‘let down the team’ when the Patriots lost to the Eagles. Denver Broncos

It is a positive step that the Broncos could be watched in their loss to Vegas in Week 1. Russell Wilson is a competent and clean quarterback, but dinking and dunks at 5.2 yards per try are not enough. Denver failed to score 20 points again.23.
Washington Commanders

Probably a bit closer than they’d have preferred against likely the NFL’s worst team, but 1-0 feels especially important when you’re making an ownership change. Sam Howell’s two turnovers led to Arizona scoring 10 points, but he also led his team to two scoring drives in the fourth quarter to win the match. Take the good and the bad with you, I suppose.24.
Pittsburgh Steelers

There’s no shame in losing to a perennial power like the 49ers — but that was more than a loss. The Steelers, like the New York Giants on Sunday, had an opportunity to make a statement, but they failed miserably. The Giants saved them from the worst loss of the weekend. L.A. Rams
This league, man. Rams 30, Seahawks 13, in Seattle, was the most shocking result. Aaron Donald’s team deserves praise as well, but Matthew Stafford is also to be commended for his 334-yard performance. Despite the offensive power of the Seahawks, they only managed to score one touchdown and one first down after halftime.

26. Carolina Panthers
The foundations for a good team are there – especially on defense where Brian Burns and Derrick Brown picked up from where they left off. While Bryce Young’s debut was a success, one has to wonder whether this team can keep up.

New York Giants

Mac Jones feels like he 'let the team down' in Patriots loss vs. Eagles

Do you think that the Giants are really the sixth worst team in the NFL? No. What do you suggest I do with them after this performance? After an offseason full of hype, getting power bombed 40-0 on your home field is as bad as it gets. Daniel Jones’ offensive line or himself are both to blame for the 40-0 power bombing on their own field. Tennessee Titans
The Titans had been ranked too low by me in my preseason rankings. I am giving them a slight bump for their valiant performance in New Orleans. Mike Vrabel’s defense was ready to go, as we expected. It was never the issue. Three interception in a one-point loss just might start the clock on Ryan Tannehill’s possible replacement by one of his young backups, as Ben Arthur wrote yesterday.

29. Chicago Bears

The Bears were not supposed to be this low, but they looked like the team who finished last season with the worst record of the league. Chicago’s offensive was still leaking. Justin Fields didn’t consistently threaten the defense as a quarterback. The Bears’ secondary allowed three gains over 30 yards. Aaron Rodgers’s savagery was expected. Jordan Love was not supposed to be slammed by Aaron Rodgers.30.
Indianapolis Colts

It is encouraging to see Anthony Richardson make a confident debut, despite only having 13 college starts. I don’t believe the Colts are able to field a strong supporting cast, especially with Jonathan Taylor gone. What did Anthony Richardson and Bryce Young do in their debuts?

Dave Helman reacts to Brock Purdy, 49ers' DOMINANT victory over Steelers

31. Houston Texans
There’s a lot to like about the Texans’ defense, which sacked Lamar Jackson four times and made the Ravens work to put the game away. C.J. Stroud, and the Houston offense look to be a work in progress. The Cardinals weren’t bad, but I’m not sure what they can hang their hat upon.

Arizona CardinalsCredit where it’s due, the Cardinals pushed the Commanders a lot harder than most expected. It’s not like things will get any easier. David Helman is the Dallas Cowboys’ FOX Sports reporter. Helman previously covered the Cowboys’ official website for nine seasons. He won a regional Emmy in 2018 for his work on “Dak Prescott : A Family Reunion”, a documentary about the quarterback during his time at Mississippi State. Follow him on twitter at

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