2023 NFL Power Rankings, Week 2: A New Top Dog, Big Risers, 2022 Playoff Teams Start on Sour Note

Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell looks on before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Per usual, Week 1 brought with it a number of very surprising results.

The 14 teams that made the playoffs in 2022 went a grand total of 7-7, thus indicating that we may need to readjust how things stack up across the league this season. As Week 2 approaches, here are the latest 2023 NFL power rankings that includes a new team at the top of the list.

The Super Bowl Contenders

2023 NFL Power Rankings
Jan 16, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) reacts after throwing a touchdown pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second half during the wild card game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

1. Dallas Cowboys

  • Last Week: 40-0 win @ NYG
  • Trending: +5
  • This Week: 9/17 vs. NYJ

Dallas’ defense fully lived up to the hype on Sunday night, and it’s hard to imagine that anyone in the NFL would have beaten that team this past weekend.

2. Kansas City Chiefs

  • Last Week: 20-21 loss vs. DET
  • Trending: -1
  • This Week: 9/17 @ JAX

Kansas City may have lost to begin the year, but their team makes two key additions heading into Week 2. Chris Jones signed a new contract and ended his hold out while Travis Kelce returns from injury, giving Patrick Mahomes a reliable receiver.

3. Baltimore Ravens

  • Last Week: 25-9 win vs. HOU
  • Trending: +2
  • This Week: 9/17 @ CIN

The Ravens won on Sunday, but at what cost? Baltimore lost a number of players to injuries, including RB JK Dobbins, who tore his ACL. Lamar Jackson’s job of leading this team got a bit tougher heading into Week 2.

4. Philadelphia Eagles

  • Last Week: 25-20 win @ NE
  • Trending: -2
  • This Week: 9/14 vs. MIN

It seemed like Philadelphia was going to blow out New England after jumping out to a 16-0 lead, but then, they did something that didn’t really happen at all in 2022. They let the Patriots back into the game. Perhaps it’s just a matter of taking their foot off the gas too early, but any vulnerability from Philly should be noticed.

5. San Francisco 49ers

  • Last Week: 30-7 win @ PIT
  • Trending: +5
  • This Week: 9/17 @ LAR

The San Francisco 49ers jump a tier this week into the Super Bowl contenders. Brock Purdy responded to any doubts once again, and San Francisco’s defense dominated Pittsburgh in all facets.

6. Buffalo Bills

  • Last Week: 16-22 loss @ NYJ
  • Trending: -4
  • This Week: 9/17 vs. LV

This was one of the worst games Josh Allen has played in the NFL. He accounted for four turnovers in this game, and after an overtime drive that went nowhere, the Jets were able to walk it off on a punt return TD. Buffalo is still a good team that will turn things around, but they need to get right this week against the Raiders.

Solid Playoff Teams

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) is introduced before an NFL first round playoff football matchup Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. The Jacksonville Jaguars edged the Los Angeles Chargers on a field goal 31-30. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Last Week: 31-21 win @ IND
  • Trending: —
  • This Week: 9/17 vs. KC

It wasn’t the cleanest of games at times for Jacksonville, but they still got a quality win over a divisional opponent. A few of the throws from Trevor Lawrence on Sunday afternoon were truly ridiculous, and he ripped apart Indy’s secondary. Calvin Ridley’s presence as a receiver appears to be paying dividends already, too.

8. Cincinnati Bengals

  • Last Week: 3-24 loss @ CLE
  • Trending: -4
  • This Week: 9/17 vs. BAL

Things couldn’t have gone much worse for Cincinnati in Week 1. Their offense couldn’t muster any consistency against Cleveland’s defense, and their own defensive group had no answers for Cleveland’s rushing attack. The Browns have had the Bengals’ number for awhile (remember Halloween last year), so it remains to be seen how much this game really matters. Let’s wait and see what happens against Baltimore before freaking out too much.

9. Miami Dolphins

  • Last Week: 36-34 win @ LAC
  • Trending: +3
  • This Week: 9/17 @ NE

Miami’s offense was as advertised in LA this weekend, and they probably deserve to be ranked higher than No. 9 this week. That being said, I still want to see how this team performs on the road. This weekend’s game was in LA, but we all know how awful the Chargers’ homefield advantage is. This week against New England looks like a more apt test for this group.

10. Detroit Lions

  • Last Week: 21-20 win @ KC
  • Trending: +1
  • This Week: 9/17 vs. SEA

The NFL regular season kicked off with a stunning win for the Detroit Lions in Arrowhead. There were a few questionable coaching decisions in this game, but the Lions RB duo of Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery looks poised to wreak havoc this season.

11. New York Jets

  • Last Week: 22-16 win vs. BUF
  • Trending: -3
  • This Week: 9/17 @ DAL

The Jets got a miraculous win against the Bills on Monday night, but the story of this game is Aaron Rodgers’ injury. As of now, we don’t have a set timeline for the 39-year-old QB, but it doesn’t look good. If the Jets have to move forward with Zach Wilson, then they may be able to stay in games because of their defense, but it likely eliminates any Super Bowl hopes.

Big Week 1 Risers

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) celebrates a victory against the Chicago Bears as he leaves the field during their football game Sunday, September 10, 2023, at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. Green Bay won 38-20.

12. Cleveland Browns

  • Last Week: 24-3 win vs. CIN
  • Trending: +5
  • This Week: 9/17 @ PIT

Deshaun Watson still doesn’t look like the old Deshaun Watson, but man, this Cleveland defense is impressive. Myles Garrett and Za’Darius Smith are an incredible pass-rushing duo, and as long as Nick Chubb can help control the time of possession with some efficient running, this team looks like they will be tough to beat in 2023.

13. Green Bay Packers

  • Last Week: 38-20 win @ CHI
  • Trending: +10
  • This Week: 9/17 @ ATL

The one question for Green Bay heading into the season revolved around the transition to Jordan Love at quarterback. Around him, the Packers have a great roster, and if Love can play like a top-15 QB in the league, they’ll be competing for a playoff spot. One week in, and Love looks great. The Packers put together a very impressive road win in Chicago behind some terrific throws from their young QB.

The “Swing” Teams

Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) prepares to throw a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

14. Denver Broncos

  • Last Week: 16-17 loss vs. LV
  • Trending: -5
  • This Week: 9/17 vs. WSH

Sean Payton’s coaching debut was a bit of a debacle. It started with a failed onside kick as he tried to remind the world of what he did to begin the second half of Super Bowl XLIV. Russell Wilson looked great in the first half, but the second half saw more of the same old Broncos from 2022. I still can’t give up on this team after just one week, so we’ll see what happens against the Commanders.

15. Minnesota Vikings

  • Last Week: 17-20 loss vs. TB
  • Trending: -2
  • This Week: 9/14 @ PHI

Everything in the statline suggested that the Vikings should have won this game, but a few very silly mistakes led to a Week 1 loss for Minnesota. The positives were on the defensive side of the ball, which is a nice change of pace for the Vikings from last year, but they couldn’t overcome three first half turnovers.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Last Week: 7-30 loss vs. SF
  • Trending: -2
  • This Week: 9/18 vs. CLE

Remember when the Pittsburgh Steelers were all the hype in the NFL during the preseason? That all came crashing back to earth after their Week 1 loss to San Francisco. Kenny Pickett was completely out of sorts against the Niners defense, and they will need to get back on track ahead of a tough divisional game against Cleveland.

17. New Orleans Saints

  • Last Week: 16-15 win vs. TEN
  • Trending: +2
  • This Week: 9/18 @ CAR

New Orleans may have beaten the Titans, but it was a lot tougher than it probably should have been at home. The Titans got absolutely nothing offensively for most of this game, which is a credit to the Saints defense. However, they will need to get more from the offense to compete with the top teams in their conference.

18. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Last Week: 34-36 loss vs. MIA
  • Trending: +2
  • This Week: 9/17 @ TEN

It feels like this is the same old Chargers team. They are able to be a juggernaut of an offense in stretches, but when it comes down to it, this team is unable to put drives together when they matter. The defense showed very little resistance to Miami, either.

19. New England Patriots

  • Last Week: 20-25 loss vs. PHI
  • Trending: +2
  • This Week: 9/17 vs. MIA

Sure, New England had a chance to win this game, and it is disappointing for Patriots fans that they didn’t. That being said, the fact that they were in a position to beat the reigning NFC champs is pretty remarkable after digging themselves out of an early 16-0 hole.

20. Seattle Seahawks

  • Last Week: 13-30 loss vs. LAR
  • Trending: -5
  • This Week: 9/17 @ DET

Sean McVay simply has Pete Carroll’s number. Even with a depleted roster, Los Angeles was able to put up 30 points on Seattle’s defense, and the Seahawks have now lost 9 of their last 13 games against the Rams. That being said, injuries certainly played a part here as Seattle lost both starting tackles and WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba during this game.

21. New York Giants

  • Last Week: 0-40 loss vs. DAL
  • Trending: -5
  • This Week: 9/17 @ ARI

The Giants put up a truly atrocious performance on Sunday night. Their offensive line was walked backwards all game long, and their defense had no answers for Dallas’ offense.

Pleasant Week 1 Surprises, but Will It Last?

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings
Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Last Week: 20-17 win @ MIN
  • Trending: +4
  • This Week: 9/17 vs. CHI

Say what you will about Baker Mayfield as a quarterback, but this Buccaneers team has talent at critical spots. The defense is fantastic with playmakers all over the field while Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are two of the steadiest receivers in the NFL. This team could cause some trouble in the NFC.

23. Atlanta Falcons

  • Last Week: 24-10 win vs. CAR
  • Trending: +1
  • This Week: 9/17 vs. GB

I still have questions about Desmond Ridder as a QB, but much like Tampa Bay, this team is built to find some semblance of success despite that question mark. Tyler Allgeier and Bijan Robinson are as a good a 1-2 punch at RB as any in the league, and the defensive improvements were apparent in this Week 1 game against Carolina.

24. Las Vegas Raiders

  • Last Week: 17-16 win @ DEN
  • Trending: +6
  • This Week: 9/17 @ BUF

Divisional games are weird, and perhaps that’s all this win over Denver was. However, if it is more than just a competitive divisional game, this Raiders team could still make some noise in 2023. Jimmy Garoppolo did just enough to get this win, and Las Vegas’ defense held strong despite missing Chandler Jones. We’ll learn more about this team in Buffalo next weekend.

25. Los Angeles Rams

  • Last Week: 30-13 win @ SEA
  • Trending: +6
  • This Week: 9/17 vs. SF

Perhaps we jumped on the “Tank for Caleb” narrative for LA a bit too early. The Rams seem to have a stud in Puka Nacua who caught 10 passes in this game. Keep in mind as well, they were without Cooper Kupp for this game as well.

On the Outside Looking In

Sep 10, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young (9) throws a pass against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

26. Carolina Panthers

  • Last Week: 10-24 loss @ ATL
  • Trending: -8
  • This Week: 9/18 vs. NO

Bryce Young was unable to make a statement in his first NFL game, and the offensive line woes for Carolina remained apparent against the Falcons. The Panthers were my preseason pick to win the NFC South, and that doesn’t look good one week into the season.

27. Chicago Bears

  • Last Week: 20-38 loss vs. GB
  • Trending: -5
  • This Week: 9/17 @ TB

It’s the same old story for the Bears. They were unable to protect Justin Fields with their offensive line, nor did they create pressure on Jordan Love with their defensive front. They have promising pieces on this roster, but without being able to win in the trenches, there is a hard ceiling on how far they will go in 2023.

28. Washington Commanders

  • Last Week: 20-16 win vs. ARI
  • Trending: -1
  • This Week: 9/17 @ DEN

Washington got a win against the Cardinals, but it was much closer than it should have been. Their defensive line remains one of the best in football, but production on offense could be hard to come by for this group.

29. Indianapolis Colts

  • Last Week: 21-31 loss vs. JAX
  • Trending: -4
  • This Week: 9/17 @ HOU

Anthony Richardson certainly had the best showing of any rookie QB in Week 1, and Indy surprised me with their ability to move the ball against Jacksonville. They had a chance to steal this game in the fourth quarter, but ultimately, their secondary could not stop the Jaguars passing attack.

30. Tennessee Titans

  • Last Week: 15-16 loss @ NO
  • Trending: -2
  • This Week: 9/17 vs. LAC

Questions abound for the Titans on offense. If Derrick Henry is unable to carry them to wins, it could be a long season in Tennessee regardless of what they can do with their defense.

31. Houston Texans

  • Last Week: 9-25 loss @ BAL
  • Trending: -2
  • This Week: 9/17 vs. IND

This was an expected result from Houston on the road in Baltimore. C.J. Stroud played fine, but concerns remain regarding his weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Jalen Pitre was knocked out of this game on a scary hit as well, so that potentially takes away a piece from their secondary moving forward.

32. Arizona Cardinals

  • Last Week: 16-20 loss @ WSH
  • Trending: —
  • This Week: 9/17 vs. NYG

Arizona was more competitive than they should have been against Washington, but as long as Josh Dobbs is the QB, this looks like the clear bottom team in the NFL right now.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.