The first week of NFL action is officially in the books and holy guacamole it is good to have it back.
Hopefully your fantasy leagues all went the way that you wanted because I happen to know that your favorite team did rather well. Not everybody can win their opener 40-0, imagine not doing so, we personally cannot, but half of the league remains undefeated nevertheless.
While we only have one week’s worth of information to figure out who the 2023 versions of every team is that is the challenge that lies in front of us today.
It is time for our weekly power rankings here at Blogging The Boys which also features a curation of how places around the internet view America’s Team within their own rankings. Let’s get this party started.
1 - Dallas Cowboys, 1-0 (LW: 5)
Last week I painted myself into a bit of a corner already putting Dallas above San Francisco and let’s be honest the 49ers looked great. But it is hard to not think that the Cowboys are one of the best-looking teams in the NFL right now. They take the top spot at Week 2 for me.
2 - San Francisco 49ers, 1-0 (LW: 6)
As noted I think highly of the 49ers although like many people I doubted whether or not the Brock Purdy phenomenon could roll into the 2023 season. It turns out that it can. Purdy looks great, Christian McCaffrey looks unstoppable and that defense is Dallas’ competition for best in the land.
3 - Philadelphia Eagles, 1-0 (LW: 3)
They have yet to lose a game since they lost the ultimate one, but Philly looked very vulnerable on Sunday in New England. They blew a 16-point lead and Jalen Hurts let the Patriots back in it. Could the Vikings shock them this week? (please say yes).
4 - Miami Dolphins, 1-0 (LW: 10)
I noted last week that I was fine being wrong on the Dolphins and goodness gracious was I wrong. Truth be told we have always known that Miami had a high-powered offense and that it can unleash itself in a given game. Can it make it a whole season, though? That is their big question.
5 - Kansas City Chiefs, 0-1 (LW: 1)
I’m more than fine giving the reigning champions the benefit of the doubt after the opener, but life without Chris Jones and Travis Kelce is difficult. Chris Jones agreed to a one-year deal with the team on Monday and perhaps Kelce will be back this week but this week involves a trip to visit the Jacksonville Jaguars. It is possible that Kansas City is suddenly 0-2 if things do not go well.
6 - Detroit Lions, 1-0 (LW: 13)
While I understand that the Lions had a great second half of last season I was not ready to believe. Last week was just one game and we know all about the emotions that can go into trying to beat the team raising a banner, the fact is that Detroit did it. I’m in. A bit.
7 - Baltimore Ravens, 1-0 (LW: 7)
The Ravens may have had their way with the Texans (who I believed in, sigh) but I still want to see more from their offense. Baltimore finished with negative (slight but still) EPA/play after the opener and has too much talent for that to be the case. Lamar Jackson is capable. We want to see it.
8 - Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-0 (LW: 12)
Week 1 really forced me to answer questions that I personally raised about teams and while the Jacksonville Jaguars forgot basic rules of NFL football for a bit they did answer some. Trevor Lawrence and Calvin Ridley is already looking like one of the more prolific connections in all of the game. Let’s see them do it against the Chiefs down in Duval.
9 - Cleveland Browns, 1-0 (LW: 14)
Another shy offensive effort for a team that won, but does it really matter? The Browns have an incredible defense and a chance to get to 2-0 in general this week but also within the AFC North thanks to a Monday night road trip to Pittsburgh. They may be for real.
10 - Cincinnati Bengals, 0-1 (LW: 2)
Again, I am fine extending grace to teams who have proven themselves before. Plus the Bengals infamously started off slow last year (shout out to Week 2 of 2022!) and still wound up reaching the title game.
But we need to see it this week. Who’s that against, you ask? The Ravens. It will be great.
Every Monday you can hear Mark Schofield, JP Acosta and myself discuss all of the action from the Sunday before on Monday Football Monday on The SB Nation NFL Show. You can listen to this week’s episode right below. Make sure to subscribe to The SB Nation NFL Show wherever you get your podcasts as well. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
As noted SB Nation’s JP Acosta is a part of this show and on Monday wrote about how dominant the Dallas Cowboys defense was against the New York Giants.
11 - Green Bay Packers, 1-0 (LW: 22)
I’m not ready to go as far as saying the Packers have found their next long-term quarterback, but what a fantastic feeling it has to be to finally be beyond all of the Rodgers drama and through to the other side with continued dominance over a division rival.
12 - Los Angeles Chargers, 0-1 (LW: 8)
It would be foolish to say that Kellen Moore was responsible for the Chargers losing and it would also be wrong. What is Brandon Staley’s specialty, again? Defense? Is it ever going to be fixed there? They cannot keep losing in this exact same way.
13 - Minnesota Vikings, 0-1 (LW: 9)
I’ve been a believer in Minnesota for a long time and unfortunately they already lost a one-possession game which incited a ton of memes.
Offensively the Vikings have too much to not be at least competent. Hopefully they figure it out on Thursday night in Philadelphia.
14 - Los Angeles Rams, 1-0 (LW: 31)
This is far and away the game/win that caught the NFL universe the most by surprise. Matthew Stafford looked great, being protected certainly helps, and the Rams already have a road division win in hand.
15 - Buffalo Bills, 0-1 (LW: 4)
That was an all-time embarrassing loss. And you know what? It is mostly on the shoulders of quarterback Josh Allen who’s turnovers were never discussed over the offseason. Weird!
16 - Las Vegas Raiders, 1-0 (LW: 19)
A win is a win, but man the Raiders are so boring and not really good at this. They are treading water forever.
17 - Washington Commanders, 1-0 (LW: 20)
It took a lot of effort for them to beat a tanking Cardinals team, but nevertheless Washington’s win percentage is a sterling 1.000 in the Josh Harris ownership era.
We will take care of that soon enough.
18 - Seattle Seahawks, 0-1 (LW: 11)
Hands up, I picked the Seahawks to win the NFC West and am already starting to feel foolish. How disappointing. We expected, rightfully so, a ton more.
19 - New England Patriots, 0-1 (LW: 25)
They climbed despite the loss for me because they rallied back so well from a 16-point deficit that featured some unfortunate things like a tipped pass that went back for a score and an uncommon (as we full well know) Ezekiel Elliott fumble.
The Patriots may be interesting.
20 - New Orleans Saints, 1-0 (LW: 18)
They won. That is really all that you can say.
21 - Atlanta Falcons, 1-0 (LW: 21)
Bijan Robinson really does look incredible and like the next great dynamic offensive weapon.
22 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1-0 (LW: 27)
Perhaps the Baker Mayfield era won’t be a total and complete disaster? I mean, they did win the division last year, even if it was with a below .500 record. Are we not considering the Buccaneers enough with regards to the NFC South?
23 - New York Jets, 1-0 (LW: 15)
Monday night was a gritty win, but obviously life without Aaron Rodgers would/could be tough.
24 - Indianapolis Colts, 0-1 (LW: 30)
Anthony Richardson showed out really well. This is all about patience. Massive change does not happen overnight.
25 - Denver Broncos, 0-1 (LW: 23)
They are a clear example of that.
26 - Tennessee Titans, 0-1 (LW: 24)
What a boring way to lose a football game.
27 - Carolina Panthers, 0-1 (LW: 29)
Bryce Young showed a lot of promise, but you have to be much faster than college at the NFL level.
28 - Chicago Bears, 0-1 (LW: 26)
This one hurts because I want to believe in the Justin Fields experience so much, but I am admittedly losing faith. You simply cannot expect to run for big gains or throw all the way downfield every play. Rooting for Matt Eberflus’ group.
29 - New York Giants, 0-1 (LW: 16)
30 - Pittsburgh Steelers, 0-1 (LW: 17)
Not much better, to be honest.
31 - Houston Texans, 0-1 (LW: 28)
I’d love to say that the future is bright and it very well may be, but that is not happening in 2023.
32 - Arizona Cardinals, 0-1 (LW: 32)
One week closer to Caleb Williams.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published without the rankings from outlets across the internet. They have all published their respective power rankings so we have updated things to include them.
NFL.com: 4 (LW: 6)
So it begins.
The Cowboys had a pedestrian night offensively — two of their five touchdowns came via the defense or special teams — and completely dominated the Giants in MetLife Stadium. Even we true believers could not have imagined that a performance like that defensively, rainy conditions or not. It took Dan Quinn’s unit about five plays to settle in and then completely dismantle the Giants’ offense in a performance that won’t quiet the Super Bowl talk in Dallas. There were no major problems offensively; if they play that well, most weeks they’ll win. The one interesting wrinkle offensively: a package of plays for KaVontae Turpin. He had four offensive touches in 2022 but five Sunday night. And they were pretty effective, too! Who said Mike McCarthy isn’t a clever play-caller?
ESPN: 4 (LW: N/A)
Best debut performance: CB Stephon Gilmore
Week 1 stats: 4 tackles, 3 passes defensed, INT
With Gilmore and Trevon Diggs, the Cowboys have their best cornerback duo in years. Gilmore matched up with tight end Darren Waller, he matched up with the Giants’ speedy receivers and he was able to get the better of all of them. “He’s an incredible route reader, just the pattern of concepts and understanding of the stems,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “The way he sees the game is exceptional. I look back at [former cornerback] Charles Woodson and some of those guys that had that special trait, and he definitely has that.” — Todd Archer
USA Today: 3 (LW: N/A)
In their most recent rankings they had Dallas at 16. So this is quite the jump.
Whatever reservations you might have about Dallas’ offense – and I’ve expressed multiple in this space – such concerns are largely moot if this defense manifests as Doomsday III (or is it IV, depending how you feel about the 1990s groups?). QB Dak Prescott and HC Mike McCarthy, the new play caller, didn’t have to show much Sunday night after the D and special teams ignited the biggest shutout in club history and largest in Week 1 in 24 years.
Yahoo: 4 (LW: 6)
A slight bump.
Tony Pollard delivered in his first game as the Cowboys’ main back, with Ezekiel Elliott out of the picture. Pollard averaged five yards per carry, picking up 70 yards and two touchdowns. We’ll see if he can hold up over a full season, but the first step was a positive one.
CBS Sports: 5 (LW: 10)
Into the top 5.
They were dominant in blowing out the Giants Sunday night. The defense, especially up front, was suffocating. The pass rush is elite.
The Athletic: 1 (LW: 7)
Looks like I am not alone in where I saw Dallas.
Mike McCarthy said this offseason that he was willing to sacrifice some offensive flash to help his defense. Turns out, the Cowboys may not even have to play offense this season. The Dallas defense got a pick-six touchdown, seven sacks (from five players), 12 quarterback hits (from seven players) and 10 tackles for loss (from seven players), and the Cowboys added a special teams score. The Giants averaged 2.6 yards per play, the 14th-lowest total in an NFL regular-season game in the last five years.
“We’re the best defense in the National Football League,” Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons said after the game.
Forget that, Micah. We’re overreacting this week. The Cowboys have the best defense ever!
Sports Illustrated: 2 (LW: 8)
Only behind the 49ers.
Putting up 40 beans on anyone in the NFL is something. Doing it while shutting out the opponent is scary. I think there’s a reason Dan Quinn stayed as the defensive coordinator. Sometimes, you can’t leave a masterpiece in progress, and this defense is terrifying. If we want some cold water to calm ourselves down, let’s remember that the Cowboys essentially swung and hit on a knockout blow very early in the game. In a sloppy weather contest, when facing a semi-mobile quarterback vulnerable to speed rushes, Dallas essentially put itself in a position to win early. The romp signified a Giants team playing a game it couldn’t win. Dallas isn’t going to win every game like this, but aren’t we excited for this Jets game next week?