The Washington Post
Mark Maske’s NFL power rankings have a few changes near the top.
Each week, national NFL writer Mark Maske provides his ranking and commentary on all 32 teams. Dive deeper daily at washingtonpost.com/nfl.
1. Buccaneers, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 1
There were turnovers and penalties in Thursday’s seasonopening triumph over the Cowboys. But none of that mattered, thanks to 44-year-old Tom Brady’s superb play.
2. Chiefs, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 2
The Chiefs faced deficits of 15-3, 22-10 and 29-20 against the Browns. But Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce made the plays that needed to be made.
3. Rams, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 5
Matthew Stafford’s debut was everything that the team envisioned. But Week 1 underscored just how difficult it will be in the NFC West, with every team off to a 1-0 start.
4. Saints, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 11
Jameis Winston was terrific, and if he plays well all season, the Saints will be a force in the NFC.
5. Steelers, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 14
That was a big victory at Buffalo, especially after facing a 10-point halftime deficit. The Steelers clearly intend to remain a factor in the maneuvering for AFC supremacy.
6. Browns, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 7
The Browns stayed step for step with the Chiefs. There’s no such thing as a good loss in the NFL. But the Browns proved they’re capable of playing with anyone, even on the road.
7. Bills, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 3
The opener was a dud. This still should be an excellent team, but the Bills need to realize that they have to earn it.
8. Dolphins, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 10
The Dolphins are alone in first place in the AFC East. It wasn’t a great day for QB Tua Tagovailoa, but it was enough.
9. 49ers, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 12
Think what you want about Jimmy Garoppolo as a QB, but the 49ers win regularly with him. Rookie Trey Lance had his moment, too.
10. Seahawks, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 16
The offseason issues between QB Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were pushed to the side with his four-touchdown passing performance in the opening triumph at Indianapolis.
11. Packers, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 4
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers looked shockingly bad. No one expected to see Jordan Love on the field in Week 1.
12. Cardinals, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 22
Was that big victory at Tennessee just another tease by the Cardinals? Or was that what this team really is? The Cardinals — at their best — are quite good.
13. Patriots, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 8
Early losses aren’t always strong indicators that the Patriots won’t end the season with postseason glory. But after last year, a more uplifting start would have been welcome.
14. Cowboys, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 15
Dak Prescott was brilliant, and this team looks more promising. But the Cowboys need more from the running game.
15. Chargers, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 17
Justin Herbert is the real deal. The Chargers aren’t about to break into the AFC’S upper tier, but they could be a factor in the playoff race.
16. Titans, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 6
Don’t read too much into Week 1. But the Titans were dreadful Sunday.
17. Panthers, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 23
QB Sam Darnold beat his former team, and the Panthers looked competent against the Jets. But beating the Jets doesn’t prove all that much.
18. Raiders, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 24
Not much went right in Jon Gruden’s first three seasons, but Year 4 is off to a rousing start after the overtime victory Monday night over the Ravens.
19. Ravens, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 9
The injuries piled up before the season, and the Ravens couldn’t hold a series of leads against the Raiders.
20. Eagles, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 25
Jalen Hurts was excellent. It was only the Falcons, but if the goal is for the Eagles to demonstrate that they’re on the right path, that was a positive first step.
21. Bengals, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 27
The Bengals can be something close to a respectable team with Joe Burrow healthy. That was the case last season before he got hurt. And it was true in their overtime triumph over the Vikings.
22. Broncos, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 29
Getting Teddy Bridgewater because Aaron Rodgers was unavailable was a better QB upgrade for the Broncos — at least in Week 1.
23. Washington, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 13
Taylor Heinicke could keep Washington competitive in the stillnot-imposing NFC East.
24. Colts, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 20
QB Carson Wentz and guard Quenton Nelson made it back into the Week 1 lineup after training-camp foot surgeries. It didn’t matter. The Colts were no match for the Seahawks.
25. Bears, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 19
The offense sputtered with Andy Dalton; its few bright moments came when rookie Justin Fields played. It’s only a matter of time, but can he succeed behind that line?
26. Vikings, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 21
There’s no reason to be excited about this team’s prospects, is there? The fact that everyone else in the division also lost isn’t much consolation.
27. Texans, 1-0 PREVIOUS: 32
Tyrod Taylor was more than competent, and Coach David Culley turned an untenable situation with Deshaun Watson into a season-opening win. If nothing else, the Texans won’t go 0-17.
28. Giants, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 18
Saquon Barkley failed to jump-start the offense in his return. Daniel Jones committed his customary turnover. It was more of the same, discouragingly, for the Giants.
29. Falcons, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 26 That loss to the Eagles was ugly.
30. Lions, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 31
The Lions managed to make it interesting at the end against the 49ers. But for most of the day, they were awful.
31. Jets, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 28
Robert Saleh and Zach Wilson deserve more time, but perhaps the Jets simply aren’t allowed to have nice things.
32. Jaguars, 0-1 PREVIOUS: 30
Being noncompetitive against the Texans is not a promising start for Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence.