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 washington­

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.

 ?? MIKE EHRMANN/GETTY IMAGES ?? Tampa Bay is 1-0 after edging Dallas, and Tom Brady may be better at 44 than he was at 43, when he won a seventh title.
MIKE EHRMANN/GETTY IMAGES Tampa Bay is 1-0 after edging Dallas, and Tom Brady may be better at 44 than he was at 43, when he won a seventh title.

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