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NFL Fun Power Rankings, week two: Falcons and Jaguars on the rise, Giants spiral rapidly

Alex Finnis
Jaguars wide receivers Donte Moncrief (10) and Dede Westbrook (12) celebrate a touchdown against the Patriots - USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to week two of the NFL Fun Power Rankings, where we judge teams on how exciting they are to watch, rather than the number in the 'W' column.

That means we're looking out for explosive offenses, defenses who can make big, eye-catching, game-changing plays, and teams with narratives we just can't help but buy into.

In week one the Kansas City Chiefs stormed straight to the top spot after Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill tore apart the San Diego Chargers. After Mahomes' stunning six-touchdown display against the Steelers on Sunday, can anyone challenge them this week?

32. Arizona Cardinals (down 1)

Scoring six points over two games is almost impressive, in all honesty. Sam Bradford has been a non-entity at quarterback, but the Arizona offense’s problems are so deep, throwing Josh Rosen in is unlikely to help much. Even David Johnson is struggling to get going. Steve Wilks could find himself on the hotseat before he’s even left an imprint.

31. Buffalo Bills (up 1)

Nathan Peterman lasted all of two-and-a-bit quarters before being hauled off as the Bills’ starting QB in favour of Josh Allen, hopefully never to be seen again. Another man who will never be seen in Buffalo again? Vontae Davis. What an incredible letdown. That story alone gets the Bills off bottom spot this week, though.

30. New York Giants (down 15)

ESPN writer Jordan Raanan compared the Giants’ offense to having a Ferrari, Aston Martin and Lamborghini locked in a garage, such is the G-men’s inability to unlock the talent of Odell Beckham Junior, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. It’s hard to sum it up much better. Right now this team feels like an enormous waste.

29. Detroit Lions (-)

Matthew Stafford doesn’t quite look himself so far this season. Shame, since at his best he can be one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the league. In Golden Tate, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones he does have some fun options out wide though, and while the Lions have started pretty shockingly, they can grow into the season, even in one of the league’s toughest divisions.

28. Oakland Raiders (-)

Derek Carr was exceptionally accurate and found a way to get Amari Cooper heavily involved against Denver, and yet despite having one of the league’s best clock-eating running backs at their disposal in Marshawn Lynch, Oakland couldn’t hold onto a lead against the Broncos.

27. Dallas Cowboys (up 3)

The Cowboys offense looked better against the Giants, thank god. They still average just 14 points per game so far this season, though, and still have major questions over their receiving corps - those questions are likely to linger all year long.

Ezekiel Elliott celebrates a first down in his team's win over the Giants Credit: Matthew Emmons/USA Today

26. Seattle Seahawks (down 10)

It could be a long season in Seattle. Russell Wilson is having to rely on 34-year-old Brandon Marshall and fourth-round rookie tight end Will Dissly in the passing game, and once again, he's not being helped out by the ground game. Rashaad Penny chalked up just 30 yards from 10 carries against the Bears, and Chris Carson just 24 from six.

25. New England Patriots (down 3)

New England just couldn’t get their offense going down in Jacksonville. Rob Gronkowski was limited to just two receptions for 15 yards, meaning Jalen Ramsey once again gets away without having to stomach even a slice of humble pie, while Tom Brady didn’t even get a chance to repeat his heroics from the AFC Championship game. They have the Lions next, which could be a great opportunity to rocket up this list.

24. Philadelphia Eagles (-)

The Eagles may be able to win games without Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery, but it doesn’t make watching them all that fun. Giving the NFL’s best young quarterback and their star receiver time to get fully healthy may be the smart move, but people are getting impatient, OK? Stop being so pragmatic!

Carson Wentz has been cleared to start against the Colts next weekend Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

23. Tennessee Titans (up 4)

The Titans looked good on Sunday, running some interesting wildcat formations in the absence of Marcus Mariota under centre, and Blaine Gabbert did a good job of filling in. This might not be a team which can produce fireworks, which means they’re not made for this list, but they can definitely be a factor in the AFC South. Which really matters more though, eh?

22. Houston Texans (up 4)

Deshaun Watson got the passing attack back on track, which wasn’t enough to stop them going 0-2, but is enough to put them a place ahead of their conquerors in this ranking. Watson threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns, looking more like the player we fell in love with in 2017. I have faith this team will sort itself out.

21. Washington Redskins (down 12)

Well that was disappointing. The “Oh wow, the Redskins look like a really exciting, dangerous NFL team this year” bandwagon lasted all of one game before being driven off the road by the Colts defense, of all things. Obviously there’s plenty of time left, they disappointed those hoping they could start with a bang.

DeAndre Hopkins caught for over 100 yards against the Titans Credit: AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

20. Miami Dolphins (up 1)

Thank god Jay Cutler has traded NFL quarterbacking for reality TV stardom (he’s comedy gold on E! Network’s Very Cavalari, not that he means to be). With Ryan Tannehill back under centre the Dolphins are watchable again. They’re also 2-0. Could a play-off run be on the cards?

19. Carolina Panthers (-)

Cam Newton could have had a completion percentage close to 80 if his receivers didn’t consistently let him down in Atlanta. Carolina need to get first-round rookie DJ Moore involved more - he turned his first ever NFL catch into a 51-yard score in the fourth quarter, and deserves a chance to become a bigger part of an offense which is currently heavily reliant on Christian McCaffrey.

18. Los Angeles Chargers (up 2)

The Chargers didn’t go quite as wild on the Bills’ defense as many predicted this weekend, but still made light work of the NFL’s doormats. Melvin Gordon somehow got three touchdowns out of just 68 all-purpose yards and Philip Rivers made use of his varied weapons - Keenan Allen, Virgil Green, Mile Williams and Tyrell Williams all averaged more than 11 yards per catch.

17. San Francisco 49ers (up 1)

Jimmy Garoppolo is not lighting up the league in the same way he did to close last season, but then that would have been a big ask. That’s especially true when you realise they’re currently without a number one receiver - if only they could have got a deal for Josh Gordon done. We could have had the JG-JG connection.

Jimmy Garoppolo got back to winning ways against Detroit Credit: AP Photo/Ben Margot

16. Baltimore Ravens (down 4)

Baltimore had hinted they were going to be one of the big stories in the AFC this season, then they went and dropped a big L to the Bengals, which only served to prove that their opening day thrashing of the Bills was, in many ways, down to the Bills. Still, the Ravens are much improved on offense this year, and dropping back to 1-1 should be nothing more than a setback.

15. New York Jets (down 12)

A big, fairly predictable drop for the Jets after what was a head-in-the-clouds kind of opening game. They were outplayed by the Dolphins this week, however, Sam Darnold and the young, aggressive secondary still make this team one of the league’s most intriguing.

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (up 11)

The concern was that the Jags would be effective but dull this season. Without Allen Robinson the offense looked even more limited than last season, but his loss has actually resulted in Blake Bortles spreading the ball around a little more, making them more interesting and unpredictable. The most improved aspect of the Jags this season though? The uniforms. Hey, if you’re going to try and win a Super Bowl, why not look good doing it.

13. Atlanta Falcons (up 10)

A Thursday night season opener is always a little odd, so the Falcons will be saying their campaign really started with their win over the Panthers on Sunday. First round rookie wideout Calvin Ridley is good enough to make big contributions all season, and Tevin Coleman proved Atlanta has one of the league’s deepest backfields with Devonta Freeman out. Next up? The New Orleans Saints.

12. Pittsburgh Steelers (up 5)

It goes without saying that a tie and a defeat is not the start Steelers fans would have been wanting or expecting. For most teams giving up 40-plus points to the Chiefs offense isn’t cause for major shame, but that’s not the case for the Steelers. This is supposed to be one of the best, most consistent teams in the NFL, and one which might only have a couple of years left of its Super Bowl window. Still, they’re putting up points, and that’s with Le’Veon Bell sat on his butt god knows where.

Running back Tevin Coleman blew up on the Panthers on Sunday Credit: Dale Zanine/USA Today

11. Denver Broncos (up 2)

A comfortable week one victory and a gutsy week two comeback mean the Broncos are already closing in on last season’s win total, and their fans are feeling pretty good about getting back to being one of the NFL’s premier teams. Undrafted rookie running back Phillip Lindsay continues to be a revelation - what a gem the Colorado Boulder product could be.

10. New Orleans Saints (down 4)

A bit of a drop for the Saints who fell victim to the Browns’ formidable defense this week. Cleveland honestly should have won the game, but the big positive for the Saints is Michael Thomas, who continues to grow into one of the NFL’s very best receivers. New Orleans started last season slowly too, but all we know what happened next.

9. Chicago Bears (up 2)

Prince Amukamara's big pick six of Russell Wilson lit up Soldier Field on Monday night, and meant the Bears have taken interceptions to the house in back-to-back weeks to start the season. Chicago are a defense-first team, but unlike in the John Fox era, under Matt Nagy that defense is exciting - maybe the most exciting in the league.

Prince Amukamara takes his interception of Russell Wilson to the house Credit: Patrick Gorski/USA Today

8. Indianapolis Colts (up 2)

The Colts going into Washington and immediately putting a big, fat clamp on the building Redskins hype train might have been the biggest upset of the week. Only a heartless person (or Texans, Jags or Titans fan) will not be wishing Andrew Luck well this season. It’s been easy to forget just how electric a quarterback he is while he’s been out. With him healthy, the Colts have a chance to start challenging in the next few years.

7. Los Angeles Rams (up 7)

A big jump for the Rams, who are doing what everyone around the league thought they might this season, and are looking great in the process. Todd Gurley is making us question how much the NFL really misses Le’Veon Bell - no mean feat - while Brandin Cooks is settling into his number one receiver role beautifully. Their all-LA clash with the Chargers on Sunday could be the game of the week.

6. Cleveland Browns (down 1)

No, they still haven’t won a game. No, we still can’t look away. Over two games the defense have done enough to be taken seriously. There’s still a lot more work to be done on offense, but as we said last week, it’s the narrative which makes the Cleveland Browns one of the NFL’s best teams to watch this season.

5. Cincinnati Bengals (up 3)

The Bucs are the only thing in the way of the Cincinnati Bengals being this season’s surprise package. The fact they aren’t really drawing headlines is probably for the best right now, though - let Fitzpatrick and Mahomes take all the plaudits and remain in the shadows, stalking. After all, that’s what tigers do best. We’ll find out in a few weeks if the Bengals really are proper predators.

4. Green Bay Packers (-)

If it weren’t for a terrible penalty call on Clay Matthews and a botched Mason Crosby field goal we’d be talking about yet another case of last-minute Rodgers heroics in Green Bay. Instead we’ll have to wait, ooh, about five more days to have that conversation, you’d imagine. Just because we’re used to it doesn’t stop it being spellbinding, though.

Bengals receiver A.J. Green on his way to a touchdown in their Thursday night win over the Ravens Credit: David Kohl/USA Today

3. Minnesota Vikings (up 4)

We knew the Vikings were good, now we know they have some swagger, too. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen were almost certainly a big part of why Kirk Cousins chose to sign with Minnesota over several more lucrative offers, and it’s a decision he isn’t going to regret. Cousins’ Aaron Rodgers-esque game-tying drive on the Green Bay quarterback’s home soil was almost a little cheeky. Of course, we loved it.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-)

The safe bet was to assume Ryan Fitzpatrick would go back to being Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Eagles. Instead he became the first quarterback in NFL history to start the season with back-to-back four-touchdown, 400-plus yard games. He torched the Eagles defense for a 75-yard score on the very first play of the game, then did it again in the second quarter. The Bearded Buccaneer is on fire right now.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (-)

Patrick Mahomes is destroying the NFL right now Credit: AP Photo/Don Wright

Pump this Chiefs offense right into my veins. Kansas City know their defense means they’re going to have to score a ton of points every week to win games. The result? Patrick Mahomes has thrown more touchdown passes over the first two weeks of the season (ten) than any other quarterback in the Super Bowl era. Just think what’s going to happen when Kareem Hunt gets going, too.