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The MMQB Power Rankings Poll, Week 2: Packers, Chiefs and a Tight Vote for the Top Spot

Plus, the Jaguars' dominance of Houston gives us two major movers after the season's opening games

At the top, it was the narrowest margin of victory in the storied history of The MMQB Power Poll. O.K., it’s only The MMQB Power Poll’s second week in existence. But with 18 voters, the top-two teams were separated by just two points in the AP-poll style vote (teams get 32 points for a first-place vote, 31 points for second, down to one point for a 32nd-place vote).

You can scroll ever-so-slightly lower to see who takes over the top spot from the Patriots, the heavy favorites entering the season who were de-pantsed (metaphorically, not physically as far as I could see) in the Thursday night opener. As for the biggest movers and shakers this week . . .

Biggest Risers

Baltimore Ravens (21st to 12th): Sure, Andy Dalton played as if he was surprised another team was on the field trying to stop him from completing passes, but there’s no denying Baltimore’s defense looked like one of the NFL’s absolute best in Week 1. Throw in a re-commitment ceremony to the run game (42 runs, 18 dropbacks in Cincinnati)—did you know the Ravens were football’s most pass-heavy team last year, that’s crazy!—and it looked a lot like old-school Ravens football. Or as “old-school” as a team established in 1996 can be.

Jacksonville Jaguars (30th to 21st): So close to the top-20! Blake Bortles punchlines—and I had so many queued up—might be put on hold this year. The Jaguars were utterly dominant up front in Houston. (How much of that was the Texans’ unspeakably bad O-line? We’ll find out over the next 16 weeks.) And the reliance on Leonard Fournette, especially after jumping out to a lead, made for a nice, Bortles-light attack on offense. That’s a recipe for wins.

Also making a nice leap were Philadelphia (18th to 10th) and Detroit (19th to 11th). Your autographed Peter King 8x10 glossies are in the mail.

The Morning Huddle: Why Were NFL Quarterbacks So Bad in Week 1?

Biggest Faller

Houston Texans (11th to 25th): They might have the league’s best defense (this voter had them fifth in the preseason poll!), but in Week 1 they were the worst offense in football (yes, they’re looking up at the McCown-led Jets right now). Poor offensive line play was a theme in Week 1. The Texans' offensive line looked pretty good except for when they were on the field—they may have simply forgotten to block for 76 or so of Houston’s 79 snaps. Deshaun Watson apparently made tremendous strides developmentally between 12:01 and 1:22 p.m. local time on Sunday, as he was thrust into the lineup for the second half, making the leap from the simplified spread he ran at Clemson to Houston’s complex, option route-heavy offense that typically takes years to master, and doing it with the NFL’s worst offensive line unable to protect him or generate anything in the run game. To the surprise of—well, maybe a few people, there are some 7.5 billion on the planet—the second half went poorly for the Texans.

Also feeling great shame at the moment are the players, coaches and support staff of the New York Giants (ninth to 17th), who made the Dallas Cowboys’ defense look like the ’85 Bears on Sunday night. (But, I mean, c’mon fellow voters, no Odell!)

Introduction by Gary Gramling

This week’s voters:

Ben Baskin, NFL Reporter
Andy Benoit, Analyst and Staff Writer
Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Chris Burke, NFL Writer
John DePetro, NFL Video Producer
Adam Duerson, Assistant Managing Editor
Jacob Feldman, NFL Reporter
Matt Gagne, Senior Editor
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Jonathan Jones, Staff Writer
Kalyn Kahler, Editorial Assistant
Peter King, Editor-In-Chief
Robert Klemko, NFL Writer
Bette Marston, Senior Producer
Mark Mravic, Executive Editor
Tim Rohan, NFL Writer
Tom Taylor, NFL Technology Columnist
Jenny Vrentas, Senior Writer

1. GREEN BAY PACKERS (1-0)

Last Week’s Rank: 2

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 550

First-Place Votes: 9 (Baskin, Duerson, Gagne, Gramling, Jones, Kahler, Klemko, Marston, Vrentas)

Lowest-Place Vote: Seventh

Last Week’s Result: Win vs. Seattle, 17-9

Week 2 Opponent: at Atlanta

2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (1-0)

Last Week’s Rank: 7

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 548

First-Place Votes: 8 (Benoit, Brandt, Burke, DePetro, Feldman, King, Mravic, Rohan)

Lowest-Place Vote: Eighth

Last Week’s Result: Win at New England, 42-27

Week 2 Opponent: vs. Philadelphia

3. DALLAS COWBOYS (1-0)

Last Week’s Rank: 6

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 514

First-Place Votes: 1 (Taylor)

Lowest-Place Vote: Eighth

Last Week’s Result: Win vs. N.Y. Giants, 19-3

Week 2 Opponent: at Denver

4. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (1-0)

Last Week’s Rank: 3

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 509

Highest-Place Vote: Second (3)

Lowest-Place Vote: Eighth

Last Week’s Result: Win at Cleveland, 21-18

Week 2 Opponent: vs. Minnesota

5. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (0-1)

Last Week’s Rank: 1

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 505

Highest-Place Vote: Second (3)

Lowest-Place Vote: 11th

Last Week’s Result: Loss vs. Kansas City, 42-27

Week 2 Opponent: at New Orleans

6. OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-0)

Last Week’s Rank: 8

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 499

Highest-Place Vote: Second (2)

Lowest-Place Vote: 12th

Last Week’s Result: Win at Tennessee, 26-16

Week 2 Opponent: vs. N.Y. Jets

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7. ATLANTA FALCONS (1-0)

Last Week’s Rank: 4

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 480

Highest-Place Vote: Third

Lowest-Place Vote: 11th

Last Week’s Result: Win at Chicago, 23-17

Week 2 Opponent: vs. Green Bay

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8. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (0-1)

Last Week’s Rank: 5

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 451

Highest-Place Vote: Second (2)

Lowest-Place Vote: 18th

Last Week’s Result: Loss at Green Bay, 17-9

Week 2 Opponent: vs. San Francisco

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9. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (1-0)

Last Week’s Rank: 14

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 388

First-Place Vote: Fifth

Lowest-Place Vote: 19th

Last Week’s Result: Win vs. New Orleans, 29-19

Week 2 Opponent: at Pittsburgh

10. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (1-0)

Last Week’s Rank: 18

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 378

Highest-Place Vote: Seventh (2)

Lowest-Place Vote: 19th

Last Week’s Result: Win at Washington, 30-17

Week 2 Opponent: at Kansas City

11. DETROIT LIONS (1-0)

Last Week’s Rank: 19

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 369

Highest-Place Vote: Ninth

Lowest-Place Vote: 18th (2)

Last Week’s Result: Win vs. Arizona, 35-23

Week 2 Opponent: at N.Y. Giants

12. BALTIMORE RAVENS (1-0)

Last Week’s Rank: 21

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 362

Highest-Place Vote: Eighth

Lowest-Place Vote: 23rd

Last Week’s Result: Win at Cincinnati, 20-0

Week 2 Opponent: vs. Cleveland

13. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (0-0)

Last Week’s Rank: 13

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 345

First-Place Vote: 10th

Lowest-Place Vote: 21st

Last Week’s Result: Bye

Week 2 Opponent: vs. Chicago

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14. DENVER BRONCOS (1-0)

Last Week’s Rank: 12

Points in MMQB Power Poll: 337

Highest-Place Vote: Ninth

Lowest-Place Vote: 22nd