Week 2: Top 5 NFL Power Rankings (SNN)

Dr.C

The Saints’ defense disrupted Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay debut in the first week of the NFL’s 2020 season. As tradition would have it, Week 1 of the season began with a Thursday night opener highlighting the defending Super Bowl champs and ended with a doubleheader on “Monday Night Football.”  Week 1 was one of the most exciting first weeks of professional football in recent years.  The uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic caused doubt that the NFL could open the 2020 season.  While many were excited to watch live football again, some viewers just did not tune in.

Last week, the NFL’s return claimed the top five most-watched TV shows from Monday, September 7 through Sunday, September 13. Viewership peaked Sunday afternoon at 25.8 million viewers (more than February’s Academy Awards) as fans poured in for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. That's good, right? However, the Thursday night opener fell 16% compared to last season, while Sunday Night Football, normally the league’s weekly golden ticket, set a decade low.

The NFL’s return last week claimed the top five most-watched TV shows from Monday, September 7 through Sunday, September 13. Viewership peaked Sunday afternoon at 25.8 million viewers (more than February’s Academy Awards) as fans poured in for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. That is good, right? However, the Thursday night opener fell 16% compared to last season while Sunday Night Football, normally the league’s weekly golden ticket, set a decade low.  New York Times

According to Nielsen Media Research, the matchup between Drew Brees and Tom Brady was one of the most-watched telecasts of any type since Kansas City played San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV. Kansas City picked up where they left off last season. Seattle made a statement in Atlanta, New Orleans’ defense dealt a hard blow to Tampa Bay, Baltimore debuted with their high power offense, and Green Bay prevailed in a shootout with Minnesota. 

Saints News Network’s NFL Top 5 Power Rankings for Week 2

Power Rankings

1. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)

It appears the defending Super Bowl Champions Kansas City Chiefs and $503 million quarterback Patrick Mahomes opened the season with a powerful offense. They showed no signs of having a Super Bowl hangover after beating the Houston Texans 34-20 in the league’s first game of the season on Thursday. Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes, had a relatively pedestrian 211 yards through the air, and star offensive weapons Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill were both held under 100 yards receiving. 

Chiefs Running Back, Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (25) scores a touchdown against Houston Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham (41) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, however, was the star of the show after racking up 138 yards on the ground with a touchdown. The Chiefs looked calm and in control, which should make the rest of the NFL worried.

2. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)

Lamar Jackson, NFL MVP
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) rushes during the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium.Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens dominated the Cleveland Browns, winning 38-6.  Jackson defended his MVP crown by tallying 275 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air and another 45 yards rushing for a QB rating of 152.1.  

The offense was explosive with Marquise Brown leading the way with 101 yards receiving an average of 20.2 yards per catch.  The Ravens defense continued to play hard, holding the Browns to 6 points along with 2 sacks and an interception. If Jackson is leading the team, there is no slowing down the Ravens.

3. New Orleans Saints (1-0)

USATSI_14928725_168388561_lowres (1)
© Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

NFL team as they spoiled Tom Brady’s first game with the Tampa Bay Bucs, winning 34-23.  In a game where Drew Brees and Michael Thomas did not play their best, the rest of the Saints’ pieces stepped up.  Alvin Kamara scored 2 touchdowns on offense, one rushing, one receiving, and Jared Cook hauled in 5 passes for 80 yards.  

On defense, the Saints overwhelmed Brady, forcing 2 interceptions with one returned for a touchdown by Janoris Jenkins.  Even the special teams had a big day with a blocked field goal and a fumble recovery on a kickoff.  The Saints have been one of the best teams in the NFL for the past few years, and this year looks to be no different.

4. Green Bay Packers (1-0)

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers Quarterback
Sep 13, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) passes in the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers delivered a vintage performance against division rival Minnesota Vikings.  Rodgers completed 32/44 passing attempts for 364 yards with four touchdowns.  A primary concern for the Packers has been their lack of offensive weapons.  But on Sunday, that didn’t prove to be a problem in Week 1 as star receiver Davante Adams shined. 

Adams had a career game, tying the franchise record with 14 catches on top of 156 yards and two touchdowns.  Receivers Marquez Valdez-Scantling and Allen Lazard had 96 and 63 receiving yards with a touchdown each, respectively.  Rodgers and the Packers could prove formidable this season.

5. Seattle Seahawks (1-0)

Russell Wilson defeats Atlanta Falcons
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) runs with the4 ball against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks, led by Russell Wilson, are always in the conversation as one of the better teams in the NFL.  Wilson continued his domination by defeating the Atlanta Falcons, 38-25 while throwing for 322 yards and four touchdowns. 

The Seahawks had a steady running game as four players combined for 85 yards on the ground.  D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett also led the passing attack with a combined 187 receiving yards.  On defense, star safety Jamal Adams made his debut totaling eight tackles with one sack.  Wilson is poised to have a big season, and he could carry the Seahawks with him to the postseason.

Article contributor Sam Lucio, Saints News Network Intern.

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