NFL Power Rankings Week 2: Jameis, Saints Among Biggest Risers

Check out Adam Chernoff's weekly NFL power rankings, where he rates every team from No. 1 to No. 32 — while highlighting the risers (Saints), fallers (Ravens), and key things to watch for Week 2 of the NFL season.

Adam Chernoff
Posted: Jul 27, 2021 7:43 AM ET Updated: Sep 15, 2021 9:43 AM ET Est Time: 5 min
Jameis Winston New Orleans Saints NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Power rankings are an important part of NFL betting, used not only by bettors but also by bookmakers when setting NFL odds. After Adam Chernoff revealed his preseason rankings, he will now be updating these rankings weekly — based off of the previous week's NFL action.

Check out his Week 2 rankings below, or listen to a full audio analysis on The Simple Handicap podcast for every NFL club... from No. 1 to No. 32.

Adam Chernoff's NFL power rankings

Rank Team Rating Super Bowl Odds
1 Kansas City Chiefs 90 +450
2 Buffalo Bills 85 +1,200
3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 85 +500
4 San Francisco 49ers 82 +1,200
5 Cleveland Browns 77 +1,500
6 Green Bay Packers 75 +1,600
7 Baltimore Ravens 70 +1,600
8 New England Patriots 70 +4,000
9 Seattle Seahawks 68 +1,600
10 Los Angeles Rams 67 +1,100
11 Dallas Cowboys 65 +3,300
12 New Orleans Saints 62 +2,000
13 Arizona Cardinals 58 +2,800
14 Tennessee Titans  52 +3,000
15 Minnesota Vikings 52 +5,000
16 Indianapolis Colts 50 +4,000
17 Pittsburgh Steelers 50 +2,500
18 Los Angeles Chargers 50 +2,800
19 Miami Dolphins 48 +2,500
20 Las Vegas Raiders 47 +5,000
21 Denver Broncos 45 +3,300
22 Atlanta Falcons 40 +8,000
23 Chicago Bears 39 +8,000
24 Carolina Panthers 35 +6,000
25 Washington Football Team 34 +6,000
26 Philadelphia Eagles 34 +5,000
27 New York Giants 30 +6,600
28 Cincinnati Bengals 30 +8,000
29 Jacksonville Jaguars 25 +15,000
30 New York Jets 23 +20,000
31 Detroit Lions 20 +20,000
32 Houston Texans 17 +12,500

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Compare updated Super Bowl futures before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Moving up

New Orleans: 48 --> 62

This upgrade is more for Sean Payton than anybody. The veteran head coach and play-caller showed that he can — and will — make the combination of Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill work.

The Saints dominated the Packers in Week 1, winning by 35 as 3.5-point underdogs on a neutral field. While more tape on the Saints means more familiarity for defensive game planners, the combination of Payton’s play-calling expertise with the formidable talent in the trenches bumps the Saints into the Top 12.

Denver: 35 --> 45

Did Teddy Bridgewater find a deep ball? In Week 1, Teddy finished with 8.4 intended air yards per throw — a number that was higher than Tom Brady, Justin Herbert, Dak Prescott, and Aaron Rodgers. While intended air yards are typically attributed to scheme and game script, Bridgewater did it in a victory. He finished 14.2 percent above expectation for completion rate, which was third-best in the league behind Baker Mayfield and Russell Wilson.

For years he has been a short passing, conservative, and safe option. Seeing him air it out and all the supporting cast around him, the Broncos get a big bump up.

Moving down

Baltimore: 78 --> 70

With a 14-point lead, John Harbaugh was 81-0 in his career before Monday Night. No head coach prioritizes being aggressive as possible to get an early lead more. This is why it was so uncharacteristic to see the Ravens blow not just a 14-0 lead, but multiple 7+-point leads in the second half.

The injuries to multiple running backs and key DB Marcus Peters leave a huge void. This defense is a liability in coverage without Peters — especially if Jimmy Smith does not play. The defensive line is not as talented as it used to be, struggling to consistently generate pressure without extra blitzers, and the offensive line has taken a step back without key pieces in place.

Although Baltimore outgained Las Vegas in yards per play (both pass and rush), there are far too many concerns emerging not to downgrade the Ravens.

Atlanta: 45 --> 40

Arguably no performance was more disappointing in week one than the Atlanta Falcons. Arthur Smith flat-out looked lost on the sidelines, as the lifetime position coach and offensive coordinator looked confused and out of control stepping into the head coaching role.

The potential issues for Atlanta on the offensive line and in the secondary were there on paper coming into the season, but few expected it to look as bad as it did in the opener: The Falcons were abused by the Eagles defensive front, allowing QB Matt Ryan to be pressured on 42 percent of dropbacks, and the offense looked old, uneventful, and lacked any of the creativity we came to love from Smith with his time in Tennessee.

If the secondary continues to struggle as it did against Jalen Hurts, opponents will have no issues moving the ball each week on this team. They remain a top Over candidate but are downgraded as a side.

Jacksonville: 28 --> 25

Not a significant move in terms of value, but the Jaguars were already rated low — putting them in line with the three worst teams in football seems fitting.

Urban Meyer looks unprepared to coach at the professional level (although through just one game) and Trevor Lawrence looked the worst of the rookie QB’s in the opening week. He finished 12.9 percent below expectation for completion rate, which ranked at the bottom of all starting QB’s, and his overall rating was second worst.

The offensive line was bullied by a weak Texans pass rush and looks to be as big of a liability as it appeared in the preseason.

Things to watch

Totals on the rise

Week 1 of the NFL season saw an average bookmaker total of 47.5. Week 2 is already up to 49 points on average. Last season the average bookmaker total finished the season at 48.1, after reaching a peak weekly rate above 50.

Teams scored an average of 49.6 points in 2020, the highest of any season in history. Major betting groups and syndicates have bet heavily on a handful of Overs this week and totals seem to continue to rise, despite the initial adjustment by bookmakers in the opening week to reflect the addition of fans back in stadiums.

Vikings issues

After an offseason of vaccine issues that divided the locker room, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer went out of character and hung Kirk Cousins out to dry in an interview this past week. The head coach, who usually supports Cousins and is known for backing players, suggested that the QB's opinions do not align with the team. This comes on the heels of Zimmer re-signing Everson Griffen after he publicly slammed Cousins a year ago when he was traded away.

The Vikings were a highly rated team by major bettors entering the season but should these issues continue to build up, we could see the Vikings on the decline in a hurry. A frustrating overtime loss in Week 1 to the Bengals did not do the team any favors.

Who beats KC?

Baker Mayfield had a historic first half against the Chiefs on Sunday — he passed for nearly 10 yards per attempt and was perfect against the blitz, using play-action and converting multiple third and fourth down attempts, as well as throws of 15 or more yards downfield. Cleveland raced out to a double-digit lead early and was in command, validating the large bets during the week that dropped its odds from +6.5 to +5.

Despite Cleveland going perfect in the red zone, winning the yards per play battle by a whopping 1.7 yards (passing by 1.6 and rushing by 2.7) the Browns still could not beat Kansas City. In fact, by midway through the fourth quarter, they were already trailing. That was the best the Browns could possibly play, and it was not good enough — What is it going to take for a team to knock off KC? They are rated as the top team for a reason.

How to make NFL power rankings

Oddsmakers and professional bettors alike have their own NFL power rankings and you should as well. It's not an overly complicated process, especially not when you use the 0-100 method. Learn how with our guide to creating NFL power rankings

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