NFL Week 2 Power Rankings: Packers hold top spot, but Jaguars can stake claim with win over Patriots
Packers maintain top spot in Prisco's Power Rankings, but Jags can make a leap with win over Pats
This is the week we find out if the Jacksonville Jaguars are as good as some think, and indeed have a defense that can dominate for an entire season.
The Jaguars, fresh off a dominant defensive performance against the New York Giants in their season-opening victory last week, get a chance to show how good they truly are with a home game this Sunday against the New England Patriots.
The Patriots are the standard of the NFL, and the Jaguars came within a blown fourth-quarter lead of beating them in the AFC Championship Game last January.
Some say that Jaguars team was a fluke.
This is their chance to show it isn't.
The Jaguars are ranked second here in my Power Rankings, one spot behind the Green Bay Packers and one spot ahead of the Patriots.
If the Jaguars can shut down Tom Brady and the New England offense, something they did for three quarters in the AFC title game, they will be the team to beat in the AFC.
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Anytime Brady goes against a great defense – and this Jaguars defense has a chance to be that – it's a treat to watch.
This is an early-season game that matters because I think it could ultimately decide home-field advantage in the AFC.
For the Jaguars, it's also a proving game.
For the Patriots, it's a chance to show that as long as Brady is slinging it, they will be the AFC's best team.
Even Jalen Ramsey has to admit Brady is an all-time great, even if he did have a pre-game chirping session with him before the last meeting. I would expect more of that on Sunday.
That's what makes the game so intriguing, and one that could make many more believers out of the Jaguars.
|1||Packers||The Aaron Rodgers situation bears watching, but if he's playing they are the best team in my book.||--||6-9-1|
|2||Jaguars||The offense was limited against the Giants, so that has to change. But the defense is special and they get a major chance to show it against the Pats this week.||--||5-11-0|
|3||Patriots||They look like the same Patriots - a lot of Tom Brady and the great coaching of Bill Belichick. The beat goes on.||--||11-5-0|
|4||Eagles||It wasn't pretty against the Falcons, but they found a way. That's the sign of a good team.||1||9-7-0|
|5||Vikings||The Kirk Cousins era got off to a good start, but now comes a tough road game against the Packers.||1||8-7-1|
|6||Rams||The defense came up big in the second half against Oakland. Now comes a division game against Arizona on a short week.||3||13-3-0|
|7||Broncos||Case Keenum did a lot of good, but also some bad. He has to clean up the bad if this is going to be a playoff team.||5||6-10-0|
|8||Chiefs||That was an impressive showing in Los Angeles against the Chargers. Patrick Mahomes is the real deal, but faces a tough road game at Pittsburgh.||9||12-4-0|
|9||Steelers||Tying the Browns is really like a loss. They need to regroup quickly against the Chiefs.||1||9-6-1|
|10||Panthers||The injuries to Greg Olsen and right tackle Darryl Williams damper their victory over the Cowboys. Now here come the Falcons in a division game.||3||7-9-0|
|11||Falcons||It's hard to win on the road in the NFL, so don't overreact to the Week One loss to the Eagles. This team will be a playoff team.||7||7-9-0|
|12||Ravens||If Joe Flacco plays like he did against the Bills, they will be a playoff team. That's a big if.||3||10-6-0|
|13||Saints||That was an ugly showing against the Bucs. What happened to the defense?||6||13-3-0|
|14||Bengals||They showed something by coming from behind on the road against the Colts. This is a team that could be sneaky good this year.||--||6-10-0|
|15||Redskins||That was an impressive showing against the Cardinals. The defense really showed up.||8||7-9-0|
|16||Chargers||They didn't look good in losing to the Chiefs at home. Will they have another slow start for a team some thought could be a Super Bowl contender?||6||12-4-0|
|17||Dolphins||They looked good in beating the Titans in that long, delayed game. Now they have a winnable road game against the Jets.||4||7-9-0|
|18||Texans||They face almost a must-win against the Titans this week. They can't afford to start 0-2.||7||11-5-0|
|19||Buccaneers||They were outstanding on offense on the road in upsetting the Saints. But can Ryan Fitzpatrick come close to duplicating it this week against the Eagles?||7||5-11-0|
|20||Titans||The injuries to their offense will make for a tough challenge against the Texans this week. They, too, have to avoid 0-2.||4||9-7-0|
|21||Raiders||Their defense just isn't good enough. You think they missed Khalil Mack Monday against the Rams?||3||4-12-0|
|22||Cowboys||Where's the offense? They didn't have much of it against the Panthers. At some point, that has to change.||2||10-6-0|
|23||49ers||The offense has to be better than what it showed at Minnesota. But that was a tough test.||1||4-12-0|
|24||Jets||Who saw their blowout of the Lions coming? Sam Darnold was good in his first game, but it was the defense that dominated.||7||4-12-0|
|25||Bears||If moral victories count, they got one against the Packers. But they don't. They are a better team now than a year ago - that's for sure.||1||12-4-0|
|26||Seahawks||They lost a tough one at Denver, but now face a back-to-back road game at Chicago. Not having Doug Baldwin will hurt.||1||10-6-0|
|27||Cardinals||That was a dud against the Redskins. If it stays that way for the offense, when do they turn to Josh Rosen?||--||3-13-0|
|28||Giants||The offense couldn't get much going against the Jaguars. That has to change in a big division game against the Cowboys this week.||--||5-11-0|
|29||Lions||That loss to the Jets was putrid. That's not a good way for Matt Patricia to start his head-coaching stint. Can they respond against the 49ers?||10||6-10-0|
|30||Browns||They got a tie against the Steelers, which is like a victory. The defense looked much improved.||1||7-8-1|
|31||Colts||Getting Andrew Luck back will make them competitive, but that defense can be a season-long problem.||1||10-6-0|
|32||Bills||This team is bad and they have to make a change at quarterback. Just play Josh Allen. But they aren't.||--||6-10-0|
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