Week 2 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus who had the best Week 1 debut for every team?


Week 1 of the 2023 NFL regular season has come and gone. And as we prepare for Week 2, let’s take a temperature check of the league with our weekly Power Rankings.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals started the season off on the wrong foot, and the Dallas Cowboys set the tone for the NFC East by shutting out the New York Giants on Sunday night. These games shook up the top 10 in a big way. No team was safe in the middle of the rankings either, with more than six teams moving up four or more spots since our preseason power rankings came out three weeks ago.

In addition to our Week 2 Power Rankings, our 32 NFL Nation reporters identified which newcomer — defined as a rookie, offseason acquisition or new coach — on every team impressed in their Week 1 debut. From new coordinators to kickers and quarterbacks, these 32 newcomers started the season going in the right direction.

Let’s check out the new 1-32 rankings below, starting with our new No. 1 team — the San Francisco 49ers.

Our power panel comprises more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities who evaluate how NFL teams stack up against each other, then ranks them from 1 to 32.

Previous rankings: Preseason

Jump to a team:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF

Preseason ranking: 4

Best debut performance: DT Javon Hargrave
Week 1 stats: 3 tackles, 3 pressures, sack

Apologies to rookie kicker Jake Moody, who had a flawless debut, but Hargrave’s presence on the interior sparked a dominant performance by the defensive line. The Niners had the best defense in the league last season without getting much pressure from the interior, but Hargrave and a healthy Arik Armstead look intent on changing that in a significant way. — Nick Wagoner

Preseason ranking: 2

Best debut performance: DT Jalen Carter
Week 1 stats: 6 pressures, sack

The 2023 No. 9 overall pick was a disruptive force in the middle of the Eagles’ defense, tying for a team high in pressures. He sacked Mac Jones on the Patriots’ final possession to help preserve the win for Philadelphia. With Javon Hargrave exiting in free agency, the Eagles needed their recent draft picks — Carter and Jordan Davis — to step up. So far, so good, with Davis registering a forced fumble and a half-sack of his own. — Tim McManus

Preseason ranking: 1

Best debut performance: WR Rashee Rice
Week 1 stats: 3 receptions for 29 yards, TD

It’s an extremely low bar, but the 2023 second-round draft pick led the team’s wide receivers in catches and scored the group’s only touchdown in the loss against the Lions. Rice has run-after-catch ability that can help provide some big plays to an offense that badly needs them. If the other wide receivers continue to struggle as they did in the opener, the Chiefs should continue to give Rice more playing time. — Adam Teicher

Preseason ranking: 7

Best debut performance: CB Stephon Gilmore
Week 1 stats: 4 tackles, 3 passes defensed, INT

With Gilmore and Trevon Diggs, the Cowboys have their best cornerback duo in years. Gilmore matched up with tight end Darren Waller, he matched up with the Giants’ speedy receivers and he was able to get the better of all of them. “He’s an incredible route reader, just the pattern of concepts and understanding of the stems,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “The way he sees the game is exceptional. I look back at [former cornerback] Charles Woodson and some of those guys that had that special trait, and he definitely has that.” — Todd Archer

Preseason ranking: 6

Best debut performance: S DeShon Elliott
Week 1 stats: 13 tackles

There aren’t many new faces on this team, but Elliott made an impact as the Chargers’ running backs repeatedly reached the second level of Miami’s defense. When he signed this offseason, it appeared he would rotate with Brandon Jones, but Elliott played all 76 defensive snaps in Week 1. The safety spot opposite Jevon Holland still figures to be a rotation, but Elliott might be the first man up if he continues to perform like that. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Preseason ranking: 8

Best debut performance: WR Zay Flowers
Week 1 stats: 9 receptions for 78 yards

The 2023 No. 22 overall pick lived up to the hype in Week 1. He not only set a Ravens record for most catches in a debut, but he dazzled with shifty moves in the open field. Flowers’ 54 yards after the catch were the second most in a rookie wide receiver’s first career game since 2020. With tight end Mark Andrews sidelined with a quad injury, Flowers became Lamar Jackson‘s go-to target, accounting for over half of Jackson’s 17 completions. He was one of the few bright spots for an underwhelming performance by Baltimore’s new-look offense. — Jamison Hensley

Preseason ranking: 10

Best debut performance: DB Brian Branch
Week 1 stats: 3 tackles, 1 pass defensed, INT, TD

Branch recognized that NFL game speed was faster than college football, but the former Alabama star looked comfortable against the Chiefs. He returned an interception for a 50-yard touchdown against one of the best offenses in the league. “It definitely gives me a boost for my confidence,” Branch said during Monday’s practice. “But each week is going to be a challenging week, and we’ve just got to keep on preparing how we did against Kansas City and just for every week moving forward, we’ve got to do the same thing.” — Eric Woodyard

Preseason ranking: 11

Best debut performance: WR Calvin Ridley
Week 1 stats: 8 receptions for 101 yards, TD

This was Ridley’s first regular-season NFL game since Oct. 24, 2021, and his first as a member of the Jaguars. He did most of his work in the first half (seven receptions, 92 yards, one TD) and seamlessly fit into an offense already filled with playmakers. The Jaguars didn’t take any deep shots against the Colts’ Cover-3 defense, so that’s something to watch going forward, but Ridley showed that he may be able to have the same kind of impact on Trevor Lawrence that Stefon Diggs has on Josh Allen in Buffalo. — Michael DiRocco

Preseason ranking: 5

Best debut performance: DE Leonard Floyd
Week 1 stats: 1.5 sacks, 3 tackles, 2 QB hits, tackle for loss

The Bills were looking for pass rushers to step up with Von Miller missing at least the first four games still recovering from surgery on his right ACL. Floyd made an impression throughout the opener against the Jets. Floyd consistently went after Jets QB Zach Wilson and played well alongside third-year pass rusher Greg Rousseau, which is good news for Buffalo defensive line moving forward — even if it was against the not-as-talented Jets offensive line. — Alaina Getzenberg

Preseason ranking: 9

Best debut performance: OC Kellen Moore
Week 1 stats: Moore’s run offense totaled 234 yards on 5.9 yards per carry

Moore kickstarted the rush offense in his first game with Los Angeles. Austin Ekeler benefitted from the new scheme, netting 55 more rush yards than expected, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. RB Joshua Kelley, who had a career-high 91 rushing yards, appreciated Moore’s willingness to stick with what was working on the ground. “Once you get in that rhythm you get a feel for the defense, how everything’s going, so he’s calling it, man. I love it,” Kelley said. If opposing defenses have to commit an extra man to the box going forward, it can make the Justin Herbert-led passing game even more dangerous. — Daniel Greenspan

Preseason ranking: 18

Best debut performance: DC Jim Schwartz
Week 1 stats: Defense held Joe Burrow to 82 passing yards

Cleveland’s new defensive coordinator came up with a game plan that both rattled Joe Burrow and shut down Cincinnati’s passing offense. The rainy conditions helped, but Schwartz blitzed Burrow on 53% of his drop backs in the first half, the highest rate of the quarterback’s career, according to ESPN Stats & Information. In turn, Burrow averaged just 2.6 yards per attempt, the lowest in a half in his career. The Browns pitched a shutout in the first half and never looked back. Under Schwartz, the new-look defense could prove to be among the most improved units in the league. — Jake Trotter

Preseason ranking: 13

Best debut performance: KR/PR Xavier Gipson
Week 1 stats: four returns for 112 yards and a TD

Gipson recorded the game-winning 65-yard punt return TD in overtime for the Jets in his NFL debut, the first player with a punt return TD in their debut since Tyler Lockett in 2015. Gipson should provide a spark in the return game for a team that hadn’t had a punt return touchdown before Monday night since 2018. — Rich Cimini



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Preseason ranking: 3

Best debut performance: S Nick Scott
Week 1 stats: 11 tackles

Scott had a solid showing as the team’s new free safety in an otherwise underwhelming loss to the Browns. He was around the ball often and had a 14.4% completion percentage allowed as the nearest defender. That’s a good sign for a defensive group that is looking to replace safeties Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell, who signed with other teams in free agency. — Ben Baby

Preseason ranking: 20

Best debut performance: K Anders Carlson
Week 1 stats: 5-for-5 on PATs, 1-for-1 on FGs

For all the angst over Carlson — from drafting him in the sixth round to moving on from franchise scoring leader Mason Crosby to an inconsistent preseason and training camp — he delivered in a big way with a 52-yard field goal to close out the first half vs. the Bears. The Packers mismanaged the clock after Jordan Love got sacked and had to use their last timeout. “Thank God Carlson made it, so it kind of covers up that mistake a little bit,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. — Rob Demovsky

Preseason ranking: 19

Best debut performance: K Blake Grupe
Week 1 stats: 3-for-3 on FGs, 1-for-1 on PAT

The Saints took a risk when they traded veteran Wil Lutz to the Broncos in favor of keeping a rookie. But Grupe proved why the Saints took the gamble. He kept them in the game through three quarters before the Saints were able to score a touchdown and was poised under pressure with a 52-yard field goal to tie things up 9-9 in the third quarter. Quarterback Derek Carr sealed the game late with a third-quarter touchdown, but Grupe quietly bolstered the Saints reasoning for keeping him on the 53-man roster. — Katherine Terrell



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Preseason ranking: 14

Best debut performance: ILB Elandon Roberts
Week 1 stats: 7 tackles, 2 tackles for loss

Hard to find much good from the Steelers’ blowout loss to the 49ers but Roberts was as effective as he could be against one of the league’s best running backs, Christian McCaffrey. Though Roberts played less than 50% of defensive snaps — the fewest of the new inside linebacker acquisitions — he recorded two tackles for loss, including one when he brought down McCaffrey in the first quarter. — Brooke Pryor

Preseason ranking: 17

Best debut performance: CB Christian Gonzalez
Week 1 stats: 7 tackles, sack, 1 pass defensed

The 2023 No. 17 overall pick had a tough opening assignment against Eagles receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, and he was competitive in coverage. Gonzalez started and played all 66 defensive snaps and looks like he has a chance to be CB1 if he continues on his current path. “We didn’t get the outcome we wanted, but there’s a lot to learn from it,” he said after the game. — Mike Reiss

Preseason ranking: 12

Best debut performance: LB Bobby Wagner
Week 1 stats: 19 tackles, tackle for loss

In his first game back with the Seahawks after a season away, Wagner led all players with 19 tackles, tied for his second-most in any game in his career. His performance was one of the few silver linings for Seattle in a dispiriting loss to the Rams. “I thought he played a really good ballgame today,” coach Pete Carroll said of Wagner, who returned on a one-year, $5.5 million deal in March. “I couldn’t tell all of it, but I thought he played really well today, and it meant a lot to him.” — Brady Henderson

Preseason ranking: 23

Best debut performance: QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Week 1 stats: 20-of-26 passing, 200 yards, 2 TDs, INT

As solid as his stat line was, Garoppolo’s huddle presence, leadership and willingness to run for a game-clinching first down won over the Raiders locker room. Or, as running back Josh Jacobs said, “Man, he’s a dog. Any quarterback that’s willing to take a hit in a big moment to secure a win, got my respect.” At one point, Garoppolo had to go to the medical tent for testing and missed two plays after taking a hit to the head, but then threw a touchdown pass upon returning. After nine years with Derek Carr as the starter, this is now Garoppolo’s team. — Paul Gutierrez

Preseason ranking: 15

Best debut performance: WR Jordan Addison
Week 1 stats: 4 receptions for 61 yards, TD

The Vikings’ No. 23 overall pick scored the first points of the season, a 39-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter to give the Vikings a 7-3 lead over the Buccaneers. More importantly, he capitalized on the kind of coverage the team typically faces. All-Pro Justin Jefferson was double-teamed on the play. Addison simply ran past a safety that also appeared to be keeping his eye on Jefferson, and hauled in a Kirk Cousins pass for one of the easier deep touchdown receptions you’ll see. — Kevin Seifert



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Preseason ranking: 25

Best debut performance: CB Emmanuel Forbes
Week 1 stats: 3 tackles, tackle for loss, 1 pass defensed

None of Washington’s newcomers made a tremendous impact, but Forbes, their first-round pick (16th overall), played a solid game. He handled his assignments well, didn’t bite on some double moves, kept his eyes in the right place in zone coverage and drove well on the few passes thrown to his man. On his TFL, he showed good recognition and quickly sped past a lineman headed his way and made the tackle on a run. — John Keim

Preseason ranking: 27

Best debut performance: WR Puka Nacua
Week 1 stats: 10 receptions for 119 yards

The rookie impressed in his debut in Seattle, as his 119 receiving yards were the most in a rookie debut in team history. Along with receiver Tutu Atwell, Nacua helped make up for the production the Rams were missing from Cooper Kupp, who is on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Kupp will miss at least the next three games, so Nacua will have an opportunity to continue that success early in the season. — Sarah Barshop

Preseason ranking: 28

Best debut performance: S Jessie Bates III
Week 1 stats: 10 tackles, 2 INTs, forced fumble

The Falcons paid Bates one of the biggest safety contracts in league history to come from Cincinnati to Atlanta, and he showed every bit of that investment Sunday. He became the first player since Chinedum Ndukwe in 2007 to post double-digit tackles, multiple picks and a forced fumble in a game. Bates provides stability in the back line of the defense and is an instinctual player who should be able to create big defensive plays and prevent large offensive ones. — Michael Rothstein

Preseason ranking: 30

Best debut performance: K Chase McLaughlin
Week 1 stats: 2-for-2 FGs, 2-for-2 PAT

With the game tied 17-17 with 5:15 to go in the fourth quarter, McLaughlin nailed a personal-best 57-yard field goal to give the Bucs a 20-17 lead that would hold. The Bucs’ kicking woes are well-documented historically. They released kicker Ryan Succop and signed McLaughlin this offseason because of his accuracy from 50-plus yards, and he delivered in one of the most difficult places to play for a road team. — Jenna Laine

Preseason ranking: 16

Best debut performance: CB Deonte Banks
Week 1 stats: Tackle, 2 targets, 2 passes defensed

The No. 24 overall pick played really well before his debut was cut short because of cramps. In 13 coverage snaps, he was targeted twice for no completions with two passes defended, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Now, not much else went right for the Giants, but at least their top pick had a promising performance. Banks left late in the first half after one of those passes defended but was expected to return. It just didn’t happen, perhaps in part because of the lopsided score. — Jordan Raanan

Preseason ranking: 21

Best debut performance: RB Samaje Perine
Week 1 stats: 8 carries for 41 yards; 4 receptions for 37 yards

When the Broncos passed on a deep class of running backs in the draft and signed Perine in free agency, many were still waiting for the Broncos to make another move. They didn’t because, in short, they like Perine more than some thought they would. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry in the opening week loss to the Raiders, had the team’s longest run of the day (12 yards), showed quality power, caught four passes and was their best back in pass protection. None of it was flashy, but all of it will continue to keep him busy in the Broncos’ offense. — Jeff Legwold



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Preseason ranking: 26

Best debut performance: OLB Arden Key
Week 1 stats: 1.5 sacks, 2 QB hits, tackle for loss

Key’s explosive first step was a major asset against the Saints’ pass protection. He finished with 1.5 sacks but almost added a game-changing strip sack when he knocked the ball out of quarterback Derek Carr‘s hand before it was ruled a forward pass. The Titans front will be a force to be reckoned with considering Key is joining Denico Autry and Jeffery Simmons. There are too many guys that opposing teams will be forced to dedicate extra help to stop. That’s what Key enjoys the most about playing for Tennessee. “It was great because everybody was playing off each other,” Key said. — Turron Davenport

Preseason ranking: 22

Best debut performance: TE Hayden Hurst
Week 1 stats: 5 catches for 41 yards, TD

Coach Frank Reich said the tight end was going to play a big role in his offense, and Hurst showed that even on a down day for rookie quarterback Bryce Young. He led the team in catches, targets and receiving yards. He and Young connected for Carolina’s only touchdown of the day. Hurst’s only real mistake was throwing Young’s first touchdown ball into the stands. — David Newton

Preseason ranking: 24

Best debut performance: RB Roschon Johnson
Week 1 stats: 5 rushes for 20 yards, TD; 6 receptions for 35 yards

The fourth-round running back was the lone bright spot for the Bears in a 38-20 drubbing by Green Bay. Johnson’s touchdown may have come too late, but his efficiency as a rusher (4.0 yards per carry) was the best of any Bears running back. Chicago leaned on the rookie (29 snaps) more than Khalil Herbert and D’Onta Foreman, a load share that could become heavier for Johnson should he continue to provide the offense with multiple uses. — Courtney Cronin

Preseason ranking: 29

Best debut performance: QB Anthony Richardson
Week 1 stats: 24-of-37 passing for 223 yards, TD, INT

The No. 4 overall pick had an impressive debut in a losing effort, mostly avoiding huge mistakes and making several plays with his legs that lifted his team. He was accurate, completing 65% of his attempts against Jacksonville. The challenge moving forward will be making the progression to more explosive plays and throwing with a little more anticipation. The Colts aren’t consistently winning matchups down the field, so they’re going to need to produce some runs after the catch. That will require timely throws from Richardson. — Stephen Holder

Preseason ranking: 31

Best debut performance: DE Will Anderson Jr.
Week 1 stats: 6 tackles, sack, 2 QB hits

The 2023 No. 3 overall pick played at a high level in his debut, as his six pressures were tied for the most by a rookie in Week 1 since Nick Bosa and Josh Allen did it in 2019. Anderson also made an impact in the run game with six defensive stops. The Texans will look for more of the same from him the rest of this season. — DJ Bien-Aime

Preseason ranking: 32

Best debut performance: DC Nick Rallis
Week 1 stats: The defense has 6 sacks, 6 QB hits, INT, 7 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries

The Cardinals have a new defensive coordinator and his unit showed out Sunday against the Commanders with a solid performance, but it ultimately ran out of gas by the end of the game after six sacks by five different players. Arizona’s defense, which has four new faces, didn’t seem to have any issue dealing with the transition to a new defensive coordinator. Its front seven was impressive, running five or more defensive backs on 48 of its 65 defensive plays. — Josh Weinfuss