The Patriots were already a favorite to repeat as Super Bowl champs. Then they went out and smoked the Steelers, 33-3, on Sunday night.
So New England remains No. 1 in The Times’ Ten Power Rankings, and the Steelers fall out as they try to regroup before the Seahawks’ visit to Pittsburgh this week.
Last week’s rankings here.
1. New England Patriots
Forget, for a moment, about Tom Brady and the offense. Perhaps the scariest part of this edition of the New England Dynasty is the defense (at first glance, anyway) looks maybe as good as any Bill Belichick has had.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
Yes, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense looked every bit as good as we all expected. But it has to be concerning in KC that that defense made Gardner Minshew look like the second coming of Joe Namath.
3. Los Angeles Rams
Former Eastern Washington star Cooper Kupp, in his return from a torn ACL last season, had seven catches for 46 yards in the Rams’ victory at Carolina on Sunday, and he could be the X-factor in their hopes for another Super Bowl run.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz was impressive against Washington, completing 28-of-39 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns. Wentz hasn’t played a full season since his rookie year in 2016, but if he can stay healthy he ought to be in the thick of the MVP discussion all year.
5. New Orleans Saints
How much fun was that finish Monday night? Houston’s Deshaun Watson is a budding star, but the future Hall of Famer Drew Brees made every second count for the Saints.
6. Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas offense looked really, really good in a romp of the Giants … and that was with just 53 yards rushing from Ezekiel Elliott.
7. Los Angeles Chargers
The most overlooked team in the NFL? It’s easy to forget the Chargers went 12-4 last season and won a playoff game.
8. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks often seem to play down (or up) to their opponent, and Sunday’s way-too-close victory over the Bengals was another example.
9. Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins was 8-for-10 for 98 yards (not a typo) and the Vikings rolled to a 28-12 win over the Falcons. The less they ask Cousins to do, the better.
10. Green Bay Packers
Packers-Vikings at Lambeau Field one of the must-see games on Sunday.