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Breaking down the NFL standings coming out of Week 2

The NFL is almost finished with Week 2. We break down the standings as the league starts to look to Week 3.

Wide receiver D.J. Moore #2 of the Carolina Panthers kneels in the end zone after scoring a touchdown in the game against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The NFL is moving through the Week 2 afternoon slate after an ugly but wild 1 p.m. schedule, and we have a mix of surprises and expected outcomes through two weeks.

In the early slate, the Raiders, Broncos, Panthers, 49ers, and Rams all improved to 2-0. The 49ers and Rams are not surprises, although both did get tougher than expected matchups. On the other hand, Las Vegas, Denver, and Carolina were not expected to jump out quite so quickly. Five more teams can join them at 2-0 on Sunday afternoon and evening.

On the other end of things, the Jets, Colts, Jaguars, and Giants have all opened the season at 0-2. Teams that start 0-2 rarely make the playoffs, although this year that stat should be viewed a little different given the new 17-game schedule.

Below are the eight divisional standings, along with some quick thoughts about each division after two weeks of football. We’ll update with remaining records after the rest of Sunday the Monday Night Football matchup.

AFC East

The Bills blew out the Dolphins with relative ease while Miami had to deal with losing Tua Tagovailoa to injury in the game. Meanwhile, the Patriots had no trouble with a Jets squad that is looking like the worst team in the league.

  1. Buffalo Bills, 1-1
  2. New England Patriots, 1-1
  3. Miami Dolphins, 1-1
  4. New York Jets, 0-2

AFC North

The Browns responded to their opening loss to the Chiefs with a tough win over Houston. They beat them 31-21 in a game that was closer than expected. The Steelers dropped what seemed a very winnable game to the Raiders and are now tied with the Bengals who couldn’t complete the comeback against Chicago.

SNF update: The Ravens stunned the Chiefs to get their first win of the season.

  1. Cleveland Browns, 1-1
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1-1
  3. Cincinnati Bengals, 1-1
  4. Baltimore Ravens, 1-1

AFC South

This division is not looking good at all. Houston gave the Browns a tough one and remains in first place with the only win in the division coming last week against Jacksonville. The Titans look to rebound against Seattle.

Sunday PM update: The Titans got their first win with a comeback against the Seahawks, beating them in overtime.

  1. Houston Texans, 1-1
  2. Tennessee Titans, 1-1
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars, 0-2
  4. Indianapolis Colts, 0-2

AFC West

The Raiders and Broncos sit atop the AFC West, as we all expected. OK, maybe it’s only for the time being, but the AFC West joins the NFC West with a 6-0 start to the season.

Sunday PM update: The Chargers lost on a last-second Cowboys field goal. The Chiefs wrap up on Sunday Night Football.

SNF update: The Chiefs were stunned by the Ravens and drop to 1-1.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders, 2-0
  2. Denver Broncos, 2-0
  3. Los Angeles Chargers, 1-1
  4. Kansas City Chiefs, 1-1

NFC East

The Eagles blew some big opportunities against the 49ers and dropped to 1-1. The NFC East is once again looking like it won’t be a good division, but maybe the division-winner gets over .500 by season’s end.

Sunday PM update: The Cowboys won a road thriller over the Chargers on a 56-yard field goal as time expired.

  1. Washington Football Team, 1-1
  2. Philadelphia Eagles, 1-1
  3. Dallas Cowboys, 1-1
  4. New York Giants, 0-2

NFC North

The Bears secured the first win for the division after a winless Week 1, holding off a Bengals comeback. The Vikings are facing the Cardinals right now and the Lions and Packers square off on Monday Night Football.

Sunday PM update: The Vikings blew a huge opportunity, first blowing a 20-7 lead and then missing a 37-yard field goal as time expired.

  1. Chicago Bears, 1-1
  2. Detroit Lions, 0-1
  3. Green Bay Packers, 0-1
  4. Minnesota Vikings, 0-2

NFC South

The Panthers mostly dominated the Saints in Week 2 to claim an early share of the top of the standings, pending the Bucs-Falcons outcome. New Orleans will win some games, but they’re going to be inconsistent this season.

Sunday PM update: No surprise, the Bucs beat the Falcons. It was an interesting game that Matt Ryan and Cordarrelle Patterson kept close, but the Bucs pulled away with a pair of pick-sixes.

  1. Carolina Panthers, 2-0
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2-0
  3. New Orleans Saints, 1-1
  4. Atlanta Falcons, 0-2

NFC West

The NFC West joins the AFC West with a 6-0 start. The 49ers went into Philly and held off the Eagles in spite of a lot of mistakes. The Rams got a tough fight from the Colts, but got a key road win with a late field goal.

Sunday PM update: Arizona got luck as Greg Joseph missed a game-winning 37-yard field goal at the buzzer. Seattle couldn’t secure the eighth win for the division, losing in overtime to the Titans.

  1. San Francisco 49ers, 2-0
  2. Los Angeles Rams, 2-0
  3. Arizona Cardinals, 2-0
  4. Seattle Seahawks, 1-1