Week 2 NFL Power Rankings: 1 32 Poll, Plus Each Team's Best Rookie Debut

Injuries play a huge part in how the NFL Power Rankings are ordered. The loss of a few key guys can wreak havoc on the ranking process -- and the league at large. But few seasons have seen as many key injuries this early as 2020 has.

Whether it's the lack of preseason reps due to the COVID-19 pandemic or simply 2020-style bad luck, a lot of star players have been knocked out of action. So we had our NFL Nation writers pick the biggest injury on the team they cover and assess its impact.

How we rank in our Power Rankings: Our power panel -- a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities -- evaluates how teams stack up throughout the season.

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1. Seattle Seahawks (5-0)

Week 6 ranking:

1

Most impactful injury:

DE/OLB Bruce Irvin

Irvin's season-ending knee injury in Week 2 was a double whammy for Seattle's defense because of the dual role he fills as the strongside linebacker on early downs and an edge rusher in passing situations. The Seahawks have the depth at linebacker with Cody Barton and first-round pick Jordyn Brooks, but Irvin was the most accomplished member of a pass rush that has only generated nine sacks in five games and was already lacking firepower before he went down. -- Brady Henderson


2. Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)

Week 6 ranking:

3

Most impactful injury:

G Kelechi Osemele

Osemele tore tendons in both of his knees in Week 5 against the Raiders, leaving the Chiefs without their most impactful interior offensive lineman. The Chiefs turned to journeyman Mike Remmers to replace him. The Chiefs are now down three potential starting offensive linemen, including Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Lucas Niang. Both opted out before the season because of COVID-19 concerns. -- Adam Teicher


3. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0)

Week 6 ranking:

6

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Most impactful injury:

LB Devin Bush

The Steelers' most recent injury is the one they could least afford. Inside linebacker is the thinnest position on the team, and Bush played every snap before he tore his ACL in the second quarter of Sunday's win against the Browns. Backup Robert Spillane, who played one defensive snap entering the season, took over for Bush and wore the defensive headset for the rest of the game. Spillane is slated to wear the headset going forward and take over Bush's snaps. The Steelers expressed confidence in Spillane, but facing unbeaten Tennessee and impressive running back Derrick Henry this week will be a significant test. -- Brooke Pryor


4. Baltimore Ravens (5-1)

Week 6 ranking:

4

Most impactful injury:

CB Tavon Young

Since Young suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 2, the Ravens have replaced their top nickelback with the combination of Jimmy Smith and Anthony Averett. There's no doubt Baltimore would be stronger if Young were covering the slot receiver. The Ravens believe he is one of the top nickelbacks in the NFL when healthy. But Baltimore also is used to not having Young, who has only played in one full game since the start of the 2019 season. If there is a position where the Ravens can absorb an injury, it's in a deep secondary. -- Jamison Hensley

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0:54

Tannehill: Losing Lewan is a blow to Titans' offense

Ryan Tannehill is disappointed the Titans are losing left tackle Taylor Lewan to an ACL injury, but he's confident Ty Sambrailo will step up.

5. Tennessee Titans (5-0)

Week 6 ranking:

8

Most impactful injury:

LT Taylor Lewan

Lewan suffered a torn ACL on Sunday and is out for the season. Losing their starting left tackle is a big blow for the Titans, as Lewan brings energy to the offense. His physicality is perfect for the zone rushing scheme the Titans employ. So far this season, Tennessee is averaging 3.9 yards attempt when running to the left (Lewan's side). Veteran offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo will be called upon to play left tackle in place of Lewan. Although Sambrailo is a capable player, there's a considerable drop-off from Lewan, who is Tennessee's best O-lineman. -- Turron Davenport


6. Green Bay Packers (4-1)

Week 6 ranking:

2

Most impactful injury:

WR Allen Lazard

Just when Lazard showed he could be a legit No. 2 wideout -- with six catches for 146 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 against the Saints -- he was gone, lost for several weeks due to core muscle surgery. The Packers were already thin at wide receiver, and with Davante Adams battling a hamstring injury that kept him out in Weeks 3 and 4, Aaron Rodgers has barely played with his top two targets at the same time. -- Rob Demovsky


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2)

Week 6 ranking:

12

Most impactful injury:

DT Vita Vea

Prior to suffering a broken ankle against the Bears in Week 5, Vea was among the most double-teamed players in the league. It's nearly impossible to single block a player that big (347 pounds) and that quick, which is why he was a key factor in the Bucs' top-rated rush defense and their potent pass rush. Vea also played a key role in the A-gap blitzes that Todd Bowles uses so much. Rotational tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches has stepped up to fill the void, and he helped the Bucs' defense notch five sacks against the Packers during a 38-10 win on Sunday. They also traded with the New York Jets for Steve McLendon, who played for Bowles previously. -- Jenna Laine

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How the Bucs' defense exposed Rodgers

Rex Ryan asserts that defensive pressure on Aaron Rodgers is the key to defeating the Packers.

8. Buffalo Bills (4-2)

Week 6 ranking:

5

Most impactful injury:

LB Matt Milano

Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and cornerback Tre'Davious White have each missed a game to injury, but Milano has already been lost for three games in the first six weeks. When Milano doesn't play, the middle of the Bills' defense is exposed, especially in the passing game. Now in a contract year, Milano presents a conundrum for Buffalo's front office: He is too valuable to let walk in free agency, but his injury history might put a cap on what type of salary he can command. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques


9. New Orleans Saints (3-2)

Week 6 ranking:

9

Most impactful injury:

WR Michael Thomas

This one is pretty obvious, considering Thomas is the NFL's reigning Offensive Player of the Year after catching a league-record 149 passes in 2019. Thomas has been out since suffering an ankle injury in Week 1, and the offense missed him while taking several weeks to get in sync. Drew Brees has finally started to develop a rhythm with WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Tre'Quan Smith, which bodes well for them now that Thomas appears likely to return following the Week 6 bye. But as of now, the Saints rank 28th in the NFL in yards per game by wide receivers. -- Mike Triplett


10. Los Angeles Rams (4-2)

Week 6 ranking:

7

Most impactful injury:

RB Cam Akers

The Rams have mostly avoided serious injuries, with the exception of left guard Joe Noteboom (calf) and safety Jordan Fuller (shoulder), who were placed on injured reserve but are expected to return after being replaced by experienced starters. So the most significant injury was to Akers, who suffered separated rib cartilage in Week 2 and was sidelined for two games. A second-round pick from Florida State, Akers started the first two games and appeared on track to play a large role. Despite returning to health and rushing for 61 yards on nine carries in Week 5, Akers did not have a touch in Week 6. -- Lindsey Thiry


11. Chicago Bears (5-1)

Week 6 ranking:

13

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Most impactful injury:

RB Tarik Cohen

Cohen, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear in Week 3, contributed heavily on offense and special teams. The Bears have yet to fill Cohen's multidimensional role on offense, although veteran Lamar Miller is a strong candidate to do so whenever the Bears elevate him off the practice squad. Cohen provided Chicago with a strong second option in the run game alongside David Montgomery, and Cohen caught 79 passes out of the backfield last season. The Bears also are struggling to fill Cohen's role on punt returns, where veteran Ted Ginn Jr. has failed to generate much positive yardage in recent weeks. -- Jeff Dickerson


12. Indianapolis Colts (4-2)

Week 6 ranking:

14

Most impactful injury:

RB Marlon Mack

Mack suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the first half of the Week 1 game at Jacksonville. The plan all along was for Mack to be the starter and for rookie Jonathan Taylor to get significant carries behind Mack, but Taylor has been forced to carry the bulk of the load out of the backfield. The rookie out of Wisconsin has shown flashes but doesn't have Mack's consistency yet. Taylor, who leads the Colts with 367 yards rushing, struggles at times turning upfield when there's a lane to run through. The Colts, who were seventh in the NFL in rushing last year, are 26th in the league this season with 98 yards per game. -- Mike Wells


13. Cleveland Browns (4-2)

Week 6 ranking:

10

Most impactful injury:

RB Nick Chubb

Chubb suffered an MCL knee injury in Week 3 against the Cowboys. The Browns continue to boast the league's leading rushing offense behind Kareem Hunt, but it hasn't been quite as effective since Chubb went down. Cleveland is hopeful Chubb will be able to return around mid-November. He is still No. 2 in the league with an average of 2.6 rushing yards after contact. And having established himself as one of the best backs in the league, Chubb is paramount to the Browns' offense reaching its potential. -- Jake Trotter

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Why Rex Ryan has serious doubts about Cam, Patriots' offense

Rex Ryan and Dan Orlovsky detail the struggles of Cam Newton and the Patriots' offense after their loss to the Broncos.

14. New England Patriots (2-3)

Week 6 ranking:

11

Most impactful injury:

C David Andrews

The starting center and captain suffered a hand injury during a Week 2 loss to the Seahawks and missed the past three games, two of which the Patriots lost. That has led to some major shuffling along the offensive line. The results showed up in a big way in a surprising Week 6 loss to the Broncos in which the Patriots opened with one combination up front and then switched it around considerably after an in-game injury to right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor. When things get shaky up front, the entire offense falters. -- Mike Reiss


15. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)

Week 6 ranking:

15

Most impactful injury:

RT Trent Brown

Before last week's signature win at Kansas City, Brown had played just three snaps due to a cranky calf. Once he returned, Las Vegas' offensive line had a decidedly different look. Quarterback Derek Carr, with more time to let plays develop downfield, let it fly, throwing long passes to Henry Ruggs and Nelson Agholor. The vertical game was a welcome return for Raider Nation, and a healthy Brown helped make it happen. With the Buccaneers and their fierce pass rush up next -- Tampa Bay's 22 sacks are the second most in the league -- Brown needs to stay on point. -- Paul Gutierrez


16. Arizona Cardinals (4-2)

Week 6 ranking:

16

Most impactful injury:

OLB Chandler Jones

Jones has been the best pass-rusher in the NFL since entering the league in 2012; his 97 sacks are the most over that stretch. He tore his right biceps in Arizona's Week 5 win over the Jets and had surgery last week. Losing Jones, who only had one sack this season, will have a domino effect on the defense. Teams were keying on Jones, who had 19 sacks last season. He was getting consistent double-teams and chips this year, and his presence opened up rushing lanes for the rest of the defense. Without Jones, offensive lines can key on both sides of the pass rush, which will make getting to the quarterback more difficult. -- Josh Weinfuss

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Who will fill the void created by Chandler Jones' injury?

Josh Weinfuss reports on Chandler Jones' season-ending injury and explains what's next for the Cardinals without him.

17. San Francisco 49ers (3-3)

Week 6 ranking:

17

Most impactful injury:

DE Nick Bosa

The Niners have had more impactful injuries than just about every team in the league, but none has hurt more than Bosa's season-ending torn ACL. This is a team that is built around the idea of the defense creating pressure on opposing quarterbacks with its front four. Bosa is the team's best defensive player and leads that defensive line. Without him, the Niners are blitzing at a much higher rate after bringing extra rushers the fifth-fewest times in 2019. Simply put, Bosa was one of the players on the roster the Niners could least afford to lose, and he won't be back until 2021. -- Nick Wagoner


18. Carolina Panthers (3-3)

Week 6 ranking:

19

Most impactful injury:

DT Kawann Short

With Short alongside first-round pick Derrick Brown, this front four had a chance to be something special this year. They had two players who would demand double-teams, get a solid inside push and free up the edge rushers. Without Short, there's more pressure on Brown and Zach Kerr to step up. It also puts more pressure on the depth at tackle, which could be a factor deep in the season. It might ultimately lead to Carolina playing more three-man fronts, which isn't necessarily a bad thing with the speed the Panthers have on the edge from players such as Brian Burns. -- David Newton


19. Miami Dolphins (3-3)

Week 6 ranking:

23

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Most impactful injury:

CB Byron Jones

Jones missed nearly three games with a groin injury suffered in the opening snaps of a Week 2 loss to the Bills, and his absence clearly affected the Dolphins' pass defense. In the three full games Jones has played, the Dolphins allowed an average of 139 passing yards and 12.7 points per contest, with a record of 2-1. In the nearly three games Jones missed, the Dolphins yielded 333 passing yards and 25 points per contest. More than anything, Jones' presence is allowing Xavien Howard to feast. Howard is tied for the NFL lead with four interceptions, one in each of the past four games. -- Cameron Wolfe


20. Dallas Cowboys (2-4)

Week 6 ranking:

18

Most impactful injury:

QB Dak Prescott

While the Cowboys have expressed faith in Andy Dalton, the full impact of losing Prescott might not be felt for a few weeks. In addition to playing at a high level, Prescott also was the heart and soul of the team as its biggest leader. Losing a star quarterback can throttle a team, though Prescott's injury is not the only one that hurts. The Cowboys are without both tackles, Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, and the latter did not play this season. That has a huge impact on the offense, but nothing like losing the quarterback. -- Todd Archer


21. Los Angeles Chargers (1-4)

Week 6 ranking:

20

Most impactful injury:

QB Tyrod Taylor

The Chargers have plenty of injuries to choose from (pick an injury, any injury), but none is more impactful than Taylor's. He went down just before Game 2 with a punctured lung (from an injection for a rib injury). Up next was Justin Herbert, and a star was born. Anthony Lynn named Herbert the permanent starter just before his Monday Night Football debut -- and he was spectacular. It's impossible not to feel for Taylor and his bad luck in this league. "He's a competitor," Lynn said. But so is Herbert, who is also the future -- and the player who could guide this team out of its early funk. -- Shelley Smith

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1:25

Max, Orlovsky get heated in disagreement over Wentz

Max Kellerman and Dan Orlovsky get fired up while disagreeing about whether Carson Wentz deserves blame for the Eagles' Week 6 loss.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1)

Week 6 ranking:

22

Most impactful injury:

RT Lane Johnson

There are plenty of injuries to choose from, as the Eagles only had two original members of their starting offense -- Carson Wentz and Jason Kelce -- on the field at the end of Sunday's loss to the Ravens. But Johnson's ankle injury has been a big one. He has missed two games and hasn't been himself when he has played. That has fueled instability along the offensive front and has spelled bad news for Wentz, who has been sacked a league-high 25 times. -- Tim McManus


23. Detroit Lions (2-3)

Week 6 ranking:

25

Most impactful injury:

CB Desmond Trufant

This is largely because it has exposed some of the issues Detroit has in its secondary. The Lions might have played Jeff Okudah early anyway in place of Amani Oruwariye, but Trufant's hamstring injuries have forced a starting group of Oruwariye and Okudah. Oruwariye has thrived, showing real growth in his second year. Okudah, the rookie, has struggled, but he can't be replaced until Trufant returns. Being able to watch for a little while after getting used to the NFL speed did wonders for Darius Slay as a rookie. It could do the same for Okudah. -- Michael Rothstein


24. Denver Broncos (2-3)

Week 6 ranking:

28

Most impactful injury:

LB Von Miller

Only Dak Prescott's injury might have the same kind of impact to a player's franchise. Miller is the Broncos' hub, the guy who put a third Lombardi in the trophy case in the lobby of the team's complex. He also was the center of their preseason defensive plan. With Miller and Bradley Chubb, and with Jurrell Casey in the middle of the defense, the Broncos were expected to consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks. Without Miller -- Casey later suffered a season-ending torn biceps -- the Broncos have had to blitz far more than they'd like to. They are tied for 11th in the league in sacks but are taking more risks to do it. -- Jeff Legwold


25. Minnesota Vikings (1-5)

Week 6 ranking:

21

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Most impactful injury:

DE Danielle Hunter

No question it's Hunter, who suffered a herniated disc in practice on Aug. 14 and hasn't done any football-related activity since. Even though the Vikings were optimistic Hunter's IR stay would be brief, they knew his injury could keep him out six to eight weeks. It led them to trade for Yannick Ngakoue under the guise that they'd have the league's top pass-rushing duo when it was clearly a move pulled off to aid the defensive line while Hunter sat out. The Vikings' defense is dealing with injuries everywhere, but Hunter's is the most significant for a defense that has been historically bad throughout much of 2020. -- Courtney Cronin


26. Houston Texans (1-5)

Week 6 ranking:

24

Most impactful injury:

CB Gareon Conley

The Texans have been relatively healthy, but they did start the year without Conley, who had ankle surgery during the offseason. Who knows if Conley would have made a huge difference for a secondary allowing an average of 245.5 passing yards per game, but he would have given defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver another option behind Bradley Roby and Vernon Hargreaves. -- Sarah Barshop


27. Cincinnati Bengals (1-4-1)

Week 6 ranking:

26

Most impactful injury:

DT D.J. Reader

Reader suffered a season-ending quadriceps injury during a Week 5 defeat against the Ravens. Before that, Reader was living up to his $53 million contract and solidified a defensive line that has dealt with injuries and an opt-out. He was everything the Bengals were looking for when they signed him this offseason and was in position to help Cincinnati maximize DT Geno Atkins' snaps. But with Reader on IR and gone for the year, the patchwork required on the defensive interior becomes increasingly difficult. -- Ben Baby


28. Atlanta Falcons (1-5)

Week 6 ranking:

30

Most impactful injury:

WR Julio Jones

The Falcons were without Jones for most of Week 4 and all of Week 5. Those two games were their two worst offensive performances of the season, with 16 points in both losses. With Jones back on Sunday, the Falcons put up 40 points, and Jones caught eight passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns en route to their first win of the season. -- Sarah Barshop


29. Washington Football Team (1-5)

Week 6 ranking:

27

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Most impactful injury:

DT Matt Ioannidis

Ioannidis tore his biceps in a Week 3 loss at Cleveland, and he will miss the rest of the season. While the defensive line has depth and remains talented, losing Ioannidis was a big blow, especially to the pass rush. He had a combined 16 sacks the previous two seasons and had 1.5 this season (tied for the most among the team's interior linemen). Washington's front remains solid, but the team has holes in the back seven and needs the line to generate more pressure. The team has sacked the quarterback 16 times -- but eight occurred in the opener. In the three full games since Ioannidis was hurt, Washington has three sacks. -- John Keim


30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)

Week 6 ranking:

29

Most impactful injury:

DE Josh Allen

Allen has missed the past two games because of a knee injury, which robs the Jaguars of their best and most experienced pass-rusher. He wasn't dominating when he was on the field (two sacks, seven QB hits), but he is the Jaguars' only hope of getting to the passer. The rest of the defense has three sacks and 21 QB hits combined. The Jaguars need him back ASAP. -- Mike DiRocco


31. New York Giants (1-5)

Week 6 ranking:

31

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Most impactful injury:

RB Saquon Barkley

The Giants built their offense around Barkley and had him available for five quarters. His knee injury has put a new coaching staff in a tough spot. The Giants had to sign Devonta Freeman off the street, and he is now their primary back. But he's not Barkley, who topped 2,000 total yards as a rookie before injuries ruined these past two seasons. The star running back was the only player on the Giants' roster who would keep opposing defensive coordinators up at night. Now, the offense is limited, which is why the Giants are 31st in offensive efficiency (26.4%). -- Jordan Raanan


32. New York Jets (0-6)

Week 6 ranking:

32

Most impactful injury:

QB Sam Darnold

Darnold has missed two starts with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. The offense, struggling even with Darnold, has bottomed out with Joe Flacco. In 25 possessions, Flacco has led the offense to only one touchdown drive. His lack of mobility and general rust have made him a sitting duck behind a leaky offensive line. It looks like Darnold could miss a third start on Sunday against the Bills. -- Rich Cimini

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