Welcome back NFL! The first week of the 2023 NFL season is complete and we are moving on to Week 2 already. All across the internet, NFL Power Rankings have been published, updated, modified, and adjusted following the results of the first week of the regular season. We will find giant leaps up the board or tumultuous plummets down based on how teams performed in this one-week sample size.
What do the Miami Dolphins, who are coming off a Week 1 upset victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, being ranked in the latest power rankings from around the web? I am so very glad you asked. We round up rankings, and comments, from some of the experts who released their updated lists yesterday.
Week 2 average ranking: 5.8
Week 1 average ranking: 11.5
33rd Team (Ryan Reynolds): 10 (LW: 13)
Tua Tagovailoa shredded the Chargers for 466 passing yards. Tyreek Hill had 11 receptions for 215 receiving yards and two scores. We already knew the Miami Dolphins’ offense was dangerous, but we’re only one week into the season, and they already had a ceiling game. In Week 2, we’ll see if their defense can take a significant step forward against rival New England.
Arrowhead Pride (Tom Childs, et al.): 7 (LW: 11)
Tyreek Hill cementing himself as the league’s second-best — if not the best — wide receiver couldn’t have happened on a worse week for we Chiefs fans.
Bleacher Report (Bleacher Report Staff): 5 (LW: 8)
There was no shortage said and written about what the Miami Dolphins might be capable of in 2023—if quarterback Tua Tagovailoa could stay healthy.
Sunday in Los Angeles, we got a glimpse of what that might be—and it was impressive.
Tagovailoa eviscerated the Chargers defense for 466 yards and three touchdown passes. Two of those scores went to wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who exploded for 215 yards and two scores on 11 catches.
All told, the Dolphins piled up a whopping 536 yards of offense. Some may have been surprised by that offensive explosion from Tagovailoa, but Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel wasn’t among them.
“That’s kind of what I expected to happen just with the work that he’s done,” McDaniel told reporters. “... He’s as coachable of a player that I’ve ever been around in my life. If you want to be a big-time quarterback on a big-time team, which I know is the way he looks at it, the cost is real.”
To be clear, Miami’s defense didn’t exactly light the world on fire—the Dolphins allowed 433 yards and 34 points of its own. But if the Miami offense can come close to this kind of eruption on a weekly basis, the Dolphins are going to be a tough out.
Blogging the Boys (RJ Ochoa): 4 (LW: 10)
I noted last week that I was fine being wrong on the Dolphins and goodness gracious was I wrong. Truth be told we have always known that Miami had a high-powered offense and that it can unleash itself in a given game. Can it make it a whole season, though? That is their big question.
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco): 8 (LW 11)
Tua Tagovailoa was special against the Chargers, throwing for 457 yards. The defense had some issues, but they can be worked out and, with that type of offense, it might not matter.
Clutch Points (Mike Johrendt): 5 (LW: 8)
Miami got into a high-scoring brawl with the Chargers, and Tua Tagovailoa understood the assignment. A 466-yard performance for the ages, Tagovailoa regularly targeted Tyreek Hill, who went for 215 yards and a score on 11 receptions alone.
A usually stout defense allowed 433 yards of total offense and 5.7 yards per offensive play. While they did keep Justin Herbert under 250 passing yards, this Chargers’ offense mostly had its way, especially Austin Ekeler and his 100+ total yards. The Dolphins very well could be a dark-horse AFC champion contender this season, so seeing them just outside the top five in the Power Rankings likely won’t last.
ESPN NFL Nation: 5 (LW: 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
Fox Sports (David Helman): 5 (LW: —)
They might not be in the top spot in the power rankings, but the Dolphins take home the Week 1 award for being the league’s most fun team. This video-game offense picked up exactly where it left off, and didn’t Tua Tagovailoa look awfully confident in the fourth quarter? Combine that with a very fun pass rush, and these guys have huge potential.
The Lines: 6 (LW: 9)
Tua Tagovailoa lit up the Chargers defense with Tyreek Hill (11 receptions 215 yards, 2 TDs) accounting for the bulk of his 466 passing yards and the go-ahead score. The Dolphins defense still looks vulnerable at multiple levels.
Mass Live (Karen Guregian): 4 (LW: 8)
Their offense comes as advertised. It’s explosive as all get out. The defense? Didn’t live up to the hype Week 1. Wasn’t Vic Fangio supposed to fix that unit?
NBC Sports Chicago (Josh Schrock): 5 (LW: 16)
Tua Tagovailoa threw for 466 yards and three touchdowns in Miami’s shootout win over the Chargers. Your first way-too-early MVP leader has arrived.
NFL.com (Eric Edholm): 5 (LW: 8)
The Dolphins’ performance against the Chargers should absolutely frighten the heck out of the rest of the league. The Fins fell flat offensively when they visited the Bolts last December, but they delivered a pretty big message on Sunday, racking up 536 yards in the shootout win. Miami didn’t go two straight possessions without scoring and crossed Los Angeles’ 30-yard line on every possession but one. I love how Mike McDaniel’s schemes build room for his speedsters to get close to max mph as they get the ball. Most teams can’t deal with the Dolphins’ speed, I suspect. Sure, the defense must tighten up, especially against the run. But this has to be demoralizing game tape for Miami’s opponents to watch.
New York Post (Ryan Dunleavy): 4 (LW: —)
Admit it: You forgot that Tua Tagovailoa was among the MVP frontrunners before a rough December and an injury-plagued January. A healthy Tagovailoa (466 passing yards and three touchdowns) was the difference in a 36-34 win against the Chargers that featured nine lead changes. Tyreek Hill (215 receiving yards) is well on his way to his goal of 2,000.
If the 2023 season ended today, Tua Tagovailoa would be MVP, Tyreek Hill would win Offensive Player of the Year, and Mike McDaniel would collect the Coach of the Year award.
Not a bad start to the year.
Tagovailoa was absolutely electric against the Chargers, using the space created by McDaniel’s play-calling to throw for 466 yards while demonstrating an ability to create out of structure that hasn’t always been there. Meanwhile, Hill is on pace for a tidy 3,655 receiving yards.
Pro Football Network (Dalton Miller): 4 (LW: —)
Editor’s note: Miller broke the league into two groups, the 1-0 teams and the 0-1 teams, due to the small sample size of the season thus far. Miami was ranked fourth in the 1-0 teams.
The Miami Dolphins are the most entertaining team in the NFL. That offensive speed has never been replicated, and it’s as close to unstoppable as an offense can become. But they’re also far from a perfect product.
For as productive as Tua Tagovailoa is in that offense, some of the decisions and throws he makes (and misses) are entirely baffling. But that only makes this team more intriguing.
Even if their defense continues to leak like a $5 submarine against the run, they have enough firepower to make up for it and score in an instant. Tyreek Hill is unfair, and the Dolphins have no shame in targeting him three times as often as any other player on the team.
Pro Football Talk (Mike Florio): 2 (LW: 5)
Tua for MVP? Tua for MVP!
The Ringer (Ringer Staff): 5 (LW: 8)
There’s that infamous scene in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 where Uma Thurman kills roughly 80 people in seven minutes with a fancy katana. It’s freakin’ awesome. It’s also an exact play-by-play of what the Dolphins did to the Chargers defense on Sunday. That katana was head coach Mike McDaniel and wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle; Uma, of course, was Tua Tagovailoa.
In a 36-34 win, Uma Tagovailoa threw for more than 450 yards and three touchdowns, including a game-winner to Hill trailing by four on third down with two minutes to go. It was the best we’ve ever seen the young quarterback play. His confidence in McDaniel’s supercharged offense and lightning-fast receivers couldn’t be any higher, but even beyond that, Tagovailoa was surgical with his ball placement, constantly manipulated defenders post-snap, and never wavered in any high-pressure situations. The Dolphins have quickly re-established themselves as a team to beat in the AFC and must-watch TV every week (alongside any and all Quentin Tarantino movies). —Austin Gayle
theScore (theScore Staff): 5 (LW: 9)
Tyreek Hill might become the first WR to win the MVP. Hill said one of his career goals is to top 2,000 receiving yards, and after catching 215 yards and two TDs in Week 1, he should feel good about hitting that number. Topping the 2,000-yard mark would not only give Hill the single-season receiving yards record, but it should also make him the first receiver ever to be named NFL MVP.
Sports Illustrated (Conor Orr): 7 (LW: 14)
Watch the play action on a pass to Alec Ingold in the second quarter that set the Dolphins up in the red zone. The combination of motion and playfake is so devious that, as Tua Tagovailoa rolls out on the bootleg completely unbothered, he has two open throws to make a few yards apart. Mike McDaniel and offensive coordinator Frank Smith aren’t just creating openings, they’re layering receivers like options on a dessert menu. I remember teams catching on to Chip Kelly, the last coach I can recall having this many open receivers. I don’t think teams will catch up to McDaniel any time soon.
Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer): 7 (LW: 10)
The Dolphins played relentless offense with Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill picking up where they left off with a massive game together and got enough timely defense for Vic Fangio to take a shutout away from the Chargers on the road. Their identity as a dangerous team in the AFC is clear.
Sportsnaut (Matt Johnson): 8 (LW: 11)
Tua Tagovailoa played like an MVP candidate when healthy last season. Fast forward to Week 1, he dropped 466 passing yards and 36 points against a Chargers’ defense that contained him in their last meeting. Miami’s defense is now a bigger concern, especially with Jalen Ramsey sidelined, but the Dolphins have the talent to compete against anyone.
Touchdown Wire (Jarrett Bailey): 5 (LW: 11)
Have a day, Tua Tagovailoa. Over 460 yards and three touchdowns for the fourth-year quarterback, and over 200 yards receiving for Tyreek Hill. The defense has some adjustments to make after giving up over 230 yards on the ground, but they came through when they were really needed.
USA Today (Nate Davis): 10 (LW: 15)
QB Tua Tagovailoa (466 yards and 3 TDs passing) and WR Tyreek Hill (11 catches for 215 yards and 2 TDs) fueled Sunday’s most entertaining game … and Miami didn’t need injured LT Terron Armstead or CB Jalen Ramsey to get off to a 1-0 start. Just wait until Vic Fangio’s defense dials in.
Yahoo! Sports (Frank Schwab): 8 (LW: 9)
We have to change how we discuss Tua Tagovailoa. Everyone seems to want to find a reason to not put Tagovailoa in the top quarterback tier. But since the start of last season, Tagovailoa has been elite. No disclaimers needed. Sure, he has Tyreek Hill to throw to. Other great quarterbacks have great receivers and they don’t get dinged for it. Sure, Mike McDaniel is a smart coach. Other star quarterbacks have smart play-callers on their side. Let’s stop trying to find reasons to downgrade Tagovailoa and acknowledge that when he’s healthy, he’s everything the Dolphins were hoping for when they drafted him.