2018 NFL Power Rankings Week 2: Eagles barely hold off Falcons

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 06: Jordan Hicks #58 and Chris Long #56 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrate after sacking Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons (not pictured) during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 6, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 06: Jordan Hicks #58 and Chris Long #56 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrate after sacking Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons (not pictured) during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 6, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

6. Carolina Panthers

First off, the Carolina Panthers must be relieved to avoid what seemed like a serious scare at first with Luke Kuechly when looking at his history of injuries, as he’s always been a key part of the defense throughout his career. As for the game, the Panthers have found ways to come up on the winning end of hard fought games over the years under Ron Rivera, and Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys was no different when seeing how they held on for the 16-8 victory.

Between keeping Ezekiel Elliott in check for the most part after the former Ohio State star finished with just 69 rushing yards and a score along with Dallas taking until the middle of the fourth quarter to put up their first points shows how tough of an outing this was for Carolina’s defense. With performances like this one from Sunday, the Panthers continue to make it clear they’re ready to be one of the top teams in the NFC for a second year in a row, and seeing them win close games like the one against the Cowboys makes it seem more realistic.

Also, if that’s going to be the case, Cam Newton is going to need some better help from his teammates on offense since the Carolina quarterback can’t lead the team in passing and rushing every week. Sooner or later, Christian McCaffrey is going to need to play like the No. 1 running back the Panthers need him to be.