Panthers in the Power Rankings: Week 2

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Here's where the Panthers stand in various power rankings following their Week 2 road loss to the Atlanta Falcons in their first division matchup of 2018.

Panthers rank: 10th (7th in NFC)
Previous rank: 8th

NFC South: Buccaneers 7th, Falcons 9th, Panthers 10th, Saints 12th
This week's opponent: Bengals 13th

Beyond the numbers: Elliot Harrison felt that the defense under-performed vs. Atlanta after a strong Week 1 but praised Cam Newton and the offense for making things interesting late. Harrison also called out Newton's detractors, commending the quarterback's all-around performance - 335 passing yards and three touchdowns and 42 rushing yards on five carries - in the loss.

Panthers rank: 14th (8th in NFC)
Previous rank: 11th

NFC South: Falcons 8th, Saints 9th, Buccaneers 11th, Panthers 14th
This week's opponent: Bengals 13th

Beyond the numbers: The ESPN staff's biggest takeaway from Week 2 was the improvement in Cam Newton's efficiency. For the first time since 2012, Newton has completed 69 percent of his passes through the first two games of the season. That season, the Panthers finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs. Hopefully Newton's start will result in a different outcome at the end of the 2018 campaign.

Panthers rank: 13th (7th in NFC)
Previous rank: 9th

NFC South: Falcons 10th, Buccaneers 11th, Panthers 13th, Saints 16th
This week's opponent: Bengals 12th

Beyond the numbers: Head coach Ron Rivera said on Monday he wants to add to wide receiver DJ Moore's plate, and Frank Schwab couldn't agree more. "With Greg Olsen out and the Panthers pretty thin in the passing game, Moore’s ability to contribute more is a big factor the rest of this season," writes Schwab. Sounds like Schwab believes Moore's 51-yard touchdown catch against Atlanta could be a sign of good things to come for the rookie.

Panthers rank: 11th (8th in NFC)
Previous rank: 8th

NFC South: Buccaneers 9th, Falcons 10th, Panthers 11th, Saints 19th
This week's opponent: Bengals 12th

Beyond the numbers: After nearly completing a late comeback in Atlanta, the Panthers dropped to 1-1, but Paul Kasabian doesn't think much has changed. Despite the close outcome, Kasabian believes that "both teams should be in contention for the division crown through the season."

Panthers rank: 13th (7th in NFC)
Previous rank: 10th

NFC South: Buccaneers 9th, Falcons 11th, Panthers 13th, Saints 15th
This week's opponent: Bengals 8th

Beyond the numbers: Pete Prisco expressed his concern for the offensive line heading into Week 3. The Falcons pressured Newton throughout in Week 2 and came away with two sacks. Rivera commended right tackle Chris Clark's play after being signed three days prior to playing Atlanta but the group still needs to establish themselves as a whole. With a front four that includes Pro Bowl defenders Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap, expect the Bengals to give Carolina's O-line everything and then some on Sunday.

View the favorite photos from Panthers at Falcons of team photographer Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez.

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