Week two has now come and gone, and once again there was a number of shocking conclusions. The Colts are 0-2, the Eagles are 0-2, and the Seahawks are 0-2. Meanwhile the Browns, the Jaguars, the Raiders, the Buccaneers, and the Redskins all won this weekend. It’s a seemingly backwards-ass NFL at the moment, but I’m still going to try to make sense of it all. Here are this week’s NFL power rankings:
1. New England (SAME)
I (begrudgingly) must admit that the Patriots are still on top of the NFL. They gave up a lot of points this weekend, but putting up over 500 yards and 40 points against one of the best defenses in the NFL proves that they belong on top of the power rankings. Tom Brady is playing with a chip on his shoulder, and is looking as good as he ever has this season.
2. Green Bay (SAME)
Beating up on the Seattle Seahawks reaffirmed the fact that Packers are on top of the NFC. Hopefully for the Packers sake Eddie Lacy comes back at full strength, either way they are the best team in the NFC.
3. Arizona (SAME)
The Cardinals are still on top of the best division in football. They were able to show off their offensive prowess this week. Palmer played flawlessly, the defense held their own, and their special teams looked like the best in the league. When a team is as good as the Cardinals in all three phases of the game, you’ve got a serious contender on your hands.
4. Cincinnati (UP 4)
The Bengals are in a position where they just need Andy Dalton to play football a little bit and they will win almost any game. Their defense is insane, and their stable of playmakers on offense are virtually un-defendable.
5. Pittsburgh (UP 6)
The Steelers have the best offense in the NFL, and that is before having possibly their best player in their lineup. Once Le’Veon Bell is back in the lineup (and they have fully functioning communication between their players and coaches) they will become virtually unstoppable.
6. Denver (UP 6)
If Peyton can play as well as he did in the second half of their game against the Chiefs, then Denver is going to be one of the league’s best teams. Their defense is undoubtedly one of the top 5 defensive units in the league. They really just need the offense to step up a little bit… Weird thing to say when talking about a Peyton led team.
7. Kansas City (DOWN 2)
The Chiefs really should have beaten the Broncos. If it weren’t for a couple of brutally unforgiveable turnovers by Jamaal Charles the Chiefs would be a few spots higher on this list, and 2-0 right now. But we can’t deal with “should have’s” we have to deal with reality. And the reality is that the Chiefs lost at home in a primetime game. Something that should never happen.
8. San Diego (DOWN 2)
Narrowly losing to the Bengals is nothing to be ashamed of. The Bengals are definitely one of the best teams in the league, and the Chargers were a single possession away from winning that game. The team appeared really inconsistent throughout the game, and a little consistency would certainly put them over the top and get them close to being a top 5 NFL squad. Melvin Gordon looked amazing in spurts, the Chargers just need to figure out how to get everything more consistent.
9. New York Jets (UP 10)
Yes I think the Jets are better than the Bills. Their offense is functioning more efficiently, there o-line is better than the Bills, and their defense is even better than the Bills D. The Jets are a nightmare in all facets of the game. This may be a high ranking for them, but after the sloppy opening weeks by a couple of teams it is clear that the Jets deserve this high praise. Good luck to the Eagles this weekend, you are going to need it.
10. Buffalo (DOWN 1)
Buffalo was able to put up a lot of points this weekend, but they were completely outclassed by the Patriots. Being outclassed by the best team in football is nothing to wag your stick at, but the Bills definitely have to be better defensively in the future if they want to compete for a playoff spot this year. When you are supposedly one of the best defenses in football, and your offense scores 32 points, you got to win the game.
11. Seattle (DOWN 7)
Seattle is 0-2 but I’m far from writing them off. Kam Chancellors absence has been very noticeable from a fans standpoint, and I imagine it is even more noticeable from the players standpoint in the locker room. A narrow overtime loss to the Rams that they really should have won, and a regulation beatdown courtesy of the Green Bay Packers aren’t devastating losses. And there is still plenty of football left to be played. Next week against the Jay Cutler-less Bears should be a nice softball for the Seahawks to return to their winning ways.
12. Atlanta (UP 2)
Julio Jones looks like the second best receiver in the NFL right now, and Matt Ryan has been his typical dynamic self thus far this season. The one knock I have against them is they failed to put together a full four quarters in both of their games this season, and really gave both the Eagles and the Giants a chance to win those games. Against better teams the Falcons will lose if they fail to put together a full 60 minute effort. The defense is especially hot and cold.
13. Carolina (UP 5)
The Panthers weren’t really congratulated for their week one win over the Jaguars. But after seeing how good the Jaguars looked in week two against Miami, it became clear that an 11 point win over that squad shouldn’t have been overlooked. A week two dominant win, without their best defensive player makes me thing the Panthers might be the real deal. They do play in one of the easiest divisions in the NFL and are certainly a contender for winning the NFC South and a playoff spot.
14. Dallas (DOWN 4)
I really doubt that the Cowboys can hold onto this spot, and if Tony Romo was healthy I would definitely rank them even higher. But losing your starting quarterback for half the season, and losing one of the top three wide receivers in the NFL for 10-12 weeks could spell disaster for America’s team. It will be interesting to see how they do against Atlanta this weekend.
15. Indianapolis (DOWN 2)
They may be 0-2 but I’m not ready to give up on them yet. They had an extremely tough match up in both of the first two weeks, and have had an extraordinary list of injuries to their team. Losing all of their top four cornerbacks and trying to cover the likes of Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall, Sammy Watkins, and Percy Harvin, all while trying to block two of the best d-lines in football with a rag-tag group of o-linemen that would struggle to block in Arena Football will spell disaster for your team. Even then Luck had his team in the game in the fourth quarter of both contests. Like the Seahawks the Colts are 0-2. And like the Seahawks they still have a shot at going all the way.
16. St. Louis (DOWN 9)
The Rams beat what is thought to be one of the best teams in football in week one, only to lose horrifically to what was considered one of the worst teams in football in week two. I’ll say right now that the Redskins are certainly underrated, but losing to them by 14 points and only scoring 10 points against them is cause for concern for the Rams. Maybe last week was just an off week. Maybe week one was just a fluke. I don’t know. This week’s matchup against the Steelers will certainly be an important one to evaluate the Rams.
17. Minnesota (UP 7)
After a very disappointing week one loss to San Francisco, the Vikings looked like the team people were wooing about in the offseason. Peterson ran the ball with purpose, Bridgewater made the necessary plays to keep the defense honest, and their defense stifled a very dynamic Detroit Lions offense. Something about the Lions just feels off this year, so I didn’t give the Vikings as much credit as some people are for that win. Another big win this weekend against Chargers would certainly launch them up the power rankings.
18. Washington (UP 10)
The Redskins completely out-played Miami in week one, but just made a couple of mistakes the Dolphins were able to capitalize on. If it weren’t for four pr five plays in where the Redskins just had bad bounces they would easily be 2-0 right now. As it stands at the moment the Redskins are probably the favorite to win the NFC East. It will be interesting to see if they can prove that they are the best team in their division when they take on the Giants in New York on Thursday night.
19. Jacksonville (UP 10)
The Jaguars were dynamic on offense and defense this weekend. Bortles and Robinson really reminded me of TY Hilton and Andrew Luck. And their defense was exceptional, making the highly talked about Miami Dolphins offense look fairly pedestrian on route to winning on Sunday. If the Jaguars continue to play at that level, and capitalize on their opponents mistakes they could certainly hit the .500 mark or better this season. This organization is definitely trending upwards.
20. Miami (DOWN 5)
After a pair of embarrassing performances Miami has plummeted in my power rankings. This Dolphins team was one I really thought would be playoff contenders, and would rip through most of the NFL’s teams. But I was quickly reminded of how competitive this league is as two teams that were considered near the bottom of the league easily outplayed the Dolphins. If the Dolphins can’t get above .500 this year than the team is certain to enter another rebuilding situation. Extremely important game this weekend against the division rival Bills.
21. Oakland (UP 9)
The Raiders!!! Absolutely dynamic last weekend, Derek Carr looked like a beast, Latavius Murray looked like a beast, and Amari Cooper flashed that beast-mode he possess’ that made him a high first round draft pick this offseason. Not to mention they were powerful defensively. The Raiders have a lot of savvy veterans on D, but also a nice mix of youth and high potential. The organization is certainly trending upwards, and I think could be a contender for the AFC West in a year or two. These aren’t the same Raiders they have been for the last decade give or take.
22. Baltimore (DOWN 5)
The Ravens are 0-2 but if a few balls bounced their way they could be 2-0. Both games were the Ravens to win, but they squandered both of them. This weekend coming up they have an extremely difficult match-up against one of the league’s best in the Bengal’s, and if they can’t win that one they are almost assuredly out of the AFC playoff race this year. They really need to be better defensively, their offense looked pretty good in week two.
23. New York Giants (DOWN 1)
The Giants may be 0-2 right now but they could easily be 2-0, and even with the 0-2 record they could easily still win their division. Both of the Giants loss’ were caused by poor clock management in games where if they were a little savvier they could’ve won. With Eli at quarterback, and Coughlin at head coach the Giants definitely want to be a more cerebral team than their opponents, but their lack of game management intelligence has cost them two wins. Lucky for them the division is still wide open, as the Cowboys have tons of injuries, the Redskins are the Redskins, and the Eagles have looked miserably poor thus far.
24. Houston (UP 3)
Houston has played two very good football teams and only lost both games by a single score. Considering that they are doing that without their best offensive player, and with some serious quarterback controversy going on is very impressive. They are ranked low, but they are still a team with a ton of potential. I look forward to seeing how they compete against the Buc’s this weekend.
25. San Francisco (DOWN 4)
The Niners got absolutely EMBARRASSED by the Steelers last weekend. This is a team that has prided themselves for the last 5+ years on having an extremely good defense. You would never have guessed that if you watched them play on Sunday, as the Steelers had their way with them like they were playing an NCAA team. Torrey Smith had a pretty good day which is good for the Niners, but if they can’t play better defense than they had it is going to be a long year for San Fran, and a short head coaching tenure for Jim Tomsula.
26. Detroit (DOWN 10)
A playoff team a year ago, but a disaster in week two of this season. The Lions looked decent in week one, but looked like pure doggy doo-doo in week two against the Vikings. Maybe it was just a case of it being an in division game, and the Vikings just had their number this time. Or maybe the Lions have a lot of skill but just can’t put it all together. We will have to wait and see how the season continues to play out. I don’t think the true identity of this team can be deciphered from the first two weeks of this season.
27. Cleveland (UP 4)
A week one loss to the Jets is nothing to be ashamed of. A week two win over the Titans is also nothing to excessively celebrate over. But any way you cut it Cleveland appears to be on the rise. Manziel had a great showing in week two, and their defense quickly shut up the Marcus Mariota bandwagon. Cleveland, for now, is still at the bottom of the AFC North, but they really aren’t that far back. A win next week against the Raiders could be a nice confidence booster for the Browns, and could even put them ahead of their AFC North rival, the Ravens, in these power rankings.
28. Tennessee (DOWN 2)
After week one a lot of people were all over the Titans. Thinking that their season might resemble RG3’s rookie year in Washington. I was quick to dismiss that comparison, and as of now I look to be correct in doing so. The Titans were terrible this weekend, against a team that really isn’t thought of as being a very good one. If they Titans have that much trouble with the Browns it may be a long season for Mariota. I do think that organization has potential. But it is going to be tough for them this year.
29. Philadelphia (DOWN 9)
This team fell from grace faster than Forrest Gump returning a kickoff. The potential is still there, but they need to put it all together. I’d like to see more of an effort to run the ball from the Eagles, and better protection out of their o-line. You can’t really be mad at their defense. Their defense has kept them alive in both of their games this season. This is a team who was thought to be one of the best offensive squads in the league, but Chip Kelly is really number two-ing the bed with his system that people (myself included) thought was going to revolutionize offenses in the NFL.
30. Tampa Bay (UP 2)
The Bucs got a solid win this weekend, but it was against a hurt Drew Brees and all-around terrible New Orleans Saints team. Tampa is going to have to show that they can compete against actually decent teams before they start to move up the power rankings. They’ve got some solid pieces on both offense and defense. And now they just to need to start putting together some wins. I thought Winston looked much improved in week two, and look forward to seeing how he progresses this season.
31. New Orleans (DOWN 8)
New Orleans’ fall from grace has almost been as catastrophic as the Eagles’. The Saints have always been a competitive team ever since Drew Brees arrived in town, until this season. Of course news came out after the game that Brees had an injured throwing shoulder during their game on Sunday, but a loss to the Buccaneers is still a loss to one of football’s worst teams. Now it appears that Luke McCown will be starting next week for the Saints, as they take on the in-division rival Panthers. I would be very surprised if the Saints were able to get a win this weekend. This franchise may finally need to look to rebuild after this season (especially defensively… Seriously, how does Rob Ryan still have a job!?).
32. Chicago (DOWN 7)
After a not so bad week one performance the Bears came out and got absolutely trounced by another one of the NFL’s best teams. The Bears undoubtedly have had the toughest schedule of any NFL team this season, but the loss of Cutler and Jeffrey from their lineup really hurts the Bears chances of bouncing back. On the Brightside, there schedule figures to get easier at this point, and they are ranked dead last in the NFL, so there is nowhere to go but up.
Biggest rise: New York Jets, Washington Redskins, and Jacksonville Jaguars (+10)
Biggest fall: Detroit Lions (-10)
This season has been very unpredictable thus far, and these rankings are likely to change around drastically after this upcoming weekend’s action concludes. But for the moment do you agree with my rankings? Where would you prefer to see some teams ranked? Let’s debate it up in the comments below!