Week 2 of the NFL season is in the books. Media (and by media we mean the talking heads over at ESPN) is already over hyping some teams and digging graves for others. Give it a rest with your stats. It is only week 2; we’ll know more about each team by the end of week 4.
3 teams that improved the most in our rankings: Vikings +15, Raiders +14, Jets +12
3 teams that declined the most in our rankings: Colts -14, Rams -11, (Tie) Seahawks -9, Eagles -9, Chargers -9
After 2 weeks here are our power rankings.
Ranking the Winless
32. Chicago Bears – Negative 33 points in points differential and the lost of your starting quarterback for a couple weeks will put you here.
31. Indianapolis Colts – Our preseason Super Bowl pick is negative 26 points in points differential but in all fairness they have gone up against 2 top 5 NFL defenses in the first 2 weeks. We expect them to rebound this week. Too much talent offensively.
30. New Orleans Saints – Negative 19 points in points differential and losing to the Tampa Bucs is inexcusable.
29. Detroit Lions – The Lions open up the season with 2 road losses. The schedule gets tougher with Denver, Seattle and Arizona up next. They could be staring at 0-5 before they can feast on the Bears.
28. Philadelphia Eagles – I debated between the Eagles and Seahawks here. But the Eagles offense looked so putrid this past week against the Cowboys and they go up against a stout Jets defense this week that this position is deservedly theirs. Working in the Eagles favor is the Jets have a short week after the MNF tilt against the Colts.
27. Seattle Seahawks – The good news for Seahawks fans is Kam Chancellor has returned and they should be favored to win in 3 of their next 4 games.
26. Baltimore Ravens – In my Berman voice, the RAAIDERS! You lost to the Raiders, who were horrendous the previous week against the Bengals, and now have division games against the Bengals, Steelers and Browns in succession. Enjoy.
25. Houston Texans – Their highly touted D has been anything but so far. Good news is on the horizon in the return of RB Arian Foster soon. 4 winnable games are in front of them but not guaranteed.
24. New York Giants – The last of the winless teams the Giants have given away 2 victories in the first two weeks. Instead of looking at 2-0 they are staring at 0-2 in a putrid NFC East division. Thankfully their schedule is not daunting; they should be competitive in each of the upcoming 4 games.
The .500 Club
23. Tampa Bay Bucs – Pulled off a big upset last week defeating the Saints and have an easy schedule coming up. They could rise in our rankings over the next few weeks.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars – Won the battle of Florida this past week and what does that say about Miami? Will Bortles continue to perform? Stay tuned.
21. Washington Redskins – With Cousins at QB the Redskins can stay in the NFC East race. If they win the games they should and continue to pull off the upsets such as this past week against the Rams the Redskins could be in the playoff hunt at the end of the season.
20. St. Louis Rams – What was that this past week LA, oops, St. Louis?! The Rams cannot afford to lose games against teams they should blow out if they expect to make the playoffs this year.
19. San Francisco 49ers – The 49ers are we thought they were. After shocking us in week 1 against the Vikings they played like the team we thought they were in week 2.
18. Tennessee Titans – Mariota was brought back to earth last week against the Browns. The first two weeks of their season should be a microcosm of their upcoming 2015 season.
17. Oakland Raiders – Who are the Raiders? The team in week 1 who were blown out by the Bengals or the team in week 2 who shocked the Ravens.
16. Cleveland Browns – For one week, Johnny Manziel played like a first round quarterback. Alas, back to the bench goes Johnny but maybe not for long as the Browns have four tough games in a row on the schedule.
15. Miami Dolphins – Probably ranking the Dolphins too high here but viewing last week’s lost to the Jaguars as a misstep instead of a verdict. They have upcoming home games against division rivals the Bills and the Jets. We’ll know who these Dolphins are in a couple weeks.
14. Minnesota Vikings – Vikings rebound from a horrendous week 1 game to take down division rivals the Lions. If they are going to compete for a division crown they’ll need to be more consistent.
13. San Diego Chargers – The Chargers went on the road to Cincy and tortured their fan base only how the Chargers can. The team is and has been maddening to watch. Consistency has not existed since Philip Rivers has led this team. All this talk of a Hall of Famer quarterback is heresy. He is not in the same league as any quarterback in the Hall. Stop the silly talk. He is today’s Bernie Kosar, never going to take you to the promise land.
12. Buffalo Bills – Sieve! Sieve! Sieve! That’s what we thought of the Bills D this past week against the Patriots. Get your house in order Rex.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers were pissed and took it out on the 49ers. Big Ben may be gearing up for another Super Bowl run if the secondary jells.
10. Kansas City Chiefs – Tough loss for the Chiefs against the Broncos. A game they should have won. We still see them as an elite team this year.
9. Carolina Panthers – Without a doubt the most surprising team on this list so far this season. Cam Newton does enough to will his teams to win and head coach Ron Rivera does not receive his just due from the media. He is doing a fantastic job down there in Charlotte with a so-so roster.
8. Dallas Cowboys – Well Dallas you’ve lost Tony Romo for the next 8 to 10 weeks. And, no Dez Bryant for a few weeks. Oh, that’s ok you have all-world TE Witten. Oops, what’s that you say, he may be out this week too. In a bizarre scheduling twist you have Atlanta this week who is also 2 – 0 and who also just so happened to have beaten the same two teams as you. Hmm. Strange how the universe spins sometimes.
7. Atlanta Falcons – Why are the Falcons ahead of the Cowboys? They played the same teams for one, how interesting a fact is that, and Atlanta looked better in the wins. Oh, as we just mentioned, they have the Cowboys this week and we expect a healthy Atlanta team to defeat an injury depleted Dallas team.
6. Denver Broncos – Many NFL pundits have the Broncos at the top of their rankings. We’re not convinced that they can beat any of the five teams we have ranked ahead of them. If Kubiak continues to shackle Manning they will be a road playoff team. Only in this week’s past game against the Chiefs when Kubiak allowed Manning to be Manning did the Broncos offense perform.
5. Cincinnati Bengals – Two games against the AFC West, two wins. The Bengals are for real. How real they are we will find out over the next 4 weeks with games against Baltimore, Kansas City, Seattle and Buffalo.
4. New York Jets – Quick, which NFL team has the second biggest positive point differential? If you guessed the J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS! you would be correct, a net plus 34 points differential – second only to Arizona. The Jets pulled off a minor upset this week going into Indy and winning on MNF. This week they face an Eagles offense that is due for a break-out.
3. New England Patriots – The offense is humming along but that defense is giving up points in chunks. They have the Jaguars this week, then a bye before facing Dallas, Indy and the Jets in a row.
2. Green Bay Packers – If we were ranking solely based on net points differential the Packers wouldn’t be this high but you have to weigh in the competition and the Seahawks were a formidable week 2 opponent. That being said, with a common opponent in the Bears, the Packers won by 8 and the Cardinals by 25.
1. Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals sit atop our rankings, at plus 37 net points differential and a whopping 11 touchdowns in two weeks. As long as Carson Palmer remains healthy we expect the Cardinals to sit atop these weekly rankings.