Sconnie Sports Talk

NFL Power Rankings: Week 2


What a great way to start the football season. We had a Super Bowl rematch on Thursday night, a full slate on Sunday followed by Cardinals vs. Patriots, and topped off by a Monday Night doubleheader. We saw upsets, close games, shootouts, big hits, and everything else we love about football (unless your team is 0-1). With that being said, let’s see how the 32 teams stack up going into week 2.

1. New England Patriots (1-0; Last Ranking: 2)

In case you forgot, Bill Belichick is one of the best head coaches in NFL history. He devised a game plan for this team that focused on opportunities for players like Jimmy Garoppolo, Chris Hogan and Logan Ryan. The Patriots have a deep and talented team, and they just beat one of the best teams in the NFL sans Brady, Gronk, and key offensive linemen.

2. Green Bay Packers (1-0; Last Ranking: 3)

Before the season started, my Super Bowl pick was New England vs. Green Bay and nothing that happened made me believe it couldn’t happen. While Green Bay certainly could have player better, Aaron Rodgers is still the best player in the NFL. That touchdown pass to DaVante Adams was simply ridiculous.

3. Denver Broncos (1-0; Last Ranking: 10)

We received a crystal clear reminder why the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl last year: they have one of the best defenses in NFL history, two pass rushers that have Hall of Fame trajectories, and arguably the best secondary in the NFL. This team is legit, even if their QB throws more picks than touchdowns.

4. Carolina Panthers (0-1; Last Ranking: 1)

Well, the Panthers are not going to beat their record from last year. From December 7th, 2014 through the 2015 NFC Championship, the Panthers lost two games. Since then, they are 0-2 to the same team. As long as the Panthers can beat the rest of the NFL, they don’t have to worry about Denver for another 4 years…except in the case of a championship rematch.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0; Last Ranking: 5)

Without Martavis Bryant, Le’Veon Bell, and Markus Wheaton, the Steelers still managed to score 38 points. This was a great way to start the season for the Steelers. After falling behind 6-0 in the first quarter, the Steelers went on a run and never looked back, ending the game on a 38-10 run. Next week: the rival Bengals.

6. Seattle Seahawks (1-0; Last Ranking: 4)

Making a habit of it for the last few season, the Seahawks looked average at best in Week 1. They barely squeaked by a Dolphins team that has essentially no team identity or a secondary. It is only fair to mention that Russell Wilson hurt his ankle early in the game, but this was another slow start out of the gates for Seattle.

7. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0; Last Ranking: 7)

The Bengals started the season exactly how they wanted to: beating a tough team on the road. Next week they will go and try to beat the team that ended their season last year in the Steelers. If they win that game, the Bengals will put themselves in a solid position to put an early stranglehold on the AFC North.

8. Arizona Cardinals (0-1; Last Ranking: 6)

What a disappointing start to the season for the Arizona Cardinals. They had a chance to knock off a solid team in their building on Sunday night with the whole country watching. Instead, they were exposed in certain spots of their secondary, and the offensive line showed some weaknesses.

9. Minnesota Vikings (1-0; Last Ranking: 9)

The Vikings were set to go down on the rankings after losing Teddy Bridgewater for the season. However, they showed why they are still a potential playoff team. Even though Adrian Peterson did next to nothing on opening Sunday, the defense showed why it is one of the five best in the NFL. They open up their new stadium next Sunday Night against the Packers.

10. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0; Last Ranking: 8)

The Chiefs won the game, but not without getting themselves into loads of trouble. They should feel lucky to have won, since they probably would have lost to most teams in the NFL on Sunday. The Chiefs will face a must tougher test in Houston next weekend.

11. Houston Texans (1-0; Last Ranking: 11)

I don’t think anyone was particularly impressed by what the Texans did on the football field Sunday, but this team is to built to win ugly football games. The Texans are going to finish this season in the top five in rushing attempts. They are going to be a top 10 defense. That is a recipe to win a lot of football games.

12. Oakland Raiders (1-0; Last Ranking: 13)

The Raiders were a trendy playoff pick going into the season, and it’s easy to see why. However, if you look deeper into things, there are still concerns for this team. Youth aside, the secondary was completely torched yesterday – so bad that they benched Sean Smith. They are 1-0, but they have a lot of things to fix.

13. Baltimore Ravens (1-0; Last Ranking: 15)

The Baltimore Ravens are one of the most underrated teams in the NFL. This team has missed the playoffs one time since John Harbaugh became their head coach. Now, they bring a revamped group of offensive weapons, a solid front seven on defense, and experience. It would surprise me if Baltimore missed the playoffs.

14. New York Jets (0-1; Last Ranking: 12)

Unfortunately for Jets fans, this team is going to be starting one game back of the New England Patriots. Even though they has one of the best defenses in football, they might have the hardest schedule in the NFL this season.

15. Detroit Lions (1-0; Last Ranking: 24)

The Detroit Lions have won seven of their last nine games since they fired their offensive coordinator last November. That alone should be exciting for Lions fans. With that being said, they still have huge concerns in their secondary. Next week against Tennessee should be a much easier test than Andrew Luck.

16. New York Giants (1-0; Last Ranking: 20)

The Giants won a game that they really needed to win. Not only do the Cowboys not perform well in their home stadium, the Cowboys had a rookie making his first start. There were a lot of people who pegged the Giants to win the NFC East. Here is my thinking: dumping $300 million into free agent signings doesn’t mean this team should make the playoffs.

17. Indianapolis Colts (0-1; Last Ranking: 14)

This was a very disappointing start to the season for the Colts. They came out of the gate very slowly and Detroit jumped all over them. While they certainly worked hard to make a comeback, they needed one more possession to make it happen. The good news: Andrew Luck still looked great.

18. Buffalo Bills (0-1; Last Ranking: 17)

The Bills are a tough team to figure out. They have the talent on both sides of the ball to be a 10-win team. However, they have to be one of the most poorly coached teams in the NFL. This team was close to the top in penalties last season; this year shouldn’t be much different.

19. Washington Redskins (0-1; Last Ranking: 18)

The Redskins had a tough test last night against a Super Bowl contender and they failed to show up. The first quarter was great; however, they failed to get into the end zone and take a commanding lead. It is clear that this defense has a long way to go if they are going to win the division again, and Kirk Cousins looked lost throughout the contest.

20. Atlanta Falcons (0-1; Last Ranking: 16)

There will not be another 5-0 start for the Falcons this year. This team looked outmatched by a younger Tamp Bay team. Dan Quinn is supposed to be a defensive genius, but he ended up allowing four touchdown passes to Jameis Winston. This team needs to play better on both sides of the ball moving forward.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1; Last Ranking: 21)

If you are a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, the moment the schedule was released, you knew the first game would not be indicative of what the season would be like. With that being said, the Jags actually played a pretty good game and hung tight with the Packers. Their defense is young and electrifying, and next week should be a better glimpse of the Jaguars moving forward.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0; Last Ranking: 23)

As good as the Eagles looked on Sunday, especially Carson Wentz, you have to bear in mind that they did it against the Browns. Next week they will play another weak team in the Chicago Bears, but Monday Night will be an interesting test for the #2 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

23. Dallas Cowboys (0-1; Last Ranking: 19)

There are a lot of positives to draw from the Cowboys’ game on Sunday: Dak Prescott looked very comfortable, Ezekiel Elliot had flashes of potential, and they won the time of possession by a land slide. However, until the Cowboys can get in the end zone consistently, they are going to continue to struggle.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0; Last Ranking: 28)

Tampa Bay is supposed to be a year away from being a true competitor in the NFL, but they came out of Atlanta with a big win. Jameis Winston looked excellent, and the defense made enough plays to win the game. Next week in Arizona should be a much tougher test than the Falcons.

25. Miami Dolphins (0-1; Last Ranking: 25)

The Dolphins were either one stop or one catch away from walking out of Seattle with a win. They played the Seahawks tough, but new dead coach Adam Gase really wanted to leave with a win. Unfortunately for Miami, it doesn’t get any easier as they travel to New England next weekend.

26. Los Angeles Rams (0-1; Last Ranking: 22)

Believe it or not, the Rams are the ones with a veteran head coach. You may have forgotten that during the course of last night’s trouncing courtesy of the 49ers. The offense was miserable, and it is clear that Case Keenum’s days are numbered. Jared Goff’s development going forward will be crucial.

27. New Orleans Saints (0-1; Last Ranking: 26)

The Saints offense needs to be thrilled about the fact that they thoroughly dominated a tough Raiders defense. However, it is clear that theor defense will still be the achilles heel of this team. Drew Brees doesn’t look a day over 30, let alone someone who is going to turn 40 soon.

28. Chicago Bears (0-1; Last Ranking: 27)

Even though the Bears lost on Sunday, they really were going to have a tough time beating Houston at home with all of their new additions. It is clear that losing Adam Gase over the offseason will hurt this team, and Jay Cutler in particular. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Bears picking in the top five next season.

29. San Diego Chargers (0-1; Last Ranking: 30)

The Chargers played two completely different halves of football. In the first half, they took a three touchdown lead over the Chiefs. However, for some reason over the last couple of seasons, the Chargers find magical ways to lose football games. One good sign: Melvin Gordon ran for two touchdowns, and for those keeping score at home, that is two more than last year.

30. Tennessee Titans (0-1; Last Ranking: 29)

If you are the Tennessee Titans, you have to feel good about the way you shut Adrian Peterson down on Sunday. However, turnovers and poor special teams play are the reasons this team couldn’t even come close to beating the Minnesota Vikings. Hopefully they can get back on track against Detroit next week.

31. San Francisco 49ers (1-0; Last Ranking: 31)

While the 49ers did win in convincing fashion last night, they don’t move up in the rankings. Why? Remember the late Monday Night game on week one last year? Yeah, the 49ers throttled the Vikings at home, before losing 11 of their last 15 games. Let’s wait for another quality performance before getting too far ahead of ourselves.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-1; Last Ranking: 32)

The Cleveland Browns are truly devoid of talent on both sides of the football. They have two Joe’s (Haden and Thomas) that are legitimate talents at their positions. Outside of that, they don’t have many talented pieces on their roster outside of Josh Gordon. Oh, and Robert Griffin III might be out for the season.

Photo courtesy of the New York Times.