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NFL Power Rankings: Week 2

The middle of the league is decidedly mediocre

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Another week is in the books and that means teams with a fool’s gold game in Week 1 have been exposed, unless they had a fool’s gold game in Week 2. Such is football. Between the clearly good teams and the clearly bad teams, there’s not a lot to separate the league. Parity!

1 New England Patriots (2-0) [Last week: 1]

Last week’s #1 team won. Simple as that. But it’s not that simple. Jimmy Garappolo injured his shoulder and his status for Thursday’s game against the Texans is in doubt. But if anyone can prep a third string QB to start on such short notice, it’s Belichick.

2 Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) [Last week: 2]

The Steelers kept rolling, defeating the Bengals 24-16 in a game that never really felt that close. One of Ben Roethlisberger’s two interceptions was actually a bad play by the Bengals, catching a fourth down pass 20 yards down field rather than dropping it, and he had three TDs. They kept the Bengals running game grounded and AJ Green caught just 2 passes for 38 yards.

3 Carolina Panthers (1-1) [Last week: 5]

The Panthers didn’t have to overcome bad officiating or a good defense on Sunday, as they steamrolled the 49ers 46-27. Back to normal in Carolina.

4 Denver Broncos (2-0) [Last week: 3]

How long can a team win on pretty much just defense? Trevor Siemian looks like the backup QB that he is, the Broncos rushing attack regressed against a bad Colts defense. They’re going to have to find ways to score on offense: the Broncos defense has more TDs (2) than Siemian (1), and Siemian has as many turnovers as his defense (3).

5 Arizona Cardinals (1-1) [Last week 9]

After getting embarrassed by Jimmy Garappolo and the Gronkless Patriots, the Cardinals were the embarassers, blowing out the Bucs 40-7 in a game that was over at halftime but Bruce Arians no doubt found something to complain about.

6 Houston Texans (2-0) [Last week: 8]

DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller had good games, giving the Texans a 19-12 win over the Chiefs. Lamar Miller is averaging just 3.6 yards per carry and Brock Osweiler looks overpaid, but for now the offense is doing enough to keep them a top the dreadful AFC South.

7 Minnesota Vikings (2-0) [Last week: 21]

No Adrian Peterson for a while and the defense doesn’t look quite as good as people think it is, but Sam Bradford and Stephon Diggs looked pretty good on Sunday night.

8 Seattle Seahawks (1-1) [Last week: 6]

For the third straight year the Seahawks let Jeff Fisher beat them so that Fisher could renew his blood oath contract with Stan Kroenke. This insures that while the Seahawks will have an ugly loss each year to the Rams, Los Angeles will never be a competitive team they have to worry about with Fisher at the helm.

9 Green Bay Packers (1-1) [Last week: 4]

The Packers can not stop Sam Bradford, whether it be a preseason or regular season game. It’s not time to hit the panic button on Aaron Rodgers yet, but it’s safe to flip open the protective cover. The Vikings are a solid team but the Packers once again were misfiring on many cylinders.

10 New York Jets (1-1) [Last week: 20]

Making Rex Ryan poop his pants so hard he scapegoats a good coach is like an extra win.

11 Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) [Last week: 7]

The Chiefs are 1-1 with a -1 point differential, which means they could easily be 0-2. Or 2-0. So 1-1 feels right.

12 Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) [Last week: 15]

Pretty much a repeat of last week: Carson Wentz looked sharp, the defense played very well with the lead, Doug Pederson coached a good game and the Eagles put away an inferior opponent while many other teams struggled to do so. Maybe this team isn’t too bad after all.

13 Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) [Last week: 11]

On one hand credit the Bengals for not coming out and playing with too much reckless emotion against the Steelers after the last time those teams met. On the other hand, discredit them for being fairly flat in that game.

14 New York Giants (2-0) [Last week: 16]

Giants offense against the Saints: 417 yards. 3 field goals. Paper tigers.

15 Baltimore Ravens (2-0) [Last week: 17]

They beat the Bills and the Browns. By a combined 11 points. Also paper tigers.

16 San Diego Chargers (1-1) [Last week: 19]

The Chargers defense cost them a Week 1 win and if not for some patented Blake Bortles interceptions might have cost them a Week 2 win as well. They’re like the rich man’s Saints.

17 Oakland Raiders (1-1) [Last week: 13]

Jack Del Rio continued to be aggressive not trust his defense and went for it on 4th down at midfield in the 4th quarter. The Raiders turned the ball over on downs and their defense almost immediately gave up a touchdown, justifying Del Rio’s lack of faith. With 69 points through two games, they’ve the second worst scoring defense in the league, which is not nice.

18 Detroit Lions (1-1) [Last week: 14]

Eight Lions games in 2015 were decided by a touchdown or less. So far both games in 2016 were too. Sensing a pattern here.

19 Indianapolis Colts (0-2) [Last week: 18]

How long until another Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson hate each other story?

20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) [Last week: 10]

Well so much for that. After looking like a good worst to first candidate this season, the Bucs looked just as bad as last year, losing 40-7 in large part due to four Jameis Winston interceptions.

21 Atlanta Falcons (1-1) [Last week: 26]

Matt Ryan outdueled Derek Carr in what felt like the “also” fight on a UFC title card, but with more groin punches.

22 Miami Dolphins (0-2) [Last week: 12]

The year is 2026 and the Dolphins are on their 8th coach in 12 years, but this is finally Ryan Tannehill’s breakout season.

23 Tennessee Titans (1-1) [Last week: 30]

It’s a long way to go for the Titans but Mariota looks like he can pick this team out of the doldrums of being the worst team in the league and turn them into merely a bad team.

24 Dallas Cowboys (1-1) [Last week: 28]

Dak Prescott didn’t turn the ball over but Ezekiel Elliott did twice, and in the fourth quarter he gained 1 yard on 5 carries. Relying on rookies to drive an offense isn’t going to hold up against better competition.

25 Los Angeles Rams (1-1) [Last week: 32]

Through two games the Rams have scored 9 points. Jeff Fisher thinks the #1 overall pick isn’t good enough to play for this team. Or Carson Wentz.

26 Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) {Last week: 22]

Is Gus Bradley going to make it to the end of the season? Good thing he’s been building a bomb shelter or a bunker or whatever it is down there in Jacksonville, because it certainly ain’t a good team.

27 New Orleans Saints (0-2) [Last week: 23]

Drew Brees signed a new contract extension with the Saints, which begs the question: why sign up for more years of this crap?

28 Washington Redskins (0-2) [Last week: 24]

With 11:36 to go in the game, the Redskins had a 94.5% chance to win their game against the Cowboys. But Kirk Cousins threw an interception and they lost.

29 San Fransisco 49ers (1-1) [Last week: 27]

The shine is already off on the Chip Kelly 49ers. The over/under in the 49ers-Panthers game was 44.5. The 49ers gave up 46. Ouch.

30 Chicago Bears (0-2) [Last week: 25]

Jay Cutler is expected to miss significant time after injuring the thumb on his throwing hand, but the way this season is going it’s hard to say he’ll be missing it Bob.

31 Buffalo Bills (0-2) [Last week: 29]

In the wake of a 37-31 loss to the Jets, Bills ownership okayed Rex Ryan firing the only competent member of his coaching staff. They’ll probably give Ryan an extension.

32 Cleveland Browns (0-2) [Last week: 31]

At the end of the 1st quarter on Sunday the Browns led the Ravens 20-2. They never scored another point and lost. Cody Kessler starts this week after Josh McCown went down with a shoulder injury. Cavaliers season begins October 25th against the Knicks.

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