It was a wild week number two around the National Football League, as it looked like a lot of offenses found their stride. Last week we had our first Power Rankings of 2007, and this week there is for sure some movement, so let’s get right to our power rankings for week two around the NFL. If the team was ranked last week, their ranking will be next to their name.
NFC Top 5
1. Dallas (1) – Last week the Cowboys took their show on the road to Miami, and turned a tight 13-10 deficit in the third quarter into a 37-20 laugher. Their defense harassed Fins QB Trent Green, forcing picks and a fumble, and the offense found its stride with Tony Romo having another huge day. This week we’ll see how good these Cowboys really are as they play at Chicago Sunday night in the game of the week.
2. Chicago (3) – The Bears beat a lackluster Chiefs team at home 20-10 thanks in part to another Devin Hester kick return for a score. The amazing thing is Hester also had one called back, and could have had a 3rd but a teammate missed a block. The defense is still amazing, but the offense, led by the awful Rex Grossman, continues to bring them down. They might need to at least score 20-24 to hang with the Cowboys Sunday night.
3. Washington (-) – Just how good are the Redskins? It’s too early to tell, but their win on the road at Philly Monday night was impressive, and might give them the confidence boost to start what could be a solid 2007. Jason Campbell continues to use his arm and feet to get the job done, and on defense, they have done a nice job in holding down the Dolphins and Eagles. This week they should go to 3-0 with a home game vs the very bad New York Giants.
4. Green Bay Packers (-) – Another team that we have really no idea how good they can be. Give them credit for a tough home win vs the Eagles in week one, and a solid second half in New York vs the Giants. Their defense has been the key, allowing just 26 points in two games. Brett Favre is playing well, and as long as he doesn’t turn the ball over a ton, the Packers could be a surprise team in the NFC.
5. Detroit Lions (-) – Hard to believe that the Packers and Lions break the top 5, but that could also be an indication of how weak the NFC is overall. By no means do I think Detroit is a 9 or 10 win team, but just the fact they won three games all of last season, and now sit at 2-0 means they are making strides. They play at Philly this week in what could be one of the more interesting games of the week.
NFC Bottom 3
1. Atlanta (1) – Teams seem to know how bad Joey Harrington is, as they are stacking the box and taking away the run from Atlanta, which is their bread and butter. Harrington is not the only problem, as the secondary, Lewis Sanders is particular, had a bad second half in their Sunday loss to the Jags. Their kicker is now going to be 47-year-old Morten Anderson, as they waived Matt Prater who was 1-for-4 in field goals.
2. New York (3) – The Giants defense is so bad right now, teams seeing them on the schedule are licking their chops. 80 points in two games, and their first 0-2 start in 11 seasons has this team already looking like a ticking time bomb. They are blowing assignments, missing tackles, and not making any plays whatsoever. Give Eli Manning credit for being tough enough for giving it a go Sunday, but he is not enough to turn around what will be a long year in the Big Apple.
3. St.Louis Rams (-) – Two home losses and the inability with Steven Jackson to run the ball has Rams fans scratching their heads. The O-line, without injuries and without Orlando Pace for the season, are getting beat up, putting pressure on Marc Bulger and Jackson. Sunday the team put up 392 yards to just 186 for San Fran in a 17-16 loss, but lost three costly fumbles. The heat is starting to mount on Scott Linehan.
AFC Top 5
1. New England (3) – Off the field, things are bad, but on the field, the Pats are just sick right now. 38 points each against the Jets and Chargers, and a defense allowing just 14 has New England in the top spot of our AFC rankings. It’s tough not to talk about “Spygate” but make no mistake, the Pats are as talented as any team in the league. Tom Brady was on fire Sunday night vs a very good Chargers defense, and Randy Moss looks like he is going to have a monster season. At home vs a weak Bills looks like a sure win this weekend.
2. Indianapolis (2) – Make no mistake, Sunday’s 22-20 win over the Titans was a lot harder than it looked. The Colts have continued to play good defense, and you can point to Bob Sanders as the best player in the Colts defense this season to date. Peyton Manning and the offense played a smart, solid game vs the Titans, and they put away the demons of losing to each AFC South team on the road last year early. Now comes what should be a solid test this week in Houston against the 2-0 Texans.
3. Pittsburgh (-) – I know the Chargers should be better by the end of the season, but based on games 1 & 2, the Steelers deserve to be at #3. One writer says that the Steelers have played 7 preseason games, starting the year at Cleveland and vs Buffalo, but no one can deny that they seem to have that “eye of the tiger” back from two years ago. Willie Parker is running hard in his first two games, and that defense is playing better than at any point in 2006. They should go to 3-0 with a home game vs the undefeated 49’ers this week.
4. San Diego (1) – The Chargers simply didn’t show up on Sunday night and maybe got TOO hyped up for this marquee showdown with the Pats. Now they have to answer all the questions that usually come with a loss like this, such as where’s the running game, and can Philip Rivers turn it on in a big game? So far both those questions are valid, but let’s not forget they have played two of the very best teams in the league in weeks one and two, and once they hit the Chiefs and Raiders should be just fine.
5. Denver (4) – They go down a notch this week, but remain undefeated after a tricky timeout in OT saved them vs the Raiders. They didn’t play their best game on Sunday vs Oakland, and despite 911 yards on offense, they have scored just three touchdowns. They also are allowing 156 yards a game on the ground. So far their six new starters on defense are still making adjustments, and they should be in this list most if not all of the season.
AFC Bottom 3
1. Kansas City (2) – This team is going to struggle all season, but give them some credit for making a game of it in Chicago this past weekend. The offense is awful, and even with Larry Johnson in the backfield they are averaging just 6.5 points and 250 yards in two games. The O-line has to play better and get some holes for Johnson. The passing game needs to contribute as well, as Damon Huard has been ugly in two games. Minnesota at home this week will not be easy.
2. Miami (3) – I think when it’s all said and done, the Fins are going to regret going out and trading for Trent Green. For what they had to go through to get him, so far he’s been a bust. Up 13-10 vs the Cowboys Sunday, Green threw some awful picks and the defense couldn’t hold the lead in a 37-20 loss. The ground game in two games has been nowhere to be found. They play at the Jets this weekend in a game that could put them on track, or set them back even more.
3. Oakland (-) – The Raiders are on the verge, and that is a good thing. The decision to start Josh McCown over a more healthy Daunte Culpepper this past weekend is a head scratcher, and the decision to already state that McCown will start this week is another over anxious decision by Lane Kiffin. McCown clearly was not 100 percent vs Denver, and if they could have gotten something out of him they would have won that game. This weeks game vs Cleveland is a winnable game at home.