Back again with our week two power rankings, this following one heck of an NFL weekend. If the team was ranked last week, their ranking will be next to their team name.
NFC Top 5
1. Dallas (1) – The Cowboys gave up a lot of points, but also scored 41 in a thrilling Monday nighter vs the Eagles. Dallas has played two solid games vs the Browns and Eagles, but they have another stiff test this week when they take on the Packers and wonderboy Aaron Rodgers on Sunday night. The defense does have some work to do as they need to shore up or Rodgers has shown he can eat them up.
2. NY Giants (2) – For those that felt the Giants are a fluke had better wake up – this team is better than a lot of people thought. Their offense under Eli Manning is playing well, Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw are playing well, and the defense is getting after the QB. Justin Tuck is playing like a defensive MVP after two games. Yes they beat only the Rams, and this week they should have another rather easy time with the very bad Bengals.
3. Green Bay (3) – Aaron Rodgers is proving he’s as good as advertised, and this is exactly why the coach and GM were behind the move to start him. They gave up the lead for a moment on Sunday in Detroit, but Rodgers and the offense bounced right back, and then the defense closed out the win. Look for a tough game vs the Cowboys Sunday night in what could be an early season classic.
4. Carolina (-) – Give this group credit as they rallied from 14 down vs the Bears to gut out a tough 20-17 win. Their defense has played well for two weeks, and this is a unit that has suddenly realized they can make plays when they need to, like 4th-and-1 for the Bears with time running out. Jake Delhomme makes all the difference in the world, and don’t look now but Steve Smith is back to help the passing game.
5. Philadelphia (4) – The defense had a letdown on Monday night in Dallas, but let’s put it on the table – this is a good team that is on pace to win 9-10 games. Donovan McNabb is playing well at QB, and Brian Westbrook has shown he’s worth every penny of the new deal he got. Look for this team to give the Steelers fits at home on Sunday in a big inter-state showdown in Philly.
NFC Bottom 3
1. St.Louis (1) – Two blowout losses have Scott Linehan on the hot seat, and a loss this week in Seattle could have us seeing our first coaching change of 2008. Their offense has scored just 16 points in two games, and the weak defense has allowed 79 points. Not good. They need a good showing in Seattle just to get some confidence. Don’t fool yourself Rams fans, this team will be lucky to win 5 games.
2. Detroit (2) – The Lions showed life after again falling behind 21-0 to the Packers at home, as they at one point actually got the lead before they crumbled again in a loss. What’s the problem – how about not putting your offense down by three TD’s before halftime. The offense needs to give this team a boost with some early success in San Fran on Sunday, a place where they could actually win.
3. Seattle (-) – I am starting to feel the window is closing on the Hawks, who are 0-2 and have simply way too many injuries to overcome right now. What’s going to happen to this team? They need to get healthy, start getting back to the basics, and playing well and making big plays. You saw a glimpse of that vs the Niners Sunday, but not enough to stop them from a 33-30 loss in OT.
AFC Top 5
1. New England (1) – Matt Cassel proved the critics wrong on Sunday, as he led a very efficent Pats attack in a 19-10 win over Brett Favre and the Jets. The defense really stepped up for New England, and for now anyway, a lot of people in the clam chowder state are breathing a bit easier. Look for Cassel to be called up to manage the game, and for the defense to keep having to make plays in order to win.
2. Pittsburgh (2) – In high winds and rain in Clevland with a QB with a shoulder injury that is worse than what the team has let on, the Steelers gutted out a 10-6 win over the rival Browns. The defense seems back to the early form of 2007, and having a healthy Troy Polamalu in the backfield makes all the difference in the world. Willie Parker is running like a determined back, and if they can get Big Ben healthy, this is a solid unit. A game in Philly Sunday will tell us a lot.
3. Denver (4) – Forget about the non-call that should have lost them the game Sunday vs San Diego, the Broncos are for real. Jay Cutler looks great (minus the non-fumble) and Brandon Marshall is going to do nothing but make plays in this offense. While the letdown on defense Sunday is a bit of a concern, look for them to get challenged again this week by a good Saints offense at home.
4. Buffalo (5) – The Bills are 2-0, and after falling behind to the Jags showed their toughness with a comeback that keeps them tied for the AFC East lead. Trent Edwards is growing as a QB, and the defense is looking good. The addition of Marcus Stroud has so far paid off, and while this team isn’t going to score a lot of points week in and week out, they are going to challenge a lot of teams in the AFC.
5. Indianapolis (-) – Let’s give Peyton and the Colts some credit. It would have been real easy for them to give up Sunday down 15-0 to the Vikings, but they recovered and overcame them for a big 18-15 win. Manning caught fire, and he and Reggie Wayne have to get props for the win. The defense bent but never broke, which is another reason they are 1-1 instead of 0-2.
AFC Bottom 3
1. Cincinnati (2) – What in the heck is happening with this team? The Bengals look awful, and again on Sunday played okay early, but then made big mistakes and allowed the Titans to run over them 24-7. Look for this team to continue to have issues, as it gets no easier this week with the Champion Giants at the Meadowlands. Too many things have to happen for this team to turn it around in 2008.
2. Kansas City (3) – The defense (which I said was going to be bad in 08), got torched on Sunday at home for 300 yards on the ground for a 23-8 loss to the Raiders. They have played 4 QB’s already this season, and who knows who gets the next start? They play another young team Sunday on the road in Atlatna, but at least they know who will be under center and have a back and that can again run over them in Michael Turner.
3. Cleveland (-) – At 0-2, this team looks lost, much like after one game last season. The Browns were supposed to be a team on the rise, instead they are a team that can’t do anything on offense, manage the clock, and still can’t put consistent pressure on the QB. They lose their 10th in a row to the Steelers on Sunday at home, and all the sudden a for sure win at Baltimore Sunday looks like anything but.