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My 2016 NFL Power Rankings Week 2
NFL Power Ranks
Don't let that 80-some degree weather fool you: football season is here. In fact, with two games already in the books, you could say that the season is already 12.5% over. But we won't say that. We will say there's still 87.5% of the season ahead of us. That sounds better, doesn't it? ANYWAY, it's been way too long since I've had an update of any sort so let's cut this intro short and get right down to it.
1. Denver Broncos (2-0) ~ Denver is doing it again with their defense. Two scores from that side of the ball and another Von Miller strip-sack helped propel the champs to 2-0. Until someone knocks them down they will reign supreme atop the rankings.
2. New England Patriots (2-0) ~ After an impressive opening win in Arizona the Patriots returned home and built a huge lead over division rival Miami before hanging on for the win. The bigger story here though is the injury to Jimmy Garoppolo who may miss some time. That leaves Jacoby Brissett as the potential starter for a game or two before Tom Brady returns.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) ~ No Markus Wheaton. No Heath Miller. No Martavis Bryant. No problem for Big Ben and the Pittsburgh offense. Roethlisberger has six touchdowns in two weeks and has just one game left until Le'Veon Bell returns from suspension.
4. Arizona Cardinals (1-1) ~ After a disappointing loss in the opener Arizona took out their frustrations on Jameis Winston and the rest of the Tampa Bay Bucs. They forced five turnovers and rolled to a 40-7 victory. That's more like the team many experts picked to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LI.
5. Houston Texans (2-0) ~ When Brock Osweiler left Denver for Houston some people thought there would be more pressure on him to lead the Texans' offense than he felt in Denver. In Denver he could manage the game and let the defense do the heavy lifting. Two weeks in and it looks like the Brock Lobster has the same deal in Houston.
6. Carolina Panthers (1-1) ~ Cam Newton picked up his 122nd career touchdown pass over the weekend which is a new franchise record. The offense was rolling all day but I'm a bit concerned about the defense that allowed a visiting 49ers team to pile up 27 points.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) ~ Losing a close game in Pittsburgh has become almost routine for the Bengals. They may already be a game behind two teams in the division but Cincy should contend all year for the AFC North crown.
8. Minnesota Vikings (2-0) ~ They may be undefeated but they certainly suffered a huge loss when 2015 rushing champ Adrian Peterson tore a meniscus Sunday night. He hasn't been officially ruled out for next week's game but as someone who recently had a sprained meniscus I can't imagine how he could play with a tear.
9. Green Bay Packers (1-1) ~ There is no quarterback I trust this side of Tom Brady than Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, however, the Pack is a goal-line stand against Jacksonville from being 0-2. Perhaps we will know more about them this week when the Detroit Lions, a team they've manhandled over the past 20 years, visit Lambeau.
10. New York Giants (2-0) ~ Is this too high? I feel it's too high. Then again, other teams that have struggled have losses to show for it and the G-Men retain a perfect record. The fact that Eli Manning and their offense couldn't muster a single touchdown at home against the pathetic New Orleans defense has to have fans worrying.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) ~ Is this too high? I feel it's too high. Then again, I'm an Eagles fan. Carson "Can't Miss" Wentz is the first rookie quarterback to start 2-0 without throwing an interception in the history of the NFL. Go Birds!
12. Baltimore Ravens (2-0) ~ The last of the unbeatens but they barely got there. They fell behind 20-0 early to Cleveland but scored 25 unanswered to pull out the victory. People in Last Man Standing pools across the country held their collective breath throughout this one.
13. Seattle Seahawks (1-1) ~ Russell Wilson has a bum ankle and the offense is non-existent throughout the first two weeks. At least their defense still looks dominant having allowed just 19 points in two games which is the lowest in the league.
14. Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) ~ Spencer Ware leads the team in rushing (127) and receiving (177) yards through two weeks. Kansas City will need to find a way to keep him in the lineup once All-Pro back Jamaal Charles returns from his knee injury.
15. New York Jets (1-1) ~ Brandon Marshall looked like he suffered a serious knee injury during Thursday's game against the Buffalo Bills but the star receiver was able to return to action much to the relief of Jets fans and fantasy owners everywhere. The extra rest from the long week should only help him get closer to 100%
16. Atlanta Falcons (1-1) ~ Matty Ice has the Falcons offense humming as he has already thrown for 730 yards and five touchdowns on the young season. He's on pace for 5,840 yards which would be a record.
17. Dallas Cowboys (1-1) ~ After the NFL Draft there was a lot of hype around a Dallas rookie that would be asked to help carry the offense. After two games Ezekiel Elliott looks like, well, a rookie but quarterback Dak Prescott looks ready to run the show. Dallas may have found their heir apparent to the fragile Tony Romo.
18. Oakland Raiders (1-1) ~ Where's the defense? Through two games Oakland has allowed a league-high 69 points. It's kind of tough to win games when there's that much pressure being put on the offense.
19. San Diego Chargers (1-1) ~ In Week One they lost Keenan Allen to a season-ending knee injury. In Week Two they lost Danny Woodhead to a season-ending knee injury. They say things happen in threes but let's hope for the Chargers and their medical staff that isn't the case this coming weekend.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) ~ Doug Martin is undergoing tests on a hamstring that forced him out of the blowout in the desert. If the muscle hamster can't give it a go the running back duties fall to Charles Sims who was bottled up in Arizona while filling in for Martin.
21. Detroit Lions (1-1) ~ Marvin Jones has looked good in his bid to "replace" the retired Calvin Johnson. While nobody can ever truly replace Megatron, the Lions receiving corps is still a threat with Jones, Golden Tate and Theo Riddick coming out of the backfield.
22. Tennessee Titans (1-1) ~ Did they just beat the team I have ranked ahead of them? Yes. Does that mean anything for the rankings? Apparently not.
23. Indianapolis Colts (0-2) ~ I watched some of the Indy-Denver game over the weekend and while it's near impossible to keep track of every player transaction every year I was genuinely surprised to see Antonio Cromartie played for the Colts. If you knew that, well, you win. Claim your prize at the front counter.
24. Washington Redskins (0-2) ~ Much was made after Week One when new cornerback Josh Norman spent almost zero time covering Antonio Brown who is arguably the best receiver in the league. If you want to be considered the best corner you need to cover the best receiver. Norman will get another chance this weekend when the Skins visit New York and Odell Beckham Jr.
25. New Orleans Saints (0-2) ~ Willie Snead is everyone's fantasy darling in 2016 as the receiver has racked up 14 catches for 226 yards and two scores in just two games.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) ~ After nearly shocking the NFL World by coming up just short of upsetting Green Bay in Week One the Jags fell flat on their faces in San Diego. This was my sleeper pick for 2016. Last week they just looked asleep.
27. Chicago Bears (0-2) ~ Jay Cutler was forced to leave Monday's game with a myriad of injuries. If he needs to miss time Brian Hoyer will fill in. There are much, much worse options for a backup but after last year's playoff debacle Hoyer doesn't instill much hope.
28. Miami Dolphins (0-2) ~ Road games in Seattle and New England is a brutal way to start the year. A home game against the reeling Cleveland Browns shapes up much better for Miami this weekend.
29. Los Angeles Rams (1-1) ~ Two games in, one win in the books and zero touchdowns scored. That is how things are going for the Rams who returned to the west coast this year after two decades in St. Louis.
30. San Francisco 49ers (1-1) ~ Chip Kelly's team has scored 55 points in two games a year after averaging under 15 per game last year. That's quite the turnaround. This Eagles fan seems to remember the team coming out firing on all cylinders in Kelly's first year with the team. Maybe it's sustainable. Only time will tell.
31. Buffalo Bills (0-2) ~ Maybe this is too low but my money is on Rex Ryan being the first head coach fired in 2016.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-2) ~ RGIII? Injured reserve. Josh McCown? Bum shoulder. Insert Cody Kessler who will be the third starting quarterback in three games for Cleveland. You almost can't help but feel bad for this franchise.
That's all she wrote folks. Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them right here. Or if that's not good enough you can follow/harass me on Twitter @therichwhiteguy. It wouldn't be the biggest waste of your time.