Week two is in the books, and what an exciting slate of games that we were blessed with! FitzMagic and the Buccaneers continued lighting it up, while Rodgers and the Pack found themselves in a tie with the Vikings. The Cardinals apparently forgot that David Johnson was on the team and didn’t throw a single football his way until the fourth quarter. Only seven unbeaten teams remain, and if you would have shown me the list prior to the season, I would have laughed. The Eagles will have Wentz back for week three and Khalil Mack is single-handedly putting up better numbers than the Raiders defense is as a whole. Let’s dive into the week three power rankings.
32.) Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: 31) (0-2) 31.) Buffalo Bills (32) (0-2) 30.) Oakland Raiders (30) (0-2) 29.) Detroit Lions (29) (0-2) 28.) Houston Texans (26) (0-2) 27.) Cleveland Browns (25) (0-1-1) 26.) Seattle Seahawks (20) (0-2) 25.) New York Giants (19) (0-2) 24.) New York Jets (24) (1-1) 23.) Tennessee Titans (27) (1-1) 22.) Dallas Cowboys (28) (1-1) 21.) Washington Redskins (23) (1-1) 20.) New Orleans Saints (15) (1-1) 19.) Chicago Bears (21) (1-1) 18.) Indianapolis Colts (22) (1-1) 17.) Baltimore Ravens (9) (1-1) 16.) Pittsburgh Steelers (10) (0-1-1) 15.) Carolina Panthers (11) (1-1) 14.) Los Angeles Chargers (13) (1-1) 13.) San Francisco 49ers (12) (1-1) 12.) Denver Broncos (17) (2-0) 11.) Miami Dolphins (18) (2-0)
10.) Philadelphia Eagles (4) (1-1)
The Eagles are riddled with injuries right now, but thankfully for them, Carson Wentz has been medically cleared and named the starter for their upcoming matchup against the Colts. Wentz had a significant knee injury and relied on his physical attributes to make many of the plays that he did. He will surely be somewhat rusty coming off the injury, but how much of his old self will he be? The Eagles still have one of the best offensive and defensive lines in the game. Wentz’s weapons are sparse right now, but Doug Pederson is an offensive mastermind.
9.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (16) (2-0)
FitzMagic is looking like the league’s MVP through two weeks. Dirk Koetter handed over play-calling duties to recently promoted offensive coordinator, Todd Monken during the offseason and it is showing that it was the right move. During last year’s NFL season, the Bucs averaged 20.9 points per game, which was ranked 18th. Through two games, they are averaging 37.5 points per game, which is only second to the red hot Mahomes-led Chiefs. Jameis Winston still has two weeks left of his suspension, but the Bucs will be hard pressed to make him the starter if Fitzpatrick is still playing at this level. When will Fitz’s magic run out?
8.) Cincinnati Bengals (14) (2-0)
The Bengals are off to a hot start, being one of the seven remaining unbeaten teams. Joe Mixon will be sidelined for a few weeks, as he underwent a minor knee procedure. Look for Giovani Bernard to handle the bulk of the load, with Mark Walton becoming the change of pace back. This team has a talented squad on offense and an underrated defense. Mixon is one of the league’s best backs and the offense is clearly better when he is on the field. Bernard has always shown he has a special skill-set, but hasn’t been a consistent three down back, as he has been injury prone.
7.) New England Patriots (1) (1-1)
Tom Brady and the Patriots fell short in their AFC championship rematch. This game showed that their defense is a liability right now and the offense is lacking playmakers. Right on cue, the Pats made a trade for Josh Gordon Monday evening. They released Corey Coleman to make room for Gordon. Josh might not have an immediate impact, as he will have to be worked into the offense and is nursing a hamstring injury, but if he can stay on the field, watch out. Rookie Sony Michel made his regular season debut, and Edelman comes back in two weeks. The Pats will be going from one of the teams lacking the most depth at the skill positions, to having potentially one of the better ones with Brady slinging the ball to them.
6.) Kansas City Chiefs (8) (2-0)
Patrick Mahomes became the third quarterback since 1970 to pass for at least nine touchdowns through his team’s first two regular season games. The others that have done that before? Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. Not only did he join them in elite company, but he set the new record, passing for ten touchdowns. Oowee, this Chiefs offense is on fire through their first few contests with Mahomes under center. The defense is a liability, but have also been without star safety Eric Berry. The offense is averaging 40 points a contest, can anyone slow down the gunslinger?
5.) Atlanta Falcons (5) (1-1)
Last week, when it was abruptly reported that Deion Jones would be joining Keanu Neal on IR, Falcons fans were crushed. Atlanta was primed to have one of their best defensive units, arguably in the team’s history. Now, they were without two of their best players on the entire roster, let alone two of the main defensive leaders. Atlanta’s offense showed that when the ball is spread around and Matt Ryan is in a rhythm, they can be very dangerous, even with Sark calling the plays. Atlanta was 4/4 in the red zone this week, and committed thirteen less penalties than they did against Philly. The defense has some big shoes to fill, but if Matty Ice gets in a rhythm, Atlanta can still be a contender come playoff time. Deion Jones is set to miss a minimum of eight weeks, so he should hopefully be back for a playoff run.
4.) Minnesota Vikings (2) (1-0-1)
Daaaan Bailey. Rookie Daniel Carlson missed three field goals in the showdown against Rodgers and Co. The Vikes have waived Carlson and are expected to signed the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, Dan Bailey. While the Vikings were in prime position to win this game, Kirk Cousins had a costly interception that was wiped out due to a questionable roughing the passer penalty. Kirk did drop some dimes in this game and showed the Vikings spent their money wisely on the quarterback. His throw to Adam Thielen to set up the two point conversion to tie the game was one of the better throws of the weekend, right over two Green Bay defenders.
3.) Green Bay Packers (3) (1-0-1)
The officiating strikes again. The Packers should have easily won this game, but thanks to the new roughing the passer rule, you can’t touch the quarterback without getting a flag thrown. Kirk Cousins threw an interception, but it was negated by an egregious “penalty.” Rodgers wore a very large knee brace, as he is dealing a deep bone bruise, along with a ligament strain. Jay Glazer reported that this type of injury would keep “normal” players out for a while, but as coach Mike Zimmer said leading up to the game, “He walks on water.” Rodgers showed that even with a bum leg, he can sling it as good as anyone against one of the best defenses in the league.
2.) Jacksonville Jaguars (7) (2-0)
Blake Bortles out-dueled Tom Brady in week two. Granted, Bortles was going against a Patriots defense that is still working out kinks, and Brady had to go head-to-head against one of the league’s best. When Bortles is on, the Jags are a destructive force with how good their defense is. But when he’s off, this team becomes much less of a threat.
1.) Los Angeles Rams (6) (2-0)
It wasn’t a contest for the Rams this past week, as they took on division foe Arizona Cardinals. Todd Gurley was held to only 2.2 yards per carry, but Goff got the job done through the air. Oh, and the defense held the Cardinals scoreless. The Rams have gone against two teams that now sit at 0-2 and will face their first test of the season against the LA Chargers this coming week. The Rams defense is a force and will only get better with time, as they develop chemistry with all the new additions. Goff is one of the better young quarterbacks in the game, and McVay knows how to utilize that talent on this team, with a plethora of weapons to work with.