NFL Rank and File - Week 2
by James Deaux(NFL)
Posted on September 23, 2009, 6:46 PM
NFL Rank and File Ė Week 2
Based on some feedback I received last week, I need to clarify how my rankings work. I do not take offseason hype and clamor into account when ranking Week 1. I simply go with what I see and read from the actual games. In any case, we had some pretty shocking outcomes in the games this past week. There are going to be some massive drops and a smattering of teams leaping upward. This is to be expected since it is still quite early, but in a few weeks, there shouldnít be any massive drops or ascensions. Letís get to the rankings:
1.) New York Jets (2-0) --Last week: 2
I said last week that I couldnít see them staying out of the top spot this week if they overcame New England, and sure enough, here they are. They held the Patriots to a mere three field goals and generally made Tom Bradyís day utterly miserable. Mark Sanchezís day wasnít exactly memorable, but he didnít turn the ball over, and made the necessary throws when he had to. The Jetsí defense has yet to allow an offensive touchdown so far.
2.) Atlanta Falcons (2-0) --Last week: 3
The Falconsí defense showed a few more weaknesses than they did in Week 1, but they made the big plays and stops when they had toóespecially Chris Houston and Mike Peterson. Iím going to say it now, thoughóAtlanta has the best all-around special teams unit in the entire NFL. They donít allow anyone to return punts, they block kicks, they trap teams deep in their territory, and they get touchbacks on kickoffs constantly. Oh, by the way, did I mention that Tony Gonzalez is beyond awesome?
3.) Baltimore Ravens (2-0) --Last week: 7
The Ravens have given up 41 yards of rushing per game so far in two games. They are going to annihilate Cleveland on Sunday.
4.) New York Giants (2-0) --Last week: 8
They still have some major red-zone issues, but they turned each Tony Romo interception into a touchdown.
5.) New Orleans Saints (2-0) --Last week: 9
Drew Brees is going to hit a wall at some point, but it sure as hell wonít be in Week 3 against the Bills. I do look forward to New Orleans playing the Jets in Week 4, however.
6.) Indianapolis Colts (2-0) --Last week: 11
I blinked and missed the Coltsí offensive drives. Wait, they won? What happened, Miami???
7.) San Francisco 49ers (2-0) --Last week: 17
You can definitely tell there is a new attitude on this team, and Mike Singletary is the source. The team has bought into his no-nonsense philosophy, and they already have two huge divisional victories against the only other teams that could conceivably threaten to win the NFC West.
8.) Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) --Last week: 1
This team is a completely different animal without Donovan McNabb. Probably a sparrow or a nightingale. Iím not going to be alarmed by their defensive showing since it was against Drew Brees, but you have to hope they recover against Kansas Cityís anaemic offense. If they donít, then we can worry about them.
9.) Minnesota Vikings (2-0) --Last week: 10
They only move up one spot based on the fact that theyíve played teams with a combined 4-32 record in their last 36 games to open their season. As long as Favre keeps the turnovers to a minimum, this team should have no trouble making the playoffs.
10.) Chicago Bears (1-1) --Last week: 21
Props to Jay Cutler for rebounding from a terrible game last week. Their defense really stepped it up with Urlacher out, but they were quite fortunate that Jeff Reed missed a couple of chip shots.
11.) Green Bay Packers (1-1) --Last week: 6
New year, same old idiotic penalties causing them to lose games. If their defense is going to give up 31 points to the bipolar Bengals, whatís going to happen when they play against consistently good teams? They shouldnít have to worry about that this week since they play at St. Louis, but the week after, they travel to Minnesota.
12.) Dallas Cowboys (1-1) --Last week: 4
I didnít watch any post-game interviews with Jerry Jones, but I imagine he wasnít too pleased with Romoís 29.6 QB rating against the Giants in the opening of his fantastical new palace. Perhaps Romoís great Week 1 showing was just a case of the Cowboys playing the Buccaneers.
13.) Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) --Last week: 5
This team is getting absolutely nothing from its running game, and itís probably about time to abandon Willie Parker. Baltimore is going to feast on them and run roughshod over the AFC North if they donít get something going and soon.
14.) New England Patriots (1-1) --Last week: 13
Tom Brady does not look right, and the Jets constant blitzing kept him off balance the entire game. Their defense didnít have a bad game, but they still donít have the playmakers necessary to keep pressure on opposing QBís. Next week presents an intriguing challenge against the Falcons.
15.) Houston Texans (1-1) --Last week: 29
Now that is the Texans offense we all expected before the year started. Andre Johnson is just indescribably good. They should worry about the defense, though. Chris Johnson is an absolute beast, but you canít excuse all of the absurdly huge plays they allowed him to run off all over their defense.
16.) San Diego Chargers (1-1) --Last week: 12
The final play call for the Chargers on offense against the Ravens was one of the dumbest things Iíve ever watched. But once again, this is a Norv Turner-coached team, so what can you really expect?
17.) Buffalo Bills (1-1) --Last week: 19
Any offense could look great against the Buccaneers, but at least the win will keep Terrell Owens off my television for one week.
18.) Arizona Cardinals (1-1) --Last week: 20
Against Jacksonville, Kurt Warner set an NFL record for completion percentage in a game, so congrats to him for that. Their game against Indianapolis on Sunday night is a very intriguing one, and could give us a much better idea of where each of the two teams stands.
19.) Denver Broncos (2-0) --Last week: 22
They started the year against Cincinnati (pre-Green Bay game) and Cleveland, and next week, they get Oakland. Call me when they play a real team.
20.) Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) --Last week: 26
Let me get this straightóthe Bengals score 7 off of Denverís sheet-rock defense at home, but they score 31 on Green Bay at Lambeau??? Of course. It makes perfect sense.
21.) Tennessee Titans (0-2) --Last week: 15
When their defense performs well, they score nothing. When their offense scores a lot, their defense doesnít bother to show up. I have to wonder if there are people clamoring for Vince Young to get another shot.
22.) Oakland Raiders (1-1) --Last week: 24
You know, as a whole, this is admittedly not a bad football team. They have a good running back group, a good offensive line and a solid defense. Itís just that Jamarcus Russell is absolutely putrid. He has a 46 QB rating and a 35-completion-percentage through two games--and they were both against teams with mediocre-to-bad secondaries. Heís a bust. Itís official. Stop the debating and the hemming and hawing over it.
23.) Seattle Seahawks (1-1) --Last week: 14
So, what have we learned from Week 2, kids? Seattle is good enough to beat the Rams, but not the 49ers. That doesnít bode well for this team the rest of the way. Hasselbeck is not likely to play against the Bears this weekend with a rib injury, which means the triumphant return of Seneca Wallace.
24.) Washington Redskins (1-1) --Last week: 23
Speaking of teams that are only good enough to beat St. Louis, I present the Redskins. I have never in my life seen a team booed off their own field by their own fans after a win. So, yeah, I donít feel weird about dropping them a spot this week after such a sloppy win against a bad team.
25.) Miami Dolphins (0-2) --Last week: 25
Itís almost inconceivable how they managed to lose that game against Indianapolis. They were on offense for over 45 minutes! Of course, when you waste time and call absolutely ridiculous plays for the most important part of those 45 minutes, then it doesnít matter how long you hold the ball.
26.) Carolina Panthers (0-2) --Last week: 27
Well, at least Jake Delhomme only threw one interception this week. In all seriousness, though, it isnít just Delhomme that is causing this team to slump. Their defense has been virtually nonexistent through the first two games. Julius Peppers against the Falcons: 2 tackles, no sacks. He wasnít much of a factor against Philadelphia, either. And this guy is taking up one eighth of Carolinaís salary cap.
27.) Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) --Last week: 16
So much for optimism. There was no excuse for the Chiefs to have lost that game against Oakland. None.
28.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) --Last week: 18
Gaines Adams has officially been put on notice by head coach, Raheem Morris. The former first-round pick has largely been a disappointment in the NFL. But hey, this team is going to be a massive disappointment on the whole anyway, so I donít see why Adams is the only one getting singled out.
29.) Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) --Last week: 28
This team has no playmakers in the wide receiver core, and Maurice Jones-Drew canít do everything by himself. Their defense, which used to be a calling card for this franchise, has degenerated to the point of uselessness. Think Jack del Rio is regretting the whole situation with Mike Peterson by now?
30.) Detroit Lions (0-2) --Last week: 31
Though they are still a very bad team, they seem to be making little strides here and there. Matthew Stafford threw his first touchdown pass, and not too surprisingly, it was to Calvin Johnson. Perhaps they can finally end the epic losing streak next week against a morbidly mediocre Redskins team.
31.) Cleveland Browns (0-2) --Last week: 30
There are already rumblings and grumblings around Cleveland that Derek Anderson should be starting for them since the offense has done virtually nothing so far this year. And this is different from last year, how? This team is a disaster.
32.) St. Louis Rams (0-2) --Last week: 32
This team is just brutally badóespecially their offensive line. They really should have won their game against Washington, but when you have as many problems as this team does, just one fumble can equal another ďLĒ.