NFL Power Rankings: Broncos No. 1, Seahawks slip, Eagles, Bills, Patriots climb
NFL Power Rankings: Broncos No. 1, Seahawks slip, Eagles, Bills, Patriots climb. The Cardinals, Bills, Chargers and Packers are also featured in the top 10.
1. Broncos (2-0): Denver is a weak No. 1. The Broncos scored just three points in the second half Sunday against the Chiefs. Against a better team, they’d be 1-1 right now. Guessing that the Broncos and Seahawks will flip-flop positions here by next week as there is a Super Bowl re-match in Seattle this Sunday.
2. Seahawks (1-1): There’s no shame in losing to the Chargers this season, it seems. San Diego looks legit. But maybe, just maybe, the Legion of Boom is a tad overrated. Philip Rivers had a rating of 124.2 Sunday against Seattle’s vaunted defense, passing for three touchdowns.
3. Bengals (2-0): The Bengals should head into their Week 4 bye week with an unblemished record as they face Tennessee at home on Sunday. Highly unlikely that Jake Locker has success against a team that has allowed just 26 total points so far this season.
4. Panthers (2-0): Only two teams have allowed less points through two games than the stingy Bengals. One is the Panthers, having given up just 21 points. If they can beat a well-rested Steelers team at home on Sunday night, they could be challenging for the No. 1 spot here next week.
5. Eagles (2-0): The Eagles are the first team in NFL history to start a season 2-0 after trailing by 14 points or more in the second half of each win. We said last week that they’d have to play the full 60 minutes to beat Andrew Luck and the Colts, but this Philly team apparently thrives by living on the edge.
6. Cardinals (2-0): Arizona has a Week 4 bye, but this is probably as high as they’ll be in the rankings for a while. Carson Palmer’s nerve injury could be somewhat serious (he says he has “no idea” when he’ll return), Arizona will face a PO’d 49ers team this Sunday and after their bye week they’ll be in Denver.
7. Chargers (1-1): San Diego won’t be able to count on Antonio Gates for three touchdowns week-in and week-out, but no fear. Fellow tight end Ladarius Green – who wasn’t even targeted in the win over the Seahawks – is frothing at the mouth to get involved.
8. Bills (2-0): Who had Bills-Chargers as the marquee matchup of Week 3 before the season started? The Bills look like they have a top five defense and Sammy Watkins is 1-for-2 in his career when it comes to producing 100-yard receiving days. Buffalo is back! Makes me want to put on a turtle neck and run the “K-Gun” in my backyard.
9. Patriots (1-1): Last week we wanted the head of defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. This week, we’ll give credit where credit is due. The secondary, in particular, looked tremendous as Darrelle Revis had his first pick in a Pats uniform. On the defensive-line, a monster year from Chandler Jones is coming.
10. Packers (1-1): Had it not been for Marty Morhinweg being Marty Morhinweg Sunday at Lambeau, Green Bay could very well be 0-2 right now. A 400-yard receiving day by Jordy Nelson could come later this season and it wouldn’t matter because of that horrid Green Bay defense.
11. Dolphins (1-1): The Miami defense once again did its job in Week 2. The unit allowed just one touchdown to the Bills. But the Dolphins offense will need to improve if it wants to be taken seriously. Lamar Miller better be ready to carry the load. Here’s guessing he won’t be.
12. Bears (1-1): In the fourth quarter, on the road, against a top-notch defense, Jay Cutler and the Bears put 21 points on the board. 21 points! Again … 21 points! Cutler had a strange stat line with 176 yards passing but four touchdowns.
13. Ravens (1-1): The tight end position is said to be dead, but the Ravens might have two of the best in the league. Dennis Pitta remains and people forgot – before last Thursday – how valuable Owen Daniels is in a Gary Kubiak offense.
14. 49ers (1-1): Colin Kaepernick threw three interceptions against the Bears and was sacked four times. We’ll find out a ton about this team this week in Arizona. Was last Sunday night’s gag job a fluke?
15. Jets (1-1): Rex Kotite, I mean Rich Coslet, I mean Bruce Ryan … Rex Ryan needs to get control of this coaching staff! He did the same thing in 2007 – calling a bad time out as a Ravens assistant in a Monday night game against the then-undefeated Patriots – so he’d be hypocritical if he blasted poor Marty. But c’mon!
16. Falcons (1-1): Now that we know the Saints are capable of losing to the Browns, was the Falcons’ Week 1 victory over New Orleans really that impressive? Matt Ryan threw three interceptions against the Bengals defense in Week 2.
17. Steelers (1-1): Pittsburgh hung around against the Ravens in that Thursday night game as even after Baltimore’s final touchdown, it was down by just 11 points. Three fourth quarter Justin Tucker field goals made it look like a blowout.
18. Texans (2-0): Ryan Fitzpatrick was efficient as can be, registering a 129.1 rating. Arian Foster ran for 138 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. The Houston defense shutout the Raiders for the first three quarters. Momentum is building.
19. Lions (1-1): Carolina did what the Giants couldn’t do in Week 1, it made Matthew Stafford uncomfortable. It resulted in Stafford throwing the ball 48 times but completing just 27 of those passes. He was also sacked four times.
20. Browns (1-1): Is it me or is this Browns team … dare I say … likable? They got beaten down early for the second straight week but never rolled over. It paid off with a “W” this time against the Saints.
21. Saints (0-2): That defense is bad, yes. But the offense deserves some share of the blame as well. The Saints were force-feeding the ball to Jimmy Graham against Cleveland. They targeted him 13 times. No other eligible receiver was targeted more than six times.
22. Colts (0-2): Turnovers killed the Colts on Monday night, allowing the Eagles to storm back into the game. Thankfully for them, a game with the Jaguars awaits this Sunday.
23. Vikings (1-1): Things could spiral out of control in a hurry for Mike Zimmer in his first year at the helm. The Patriots exposed Matt Cassel Sunday and it may be “Teddy Time” sooner rather than later. But if this Adrian Peterson stuff keeps going down the path it looks as though it’s headed, this season is doomed anyway.
24. Cowboys (1-1): For years it’s been, if only the Cowboys could give Tony Romo a defense. The defense showed up against the Titans, blanking them for three out of the four quarters, but Romo was average. Balance will be key going forward.
25. Redskins (1-1): I’ve been told that Kirk Cousins is the perfect quarterback in a Jay Gruden offense. I don’t know, I’d probably rather have Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning or Tom Brady running that puppy. Just me. A win over Jacksonville was nice, but let’s see them beat Philly on the road.
26. Rams (1-1): They fed the ball to Zac Stacy 19 times Sunday and Austin Davis was serviceable. St. Louis might just be able to muster five wins out of this season after all.
27. Titans (1-1): The Titans were at home last Sunday against the down-and-out Cowboys and seemed poised to get the “I’ll-tell-you-what, you’d-better-keep-an-eye-on-what-Ken-Whisenhunt-is-doing-in-Tennessee” deal all week this week. Not so much.
28. Chiefs (0-2): Kansas City did a nice job hanging around in Denver, but couldn’t seal the deal. The Chiefs’ game in Miami this Sunday will be interesting. Loser officially goes on “fraud alert.”
29. Buccaneers (0-2): Lovie Smith went 5-11 in his first year in Chicago. Here’s guessing he’d sign up for only 11 losses in 2014 right about now.
30. Jaguars (0-2): Chad Henne was sacked 10, count ’em 10 times in the loss to the Redskins. Blake Bortles should probably want to stay on the bench.
31. Giants (0-2): The Giants will ask Tom Coughlin to re-sign rather than fire him, right? Two Super Bowls, 158 wins. It’s been a swell career, Tom.
32. Raiders (0-2): A quick glance at Dennis Allen’s Wikipedia page reveals he stems from the coaching tree trunks of Dan Reeves, Wade Phillips and Jim Mora. In other words, for the third straight season, the Oakland Raiders are going 4-12.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS