As many of you know, I take my job and my writing very seriously, and it breaks my heart to see my writers make jest of a long-standing staple of cookie-cutter NFL articles. With that in mind, welcome to my first (and maybe only) NFL Power Rankings.
The Top 10:
Baltimore Ravens – 1
This is a team that has steamrolled its two opponents without breaking a sweat, by a combined score of 71-22. The scary part is? Most people don’t think that they’ve hit their stride yet. The upcoming game against the reigning Super Bowl Champions may change this ranking, but for now, they’re sitting comfortably in first place.
Kansas City Chiefs – 2
There may be a bit of bias here, as the Chiefs are the aforementioned reigning Champions. But, it’s hard to doubt a team that has come back from a big deficit in five of its last eight wins. They’re never truly out of the game, and they have the NFL’s best quarterback under center, in Patrick Mahomes.
Green Bay Packers – 3
Aaron and Aaron lead the way on this high-flying offense, and honestly, we aren’t sure which one is more important. Aaron Rodgers showed that he still has ‘it’ in Week 1. Then Week 2 rolled around and Aaron Jones showed why he’s one of the league’s best running backs.
Seattle Seahawks – 4
‘Let Russ Cook’ was the battle cry of the 12s on Twitter, and it seems that Pete Carroll has listened. The offense is opening up for Mr. Unliiiimited, and it helps that Mr. Straight-Line himself, DK Metcalf, has found a turning radius. Pencil in a revamped defense, and the Seahawks look like an early NFL threat.
Buffalo Bills – 5
Yeah, we get it. It was the Dolphins. It was the Jets. However, it’s not about who they played, but how they played. Josh Allen has thrown zero interceptions so far, and has completed just over 70% of his 700-ish yards worth of passes. The defense passes the eye test. They face the resurgent Los Angeles Rams this week, and that will show the world who they are.
Pittsburgh Steelers – 6
As a Ravens guy, I hate putting the Yinzer crew in the Top-10, but I’m also not a biased guy. That being said, I’m also not sold on the fact that they are a ‘Super Bowl Contender’. The defensive front is still crazy good, the secondary is the Ravens-version CJ Mosley of secondaries (good-not-great), and the offense looks like it has found its footing. They’ve had an easy schedule, but the eye test shows a lot.
Los Angeles Rams – 7
Aaron Donald now has to share the stardom limelight with Jalen Ramsey, but that hasn’t slowed the defense down. In fact, I think they’re playing better in 2020 than we have seen from them in years. Jared Goff looks locked in, and if you told me Tyler Higbee was a Top-5 receiving TE for 2020, I wouldn’t blink. Sean McVay has this team rolling, and that’s a scary thought for the NFC West.
Tennessee Titans – 8
If somebody told you that the Titans were the best red-zone offense in football, would you believe them? You should. Ryan Tannehill cannot be stopped inside the 20, with six scores through two weeks, and a passer rating over 130. The defense is starting to find their footing, and the AFC South looks ripe for the taking for the team in Tennessee.
New England Patriots – 9
It doesn’t matter how much you hated the Tom Brady-led Patriots. He’s gone, and there’s a new guy under center. Cam Newton has made the Patriots offense.. fun? Sure, they’re 1-1, but that’s to be expected with a decimated-by-corona defense, and it’s not like the loss came in a blowout, or to a bad team. Pencil the Patriots in for a Wild Card, kids. Bill Belichick ain’t going anywhere.
Arizona Cardinals – 10
Listen.. the Cardinals are good. Kyler Murray to DeAndre Hopkins is the highlight reel we didn’t know we needed. While the lawn gnome runs like a spastic.. well, lawn gnome, he still has the ability to make guys miss and shred the turf under his little legs. The NFC West has not one, not two, but three good teams. (Sorry, Niners fans. Injuries are the worst.)
The Middle of the Pack:
New Orleans Saints – 11
Has there ever been a team with higher expectations that has underperformed so low-key? The Saints are playing the most undisciplined football in the league, racking up over 100 penalty yards in both weeks so far this season. Not to mention they can cover a tight end about as well as the 2017 Baltimore Ravens. I get it, they’re playing without the league’s No. 2 wide receiver, but that doesn’t begin to make up for the defensive issues that are showing.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 12
‘The Buccaneers are going to the Super Bowl.’ I cannot tell you how many times I heard that ridiculous statement come out of NFL analysts’ mouths during the off-season. Through two weeks, the offense looks stale and middling. The defense is playing well, but unless the offense that is star-studded comes to life, the Bucs may be shipped out of the postseason early.
Las Vegas Raiders – 13
The Raiders are undefeated through two weeks. Darren Waller has finally found his stride, proving me right, much to the chagrin of certain Twitter folk. Derek Carr looks comfortable in the Gruden Era, and he’s making the most of what he has for offensive weapons. If the defense can settle into games faster, watch out AFC West. Except Patrick Mahomes, because duh.
Dallas Cowboys – 14
Never mind, this might be the team with the most hype that hasn’t lived up to it. While they staged a huge comeback to rip victory from the jaws of defeat against the Failcons, the fact that they were in such a big deficit is a problem itself. Four turnovers in the first eleven minutes is going to seal your fate against a team that’s worth their salt. Still, they showed impressive resolve, and deserve their middling ranking.
San Francisco 49ers – 15
Their latest victory says more about the New York Jets than it does about them. Losing Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, Raheem Mostert, and Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t break them enough to lose to the hapless Jets. Coming up, they’ll face a New York Giants team that has its own injuries. Does MetLife Stadium give the Giants a home-field advantage?
Indianapolis Colts – 16
This might be the most 1-1 team in the history of 1-1 teams. They have one of the best offensive lines in football, but somehow Philip Rivers still looks like an average quarterback. The defense was putrid in Week 1, but held Kirk Cousins to a 0.0 passer rating in the second half of Week 2. The Colts are Forrest Gump’s box-o-chocolate.. you never know what you’re going to get.
Los Angeles Chargers – 17
This is a better team with Justin Herbert under center. This is also a better team when Melvin Ingram isn’t on IR. Unfortunately, only one of those two things will be the case this Sunday. I digress – the Chargers didn’t look good against the Bengals in Week 1, but they looked sharp against the Chiefs in Week 2, even though they lost in the end.
Cleveland Browns – 18
Ian Rapoport said Odell Beckham was ‘pretty good when they throw him the ball’ forgetting that he was targeted 10 times in Week 1 against the Ravens. He caught three passes. This is a team stacked with talent that has struggled to make that talent shine. They beat the Bengals, which is their crowning achievement through two weeks, but they looked improved, to the eye test. Is this the year they make the playoffs? Or have a winning record? We’ll see.
Chicago Bears – 19
This might be the worst 2-0 team that I’ve ever seen. The defense, led by Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, has been up-and-down through two weeks. The offense has been ‘good enough’ against the Giants and the Lions. I don’t consider them a threat to the NFC North crown, but they’re a good bet for second place and a 9-7 record.
Houston Texans – 20
The Texans have had a rough start to their 2020 season, where they were unlucky enough to draw the Chiefs followed by the Ravens. Next up? The Steelers, who have a vicious front seven lining up against an offensive line. I mean offensive in every negative connotation of the word. Bill O’Brien has made many mistakes, and Deshaun Watson is only good enough to make up for some of them.
The Bottom Third
Minnesota Vikings – 21
I probably have the Vikings far too high, but I refuse to believe that any team that has Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, Yannick Ngakoue, and Danielle Hunter is this bad. I’m aware that Hunter is on IR, but the paper trail of talent is too much to ignore. They’ll likely drop if I ever do one of these again.
Atlanta Falcons – 22
Listen, the Falcons offense is really good. The Falcons defense is really bad. The coaching is horrendous, in terms of consistency and sustainability. Julio Jones is on pace to drop 64 passes this season, and they’re using Hayden Hurst incorrectly. The 32% target share for Russell Gage is good for my fantasy teams, though.
Washington Football Team – 23
This team might have the best defensive line in football, but it doesn’t matter, because the rest of the team is hot garbage (not you, Terry McLaurin). They are a very confusing 1-1, and it wouldn’t shock me if Week 1 was their only win.. or if they somehow won the division.
Denver Broncos – 24
If the team didn’t lose Von Miller, Drew Lock, Courtland Sutton, and Phillip Lindsay all within the first two weeks of the season, they’re probably much higher on this list. Unfortunately, they did lose all of those guys, some for longer than others, and have an 0-2 record to go with it. They had the game against the Steelers, until Jeff Driskel Jeff Driskel’d. They have spunk.. but not enough of it.
New York Giants – 25
Count me among the folks that think this team is better than their record. They came out swinging against the Steelers in Week 1, and if it wasn’t for a 2019-esque Daniel Jones interception, they likely would be 1-1. We’d be having a different conversation. If it wasn’t for an ill-timed offensive pass interference penalty, they’d likely be 2-0, and we’d all be questioning why we thought they’d be bad. Losing Saquon Barkley for the year trends this team down.
Philadelphia Eagles – 26
Rounding out what might be the worst division in football, the Eagles are a product of every bad luck scenario that you can imagine, in two week’s time. Carson Wentz is getting beaten like he owes somebody money (it’s the Eagles, he robbed them), and even when he’s not being pressured, he’s throwing picks like he’s playing basketball.
Jacksonville Jaguars – 27
Minshew Mania came to a crashing halt on Thursday, as the Dolphins defense made him look like a second-year sixth-round pick. You’d like to see more consistency from the guy who the front office is taking a chance on. James Robinson looks like a stud, huh? You’d also like to see K’lavon Chaisson and Josh Allen turn up the heat, especially facing bad offensive lines.
Miami Dolphins – 28
Speaking of the Dolphins.. I think we’ve seen enough Fitzmagic (one week) to know that it’s downhill from here on out. Let Tua get his reps. And for the love of the gods, can somebody please heal Devante Parker.
Cincinnati Bengals – 29
Joe Burrow is good. Except for when he’s not. Call them rookie mistakes if you’d like, but a passing offense that has AJ Green, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins should be more.. explosive. Cycle Joe Mixon in there, and that’s an offense that any coordinator can win with. So why aren’t they? The offensive line is possibly the worst in the league.
Carolina Panthers – 30
Christian McCaffery is sidelined for awhile. That means the offense is on the back of Teddy Two-Gloves and DJ Moore. With a faltering defense and not a lot of offensive firepower through two weeks, count me out as far as people that believe in the Carolina team.
Detroit Lions – 31
The Lions have dropped four straight games where they have had a double-digit lead at some point in the game. No team has ever done that. Ever. In the entirety of football history. Matthew Stafford is wasting away in a hellscape of football purgatory.
New York Jets – 32
This is the worst team in football, and it isn’t particularly close. Their quarterback flashes about as bright as a dim bulb, the offensive line is gross, the defense looks like they just traded away their best player, and their wide receiver corps is worse than the 2015 Baltimore Ravens. Oh yeah, and Adam Gase is the head coach.
You don’t have to like these rankings, but they’re the best power rankings you’re going to get. Want to fight about it? Find me on Twitter, @LateRoundCorner.