RankingsSeptember 22, 2011

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NFL Rankings: Adjusting to Week 2 - 6 comments

By R.J. White

Two weeks in, we’re starting to see a pretty nice divide between the good and the bad teams. Surely not all 2-0 teams are going to go on to playoff glory — I’m looking at you, Mike Shanahan — but I do feel fairly confident in saying all the 0-2 teams are going to miss the post-season. Sure, the Rams could still work their way back in a weak division, but they didn’t look very good on Monday night in a game that should have been competitive. We could see a big shakeup in our next set of rankings, as the top three teams play tough road games. In fact, there’s a decent chance that the winner of the Patriots-Bills game could be the last remaining undefeated team after Week 3.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. As you can tell in the comment field of each team, not even I think these rankings are perfect, but I do feel they pretty accurately represent the first two weeks of action.

RankPreviousTeamRecordWeek 2Week 3
11Green Bay Packers2-0W, CAR 30-23at CHI
The Pats would likely be favored on a neutral field against the Pack, but GB is still the reigning champ.
22New England Patriots2-0W, SD 35-21at BUF
They might look unstoppable early, but it’s a long season, and the Pats play in a pretty tough division.
36Houston Texans2-0W, MIA 23-13at NO
Even with fantasy monster Arian Foster in and out the lineup, the Texans look like an elite team. Well done, Wade.
47New York Jets2-0W, JAC 32-3at OAK
The best teams destroy opponents they should beat, which is what the Jets did to Luke McCown’s career as a starter.
58Detroit Lions2-0W, KC 48-3at MIN
Settle down, Lions fans. It was the Chiefs. Still, it’s hard not to be impressed by this team, especially when healthy.
612New Orleans Saints1-1W, CHI 30-12vs. HOU
Saints beat the Bears, who beat the Falcons, who beat the Eagles. Sounds good enough to make NO our top 1-1 team.
75Baltimore Ravens1-1L, TEN 13-26at STL
The Ravens likely deserve to slip a little further, but it’s hard to put them under the Steelers just one week after Week 1.
810Pittsburgh Steelers1-1W, SEA 24-0at IND
Beating the Seahawks 24-0 at home is like beating a decent team 17-14. Need to see more from Pittsburgh.
99Chicago Bears1-1L, NO 12-30vs. SF
Atlanta will pass them before long, but let’s give the Bears another week to relish that Week 1 win.
1011Atlanta Falcons1-1W, PHI 35-31at TB
The Falcons won a tough, physical game at home against a Super Bowl contender, putting them back on the rise.
113Philadelphia Eagles1-1L, ATL 31-35vs. NYG
They shouldn’t have dropped this far, but we’re going to put them behind ATL after losing that Sunday night game.
124San Diego Chargers1-1L, NE 21-35vs. KC
Another team that slid much too far, but dominating KC (a given) will send them back up the ranks a bit.
1313Dallas Cowboys1-1W, SF 27-24vs. WAS
Dallas pulled out a tough road win against the 49ers, a team I suspect isn’t that good. Need to beat Washington at home.
1418Washington Redskins2-0W, ARI 22-21at DAL
One of two “pretender” 2-0 teams, the Redskins get a chance for a “respect” win at Dallas in Week 3.
1520Buffalo Bills2-0W, OAK 38-35vs. NE
What a fun team to watch. They could give the Pats all they can handle, and if they pull out the win? Look out, NFL.
1617Tampa Bay Buccaneers1-1W, MIN 24-20vs. ATL
The Bucs gutted out a win that looked beyond their reach to avoid 0-2, but they have to play well over the full 60.
1723Tennessee Titans1-1W, BAL 26-13vs. DEN
Great win by my favorite sleeper team of 2011. I can see them settling into the top-15 range this year.
1825New York Giants1-1W, STL 28-16at PHI
This group won the battle of injury plagued teams and now faces a seriously tough test in Philadelphia.
1914Oakland Raiders1-1L, BUF 35-38vs. NYJ
What an epic defensive collapse against what may be a not-so-good team. Denarius Moore looks like a keeper though.
2015Arizona Cardinals1-1L, WAS 21-22at SEA
A win against Washington could have handed them the NFC West on a silver platter. Arizona has to put away wins late.
2121San Francisco 49ers1-1L, DAL 24-27at CIN
They hung with a much better team for four quarters, so we’ll keep them at 21. Need to find a passing game, though.
2230Denver Broncos1-1W, CIN 24-22at TEN
It’s a little unbelievable that this team won with so many of their best players out. Cincy might be very bad.
2322Cincinnati Bengals1-1L, DEN 22-24vs. SF
So, this Andy Dalton kid may be a winner. If they want respect, the Bengals should beat San Francisco handily.
2429Cleveland Browns1-1W, IND 27-19vs. MIA
Road wins are always hard to come by, even against bad teams, so give the Browns some credit for this one.
2519Jacksonville Jaguars1-1L, NYJ 3-32at CAR
They’re certainly in worse shape than this, but let’s keep the no-win teams collected at the bottom, OK?
2626Carolina Panthers0-2L, GB 23-30vs. JAC
Carolina has absolutely earned “best no-win team” accolades after two weeks; in the AFC South, they’d be dangerous.
2716St. Louis Rams0-2L, NYG 16-28vs. BAL
I felt they could steal a win in New York; boy, was I wrong. I think they’ll be much better than this over the rest of the year.
2824Miami Dolphins0-2L, HOU 13-23at CLE
You’ve simply got to play well at home to have a shot at competing, but Miami is 1-9 in last ten at home.
2927Minnesota Vikings0-2L, TB 20-24vs. DET
It’s not like Tampa has a dynamic offense (like Buffalo), so this choke job was pretty inexcusable.
3032Seattle Seahawks0-2L, PIT 0-24vs. ARI
I think the Seahawks defense is the best unit out of the Os and Ds of the bottom three teams, so I’ll stick ‘em here.
3131Indianapolis Colts0-2L, CLE 19-27vs. PIT
They’d win in Seattle maybe two times out of 10 right now, while the Seahawks could split in Indy. This team is awful …
3228Kansas City Chiefs0-2L, DET 3-48at SD
… But not as bad at the Chiefs. Last in points scored and points allowed? Is every game going to be a 35-point blowout?

R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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6 Responses to “NFL Rankings: Adjusting to Week 2”

  1. Hippo45 says:

    “The Bucs gutted out a win that looked beyond their reach to avoid 0-2, but they have to play well over the full 60.”

    What does “they have to play well over the full 60″ mean?

    I would say that Minnesota is the best no-win team considering they were up at half time in both games and lost both in the fourth quarter.

    Also the comment for the Vikings doesn’t make sense to me since they didn’t play Buffalo in Week 1. They played the San Diego Chargers.

    I don’t see how you can say the Eagles are super bowl contenders and then rank them 11th which put them barely into the playoffs. Eagles would have won that game if Vick doesn’t get injured. Just because Atlanta beat them doesn’t mean you have to put them ahead of the Eagles. Furthermore, the game was played in Atlanta which gives them an advantage.

    This list barely looks like a power ranking and looks more like a list of the standings. Power Rankings are supposed to be used as a strength of a team and not just a measure of win/loss record. Only the Bills and Redskins are ranked like a power ranking would be ranked.

  2. User avatar daullaz says:

    “The full 60″ is the full 60 minutes.

    Buffalo and Tampa had the two big comebacks in the second half this week. Buffalo has a dynamic offense that has made them the top scoring team in the league over two weeks. Tampa Bay doesn’t have a great offense. Ahead 17 at the half against the Bucs, you have to be able to put away that win. It’s a little more excusable when you’re up against a team like the Bills.

    And it’s not a “power ranking” in the way you’re thinking. These are NFL rankings, where we give more credence to wins and losses. It’s meant to be reactive to what’s actually happening on the field, so the standings play a big part. I agree that the Eagles aren’t the 11th best team in the league, and I’m almost positive they’re going to be moving up the rankings.

    The top 12 teams aren’t necessarily my picks for the playoffs at any given time. It’s a reflection of what’s already happened. The Eagles lost to the Falcons, who lost to the Bears, who lost to the Saints, and that’s reflected in the order. Obviously, that line of thinking breaks down rather quickly — I couldn’t bring myself to rank the Jags over the Titans or the Titans over the Ravens — but we’re going to try and stick to it as much as we can.

    It would be much more boring as a standard “power ranking,” as I would just stick to my initial valuations in the early going and assume things would even out over time.

    You can check out last week’s comments section for more on the subject.

  3. Hippo45 says:

    But the Bucs didn’t have to play over the “full 60″ minutes to get a win. They beat the Vikings in regulation. So I still don’t quite understand that comment.

    Also, I don’t see how the Bills have a dynamic offense compared to the Bucs. Freeman is known for fourth quarter comebacks. He has already had 8 in his short career. The Bills on the other hand have played two terrible defenses. The Chiefs, who gave up 48 points to the Lions, and the Raiders. It’s not that the Bills have a great offense that is doing this, but rather the teams that they have played have bad defenses.

  4. shortbus says:

    Hippo45: In NFL games there are 4 quarters, and each quarter is 15 minutes long. 15 x 4 equals 60 minutes total in a game. So, 60 minutes is regulation. What R.J. is saying is that you can’t play well for 30 minutes, and play horribly for 30 minutes and expect to win games. This may work against bottom tier teams, but you can’t play inconsistantly and expect to win games against playoff contenders. In the case of Tampa Bay, they can’t expect to win 60 minute games in the last 15 minutes. Comebacks are exciting to watch, but consistancy is more desireable.

  5. User avatar joejlitz says:

    This format for rankings is so much more visually pleasing. Good job!

  6. please checkout my rankings


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