In an effort to kill some time and keep busy writing during what looks to be another lengthy NHL lockout, I’ve decided to devote more of my efforts to football, specifically, the NFL.
Without further ado, I’d like to welcome you all to the first installment of our new weekly NFL power rankings feature, to be found here each and every Thursday evening on Rant Sports. Yes, I know today is Friday, but from here on out, these pieces will be published on Thursday. Helping me out in this season-long endeavor will be my good buddy Anthony Travalgia. Anthony is an experienced NHL writer and avid football fan. All of his work can be found over at BruinsDaily.com. We have each taken half of the NFL’s 32 teams and offered our thoughts on each in an alternating fashion.
32) Tennessee Titans (0-2) (Benjamin)
– After a respectable first half performance against New England in week one, its been all downhill for the Tennessee Titans. Mike Munchak‘s team will look to right the ship at home against the Lions on Sunday.
31) Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) (Anthony)
– Shaun Draughn has five less rushing yards then Jamaal Charles. Charles also has double the carries Draughn has.
30) Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) (Benjamin)
– This pick is more about potential than anything else. With a loaded offensive core, the Jaguars could have a respectable season. That is, if their defense ever gets the memo.
29) Oakland Raiders (0-2) (Anthony)
– Already at 0-2, and three difficult opponents coming up, Raider fans may want to go hide in the black hole for a few weeks.
28) Cleveland Browns (0-2) (Benjamin)
– Brandon Weeden wasn’t an unmitigated disaster this week. That’s a huge step forward for the Browns.
27) New Orleans Saints (0-2) (Anthony)
– The Saints are doing a great job proving to the world that coaching does make a huge difference. Luckily for them the Chiefs come to town Sunday.
26) Minnesota Vikings (1-1) (Benjamin)
– After a dramatic win over the Jags in week one, I’d expected a lot more out of the Vikings against a very beatable Colts’ squad. The Vikes will host the 49ers this week… Good luck with that…
25) Miami Dolphins (1-1) (Anthony)
– Who is this Reggie Bush fella, and where has he been the past seven seasons?
24) Indianapolis Colts (1-1) (Benjamin)
– Andrew Luck still has quite a ways to go in his NFL development, but has shown all the necessary tools to one day become the player Jim Irsay hoped he would be when drafting him back in April.
23) St. Louis Rams (1-1) (Anthony)
– Could a nice showing from Daryl Richardson lead to less carries for Steven Jackson, and the beginning of the end of the Jackson era in St. Louis?
22) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) (Benjamin)
– The Bucs had the defending champs on the ropes in their own backyard… and they just couldn’t hold on. On the bright side, Vincent Jackson has been an absolute superstar in their offense. $55 million dollars, well spent.
21) Washington Redskins (1-1) (Anthony)
– RG3 looks better then expected. Alfred Morris has been a pleasant surprise. Now where is the defense?
20) Buffalo Bills (1-1) (Benjamin)
– For as bad as the Bills looked in week one, they looked almost as good in week two. Albeit, against a very weak Chiefs team, the Bills offense looks tremendously explosive behind young tailback C.J. Spiller.
19) Carolina Panthers (1-1) (Anthony)
– The Panthers need more than Cam Newton to step up in the run game if they plan on winning more games anytime soon.
18) Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) (Benjamin)
– The Bengals still have a lot to prove after their season opening blowout loss in Baltimore, but this week’s 34-point output from Andy Dalton and the offense was most certainly a good sign for Cincinnati.
17) Seattle Seahawks (1-1) (Anthony)
– After a near flawless win over the Cowboys, a win over the Packers on Monday Night Football could really go a long way for Pete Carroll‘s team.
16) Dallas Cowboys (1-1) (Benjamin)
– After a win over the defending Superbowl champions at MetLife Stadium, it looked like the Cowboys were ready for a breakout season. However, a major setback in Seattle has fans wondering if this is just the same old Cowboys.
15) Chicago Bears(1-1) (Anthony)
– One week he looks so good, then he looks so bad the next. Welcome to the world of Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears.
14) Detroit Lions (1-1) (Benjamin)
– The Lions were lucky to escape with a win in week one, but were able to survive against St. Louis. Then, they didn’t look too out-of-place in San Francisco on Sunday night.
13) Arizona Cardinals (2-0) (Anthony)
– Larry Fitzgerald has five catches for 67 yards and the Cardinals are still 2-0.
12) New York Jets (1-1) (Benjamin)
– From juggernaut to joke, the Jets offense took a major drop off in production this week after a 40-plus point output against the Bills in week one.
11) New York Giants (1-1) (Anthony)
– The defending Super Bowl Champs needed fourth quarter superhero Eli Manning to complete a comeback win last week against the Buccaneers to avoid a 0-2 start.
10) San Diego Chargers (2-0) (Benjamin)
– The Chargers haven’t beaten anyone worth noting, but their perfect 2-0 record earns them a spot in the top ten.
9) Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) (Anthony)
– The Eagles defense looks like the one we all expected it to be last season. The offense looks like the one we did see last year.
8) Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) (Benjamin)
– Pittsburgh had a strong bounce-back game against the Jets after a tough opening loss in Denver. The Steelers have a very winnable game this week out in Oakland against the Raiders.
7) New England Patriots (1-1) (Anthony)
– The Patriots lose at home to the Cardinals on a missed game winning field a week before their AFC Championship rematch with the Ravens. Irony?
6) Baltimore Ravens (1-1) (Benjamin)
– Joe Flacco returned to earth this week after a phenomenal season-opening performance. Sunday night will be a huge test for the Ravens in an AFC Championship game rematch against the Patriots.
5) Green Bay Packers (1-1) (Anthony)
– Without top Wide Receiver Greg Jennings, the Packers bounced back with a nice win against their division rivals in Chicago where they left Quarterback Jay Cutler pointing fingers.
4) Denver Broncos (1-1) (Benjamin)
– The Denver offense looked sluggish in the first half against Atlanta, with Peyton Manning throwing three interceptions, but the Broncos nearly completed a fourth quarter comeback. It won’t get any easier as they prepare to welcome the Texans to Mile High Stadium.
3) Atlanta Falcons (2-0) (Anthony)
– The Falcons have gone to a pass heavy offense and it has worked out very well for Matt Ryan and company. Julio Jones and Roddy White are arguably the best 1-2 punch in the league.
2) Houston Texans (2-0) (Benjamin)
– The Texans will face their first real test of the season up in Denver on Sunday. Their defense has been impressive to begin the year, but Matt Schaub and the offense will need to step it up if the Texans hope to beat the Broncos this week.
1) San Francisco 49ers (2-0) (Anthony)
– Remember that one off-season where the 49ers didn’t want Alex Smith as their Quarterback? I’d say they’re pretty happy with him right now.
Thanks for reading!