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. 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. The net change from week’s rank is now listed in parenthesis. (D = Down, U = Up, E = Even).
32) Cleveland Browns (0-3) (Anthony) (D-4)
– Already at 0-3, and a Thursday night showdown in Baltimore, my money is leaning towards an 0-4 start for the Browns.
31) New Orleans Saints (0-3) (Benjamin) (D-4)
– After an overtime loss in the Superdome to the lowly Chiefs, I think it’s safe to say that the Saints have hit rock bottom. It doesn’t get any easier with a trip to Green Bay coming up this week.
30) Carolina Panthers (1-2) (Anthony) (D-11)
– Thursday night the Giants could of told the Panthers what play they were running, and still would have had trouble stopping them.
29) St. Louis Rams (1-2) (Benjamin) (D-6)
– The Rams have been up and down this season. New head coach Jeff Fisher has definitely made that team a tougher opponent to take the field against, but a lack of consistency will be their Achilles heel.
28) Oakland Raiders (1-2) (Anthony) (U-1)
– A big win against the Broncos this week could be just what the doctor ordered for the Raiders.
27) Indianapolis Colts (1-2) (Benjamin) (D-3)
– The Colts dropped a heart-breaker at home to the Jags last Sunday, but have the benefit of an early bye week to try and straighten things out.
26) Washington Redskins (1-2) (Anthony) (D-5)
– If RG3 can play defense and help stop the pass, the Skins can win some games.
25) Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) (Benjamin) (U-6)
– The Chiefs’ disastrous defense actually improved this week against New Orleans, shutting down Drew Brees for the entire second half. Oh yeah, and Jamaal Charles’ breakout game has certainly brightened the outlook on things in KC.
24) Tennessee Titans (1-2) (Anthony) (U-8)
– Can somebody notify the Titans that Chris Johnson does play football for the Titans, actually scratch that. Can someone notify Chris Johnson that he plays football for the Titans.
23) Miami Dolphins (1-2) (Benjamin) (U-2)
– The ‘Phins nearly picked up their second win of the season last week against the Jets, but failures in the kicking game helped New York to prevail in overtime. The Dolphins will now hit the road to take on a red hot Arizona squad at University of Phoenix Stadium.
22) Detroit Lions (1-2) (Anthony) (D-8)
– Quarterback Matthew Stafford left last weeks game with an injury and is questionable for this weeks contest, bet you haven’t heard this before.
21) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) (Benjamin) (U-9)
– The Jaguars picked up their first win against the Colts on Sunday and will have a chance to built upon their momentum with a very winnable game at home against the Bengals.
20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2) (Anthony) (U-2)
– Tampa’s defense confused and rattled Dallas’ Tony Romo all day last Sunday, but then again, that’s not that difficult to do.
19) Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) (Benjamin) (D-11)
– The Steelers have taken a monumental step back in the power rankings here after an absolute collapse on defense against Darren McFadden and the Raiders. They will have a bye this week and take on in-state rival Philadelphia in two weeks.
18) Denver Broncos (1-2) (Anthony) (D-14)
– This is the week Peyton Manning has his coming out party and shows the league that he and the Broncos are going to be just fine.
17) New York Jets (2-1) (Benjamin) (D-5)
– The Jets got the win on Sunday in Miami, but the loss of superstar cornerback Darrelle Revis to an ACL injury all but eliminates their chances of making a deep run this season.
16) Buffalo Bills (2-1) (Anthony) (U-4)
– Put all three Bills’ running backs names into a hat and pull one out. That’s how you decide on who focus your game plan on if you’re the Patriots this week.
15) San Diego Chargers (2-1) (Benjamin) (D-5)
– After a pair of wins against cream-puff opponents, the Chargers were really exposed by the Atlanta Falcons in their own backyard, losing the game 27-3. Antonio Gates‘ lack of production is also not a good sign for Phillip Rivers‘ offense.
14) New England Patriots (1-2) (Anthony) (D-7)
– It’s always impressive when you can put 30 points on the board in Baltimore, but it’s not impressive when your defense allows 31.
13) Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) (Benjamin) (U-5)
– Cincinnati’s offense has been about as explosive as it gets over the past two weeks. Only problem is, their defense has given up an average of 34 points per game thus far this season. Yikes.
12) Chicago Bears (2-1) (Anthony) (U-3)
– It only took three quarters for the Bears to realize they were playing the Rams last week.
11) Minnesota Vikings (2-1) (Benjamin) (U-15)
– I didn’t think there was any team in the NFL that could dominate the San Francisco 49ers. Never did I think there was a possibility that team could be the Minnesota Vikings. Hats off to them. Tremendously impressive victory.
10) Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) (Anthony) (D-1)
– Could Mike Vick‘s job be on the line? All those turnovers wont help his case.
9) Seattle Seahawks (2-1) (Benjamin) (U-8)
– By hook or by crook, the Seahawks are 2-1 and tied atop the NFC West. Their young defense has looked superb over the past two weeks, allowing a total of just 19 points to a pair of the NFL’s best offenses.
8) Green Bay Packers (1-2) (Anthony) (D-3)
– Yes the Packers should be 2-1, but at least the Packers’ loss forced the NFL’s hand and got the real referees to come back.
7) Dallas Cowboys (2-1) (Benjamin) (U-9)
– The Cowboys got things back on track with a win over the Bucs, but I’m still not sold on an offense that’s posted just 23 total points over the past two weeks.
6) San Francisco 49ers (2-1) (Anthony) (D-5)
– The 49ers are no longer a lock to win the NFC West.
5) New York Giants (2-1) (Benjamin) (U-6)
– The defending champs really righted the ship this week against the Panthers, hammering Cam Newton and company for a 29-point road victory. The Giants have a huge divisional match-up coming against the Eagles in Philly on Sunday Night Football.
4) Arizona Cardinals (3-0) (Anthony) (U-9)
– If you haven’t jumped aboard the Cardinals bandwagon yet, I suggest you do so. It’s going to be a fun ride.
3) Baltimore Ravens (2-1) (Benjamin) (U-3)
– Despite allowing 30 points, the Ravens still managed to escape with a victory over the visiting Patriots. If Joe Flacco and the offense can continually produce points at the rate they have this season, the Ravens will be one heck of a tough team to beat.
2) Atlanta Falcons (3-0) (Anthony) (U-1)
– A dominating win in San Diego labels the Falcons as the best team the NFC has to offer.
1) Houston Texans (3-0) (Benjamin) (U-1)
– A six-point win over the Broncos has vaulted Houston into the no. 1 spot this week. After a home game against the Titans this week, the Texans will travel to New York to face the Jets before returning to Texas for a date with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. These two games will be a tremendous test for what I believe to be the best team in the AFC.
Thanks for reading!