Seattle Seahawks (1-0) - Previously: #1 - The Seahawks triumphed in an ugly game at Carolina. Some may knock them down for that, but if you think about it, they beat the spread by just as many points (1.5) as the 49ers in Week 1. I thought it was pretty impressive how they overcame a dreaded 10 a.m. local start and a fierce Carolina defense to start the season 1-0.
San Francisco 49ers (1-0) - Previously: #2 - Is there a term for people who are always one step ahead of one of their main rivals? Think Walter White over Hank in Breaking Bad, Vic Mackey over the entire police department in the Shield and Jack Bauer over all terrorists in 24. That's what it's like with Jim Harbaugh and Mike McCarthy. I can only imagine the discussions he had with his coaching staff prior to the game...
Harbaugh: LOL can you still believe the Packers weren't prepared for the read-option in the playoffs? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.
Assistant Coach: Hey coach, did you hear that the Packers spent all summer watching the read-option at Texas A&M?
Harbaugh: LOL such idiots. I guess we'll just have Colin throw the ball to Anquan Boldin instead of run the read-option LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.
Denver Broncos (1-0) - Previously: #4 - Seven touchdowns is just ridiculous. I guess that's what happens when you pair a mastermind quarterback like Peyton Manning with so many talented weapons. Manning is currently on pace for 7,392 yards and 112 touchdowns. My condolences to anyone who has to play against him in fantasy.
I'm still listing the Broncos behind the Seahawks and 49ers because I don't like Denver's defense as much. I think the Broncos' stop unit looked a little too good in the opener once Michael Oher was knocked out of the game. Of course they dominated with an immobile, fifth-round rookie right tackle trying to block Shaun Phillips.
New Orleans Saints (1-0) - Previously: #5 - Captain Lou Albano's new defense in New Orleans was relatively outstanding in its debut against the Falcons. If the Saints can limit good offenses to around 17 points, they're not going to lose many games. I just wish the Saints would completely cut Mark Ingram out of the game plan. He sucks. Time to move on from that sunk cost.
Green Bay Packers (0-1) - Previously: #6 - Aaron Rodgers was awesome against the 49ers. It's just a shame that his great performance was ruined because of Jermichael Finley's drop-interception and a terrible ruling by the officials to give San Francisco a free touchdown.
It's truly remarkable that Rodgers played this way considering the off-the-field issues he had to deal with this summer. I mean, Rodgers was implicated in a homicide after all. To kill some guy and then throw for 333 yards and three touchdowns against one of the toughest defenses in the NFL? Mad props to Rodgers!
By the way, is it just me, or does Jeremy Schaap sound like the creepiest dude of all time? My skin crawls every time I hear his voice.
New England Patriots (1-0) - Previously: #3 - New England didn't look sharp at all in its debut. I know Tom Brady has rookie receivers to work with, but how does he not dominate a Buffalo secondary missing both Jairus Byrd and Stephon Gilmore?
Brady is holding this team together though. The Patriots better hope he stays healthy, or else this will happen (thanks to Descendency for posting this):
Atlanta Falcons (0-1) - Previously: #8 - Should Atlanta fans be encouraged that its defense, comprised of many new players, limited the Saints to just 23 points? Or should they be discouraged that the offense put up just 17, thanks to an offensive line that had trouble blocking the Saints of all teams? I'm not really sure about that, but the Falcons should at least be worried that New Orleans is back at full strength.
Houston Texans (1-0) - Previously: #11 - Go to my NFL Game Recaps page for analysis of the Texans-Chargers game.
Washington Redskins (0-1) - Previously: #7 - The Redskins looked awful early on against the Eagles, but perhaps this was to be expected because Robert Griffin missed the entire preseason. I feel like what we saw out of them in the fourth quarter is the "real" Washington. I'll give them a mulligan considering the circumstances.
Chicago Bears (1-0) - Previously: #14 - This No. 10 spot was a tough decision. It came down to the Bears, Bengals and Ravens. Chicago was the only team that won out of the three, but then again, it was the only squad that played at home this past weekend. Still though, Jay Cutler will be more efficient this year because he has more weapons to work with.
Speaking of Cutler, I'm sure Bear fans who bought Rotoworld's fantasy magazine nearly suffered a heart attack when they saw the following (Body Burner sent this to me):
How many casual fans were looking at that and thinking, "HOLY S*** DID WE REALLY TRADE CUTLER TO THE RAMS!?!?!?"
NFL Power Rankings: Week 2 - Bottom 10
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) - Previously: #31 - You know you're pretty terrible when Scott Hanson makes fun of you. The NFL Red Zone host ridiculed Blaine Gabbert when he said, "Blaine Gabbert, playing with an injured thumb... Well, it looks like he's playing with two injured thumbs on this interception to Tamba Hali." God, the Jaguars are awful.
31. Oakland Raiders (0-1) - Previously: #32 - I'm still not completely sure how the Raiders were able to stay competitive with the Colts despite barely having any NFL talent on their roster. I suppose it involved poor Indianapolis coaching (set the freaking edge!), Dwayne Allen's injury and some lethargy on the Colts' part. Still though, the Raiders most likely won't go 0-16. My friend in Oakland actually told me the fans are pretty excited for this team for the first time in a while, so expect a hyped-up crowd next Sunday.
30. Cleveland Browns (0-1) - Previously: #20 - I'm an idiot. I grew optimistic about the Browns' chances once I saw them in the preseason. However, this was after I released my season preview for them in which I had them finishing 3-13. I received a ton of flak for this from Cleveland fans, including Jon S. who wrote:
Geez, Walt. At first I thought you were evaluating the Obama administration. Then I realized it was your assessment of the Browns.
Next time, I won't be fooled by another awesome Cleveland preseason. I've learned my lesson.
29. New York Jets (1-0) - Previously: #30 - I don't want to hear "OMGGGG YOUR AN IDIOT THE JET BEATTHE BUCCC AND THE JET RANKED LLOWER THEN THE BUCC ON POWARR RATTIGNNG!!!" I picked the Jets to beat the Buccaneers. They won, but they were at home and they needed a crazy penalty by Lavonte David to get into field goal range. New York was lucky to triumph, but there is at least some cause for optimism.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) - Previously: #28 - I've said enough about the Buccaneers and why they're terrible. It was nice to see that everything was confirmed in the loss to the Jets. Oh, and by the way, some Buccaneer writer says that Walter Football is an Awful Web site. My initial reactions to seeing this:
2. It should be "Web site;" not "website," per the Associated Press Stylebook. Need moar journalism classez.
3. Free backlink from SB Nation. Woohoo!
4. As Bill Simmons said, the bigger you get, the more people are going to hate.
5. Bucs homers know I'm right; otherwise they wouldn't be so mad.
27. San Diego Chargers (0-1) - Previously: #29 - As I posted on Twitter (@walterfootball):
Just got a text: When does the Chargers head coach rip off his Mike McCoy mask to reveal that he's really Norv Turner?
26. Buffalo Bills (0-1) - Previously: #27 - I need to see one more strong performance from the Bills (including a win) to move them up my power rankings. A lot of weird stuff happened in that New England contest, including Stevan Ridley's non-contact fumble returned for a touchdown. Would Buffalo have been competitive if that never happened? I'm not so sure.
25. Minnesota Vikings (0-1) - Previously: #16 - Right after Adrian Peterson's opening 78-yard touchdown, I tweeted (@walterfootball): @AdrianPeterson is on pace for 14,976 rushing yards this season."
Think I was a bit excited that Peterson gave my three-unit pick an instant 7-0 lead? Well, the Vikings collapsed, prompting a couple of Minnesota fans who are usually optimistic to e-mail me and say that this is going to be a long season. Oh, man...
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) - Previously: #17 - The Steelers couldn't block before the Maurkice Pouncey injury. What are they going to do now? And when are they going to realize that Todd Haley sucks?
Speaking of Haley, yes, I think it's time to post the awesome Haley gif yet again:
23. Tennessee Titans (1-0) - Previously: #26 - The Titans had a nice win, but Maurkice Pouncey's absence made that a bit too easy.
It's still time for the Adventures of Stupid Vince and Senile Bud! In this week's episode...
Bud Adams: Man servant, come here quickly. I am confused. It says here my team was up against the Pittsburgh Steelers by the score of 16-2 in the fourth quarter. How did Pittsburgh score two points? As far as I know, you can only get sevens and threes in football.
Vince Young: Derrr, I tink Steel guy get two extra pointy.
Bud Adams: Weh? Don't be silly, man servant. You can only get extra points after touchdowns and safeties.
Vince Young: I dunno ha. I score sometime when I play football, but we sometime kick extra pointy when we no score ha.
Bud Adams: This is news to me! Get Coach Fisher in here now so he can confirm this.
Vince Young: Derrr, I tink that guy coach on team with bull animal.
Bud Adams: Bull animals? I think you mean the Buffalo Bills. That douche Ralph Wilson would steal my coach away. Quick, man servant, find a way to steal Thurman Thomas away from the Bills. Running back is a weakness on our team.
Vince Young: What bout C2KJ... uhh... CKJ2... uhh... CFB2... uhhh... I forget letter in good order.
Bud Adams: It's R2D2, man servant. R2D2 was the robot in that movie about space.
Vince Young: Derrr, I tink we talking about other guy ha.
Bud Adams: Weh? What other guy? Stop trying to confuse me, man servant, or I'll fire you.
NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1). Previously: #15
12. Baltimore Ravens (0-1). Previously: #9
13. New York Giants (0-1). Previously: #10
14. St. Louis Rams (1-0). Previously: #12
15. Dallas Cowboys (1-0). Previously: #21
16. Miami Dolphins (1-0). Previously: #18
17. Detroit Lions (1-0). Previously: #22
18. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0). Previously: #25
19. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0). Previously: #24
20. Carolina Panthers (0-1). Previously: #25
21. Indianapolis Colts (1-0). Previously: #13
22. Arizona Cardinals (0-1). Previously: #23
Something new this year - I'm keeping track of precise run defense, pass defense and pass protection rankings in Excel. The benefit to this is that it'll be broken down by week. Here are the download links: