Seattle Seahawks (2-0) - Previously: #1 - I want to like Richard Sherman. But he was a complete douche to a nice, old man like Skip Bayless. And then he had this to say after last night's victory: "There are a lot of pundits and ignorant idiots who thought, 'Oh, the Seahawks are gonna lose this game.' Well, please, please don't doubt us again. Every time you doubt us, you look stupid."
Congrats on insulting the entire nation, Dick. Most people picked the 49ers, so I guess we're all ignorant idiots. And why not say this before the game? Would you have said this if you had lost? Hey, I picked the Seahawks and had two units on them per my NFL Picks page, but I still found this comment distasteful.
Speaking of Sherman, the NBC announcers said that his mom was so nice to everyone in the neighborhood that the local gang members wouldn't let him hang out with them. What the hell did she do, sing songs with birds, rabbits, deer and other animals dancing around her?
San Francisco 49ers (1-1) - Previously: #2 - I'm not going to penalize the 49ers for losing to the best team in the league in an impossible environment. Besides, San Francisco will just return the favor by beating Seattle at Candlestick later in the season. I guess Richard Sherman will think I'm an ignorant idiot that week.
Denver Broncos (2-0) - Previously: #3 - Many are declaring the Broncos to be the top team in the NFL. I can totally see that argument, but I'm not sure I like Peyton Manning's chances against the ridiculous Seattle and San Francisco defenses. Manning has posted awesome numbers thus far, but as many NFL analysts have noted, his arm doesn't look the same. We all saw what happened when he was matched up against an elite stop unit like Baltimore's in the playoffs this past January. Having said that, I wouldn't criticize anyone for having the Broncos No. 1 in their power rankings.
Green Bay Packers (1-1) - Previously: #5 - There's little doubt the Packers deserve the No. 4 slot. They nearly won in San Francisco - if Jermichael Finley didn't have the ball tip off his hands and end up in a 49er defenders' arms, Green Bay probably would've prevailed in a very hostile environment. The Packers then went on to completely demolish the Redskins. Aaron Rodgers is playing the best football of his career right now.
New Orleans Saints (2-0) - Previously: #4 - There are four clear-cut top teams in the NFL. I had trouble picking the No. 5 team, but I settled on the Saints.
Here's what I wrote last week: "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."
Ugh. I shouldn't have more knowledge of the Saints' offense than Sean Payton himself. That's not how it's supposed to work. Why is Ingram still getting carries? HE IS TERRIBLE. In fact, here was my reaction to New Orleans running the ball with Ingram on fourth-and-goal right before halftime when the slow plodder was stuffed behind the goal line:
"WHAT THE F***!? YOU HAVE DREW F***ING BREES, AND YOU'RE GOING TO RUN THE BALL WITH THAT PIECE OF S***!? WHAT THE F***, SEAN PAYTON!??!"
Oh, and when Brees threw the pick-six to give the Buccaneers the cover despite the fact that they did nothing on offense the entire game:
"ARE YOU F***ING SERIOUS!? WHAT THE F*** WAS THAT!? WHAT THE F*** WAS THAT!?!?!? DREW BREES IS NOT SUPPOSED TO F***ING DO THAT! WHAT THE F***!!!"
This is what happens when I lose a bet on a bad beat.
Atlanta Falcons (1-1) - Previously: #7 - Considering the Falcons didn't have Roddy White, Steven Jackson, Asante Samuel and Kroy Biermann for long stretches of the game, their first-half blowout against the Rams was pretty impressive. But couldn't they let the Rams lose by six or fewer points? Why'd it have to be seven? It's almost as if Mike Smith reads this Web site and has a personal vendetta against me because I've made fun of his eyebrows. Mike, if you're reading this, I'm sorry! Now please give me betting victories, thanks.
Houston Texans (2-0) - Previously: #8 - To any Texan fan who went to Sunday's game: How was it? You got to watch your team win in overtime, but you were also subjected to a Vanilla Ice performance at halftime. Did that completely ruin your experience, or did the Rebel Watches, neon leg warmers and D.A.R.E. t-shirts that owner Bob McNair personally handed out make up for it?
I'm not going to count the Texans' near loss against them. The Titans, who beat the Steelers a week ago, are a much-improved team. They spent the entire offseason preparing for this contest, so Houston's victory was a decent one. Plus, San Diego beating Philadelphia makes Week 1 look much better.
Chicago Bears (2-0) - Previously: #10 - The Bears failed to cover the spread against the Vikings, but the fact that they won despite Minnesota having two defensive/special teams returns for touchdowns was somewhat impressive. Even better, the offensive line has surrendered only one sack this season. I don't think Jay Cutler ever imagined that he'd have solid pass protection.
Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) - Previously: #9 - Go to my NFL Game Recaps page for analysis of the Bengals-Steelers game.
New England Patriots (1-1) - Previously: #6 - The Patriots looked awful Thursday night, but Rob Gronkowski should be back soon. Danny Amendola will follow a couple of weeks later. And then Amendola will snap in half, because that's just what he does.
I got some hate mail about the Patriots, by the way: "'Tom Brady got a new haircut, so the Pats are going to win it all.' That's some in-depth analysis right there, Walt."
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) - Previously: #32 - Congratulations, Jaguars on winning the Teddy Bridgewater sweepstakes (go here for my 2014 NFL Mock Draft). The people in London are going to love Bridgewater once the team moves there in 2020.
Facebook friend Jay B. posted this on my wall: "A great thing to put in your recap for the Toilet Bowl, Blaine Gabbert (yes he's on one of my teams, it's a 14-team 2-QB league), was listed as OUT on Yahoo! Fantasy, yet still was projected to get -.04 points. Apparently they think Gabbert is so bad even when he's not playing he is going to lose points. If you need a picture I'll take a screen shot."
Perhaps Yahoo! thought an errant pass would dribble out of bounds near Gabbert. Gabbert, in turn, would get scared and shut his eyes. The ball would hit his leg or something, and then the Raiders would scoop it up for a fumble recovery. I think that's what Yahoo! was thinking.
31. Oakland Raiders (1-1) - Previously: #31 - Congratulations, Raiders, on winning the Jadeveon Clowney sweepstakes. That 19-9 victory over the Jaguars was a truly amazing feat. Unfortunately, stud safety Tyvon Branch is out indefinitely after suffering a severe ankle injury.
30. Cleveland Browns (0-2) - Previously: #30 - You know how the various houses in Game of Thrones have their own mottos and history, and such? Well, JohnnyAllStar came up with something for "House Browns:"
A house noted for it's frequent turmoil, it is amazing how they manage to exist amidst their own failure. The Lord of the North Shore changes frequently, as the few locals vie for the top of a discrepant hellhole. Other houses frequently raid the Lady of the Lake's menial treasures, but the land is renowned as being cursed, so they are never fully conquered, only plundered.
The Motto of our House: Waiting For Next Year.
29. New York Jets (1-1) - Previously: #29 - I love how Mark Sanchez isn't having surgery so he can play again this season. I can almost imagine the conversation...
Mark Sanchez: I'm working really hard to get healthy!!!
John Idzik: Meh.
Mark Sanchez: No really, I can make it back for the season guise!!!
John Idzik: Ehh... take your time.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) - Previously: #28 - I'm pretty pissed the Buccaneers covered the spread despite doing nothing on offense against the Saints' defense. Josh Freeman is absolutely terrible. This stuff leaking out about him missing team meetings and ditching the kids attending his camp and such is a sign of things to come. I did LOL a bit when I heard that the Buccaneers wanted to trade him. For what? I wouldn't give up an eighth-round selection for him, and there is no eighth round.
27. Washington Redskins (0-2) - Previously: #9 - The Redskins drop from No. 9 to 27. I made a mistake by listing them way too high. I thought they deserved a mulligan against the Eagles because Robert Griffin was rusty, but he looked even worse against a Green Bay secondary missing its top safety. The defense, meanwhile, is a complete joke. The unit made James Starks look like the second coming of Walter Payton.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-2) - Previously: #24 - I mentioned the Steelers earlier. They're keeping the Titans out of the Bottom 10, so I think it's time for the Adventures of Stupid Vince and Senile Bud! In this week's episode...
Bud Adams: What in blazes is going on out there on the field? Man servant, come here and explain it to me!
Vince Young: Derrr, I tink guy trow ball and other guy catch and other guy make hit ha.
Bud Adams: Weh? No, I mean in overtime. The Houston Oilers had a chance for a chip-shot field goal and still tried to score a touchdown. Why didn't they try to kick?
Vince Young: I dunno ha. I tink guy with red hair who make rule say team need six pointy to win in overtimes ha.
Bud Adams: Six points in overtime? But a touchdown is worth seven points. Nevertheless, this means that all kickers are meaningless now. Man servant, get my general manager on the phone and tell him to cut Al Del Greco.
Vince Young: Derrr, I forgetted who you want me to ring ring on phone.
Bud Adams: Call Al Del Greco and tell him he's cut. He's our kicker. We don't need him anymore.
Vince Young: Derrr, first letter A on phone. Den L... Den... I forgetted next letter already.
Bud Adams: No, man servant, you don't spell out a person's name when you call them on the phone. You have to dial their number!
Vince Young: Derrr, I dunno number ha.
Bud Adams: Weh? Whose number? Stop trying to confuse me, man servant, I'm trying to watch this overtime game. Why didn't the Oilers kick a field goal!?
25. Carolina Panthers (0-2) - Previously: #23 - I feel like the Panthers could be a "bet on" team down the stretch once Cam Newton gets his act together and the defense gets healthy again, but this team stinks right now. Newton is not playing well without his offensive coordinator; the front line can't block; and the stop unit has sustained so many injuries.
24. Minnesota Vikings (0-2) - Previously: #25 - The Vikings nearly beat Chicago, but needed the help of two fluke touchdowns and a crazy double-tipped interception to keep things close.
Speaking of the Bears-Vikings game, FOX had an awful day. You could tell things were going bad when their bottom line posted the top passers of the afternoon and listed the two quarterbacks in this matchup as "Christian Griffin" and "Jay Griffin." The telecast then went off the air for about half an hour. On the bright side, no fans from Chicago or Minnesota had a seizure from listening to Brian Billick.
23. Buffalo Bills (1-1) - Previously: #26 - I wrote last week that "I need to see one more strong performance from the Bills (including a win) to move them up my power rankings."
Well, they got their win, but they did their best to give the game away with two terrible turnovers in their own territory. Besides, it's impossible to know if E.J. Manuel would've put that game-winning drive together had the Panthers not lost half their defense to injuries.
NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. Baltimore Ravens (1-1). Previously: #12
12. Miami Dolphins (2-0). Previously: #16
13. Dallas Cowboys (1-1). Previously: #15
14. Detroit Lions (1-1). Previously: #17
15. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0). Previously: #19
16. New York Giants (0-2). Previously: #13
17. San Diego Chargers (1-1). Previously: #27
18. St. Louis Rams (1-1). Previously: #14
19. Arizona Cardinals (1-1). Previously: #22
20. Tennessee Titans (1-1). Previously: #23
21. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1). Previously: #18
22. Indianapolis Colts (1-1). Previously: #21
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: