Nick’s NFL Power Rankings entering Week 3: Eagles fall after tough loss in Kansas City

Power Rankings after Week 2:

1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)

2. Atlanta Falcons (2-0)

3. New England Patriots (1-1)

4. Oakland Raiders (2-0)

5. Green Bay Packers (1-1)

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)

7. Denver Broncos (2-0)

8. Carolina Panthers (2-0)

9. Detroit Lions (2-0)

10. Minnesota Vikings (1-1)

11. Baltimore Ravens (2-0)

12. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)

13. Miami Dolphins (1-0)

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)

15. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)

16. Arizona Cardinals (1-1)

17. Los Angeles Rams (1-1)

18. Seattle Seahawks (1-1)

19. Tennessee Titans (1-1)

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)

21. Los Angeles Chargers (0-2)

22. Buffalo Bills (1-1)

23. New York Giants (0-2)

24. Washington Redskins (1-1)

25. New Orleans Saints (0-2)

26. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)

27. Houston Texans (1-1)

28. Cleveland Browns (0-2)

29. San Francisco 49ers (0-2)

30. Chicago Bears (0-2)

31. Indianapolis Colts (0-2)

32. New York Jets (0-2)

This week, if you’ll indulge me, the commentary on my NFL Power Rankings is going to be less analytical, less specific than it will be in the weeks to follow. By all means, I encourage you to take note of where I ranked all 32 teams above, because I didn’t merely pick the teams out of a hat. I watched the All-22 film on at least half of the games, and broke down a lot of data. But that’s what I do, anyway. My cohort at Philly Sports Network, Liam Jenkins (along with others on our team at PSN), and I know far more than is healthy for the average human being about things like when the “Y” receiver, who is the Quarterback’s first read during a particular play and is running a fly pattern down the far side of the field as the pocket collapses around QB and the defense – who has “double-high” Safeties and bracket coverage on the “Y” receiver – should react a specific way once he realizes how the coverage has rolled to his side of the field, or if he should continue on the same pattern.

The point is, I love immersing myself in things like that (and with the access that we have available to us these days, a generation of fans – NOT JUST media members like myself – have access to the All-22 film, thanks to NFL.com’s different “All Access” passes. And as the weeks move on we will talk more about strengths and weaknesses of the teams as they rise and fall all about these Rankings.

But for now, we are still at the point in the season where the actual records and data has less to do with the team’s overall standing in the NFL’s hierarchy than; the eye test, each teams’ work last year, their offseason moves, and the hype each respective team has created – be it positive or be it negative. It becomes harder in these next few weeks to justify a team with only one win to be several spots higher than a team with – let’s say three more wins. That being said, we aren’t there yet.
No, we are still in that part of the NFL season where almost anything is still possible. The NFL still has that New Car Smell about it. Teams still look shiny and new, even if we will soon find out that their smooth sleek and freshly painted outsides are simply hiding the fact that underneath the hood, lies an engine with the horsepower of Ezekiel Elliott chasing down a player after an interception is thrown.

That is to say, the team just may be a dog where it matters (especially if said “dog” plays in Dallas)

Look, although things may change appreciably week by week among most NFL teams, there are some obvious signs of what we’re looking at for the rest of the team. Even after only two weeks, I feel pretty secure telling you, what I told you in my preseason NFL Prediction column – that the Jets, Colts, Bears, and 49ers are pure dreck. Sure the 49ers may have hired the right coach in Kyle Shanahan, and the team may play harder for him than Chip Kelly (duh), but he’s going to need time to fix the scorched earth that Chip creates in his wake.

Conversely, it’s pretty obvious already that teams like the Chiefs, Patriots, Packers (despite their somewhat slow offensive start), Steelers, Falcons and Broncos will be in the conversation of the Best of the Best (barring injuries, of course) for the duration of the season. But as Week Two becomes Week Three on Thursday Night, that is where the certainties end and the real scrum for positions may just begin.

And that is what is great about the NFL. From week to week, the vast majority of teams remain relevant, as they all scramble for what’s potentially left of the playoff pie.

But here, after week two, the possibilities are still endless, and every fan can dream. Well, unless you root for the Jets, Colts, Niners, or Browns.

Actually, that’s not true. There’s always the race for the number one overall pick for those teams…

 

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Leave a Reply