Week 2 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo - 09/14/2006
Unlike too many folks in the Bobblehead Media, I refuse to have a knee-jerk reaction to Week One when it comes to my Power Rankings. That means that Baltimore and New Orleans aren't 1-2. Sorry. Also, I gave you an extra helping of dirt on each team so I'm not going to have any game breakdowns.
However, my picks will be available to purchase at 6 p.m. EST on Thursday so you can see which games I've targeted for destruction this weekend.
And without further ado, here are my Week 2 Power Rankings:
1) Pittsburgh (1-0) - I don't like rushing Big Ben back. Had they entered this game 0-1, maybe there's urgency. But I think this move is in response to how good Cincy and Baltimore looked last week. I think the Steelers know the AFC North is going to be a fight.
2) Indianapolis (1-0) - Didn't hear much about Dwight Freeney and Montae Reagor against the Giants. Something tells me that we'll hear from them on Sunday. That posted total (47) smells awful fishy to me. I don't know what it is, but it seems a bit high.
3) Chicago (1-0) - The Bears are 9-1 ATS and 8-2 SU when they score 20+ points. If they can average more than 20 this season they could devastate the NFC. Chicago's defense only allowed three rushers more than 100 yards last year, but Ahman Green hit that mark last weekend. The Bears are 56-5-2 ATS when they win.
4) Denver (1-0) - The host in the Chiefs series is 8-1-1 ATS and Denver's margin of victory at home against K.C. is 13.8 over the past five years.
5) Seattle (1-0) - Seahawks are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS against Arizona in the last three years. The weak link on the defense - the secondary - is going to have its work cut out. The Cards averaged more than 240 yards passing in two meetings last year.
5) Carolina (0-1) - The good news is that last year four of the twelve playoff teams lost in Week 1. The bad news is that no playoff team started 0-2.
6) Jacksonville (1-0) - The loss of Reggie Hayward is huge on that defensive line. The Jags have the toughness to give the Steelers a lot of trouble, but they can't be one-dimensional. Also, the Jags are 0-4 ATS on Monday nights.
7) Cincinnati (1-0) - The Bengals took their foot off the gas against K.C. - much like Indy did early last year against its opponents. Totals players need to keep an eye on whether or not that was just them feeling bad about the whole we-almost-killed-your-quarterback thing or if it's a philosophy.
8) Baltimore (1-0) - Brian Billick is 11-2 ATS off a SU win as an underdog and they are 6-1 ATS in their last seven against Oakland. Further, Baltimore is 8-3 ATS as a favorite of nine points or greater.
10) New England (1-0) - You have to drop after that uninspired performance - at home - against Buffalo. The Patriots are 23-3 in games decided by six points or less since Tom Brady became the starter in 2001, and they've won 15-of-18.
11) Atlanta (1-0) - This could be a trap game, and if you play it make sure to buy up over six points. This has the potential to be a letdown game, and trust me when I say that every meaningful trend points to Tampa on Sunday. Kearney will play, but Abraham and Hartwell are still 50-50.
12) New York Giants (0-1) - The Giants linebackers made 23 tackles on Sunday against Indy. Lavar Arrington had four of them. Not exactly "high-impact". The New York D also allowed the Colts to go 11-for-16 on third down, including three conversions of more than 10 yards.
13) Miami (0-1) - Veterans have been grousing about the complexity of Nick Saban's defense. That 87-yard TD by Heath Miller was the result of a missed assignment check at the line. I think the defense will click at some point in the middle of the season, and expect a small run (3-of-4) of Unders once it does.
14) Dallas (0-1) - We're going to learn a lot about this Dallas team this week. Despite getting swept by their archrivals last year, the Cowboys are still 7-2 ATS against the Redskins since 2001.
15) Philadelphia (1-0) - This is a bad week to lose Lito Sheppard. However, the Eagles have been a great September team and are avenging two tough losses to the Giants last season. The Eagles are 15-4 ATS with revenge in a close loss (less than seven pts.).
16) San Diego (1-0) - Love the bull rush after a big play. San Diego is poised for a letdown after their MNF massacre. Their focus this week needs to be on stopping the run because Jeff Fisher won't be as quick to abandon it as Oakland was.
17) St. Louis (1-0) - The loss of center Andy McCollum definitely will hurt. Look for the Rams to bring in the recently cut Wade Smith, formerly of Miami, sometime in the next week. Also, through the preseason and regular season, the STL first-team offense hasn't scored a touchdown yet.
18) Minnesota (1-0) - Finally it looks like the Vikings get it. Run the ball (34:30 run-pass ratio) and play good defense (allowed just 4-for-13 on third down) and you win in the NFL. Check to see if the Vikings deactivate S Dwight Smith again. They started rookie Greg Blue, a monster hitter, on Monday but I think Carolina will pick him apart with the deep ball.
19) Washington (0-1) - I picked the Redskins to win the NFC East before I knew Tom Cruise was involved with the team. Is it too late to rescind? There's no reason for that offense, with all those playmakers, not to be putting up monster points. It's going to click for the 'Skins around Week 7 and then I feel like they're going to blow up.
20) Tampa Bay (0-1) - Chris is now 6-6 as a starter and the Bucs have scored two touchdowns or less in seven of his 12 starts. Yikes. The offensive line is playing musical chairs and MLB Shelton Quarles may not play because of a groin injury. However, they are 6-2 SU and ATS in their last eight against Atlanta, including three of the last four.
21) Arizona (1-0) - They benched CB David Macklin, so now Antrel Rolle and Eric Green will start against Seattle. That defense was highly suspect, surrendering almost 400 yards to a pop gun San Fran defense. This week they may be without Karlos Dansby and Calvin Pace, even if both are listed as Probable.
22) Detroit (0-1) - "We will win this game," Roy Williams told Detroit reporters. "Y'all can take that as a guarantee or what not, but we will win this game. You can take that as a guarantee if you want." Are you kidding me?
23) Kansas City (0-1) - I fear that things are only going to get worse. The host in the Chiefs series is 8-1-1 ATS and Denver's margin of victory at home against K.C. is 13.8 over the past five years.
24) New Orleans (1-0) - The defensive front seven allowed just 186 total yards against Cleveland, but they're facing a Packers team that will feel like it's been let out of prison after facing the Chicago D. Also, New Orleans doesn't have a healthy fullback, and the Bears had trouble running against the Pack despite outstanding play from their FB.
25) Houston (0-1) - The Texans are 0-8 against the Colts and have been outscored by an average of 29-14. In the RCA Dome, Houston has been beaten by an average score of 32-14.
26) N.Y. Jets (1-0) - I picked the Jets to go over 5.5 wins because a healthy Chad Pennington is good for five by himself. Jets players love the aggressiveness of new OC Brian Schottenheimer. Schotzie was the quarterback coach last year for San Diego when the Chargers hung 41 points on the Patriots.
27) Cleveland (0-1) - The Cleveland offense actually played well in the first quarter. I know that's tough to sell when their first four drives netted -23 yards. But that's the problem - they had about 130 yards erased by penalties.
28) Tennessee (0-1) - Kerry Collins vows he'll be back and better this weekend. Well, I'm not holding my breath. However, I know the Titans won't look as bad as they did last weekend and the Chargers won't look as good.
29) Green Bay (0-1) - They actually signed Koren Robinson this week. That's how bad it's gotten. Also, Chicago was complaining that Pack lineman were playing dirty. New OC Jeff Jagodzinski came from Atlanta - where Alex Gibbs is a consultant - so I'm not surprised.
30) Oakland (0-1) - Coming off a MNF game, flying across the country, playing against a top defense, with all the lingering bad karma from Porter, Moss and the disaster that is the Oakland organization. They will score this weekend, but they may lose by 50.
31) San Francisco (0-1) - The left side of their offensive line is mangled. LT Larry Allen is out four weeks and LG Jonas Jennings has a severely sprained ankle. The 49ers did upset St. Louis in Week 1 last year.
32) Buffalo (0-1) - Troy Vincent was placed on IR and TKO is going to be slowed - if he plays at all - with a "mild" hamstring pull. That means they may be starting two rookie safeties and their porous run defense would've lost its leader.
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