Only two weeks are on the books, and already we have a wild and crazy NFL season. The Buccaneers and Chiefs (combined 7-25 in 2009) are both 2-0, while the Vikings and Cowboys (combined 23-9 in 2009) are both 0-2. We’ll see if the craziness continues into Week 3, but I for one certainly hope it does.
Here are my 2010 NFL Power Rankings going into Week 3 of the NFL season (last week’s Power Ranking in parentheses):
1 (1) New Orleans Saints (2-0)
The wins have been ugly, but the defending champs are top of the power rankings until they lose. They won’t be here for a lot longer if the offense doesn’t straighten out.
2 (5) Green Bay Packers (2-0)
The Packers still need to find someone to replace Ryan Grant at running back, but they fared alright in Week 2 against Buffalo. They don’t play another team that has a chance at a playoff spot until week 5 (sorry Bears fans), but the Packers will need someone to complement Aaron Rodgers on offense if they have any hope of making it deep into the playoffs.
3 (6) Houston Texans (2-0)
After winning in blowout fashion against Indy in Week 1, Houston showed they can come from behind after erasing a seventeen point deficit and beating Washington in overtime in Week 2. Is there any doubt now that Houston is a legitimate playoff contender?
4 (4) Indianapolis Colts (1-1)
Crisis averted. The Colts, who fared well on offense but struggled horribly on defense against the Texans, absolutely dominated the New York Giants in their 38-14 rout on Sunday. The Colts still don’t have an elite defense, but Peyton Manning is in top form right now and they seemed unstoppable against the Giants.
5 (2) Baltimore Ravens (1-1)
The Ravens’ defense has been spectacular, not allowing a single touchdown through the first two games. Unfortunately, the Ravens’ new-look offense has been dreadful. Joe Flacco only has one touchdown and five interceptions, and even the best defense can’t overcome that level of ineptitude.
6 (3) New England Patriots (1-1)
A week after torching the Bengals, the Pats fell back down to earth. The Pats allowed 21 unanswered points after taking a 14-7 lead against the Jets, and Tom Brady looked rattled after throwing two costly picks and fumbling the ball once.
7 (9) Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)
The Steelers offense has looked awful so far in 2010, gaining a pathetic 127 total yards in Week 2 and having only 1 offensive touchdown through their first two games. Who needs a good offense when your defense is as good as Pittsburgh’s, though?
8 (12) Atlanta Falcons (1-1)
It’s amazing how much difference it makes when an offense doesn’t have to face the Steelers defense. Atlanta looked much stronger in Week 2 than it did in Week 1, and has regained some momentum heading into Week 3’s showdown with New Orleans.
9 (13) New York Jets (1-1)
Mark Sanchez looked like an NFL QB for the first time in his career, throwing for three touchdowns, but the injury to Darrelle Revis puts a damper on New York’s 28-14 win over New England.
10 (16) San Diego Chargers (1-1)
The Chargers needed to bounce back after their loss to Kansas City, and Sunday’s 38-13 win over Jacksonville shows why the Chargers were the pre-season favorites to win a weak AFC West.
11 (19) Miami Dolphins (2-0)
The wins may be ugly, but Miami can’t be too upset with sitting atop the AFC East. They have a rough schedule ahead of them (starting with the Jets in Week 3 and the Pats in Week 4), so they’ll need to shore up their offense if they have any hope of staying on top.
12 (10) Washington Redskins (1-1)
Donovan McNabb showed that he is still a top level quarterback with his 426 yard performance against the Texans. The Redskins can’t afford to blow too many seventeen point leads, though.
13 (8) Tennessee Titans (1-1)
The Titans committed seven turnovers (3 interceptions, 4 fumbles) in their loss to Pittsburgh. What’s worse, the quarterback controversy merry-go-round was started up again after Vince Young got benched in the fourth quarter of the game against Pittsburgh.
14 (17) Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
Although the Chiefs haven’t looked great on offense so far in 2010, they were able to follow up a surprising win against the Chargers with a close fought victory over the abysmal Browns. If the Chiefs win in Week 3 against San Francisco, they’ll have their best start since they went 10-0 to start the 2003 season.
15 (21) Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)
If the Cincy offense can’t find a consistent rhythm, don’t be surprised to see more big games from kicker Mike Nugent. His five field goals were the difference against the Ravens, while Carson Palmer and the rest of the Bengals offense looked awful.
16 (24) Chicago Bears (2-0)
The Bears aren’t dominating their opponents, but they’re pulling out the wins. A huge matchup looms in Week 3 against a powerful Packers squad, but for now Chicago fans can be happy with their first 2-0 start since the 2006 season, which is also the last season the Bears made the playoffs.
17 (7) Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
Adrian Peterson has been sharp on offense, but the same cannot be said of Brett Favre. Favre’s aging body seems to be running out of miracles, and Brad Childress’ job security is looking very tenuous with every interception Favre throws.
18 (11) Dallas Cowboys (0-2)
The Dallas offense is in disarray. After a miserable performance against the Redskins, the Cowboys then managed only 36 rushing yards against Chicago. Tony Romo looked a little better in Week 2 than Week 1, but that’s small consolation for a team that’s 0-2 for the first time since 2001.
19 (14) New York Giants (1-1)
The Giants won big in Week 1, despite committing four turnovers. They were not as lucky against the Colts, losing emphatically in the battle of the Mannings.
20 (25) Denver Broncos (1-1)
Who needs Tim Tebow when you have Demaryius Thomas? Thomas had 97 receiving yards and a touchdown, while Tebow was completely absent from the Broncos’ Week 2 victory.
21 (20) Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
A three point victory over a Detroit Lions team missing Matt Stafford does not inspire much confidence. The offense looked good behind Michael Vick, but the Eagles defense is going to need to step up or the Eagles are going to find themselves on the wrong end of some shootouts.
22 (15) Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
Perhaps I overrated the Seahawks’ dominant performance against the 49ers. Week 3’s matchup against the Chargers should give us some idea of which Seattle team is the real deal.
23 (26) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)
The Buccaneers didn’t get their second win of the 2009 season until Week 15. Wins against Cleveland and Carolina aren’t exactly quality wins, but at least the Bucs are showing some signs of life.
24 (18) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)
David Garrard followed up a brilliant performance against the Broncos with a less-than-brilliant four interception day against the Chargers.
25 (23) San Francisco 49ers (0-2)
The 49ers were able to keep the game close against the Saints, but ultimately poor clock management and turnovers were San Francisco’s downfall again.
26 (22) Arizona Cardinals (1-1)
In the words of Dennis Green, Derek Anderson is who we thought he was: A quarterback whose ceiling appears to be a 50% completion rate and more interceptions than touchdowns. Kurt Warner he is not.
27 (30) Oakland Raiders (1-1)
After starting the season in Tennessee, the Raiders don’t have to go farther east than Texas until Week 11. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Raiders go into Pittsburgh with a 1-9 record, though.
28 (27) St. Louis Rams (0-2)
Sam Bradford couldn’t keep the offense moving in the second half against Oakland, but he did finish the day with two touchdowns and only one interception. The Rams aren’t going to compete this year, so they have to look out for the small, moral victories.
29 (31) Detroit Lions (0-2)
The Lions hung tough with the Eagles, almost pulling off a stunning fourth quarter comeback. Shaun Hill played serviceably at quarterback, but Jahvid Best has struggled mightily to get any sort of momentum going for the Detroit running attack.
30 (28) Buffalo Bills (0-2)
The Bills have only scored seventeen points during their first two contests. Their next two games are against the Patriots and the Jets, so don’t expect things to get any better for Buffalo in the coming weeks.
31 (29) Carolina Panthers (0-2)
The Panthers offense might be worse than initially thought. Jimmy Clausen didn’t play any better than Matt Moore against Tampa Bay, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Clausen is firmly entrenched as the starter by season’s end.
32 (32) Cleveland Browns (0-2)
The two-headed monster that is the Browns’ quarterback tandem of Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace may be the worst in the league since…well, since last year’s Browns tandem of Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn.
All stats and records from ESPN.com