So, here’s the thing about the NFL: It might be fun to watch and we might find it interesting, but the league as a whole, it ain’t very good.
Admittedly, we’re just two weeks into the 2015 season, but you can’t help but notice there’s a lack of legitimately good teams across the league. Some teams will figure things out moving forward, but after watching a high volume of football over two weeks, it’s impossible not to wonder where all the good teams are.
The AFC looks like it’s the Patriots to lose. New England’s got the best team, no doubt, but the AFC’s general sucktitude should make Patriots fans feel pretty good about their chances of getting back to the Super Bowl (assuming good health, of course). We saw Monday night that the Indianapolis Colts could be in for a long season, and it may be still a little too early to trust the rest of the AFC East, so is there anyone who can challenge the Patriots?
How about the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos? See where they fall on this week’s NESN.com NFL Power Rankings below.
1. New England Patriots (Last week: 1): Sunday should have been one of the Patriots’ biggest tests all season, and they handled it pretty well, all things considered. Looking ahead, it’s tough to forecast any slip-ups as they have a putrid schedule.
2. Green Bay Packers (Last week: 2): With a little help from the man upstairs, the Packers finally beat the Seahawks. If the Green Bay defense plays like it did Sunday night — with a concentrated effort on fundamental tackling — they’re the best team in football.
3. Arizona Cardinals (Last week: 5): They’ve proved one thing through two weeks: They’re going to beat the tar out of bad teams. With the 49ers up next weekend, we should get further evidence of that.
4. Denver Broncos (Last week: 4): It was weird to see a Peyton Manning team gut out a win, but that’s exactly what they did Thursday night on the road in Kansas City. The Broncos’ defense could be the NFL’s best.
5. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 3): The Cowboys, minus Dez Bryant and now Tony Romo, have no business being one of the five best teams in football, but this league is rubbish, so here we are.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 11): How much offense do the Steelers have? So much that they’re averaging 32 points per game through two weeks without Le’Veon Bell or Martavis Bryant. The former returns this week against St. Louis.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 14): The Bengals have outscored the opposition by 25 points through two games, but they’ll get their first real test next week on the road against the Ravens.
8. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 7): The Chiefs aren’t falling too far after a loss because, again, the NFL stinks. However, if Jamaal Charles holds on to the football, the Chiefs might be way up the list, especially with that defense.
9. Carolina Panthers (Last week: 20): This is no fun.
10. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 16): The Falcons are 2-0, and the Seahawks are 0-2. How much of that has to do with Dan Quinn?
11. New York Jets (Last week: 22): This is a huge jump, but credit where it’s due. The Jets went into Indy and stomped out the Colts and are now 2-0. Tough to argue with the results.
12. Seattle Seahawks (Last week: 6): They’re 0-2, but they get the hapless Bears next week in their 2015 home debut, which should get them back on track. If it doesn’t, they’re more screwed than we know.
13. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 10): I was high on the Dolphins coming into this season, which was dumb, because Joe Philbin is the Dolphins’ head coach. Also, never underestimate Ndamokung Suh’s ability to underachieve.
14. Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 18): In Week 1, Adrian Peterson ran 10 times (for 31 yards) in a loss. In Week 2, he ran 29 times (for 134 yards) in a win. Seems simple.
15. San Diego Chargers (Last week: 15): The Chargers turned the ball over three times and missed a field goal. That’s how you lose football games.
16. Buffalo Bills (Last week: 8): Such a Rex Ryan game Sunday. The Bills came in talking, started hot and then ended by falling flat on their faces with undisciplined play and crappy quarterbacking being too much to overcome.
17. St. Louis Rams (Last week: 17): The Rams are now 5-13 under Jeff Fisher in the week following a win, which is pretty much how you’re at or just below .500 every season, as the Rams seem to be.
18. Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 9): What an embarrassment this team has been since the AFC Championship. They’ve got three weeks back in their woeful division to right the ship before New England comes to town Oct. 18.
19. Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 13): The best part about the Ravens starting 0-2 is that it’s happening to John Harbaugh. What a guy!
20. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 12): The Eagles might need to go with a change under center because Sam Bradford looks absolutely clueless out there. He’s compounding bad decisions with horrible throws.
21. Cleveland Browns (Last week: 27): Don’t let Johnny Manziel’s smoke and mirrors fool you: Cleveland is still going nowhere this season.
22. Detroit Lions (Last week: 19): Another week, and another road loss for Matthew Stafford and the Lions. The Vikings also proved the Lions can be run on this season.
23. San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 23): This was more along the lines of what we were expecting of the 49ers this season: getting beat by 25 and allowing 453 yards.
24. Oakland Raiders (Last week: 30): If Derek Carr and Amari Cooper can do what they did Sunday — seven connections for 109 yards and a touchdown — the Raiders are going to win some games here and there.
25. Washington Redskins (Last week: 29): Good luck attempting to explain how the Redskins ran all over a Rams defense that bottled up Marshawn Lynch the week before. I certainly can’t.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week: 30): More credit where it’s due: Jameis Winston showed why he’s got the chance to be a real difference-maker in the NFL.
27. New Orleans Saints (Last week: 21): Things could be going from bad to worse for the Saints with Drew Brees’ health up in the air.
28. New York Giants (Last week: 26): There was one point Sunday where the Giants had to call a timeout in order to avoid a delay penalty only to just barely miss being called for a delay out of the timeout. Clock management hasn’t been their thing so far.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 31): Yeah, they won, but a jaguar can’t change its spots or whatever a jaguar has.
30. Tennessee Titans (Last week: 24): OK, so apparently Marcus Mariota isn’t going to throw four touchdowns every week. Go figure.
31. Houston Texans (Last week: 25): Bill O’Brien’s backed himself into a corner after making the quick quarterback change only to see his second quarterback play like garbage, too.
32. Chicago Bears (Last week: 28): Jay Cutler injuring himself on a pick-six is pretty much the defining moment of Jay Cutler’s career.
Thumbnail photo via Jason Bridge/USA TODAY Sports Images