NFL Rankings: Week 2 Reaction

Sep 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions fans react to a flag during the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions fans react to a flag during the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /
Where do the Detroit Lions wind up in the latest NFL Rankings? Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Where do the Detroit Lions wind up in the latest NFL Rankings? Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

The NFL Rankings early in the year: Looking at the best teams in the league and reviewing some of the stand-out performances in an effort to try and wrangle these teams into an order of some sort. Very scientific.

There are 8 teams in the league that are 2-0. The Lions are not one of those teams. Only three of those 2-0 teams are in the NFC though, and just one (Minnesota) is within the division. There are a lot of positive things Lions fans can look toward for hope: the Packers and Bears, the next two opponents on Detroit’s schedule, both look bad. Aaron Rodgers hasn’t posted a passer rating over 100 in 12 straight regular season games, the league’s longest active streak according to Pro Football Reference. The Bears are being outscored nearly two to one and may have to start Brian Hoyer at quarterback. The Lions still have home games against Los Angeles and Washington on the schedule. There are positives to be found if you are one to go looking for them.

But a bad loss to an even worse team last week does not inspire much confidence or optimism. The Lions have real problems and no time to waste in trying to solve them. Losing to Tennessee instantly removed the playoffs from any mental picture I had of the Lions coming together in all the right ways. The season is still much too young to say anything like that out loud, but in my head, I’m thinking about all the ways these Lions will blow good opportunities and finish just good enough to avoid a top 5 draft pick.

Around the League

The Giants look good. New York has been able to grind out consecutive victories against very different offenses, holding both under 20 points. The offense hasn’t been as hot as some predicted, but Victor Cruz looks like he may be back to his old form, and rookie Sterling Shepard has played well too.

Although we’re only two games into the 2016 season, the Ravens have to have one of the easiest first-half schedules in the league. Their first seven: vs. BUF, @CLE, @JAX, vs. OAK, vs. WAS, @NYG, @NYJ. They should be 6-1 or 5-2 through that stretch and they still might finish under .500. Don’t believe the hype as they continue to win.

Among other pretenders: Philadelphia, Houston and Minnesota. All three teams have managed 2-0 starts. The Vikings are starting Sam Bradford and they travel to Carolina this week, following that up with a home game against the Giants. The Texans are starting Brock Osweiler and they travel to New England this week. They also have road games against Denver, Oakland and Green Bay left on their schedule. Before anyone gets too excited about the Eagles, they beat the Browns and the Bears. Those are two teams that may not win more than 6 games combined. If they can keep things close at home against Pittsburgh this week, maybe you can get excited, but they follow that up with four of their next five on the road so don’t get too excited.

Top Performers

Let’s take a look at how the league’s best are doing through 2 weeks:

Denver Broncos. 1. team. 45. The Broncos took care of a subpar Indy team. That doesn’t exactly show us what Denver is made of, but there’s plenty of games left for their mettle to be tested. Like this week, where they travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals.. (34-20). Previous:

Through two games, the Patriots have already won as many or more games without Brady as many fans thought. With home contests against the Texans and Bills up next, they may make it a clean sweep even if Garoppolo can’t go.. (31-24). Previous: . New England Patriots. 2. team. 47

87. 29 second half points secured what was a surprisingly close contest at one point with the 49ers. Blaine Gabbert threw a 75 yard touchdown pass that brought the 9ers within 7. Maybe San Francisco is kind of, sort of good? Or maybe the Carolina defense just needs to sort some things out.. (46-27). Previous: . Carolina Panthers. 3. team

32. Arizona must have been angry about dropping one at home to the Patriots. They took Tampa Bay to the woodshed. 40-7 is not a score you see often in the NFL. In fact, this was just the 16th time it has happened in the regular season since 1925, and the first time since 2006.. (40-7). Previous: . Arizona Cardinals. 4. team

31. I’ve been saying this, and I’ll continue to do so: the Giants will win the NFC East. They don’t look great anywhere, but they are playing good all-around football, and that should be enough to win the East.. (16-13). Previous: . New York Giants. 5. team

Previous: . Pittsburgh Steelers. 6. team. 55. The Steelers could be the best team in football heading into their Week 8 bye and their schedule isn’t easy. Right now, their offense is clicking on all cylinders and don’t forget they get LeVeon Bell back soon too. The AFC is loaded with Super Bowl contenders this year. Between Denver, Pittsburgh, New England, Cincinnati, and Kansas City, almost every team that makes the playoffs will have been picked to win it all before hand.. (24-16)

Bottom of the Barrel

Now let’s see who is pulling up the rear across the NFL:

30. team. 52. The Jags got blown out by a bad Chargers team one week after they nearly topped the Packers at home. I don’t know what to think, but this is not the Jags’ year.. (38-14). Previous: . Jacksonville Jaguars

Previous: . Cleveland Browns. 31. team. 53. The Browns were spotted a 20 point lead then lost 25-20. That’s so Browns.. (25-20)

32. team. 16. The Bills bounced back with a strong offensive effort in a close loss to the Jets. So naturally, Rex Ryan fired their OC. Buffalo is headed straight for that number one overall pick.. (37-31). Previous: . Buffalo Bills

Next: 3 Bright Spots From Titans Loss