NFL Rankings: Week 2 Reaction
By Al Stahl
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.
Let’s take a look at how the league’s best are doing through 2 weeks:
Bottom of the Barrel
Now let’s see who is pulling up the rear across the NFL: