1. Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 2)
Things seem to be finally falling into place around Andrew Luck. If the defense can be even average this season, Indy should win a lot of games.
2. Green Bay Packers (Last week: 1)
I mentioned last week that they avoided injuries. That didn’t happen this week as the Pack lost Jordy Nelson for the season. Green Bay has to be very happy it didn’t let Randall Cobb walk during the offseason.
3. Seattle Seahawks (Last week: 3)
The offense struggled again failing to score a touchdown against the Chiefs. The defense managed to score though. Seattle probably can’t count on that happening every week though, no matter how good that defense is.
4. New England Patriots (Last week: 6)
Pats fans had to be nervous after the first week of the preseason based on Jimmy Garappalo’s performance. He quieted some of the critics with a much more successful night this week.
5. Denver Broncos (Last week: 5)
Who will Peyton be targeting this season outside of Demarius Thomas. With Wes Welker injured and Julius Thomas in Jacksonville, Denver is going to need someone else to step up in the offense. Cody Latimer is rumored to fill the Welker-like role, but only time will tell.
6. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 4)
We finally got to see Darren McFadden and Joseph Randle in game action. Neither looked amazing but Randle looked a lot better than McFadden. The defense looked good too but that before losing Orlando Scandrick for the whole season. That could really hurt Dallas’ chances at a deep playoff run.
7. Arizona Cardinals (Last week: 8)
This team didn’t lose many of the pieces from it’s 12-4 season a year ago. Assuming one of the Arizona quarterbacks can stay healthy, the Cardinals could end up as the team to beat in the NFC.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 7)
Ben Roethlisberger led the league in passing yards a season ago and LeVeon Bell finished second in yards from scrimmage. It will be hard for either of those players to repeat that success with Maurkice Pouncey in a walking boot.
9. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 10)
Alex Smith finally threw a touchdown pass to a wide receiver. Now let’s see if he can do it when it counts. The Chiefs offense on the whole didn’t look great but the defense held the Seattle offense under 250 total yards.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 11)
It might only be preseason but the Eagles notched their second big win in as many weeks. Sam Bradford took some shots in his first game action and seemed to hold up just fine. Kenjon Barner displayed once again why the Eagles brought him in this offseason with another ridiculous return.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 9)
Andy Dalton finished his preseason appearance against Tampa with two interceptions, including a pick six, and only 46 yards passing. Jeremey Hill lost the ball on one of his four carries. The fact that Bengals can play that poorly, against a team that was the worst in the league a season ago, is terrifying for Cincy fans.
12. Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 13)
Another sharp outing for Teddy Bridgewater as he finished 10 for 14 with 89 yards and a touchdown. Charles Johnson had a good night as well with four catches for 40 yards and he was on the receiving end of Bridgewater’s touchdown pass. That could be a good combination for Minnesota this season.
13. San Diego Chargers (Last week: 12)
23 carries for 46 yards against Arizona isn’t exactly confidence instilling. Granted Melvin Gordon did not play but that has to fall somewhat on the offensive line. Not time to panic yet but the Chargers need to run the ball to take all the pressure off Phillip Rivers.
14. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 14)
Mixed result for Miami as Ryan Tannehill looked fantastic while Lamar Miller sputtered. The next step for Miami is getting the offense to click all at once. The revamped defense continued to impress, as the first team only allowed nine points.
15. Detroit Lions (Last week: 15)
I thought Detroit was in trouble when Ndumakong Suh and Nick Fairley left but the first team defense hit Robert Griffin III on six of his eight dropbacks and knocked him out of the game. If that is the kind of pressure Detroit can produce this season, they might not even realize though other guys are gone.
16. Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 16)
Cincy showed this week that it can still falter at any time which gives the Ravens hope. However, Joe Flacco looked even worse than Andy Dalton did this week, toss two interceptions on only seven passes. Could be a rough season in Baltimore.
17. Houston Texans (Last week: 20)
Naming Brian Hoyer quarterback is a step in the right direction but it is merely a stop gap solution. Hoyer is already 29 and is not exactly a franchise quarterback. Houston are going to need to find a real long term solution soon.
18. Buffalo Bills (Last week: 18)
Tyrod Taylor faired well in his start against Cleveland. It wasn’t anything eye popping. Rumors are that Rex Ryan wants to start Taylor but the rest of the coaching staff isn’t on board. Should be interesting how that pans out.
19. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 20)
Atlanta might have lost this week but Matt Ryan came out firing and the Falcons first team offense put up 14 points in the first quarter. The Falcons need to find a way to get their defense to hold up though through the whole 60 minutes.
20. New Orleans Saints (Last week: 21)
The Saints ruled the first half of their game with New England, which was all that really mattered. Drew Brees threw two touchdowns and the Saints offensive line didn’t allow a sack the whole game. The defense didn’t generate any sacks though either so that has to count for something.
21. New York Jets (Last week: 22)
The Jets’ offense showed some signs of life. Take it with a grain of salt though as they started slow once again and the Falcons did have the worst statistical defense in football last year. The defense looked good, but is still getting killed by big plays.
22. New York Giants (Last week: 19)
Yet another Giants safety went down with an injury this week in Bennett Jackson. That makes three in two weeks. Even more concerning, Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t have a reception through two preseason games. Slightly worrying but not cause to panic just yet.
23. Cleveland Browns (Last week: 27)
Another strong outing from Johnny Manziel paired with a really poor one from Josh McCown makes you wonder how much longer Manziel will play with the second team. He is playing decently well with zero talent at the wide receiver position. Go back and watch the game film to see what I’m talking about.
24. St. Louis Rams (Last week: 24)
Nick Foles looked dreadful against Tennessee this week. He completed 3 of 7 passes for 18 yards and threw a pick. Tre Mason carried the ball for six yards on three carries. St. Louis, like Carolina, needs to find their offense.
25. Carolina Panthers (Last week: 23)
Life without Kelvin Benjamin began for Cam Newton and it didn’t look pretty. Newton finished four for ten with an interception against Miami. Carolina needs to find some source of offense to have any hopes of repeating as division champs.
26. San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 26)
Jarryd Haynes did it again this week, picking up 138 all-purpose yards. He might be the spark that this San Francisco team needs because otherwise, the cupboard is pretty bare in terms of talent.
27. Chicago Bears (Last week: 27)
Jay Cutler had a good outing against Indy this week. However, the Bears offense still failed to score a touchdown in the first half. Chicago won’t win too many games by just kicking field goals.
28. Oakland Raiders (Last week: 28)
Latavius Murray is primed for a breakout season. This young core of Murray, Derek Carr and Amari Cooper could be a lot of fun to watch this year in Oakland. They might not win a ton of games, but they will definitely compete in more of them.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 30)
Allen Robinson might be the best player on the Jaguars team. Jacksonville needs to find some other players to step up and start moving this team in a positive direction.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week: 31)
The Bucs defense balled out on Monday night against Cincy. This Tampa group forced 3 turnovers and didn’t allow the Bengals to score a touchdown until the fourth quarter. Jameis Winston looked solid as well as he scored his first professional touchdown. Good signs for the Bucs’ future.
31. Washington (Last week: 29)
A concussion for Robert Griffin III likely means the end of his time in Washington. He will be out for a several week most likely and the Redskins will probably just leave in someone else even after he returns. Washington is in for a long season.
32. Tennessee Titans (Last week: 32)
The Titans looked good this week against St. Louis and if any of that success carries over to the regular season, don’t be surprised if Tennessee finally climbs out of the NFL cellar.