1. New England Patriots (Last week: 1)
The Bills’ defense was supposed to thwart Brady. Instead, he was only sacked once, a testament to the play of the offensive line, and threw for 466 yards, a testament to how good Brady is. The defense didn’t seal the deal quite as convincingly as you would like but the defending champs are 2-0.
2. Green Bay Packers (Last week: 2)
No Eddie Lacy, no Jordy Nelson? No problem for the league’s best quarterback. Aaron Rogers might not have had the best statistical night but he took it to the Seahawks. He exorcised some demons as well for the Fail Mary game and last year’s NFC championship game. Still a lot more to do but the Pack are in good shape right now.
3. Denver Broncos (Last week: 3)
The Broncos are beyond lucky to walk away with a win at Arrowhead. Two touchdowns in nine seconds completely flipped the script. The offense did just enough to keep Denver in it and the defense won the game for them. Peyton Manning needs to start handing out gift baskets full of Papa John’s pizza to thank the defense for carrying him to two wins so far.
4. Arizona Cardinals (Last week: 5)
Dominating the Bears is always a good stat padder. Now the Cardinals have to take on division rival San Francisco. If the 49ers show up like they did in their season opener, Arizona will have their hands full.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 9)
Still no completely sold on Cincinnati as a title contender but they are starting to look a little more legitimate. The Bengals are very fortunate Giovani Bernard was there to pick up Jeremy Hill’s slack against San Diego. Next on the schedule, a chance to put the Ravens out of reach after just three games.
6. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 8)
That has to sting some. Kansas City outplayed Denver for a majority of the game on Thursday night. Unfortunately, Jamaal Charles had a very off night, fumbling twice and cost the team the game. They still move up a spot because of the issues Seattle, Dallas and Indy are facing.
7. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 6)
Well that was ugly. The Cowboys remain perfect on the season and sent home DeMarco Murray looking foolish. They also lost Tony Romo for the next eight weeks. This offense has a lot of reinventing to do with him and Bryant out for significant time.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 13)
Pittsburgh get LeVeon Bell back this week which means that the explosive offense we saw on Sunday is going to be even better. The defense is still a work in progress but it took a small step forward. San Francisco wasn’t much of a test though.
9. Seattle Seahawks (Last week: 7)
Well they looked better against the Packers…kind of. Seattle has no identity on offense, a product of the front office trying to do too much. Jimmy Graham is no so silently fuming at his role with the team. Seattle desperately needs a win against the Bears to get back on track.
10. Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 4)
Missing: Andrew Luck. Last seen dominating the NFL in 2014. Missing since the AFC Championship game. The Colts need to do something differently on offense to get the team moving in the right direction. Right now they have no direction or cohesion.
11. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 18)
Two game winning drive in two weeks. Matty Ice is living up to his name. Atlanta now face the Romoless Cowboys and if they can walk away with a win this team will be in business.
12. Buffalo Bills (Last week: 10)
Well so much for all of the hype. The defense had it’s hinges blown off and got to Brady just once the entire game. Buffalo made a late push but it was too little too late. That being said, they had a chance to tie it on that last drive. The Bills are still dangerous but have a little more developing to do first.
13. New York Jets (Last week: 20)
Turnovers the Jets defense forced in 2014: 13. Turnovers the Jets defense forced through the first two weeks of 2015: 10. This defense is scary good and the offense is just good enough for them to win some games this year.
14. Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 15)
Minnesota finally remember that they had Adrian Peterson on the roster and fed him 29 times this weekend. That seems a little excess and the Vikings have to find a good balance between rushing and passing. Good win against a division rival though.
15. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 11)
You got the sense that Miami wasn’t firing on all cylinders when they played Washington. Now we saw that on display with a loss to the in-state rival Jaguars. Ndamukong Suh apparently isn’t listening to the coaching staff and the ground game seems non-existent. Not good signs for the Dolphins.
16. San Diego Chargers (Last week: 14)
The come back proved to be too little too late. There were some positives from this performance though, including a much better outing by rookie running back Melvin Gordon.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 12)
The defense showed up in Week 2 but forgot to bring the offense with it. Holding Dallas to only 20 points was a pretty good showing, considering how frequently they were on the field and how many times Dallas had a short field. Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray have not been the explosive pairing the Eagles hoped for though.
18. Carolina Panthers (Last week: 23)
Don’t look now but the Panthers are 2-0. The wins were against the middling Jaguars and mediocre Texans but they are wins nonetheless. A win against the rival Saints would Carolina in a really good spot to contend for the NFC South crown.
19. Detroit Lions (Last week: 17)
Ill-timed penalties and poor offensive line play killed the Lions this week. Detroit had nothing going for them on the ground whatsoever. Finishing with 16 carries for 38 yards won’t win many football games.
20. Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 16)
The offense came to life, the defense disappeared. Losing to the Raiders is not something many playoff bound teams do during the course of the season. A loss to the Bengals this weekend would drop the Ravens to 0-3 for the first time in franchise history.
21. St. Louis Rams (Last week: 23)
There are highs and lows to every NFL season. The Rams were coming off a high and crashed to a very uninviting low. Washington simply outplayed St. Louis and bullied them at the point of attack. The running game needs to get going again so they can take some pressure off of Nick Foles.
22. Oakland Raiders (Last week: 27)
Oakland earned a huge win this weekend over the Ravens. Now with a winnable game against Cleveland on the horizon, Oakland could end up with winning record for the first time since December of 2011.
23. San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 21)
Unfortunately, that was the 49ers team most of us assumed we would see during the season opener. The offense was outmatched and the defense looked helpless. Full scale collapse after a strong start.
24. Houston Texans (Last week: 22)
I get that Arian Foster cannot play at the moment but there is still no reason the Texans should be throwing the ball 52 times in one game with Ryan Mallett at quarterback. Mallett isn’t that type of player. Bill O’Brien has to be smarter than that next week.
25. Cleveland Browns (Last week: 26)
Johnny Manziel has played well in his first two games. There is significant room for improvement. However, it seems the Browns are going to roll with Josh McCown now that he is healthy. I can’t really understand why but it seems our time of watching Manziel scramble has come to an end. At least for now.
26. New York Giants (Last week: 25)
The Giants just became the first team ever to lose their first two games after leading by 10 points in the fourth quarter. Yes ever. These late game collapses are going to cost Tom Coughlin his job at year’s end if he cannot turn the team around.
27. New Orleans Saints (Last week: 21)
Losing to the Cardinals is one thing. Losing to the Bucs is humiliating. The Saints are heading for another lost season right now and if Drew Brees cannot go against Carolina on Sunday, this team is as good as defeated.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 29)
That win against Miami looked convincing. The ground game is still a long way from proven but Allen Robinson is starting to look like a real #1 receiver. If Jacksonville can weather the storm that will be the Patriots this week, they get Julius Thomas back in Week 4 and then this offense will hopefully take the next step.
29. Washington (Last week: 31)
After losing DeSean Jackson, I did not expect Washington to get their first win any time soon. Washington dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, which got them the win. That one-two punch of Alfred Morris and Matt Jones could be something special.
30. Tennessee Titans (Last week: 27)
Well the Titans returned to reality this weekend in a humbling loss to Cleveland. This is still a team with a rookie quarterback, a suspect receiving core and a defense that lacks playmakers. Tennessee still has a long way to go before they start challenging any one sincerely.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week: 32)
Week 2 was truly crazy as even the Bucs got a W. Beating the Saints does not mean that we are going to see Tampa completely turn the season around but it shows that they can be competitive right now rather than in the future.
32. Chicago Bears (Last week: 28)
Pitiful is probably the easiest way to describe how the Bears have played so far. Things probably will get worse before they get better too with Jay Cutler set to miss at least two weeks. The Bears have earned their spot in the basement, especially with so many teams around them winning this weekend.