Ken's Note: These rankings are the views of the author, and may/do not reflect the views of any other Windy City Gridiron contributor.
Welcome to Week 3's Power Rankings.
Power rankings are kind of silly and entirely meaningless, and they are also completely subjective... what one person sees as a strength another might see as a weakness. I get that. My reason for doing this feature isn't "I think I know better," but rather to entertain, hopefully amuse and also to generate friendly discussion and debate (within the site rules, of course).
My feature comes out later in the week than pretty much everybody else's on the web because I actually watch every single game I talk about BEFORE posted my rankings (as far as I know, I am the ONLY person doing this in the online media). Gamepass condensed games are the greatest tool ever made for the NFL football junkie. By doing this instead of just watching the highlights (if that) or browsing the box score, I suspect my list looks significantly different than most.
Here's how I have the league shaking out after Week 2:
1) Patriots - (Last week's rating #1 ) Jimmy Garoppolo goes down? No problem. Well... I say that, but Miami did make a run on them late. Two very winnable games ahead even with a third string quaterback if it comes to that. Then? Tom Brady time. At this point in time, I consider the top three teams virtually tied for the first spot.
2) Steelers - (Last week's rating #2 ) Big Ben Roethlisberger didn't have a great game, but the Steelers are solid top to bottom. Had they been a bit more overwhelming, they would have slid into the top spot.
3) Broncos - (Last week's rating #3 ) On the bright side, Denver's offense scored 20 of the team's 34 points in the game (setting aside extra points). Also on the bright side, the defense only gave up 13 points to a powerhouse Indy offense. On the other hand, Denver's offense only scored 20 points even though they had field position advantage all game, and they were playing what may be the worst defense in the league. Denver's defense is Super Bowl ready, but the offense? Not there yet, but it is showing improvement.
4) Panthers - (Last week's rating #4 ) Cam Newton is a full grown man. The Panthers defense is solid. NFC's clear favorite after 2 weeks. San Francisco wasn't much of a challenge, but good teams beat not-so-good teams and take care of business. Cha-ching, ring up a win.
5) Vikings - (Last week's rating #9) Minnesota has so far proved themselves to be the class of the NFC North, for now, as long as Sam Bradford is healthy. Yes, I did say "as long as Sam Bradford is healthy." That should scare purple hearts up north. Adrian Peterson going down certainly doesn't help, but so far AP has not been the AP we have come to expect. True, he didn't have many holes to run through in these first two games, but he has gotten very little this season.
6) Texans - (Last week's rating #13 ) Last year, all the Texans needed to be elite was an offense. They now have an offense. They throttled a decent Kansas City team, and that's not an understatement, they looked STRONG. This team is moving up because not only are they solid, their division is weak.
7) Cardinals - (Last week's rating #11 ) The question I had after reading the stats was "Was Jameis Winston just realy bad or were the Cardinals that good?" Turns out some of both. Arizona is one field goal snap away from 2-0 and being a Top 5 club.
8) Packers - (Last week's rating #6 ) They got their cheese curds handed to them at Minnesota by a great defense, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers played like 2015 Rodgers, not "God Level" Rodgers. Green Bay depends on Rodgers to be a Football God, without that they are actually not a very good football team. This isn't my inner-Bears fanboy coming out, just look at the numbers when Rodgers is out. Not pretty. In case anybody cares, Pro Football Focus has Aaron Rodgers the second worst quarterback in the league this year (Andrew Luck takes the nod as their worst).
9) Bengals - (Last week's rating #8 ) OK, Cincy lost, but quarterback Andy Dalton for the most part outplayed Big Ben. A key turnover late decided the game (wide receiver fumble). To move up, Cincy needs to find a way to score more TD's instead of settling for FG's. Still, solid game on the road against one of the league's best teams.
10) Seahawks - (Last week's rating #5 ) Seattle is dropping fast due to one thing... J'Webb Nation is their best offensive lineman, and he's really struggling. This offensive line is BAD, and it's crippling the team. Cringe worthy bad. Worst in the league type bad.
11) Jets - (Last week's rating #15 ) Yeah, well... I love Matt Forte. I love good defense, which everybody says they have. Ummm... they did give up 31 points to an offense so dysfunctional (Buffalo) that they (Buffalo) fired their (Buffalo) offensive coordinator after the game. Then again, that's more to do with their (Buffalo) internal team drama than anything the Jets did or didn't do.
12) Giants - (Last week's rating #12 ) Color me meh. They won this game (against a team with a bad defense) because of a blocked kick. As an aside, for as close of a game as it was, it was DREADFUL to watch, turnovers every couple of minutes, and not the fun kind of turnovers either.
13) Chiefs - (Last week's rating #7 ) Kansas City drops down the list not really because they lost to a good Texans team, but more because there's a bubble of teams that are "really close". Kansas City is a playoff team this year.
14) Ravens - (Last week's rating #14 ) They beat Cleveland with an injured Josh McCown at QB by two field goals. The points differential in this game was a TD the Ravens scored off of a blocked field goal. This is NOT the way to move up a power ranking...
15) Raiders - (Last week's rating #10 ) Last week I gave them #10 because that offense, oh baby, that offense was firing. This week I moved them down five notches because while that offense can fire, they have no defense whatever. I mean NONE. Honestly, this is probably too high for them, but surely they will figure out a way to start keeping teams under 400 yards a game sooner or later, right? Wait, I just checked, they gave up more than 500 both of the first two games. Perhaps I should drop them 3 or 4 more slots?
16) Buccaneers - (Last week's rating #14 ) Quaterback Jameis Winston was under constant pressure throughout the game, and while not all of his picks were forced, the man was under assault by Arizona. Mediocre feels about right for these guys.
17) Cowboys - (Last week's rating #18 ) I'm a little perplexed by the Cowboys, I have to admit, so I am kind of parking them here for now. Yet another team with a prospering rookie quarterback, but also yet another team with a very, very iffy defense (at least so far) and no home field advantage. They beat Washington via gift turnovers, and frankly color me unimpressed. Next week they get to beat up on us, so I doubt very seriously this needle will move up much for them for a while... unless we beat them, of course, then it will drop like an anchor.
18) Eagles - (Last week's rating #23 ) Honestly, they move up 2 because they are 2-0 but they are 2-0 against the bottom two teams in my rankings. I can't tell you how good they are yet until they play a decent team, then this rating will become more accurate. Consider this a "placeholder" rating for now.
19) Falcons - (Last week's rating #28 ) Well, my golly they sure did run up a lot of yards this week vs. Oakland. A LOT of yards. Still... one gets the feeling watching them that the "tide has not turned their way just yet," that they are still pretenders and not contenders. It could come, but I'm going to need to see some solid performances on the road in a row before they move way up the ladder.
20) Chargers - (Last week's rating #26 ) Whoa, Nelly!!!! These men can score points. They can throw points up in big numbers, obscene amounts of points. And yet... yes, that number over there's a 20, so we know what that must mean... ye ole iffy defense yet again. They did shut down Jacksonville, who frankly looked horrible. Jax is a young, young team and they played one of those "OK, we are going to stink up the joint" games against San Diego. I can't get that collapse against KC on opening day out of my mind though.
21) 49ers -(Last week's rating #30 ) OK, OK, I admit it. I had San Francisco too low last week. I moved them up this week not because they looked good against the Panthers... they didn't... but as an admission that I blew it last week. This week Carlos Hyde was horrible, Blaine Gabbert was Blaine Gabbert (and not in a good way), and the whole team was sub-par against a really, really good Panther's team. #21's about right for them I think.
22) Dolphins - (Last week's rating #20 ) KEN'S NOTE: In honor of another popular Power Rankings site, I am going to do this one in the "butt hurt jilted team" style of Power Rankings for your amusement. "I don't like the Miami Dolphins. I really don't. They took Adam Gase from us. This is a bad thing (for us). It's probably going to be a good thing for them, but I don't care because I don't really like them very much. I started not liking them very much in 1985, and I doubt seriously I am going to start liking them any time soon. That being said, they did make a run at the Patriots this week... true, they only did so against the Patriots third string QB, and Martellus Bennett ripped them to shreds but... nah, doesn't matter, they are 0-2 and they stole Adam Gase from us. I have em rated too high, probably. The bums." OK, now the "non butt hurt" version. This team is not quite there yet, but all the tools are in place for Adam Gase to mold a challenger for the division title if not this year then soon. Even though they fall a couple of notches with the loss, this is an team that is ascending overall.
23) Lions - (Last week's rating #21 ) The Lions should not be this low with the talent that they have, but losing to Tennessee, at home, and scoring only 15 points on that defense? Not impressed, sorry.
24) Redskins - (Last week's rating #19 ) Close rivalry game, but Kirk Cousins is just going to have to play better than that. They've lost a close one and got the tar knocked out of them in their first two games. Lots of drama, too. Lower third team right now.
25) Rams - (Last week's rating #31 ) The Los Angeles Rams hit the field looking like the Rams are supposed to, in yellow and gold. This week, LA also did what the St. Louis Rams did twice last year, knock off Seattle in a close game. LA's defensive front 7 played much better this week, albeit they were facing a HORRIBLE Seattle offensive line... LA's line is also really bad. Superstar running back Todd Gurley only had 51 yards on 19 carries, just over two yards per carry. I will probably move the Rams higher when they actually score a TD in a game for once, or start averaging more than 4.5 points per game. Just sayin. Dreadful game to watch, by the way, if you have Gamepass, skip this one.
26) Titans - (Last week's rating #27 ) They are not as talented as the team that they beat, on the road. But... they did beat a more talented team on the road.
KEN'S NOTE: After this point all of the bottom teams are pretty much interchangeable except Cleveland (there's a significant talent gap between 31 and 32)
27) Saints - (Last week's rating #25 ) I probably should have them higher, as New Orleans would have beaten the Giants had the ball bounced a bit differently. It didn't. A warning for those of you with Gamepass or another way of viewing past games. The week two game was hideous to watch, and their defense is still really bad. This ranking is based off of their two game performance to date, not potential. I expect them to move up this year, but as if right now they are really struggling.
28) Jaguars - (Last week's rating #17 ) The Jaguars were beaten in every way a team can be beaten in San Diego, and I am crushing them in the power rankings because of it. This was the second most ugly performance of the weekend, only behind the Chicago Bears. In fact, it may have been uglier if we discount the injuries. Jax is young, so there is that, but WOW was that a bad loss. I gotta admit I cut this one off early, there was no point in watching all of it since I already knew there wasn't a comeback.
29) Colts - (Last week's rating #22 ) This was an ugly game at Denver, but the Colts were at least in the game. Denver really didn't scorch the "iffy at best" Colts defense, but Indy's offensive line was completely dominated by the new Orange Crush defense. Still, that Indy offense is good enough to keep Indy out of the league's cellar.
30) Bills - (Last week's rating #29 ) Yes they scored a lot of points, but they fired their offensive coordinator after the game... (they give up 37, score 31 and it's the offensive Coordinator's fault they lost?) Entertaining game, though, I have to admit that. The Ryan Brothers are probably not long for upper New York.
31) Bears - (Last week's rating #24 ) We could, arguably, be anywhere from 26th to dead last. Frankly, most of these teams at the bottom end really are "on any given Sunday" except Cleveland. Chicago's backups outplayed Cleveland's starters (yes, it was pre-season, but it was also pretty obvious) so the Bears stay out of the cellar.
32) Browns - (Last week's rating #31 ) Josh McCown was knocked out of the game, but came back and gutted it out. Josh McCown is a stud and a great guy. Cleveland lost the game because... well... they ARE Cleveland and a bunch of improbable events led to yadda yadda yadda. Probable starter at QB next week, a now one-armed Josh McCown or rookie Cody Kessler.
So what do you think? Am I close? Am I entirely wrong? Spill the beans, let us know what you think & how you would rank them!