1.) Seattle Seahawks (2-0) – The Hawks soared in their Sunday night soiree with the 49’ers as they shutdown Kaepernick with a bruising defense and employed a ground-and-pound attack led by Marshawn Lynch to dominate one of the premier teams in the NFL.
2.) Denver Broncos (2-0) – Manning the Elder is now 3-0 in the NFL against his kid brother as the Broncos juggernaut continued to roll in hostile territory with a lopsided 41-23 victory over Big Blue.
3.) Green Bay Packers (1-1) – Aaron Rodgers proved again why he is one of the most dangerous gunslingers in the NFL, passing for a career-high 480 yards en route to a surgical dissection of the Redskins defense.
4.) San Francisco 49’ers (1-1) – Despite their inability to crack the code that is the Seattle defense, the Niners are still one of the best and deserve a top-five ranking until they prove otherwise.
5.) New England Patriots (2-0) – Perhaps the least inspiring undefeated team in the league is Tom Brady’s crew with lackluster wins over two divisional weak sisters but their defense looks tough and we know the offense will get better. We know this, right?
6.) New Orleans Saints (2-0) – Neither the victory nor Drew Brees’s performance was pretty but a win on the road is still a good win even if you’re eking it out over the hapless Bucs.
7.) Houston Texans (2-0) – The Texans have had two near death experiences in consecutive weeks but flat-lining early has not precluded Houston from being resuscitated late as they come back from the dead yet again to secure an overtime victory against the Titans.
8.) Chicago Bears (2-0) – Jay Cutler is suddenly Mr. Clutch?! Maybe all the flowery rhetoric from his teammates is true and Cutler will become the Jim McMahon of the not so new millennium. Cutler leads Chicago to a narrow victory over the Vikings and now sit atop the NFC North.
9.) Atlanta Falcons (1-1) – Mounting injuries and a shaky offensive line were still not enough to keep the Falcons from copping their first win of the season over the overmatched Rams.
10.) Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) – Well lo and behold one of my preseason dark horse teams in my NFL picks remains undefeated after a squeaker over the Cowboys. New coach, new quarterback and zero turnovers have led to winning football at Arrowhead.
11.) Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) - A pair of rookies on offense and a ferocious defense keyed the Cats to a big win over their nemesis from Pittsburgh. The power shift has begun in the AFC North.
12.) Dallas Cowboys (1-1) – The Romo to Bryant connection is in midseason form but key turnovers spelled defeat to an upstart Kansas City squad looking to make a statement.
13.) Baltimore Ravens (1-1) – Redemption is the word of the day for a Ravens defense that looked dazed and confused while getting run over by the Mile High Express in Week 1. It was a complete reversal last week when the Ravens swarmed Browns QB Brandon Weeden and scored their first win of the season.
14.) San Diego Chargers (1-1) – Rivers was flowing all afternoon and if it were not for a pair of miscues inside the Eagles ten yard line, this narrow road victory could have been a bona fide blowout.
15.) Miami Dolphins (2-0) – Maybe ranking the Fins in the middle of the pack is a bit harsh for a team that has won their first two contests on the road but I’m just not convinced this is a top ten team. A victory over the Falcons in NFL odds this week would have me rethinking my position in a hurry.
16.) Tennessee Titans (1-1) – The Titans look solid on both sides of the ball thus far this season but taking a penalty for celebrating in the endzone after a touchdown is inexcusable as they did in Sunday’s overtime loss to the Texans.
17.) Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) – Chip Kelly’s debut was spoiled by a San Diego field goal in the closing seconds as the defense has been downright offensive. On a positive note it looked like vintage Michael Vick scrambling and passing his way to another big game.
18.) St. Louis Rams (1-1) - Sam Bradford is finally coming into his own as evidenced by the three touchdown strikes and over 350 passing yards in a losing cause to the Falcons. This team will surprise.
19.) Arizona Cardinals (1-1) - I counted them out against the Lions but Carson Palmer used his experience by heaving a long ball late in the fourth quarter which he surmised had a good chance of drawing a pass interference penalty. He was right, Arizona scored because of it and this team might be a click above mediocre this season.
20.) Detroit Lions (1-1) - This may be the lowest this team is ranked all season after their stunning loss to the Cardinals. The Stafford to Johnson connection is a lethal weapon that's far from secret and will keep the Motor City Cats in the hunt.
21.) New York Giants (0-2) - Eli got schooled yet again by his big brother and the Giants continue a pattern of getting off slowly only to come on late.
22.) Indianapolis Colts (1-1) - It will take more than Luck to get this team back into the playoffs because their opening week victory was too close for comfort and last week they bowed to the Dolphins. One man can't do it all - or can he?
23.) Oakland Raiders (1-1) - Consider me impressed with the Silver & Black so far this season. They almost upended the Colts in Week 1 and rebounded to crush the lowly Jags on Sunday. Not exactly a victory for the ages but in order to compete with the good teams you have to learn to beat the bad ones.
24.) Pittsburgh Steelers - No offense - no shot. But if Big Ben can get his offense on track his defense may give them a chance.
25.) Buffalo Bills (1-1) - Rookie EJ Manuel just may be the diamond in the rough Buffalo fans have longed for since the departure of Machine Gun Jim Kelly. His gutsy last second TD pass lifted the Bills over the Panthers and gave the Buffalo fans something to be proud of besides their wings.
26.) Washington Redskins (0-2) - RGIII and the Skins better learn that there is actually a first-half of football that needs to be played before waking up for the second.
27.) New York Jets (1-1) - Rex Ryan is reported to be a dead man walking this season but I am hoping for a commutation as Gang Green won their opener over the Bucs and played the Patriots tough in Week 2.
28.) Minnesota Vikings (0-2) - The Vikings gave the Bears all they could handle but this team is simply too one dimensional to do much more than inch their way into the high teens in our NFL power rankings.
29.) Carolina Panthers (0-2) - The Panthers are better than this and they know it. But before they move up the rankings they'll need to give Cam Newton some protection and stop making bonehead mistakes on defense.
30.) Tampa Bay Bucs (0-2) - I'm sure there are some top ten teams that would gladly trade for Tampa's defense but Josh Freeman is abysmal as the trigger man for the Bucs offense. In the surreal world that is the NFL, Freeman is actually asking to be traded! I'm sure the Bucs phones are ringing off the hook.
31.) Cleveland Browns (0-2) - Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden was beaten like a red-headed step child by the Ravens and so too was his team. Same old, same old in Cleveland.
32.) Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) - Wanna stick around in your suicide pools? Fade the Jags no matter who they're playing.