NFL Power Rankings and Awards: Week 2


Sep 20, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws the ball in front of San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey (90) during the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 is in the books, and the NFL spectrum is already insane. Teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints are 0-2, while the New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons are both 2-0. We’ve seen some crazy upsets, with Oakland, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Cleveland all winning this week, and we’ve seen some blowouts, with Pittsburgh embarrassing San Francisco just six days after the Niners’ impressive victory on Monday night. This season has been exciting, and it’s only going to get better. So without further ado, let’s get into the weekly awards.

AFC MVP: Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben caught fire against a suspect 49ers defense, completing 21 of his 27 attempts for 369 yards and three touchdowns. Roethlisberger didn’t turn the ball over once or even take a sack; he looked great on Sunday in Pittsburgh’s first win of the season.

NFC MVP: Larry Fitzgerald

I thought Larry Fitzgerald was done. I think most people thought he was done. Larry Fitzgerald is not done. The Cardinals wide receiver caught eight passes for 112 yards and three touchdowns in Arizona’s blowout victory over the Chicago Bears. That was an impressive performance from the 32-year-old wide receiver; Arizona certainly hopes there’s more where that came from.

Coach of the Week: Todd Bowles

Don’t look now, but Bowles’ Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Jets are 2-0 coming off a big win in Indianapolis. New York’s defense is aggressive yet smart; it forced the Colts to turn the ball over five times yet didn’t give up any big plays. And on offense, the tandem of former Broncos receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker looks like it could be one of the NFL’s best receiving duos. Props to Bowles and his staff for making this Jets team a fun one to watch.

Now that the awards have been given out, let’s get into what really matters: the Power Rankings.

Just a reminder: I intentionally ranked your team lower than it deserves to be ranked as an attack against you because I don’t like your team.

(2-0). Previous: 1st. New England Patriots. 1. team. 47. <a href=

<a href=. (2-0). Previous: 2nd. Green Bay Packers. 2. team. 49

Arizona Cardinals. 3. team. 32. Arizona looks like one of the NFL’s best teams with Carson Palmer healthy. The Cards are 9-1 with Palmer at the helm over the past two seasons, and with David Johnson, John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald all performing well on offense, this team could actually be a serious contender. Seattle sits in a 2-0 hole; it could be difficult for the Seahawks to make up for the lost ground in the race for the NFC West crown.. (2-0). Previous: 3rd

Cincinnati Bengals. 4. team. 56. The Bengals look like one of the NFL’s most improved teams, thanks to fully healthy pass-catchers <a href=. (2-0). Previous: 4th

55. What a great statement win for the Steelers on Sunday. That offense is loaded with weapons, and that’s without two of its best players. <a href=. (1-1). Previous: 9th. Pittsburgh Steelers. 5. team

124. Brutal loss on Thursday night in Arrowhead Stadium; the Chiefs deserved that victory. That play-call is going to stick in Andy Reid’s head. As a coach, you need to make a decision: either kneel the ball or go for the win–coaches can’t be indecisive. The Chiefs defense looked good at times, recording three sacks and an interception. However, the defense crumbled in the fourth and allowed Denver to take over the game. <a href=. (1-1). Previous: 5th. Kansas City Chiefs. 6. team

45. The Broncos may have won on Thursday night, but the Chiefs were clearly the better team. <a href=. (2-0). Previous: 8th. Denver Broncos. 7. team

Previous: 7th. Buffalo Bills. 8. team. 16. The Bills looked doomed after three quarters, but they responded nicely, scoring 19 points in the fourth quarter while only giving up three in a game they eventually lost to the New England Patriots. Staying close to New England in Foxborough is impressive for any team, especially for the Bills, whose offense showed some life in the fourth quarter. Rex Ryan has to be feeling good; who would’ve thought that the Bills’ net total would be positive after playing the Colts and the Patriots during the first two weeks of the season?. (1-1)

9. team. 36. Seattle may have lost in Lambeau Field, but just coming close to the Packers was a huge accomplishment for the Seahawks. The Packers are the best home team in football; expecting an away win in a hostile environment is wishful thinking. The Seahawks may be in an 0-2 hole, but they’re still a strong team. <a href=. (0-2). Previous: 14th. Seattle Seahawks

Previous: 15th. Atlanta Falcons. 10. team. 44. What a difference a single coaching change can make. We saw it with Todd Bowles’ Jets, and we can see it with Dan Quinn’s Falcons. This team is fun to watch; Julio Jones is a monster–he set the Falcons franchise record for catches in a game with 13 on Sunday, adding 135 yards. The Falcons defense is much improved from 2014; <a href=. (2-0)

This Chargers team is going to be tough to figure out. San Diego showed serious resilience in its Week 1 victory over the Detroit Lions, but it couldn’t manage to overcome a ferocious Bengals team in Week 2. <a href=. (1-1). Previous: 6th. San Diego Chargers. 11. team. 13

12. team. 87. Carolina tacked on another win on Sunday, but the team has serious issues. The Panthers need more star-power on offense; <a href=. (2-0). Previous: 17th. Carolina Panthers

13. team. 46. Maybe it was the Jets’ defense, but <a href=. (0-2). Previous: 11th. Indianapolis Colts

26. I hesitated burying the Ravens last week because their defense looked like one of the NFL’s best and I was interested to see what it would look like after losing Terrell Suggs. But now, after losing a winnable game in Oakland, I feel no regret for dropping the Ravens. I’ve been on Baltimore’s case since this offseason, knocking them for their lack of pass-catching options on offense. And although <a href=. (0-2). Previous: 10th. Baltimore Ravens. 14. team

Dallas Cowboys. 15. team. 123. Another huge division win for America’s team, this time in Philadelphia. <a href=. (2-0). Previous: 16th

(1-1). Previous: 12th. St. Louis Rams. 16. team. 51. That loss in Washington was the Rams-iest thing that could happen to St. Louis. After a great Week 1 win over the Seahawks, the Rams used this trip to Washington to remind us all that they’re still one of the most frustrating teams in football. While <a href=

17. team. 50. For Lions fans, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that <a href=. (0-2). Previous: 13th. Detroit Lions

30. How about those 2-0 Jets? Todd Bowles looks like the perfect fit for this team; his defense is ultra-aggressive and the team’s move to bring in Brandon Marshall looks like it was the only offseason trade to actually benefit a team. Chan Gailey’s offense is very efficient, Bowles’ defense can rattle even the best quarterbacks in the league and the Jets have a 2-0 record in the absence of their starting quarterback! I don’t think anyone saw this coming.. (2-0). Previous: 26th. New York Jets. 18. team

team. 54. Philadelphia was an absolute train wreck in its home opener against the division rival Cowboys, but it benefits from the Cowboys’ long list of injuries, leaving the division wide open for the taking. Chip Kelly’s notorious high-powered offense has only managed two quarters worth of quality production, while his offense has been lacksidasical in the other six. The running game can’t get going, <a href=. (0-2). Previous: 19th. Philadelphia Eagles. 19

59. Wow, what an upset in Jacksonville–or are the Dolphins just that mediocre of a team? <a href=. (1-1). Previous: 18th. Miami Dolphins. 20. team

Previous: 21st. San Francisco 49ers. 21. team. 42. Huge reality check for the Niners during Sunday’s blowout loss in Pittsburgh. Despite this, the 49ers are still a talented team. <a href=. (1-1)

22. team. 60. The Minnesota Vikings finally seemed to find out that giving the ball to your best player can actually can help your team win football games. <a href=. (1-1). Previous: 23rd. Minnesota Vikings

10. <a href=. (0-2). Previous: 22nd. Houston Texans. 23. team

31. Quite frankly, I only have the Giants here because they have a better quarterback than every team ranked below them (other than the Saints). But even a great season from Eli Manning can’t fix the Giants’ long list of problems on both sides of the ball. Football starts in the trenches, and the Giants struggle in the trenches on both sides of the ball. New York has what could be the league’s worst defensive line, and its offensive line doesn’t look much better–not to mention that the Giants secondary is atrocious. There’s a lot of work to do in New York, but with a wide-open NFC East, the Giants’ season is far from over.. (0-2). Previous: 24th. New York Giants. 24. team

28. Oakland got its first win early in a great upset of the Baltimore Ravens that I was <a href=. (1-1). Previous: 27th. Oakland Raiders. 25. team

Jacksonville Jaguars. 26. team. 52. Man oh man, <a href=. (1-1). Previous: 28th

The Saints are in trouble. New Orleans doesn’t trust its wide receivers; it doesn’t have a reliable pass-catching tight end after trading <a href=. (0-2). Previous: 20th. New Orleans Saints. 27. team. 15

Cleveland Browns. 29. team. 53. Browns fans finally look like they have something to look forward to; that something could be <a href=. (1-1). Previous: 29th

Tennessee Titans. 30. team. 35. Tennessee took a serious reality check on Sunday, losing to the Browns in a game that almost everyone expected Tennessee to win (although I called the Cleveland upset). Let’s face it; Cleveland is actually a decent home team, and the Browns have a nice secondary. It showed on Sunday, with <a href=. (1-1). Previous: 25th

The Buccaneers dismantled the New Orleans Saints after a not-so-impressive Week 1 start, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. The Bucs gave New Orleans <em>way</em> too many chances to come back into the game after jumping out to a 27-3 lead in the third quarter. <a href=. (1-1). Previous: 32nd. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 31. team. 48

57. The Chicago Bears would be at the bottom of the rankings even without <a href=. (0-2). Previous: 31st. Chicago Bears. 32. team

Next: NFL Power Rankings and Awards: Week 1