…And we’re back with this week’s edition of TOJ’s NFL Power Rankings. TONS of key matchups taking place starting tonight, where the 1-0 Pittsburgh Steelers take on the 0-1 Baltimore Ravens. Let’s get to the top 32, with each team’s strength and weakness being highlighted headed into Week 2. I only have one rule for this week; if you won, you’re ranked higher than a team that lost.
1. Seattle Seahawks, 1-0, Last Week: -NR
Strength: Percy Harvin looked explosive in a week 1 win against the Packers.
Weakness: Travel to San Diego to take on a very good Chargers team.
2. Denver Broncos, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strength: Offense didn’t really seem like it missed Wes Welker, as Peyton and Co. put up 24 unanswered in the first half.
Weakness: Took foot off the gas when went up big, fueling questions about the team’s ability to close out opponents.
3. San Francisco 49ers, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strength: Defense produced three first quarter interceptions on a clearly ailing Tony Romo.
Weakness: Allowed 100+ yards to RB DeMarco Murray in a game that should’ve been a blowout considering how hurt Romo and Dez Bryant looked.
4. Philadelphia Eagles, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strength: Were able to rally in the second half against the Jaguars, as they put up 34 unanswered to win their season opener.
Weakness: Fell behind 17-0 to the Jaguars as Nick Foles committed multiple turnovers and the #StartSanchez movement started revving up.
5. Detroit Lions, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strength: Completely dominated a hapless Giants team, as Matt Stafford slightly resembled Drew Brees in the new Lions offense.
Weakness: Struggled to get Reggie Bush going, as Joique Bell looked like the better runner.
6. Cincinnati Bengals, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strength: The defense was absolutely stellar in their first game without Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer, as they dominated a Ravens team currently in shambles.
Weakness: Offense struggled to score touchdowns instead of field goals, as franchise QB Andy Dalton missed a couple of big play opportunities.
7. Miami Dolphins, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strength: Beat up on division rival New England and handed the Patriots their week 1 loss in 10 years.
Weakness: Risk of suffering a collapse against another division rival this weekend when they play the Buffalo Bills.
8. Atlanta Falcons, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strength: Matt Ryan outplayed Drew Brees in a game that could have serious playoff implications down the road.
Weakness: Defense allowed Brees and the Saints to go up and down the field whenever they wanted.
9. Tennessee Titans, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strengths: Jake Locker displayed pinpoint accuracy against a very good Kansas City defense in Arrowhead in his first game without Chris Johnson.
Weaknesses: Running game was too dependent on Shonn Greene, especially when there is a better runner on the roster in Bishop Sankey.
10. New York Jets, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strengths: 82% accuracy for Geno Smith, and a dominant performance by the front 7 powered their victory.
Weakness: 3 huge mistakes by Geno that might’ve doomed the Jets against a better opponent.
11. Minnesota Vikings, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strength: Dropped 34 on one of the better defenses in the league, as the much-maligned offensive line created lanes for Cordarelle Patterson to expose.
Weakness: Adrian Peterson had a subpar (by his standards) game.
12. Buffalo Bills, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strength: Much-maligned offense produced over 350 yards of total offense on the road against a team many had pegged as a sneaky Super Bowl contender.
Weakness: Allowed 349 yards through the air, providing evidence that they will miss All-Pro Safety Jairus Byrd.
13. Arizona Cardinals, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strength: 119 yards from “number one” WR Michael Floyd against a playoff team with a pretty good defense from last year should be exciting.
Weakness: Carson Palmer should not be your second leading rusher.
14. Houston Texans, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strength: 103 yards for Arian Foster and 182 combined yards for Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins seem like a pretty good formula for the offense to be successful.
Weakness: Jadeveon Clowney having to miss 4-6 weeks put a damper on what was a suffocating performance by the Texans defense.
15. Carolina Panthers, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strength: 6 catches for 92 yards and a beautiful reception by rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin gave life to the theory that maybe the WRs will be OK.
Weakness: Defense allowed Tampa Bay to get back in the game, which is something they did not do a lot of last year.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1-0, Last Week- NR
Strength: Big Ben looked like he was 25 years old, as he carved up a very good Browns defense to the tune of over 60% completion percentage and almost 400 yards.
Weakness: Allowed almost 200 yards rushing to an average Browns rushing attack.
17. New Orleans Saints, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: Brandin Cooks looks like the real deal, as he catches 7 of 8 targets to give another weapon for Drew Brees.
Weakness: Defense, which was a top 5 unit last year, allowed 37 points and over 400 yards of passing to Matt Ryan.
18. Chicago Bears, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: 25 touches for over 150 yards for Matt Forte, arguably one of the most underrated players in football.
Weakness: Jay Cutler’s new contract didn’t seem to remove his penchant for throwing INTs while wearing Chicago blue.
19. New England Patriots, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: Rob Gronkowski looked healthy, which is a scary proposition for the rest of the AFC East.
Weakness: Tom Brady had one of his worst games in recent memory, and prized free agent acquisition Darrelle Revis struggled a bit against Dolphins WR Mike Wallace.
20. San Diego Chargers, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: After all the talk about Ladarius Green in the offseason, Antonio Gates still received the most targets and looked like he was healthy for the first time in a few seasons.
Weakness: Pass rush did not get to QB Carson Palmer enough, and the secondary allowed over 300 yards because of it.
21. Green Bay Packers, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: Jordy Nelson hauled in 9 of his 14 targets, and showed why he is one of the better WRs in the NFL.
Weakness: Allowed 5.5 yards per carry to 4 different Seahawks runners as their defense couldn’t stop a nose bleed.
22. Indianapolis Colts, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: Reggie Wayne, showing no ill effects of his torn ACL from last year, had 9 catches on 13 targets matched up against Aqib Talib.
Weakness: Defense allowed the Broncos to go up 24-0 before the offense had a chance to get settled, something that has been a recurring theme during all of Andrew Luck’s short career.
23. Cleveland Browns, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: After the Ben Tate injury, Terrence “Kanye” West and Isaiah “Chris Ivory Jr.” Crowell provided enough of a spark to help the team get back into the game.
Weakness: The lack of a go-to WR, despite Andrew Hawkins’ good game, was glaring when you see Antonio Brown on the other side.
24. Baltimore Ravens, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: 17 receptions for Steve Smith and Dennis Pitta in what was clearly a “get Joe Flacco going” game.
Weakness: A 62 to 20 pass to run ratio won’t win in the NFL; in fact, it only wins in the Arena League, so mayyyyybe run the ball a little more so your immobile QB doesn’t get blasted repeatedly again.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: Raced out to a 17-0 lead against the defending NFC East Champions, and might have a legitimate WR trio with Allen “Ace” Hurns, Marqise Lee, and Cecil Shorts.
Weakness: Blew a 17-0 lead after making Nick Foles look rather pedestrian in the first half.
26. Oakland Raiders, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: Derek Carr showed great footwork early on in being able to elude pressure, which is a trait that some veterans still don’t possess.
Weakness: Struggled with protecting Carr in the second half, and the o-line didn’t open any holes for the running game either.
27. Kansas City Chiefs, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: Dwayne Bowe who? Donnie Avery hauled in a team and game high 7 receptions as the lone bright spot for the Chiefs offense.
Weakness: 7 carries for Jamaal Charles should be considered a travesty, and most fantasy football owners would agree.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: Gerald McCoy’s 8 tackle, 1 sack performance showed that he may well be on his way to becoming the best defensive tackle in football.
Weakness: No Cam Newton should’ve meant a win, but this team came out flat footed and displayed a lack of killer instinct.
29. Dallas Cowboys, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: DeMarco Murray ran for over 100 yards against the vaunted 49ers front 7.
Weakness: Tony Romo’s arm, which could not make throws that we’ve seen Romo make for years.
30. St. Louis Rams, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: Brian Quick with 7 catches on 9 targets was the only bright spot on this dismal Sunday.
Weakness: Everything else? No pass rush from their vaunted defensive line, Shaun Hill went down with an injury, and they got housed at home.
31. New York Giants, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: They did a good job at stopping the run against the Lions.
Weakness: They apparently decided that not covering the best WR in football is a sound strategy.
32. Washington, 0-1, Last Week- NR
Strength: 91 yards for Alfred Morris as he tries to bounce back from a terrible sophomore season.
Weakness: The secondary still can’t cover anyone still, as evidenced by Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins winning their one on one matchups repeatedly.
Thursday Night Prediction:
Season Record: 0-1
Tonight: Pittsburgh 27, Baltimore 21