Paulie's Power Poll – Week 2

It’s bizarro NFL this week as the Redskins, Packers, Texans, Lions and 49ers are all 2-0. Cleveland won a shootout with the Bengals. And the Saints, Eagles, Jets, and Giants are winless. It made for some tough choices in the power rankings this week. There’s a lot of major moving and shaking. Which should be expected in the first couple weeks. So let’s just jump right on in on it…

1. New England Patriots (2-0)The Pats showed even more dominance this week in the shadow of Cheater-gate. They ruled the field on both sides of the ball. For as good as the Chargers are, they looked like a high school team out there with Brady and Company. And the Brady and Moss show is showing now signs of slowing down. Last week: #1

2. Indianapolis Colts (2-0) – The Colts had a tough game against the Titans but that’s starting to be par for the course with division games in the AFC South here lately. Last Week: #2

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) – They were impressive against the Bills this past week and with the way the rest of their division is starting to look, they may run away with the AFC North this year. Last Week: #4

4. Dallas Cowboys (2-0)- The offense is clicking on all cylinders behind Romo, Owens, and Marion Barber. The defense caused a lot of turnovers in Miami but still gave up 20 points. If that unit can fall into place, Dallas may be the cream of the NFC this year. Last Week: #5

5. San Diego Chargers (1-1)- They’ve faced what will probably be the two toughest defenses they’ll see all season in the first two weeks and split with them. It gets a little easier this week in Green Bay, but the Packers are riding high right now and won’t be the pushover they were believed to be at the beginning of the season. But they’ve got to start performing now or the questions over hiring ol Norv will kick into overdrive. Last Week: #3

6. Houston Texans (2-0) – They exploited Carolina’s weakness by targeting the safeties with Andre Johnson this past weekend. Indy is coming to town this week with the running game and strong defensive middle that the Panthers didn’t have. How well they hang in this game will really show how far this team has come. Last Week: #12

7. Green Bay Packers (2-0) – I still can’t tell how they’re doing it. I couldn’t even tell you the name of their primary running back. But Bret Favre has this team going and poised for a playoff run. Last Week: #20

8. Detroit Lions (2-0) – I don’t like that it took OT to take down the Vikings, but being without your starting QB for almost half the game will do that. But it’s the winning of close games like this one that can take teams from the #2 pick in the draft to the playoffs. Last Week: #14

9. Washington Redskins (2-0) – The defense is stepping up for these guys. As long as Jason Campbell can keep protecting the ball, they should be ok. Last Week: #21

10. Denver Broncos (2-0) – Lo, but for the foot of Jason Elam go they. Or something. This team needs to start figuring out how to put teams away. Last Week: #6

11. San Fransisco 49ers (2-0) – Two skin of their teeth wins put them at the bottom of the 2-0’s. The defense is strong, but Gore needs to step up and start playing like he did last year if that offense is going to survive. Last Week: #25

12. Chicago Bears (1-1) – The Bears did what they had to do to beat the Chiefs. One day, though, teams will learn that it’s better to just kick the ball out of bounds than to let Hester touch it on a punt return. The defense gets a tougher test this week against the suddenly high powered Cowboy’s offense. Last Week: #10

13. Tennessee Titans (1-1) – The Titans running game came back down to earth some but they still played tight with the Colts. Last Week: #13

14. Baltimore Ravens (1-1) – They’ve got Kyle Boller back under center and they still let Byron Leftwich sign with Atlanta instead of making a push to pick him up. Why all the faith in the guy who’s failed the team so many times? Last Week: #16

15. Carolina Panthers (1-1) – The running game proved that it’s still not where it needs to be and the safeties are abysmal. The good news is that Jake is spreading the ball around more in the passing game. They’ve got the Falcons this week with Joey Harrington still at the helm. If that doesn’t provide a confidence boost for the defense, then this team is in trouble. Last Week: #7

16. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) – Losing in a shootout is one thing. But when your defense gives up 51 points to the Cleveland Browns, you have to take a deep look at your team and figure out real fast what is wrong. Last Week: #8

17. Seattle Seahawks (1-1) – Their loss on Sunday showed that the NFC West my truly be wild this year. Last Week: #11

18. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) – They picked it up some against the Falcons but will need to be miles better to compete in the AFC South this season. Last Week: #24

19. Minnesota Vikings (1-1) – Much like Chicago, their defense is going to have to win several games this season. Adrian Peterson is proving to be worth the hype. But how will he do when teams start consistently staking 8 and 9 in the box against him because the passing game is nonexistent? Last Week: #17

20. Arizona Cardinals (1-1) – They had a tough, gutty victory over the Seahawks. They’re going to need to take that and build on it. If they keep blocking for Edge they way they have been, the should keep inching towards their goals. Last Week: #26

21. New York Jets (0-2) – Yeah, I still think this team is better than the rest of the 1-1’s. Do the Jets have a brewing QB controversy on their hands? Clemens did pretty good to have had his first start against the vaunted Ravens defense. Last Week: #15

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) – The win over the Saints will hold more sway if it turns out New Orleans is just starting kinda slow this year. Last Week: #29

23. Buffalo Bills (0-2) – This team has GOT to start sniffing out the end zone. For all the talent they have, they should be playing so much better. Last Week: #9

24. Cleveland Browns (1-1) – The sun even shines on the Dawg Pound’s butt some days. Last Week: #32

25. New York Giants (0-2) – The Giants defense is a sieve at this point. Eli and Plaxico are moving the ball well, but they’re not going to win any shootouts with the defense playing the way it is. Last Week: #17

26. St. Louis Rams (0-2) – They’re getting the yardage, they’re just not putting up the points. They need to figure out how to stop the run. Carriker can’t do it by himself. Last Week: #22

27. New Orleans Saints (0-2) – Their secondary woes are finally coming back to haunt them and it seems defenses have figured out the schemes that worked so well for them last year. Last Week: #19

28. Philadelphia Eagles (0-2) – The offense looks totally lost out there. Someone besides Westbrook has got to step up if they’re going to compete even in their division. Last Week: #23

29. Oakland Raiders (0-2) – They played it tight with Denver and look like they could bust through at any moment. But they won’t. And that’s why they’re 0-2. Last Week: #28

30. Miami Dolphins (0-2) – The running back situation is still in a bit of disarray. Trent Green isn’t the QB savior they were hoping for. And the defense got worn out by all the short fields. Not a good combination. Last Week: #27

31. Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) – Larry Johnson is getting shut down. There is NO passing game to speak of. The Chiefs crumble under Herm Edwards is near completion. Last Week: #30

32. Atlanta Falcons (0-2) – Joey Harrington has been sacked 13 times in two games. Now they’ve signed Leftwich so he can get sacked some more. But at least when he DOES get to throw the ball, he might get it near someone. Brian Brohm, here they come! Last Week: #31

That’s it for this week. Agree with me? Think I’m an idiot? Want to call me names? Go here in the forums and we can discuss it.

Credit: nfl.com, the National Football League and individual partner organizations

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