The Strong Move Week 2 Power Rankings

21 Sep

The second week of the NFL season is in the books. With that comes a lot of shifting in this week’s version of the power rankings. It’s still early in the year, so I expect these rankings to change quite often. Because of this, I’m going to write some suggestions for each squad. See what your team needs and feel free to disagree with me about anything.

1. Green Bay Packers (2-0) – Not much, but I’d say the defensive playcalling has been spotty. Giving up all of those points to the Saints in one thing. Allowing Cam Newton to do what he did on the road is near unforgivable. Especially with the talent on this defense. Big test coming up against the Bears, they need to be able to attack that offensive line with well conceived blitz packages.

2. New England Patriots (2-0) – Their secondary is a downright liability right now. Chad Henne the first week, Philip Rivers the second. If they’re not careful, the game next week against the Buffalo Bills can turn into a shootout. While Ryan Fitzpatrick is nowhere near the quarterback Tom Brady is, New England’s defense may make him look like he is.

3. New Orleans Saints (1-1) – Abandon the run game. Just be yourself. I know they drafted Mark Ingram, but their insistence on trying to run the ball is holding back their potential on offense. Just keep Darren Sproles in the backfield and air it out. Not many offenses will keep up with theirs and all you need to do at that point is play opportunistic defense. This is the Saints’ identity.

4. Houston Texans (2-0) – Stop playing Arian Foster…for now. Let his hamstring heal, by rushing him back, they’re further aggravating the injury. They have a very capable backup in Ben Tate. Let him run the rock and make sure you have Foster healthy and ready to roll. There’s going to be a lot of breathing room in that division, you can afford to play Tate.

5. New York Jets (2-0) – Establish their running game. Without one, this offense is stagnant. They can’t rely on the passing game solely, that isn’t the strength of this team. Shonn Greene has been a tremendous disappointment and Tomlinson is going to show his age at some point. It’s going to be tough, but without a legitimate run game, expect another playoff exit.

6. Baltimore Ravens (1-1) – Don’t blow your load to early. This is a highly emotional team but because of this, sometimes after a big game, they come out completely flat the next game, as they did against the Titans this week. I can see this becoming a problem down the stretch, possibly in the playoffs. They rely on their emotions and sometimes just run out of gas. Find a way to balance out the fire.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) – It may be time to reduce Hines Ward’s role even further. Wallace, Sanders, and Brown are the future of that receiving corps. They need to find and establish their identity on offense, especially in the passing game, and it starts with those three. Ward can still be used as a blocker and a third down possession receiver.

8. Detroit Lions (2-0) – One thing: keep Stafford healthy!

9. Buffalo Bills (2-0) – Find a way to generate a pass rush. By simply doing this, their defense will appear better than it actually is. They will need to find a way to make Brady uncomfortable this Sunday for a shot at a victory.

10. Chicago Bears (1-1) – Find a reliable weapon in the offense other than Matt Forte. If not, the offense will be flat and unexciting. They will beat teams they’re supposed to, but lose against the elite ones.

11. San Diego Chargers (1-1) – Avoid dumb mistakes. Rivers has had two really dumb interceptions in the last two weeks and Tolbert coughed up the ball at an important moment in the game. They need to figure out a way to eliminate the costly turnovers or big plays that have plagued them in the past and continue to be a problem.

12. Atlanta Falcons (1-1) – Act like you care. There is no sense of fire from this team or the fans. They came out and laid an egg in the first week of the season against the Bears and then, even though they played well against the Eagles, they lacked any passion in a game that should’ve been treated as important. They need a vocal leader to emerge.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) – What a surprise, Michael Vick is injured. It should be no surprise then that what they need to do is figure out a way to protect him. Keep a tight end in to block, do anything. But this season hinges on Vick’s health. Kafka looked nice, but let’s all agree that he’s no Vick.

14. Dallas Cowboys (1-1) – Limp towards the bye week…then get everyone healthy. If they can go into the bye week 2-2 with having a lot of their key guys sidelined, that will be considered a success. Then, use the early bye week to get everyone healthy. Rest your players until then to maximize their time off.

15. Oakland Raiders (1-1) – Get more aggressive on defense. Their secondary cannot cover man to man, other than Stanford Routt. So mix it up with safety blitzes, linebacker blitzes, etc. As good as their front four is, they cannot be asked to be the only source of pressure. If not, the secondary will get carved up.

16. Washington Redskins (2-0) – Bring out all the stops this week. If they can beat Dallas and go 3-0, there’s no telling where they can go. Their guys need to come hot and ready to go.

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) – Use the run to set up the pass. You are not a throwing team, don’t kid yourselves. Ride Blount early and often and then use play-action to maximize Josh Freeman’s skills. It worked in the second half against the Vikings.

18. San Francisco 49ers (1-1) – Win your division games. This could be yours, don’t screw it up.

19. Arizona Cardinals (1-1) – Win your division games. This could be yours, don’t screw it up.

20. New York Giants (1-1) – Get consistent play from Eli. Sure, they won that game against the Rams, but come on Eli. He looked terrible in stretches. And why the hell aren’t they just running Bradshaw and Jacobs into the ground? Hey Kevin Gilbride, Eli is not Peyton.

21. Denver Broncos (1-1) – Find yourself on offense. Are they a passing team? Running team? I don’t even think they know. But I will say this, McGahee looked good on Sunday. If they can find a way to use both Moreno and McGahee in conjunction, this could be a decent team.

22. Carolina Panthers (0-2) – Keep giving Cam opportunities. This year isn’t your year. Just give Cam free reign. This will only help him in the future.

23. Tennessee Titans (1-1) – Find out what’s wrong with Chris Johnson. He is vital to the team’s success on offense. If he gets going, the passing game will be even better. This can be a frisky team that can pull off a few upsets as they did against the Ravens.

24. St. Louis Rams (0-2) – This is a tough stretch of games that they’re in. If they can come out of this with a win or two, they’ll be getting some injured players back and then can try to make a run. They will sure miss Amendola though, he makes that offense click.

25. Miami Dolphins (0-2) – Just bench Reggie Bush. Give Daniel Thomas a shot. Bush is a glorified third down back.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) – I like what they’re doing. Just start Gabbert, see what you got in him. And it’s probably time to fire Del Rio after this season.

27. Minnesota Vikings (0-2) – See a trend? McNabb is cooked, just start Ponder and confirm what we all already know. Hope that Adrian Peterson doesn’t hang himself after signing that multi-year contract.

28. Cleveland Browns (1-1) – Nut up or shut up. This is a tougher team than this. They need to get tougher on both lines. The offensive line looks like it has taken a step back. This is a better team than what they’ve showed.

29. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) – Just stay competitive. This is one of the worst teams in the league. They’ve already overachieved this season, just keep giving yourself a shot in these games.

30. Indianapolis Colts (0-2) – Lose the rest of your games. Get Andrew Luck. It really is that simple. Without a QB running the show, this team is in trouble.

31. Seattle Seahawks (0-2) – Lose the rest of your games. Get Andrew Luck.

32. Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) – Find out which football god you have offended and offer up Todd Haley as a blood sacrifice. Hopefully that will miraculously mend your injured players. Blood magic has never hurt anybody.

 

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