NFL Power Rankings Week 2

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TwinSpires Staff

September 19th, 2018

by BetAmerica Staff
1. Los Angeles Rams (2-0 SU and 2-0 ATS) - Los Angeles has one of the most potent teams on paper and their hot 2-0 start is reaffirming all our pre-season projections about the team. They get a hometown test against the neighboring LA Chargers next week and that should solidify where we can expect the team to go from here. It's going to be hard to beat this team, let alone knock them off the top of the power rankings.

Next Game: LA Chargers at LA Rams -6.5

2. Minnesota Vikings (1-0-1 SU and 1-1 ATS) - Minnesota ended their game against Rodgers and the Packers in a tie in a heck of a finish, but a division rivalry going down to the wire doesn’t discourage what we might see the Vikings do this year. A strong roster and solid coach at the lead should make the Vikings a strong post season contender.

Next Game: Buffalo at Minnesota -16.5

3. Green Bay Packers (1-0-1 SU and 1-1 ATS) - The Packers trot out a strange roster each week, but they have a true magician at QB who continues to turn their mediocre receiving corps into something worth watching every Sunday. After some dumb mistakes against Minnesota threw the game into OT, we should see Green Bay turn it around on the road next week and put up a solid top-to-bottom victory.

Next Game: Green Bay (-3) at Washington

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0 SU and 2-0 ATS) - There’s still a weird cloud hanging over this team protecting them from any and all negativity, and after a shocking win against Philadelphia this week what else do you expect? The team looks much better than they should and time will tell if this is a hot start or a new regime in Tampa Bay. We believe in Fitzmagic. Classic pumpkin game coming up with the spotlight shining bright on Monday night.

Next Game: Pittsburgh -2.5 at Tampa Bay

5. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0 SU and 2-0 ATS) - The Chiefs are red hot and it's all in the hands of their offensive playmakers. Hill and Watkins and Kelce make life for Mahomes as easy as it can possibly be. Their division looks less and less competitive as the Chargers start cold, the Raiders can’t convert, and the Broncos scrape by with two mediocre early wins. Can't knock them in the power rankings when they are slaying both the spread and the total. They’re favored fairly big at home against Jimmy G next week.

Next Game: San Francisco at Kansas City -6.5

6. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-0 SU and 2-0 ATS) - Jacksonville did what they needed to do to win a tough game at home against a dysfunctional looking Patriots team. They aren’t explosive on offense, but have a defense that makes any passing game look desolate.

Next Game: Tennessee at Jacksonville

7. Atlanta Falcons (1-1 SU and 1-1 ATS) - The Falcons managed to come away with a one touchdown win against Carolina at home, but without lowered expectations from the Week 1 offense this team would’ve been favored by a bit more. Atlanta still looks a bit disappointing but if they fix their red zone offense they can be very dangerous.

Next Game: New Orleans at Atlanta -3.0

8. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1 SU and 1-1 ATS) - Philadelphia gets their franchise QB back this week coming off of a bit of a surprise loss to the red hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The return of Wentz will give them an edge coming into next week while they look to bounce back as 6.5 point favorites against the Colts. We're giving the Eagles a bit of a bump here in the power rankings because of Wentz's return. We all saw what they can do when he's under center.

Next Game: Indianapolis at Philadelphia -6.5

9. New England Patriots (1-1 SU and 1-1 ATS) - New England is giving everyone the false hope that their reign is truly over, but they don’t look dangerous at this moment in time. The Patriots will be fine as the season moves on, but their current outlook isn’t so great. They’ll travel to the Motor City for the Sunday Night prime time match-up with the Lions.

Next Game: New England -6.5 at Detroit

10. Carolina Panthers (1-1 SU and 1-1 ATS) - A bit of heartache followed the Panthers after their tough loss to Atlanta, but Carolina looks to be much more potent than many thought to start the year. They are going to have some offensive holes to plug without Olsen, but don’t sleep on the Panthers. The Panthers are a notorious grinder in the book and a strong choice to round out the top-10.

Next Game: Cincinnati at Carolina -3.0

11. Chicago Bears (1-1 SU and 2-0 ATS) - Chicago’s front seven is scaring offensive lines, but that aspect of their team can’t keep them in all sixteen games this year. They have a lot to figure out offensively, especially once the scripted plays stop in the second half. They played well enough to win against Seattle, but don’t appear to be a threat to the division or the NFC Wildcard. Trubisky stock is at an all-time low, and the only element holding this team back from a rise in the power rankings.

Next Game: Chicago -5.0 at Arizona

12. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1-1 SU and 0-2 ATS) - Antonio Brown didn’t show up to work on Monday and Bell is still on a beach somewhere not thinking about the Steelers. They dropped a barn burner to Kansas City and have a tie against the Browns under their belt. The Steelers aren’t appearing to be the force we are used to, but as this team sorts out its identity they can still pull together and be dangerous. For now, however, stay far away. We truthfully have no idea how to grade a team that's this good, yet hasn't won a game nor covered, in the power rankings.

Next Game: Pittsburgh -1.0 at Tampa Bay 

13. Indianapolis Colts (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) - The Colts sure did bounce back from their loss against Cincinnati putting down the Redskins in Washington. They get to travel to the City of Brotherly Love to face off with the Eagles and the return of Wentz. They’re competitive and they’re playing above their roster so watch out, but it doesn’t look like a good week to go heavy on Indy.

Next Game: Indianapolis at Philadelphia -6.0

14. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1 SU and 1-1 ATS) - Many picked the Chargers to make it to the Super Bowl this year and after a dropped game to the Chiefs and a struggle to clear away from the Bills there should be doubts about that. The Chargers can bounce back but there is not much of an inclination as to why they would. Next week it gets even harder.

Next Game: LA Chargers at LA Rams -6.5

15. Denver Broncos (2-0 SU and 0-1-1 ATS) - The Broncos have dueled out and pulled away with two very close victories over two teams that haven’t exactly shown much to the league. A field goal victory over a hobbled Seattle and a final stretch victory over Oakland says one thing: It’s hard to play at Mile High Stadium, and that might be the only factor buoying the Broncos in these power rankings. They’ll be faced with the bounce back Baltimore Ravens on the east coast next.

Next Game: Denver at Baltimore -5.0

16. Cincinnati Bengals (2-0 SU and 2-0 ATS) - Cincinnati is going to have a two week struggle without Mixon. The status of Billy Price is to be determined but a lack of Mixon and Billy Price doesn’t make Cincinnati look like a good play for this week visiting a tough Carolina Panthers team. They will have a good year and make the playoffs in a weak AFC North, but they have a tough two-game stretch coming.

Next Game: Cincinnati at Carolina -3.0

17. Miami Dolphins (2-0 SU and 2-0 ATS) - The Dolphins are 2-0 for the first time since 2013 after their win over the New York Jets in Week 2...and we still can't put them much higher in the power rankings. Ryan Tannehill is 9-1 in his last ten starts, which is tied with Carson Wentz and Case Keenum for the best record in the league over ten games. Against the Jets, the Miami defense was able to create three turnovers, picking off two of Darnold’s passes in the process. Meanwhile, the offense found a way to move the ball on the ground, averaging 4.4 ypc against an extremely tough Jets front seven. If Miami continues to run the ball effectively they could become a contender in the AFC East.

Next Game: Oakland at Miami -3.5

18. New Orleans Saints (1-1 SU and 0-2 ATS) - The Saints struggled again in Week 2 requiring a late touchdown, field goal, and missed field goal from the Browns in order to secure the victory. Through two games the Saints defense has surrendered over 800 yards of total offense to the Buccaneers and Browns, which is very worrisome considering how back loaded their schedule is. This feels like a doable fix, which is why we're giving them a bit of a nod in the power rankings this week. Two seasons ago, they were one of the worst defenses in the league and improved to a literal league average (17th overall) in 2017 to become a legitimate playoff team that won 11 games. We said it last week, but we’ll say it again, if this defense does not get better the Saints are in trouble.

Next Game: New Orleans at Atlanta -3.0

19. Washington Redskins (1-1 SU and 1-1 ATS) - After destroying the Arizona Cardinals in week 1, the Redskins were provided a harsh reality check at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2. Alex Smith and company actually outperformed the Colts in most offensive categories, but were simply unable to find the end zone. The game culminated in a Jordan Reed fumble inside the red zone late in the 4th quarter which sealed the Colts victory. Things get exponentially tougher in Week 3 as the Packers come to town.

Next Game: Green Bay -2.5 at Washington

20. Oakland Raiders (0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS) - The second Jon Gruden era in Oakland is off to a rocky start after the Raiders found a way to lose to the Broncos in the dying moments of the game in Week 2. One has to think a certain Pro Bowl linebacker might have been enough to turn the tide in this one. Nevertheless, the Raiders still claim they have no regrets about their roster moves this season. Sounds like denial. Next up is a trip to Miami.

Next Game: Oakland at Miami -3.5

21. Cleveland Browns (0-1-1 SU and 2-0 ATS) - I half considered just putting a crying face emojii for the Browns’ Week 2 analysis, as it perfectly sums up their game against the Saints. Hue Jackson may want to consider hiring a shaman to cleanse the facilities in Cleveland. The Browns should probably be 2-0 heading into Week 3, but sit 0-1-1 as they head back home to face Sam Darnold and the Jets on Thursday night.

Next Game: NYJ at Cleveland -3.0

22. New York Jets (1-1 SU and 1-1 ATS) - All those anointing Sam Darnold as the next great NFL QB may be offering a retraction this week after the Jets loss to the Dolphins in Week 2. To be fair, the loss isn’t completely on Darnold who threw for 334 of the Jets 362 total yards. The Jets lost the game in the first half after the defense surrendered 20 points while the offense was unable to get on the board in pivotal moments, but this spot in the power rankings reflects how we feel about the Jets overall.

Next Game: New York Jets at Cleveland -3.0

23. Baltimore Ravens (1-1 SU and 1-1 ATS) - I think we can all stop overreacting to how they trounced the Bills in Week 1. The Ravens fell behind early in Cincinnati and were never able to mount a comeback as they eventually fell 34-23 to the Bengals. Flacco threw two interceptions, but has generated his best QBR through two games since 2009. The running game will need to get back on track in Week 3 if the Ravens are going to cover the -5.5 point spread against the Broncos.

Next Game: Denver at Baltimore -5.5

24. Dallas Cowboys (1-1 SU and 1-1 ATS) - The Cowboys bounced back from their loss to Carolina in Week 1 with a victory over the Giants. The defense held Saquon Barkley in check while the rushing attack finally found its legs as the cowboys cruised to a 20-13 victory that was not as close as the score would indicate. Through two games it looks like winning will be closely related to how well the Cowboys can run the ball.

Next Game: Dallas at Seattle -1.0

25. San Francisco 49ers (1-1 SU and 0-2 ATS) - The 49ers were a top pick among bettors in Week 2, both to win outright and cover the spread. Unfortunately, only one of those outcomes came true as they squeaked by the Lions 30-27. The league’s leading rusher, Matt Breida (we can't believe it either) carried the offense (pun intended) rushing for 138 yards and a touchdown. So far, the 49ers have played a really good team and a really bad team which makes them a bit of a conundrum. Unfortunately, they have another tough matchup against the Chiefs in Week 3.

Next Game: San Francisco at Kansas City -6.5

26. Houston Texans (0-2 SU and 0-2 ATS) - Deshaun Watson looked much improved against the Titans in Week 2, throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns. Despite falling behind early the Texans rallied to take the lead in the 4th quarter, eventually surrendering two late field goals that would decide the game. There are some glaring issues with the Texans right now, specifically on an offensive line that has surrendered seven sacks through two games.

Next Game: NYG at Houston -6.0

27. New York Giants (0-2 SU and 0-2 ATS) - Perhaps the biggest negative from the Giants Week 2 loss will be the fact that we have to hear all the talking heads debate how badly the Giants screwed up taking Barkley with the number two pick in the draft. For the second week in a row the defense held their opponent to exactly 20 points in a losing effort. Barkley was unable to get going and Eli Manning managed his first touchdown of the year after the game was already decided. The Giants have a long season ahead of them and are as depressing as usual, but we will say that the spread busting potential is there and if it materializes in any fashion, there's a chance for them to move up in the power rankings. At this point, however, it will have to be a consistent outing. Giants are a wait-and-see, bet-against team.

Next Game: NYG at Houston -6.0

28. Seattle Seahawks (0-2 SU and 0-1-1 ATS) - Those that hammered UNDER 8.0 wins for the Seahawks just keeps looking better. Russell Wilson’s pick 6 and fumble on back-to-back drives proved too much to overcome for the Seahawks as they fell 24-17 to the Bears on Monday night. The Seahawks have managed a paltry 138 rushing yards through two games which has to get better if they hope to have any chance of turning things around.

Next Game: Dallas at Seattle -1.0

29. Tennessee Titans (1-1 SU and 1-1 ATS) - The Blaine Gabbert led Titans bounced back from their Week 1 loss in Miami defeating the Texans 20-17 in Tennessee. The win was impressive given the fact that the Texans outgained the Titans by 154 total yards. Without Mariota under center, it is tough to see the Titans improving going forward, especially with their next two games coming against Jacksonville and Philadelphia. Blaine Gabbert revenge game? Is that a thing?

Next Game: Tennessee at Jacksonville -6.5

30. Detroit Lions (0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS) - Matt Patricia's Lions are 0-2 which probably does not come as much of a surprise. Detroit would not have ranked that high in our preseason power rankings either, and now that we're two weeks in, you can see why hype didn't exactly billow around this team in the off-season despite the arrival of a new coach. There are major issues on the defensive side of the ball, specifically when it comes to stopping the run. Through two games the defense has surrendered 359 rushing yards while the offense has only managed 137. Offensively, Matt Stafford looked better than his 4 interception performance in Week 1, but still struggled to find the end zone until the end of the game. The Lions are terrible once again and things don’t get any easier as the Patriots come to Detroit in prime time on Sunday night.

Next Game: New England -6.5 at Detroit

31. Arizona Cardinals (0-2 SU and 0-2 ATS) - Don’t look now, but the Bills have some competition for the title of worst team in the league (and our power rankings). Arizona actually only has one more total point on the season than actual games played (two games, three points). After suffering another blowout loss in Week 2 where the offense only managed to get 5 first downs, the Cardinals will likely look to make changes, hopefully putting Sam Bradford out to pasture for good.

Next Game: Chicago -6.0 at Arizona

32. Buffalo Bills (0-2 SU and 0-2 ATS) - The Bills are terrible. In fact, the Bills are so bad that Vontae Davis decided to retire at halftime. This week, Allen was not benched in favor of Nathan Peterman, a potentially wise decision in the wake of his 5/18, 0.7 QBR performance during the Week 1 loss to the Ravens. On the defensive side of the ball, the Bills managed to give up over 350 total yards and 30 points for the second week in a row. There is absolutely nothing to like about the Bills right now, except for betting against them. The Bills are a very realistic candidate for 0-16 this year.

Next Game: Buffalo at Minnesota -17.0