NFL Power Rankings for Week 7 (Oct. 16, 2014)

demarco-murrayWhile the Dallas Cowboys have definitely exceeded expectations, few people thought they’d go out on the road and knock off defending Super Bowl champion Seattle. But that’s exactly what the Cowboys did on the strength of DeMarco Murray’s sixth-straight 100-yard rushing game, which is why they climb in our rankings yet again.

1. Denver Broncos (4-1); beat New York Jets 31-17, retains same ranking – Denver went out on the road against a desperate Jets team and grabbed another win behind Julius Thomas’ two touchdown catches.

2. San Diego Chargers (5-1); beat Oakland 31-28, moves up one spot – The Raiders made this more of a contest than most expected; but still, the Chargers are off to a 5-1 start for the first time since 2002.

3. San Francisco 49ers (4-2); beat St. Louis 31-17, moves up one spot – NFL coaches recently voted Colin Kaepernick over Peyton Manning as the QB they least like to face. Kaepernick gets a chance to prove why this week in Denver.

lesean-mccoy4. Philadelphia Eagles (5-1); beat New York Giants 27-0, moves up one spot – Philadelphia finally played some defense to go along with the offense while LeSean McCoy rushed for a season-high 149 yards.

5. Seattle Seahawks (3-2); lost to Dallas 30-23, drops three spots – Russell Wilson completed less than half of his passes at home, and Seattle heads out on the road for two games. Neither offers anything to cheer about right now.

6. Arizona Cardinals (4-1); beat Washington 30-20, retains same ranking – With Carson Palmer back from a shoulder injury, Arizona has a real shot at keeping their top spot in the dominating NFC West.

7. Indianapolis Colts (4-2); beat Houston 33-28, retains same ranking – Indianapolis welcomes a tough Bengals team that’s coming off a loss and a tie. This will definitely make for an interesting matchup.

tom-brady8. New England Patriots (3-2); beat Buffalo Bills 37-22, retains same ranking – Even with New England traveling to Buffalo, they never seemed threatened. Of course, Tom Brady’s 92% career-win rate against the Bills instills plenty of confidence.

9. Dallas Cowboys (5-1); beat Seattle 0-23, moves up two spots – Few would have predicted that the Cowboys would become a power running team this season. But with the way that Murray and the offensive line are playing, it makes sense.

10. Green Bay Packers (4-2); beat Miami 27-24, retains same ranking – Aaron Rodgers’ trick play towards the end even got plastered across mainstream news sites. What wasn’t in the headlines, though, is incredible his 15:1 TD-to-INT ratio.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1); tied Carolina 37-37, drops two spots – What happened to the outstanding defense that we saw the first three weeks? Traveling to Indianapolis doesn’t seem like a very good place for the defense to find themselves again.

12. Detroit Lions (4-2); beat Minnesota 17-3, retains same ranking – Detroit beat a toothless Vikings squad on the road, but problems remain. Matthew Stafford can’t seem to play without Calvin Johnson and the Lions’ kickers have missed 10 field goals.

joe-flacco13. Baltimore Ravens (4-2); beat Tampa Bay 48-17, retains same ranking – Baltimore scored the most road points in franchise history while the team’s offense reappeared.

14. Chicago Bears (3-3); beat Atlanta 27-13, moves up two spots – Jay Cutler may have a little tunnel vision after targeting only five players against Atlanta. But as his 381 passing yards and 100-yard games by both Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall suggest, it worked!

15. Carolina Panthers (3-2-1); tied Cincinnati 37-37, drops one spot – Coming off of the first tie in franchise history, Carolina rolls into difficult matchups against Green Bay, Seattle, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

16. New Orleans Saints (2-3); bye week, drops one spot – New Orleans looks for their first road win of the season in Detroit this week.

17. Cleveland Browns (3-2); beat Pittsburgh 31-10, moves up five spots – After mounting a huge comeback only to fall short in Week 1, Cleveland hammered the Steelers at home.

18. Miami Dolphins (2-3); lost to Green Bay 27-24, moves up one spot – Miami might have lost, but at least they looked better than just about everybody else who lost this past week.

19. Buffalo Bills (3-3); lost to New England 37-22, drops one spot – The Bills have a good opportunity to bounce back at home against Minnesota this week.

20. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3); bye week, retains same ranking – Kansas City faces a near-impossible situation in San Diego this Sunday.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 4 (Sept. 25th, 2014)

marshawn-lynch-broncosIt wasn’t hard to spot the marquee matchup from last week. In a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl, the Denver Broncos visited the Seattle Seahawks. Denver mounted a furious comeback to send the game into overtime, however, Seattle survived thanks to a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run. That said, it seems like Seattle should be a slam dunk for our new number one. But the truth is that it wasn’t easy picking between the two, seeing as how Denver was on the road and pushed the game into overtime. So you might be a little surprised at who’s still the top team in our Week 4 power rankings.

1. Denver Broncos (2-1); lost to Seattle Seahawks 26-20 (OT), retains same ranking – The Broncos failed to get revenge for last year’s Super Bowl humiliation. But they certainly earned some respect by nearly walking out of Seattle with a victory. Emmanuel Sanders was brilliant in this game after catching 11 passes for 149 yards. He’s another weapon that should make the Broncos’ offense unstoppable throughout the rest of the season.

2. Seattle Seahawks (2-1); beat Denver 26-20 (OT), retains same ranking – The Seahawks are nearly as deserving of the top ranking, but on a neutral field, we like the Broncos just a little better right now. It certainly doesn’t seem like a stretch to think that Seattle and Denver could meet in the championship for a second straight season.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (3-0); beat Tennessee Titans 33-7, moves up two spots – The Bengals’ line has been outstanding on both sides of the ball. Andy Dalton hasn’t taken a sack yet and the defense continues stuffing opposing runners when it matters most. All bets are on the Broncos returning to the Super Bowl from the AFC. But if there’s a team to dethrone them as AFC champions, it is definitely Cincinnati.

lesean-mccoy4. Philadelphia Eagles (3-0); beat Washington 37-34, retains same ranking – It’s amazing how the Eagles continue falling behind early in games, only to storm back and claim victory. In fact, they’re now the first team in NFL history to trail by double digits in their first three games and come out 3-0. Is it pure luck? No, Philadelphia just has too many weapons for teams to keep them down for long. But then again, this is a dangerous trend that they’re walking on.

5. New England Patriots (2-1); beat Oakland 16-9, drops two spots – A week ago, we had the Patriots sitting at number three after their blowout victory over Minnesota. However, they looked pretty bad at home against the Raiders and needed a Vince Wilfork interception near the goal line to secure a win. New England has better days in them, but we certainly didn’t see this last weekend.

6. Arizona Cardinals (3-0); beat San Francisco 23-14, moves up five spots – Many expected Seattle and San Francisco to battle it out for the NFC West crown. However, it’s the Cardinals who are leading the way with an undefeated record – and they’re doing it without starting QB Carson Palmer! Drew Stanton’s fill-in job has been made much easier by a trio of strong receivers in Larry Fitzgerald, Malcolm Floyd and rookie John Brown.

7. Chicago Bears (2-1); beat New York Jets 27-19, moves up three spots – For the second straight week, the Bears grabbed a tough road victory, thus further distancing themselves from a Week 1 loss to the Bills. Ryan Mundy really helped out with the latest win, taking a Geno Smith interception to the end zone while outrunning speedster Chris Johnson.

drew-brees8. New Orleans Saints (1-2); beat Minnesota 20-9, moves up one spot – New Orleans finally got in the win column with a relatively easy victory over the Vikings. They put up 13 points in the first quarter and the defense did the rest from here. Drew Brees really attacked Minnesota underneath, completing 16-of-16 throws for 126 yards on passes thrown 5 yards or less downfield.

9. San Francisco 49ers (1-2); lost to Arizona Cardinals 23-14 drops three spots – True to form this season, the 49ers jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the first half, only to be dominated in the second half. San Francisco has put up 3 points in second halves while their opponents have scored 49. If Jim Harbaugh is losing control of this team, it’s definitely after the first half.

10. San Diego Chargers (2-1); beat Buffalo Bills 22-10, moves up three spots – The only team to beat Seattle this year got another big victory over the upstart Bills. Unfortunately, they also lost RB Danny Woodhead for the season, which will hurt. This is especially the case when you consider that the team is averaging under 3.0 yards per rush. But as long as they keep winning, this is just a stat.

11. Indianapolis Colts (1-2); beat Jacksonville Jaguars 44-17, moves up one spot – Nobody really expected Indianapolis to remain winless after a visit to Jacksonville. And Andrew Luck showed why by unleashing 4 touchdowns and 370 yards in this blowout. The game could have been even uglier if the Colts hadn’t let off the gas after going up 30-0 in the first half.

eddie-lacy-rookie-of-the-year12. Green Bay Packers (1-2); lost to Detroit 19-7, drops five spots – It’s hard to remember a time when Green Bay’s offense looked so ineffective with Aaron Rodgers under center. Rodgers threw for just 162 yards while Eddie Lacy was bottled up for 36 rushing yards on 11 carries. We’re still waiting for the latter to get going, which could finally happen against the Bears this weekend.

13. Carolina Panthers (2-1); lost to Pittsburgh 37-19, drops five spots – We can’t understand how a defense that looked so dominate in the first two weeks could be so bad against the Steelers. They allowed both Le’Veon Bell and Legarrette Bount to rush for over 100 yards – including 244 yards between tackles. Maybe the lengthy loss of Greg Hardy to a domestic abuse case will hurt far more than we realized.

14. Baltimore Ravens (2-1); beat Cleveland Browns 23-21, moves up one spot – Rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro and Justin Forsett combined to rush for 154 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown, while Baltimore was able to hang on and beat the Browns in a difficult road game. We don’t see anybody knocking off the Bengals for the AFC North crown, but Baltimore has a solid shot at the postseason if they can keep running the ball like this.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1); beat Carolina Panthers 37-19, moves up two spots – As mentioned before, Blount and Bell both had 100-yard games – the first time that this has happened for Pittsburgh since 1986. This was basically a 180-degree turn from the week before against Baltimore, when the Steelers couldn’t seem to get anything going on the ground.

16. Detroit Lions (2-1); beat Green Bay 19-7, moves up three spots – The Lions are doing a fantastic job at stopping the run this year, as their 2.8 yards allowed per carry stat indicates. Things could get a little tougher since Stephen Tulloch was placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL. But Detroit still has plenty of talent on both sides of the ball to continue grabbing victories.

julio-jones-falcons17. Atlanta Falcons (2-1); beat Tampa Bay 56-14, moves up one spot – Julio Jones tore the Buccaneers defense up by catching 9 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns. The main issue here remains the running game, but the passing game should help make up for some of the lack of run production.

18. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2); beat Miami 34-15, moves up two spots – Knile Davis filled in nicely for Jamaal Charles with 132 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries. Alex Smith also provided three touchdown passes, despite getting sacked five times. With Charles likely back from injury this week, KC will get a boost.

19. Buffalo Bills (2-1); lost to San Diego 22-10, drops five spots – Quarterback E.J. Manuel confirmed the inaccuracy fears that surrounded him in the preseason by throwing several passes way off target. He avoided tossing any picks, but this could be one of the worst non-interception games in history. Manuel must play better or the high-paid backup Kyle Orton will be seeing some snaps.

20. Dallas Cowboys (2-1); beat St. Louis 34-31, moves up two spots – Dallas had to mount a huge comeback here since they fell behind 21-0. They took control in the second half after being sparked by a 68-yard touchdown catch by Dez Bryant. The run game was working again too with DeMarco Murray running for 100 yards on 24 carries.

lamar-miller-chiefs21. Miami Dolphins (1-2); lost to Kansas City 34-15, drops five spots – Lamar Miller has picked up the rushing torch with Knowshon Moreno still sidelined. Miller ran for 108 yards on only 15 carries. However, it was hard for Miami to stay with their effective run game since their defense gave up so many points. Additionally, Ryan Tannehill didn’t look very good against pressure, finishing with 205 yards on 21-of-43 passing.

22. New York Jets (1-2); lost to Chicago Bears 27-19, drops one spot – The Jets lose another close game after coughing up three turnovers and delivering an interception that was returned 45 yards for a touchdown. They also had six red zone drives, only to come away with points on just one of these. This team could easily be 3-0 if they could capitalize on opportunities and close out games.

23. New York Giants (1-2); beat Houston Texans 30-17, moves up seven spots – We’re not enamored with the Giants, it’s just that from here on, there aren’t many good teams left. New York got their first win of 2014, and Victor Cruz caught his first touchdown since Week 4 of last season.

24. St. Louis (1-2); lost to Dallas 34-31, drops one spot – Austin Davis continues to surprise skeptics, who thought that this team was done when Sam Bradford went down with an injury. Unfortunately, his solid play didn’t translate into a victory this time around as the Rams blew a 21-point lead.

25. Houston Texans (2-1); lost to New York Giants 30-17, drops one spot – Rashad Jennings tore this team up with a career-high 176 rushing yards. And it didn’t help matters that Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 3 interceptions – all of them on downfield throws. But Houston avoids moving down too much because they do have a couple of victories.

26. Tennessee Titans (1-2); lost to Cincinnati Bengals 33-7, drops one spot – Tennessee was completely dominated by Cincinnati, although we’ll give them a little credit since this was an impossible road game. Rookie Bishop Sankey rushed for 61 yards on 10 carries in garbage time. Perhaps he’s prepping to finally get some meaningful carries over Shonn Greene.

27. Cleveland Browns (1-2); lost to Baltimore 23-21, moves up one spot – Cleveland continues to play tough against superior opponents, however, they came up short this time around. The Browns’ two losses, which came against Pittsburgh and Baltimore, are by a combined 5 points. This is definitely a team that can win once the schedule softens up a little.

28. Washington Redskins (1-2); lost to Philadelphia 37-34, moves up one spot – Kirk Cousins continues to energize this team as he finished with 427 passing yards, 3 TD’s and one interception. Unfortunately, he and the Skins fell just short of winning a HUGE road game. Washington has now lost seven straight divisional games, which is more than anybody else in the league right now.

29. Minnesota Vikings (1-2); lost to New Orleans 20-9, drops three spots – The Vikings didn’t perform too badly against the Saints, losing by just 11 points. However, there’s more trouble ahead with season-ending injuries to Matt Cassel and Kyle Rudolph. When coupled with the loss of Adrian Peterson, this bodes very poorly for the offense. But at least fans will get to see exciting rookie Teddy Bridgewater take over at QB.

30. Oakland Raiders (0-3); lost to New England Patriots 16-9, moves up one spot – The Raiders can be happy that they almost beat a really good team that’s probably going to win their division. However, the downside is that this still goes down as another loss in the books. Dating back to last season, Oakland is on a 9-game losing streak.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3); lost to Atlanta Falcons 56-14, drops three spots – Any illusions of a rebound season for Tampa Bay were shot down in this devastating blowout to the Falcons. The Josh McCown experiment looks like a failure and he’ll miss the next game with an injury. This opens the door for Mike Glennon to win back the starting job that he held for most of last season.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3); lost to Indianapolis Colts 44-17, drops one spot – For the second straight season, Jacksonville looks absolutely hopeless. But it will be interesting to see what Blake Bortles can do with the variety of receiving options that he has.

NFL Power Rankings for Week 3 (Sept. 18, 2014)

Denver Broncos v Buffalo BillsAre the Buffalo Bills the NFL’s surprise team this year? Few would have guessed this coming into the season since the Bills haven’t made the playoffs in 14 seasons, and haven’t had a winning record in 9 years. But they are certainly looking the part of a changed team after beating Chicago on the road, and walloping Miami 29-10 last week.

Buffalo faces yet another good opponent in San Diego, and this matchup will reveal more about just how much they’ve improved. The Bills have already improved quite a bit in our power rankings as they represent the biggest jump.

1. Denver Broncos (2-0); beat Kansas City 24-17, moves up one spot – Few expected the Broncos to be challenged at home after the way that Kansas City played in Week 1. This was especially the case since the team was missing Jamaal Charles. Nevertheless, give Denver credit for beating a division rival and maintaining their unblemished mark.

2. Seattle Seahawks (1-1); lost to San Diego 30-21, drops one spot – A bit of a disappointment here as Seattle couldn’t seem to cover Antonio Gates as he caught three touchdown passes. Of course, Percy Harvin’s second-quarter fumble didn’t help matters – this was a huge momentum-shifter. But while the defending Super Bowl champs’ bid for perfection may have ended early, a road loss to San Diego is no reason to get alarmed.

3. New England Patriots (1-1); beat Minnesota 30-7, moves up two spots – With the NFC’s elites looking rather mediocre last weekend, we see another AFC team near the top. New England was great on both sides of the ball – intercepting Matt Cassel four times – en route to a blowout. Stevan Ridley showed that he’s not in Bill Belichick’s doghouse by rushing for 101 yards and a touchdown.

darren-sproles-eagles4. Philadelphia Eagles (2-0); beat Indianapolis 30-27, moves up two spots – Nick Foles had yet another poor first-half performance, only to help the team come roaring back in the second half. The Eagles deserve praise for fighting back in what looked like a Colts victory. Darren Sproles was more than impressive out of the backfield, racking up 152 receiving yards on just seven catches.

5. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0); beat Atlanta Falcons 24-10, moves up two spots – The Falcons are a much-improved team, which is why this is a very good victory for Cincinnati – especially without A.J. Green on the field. Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard have quickly made their case for being the league’s top young backfield. And let us not forget how dominant the defense was against Atlanta.

6. San Francisco 49ers (1-1); lost to Chicago Bears 28-20, drops three spots – How San Francisco lost this one is beyond us. They jumped out to a 17-0 lead and were ahead 20-7 going into the fourth quarter. However, five turnovers, 16 penalties and a big drop near the end doomed San Francisco. Oh yeah…and they also let Jay Cutler throw three touchdowns in the last quarter. We pity the Niners at practice this week with Jim Harbaugh.

7. Green Bay Packers (1-1); beat New York Jets 31-24, moves up one spot – The Packers offense couldn’t have started off any slower, and the defense couldn’t have started any worse. Green Bay finally put two and a half quarters of good football together, capped off by Jordy Nelson’s 80-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. His 209 receiving yards were the third most in a game in Packers’ history.

8. Carolina Panthers (2-0); beat Detroit 24-7, moves up two spots – Against the Giants in Week 1, Detroit’s offense looked unstoppable. Against the Panthers, they looked lost, which is only a testament to how dominant Carolina’s front seven is. Greg Hardy going on the exempt list until at least mid-November really hurts. However, this defense isn’t all about Hardy, as just 21 points allowed and 6 forced turnovers through two games indicate.

9. New Orleans Saints (0-2); lost to Cleveland Browns 26-24, drops five spots – The Saints, who as always came into this season with Super Bowl aspirations, couldn’t have envisioned a worse start to the season. The offense was sluggish in the beginning, and the defense failed to make plays when it mattered. Case in point: the Saints’ pass defense on Andrew Hawkins’ big reception at the end that set up a game-winning field goal.

jay-cutler-bears10. Chicago Bears (1-1); beat San Francisco 28-20, moves up two spots – The Bears played one great quarter of football and took advantage of a San Francisco team that was hellbent on beating itself. So we’re not ready to predict a Super Bowl parade in Chicago just yet. Nevertheless, this was a very good victory for this team, especially stepping up when so many of their defenders went down with injuries.

11. Arizona Cardinals (2-0); beat New York Giants 25-14, moves up two spots – Playing a terrible Giants team allowed Arizona to survive both their first game without Carson Palmer and a road contest. This team will be relying much more on Andre Ellington now that Jonathan Dwyer has become the latest NFL player embroiled in a domestic abuse case.

12. Indianapolis Colts (0-2); lost to Philadelphia Eagles 30-27, drops three spots – Bad officiating and poor play-calling cost the Colts what should have been a victory. The decision to run the first two downs on Indianapolis’ last drive was baffling. They should get a victory this week in Jacksonville, however, the Colts are still starting off in an 0-2 hole.

13. San Diego Chargers (1-1); beat Seattle Seahawks, moves up two spots – There weren’t may people who called the win over Seattle. As mentioned in the introduction, Gates had an amazing day, helping Philip Rivers to also finish well with 287 yards and three touchdowns. They’ll now head out to Buffalo with plenty of confidence after beating the defending champs.

14. Buffalo Bills (2-0); beat Miami Dolphins 29-10, moves up 12 spots – Like everybody else, we underrated Buffalo coming into the season and thought that their win in Chicago was a fluke. But then they came out and dismantled our darkhorse favorite for the AFC East crown. C.J. Spiller showed just why he’s so dangerous on a 102-yard kickoff return while Sammy Watkins caught 8 passes for 117 yards and a TD.

bernard-pierce-ravens-201415. Baltimore Ravens (1-1); beat Pittsburgh Steelers 26-16, moves up two spots – So much for Bernard Pierce being benched for ineffectiveness as he rushed 22 times for 96 yards. Justin Forsett added eight carries for 56 yards, completing a backfield that could make fans forget Ray Rice.

16. Miami Dolphins (1-1); lost to Buffalo Bills 29-10, drops two spots – After a huge win over New England, Miami followed this up with a dud against the Bills. Their coverage on Spiller’s kickoff return was poor at best. And now they have to contend with Knowshon Moreno’s elbow injury. Hopefully this doesn’t turn into last year’s situation, where the team can’t string together consistent performances.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1); lost to Baltimore Ravens 26-6, drops six spots – A highly disappointing performance on both sides of the ball for Pittsburgh – especially from their lineman. The three turnovers added to the dismal offensive output while the linebackers and safeties got burned several times in coverage. Is this just another 8-8 Steelers team?

18. Atlanta Falcons (1-1); lost to Cincinnati Bengals 24-10, drops two spots – We expect the Falcons to be a player in the NFC South race. But after putting up little fight against Cincinnati, they haven’t shown too much so far. Matt Ryan was under pressure from a strong Bengals front seven all game, leading to 24-for-44 passing, three interceptions and being sacked three times. With no real running threat, Atlanta is a team that will live and die by the pass.

19. Detroit Lions (1-1); lost to Carolina Panthers 24-7, drops one spot – It seemed that nothing was really working for Detroit last Sunday. Their run game was stuffed and Matt Stafford didn’t get many good looks downfield. Give the nasty Carolina defense some credit here, but also consider the Lions’ three turnovers.

alex-smith-kansas-city20. Kansas City Chiefs (0-2); lost to Denver 24-17, drops two spots – We weren’t expecting big things from the Chiefs this season. But their performance against Denver without Jamaal Charles was commendable. After a disastrous three-interception outing in Week 1, Alex Smith turned in a strong, scrappy effort with 255 passing yards and 42 rushing yards. He’ll have to do far more of this with Charles out.

21. New York Jets (1-1); lost to Green Bay 31-24, drops one spot – Even when Geno Smith led the Jets to an early 21-3 lead over Green Bay, many fans probably had a feeling that the Packers would have the last laugh. And that’s exactly what happened as the Packers stormed back from an 18-point deficit to beat the hapless Jets. To add insult to injury, Jeremy Kerley’s game-tying, 37-yard touchdown catch was wiped out because New York called a timeout from the sidelines.

22. Dallas Cowboys (0-1); beat Tennessee 26-10, moves up six spots – Maybe Dallas isn’t going to be so bad this year. DeMarco Murray powered his way to 167 yards and a TD on just 29 carries. With such a balanced offense, Tony Romo was better able to manage the game and, most importantly, avoid throwing any interceptions.

23. St. Louis (1-1); beat Tampa Bay 19-17, moves up one spot – All bets were off on Austin Davis leading the Rams to a victory on the road. However, in his first-ever start, Davis turned in a decent game by completing 22-of-29 passes for 235 yards. Most importantly, he didn’t throw any interceptions and got the team in position for a TD and four field goals.

24. Houston Texans (2-0); beat Oakland 30-14, moves up one spot – If you’ll remember, the Texas started 2-0 last year, only to lose the next 14 games. Somehow, though, we feel that this year is different. This is especially the case if Arian Foster stays healthy, as he rushed for 138 yards and a score on 28 carries. But there needs to be some victories over teams besides the Skins and Raiders before they move up.

25. Tennessee Titans (1-1); lost to Dallas Cowboys 26-10, drops four spots – Tennessee’s run defense, which held up so well against the Chiefs, was absolutely obliterated by Dallas. The Boys rushed for over 200 yards, with Murray leading the way during his 167-yard effort. Meanwhile, the Titans rushed just 13 times total, which pretty much tells you everything about why Tennessee was dominated at home.

26. Minnesota Vikings (1-1); lost to New England 30-7, drops three spots – Losing Adrian Peterson to a child abuse case comes at a very bad time for the Vikings. Now opposing defenses can virtually ignore the run game, or force Matt Cassel to beat them…it doesn’t really matter.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2); lost to St. Louis 19-17, drops five spots – In most cases, having a rusher like Bobby Rainey go for 144 yards on just 22 carries is a recipe for victory. But that wasn’t the case for Tampa Bay as they found a way to lose this one. It seems like they’re going to find a lot of ways to lose in 2014.

28. Cleveland Browns (1-1); beat New Orleans 26-24, moves up one spot – The defense played very well against the Saints’ dynamic offense, not allowing Drew Brees many opportunities. Plus the rookie backfield of Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell continues to carry the load, as evidenced by their combined 30 carries and 122 yards. We don’t foresee the playoffs this year, however, Cleveland has refused to roll over for superior opponents.

29. Washington Redskins (1-1); beat Jacksonville Jaguars 41-10, moves up two spots – Maybe it’s that they played the Jacksonville Jaguars, maybe it’s Kirk Cousins finally taking over the quarterback reigns (or a lot of both), but Washington looked pretty good in this blowout. Cousins threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns while Alfred Morris rushed for 85 yards and another pair of scores.

30. New York Giants (0-2); lost to Arizona 25-14, drops three spots – It seems like a really long time ago when Eli Manning won those two Super Bowls. The Giants blew a golden opportunity to get their first win at home against Drew Stanton and the Cardinals. Is a Tom Coughlin-led revival in the cards this season, or just another non-playoff year?

31. Oakland Raiders (0-2); lost to Houston Texans 30-14, moves up one spot – More than anything, this year just seems like an opportunity to season Derek Carr, who passed for 263 yards and a TD, and rushed for another 58 yards. Of course, as his two interceptions indicate, the rookie will make plenty of mistakes.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2); lost to Washington Redskins 41-10, drops one spot – This isn’t all Chad Henne’s fault because the O-line is playing terribly (also see Toby Gerhart’s 2.0 YPC). But Jacksonville might as well give the superior Blake Bortles an opportunity soon because this season is already getting out of hand.