Week 2 was an absolute Survivor League killer. The Oakland Raiders beat the Baltimore Ravens, the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the New Orleans Saints, but that's only the beginning of what was one of the wackiest weeks I can remember. Ten Vegas underdogs ultimately won and the results threw my Power Rankings for a loop.
That said, things at the top stayed mostly unchanged. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots picked apart Buffalo's elite defense to the tune of 24 first-half points and pushed their lead to 37-13 late in the third quarter before the Bills mounted a furious comeback attempt. The way that New England moved the ball at will against such a strong, disciplined defense on the road was extremely impressive, and the Patriots are well deserving of the top spot this week.
The Green Bay Packers impressed as well, knocking off the Seattle Seahawks at home for a little slice of revenge for the botched NFC Championship last January. Aaron Rodgers managed to shake off three previous rough outings in Seattle and put together a masterful 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter -- which ended up being the game-winner -- to help the Pack improve to 2-0. There will be no need for Rodgers to tell his fan base to R-E-L-A-X this September.
Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos needed a little bit of magic to win on a short week of preparation in Kansas City, and they got it. Jamaal Charles fumbled trying to run the clock out to get to overtime, and the ball was scooped up by Bradley Roby for the game-winning score. The best news for the Broncos was that Peyton Manning looked better throwing the ball this week, finishing 26-of-45 for 256 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. There are still concerns about his arm going forward, but he allayed a few of those fears for the short term.
The Arizona Cardinals stick in the fourth spot with a convincing blowout victory over the Chicago Bears, and things are looking up for a team that went without a true starting quarterback for most of last year. Carson Palmer threw four touchdowns -- three to the ageless Larry Fitzgerald -- and Arizona's defense and special teams made major contributions as well. They look like a pretty complete team right now.
The Chiefs round out the top five because to me they're still a complete team, even with a crazy, demoralizing and weird loss to the Broncos. Division games are always a little weird, and I think Kansas City will continue to give opponents issues with its pass rush and improved defensive secondary. The offense doesn't look bad, either.
The Pittsburgh Steelers rebounded from a bad loss to the Patriots in Week 1 and demolished a plucky San Francisco 49ers team at home, pushing them back into the top 10. Their offense already looks to be in midseason form at this point and they haven't even gotten Le'Veon Bell or Martavis Bryant back. Things could be looking up for Pittsburgh if it can clean up some issues on defense.
The Minnesota Vikings bounced back from a listless Week 1 performance as well, dispatching the division rival Detroit Lions at home. Teddy Bridgewater and, more importantly, Adrian Peterson looked like themselves this week, and the optimism around the Vikings is back to preseason levels. Or getting back near it, anyway.
Washington continues to impress and improved to 1-1 by knocking off the St. Louis Rams at home. St. Louis confounded the Seahawks' run game for much of Week 1 but couldn't solve Washington's this time around. Washington pounded the rock and racked up 182 yards on the ground while Kirk Cousins efficiently led it to the win. Scot McCloughan's infusion of toughness in the trenches this offseason appears to be paying off.
SB Nation presents: Every Sunday game, disrespected in minutes
What is going on?
I wouldn't say that any team should be panicked after only two weeks -- it's a long season and crazy things always happen -- but fans in Seattle, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Detroit and Philadelphia are certainly concerned.
The Seahawks have looked like their former selves in spurts on offense, but are still struggling in many facets on defense. If they don't figure things out quickly on that side of the ball, even sans Kam Chancellor, their bid for a third straight Super Bowl could blow up in the hangar.
The Ravens' start has been fairly perplexing as well, but definitely not as perplexing as the Eagles' first two games. Philly has only managed 70 yards on 33 carries this year and DeMarco Murray -- the NFL's leading rusher from 2014 -- has all of 11 yards this season.
Finally, the Colts better figure out what's going on with their offense soon, or it could end up being a long season.
Clawing and scratching
The oldest and oft-used cliché in the NFL is "Any Given Sunday," and that was perhaps never more apparent than last week.
Tampa Bay showed some signs of life after a disastrous first week, knocking off the slumping Saints in their place. The Cleveland Browns looked good in their upset of the Tennessee Titans at home. Is Johnny Manziel the answer? Too early to tell, but he made a couple of impressive downfield throws to spark the victory. The Jaguars got a big win at home as well, knocking off the Dolphins, and the Raiders surprised the Ravens with a big win in Oakland. The main cellar dwellers from last year are looking a lot more interesting this season.
|RK||WEEK 3||SB NATION BLOG|
|1||New England Patriots, 2-0 (Last Week: 1)||Pats Pulpit|
|2||Green Bay Packers, 2-0 (Last Week: 2)||Acme Packing Company|
|3||Denver Broncos, 2-0 (Last Week: 3)||Mile High Report|
|4||Arizona Cardinals, 2-0 (Last Week: 4)||Revenge of the Birds|
|5||Kansas City Chiefs, 1-1 (Last Week: 5)||Arrowhead Pride|
|6||Dallas Cowboys, 2-0 (Last Week: 7)||Blogging the Boys|
|7||Pittsburgh Steelers, 1-1 (Last Week: 12)||Behind the Steel Curtain|
|8||Cincinnati Bengals, 2-0 (Last Week: 11)||Cincy Jungle|
|9||Buffalo Bills, 1-1 (Last Week: 6)||Buffalo Rumblings|
|10||New York Jets, 2-0 (Last Week: 25)||Gang Green Nation|
|11||Carolina Panthers, 2-0 (Last Week: 20)||Cat Scratch Reader|
|12||Atlanta Falcons, 2-0 (Last Week: 17)||The Falcoholic|
|13||Minnesota Vikings, 1-1 (Last Week: 22)||Daily Norseman|
|14||San Diego Chargers, 1-1 (Last Week: 14)||Bolts from the Blue|
|15||St. Louis Rams, 1-1 (Last Week: 15)||Turf Show Times|
|16||Seattle Seahawks, 0-2 (Last Week: 8)||Field Gulls|
|17||Washington, 1-1 (Last Week: 28)||Hogs Haven|
|18||San Francisco 49ers, 1-1 (Last Week: 16)||Niners Nation|
|19||Baltimore Ravens, 0-2 (Last Week: 13)||Baltimore Beatdown|
|20||Indianapolis Colts, 0-2 (Last Week: 10)||Stampede Blue|
|21||Philadelphia Eagles, 0-2 (Last Week: 9)||Bleeding Green Nation|
|22||Miami Dolphins, 1-1 (Last Week: 18)||The Phinsider|
|23||Detroit Lions, 0-2 (Last Week: 19)||Pride of Detroit|
|24||Houston Texans, 0-2 (Last Week: 23)||Battle Red Blog|
|25||New Orleans Saints, 0-2 (Last Week: 21)||Canal Street Chronicles|
|26||New York Giants, 0-2 (Last Week: 24)||Big Blue View|
|27||Cleveland Browns, 1-1 (Last Week: 29)||Dawgs by Nature|
|28||Oakland Raiders, 1-1 (Last Week: 30)||Silver and Black Pride|
|29||Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-1 (Last Week: 31)||Big Cat Country|
|30||Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1-1 (Last Week: 32)||Bucs Nation|
|31||Chicago Bears, 0-2 (Last Week: 26)||Windy City Gridiron|
|32||Tennessee Titans, 1-1 (Last Week: 27)||Music City Miracles|