(Previous Rank; Previous Result; Rank Change)
1. New York Giants
(No. 3; W, 33-21 vs. Dal; Up 2)
Eli Manning looked poised in helping the Giants pick up a victory over Dallas in the Cowboys’ new stadium. Playing as good or better than anybody right now.
2. Indianapolis Colts
(No. 4; W, 27-23 vs. Mia; Up 2)
Didn’t need the ball in their hands for very long in order to score. Peyton Manning proved that he could be just as effective without Marvin Harrison or injured Anthony Gonzalez.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
(No. 1; L, 17-14 vs. Chi; Down 2)
Probably should have beaten the Bears but Jeff Reed blew a pair of fourth quarter field goals. Still as effective as most passing offenses, but need to run the ball better.
4. Minnesota Vikings
(No. 7; W, 27-13 vs. Det; Up 3)
Tried to give the Lions their first victory in a long time but eventually pulled away for the win. Brett Favre is playing efficiently but far from spectacularly.
5. Baltimore Ravens
(No. 9; W, 31-26 vs. SD; Up 4)
Grossly underrated team. Without Rex Ryan calling the shots on defense, they’re still pretty good and now they have a capable offense, too.
6. New Orleans Saints
(No. 12; W, 48-22 vs. Phi; Up 6)
Still have issues on defense, but their offense is near unstoppable. They’re not just a passing team, either. They’ve attempted the fourth-most rushes in the NFL through two weeks.
7. New England Patriots
(No. 2; L, 16-9 vs. NYJ; Down 5)
Looked mediocre in their Week 1 comeback win over the Bills. Looked below average against a resurgent Jets team. What will they do for an encore in Week 3?
8. Philadelphia Eagles
(No. 5; L, 48-22 vs. NO; Down 3)
The Eagles didn’t click well offensively without Donovan McNabb and lost to a better Saints team.
9. Atlanta Falcons
(No. 11; W, 28-20 vs. Car; Up 2)
Starting to prove that last season was no fluke and now have a nice showdown with the Patriots in Week 3 when they can show the football world that they’re legit.
10. Tennessee Titans
(No. 6; L, 34-31 vs. Hou; Down 4)
Chris Johnson was able to rack up 197 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, but the defense had no answer for Matt Schaub or Andre Johnson.
11. San Diego Chargers
(No. 8; L, 31-26 vs. Bal; Down 3)
Defense is struggling and the Ravens gave them all they could handle in Week 2.
12. New York Jets
(No. 19; W, 16-9 vs. NE; Up 7)
Could be a contender all season long despite some offensive deficiencies. Their defense should keep them in most games.
13. Arizona Cardinals
(No. 15; W, 31-17 vs. Jac; Up 2)
Not even a rough first week could stop them from falling to a bad Jaguars team.
14. Green Bay Packers
(No. 13; L, 31-24 vs. Cin; Down 1)
They had no answer for Cincinnati’s pass rush and struggled to stop the Bengals’ offense.
15. Chicago Bears
(No. 16; W, 17-14 vs. Pit; Up 1)
At times, the defense looked bad, but they still held the Steelers’ formidable offense to just 14 points. Jay Cutler had a great bounce back game.
16. San Francisco 49ers
(No. 20; W, 23-10 vs. Sea; Up 4)
Two wins to start the season and they’re looking great. Well, good anyway. Good defense from Samurai Mike’s squad.
17. Carolina Panthers
(No. 10; L, 28-20 vs. Atl; Down 7)
Have dropped two in a row against two pretty good teams. Delhomme had a much better second game against the Falcons than he did against the Eagles.
18. Dallas Cowboys
(No. 14; L, 33-31 vs. NYG; Down 4)
Not a good way to kick off the official opening of their new stadium. Dropped a close one to the Giants behind Tony Romo’s three interceptions.
19. Houston Texans
(No. 21; W, 34-31 vs. Ten; Up 2)
Gritty performance against a good Tennessee team. They gave up nearly 200 yards on the ground to Chris Johnson, but their passing offense was nearly unstoppable.
20. Denver Broncos
(No. 24; W, 27-6 vs. Cle; Up 4)
With a lucky break in Week 1 and a poor opponent in Week 2, the Broncos find themselves at 2-0. But they have a lot of problems to fix before they can be taken seriously.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
(No. 25; W, 31-24 vs. GB; Up 4)
It’s not surprising the Bengals put up 31 points. With a healthy Carson Palmer, they have a good offense. But the way they got after Aaron Rodgers and sacked him relentlessly was amazing.
22. Washington Redskins
(No. 22; W, 9-7 vs. Stl; No Change)
The Redskins just barely survived a terrible Rams team, and don’t figure to fit into the NFC East race. They lack a general direction.
23. Buffalo Bills
(No. 23; W, 33-20 vs. TB; No Change)
Huge day on the ground for Fred Jackson, with 163 rushing yards. Trent Edwards capped off a balanced offense with 230 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Bills could excite their fans all season.
24. Seattle Seahawks
(No. 17; L, 23-10 vs. SF; Down 7)
Without Matt Hasselbeck, this team could be borderline bad. Their run defense is also scary bad and that has to improve for any type of success.
25. Miami Dolphins
(No. 18; L, 27-23 vs. Ind; Down 7)
Cut the Dolphins some slack for playing two tough teams in the first two weeks of the season, but this team was also a little overrated after last year’s fortunate run.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
(No. 26; L, 31-17 vs. Ari; No Change)
They were so promising in 2007 but dropped off a cliff last year and appear to be headed toward that same fate this year. David Garrard is not the quarterback they thought they had.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(No. 27; L, 33-20 vs. Buf; No Change)
It’s going to take time — and better personnel — before we see the Buccaneers among the league’s top teams again.
28. Oakland Raiders
(No. 31; W, 13-10 vs. KC; Up 3)
Only 7 of 24 passing for 109 yards for Jamarcus Russell, but the Raiders’ defense has played tough through two weeks and picked up a win against a rebuilding Chiefs team.
29. Kansas City Chiefs
(No. 28; L, 13-10 vs. Oak; Down 1)
Matt Cassel may not be as good as advertised. The offense really struggled to put points on the board against a surprisingly strong Raiders defense.
30. Cleveland Browns
(No. 29; L, 27-6 vs. Den; Down 1)
They’re going to have trouble getting anything going this year without a run game or a reliable quarterback.
31. St. Louis Rams
(No. 30; L, 9-7 vs. Was; Down 1)
Perhaps the worst team in the league, the Rams had trouble getting anything going against the Redskins. There aren’t a whole lot of winnable games on their schedule.
32. Detroit Lions
(No. 32; L, 27-13 vs. Min; No Change)
Probably are not the worst team in the league. The Rams may hold that distinction. But until they finally win a game, they can’t move up.