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My 2022 NFL Power Index Week Two

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Rich has a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Penn State. WE ARE!!!

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2022 NFL Power Index Week Two

Wow. What a wild weekend of football. Improbable comebacks happened not once, not twice, but thrice! The Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets all won games they had no business winning which goes to show that it’s not over until it’s over. Literally as the Cardinals tied the score with no time left to force overtime where they won on a defensive touchdown of all things. If that isn’t crazy enough for you, there is a surprise leader in the woeful AFC South, but I’ll leave that to the actual rankings. Can’t give it all away up here and still expect you to continue on now can I?

1. Buffalo Bills (2-0) ~ After dismantling the defending Super Bowl Champions in the season opener, the Bills beat up on Tennessee in the first of two Monday night games. It got so bad that, when I flipped the game on during a commercial of my Philadelphia Eagles game, Case Keenum and Malik Willis had both taken over for Josh Allen and Ryan Tannehill respectively. In other news, Case Keenum is a Buffalo Bill. I had no idea. (Last Week’s Ranking 1)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) ~ This game changed on one single play. Seventh round pick Jaylen Watson picked off Justin Herbert and took it 99 yards to the house breaking a tie in the fourth quarter. That’s probably a 14-point swing in a game that was decided by a field goal. Chiefs-Chargers games are must-see TV. (LWR 2)

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0) ~ The good news is that through two games the Bucs have given up a total of one touchdown. The bad news is that through two games their offense has put up a total of two touchdowns. Things won’t get any easier next week as they could be without their top three wideouts in Chris Godwin, Julio Jones and Mike Evans. Godwin and Jones are hurt. Evans is serving a one game suspension for obliterating Marshon Lattimore. (LWR 3)

4. Los Angeles Rams (1-1) ~ Matthew Stafford has picked up right where he left off last year. And I’m not talking about hoisting the Lombardi trophy. Through two weeks, Stafford leads the NFL with five interceptions. He was tied for the league lead last year with 17 picks. He will need to protect the ball better for the Rams to have a chance to defend their title. (LWR 4)

5. Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) ~ Is this a homer pick? Maybe a little, but you’d be fighting an uphill battle if you were trying to convince me the Eagles looked anything but downright dangerous as they dominated Minnesota last night. Jalen Hurts played a nearly perfect game aside from a late interception that came on a tipped pass. My only concern is the health of Darius Slay who had more catches than Justin Jefferson when they went up against each other. Slay was held out of the game’s final drive after nabbing his second interception of the night and seemed to be nursing a foot/ankle injury. (LWR 9)

6. Miami Dolphins (2-0) ~ Jaylen Waddle had 11 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns including the go-ahead score with under a minute to play that capped the comeback in Baltimore. The crazier part is that he wasn’t even the most prolific receiver on his own team. Tyreek Hill hauled in 11 catches of his own for two touchdowns and 190 yards. Tua Tagovailoa finished the day with 469 yards and six touchdowns. If this is a glimpse of what the Miami offense can look like, the rest of the AFC has been put on notice. (LWR 11)

7. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) ~ A year ago Austin Ekeler found himself in the end zone 20 times which tied him for the NFL lead. It’s just two games so far, but Ekeler has yet to score. The Chargers need to get the ball in the hands of one of their better playmakers and let him do what he does best. Like find the end zone. (LWR 5)

8. Baltimore Ravens (1-1) ~ On the other side of that crazy Miami game was an absolute gem from Lamar Jackson. My preseason MVP pick threw for 318 yards, three touchdowns and added 119 yards on the ground which included a 79-yard touchdown run. He is a massive talent, but he can’t do it alone. The Ravens need some help, and right now, I can’t decide if its more needed on the offense or defense. The case can be made for both. (LWR 6)

9. Green Bay Packers (1-1) ~ No wide receiver is going to replace Davante Adams. We knew that coming into the season. That said, one of them need to step up and be the go-to guy for Aaron Rodgers. AJ Dillon leads the team with nine targets and Aaron Jones is in a tie for second with eight. They are both running backs. That will have to change going forward if this offense is going to look like Packers’ offenses of the recent past. (LWR 10)

10. San Francisco 49ers (1-1) ~ Obviously the big news coming out of the Bay Area is that Trey Lance will miss the rest of the season due to an ankle injury. Luckily for the 49ers that they did not trade Jimmy Garoppolo during the offseason. Jimmy G did lead San Fran to the NFC Championship game last season and one could argue the team will actually be better with him under center. (LWR 14)

11. Minnesota Vikings (1-1) ~ Justin Jefferson was held under 50 yards receiving. Dalvin Cook was held to 36 yards total. Hell, Kirk Cousins led the team in rushing with 20 yards on two carries. It was an offensive implosion for this Vikings team that seemed to do whatever they wanted in a rout of Green Bay last week. I said I thought I had ranked them a little too high. Maybe I should have listened to that voice in my head. (LWR 7)

12. New Orleans Saints (1-1) ~ Five turnovers. The Saints had five turnovers, including an interception that Tampa Bay returned for a score, in their loss to a hated division rival. This was already going to be a tough win with their best player, Alvin Kamara, on the sideline. Let’s maybe just chalk this up as a bad game and move on. (LWR 12)

13. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) ~ The quarterbacks they have faced so far this year are Mitch Trubisky and Cooper Rush. The Bengals are 0-2. I hesitate to even keep them this high, but I believe in Joe Burrow. It can’t really get any worse from here, right? (LWR 8)

14. Denver Broncos (1-1) ~ A week ago Russell Wilson was serenaded with boos as he made his first start as a Denver Bronco. That start, of course, came in Seattle where he spent the past decade. Surely, he expected a better reaction from his new fanbase. Nope. The Broncos faithful let Wilson hear it during a sloppy win over the Houston Texans. Tough sledding so far in his Denver tenure. (LWR 18)

15. Arizona Cardinals (1-1) ~ This was going to write itself. The Cardinals season is over! At least that’s what I was thinking when they went into halftime down 20-0 after being blown out in the opener. Kyler Murray put the team on his back in the second half and led a frantic comeback that was punctuated by the aforementioned defensive touchdown in overtime. They say momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher, but, that doesn’t really apply here even accounting for Kyler’s baseball skills. What’s the football equivalent of that? (LWR 20)

16. Cleveland Browns (1-1) ~ When Nick Chubb rumbled into the end zone for his third touchdown of the day, the Browns took a 13-point lead with less than two minutes to play. That should have been it. The game was over. How they allowed Joe Flacco to throw for two touchdowns in those final two minutes is beyond me. What say you Cleveland fans? (LWR 15)

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17. New England Patriots (1-1) ~ The Patriots have put up a total of 24 points through their first two games. Only two teams have scored less through the first two weeks and one of those teams was shut out in Week Two. Who is New England’s lead receiver? I assumed it would be the recently acquired DeVante Parker, but he has just one catch for nine yards. The offense will have to be better to compete with Miami and Buffalo in the AFC East. (LWR 21)

18. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) ~ Last week I wrote that Mitch Trubisky was just fine in his Steelers debut. Now, after a close loss, the fans in western PA are chanting for the local kid Kenny Pickett to get the gig. While the first round rookie may very well be the future, I believe it’s just a bit too early to pull the plug on Trubisky who is a former number two overall pick himself. (LWR 16)

19. Las Vegas Raiders (0-2) ~ One week after a 10-catch 141-yard performance, Davante Adams had two catches for just twelve yards. I think the sweet spot is somewhere in between those outings. Adams will be just fine, but I’m more concerned with Josh Jacobs’ performance. In a game in which the Raiders held a 10-point lead, Jacobs mustered 3.6 yards per carry. If he helps the Raiders control the clock I believe they walk away with that win. (LWR 13)

20. New York Giants (2-0) ~ The Giants are 2-0, but it certainly isn’t because of their big money receiver Kenny Golladay. After hauling in the only two targets he saw in Week One, Golladay played just two snaps against Carolina. He is in the second year of a four-year $72 million contract and it appears he is not in the Giants’ gameplan. (LWR 24)

21. Dallas Cowboys (1-1) ~ Micah Parsons leads the NFL with four sacks in just two games. No player in NFL history has had as many sacks (17) in their first 18 career games. He is the definition of a stud. I love that he went to Penn State. I hate that he plays for Dallas. (LWR 23)

22. Detroit Lions (1-1) ~ Detroit has scored 71 points in two games. That is tied for second in the NFL with Kansas City and is just one point behind Buffalo for the NFL lead. The defense will need to step it up as they can’t count on the offense to put up 35 points per game. (LWR 27)

23. Indianapolis Colts (0-1-1) ~ Not only are the Colts winless through two weeks, but both of those games were against division rivals. Up next they host the Chiefs so I don’t think it’s a reach to say Indy will be hard pressed to pick up their first win this weekend. The Matt Ryan era in Indy has started off worse than the Russell Wilson era in Denver. (LWR 17)

24. Washington Commanders (1-1) ~ When Washington drafted Jahan Dotson in the first round, it raised a lot of eyebrows. The experts thought it was a reach. I was bummed out to see another Nittany Lion go to a division rival, but I didn’t think it was a reach. Dotson has scored in both of his games this season and leads the team with three touchdowns. (LWR 22)

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) ~ Make that eight straight home wins against the Colts. The Jacksonville Jaguars are alone in first place in the AFC South. In fact, the Jags have the only win in the division. (LWR 30)

26. Tennessee Titans (0-2) ~ Is Derrick Henry OK? He missed time last year so it isn’t as ridiculous as it might seem. Henry averaged less than two yards per carry against the Bills and has just 107 yards through the first two games of the season. We all knew this offense would look different without A.J. Brown, but I didn’t think it would be this bad. (LWR 19)

27. Seattle Seahawks (1-1) ~ They were down 20-0 at the half, but this team abandoned the run. Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Walker combined for just 10 carries. The run game should be the strength of the offense. Even with a big deficit, they should have relied on the run to try and get back into this game. (LWR 25)

28. Chicago Bears (1-1) ~ The Bears are averaging 76.5 yards passing per game. Yes, there was the monsoon in the opener. But they actually had MORE yards in that game than they did against the Packers. That, um, isn’t very good. (LWR 26)

29. New York Jets (1-1) ~ Have the Jets found a number one receiver? Rookie Garrett Wilson paced the Jets with eight catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns including the game-winner with just 22 seconds remaining. They may not have a great year, but the Jets and their fans should feel great after that win. It had been 21 years since a team came back from down 13 with less than two minutes to play. (LWR 32)

30. Houston Texans (0-1-1) ~ They may not have a win to show for it, but they were competitive in both of their games. I am thrilled that Lovie Smith has received another chance in the NFL. He’s a fine coach and the Texans, and their young players, are fortunate to have him on the sidelines. (LWR 29)

31. Atlanta Falcons (0-2) ~ In Week One the Falcons blew a big lead. In Week Two, they nearly completed a big comeback. I don’t know what to make of them yet. Let’s check back next week. (LWR 31)

32. Carolina Panthers (0-2) ~ Carolina hasn’t won a home game in over a calendar year. (LWR 28)

And that is that. That's all I've got this week. You're now free to go about the rest of your day. Or night. Whatever it may be. If you want more of me, leave a comment below or follow me on social media via the link in my bio.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Rich

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