Power rankings are dumb after just two weeks of NFL play for the simple reason that there haven't been enough games to determine who is truly "good" and who is truly "bad." However, it is fun to write about who played well and who didn't on a week to week basis, which is (at its core) the reason people do all this power ranking stuff so early in the season. Until Matt Grecco's The Winning Stats system compiles enough data to provide you with true power rankings, we give you this:
Their defense is smothering. Alex Smith is playing extremely well. Frank Gore is a bowling ball. What else is there to say about SF? They have looked dominant while their nutty head coach continues to build on his already impressive NFL resume.
They were on the "BAD" list last week. Now, with a defense holding teams to 6-of-27 on third down, they look like the best club in the NFC East. Key for Philly is keeping Michael Vick from getting hit. No small order, especially when the offensive line loses their center for the season.
Yeah, I'll be homer here and Go Colts! with this selection. Chuck Pagano coached scared in the second half of the Vikings game, but he was bailed out by Andrew Luck and Adam Vinatieri with two minutes left. In a game Indy absolutely had to win in order to keep a sometimes disinterested fanbase cheering for them, the Colts came through.
Riding high off their Sunday night win over the Steelers, Denver walked into Atlanta and promptly turned the football over three times in the first quarter of a game dominated by incompetent officiating (more later). The Broncos rallied, but it wasn't enough. Peyton Manning looked especially bad.
During the preseason, Jaguars fans got testy with the rest of the civilized world on the subject of Blaine Gabbert. "BUT HE LOOKS BETTER IN PRESEASON! STOP SAYING HE SUCKS!' was the basic gist of what they would scream at you if you wrote or said anything critical of the former Missouri quarterback. After two games, Gabbert's completed only 51% of his passes for 313 yards and three TDs. He's also been sacked five times and fumbled once. Gabbert is pretty much on track to repeat his stats from last season. Oh, and the Jags are 0-2.
KC got blown out again, and now local media are calling for Scott Pioli's job. It's unfortunate that a once great franchise has been reduced to complete irrelevancy like this. As Colts fans, we know that when bad ownership meets incompetent, paranoid front office management, losing is their stepchild. Clark Hunt needs to reevaluate his personnel department and his coaching staff. The Chiefs should be better than what they are right now, and the people in charge should be held accountable.
Roger Goodell and the NFL Owners
I won't throw the labor war between the NFL and the NFLRA completely on the replacement refs. They suck, and they know it. The people who are truly ugly here are the NFL owners, who clearly don't care that their game looks like amateur night at the WWE with these clowns officiating the action. Steve Young said it best last night after ESPN's broadcast of Monday Night Football. In a conversation with Stewart Scott, Young made these salient points:
Young: "How do I start here? I can say this because the league officials have gone to sleep. Lemme just go right at this: There's a lot of people in the league who would rather break the union. There's a lot of people who don't feel like the officiating is on-field personnel, they feel like it's a commodity. But more importantly, everything about the NFL now, it's inelastic for demand. There's nothing that they can do to hurt the demand for the game. So the bottom line is, they don't care. Player safety? Doesn't matter in this case. Bring the Division 3 officials? Doesn't matter. Because in the end, you're still gonna watch the game, we're gonna all complain and moan, and gripe and say there's all these problems, and all the coaches will say it, the players will say it... Doesn't matter. So just go ahead, gripe all you want, I'm gonna rest. Let them eat cake."
Scott: "But we're talking about the marquee game of every week..."
Young: "Doesn't matter!"
Scott: "But why doesn't it matter? Why doesn't it matter?"
Young: "Because it's inelastic. There's nothing that changes the demand for the NFL. So they want to break the union, they want to send a message to them, they don't care about player safety in the case of bringing in Division 3 officials, because it doesn't affect the desire for the game. If it affected the desire for the game, they'd come up with a few million dollars."
Using D-III refs in an attempt to break the NFLRA? Quite ugly.
Who are your good, bad, and ugly teams for Week Two? Toss them in the comments.