I should come clean: the Ravens shocked me with their dominant victory against a divisional foe last Thursday. I predicted the Browns to escape their own town with a last-second touchdown and they did - sort of. Billy Cundiff's 29-yard field goal booted the Saints out and New Orleans now stare at an indigestible 0-2 record.
Here we go with Week 3's Knowledge is Power Rankings. Either a lot of you will be happy after reading this or. ...
1: BRONCOS (2-0) +1
In all my years watching Peyton Manning I've never seen the legend yell at a receiver like this. Julius Thomas got a .... year full's earful from his quarterback for running the wrong route. The Broncos won, Jamaal Charles' early exit helped, but hey, a vin is a vin.
2: BENGALS (2-0) +5
Cincy crushed the Falcons with ease. Ryan struggled (three interceptions, sacked twice) and third-year strong safety George Iloka is on the come up. In two games Iloka has two picks and three passes defensed. Geno Atkins and Leon Hall? Tough times for opposing offenses. Speaking of offenses, the Bengals' O ranks fourth in the league with 426.0 total yards per game.
3: EAGLES (2-0) EVEN
Seeing the Eagles' backfield weave in and out of lanes is making me nostalgic. The formidable duo, Sproles and McCoy, accounted for 280 total yards from scrimmage. Nick Foles had 331 yards passing. Wow. I promise I said that the Eagles were better without DeSean Jackson three months ago. #holyBible
4: PANTHERS (2-0) +8
Death to my arrogance. The Panthers are winning with anyone under the helm and without Steve Smith. Their defense limited Matt Stafford and the Lions to a bone-chilling seven points. If they slam the Steelers the Panthers by double digits I'll ask for your forgiveness.
5: CARDINALS (2-0) +2
The Cardinals aren't coming off an impressive win or anything ... but hello, I've witnessed Eli Manning pull off some crazy stunts (say, win a Super Bowl twice), and that's enough for me to believe that the Cardinals are a top-five caliber team. (Imagine if the Giants won). Their defense is allowing 66.5 yards, and that's against run-heavy offenses in the Chargers and Giants. Get well soon, Mr. Palmer.
6: BILLS (2-0) +12
Too soon? Or TWO-and-OH? Ah. Buffalo followed up their fluke-of-a-win in Chicago and stomped the Dolphins (who came off a high as well) to claim the AFC East throne. In Geno I Trust.
7: SEAHAWKS (1-1) -6
Pete Carroll will not lose next week after that humiliating loss to the Chargers. A decisive win against the Broncos on Sunday should shut the pundits up. A loss would shush me up. I believe that the Seahawks need to stretch their creativity with how they deploy Percy Harvin even more. ...
8: CHARGERS (1-1) +6
Not a pretty sight but San Diego trounced the defending champs as if they knew something that Seattle didn't. Richard Sherman most def- didn't. Chargers - a gold star from me if you nick the Bills on Sunday.
9: PATRIOTS (1-1) +2
You can always count on the Patriots; they rarely flake and usually find ways -- detours, hidden pathways, the long route -- to make appearance to the postseason party. Wins won't come easy for the three other AFC teams on Sunday. ...
10: BEARS (1-1) +11
Jay Cutler for MVP? NFL.com's Michael Irvin genuinely believes that. Colin Kaepernick's meltdown (or the Bears' stunning comeback) on Sunday night solidifies my reasoning to add the Bears to the Top 10 list. They have a lot on their plates with the Jets on a short week of practice. Marc Trestman has accomplished much in Cutler's development.
11: PACKERS (1-1) -1
Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb have hooked up for 3 touchdowns in two games. The easy part of their schedule behind them, and according to NFL writer and super hero Dan Hanzus, Eddie Lacy will return to stud mode.
12: RAVENS (1-1) +10
The Ravens have the Steelers number, yes, we know that, and with that flair, the Ravens should soar out of Cleveland with another win. Key matchup alert: Steve Smith vs. Joe Haden.
13: 49ERS (1-1) -10
Maybe it is true: Jim Harbaugh's control of the locker room is slipping at a rapid pace. The meltdown at home last night, although there's no excuse for it, showcased why Kaepernick needs more weapons on offense to move the chains.
14: DOLPHINS (1-1) -6
Knowshon Moreno is the Dolphins Offense as Daniel Park is to Korean Barbecue Dinners. Miami's defense was on the field a lot and Sammy Watkins tore them up with eight catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. Momentum is (almost) everything in these divisional exhibitions.
15: FALCONS (1-1) -10
The Falcons and the Steelers are diagnosed with false confiditis after close wins in Week 1. The Falcons' highly-touted offense embarrassed its hype men Sunday. Beating the Bucs on Thursday night won't come by easy; all eyes on Atlanta's next move. ...
16: JETS (1-1) EVEN
Time out, wait, never mind. The Gang Green shortchanged themselves on Sunday in their loss to the Pack.
Eliott Harrison reminds us this cute moment in history:
...It's worth noting that back in 2007, when he was defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, Rex Ryan lost a game in the same way -- except that time, he was the assistant whose sideline call wiped away a momentous play, in that case a fourth-and-1 stop that could have interrupted the Patriots' undefeated regular season.
17: SAINTS (0-2) -4
The Saints are furious. From here on out Drew Brees and Co. will steamroll their next eight opponents before hosting ... that's right, the Ravens. Browns wideout Andrew Hawkins was inexplicably open on second-and-10. ... #SaintsSteamroll
18: COLTS (0-2) -3
Stop the nonsense. Andrew Luck is still a perfect fit for the Colts and nowhere should anyone start harping regrets on the Manning-to-Denver move. If you're lamenting, cut it out. The Colts lost by a stinging 4 points (to DEN) and 3 (to PHI), yet have consecutive divisional rivalry games on their menu; they should have no problems winning them. Four syllables: Eric Walden.
19: LIONS (1-1) -10
The Lions need to revise their gameplans against solid teams. What worked against the Giants won't work against the Panthers. Come on. ... Stafford threw 22/32, 346 yards and a pair of TDs vs. the G-Men. He then throws 27/48, 291, 1 TD and 1 INT vs. Carolina. The Lions abandon the run, which is saying a lot considering that 12 touches made all the difference. (30 attempts vs. NYG, 18 vs. CAR).
20: BROWNS (1-1) +8
My question is. ... do the Browns believe that the Browns upended the Saints? #Blur
21: COWBOYS (1-1) +6
While dining in at Marty's I learned that Titans fans are, in reality, Cowboys fans, well, only because the Houston Oilers were in Texas before relocating. Thank you Mrs. Cheri Kelleher for that tidbit. Her favorite team pulled out a win, a much-needed one at that.
22:VIKINGS (1-1) -2
From here on out: every team on the 21+ list are like the bouncy balls we used to play with during recess in elementary school--highly unpredictable. I gave the Vikings the benefit of the doubt and thought that they could keep close with the Patriots, however Minnesota proved to be no match for the behemoths after the first quarter. #ITried
23: TEXANS (2-0) +2
Sadly enough the Texans are the worst 2-0 team in the league after beating the Raiders and Redskins. I'll move them up a few more notches if they trample the Giants on their home turf.
24: TITANS (1-1) -7
Wishful thinking had me stuck under a Titans' trance. I had a dream last week that the Titans would pummel the Cowboys, and instead, the football gods - per usual - trolled me. Tennessee's defense leads the league in passing yards allowed per game (163), and not only that, trail the Redskins (10) a couple of sacks from the top spot with eight of their own. (Washington recorded all 10 in one game.)
25: REDSKINS (1-1) +4
Two of my offseason predictions have been fulfilled. Robert Griffin III wouldn't start all 16 games this season, and DeSean Jackson won't meet his hype. What Griffin III failed to learn this OS was how to use his sheer athleticism and speed to his advantage. For starters, he could have scrambled behind the line of scrimmage, drew in defensive backs closer before planting/throwing. Kirk Cousins is a better fit for the Redskins, IMO.
26: STEELERS (1-1) -7
Another team diagnosed with false confiditis. (See FALCONS.) They were ill-prepared against the Ravens and consequently got their socks rocked. I'm being harsh on a solid team because I know that they aren't playing to their full potential. The Steelers better hop off their stepladder before it's too late and not underestimate the power of rookie Kelvin Benjamin, Jericho Cotchery and Jason Avant in Carolina. ...
27: CHIEFS (0-2) -4
Andy Reid's first year as a head coach landed the Chiefs a wild-card spot. Never forget ... where there is a will, there is a way ...
28: RAMS (1-1) +2
A) St. Louis' third string quarterback Austin Davis delivered in his first NFL start.
B) St. Louis' offense is thin at receiver and running back. Zac Stacy and Tavon Austin will either make the Pro Bowl or miss.
C) Scoring wise, Greg Zuerlein is the best player on the team -- 19 points in two games.
29: GIANTS (0-2) +3
They are only better than Jacksonville, Oakland and Tampa Bay because it's only a matter of time Victor Cruz brings out the salsa dance (zero touchdowns) and Rueben Randle catches his groove with The Other Manning.
30: JAGUARS (0-2) -4
I mean ... I did take two hours to create this video. ... enjoy.
31: RAIDERS (0-2) EVEN
Great! The Raiders are 2nd in the league against the pass! Don't be disillusioned; scroll down to the bottom of this list and you find that the Raiders defense is allowing 200 yards on the ground. I mean, the weather is perfect for passing and normally teams run during the winter months but sheesh. ...
32: BUCCANEERS (0-2) -8
Not much to see here, let's hope that Head Coach Lovie Smith locates their strengths before their weaknesses bog them down the whole season.