Lot of upsets, lot of good games. Now, I’m sure everyone (and by that I mean all three) reading this is familiar with the ESPN power rankings, and if not I’ll link it here : http://espn.go.com/nfl/powerrankings
There are naturally a few things to remember when reading power rankings. One, ESPN wants to create drama. I don’t think anyone outside of Philadelphia or New England really thinks they are number 4 and 5 respectively, and 27th for Kansas City who nearly beat Denver? Hard to argue with the top 3, so we’ll leave them. Carolina seems a little high, considering they barely beat Tampa Bay, but they deserve a top 15 for beating Detroit. Packers are way too high (they won because of two things: The jets imploded and Jordy Nelson had one of the best games of his career). Can’t argue with Cardinals, Chargers and Bears (Oh my!) being high, although I think the Bears have the highest ceiling and the lowest floor out of all three. In terms of low side, how are the Jags above the Raiders? I already mentioned the biggest mishap, the Chiefs at 27. That one really baffles me.
In terms of standout players, Julius Thomas and Darren Sproles seem to be doing very well for themselves. Sproles is playing the best football of his career in the first two games, and Thomas seems to be getting nearly all the Manning TDs. To this list I would also add Jamaal Charles, as his injury this week and the brilliant idea of the offensive coordinator to only give him a scant few carries in week 1 are undoubtedly significant factors in their losses. Charles passed Jim Brown as all time leader in yards per carry among among qualified players (This just means they have to have a minimum number of carries, else some random wide receiver who did a jet sweep 10 years ago for 80 yards and never carried it again would have a carrier yards per carry of 80).
On the disappointing side, I think we can put up LeSean McCoy and Drew Brees as two of the leaders. Now, both of these guys are doing relatively well (top 10 for their positions) but for them this is exceptionally low. McCoy has been ESPN’s golden boy running back the off season, and anything below top 2 is a production disappointment for Brees.
The big game to watch this week is obviously Broncos at Seattle. While many think the Seahawks (probably the only team that ESPN commentators have picked to do well and they actually did) are invincible, especially at home, the Broncos are in a terrific position to give them their second home loss in two years. The Broncos have been playing carefully, executing well, and will enjoy having their defensive players healthy and ready to go in this rematch. The key for Denver is to take the lead early and play carefully, making sure to avoid those killer turnovers (Over past few years, Seattle is 7-7 when they lost the turnover battle), and their offense cannot win a game of catch up against Denver. Prediction: Denver wins this one 27-16. (3 TDs, two field goals for Denver, 3 field goals and a TD f or Seattle)