Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 2

With Week 1 in the books, there was only a mild shaking up of the Top 12.  The Bears vaulted up, the Falcons vaulted down, and Washington and Dallas were replaced by New Orleans and Philadelphia.  With only one big Top 12 matchup (San Fran @ Seattle) on tap in Week 2, it will be interesting to see how things pan out after this weekend.


#1 – San Francisco 49ers

By coming away with a victory over the Packers, the Niners wrapped up a repeat in the top spot this week.  Hard to argue against them.

Last Week: 1      Change: N/A       Record: 1-0       Next Game: @ Seahawks


#2 – Denver Broncos

While it may have come down to altitude and conditioning, there's no denying that the Broncos looked impressive thrashing the defending champs.

Last Week: 4      Change: +2       Record: 1-0   Next Game: @ Giants


#3 – Chicago Bears

And here I thought the Bears would be mired around the 10 spot all season.  That was a quality win against a quality team last week.  Few teams had as good of a win over a tough team, which catapults Chicago up the board.

Last Week: 10      Change: +7       Record: 1-0      Next Game: vs. Vikings


#4 – New England Patriots

The Pats didn't win pretty but they won.  They also showed flashes of being a tough opponent once everyone gets healthy and on the same page. Until then, it's time to tread water..

Last Week: 2      Change: -2       Record: 1-0     Next Game: vs. Jets


#5 – Seattle Seahawks

Seattle's defense looked impressive on Sunday.  Unfortunately, their offense looked nearly as unimpressive..

Last Week: 5      Change: N/A       Record: 1-0      Next Game: vs. 49ers


#6 – Green Bay Packers

There's no shame in losing to the #1 team on the road.  The Pack gets to sit tight this week.

Last Week: 6      Change: N/A       Record: 0-1       Next Game: vs. Redskins


#7 – New Orleans Saints

Look who's back from the Bounty Gate grave.  That was a statement win for New Orleans on Sunday.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 1-0      Next Game: @ Buccaneers


#8 – Atlanta Falcons

A big drop for Atlanta after a big divisional loss.  It's a bit steep for a close game, but I'm wondering if maybe they aren't as good as I originally thought they were.

Last Week: 2      Change: -6      Record: 0-1    Next Game: vs. Rams


#9 – Houston Texans

It was a toss-up between Houston and Cincy for this spot. Ultimately, I have to credit the Texans for winning their game, even if it wasn't pretty.

Last Week: 7      Change: -2       Record: 1-0   Next Game: vs. Titans


#10 – Cincinnati Bengals

I don't know if the Bengals really deserve to be all the way down at #10, but looking at this list, the Top 10 teams are all legit.  It's not a slight to be ranked this low.

Last Week: 8      Change: -2       Record: 0-1     Next Game: vs. Steelers


#11 – Baltimore Ravens

They were winning at half time.  That fact and the respect for being defending champs keeps them on the Top 12 this week..

Last Week: 9      Change: -2      Record: 0-1     Next Game: vs. Browns


#12 – Philadelphia Eagles

Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense may be just what Philly needs to turn their recent bad luck around. That, and San Diego at home.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 1-0       Next Game: vs. Chargers


 

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 2

And now, prepare for some tremendous overreaction….

I've done my best not to knee-jerk on these rankings too badly, but it's difficult to find the middle ground between what I thought going into this week and what really happened.  Are the Eagles true Super Bowl contenders or are they a team that barely squeaked by the Browns?  How high up should teams like Denver and Dallas, who weren't on the board last week, rise after toppling teams who were ranked like Pittsburgh and New York? 

No folks, the Top 12 ain't easy, but somebody's got to do it.


#1 – New England Patriots

The Patriots did nothing to shake my confidence in them during Week 1.  In fact, I'm actually feeling even better about them heading into the opener.  The defense has been rejuvenated.  After years of waiting for a pass rush to develop, the Pats finally have one, and NOBODY is going to be able to run against that defensive front four.  (Take note, Baltimore and Houston.) Yes, the Niners win over the Packers was impressive and they've become America's sweethearts, but I have no reason to think that the Patriots wouldn't have won in Lambeau also, given how good they looked on Sunday.

Last Week: 1      Change: 0       Record: 1-0       Next Game: vs. Cardinals


#2 – San Francisco 49ers

I said San Francisco would have to prove they weren't one-year wonders to rise in the rankings, and that's just what they did.  There's only one team in the league right now that makes me sweat as a Pats fan, and they're it.  Still, I have to think the improvements in the New England defense would give the Patriots and advantage the Packers didn't have.  I guess we'll have to wait and see in Week 15.

Last Week: 5      Change: +3       Record: 1-0       Next Game: vs. Lions


#3 – Baltimore Ravens

I thought the Ravens were likely to take a step back this season due to a declining defense.  What I didn't take into account was the improvements they have appeared to make on offense.  Needless to say, their Week 3 clash with the Pats is shaping up to be epic.


Last Week: 4      Change: +1       Record: 1-0       Next Game: @ Eagles


#4 – Green Bay Packers

I refuse to murder the Packers like most others out there.  A lot of rankings had them dropping from #1, all the way down to #5 or #6.   Give me a break.   It's going to take a lot more than a loss to a powerhouse like San Fran to make me disregard a team that was 15-1 last year.  If it weren't for me wanting to show the Ravens some respect, the Pack probably would only have dropped to #3.

Last Week: 2      Change: -2       Record: 0-1       Next Game: vs. Bears


#5 – Houston Texans

The Texans did nothing to deserve a two-spot drop.  It's just that in retrospect, I feel that I underestimated the Niners and Ravens.  By default, somebody has to go down. 

Last Week: 3      Change: -2       Record: 0-0       Next Game: @ Jaguars


#6 – Chicago Bears

The failure of some teams ranked above them, allowed for the Bears' rise to #6 this week.  That, and the fact that their offense looked pretty stinking good.  If they really want to soar, then they need to take care of business on Thursday Night against what should be a very motivated Packers team.

Last Week: 10      Change: +4       Record: 10-0       Next Game: @ Packers


#7 – Atlanta Falcons

Like the Bears, the Falcons were a team I had some questions about, who pulled off a solid performance in Week 1.  Needless to say, dropping Peyton Manning on Monday Night will be a much taller task than dispatching the Chiefs.

Last Week: 11      Change: +4       Record: 1-0       Next Game: @ Broncos


#8 – Dallas Cowboys

This seems a bit high for a team that wasn't ranked last week, but by default, they deserve to be a spot above the Giants.  At any rate, nobody below them made a strong case for deserving to be #8, so the spot goes to The Boys.
 

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 1-0       Next Game: @ Seahawks


#9 – New York Giants

I don't want to murder the Giants for losing a close game (oh wait, of course I do!), so a three spot drop seems a bit steep.  Still, the Falcons and Bears both had strong showings, and I think giving the G-Men the 6-spot last week was a tad generous.  So with that in mind, this ranking feels just right.

Last Week: 6      Change: -3       Record: 0-1       Next Game: vs. Buccaneers


#10 – New Orleans Saints

It wasn't pretty for the Saints this week.   It might not be so pretty until they stabilize their coaching situation again.  This is a big game for the Saints this week, as an 0-2 start would spell big trouble in the Big Easy.

Last Week: 7     Change: -3       Record: 0-1       Next Game: @ Panthers


#11 – Denver Broncos

I still have to go with Brees over Manning at this point, which is why I put the Broncos at #11 this week..  Still, my old enemy looked rather impressive in his first game back.  Now it's just a question of how he and his team hold up during the next 15 tough ones.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 1-0       Next Game: vs. Falcons


#12 – Detroit Lions

After a lackluster performance against the Rams, the Lions get to hold onto the 12th spot simply because nobody has convinced me that they should have it.  They will need to show up this week against San Fran, or they won't be on the board much longer.


Last Week: 12      Change: 0       Record: 0-0       Next Game: @ 49ers


 

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 2

For the third week in a row, we have a new team in the #1 spot.  Despite the fact that eight of the twelve teams from last week played each other, things stayed relatively stable.  All twelve from last week are back, and no team dropped more than three spots or rose more than two. Perhaps things will heat up more next week, when the elite have the opportunity to stub their toes against some lesser competition.

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 3 +2 2-0 @ Bills
This top spot could have gone either way between the Pats and Pack.  I ususally try to be “harsh” on the Patriots and avoid bias.  However, at the end of the day, Tom Brady is currently playing better than perhaps any quarterback in history.  That has to count for something.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 logo 2 0 2-0 @ Bears
Could easily be at the top, but I wasn’t thrilled that they cut it so close against the #32 team in the league last year.  Their D got torched just as bad by Cam Newton as New England’s did against Philip Rivers.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 4 +1 1-1 vs. Texans
Big statement game by the Saints this past week.  After losing the opener, they clearly aren’t going anywhere.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 1 -3 1-1 @ Rams
Flying high off their drubbing of Pittsburgh, the Ravens fell into a trap in Week 2.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 6 +1 2-0 @ Saints
Texans have looked impressive against sub-par competition.  The real test is this week.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6

logo

8 +2 1-1 @ Buccaneers
The Falcons pulled out a gutsy come-from-behind W to keep pace with New Orleans in the NFC South.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7

logo

9 +2 2-0 @ Raiders
Impressive win this week, but Sanchez’s turnovers have to be a cause for concern.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 5 -3 1-1 vs. Giants
I wouldn’t normally drop a team three spots for losing a close one against top-notch competition, but Vick’s concussion may have some long-term effects on the team moving forward.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 11 +2 1-1 @ Colts
Gotta give credit to the Pittsburgh D for pitching a shut-out a week removed from giving up 35.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 7 -3 1-1 vs. Packers
The Bears had a real chance to take the NFC by storm, but the O-line completely collapsed.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 12 +1 2-0 @ Vikings
Slowly but surely, the Lions are climbing the ranks of the Top 12.  That was a quality thumping of the Chiefs this past week.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo 10 -2 1-1 vs. Chiefs
San Diego should find this week’s competition far easier than last’s.  If they don’t, they won’t be in the Top 12 much longer.
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 2

Trying to predict the NFL season before it kicks off is nearly impossible.  To be quite honest, making any assessment after Week 1 is nearly equally as futile.  It should come as no surprise, then, that there is some major moving and shaking going on in the Foxboro Blog Top 12 this week.  Teams will be flying up and down the board like it’s nobody’s business, and there will likely be some newcomers as well.  Click “Read More” below to view the rankings!

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 4 3 2-0 @ Bears
I’ve been resisting buying into the Green Bay hype, but only four of last week’s Top 10 teams are still 2-0.  The Texans and Steelers certainly still have something to prove.  That left the Saints and the Pack.  Given the fact that GB laid the smack down on Buffalo and the defending champs eeked by for the second week in a row, the Packers are given the top spot.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 logo 2 1 2-0 vs. Falcons
Two wins.  Two games that were too close for comfort against teams that aren’t here in the Top 12.  Undefeated is undefeated, but there has to be some cause for concern in New Orleans.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 5 2 1-1 @ Broncos
In my defense, the Packers, Saints, Ravens, and Patriots all looked much more solid than Indy in Week 1.  Was some of it a bit of over-reaction?  No doubt.  But I fully admit that there’s some bias in these rankings and the Colts are never going to end up on the good side of it.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 2 2 1-1 vs. Browns
The Ravens beat the Jets, who beat the Patriots, who beat the Bengals, who beat the Ravens.  It makes things a bit tough to sort out.  I’m just going to go with my gut and rank those four teams the way I believe they should be ranked.  We’ll let the next 15 weeks sort the rest out. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 3 2 1-1 vs. Bills
Tough loss on the road against a very good and very desperate team.  The Patriots had opportunities to nail the coffin shut on the Jets season, but never made the plays.  The better team on Sunday won.  That being said, I still believe the Patriots are the better team, period, thus their firm grasp on the #5 spot.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 7 1 1-1 @ Dolphins
Call me a homer.  I don’t care.  Keep in mind that the Jets looked dreadful in Week 1 and the Patriots looked stellar.  Yes, the Jets won head to head, but if the Patriots lose to the Bills next week I don’t think anyone would expect to see Buffalo on top of New England in the rankings, either.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 8 1 1-1 @ Saints
The Falcons followed up their close OT loss on the road with an absolute thrashing of the Cardinals. Now the big challenge awaits next week…
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 9 1 2-0 vs. Cowboys
There’s reason for optimism in Houston at 2-0.  However, an overtime win against an inferior team won’t have the Texans skyrocketing up this board, like they have on so many other rankings.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 10 1 2-0 @ Buccaneers
They followed an overtime win at home with a road win against a team they should have beat.  The Steelers are certainly looking fiesty and certainly could be contenders, but I need to see more before I start believing.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo N/A N/A 2-0 vs. Jets
The Dolphins followed up a struggle in Buffalo with a tight win over Minnesota, who may or may not be good.  Still, the Phins sit atop the AFC East at the moment and are proving to be as frisky as I hoped they wouldn’t be. They also have created quite the dilemma as I decide who to root for next week.  Actually, who am I kidding?  Go Phins!
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 11 0 1-1 vs. Seahawks
The 11 and 12 spots were tough calls for me.  Both the Bolts and the Bengals looked horrendous last week.  This week SD killed a bad Jaguars team, and Cincy beat the #4 team.  Ultimately, I have a hard time justifying dropping somebody after a 25 point victory, so the Chargers will stand pat.  They had better show up against Seattle next week, though.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo N/A N/A 1-1 @ Panthers
The Cowboys plummet off the charts after starting the season ranked #3. The Giants also fall from the #12 after getting spanked by the Colts.  That leaves the Bengals, who absolutely need to capitalize on one of the few easy games they’ll have this season vs. Carolina.
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

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