NFL WEEK 2: POWER RANKINGS

  BY ADAM GREENE   Well, look at the mess Week 1 made with the Power Rankings. Not only do we have a new No. 1, we also have a new No. 32. Everything at the top and the bottom of the rankings have been reshuffled, which is why tracking teams in this arbitrary fashion is so important (we can tell ourselves). Are some of the “bad” teams better than we thought? Are the “good” teams about to fall off the cliff? How badly can we overreact after a single week of real NFL football? Let’s find out together.   We had shocking upsets, ties, the threat of ties and a Super Bowl champion who looked like they didn’t realize they’d be asked to play a real football game on opening night. But, hey, it’s hard to complain too much when you just hung a 2021 championship banner.   It’s time to deliver the deserved praise and harshly worded scorn to our NFL participants. Let’s rank some teams.   BUFFALO BILLS (1-0) The Bills opened the preseason as the Super Bowl favorites and then answered the call, putting a prison yard beat down on the defending champion Los Angeles Rams on the same day they hung the banner (well, technically two, since they also put up the Super Bowl XXXIV flag too). As statements go, that one was pretty definitive. Buffalo looks like the best team in the league and no one else is close. Last week: No. 3   TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (1-0) It wasn’t a pretty 2022 debut for Tom Brady and the Todd Bowles Bucs, but considering how so many of the “contenders” played in Week 1, they should get no complaints. Brady is now 7-0 against the Dallas Cowboys in his career and the only reason that win total isn’t bigger is that Dallas was never a serious Super Bowl contender in Brady’s two decade long career. Last week: No. 4   KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (1-0) Did the Chiefs look like a serious contender because they’re a serious contender or were they just playing the Arizona Cardinals? Kansas City is great, there’s no question, but we’ll see what the Tyreek Hill-less offense looks like Thursday night against the Chargers. They’ll get two shots at LA and the AFC West is probably on the line in both. Last week: No. 5   LOS ANGELES RAMS (0-1) Here’s a fun little tidbit for you. Last season, every single time the Rams made their way to the top of the Power Rankings, they would immediately lose. As they started this season at No. 1, they have apparently kept that streak going. Last week: No. 1   CINCINNATI BENGALS (0-1) Evan McPherson was probably the best kicker in the league a year ago. Last Sunday, he couldn’t hit the broad side of a Steelers nose tackle. He’ll have plenty of chances to line up for field goals and extra points when Cincy travels to the Dak Prescott-less Dallas Cowboys Sunday. Last week: No. 2   LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (1-0) Last Sunday, Justin Herbert put up a highlight reel that needs to be shown with a parental advisory warning in front of it. With a victory over the Chiefs Thursday night on the road, the Chargers can take control of the AFC West early and maybe for good. Last week: No. 6   GREEN BAY PACKERS (0-1) Here’s a fun fact. After Sunday’s beat down, Kirk Cousins now has a career winning record over Aaron Rodgers. So maybe our nation’s ivermectin spokesman will consider that before he starts trash talking the other teams in the NFC North again. Last week: No. 7   PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (1-0) Hey, how about that? It turns out trading a pittance for a young star wide receiver can pay off. And with Dak Prescott missing possibly two months for the Cowboys, the NFC East is now Philadelphia’s to lose. All after Week 1. Last week: No. 8   BALTIMORE RAVENS (1-0) You know, this whole Lamar Jackson is running back narrative looks dumber with every single elite pinpoint throw he makes. He carved up Robert Saleh’s New York Jets defense like it was a fresh brisket right out of the smoker. Last week: No. 12   PITTSBURGH STEELERS (1-0) If you ever had a question on how, in his 16th season, head coach Mike Tomlin has never posted a losing record, that insane win over the Bengals Sunday should tell you everything you need to know. Last week: No. 16   LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (0-1) Sometimes you can be a good team and the other guys are just significantly better. The fact they kept it close with Justin Herbert on fire and the Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack combo rushing the passer, is a testament to how good the Raiders are. It’s just not going to matter in the AFC this year. Last week: No. 9   DENVER BRONCOS (0-1) Here’s a fun fact — Peyton Manning, on the “Manningcast” requested that the Broncos call a timeout on their final drive 62 times before they actually took the time out to set up the game losing field goal. I’m not the first one to say it and I won’t be the last, but if you’ve traded that much for Russell Wilson and are paying him $242 million, why wouldn’t you give him a shot to pick up five yards and a first down with all three time outs in your pocket? Nathaniel Hackett needs to eat that loss for a good, long while. Last week: No. 10   MINNESOTA VIKINGS (1-0) You’d like to point at the Kevin O’Connell hire as being the X-Factor in Sunday’s win over the Packers, but Kirk Cousins and the Vikes have had Aaron Rodgers’ number for a while. Even if the ayahuasca made Rodgers forget it. Last week: No. 20   MIAMI DOLPHINS (1-0) Much like the Chiefs win over the Cardinals, how much of the Dolphins’ beat down