Category Archives: NFL

10 Keys to Patriots Victory in Super Bowl 46

By: Tom Nappi

In my prediction Super Bowl 46 between the New England Patriots and New York Giants will come down to one defensive play, which team makes the extra stop or gets the key turn over. All we can do, to analyze any game is guess, because the future is unpredictable and if you look at this Super Bowl, this could arguably be the closest matchup for a Super Bowl ever, both of these teams are extremely even, both have highly affective offenses while on defense, both have a severe weakness in the secondary and a pretty strong front 7. Both of these teams are riding hot streaks, the Giants, I would argue are hotter right now due to the fact the teams they have beat as of late overall are much better quality opponents than the teams the Patriots beat, which is the key reason even though the Patriots are favored by 2.5 in Vegas, 65% of people are betting on the Giants.

I am going to break down this game with 5 things the Patriots must do offensively and 5 things defensively if they want to beat a tough Giants team, that has beat the Patriots the past 2 times they have played them. First off I never account for a past game that is more than 3 weeks old when it comes predicting time, because the setting, scenario and game plan is always evolving especially if you are coached by Bill Belichick or Tom Coughlin. Before I break it down big props to Belichick for moving Devin McCourty to safety, that move was genius, is it right to continue this in the Giants game, not sure as the Giants have extremely fast receivers on the outside in Nicks, Cruz and Manningham, you may need McCourty to cover one of them.

5 Offensive Keys To Beat The Giants
(1 is the most important)

5) Block with Gronk: Rob Gronkowski will likely not be 100% with a high ankle sprain, I am predicting about 60-70% with a week to heal and from my prior severe ankle sprains. Gronk will definitely play, I think you could cut off all of his limbs and he would still play and contribute. Gronk will either be heavily covered in this game or not 100% so use Gronk primarily as a blocker, it is almost just as big of a contribution than Gronk being used in the passing game, no matter what the case throw in Gronks direction at least a few times to draw defenders his way but i expect Gronk to be used primarily as a blocker.

4) Utilize the Law Firm: Benjarvus Green-Ellis is a running back that pretty much never runs for negative yardage, the Giants are hard hitting and the “Law Firm” can dish it right back so let the “Law Firm” do some bumps with the Giants D-Line and utilize your entire backfield in the passing game, throw some confusing plays in there, maybe have the Law Firm or Woodhead run a couple routes, this will really throw off the bag of crap, trash talking Giants secondary.

3) Pick on the G-Men Secondary: The Giants backfield is just as bad, if not worse than the Patriots, pass all over the secondary, put a number of guys out there for deep balls, yes even throw Ochocinqo in the game for a few snaps, he has been a non-factor all year but has the potential to be forgotten by the Giants secondary. Deion Branch, Matt Slater and Tiquan Underwood should also be utilized with Branch playing 75% of the snaps, you must throw deep to exploit the Giants questionable secondary.

2) Step it up O-Line: The Patriots O-Line must protect Brady, The Giants pass rush is going to be foaming at the mouth for the chance to take down or hit Brady, you cannot let Brady get hit too much because this will lead to Brady interceptions, Brady must be protected by this O-Line all game long, they cannot let the Giants relentless pass rush tire them out.

1) Do What You Do Best: Welker, Hernandez and Gronk as usual! Throw a couple tricks in the game plan but stick to your core, the real big 3 in Mass has led the Patriots to victory all year long, do not get too far away from using the 3 best athletes on your offense besides Brady in Gronk, Hernandez and Welker. Hernandez should also be used in the backfield, I loved that, he has speed, force, runs hard and it will take multiple defenders to bring him down, pound, pound, pound all game long. Tire the defense out!

5 Defensive Keys To Beat The Giants
(1 is the most important)

5) Keep Going Secondary – Coach Belichick work your magic, move guys around and do whatever you need to do too keep the backfield on the upward trend. The secondary has progressed every single game just about, so keep making the adjustments or moves you make to keep the secondary on the upward trend, do not fear pulling the trigger on any move that may work because it could always be adjusted if it doesn’t work.

4) Double 2, Single 1 – You are most likely going to have to double on Nicks and Cruz just because their athletic ability and speed is ridiculous, keep an eye on those 2 but you will need to go 1 on 1 with someone and the best receiver to go 1 on 1 is Manningham, but keep in mind you will need a speedster like McCourty or Arrington to do this, because Mario can run!

3) Do what you do against the run – The run defense has been the high point of many lows for the Patriots, so do not let Ahmad Bradshaw or Brandon Jacobs run all over you, do what you normally do too stop the run and do not over concentrate on the pass because Coughlin loves to run.

2) Let Eli Throw – Eli can throw the deep ball but he is still not the most accurate Quarterback, I am expecting the Patriots to give up scores and yards but if you force Eli to throw, he will give you the opportunity to come up with an interception or 2 and ultimately I feel this is the kind of game that is going to come down to a turnover. But make sure you have his targets covered or they will burn you, make Eli throw a few stupid passes because he will if you have his targets covered.

1) Vince Wilfork must be like Bruce Willis in “Die Hard” – Be relentless, get bloody, hit hard and take your enemy down and play out of your mind like you did against the Ravens. Vince single handedly could have won the AFC Championship for the Pats, let Vince run over the GIants O-Line and be like a monster truck crushing cars. Let him be like Denzel Washington in “Man on Fire” and all his other movies and whoop everyones butt! Vince and the others on the D-Line must control the G-Men offensive front and of course it never hurts to give Eli a few wacks!



The Final 4 Who Wins it? Comment your answer!


Alex Smith.jpegEli Manning.jpegBrady hand up.jpegFlacco.jpeg

 Final 4 of the NFL Season

By: Tom Nappi

It is time for Final 4 action. I was pretty pumped I went 3 and 1 in picks last week, I don’t think anyone saw the 49ers beating the Saints however and if you say otherwise you are lying. Now that Brady and Eli are the best Qb’s left in the playoffs, the Pats have a great shot at the Super Bowl title, but do they have the best shot? Read below to find out.

4) S.F. 49ers – I am not counting out the 49ers against the Giants this week especially considering the way they played against the Saints last week. Alex Smith looked really good, the best he has ever looked (fact not opinion), but I am convinced the Saints are the NFC version of the Patriots, great offense, shaky at best defense. The 49ers have a chance to beat the G-Men but Eli is arguably playing better than anybody right now and the Giants offense looks unstoppable.

3) Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens defense is good in fact one of the best but they are substantially older and the way the Patriots offense is playing is ridiculous and they look unstoppable. I do not think the Ravens matchup well against the 3 headed monster in Gronk, Hernandez and Welker. Ravens have a legit shot to win the game if they get a couple of turn overs and if we find out the miraculous way the Pats defense played last week against the Broncos is a fluke, but I expect Pats to head to Indy.

2) New England Patriots – I hate to do it but I cannot say the Patriots or anyone else for that matter is playing hotter than the Giants right now. I do expect a Pats-Giants rematch in the Super Bowl although I may not pick that way on the Sports Blast because I need to come back in picks but if the Patriots even do half of what they did defensively against Flacco next week, hello Indianapolis!

1) New York Giants – They crush the Falcons and then the G-Men roll over everyones Super Bowl favorite Green Bay in extraordinary fashion shutting down Rodgers and all his weapons. Eli looks to be playing better than he ever has in his career and has a legit shot to surpass his brother Peyton in Super Bowl titles this year.


Patriots – 27 Baltimore – 17


Giants – 24  49ers – 17

Un-biased Super Bowl prediction

New York Giants – 37  New England Patriots – 30

Craigs Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

32. (31) Colts (0-3) —Ohh, how the mighty have fallen, just as a reminder, in my week one Power Rankings I had the Colts as high as 8th, they are now in the basement. Just place Peyton Manning on IR and be done with it. If Manning is able to return, it will be too late to help salvage the season anyway. By the time Manning may be ready, the Colts will want to lose so they can guarantee the team has a top 3 draft pick. It’s time to eliminate the distraction and give this current Colts team the best chance to win now.

31. (30) Chiefs (0-3) — For the first time this season, the Chiefs played a game and didn’t lose a key player to season-ending injury. It’s important to look at the positives in Kansas City because there aren’t many.  Long season ahead for the “Patriots” of the NFC.

30. (26) Cardinals (1-2) — A loss to the Seahawks says a lot about how far away the Cardinals are from becoming a contender in the NFL. Last year, Arizona went 1-5 in the NFL’s worst division. The Cards struggles against the NFC West continued on Sunday. The team  played sloppy football and made mistakes at key points in the game.

29. (32) Seahawks (1-2) — The Seahawks have to take advantage of playing in a poor division and they did on Sunday. Although it wasn’t pretty, Pete Carroll and his team will take the W. They won’t have many more.

28. (22) Dolphins (0-3) — Last year it was Brad Childress and Wade Phillips, this year Tony Sparano is the first coach in which his job is clearly in jeopardy. With the Chargers and Jets on tap for the next two weeks, the Dolphins could easily be 0-5 by the time they come home to play the Broncos. And we all know how the Dolphins play at home.

27. (27) Bengals (1-2) — Andy Dalton and the Bengals offensive struggles can be credited mainly to the lack of execution on third down. The 49ers defense stopped the Bengals nine out of ten attempts. Last week the Bengals were 1-11 on third down. If this trend continues, count on the Bengals to have double digit losses by the season’s end.  Things will be better for them someday….someday…

26. (21) Jaguars (1-2) — Blaine Gabbert made his first NFL start in some of the most awful weather conditions you’ll see. Surely a game he’ll never forget. The Jaguars will rely on the No. 10 overall pick to improve the league’s worst offense. Jack Del Rio has already indicated that he wants his offense to be more aggressive. Perhaps the change in the offensive philosophy will advance Gabbert’s development.  Del Rio needs it…his job is on the line as well

25. (28) Panthers (1-2) — The first victory of Cam Newton’s career came in the midst of a monsoon! The rookie quarterback also led his first game winning touchdown drive in the fourth quarter (hopefully a sign of things to come for the fans in Carolina). After three weeks, the Panthers have to be happy with the progression of their first-overall pick, and so am I, they move up this week.

24. (29) Browns (2-1) — Although their wins have come against two of the worst teams in the league, the Browns have gave Cleveland fans hope. Colt McCoy’s 13 play, 80 yard touchdown drive in the final seconds of the game is a reason to believe the young quarterback is capable of leading the Browns to the playoffs for the first time since 2002. It won’t happen this year, but the future is bright in Cleveland.

23. (24) Vikings (0-3) — In three games, the Vikings have scored just SIX, yes SIX, second half points. In all three of those games the Vikings have jumped out to a commanding first half lead but have managed to choke it away. It didn’t take long; the Christian Ponder watch has already begun in Minnesota. The poor start already has sparked speculation Donovan McNabb might lose his starting job.  McNabb has shown some signs of hope, but they hold out much hope.

22. (25) Broncos (1-2) — The Broncos suffered a brutal loss Sunday that will be difficult to bounce back from. This team is decimated with injuries. Key players Eddie Royal, Knowshon Moreno, Elvis Dumervil, Champ Bailey and D.J. Williams were all sidelined. Despite those injuries, the Broncos had many chances to beat the Titans but couldn’t execute when it mattered most. Next up is the defending champion Packers. The morale in that locker room might reach an all-time low.

21. (19) Rams (0-3) — The Rams aren’t doing any favors for their former first overall pick. Sam Bradford is on pace to get more then any other quarterback, yes, even more then Jay Cutler. The young quarterback has been hit hard over the last three weeks and now is nursing a toe injury. An unhealthy Bradford will prevent the Rams from accomplishing their goal in 2011 which is winning the NFC West.

20. (23) 49ers (2-1) — The 49ers have to be encouraged by the play of Alex Smith so far. He’s protecting the football and not turning the ball over. Granted the Niners have had one of the easiest schedules to date, they look improved under Jim Harbaugh. With that said, there is still much room for improvement, especially offensively. Frank Gore has struggled to get the run game going.

19. (18) Redskins (2-1) — The Cowboys tried to give the Redskins the game but they were unable to take advantage of their mistakes. The Redskins are lacking play makers on offense. Rex Grossman and Tim Hightower aren’t going to excite you with huge plays and that was something the Redskins needed Monday night.

18. (17) Titans (2-1) — One of the shocks so far in this young NFL season has been the Titans inability to run the ball. Chris Johnson has rushed for just 98 yards in three games. He’s averaging just 2.1 yards per carry. With the Kenny Britt gone for the season, the Titans are going to need their running game to wake up in a big way.  Britt is still young, so he should be able to recover without much hesitation

17. (15) Cowboys (2-1) — I think I may be a better center then what the Cowboys have right now.  The lack of communication between Tony Romo and center Phil Costa was embarrassing. The ailing Romo was clearly frustrated all game. The Cowboys got the win, but they have plenty of work ahead to eliminate the mistakes and miscommunication on the field. The mishaps somewhat overshadowed an inspiring performance from Romo.

16. (11) Bears (1-2) — The defending NFC North champs are already two games behind first place. It comes as no surprise that no quarterback has been sacked more than Jay Cutler this year (14 times). Regardless of what GM Jerry Angelo says, this offensive line has not improved. As a result, the Bears will struggle week after week.

15. (20) Raiders (2-1) — Very impressive victory for the Raiders.  The win will surely build confidence heading into Week 4′s game against the Patriots. Darren McFadden’s performance against Rex Ryan’s defense has to have Bill Belichick scrambling to find a way to stop the league’s top rusher. McFadden’s production has been huge for this offense, allowing the Raiders to limit the amount of times Jason Campbell has to throw. It seems like every week I write this, but the Raiders have to play more disciplined. They’re averaging 10 penalties a game. That’s something they can’t afford to do if they want to beat the Patriots.

14. (12) Chargers (2-1) — No one expected the Chargers, Chiefs game to be as close as it was, probably not even the Chiefs. Philip Rivers hasn’t lived up to the MVP hype many were predicting at the beginning of the season. Rivers has six interceptions compared to four touchdown passes. The Chargers have time to work on their issues as they’ll play the winless Dolphins on Sunday followed by a struggling Broncos team in Week 5.

13. (8) Eagles (1-2) — It’s not too early to say that it might be time to panic in Philadelphia. We’re just three weeks into the NFL season and already Michael Vick is battling substantial injuries. If this continues, Vick will barely be able to walk come November and I don’t like the Eagles’ chances with Vince Young or Mike Kafka behind center. Besides the problems with Vick’s health, the Eagles have played dreadful on defense. Eli Manning, with limited weapons on offense, shredded the Eagles “star-powered defense” with four touchdown passes.  Namdi has done absolutly squat for them so far.

12. (7) Falcons (1-2) — The Falcons are a talented team who have played very inconsistent during the first month of the season. Matt Ryan’s team has trailed in all three games they’ve played this year by double digits. In Week 2, they pulled off a comeback win when Vick left the game. A lot of this team’s struggles can be credited to the poor play of its offensive line. Ryan is starting to look like Jay Cutler out there.

11. (10) Texans (2-1) — Valiant effort from the Texans. They had chances to beat the Saints but couldn’t execute. Matt Schaub and the offense must get better in the red zone. They got away with going 1-for-5 in the red zone last week against a poor Dolphins team, but 1-for-5 against the Saints didn’t cut it.

10. (13) Buccaneers (2-1) — Raheem Morris’s young team knocked off the defending division champs in a huge game. Tampa’s defense held Michael Turner to an astonishing 20 yards rushing. Turner was coming off a 114 yard performance but was stifled to just 1.8 yards per carry against the Bucs.

9. (14) Giants (2-1) — It’s amazing how quickly the tables can turn in the NFL. The Eagles are now looking up at the Giants in the NFC East. Eli Manning had his best game of the year and that was with limited offensive weapons. Manning threw zero interceptions for the first time in seven games. The last time Manning didn’t throw a pick was back on Nov 28th against the Jaguars. The most important thing the Giants can do now is build momentum after this huge victory and get key players healthy like Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham.

8. (16) Bills (3-0) — It’s been eleven years since the last time the Bills made the playoffs. It’s too early to say the Bills will be a contender, but this team has shown signs they are certainly capable. The undefeated Bills have proven they are a resilient bunch. Back-to-back come from behind wins is tough to accomplish. When it’s against the Patriots, it’s even more impressive. The Packers, Patriots, and Saints all have scored fewer points this season than the Bills. This is a confident team that believes they can win no matter who they play or what the score is. That’s a sign of a strong team.

7. (9) Lions (3-0) — There’s not much room left on the Lions bandwagon. For the first time since 1980, this franchise is 3-0. Lions fans are proud to have one of the best defenses in the game right now and a high-powered offense that can put points on the board in the blink of an eye. First-round selection defensive tackle Nick Fairley may be ready to play in Week 4 which will bolster an already strong defense. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are turning out to be one of the best QB/WR duos in the league.

6. (4) Jets (2-1) — Joe Namath might have a point. Rex Ryan’s constant praise of his team might have his players thinking they’re better than they really are. The Jets looked unprepared for Darren McFadden, perhaps it was due to overconfidence. The Jets also have issues on the offensive line. Starting center Nick Mangold is out and they’re having trouble protecting Mark Sanchez.

5. (6) Steelers (2-1) — Sunday night’s win over the Colts placed a giant spotlight on the Steelers’ offensive line. Three starters were taken out of the game due to injury. Ben Roethlisberger took a beating in the team’s 23-20 win and is one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL. Look for the Steelers to address that line because of the poor play and mounting injuries.

4. (2) Patriots (2-1) — This is a team that obviously has issues stopping the pass. They had similar problems all of last year when they ranked 30th against the aerial attack. In order to be a Super Bowl team, Tom Brady will need the defense to pick him up every once in a while. Everyone talked about what type of numbers Tom Brady was on pace for after two extraordinary games. Well, just three weeks into the season, the Patriots are on pace to give up over 6000 yards in the air. Bill Belichick has a major problem he’ll need to resolve, the good news is that Belichick is probably the best fit for the task.

3. (5) Ravens (2-1) — No surprise the Ravens bounced back nicely after a humiliating loss to the Titans. The Ravens played great in all three areas. Joe Flacco had a career day and the Ravens defense was on attack mode all game. They sacked Sam Bradford five times, hit him 11 times and held the Rams to just 132 yards passing; much improved from the zero sacks and 358 passing yards allowed last week.

2. (3) Saints (2-1) — Drew Brees and the Saints continued their offensive assault against the Texans. They put up 40 points for the second time in three games. The production from the run game has made a difference. Last year, the Saints running game was one of the worst in the league. This year, the collection of Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram has added an extra spark to the offense. As good as the offense has been, the pass defense has been subpar. Looks like the Saints will have to win most of their games this year in a shootout.

1. (1) Packers (3-0) — In a rematch of the NFC championship game, the Packers went into Chicago and got a huge win. Aaron Rodgers has done a great job utilizing all of his weapons on offense. The talented running backs, wide receivers and tight ends create major mismatches across the field. There are few defenses in the NFL that will have an answer for this elite offensive group


Joey’s Week 3 NFL Predictions

San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals – Say what you will about Andy Dalton, but he has already proven himself to be the greatest red headed quarterback in NFL history. He’s breaking down the red headed color barrier as we speak and doing it to the tune of 66 percent of his passes completed. Move over Todd Marinovich, there’s a new sheriff in town.

Prediction: Bengals 21 49ers 16

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills – This is the biggest game of the past ten years for the Bills. They’re 2-0, have scored 79 points in two games (!), and will be playing at a home stadium filled with frost bitten alcoholic sheep herders ready for something to cheer for. The Bills have gotten better, but they haven’t gotten that much better. I’m also pretty sure the team from New England has a darn good offense itself.

Prediction: Patriots 31 Bills 20

Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints – The trademark of the Gary Kubiak Texans has been talent, more talent, and losing on the road. They beat Miami in Miami last week, but that shouldn’t count (Miami has lost 8 out of 9 at home). This is a real test against a damn good team and without Arian Foster that task becomes even more difficult.

Prediction: Saints 24 Texans 17

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns
Prediction: Dolphins 27 Browns 21

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles –
Prediction: Eagles 24 Giants 20

Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans –
Prediction: Broncos 20 Titans 10

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings –
Prediction: Vikings 17 Lions 14 (Upset of the Week)

Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers –
Prediction: Panthers 21 Jaguars 9

Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers – The first two weeks of an NFL season tell you a few things. Which players are bound for breakout seasons (Matthew Stafford, Kenny Britt, possibly Ben Tate), which teams could sneak up on people and make the playoffs (Raiders, Lions, Bills, Redskins), and which teams are going to be so bad Whitney Cummings wouldn’t cast them in her next sitcom. That team is the Kansas City Chiefs. If you are a degenerate gambler and want to make a lot of money this year, bet against the Chiefs and do it often.

Prediction: Chargers 41 Chiefs 16

New York Jets at Oakland Raiders – The Raiders may draft players based solely on their 40 times, they may harbor more criminals than a halfway house, they may have an owner who’s been dead since 1997, but this team is good. Good like “if the Chargers sleepwalk through half a season and continue to be coached by Norv Turner we could win the AFC West” good. That’s why I’m taking them for my 2nd upset special of the week to take down the 2-0 Jets at home. East coast teams typically don’t travel well across the country and I’m thinking Mark Sanchez, Plaxico Burress, and Co. leave their weapons at home and pick up their first loss.

Prediction: Raiders 23 Jets 20

Baltimore Ravens at St Louis Rams
Prediction: Ravens 27 Rams 17

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Prediction: Falcons 21 Buccaneers 13

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
Prediction: Seahawks 17 Cardinals 16

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears – I’m taking the Bears in this game. They lost at home in last year’s NFC Championship game to the Packers, their hated rivals, in a game known more for Jay Cutler’s knee injury than for the Packers winning (though it should have been remembered for B.J. Raji’s killer touchdown dance). Revenge games almost always end well for the team that lost the previous season (See: Ravens-Steelers Week One).

Prediction: Bears 28 Packers 21

Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts –
Prediction: Steelers 30 Colts 10

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys –
Prediction: Cowboys 24 Redskins 13

Are the Detroit Lions for Real? By: Eric Belseth

By: Eric Belseth
I’m not sure what’s been the biggest shock so far this season: Cam Newton becoming the new Drew Bledsoe, the Kansas City Chiefs only being able to put up 10 points in 2 games, or the fact that the Detroit Lions are atop the NFC North at 2-0. But I guess, seeing that I was screaming about Kansas City not having any receivers for Matt Cassel to throw to in my preseason power rankings, the Detroit Lions would be the biggest shocker.

Who would’ve thought that after all the turmoil after the lockout ended, the Lions would look like one of the best teams around? Matt Stafford actually looks like he’s 110 percent, and looks like he may stay that way the rest of the season. That defense of theirs is just plain SCARY good. If you’re a quarterback, you might want to bring extra pads and underwear if you’re facing Suh and the rest of that Lions defense in the coming weeks.

But then again, should you really be surprised? Those Vikings are a joke and look like an abortion on the field. No Minnesota, Donovan McNabb is not the answer. He’s actually a sudden cancerous growth! Oh and how about those Bears? Yeah Jay Cutler, the guy that’s going to throw for 700 interceptions and get sacked 14,678,232 time this season. They’re on the right track. The only team Detroit really needs to worry about in that division is the Green Bay Packers. So it’s almost a given at this point that they can take the at least 2nd in their division, if not the whole thing. At this point, depending on how the rest of the season goes, I’d be shocked if they didn’t get a wildcard spot in the playoffs.
Let me throw some statistics at you. They’re currently ranked 2nd in the NFL with an average of 37.5 points per game. They’re 6th in passing yards with an average of 313.5 per game, and 8th in total yards with 421. The defense is currently ranked at 7th in the NFL giving up an average of 11.5 points per game.

I know its early in the season, but seriously, did you really expect the Lions to be this good this early in the season? I know I didn’t. They usually start off slow and have a Matthew Stafford injury to deal with. Lets hope I don’t jinx it.

Craig’s Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

Week Three Power Rankings

32. (28)* Seahawks (0-2) — The Seahawks offense will most likely be outmatched every week. Tavaris Jackson is in the discussion for worst starting QB in the league and the fact that Sidney Rice will be battling a labrum injury all season hurts the Seahawks even more.

31. (25) Colts (0-2) — Now that Peyton Manning is out, the Colts lack-luster defense is spending more time on the field. Manning was able to build leads for his defense and keep them rested on the sidelines. Now all of the weaknesses of this team are being exposed and they will continue to lose games until their start QB returns.

30. (17) Chiefs (0-2) — There’s just two games in the books but its painfully obvious the Chiefs won’t be back in the playoffs. In their first two games, the Chiefs lost their best defensive player (Eric Berry) and their best offensive player (Jamaal Charles). The most telling statistic is the fact the Chiefs have been outscored by a whopping 78 points.

29. (32) Browns (1-1) — Colt McCoy and the Browns turned in a solid performance for their first win of the season. Although they were playing a Manning-less Colts team, this was a solid win for a young, mediocre team. Peyton Hillis saw a huge work load and took advantage. Cleveland finally has a few reasons to be positive about their football team.

28. (26) Panthers (0-2) — Yes the Panthers are 0-2 but there’s a sense of optimism in Carolina for the first time in a long time, so it really pains me to put them this low. First-overall draft pick Cam Newton has already impressed many throughout the league. The Panthers will struggle to win games this season but the continued improvement of Newton is what they should worry about.

27. (31) Bengals (1-1) — The Bengals have competed in their first two games. That’s all you can really ask for from this team. Rookie Andy Dalton has shown some promise in his young career. He’s protected the football and threw for over 300 yards on Sunday.

26. (11) Cardinals (1-1) — The Cardinals have allowed 932 total yards in two games. It’s even more alarming that the quarterbacks they have faced in those games have been a rookie (Cam Newton) and Rex Grossman, who started just three games last year.

25. (30) Broncos (1-1) — The Broncos are another team that has been dealing with key injuries. Without defensive starters Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil, Andy Dalton picked apart the Broncos D. Denver can be encouraged by the play of Willis McGahee. He rushed for over 100 yards.

24. (29) Vikings (0-2) — Leslie Frazier’s Vikings were outscored 24-3 in the second half after jumping out to a 17-0 halftime lead. There is plenty to worry about if you’re a Vikings fan. The offense is dreadfully one dimensional. Donovan McNabb has been unable to pass the ball down the field relying simply on short completions.

23. (23) 49ers (1-1) — Frank Gore was ineffective for the second straight week. In two games, Gore is averaging just 2.5 yards per-carry. Alex Smith needs Gore to help the offense sustain drives and put games away in the fourth quarter. The 49ers struggled on defense as well. They were torched for over 400 passing yards against the Cowboys. The 49er’s dont move this week

22. (22) Dolphins (0-2) — The Dolphins amazing losing track record at home continued Sunday. Miami fans have watched the Dolphins lose 11 of their last 12 games at home. The good news for the Fins is that they won’t play in front of their home crowd again until October 23rd.

21. (19) Jaguars (1-1) — Somewhere, David Garrard is smiling. Jack Del Rio had to expect that starting Luke McCown would blow up in his face eventually. Blaine Gabbert should take over as starter. Let the rookie gain some playing experience and hopefully it will help fast forward his progression.

20. (23) Raiders (1-1) — Can’t help but notice the Raiders ongoing problem with committing penalties. Hue Jackson’s team has already been flagged 23 times this year. This was a major issue last year and it has spilled over into 2011 as well.

19. (18) Rams (0-2) — Steve Spagnuolo’s young, work-in-progress team played sloppy Monday night against the Giants. Turnovers, penalties, and squandered opportunities in the red zone really hurt the Rams against the Giants. Still, the Rams are the best team in the NFC West.

18. (27) Redskins (2-0) — The season has just begun but the first-place Redskins are in a great position to build a lead in the NFC East. The Eagles, Cowboys and Giants have all been decimated with injuries. Mike Shanahan’s team has a tremendous opportunity Monday night against the ailing Cowboys.

17. (21) Titans (1-1) — Matt Hasselbeck proved he still has something left in the tank. The soon to be 36 year-old QB shredded the Ravens defense in an upset victory. For the past year the Titans have desperately been trying to improve their pass game and not be so one dimensional on offense. Randy Moss wasn’t the solution in 2010, Hasselbeck could be the answer in 2011.

16. (24) Bills (2-0) — The Bills have been one of the fun stories of the NFL this season. Over the past two weeks, Buffalo has scored 79 points. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been outstanding but a lot of credit also has to go to the Bills offensive line and run game. This offensive line has dominated at the line of scrimmage and has helped the Bills rush for 380 yards in just two games. They’ll need the same type of production if they want a chance to beat the Patriots in Week 3.

15. (14) Cowboys (1-1) — Just two games into the season and the Cowboys are already beaten up. Tony Romo fractured his rib and has a pierced lung, Felix Jones separated his shoulder, Miles Austin is going to miss time with a hamstring injury, Dez Bryant is nursing a thigh injury, and starting center Phil Costa has a knee injury. It’s safe to say the Cowboys aren’t in an ideal situation as they get ready to play a divisional opponent Monday night.

14. (15) Giants (1-1) — The G-Men got a much-needed win but also must deal with some new injuries in result. Receivers Mario Manningham and Domenik Hixon both left the game with injuries leaving Eli Manning with even less targets to throw to. Manning can’t afford to lose any more weapons on offense. The departure of both Steve Smith and Kevin Boss could be a reason why Eli has been shaky to start the season.

13. (16) Buccaneers (1-1) — The resilient Bucs managed to pull off a huge comeback win on Sunday. The young Josh Freeman has shown great poise in pressure situations since entering the league three seasons ago. Unlike last week, LaGarrette Blount had an opportunity to get the run game going. Blount averaged over five yards a carry and scored twice.

12. (6) Chargers (1-1) — Four turnovers against the Patriots is a recipe for disaster. The Chargers made too many mistakes and it cost them. There’s been much discussion about the Norv Turner’s team starting the season slow. The next three games on the schedule are all against inferior opponents (Chiefs, Dolphins, @Broncos). Philip Rivers and the Chargers should roll through the next few weeks.

11. (13) Bears (1-1) — All the hope the Bears put in the minds of their fans after their big Week 1 win has now gone straight out the window. Jay Cutler was sacked six times and hit 10 times in Sunday’s loss to the Saints. Once again, the offensive line issues surfaced. This is a major problem that will hold back this team once again until they can find a solution.

10. (7) Texans (2-0) — The Texans vowed to improve their pass defense this past off-season and so far they’ve accomplished their goal. The current No. 1 defense against the pass in the NFL belongs to the Texans. Now this enhanced defense will undergo its first real test of the season when it takes on Drew Brees and the high-octane Saints offense.

9. (12) Lions (2-0) — The success the Lions have had so far is no fluke. Defensively, this team is one of the best. The Lions have caused eight turnovers and Matthew Stafford has been sharp. Next week the Vikings stand in the way of the upstart Lions as they try to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 1980.

8. (3) Eagles (1-1) — The so-called “Dream Team” of the NFL has a lot of challenges ahead. It took just seven quarters of football for Michael Vick to suffer a serious enough injury that he had to leave the game. The Eagles have some major problems. Vick continues to be on the ugly side of some vicious hits, he’s been careless with the football, and the defense has struggled mightily, especially against the run.

7. (10) Falcons (1-1) — The Falcons played to their strengths Sunday night and they came away with a huge win. This team is at its best when it has a strong balance in the run and pass game. Matt Ryan performed great in the no-huddle offense while Michael Turner and the Falcons running game also excelled.

6. (9) Steelers (1-1) — The Steelers did exactly what many expected after suffering an embarrassing Week 1 loss. They routed an awful Seahawks team. Looking ahead, they’ll face another second-rate team next week when they travel to Indy.

5. (4) Ravens (1-1) — If the Ravens want to reach the Super Bowl, they can’t afford to have many more games like they did last Sunday. The defense was totally unprepared for the Titans passing game as they looked helpless against Matt Hasselbeck. The pass rush was non-existent and the thin secondary had no answer for Kenny Britt. With all that being said, I’d be shocked if we saw a similar type of performance from the Ravens in Week 3.

4. (4) Jets (2-0) — The Jets came out ready to play on Sunday after a shaky Week 1 performance. Luke McCown and the Jaguars offense proved to be no match for the Jets dominant D. Rex Ryan’s defensive unit had four interceptions and held the Jaguars to under 100 yards passing. Mark Sanchez, on the other hand, was inconsistent once again. He threw two interceptions putting his turnover total to four this season. Furthermore, Nick Mangold will miss some time and that could also hinder Sanchez’s play. Mangold has started in every game since entering the league in 2006. Their Defence is just so good, that their offence can be second rate, and they can still win games.

3. (8) Saints (1-1) — The Saints defense responded well in Week 2 after getting torched by the Packers on opening night. It’s important to note that they were facing the Bears offensive line but the Saints attacked the quarterback and sacked Jay Cutler six times while also forcing a fumble. In just two weeks, Darren Sproles has made Saints fans ask, “Reggie who?” Sproles has quickly become one of Drew Brees’ favorite weapons. He was targeted 10 times in Sunday’s win.

2. (2) Patriots (2-0) — Tony Dungy said Sunday night that Tom Brady and the Patriots look like the 2007 team that went 18-1. It’s tough to disagree. The Patriots offense has been unstoppable over the first two games while the “bend but don’t break defense” has forced key turnovers.

1. (1) Packers (2-0) — Aaron Rodgers and the Packers maintained their composure after falling behind to an inferior Panthers team and came back with a win. Rodgers has to love the production he got from James Starks. Starks averaged over nine yards per carry. Add a strong run game to an explosive pass game and the Packers will have their way with opposing defenses all season. On a down note, Packers pro-bowl safety Nick Collins is out for the year. This is a team certainly capable of overcoming injuries but definitely a cause for concern as the pass defense has allowed back to back 400+yard games.

()Last Weeks Power Rankings