In Week 2, we saw a lot of matchups between teams on this list (Broncos-Cowboys, Falcons-Packers), but the results were not close. The Broncos and Falcons were boosted by blowout victories at home that put them near the top of their conferences, while Dallas and Green Bay took tumbles. Judging from the first two weeks of the season, these are the teams in best shape to win the Super Bowl in February.
- New England Patriots (1-1, last week 1)- Tom Brady got back on track with three first quarter touchdowns in the Patriots’ 36-20 victory over New Orleans in the Superdome. It seems like this huge bounce-back happens every time after the Patriots lose.
- Kansas City Chiefs (2-0, last week 4)- I’m not willing to crown the Chiefs Super Bowl favorites at this point, but they picked up another win against a quality opponent and flashed the offensive firepower that set the league on fire in Week 1.
- Atlanta Falcons (2-0, last week 10)- Following a mediocre Week 1 effort, the Falcons put on a show in the first game in their new stadium by blowing out the Green Bay Packers. This is the team to beat in the NFC.
- Oakland Raiders (2-0, last week 5)- No problems in Oakland, where the Raiders picked up an easy win against the pitiful New York Jets.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0, last week 6)- They’re undoubtedly a contender in the AFC, but wins over two clearly inferior teams in the Browns and the Vikings have not proven much.
- Denver Broncos (2-0, last week FFO)- The Denver defense shut down the prolific Cowboy attack, limiting Ezekiel Elliott to only eight rushing yards in the Broncos’ rout, but we knew that they were the league’s best defense already. What we learned is that Trevor Siemian isn’t a liability on the Denver offense and could lead them deep in the playoffs.
- Dallas Cowboys (1-1, last week 3)- The normally dynamic Dallas offense was stifled by Denver’s No Fly Zone defense, but the Cowboys are still the team to beat in the NFC and needed this game to get them going.
- Green Bay Packers (1-1, last week 2)- The Packers couldn’t reverse the result of last year’s NFC Championship Game in their convincing defeat to the Falcons on Sunday night. Even more concerning is the injury bug that has decimated Green Bay.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0, last week unranked)- What more could you ask for from the well-rested Bucs than a 29-7 rout of the Bears in their first game of the season. I’m going to be interested to see how Tampa Bay fares against playoff-worthy competition.
- Carolina Panthers (2-0, last week 8)- I picked the Panthers over my team, the Ravens, because though both defenses look elite, the Panthers have enormous offensive potential. But it’ll take more than nine points a week to win the division.
First Five Out: Ravens, Lions, Seahawks, Titans, Eagles