1. San Francisco 49ers (DET) – Almost everyone had SF at the top of their defensive rankings to start the year, but somehow they were even more impressive than anticipated at Green Bay. This week they return home to face Detroit, who played a very sloppy game in a week 1 nail-biter vs St. Louis. The Niners are going to get after Stafford and force him to make some mistakes, which should lead to another big day.
2. Houston Texans (@JAX) – The Texans were able to force 4 turnovers and record 3 sacks against a lackluster Miami offense. While Blaine Gabbert looked improved compared to his rookie season, that’s not saying much. Houston has been one of the best rush defenses recently, and if they can contain MJD they should be in for another big week.
3. Washington Redskins (@STL) – While RG3’s debut was one to remember, let’s not allow it to overshadow the job done by Washington’s defensive unit. While they ended up giving up 32 points to the Saints, 15 of those points came in the final 6:30 after Washington started to play a little conservatively while trying to save a double digit lead. This week they get a much weaker opponent, and should be able to get to Sam Bradford.
4. New England Patriots (ARI) – The Patriots continued the trend they started last year, when their defense scored another touchdown last week in Tennessee. I fully expect Tom Brady to put points on the board again this week, forcing Skelton/Kolb(does it really matter) into obvious passing situations. These situations are where the Pats shine and can really cause havoc. If they can contain Larry Fitzgerald, they will have another big week.
5. New York Jets (@PIT) – They Jets dominated the Bills on both sides of the ball, but gave up some late points thanks mostly to CJ Spiller. The most evident take away from the Sunday night tilt, was that Pittsburgh’s running game is almost non existent. That is going to be a big problem when you have Revis shutting down half the field.
6. Baltimore Ravens (@PHI) – Even playing without their All-Pro Suggs, the Ravens were able to completely dominate the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night. While Vick looked terrible last week in Cleveland, one has to think that he’ll play better this week at home. I still think mistakes will be made and there won’t be a lot of room for McCoy to run. Ravens are proving once again that they’re still one of the best defensive units in the game.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (NYJ) – I think this game is going to be an old school type affair, with hard hitting on both sides of the ball and a handful of turnovers. Pittsburgh’s defense will be able to fair better this week as they are getting Ryan Clark back who had to miss week one due to the altitude in Denver. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that the Jets aren’t cracking 40 pts again this week.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (BAL) – Their offense looked terrible in Cleveland, but luckily for them their defense was able to completely shut down Cleveland’s offense (0 TD). While Baltimore looked awfully good in their season debut, they’ve struggled in the past on the road, especially Joe Flacco.
9. Oakland Raiders (@MIA) – The Dolphins coughed up the ball 4 times against the Texans last week, and would have been held to only 3 points if not for a punt return TD. While I don’t think the Raiders’ defense is nearly as good as Houston’s, I do think there will be some opportunities here for them to put up big points against a team that should struggle offensively for most of the year.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (CLE) – The Bengals were outclassed on Monday by a very good Baltimore team. Luckily for them they return home to face a Brown’s offense that struggled to do anything well. Loko for a big bounce back week for the Bengals.
11. San Diego Chargers (TEN)
12. New York Giants (TB)
13. Dallas Cowboys (@SEA)
14. Minnesota Vikings (@IND)
15. Miami Dolphins (OAK)
16. Atlanta Falcons (DEN)
17. Detroit Lions (@SF)
18. Seattle Seahawks (DAL)
19. Indianapolis Colts (MIN)
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@NYG)
21. Denver Broncos (@ATL)
22. Buffalo Bills (KC)
23. Kansas City Chiefs (@BUF)
24. Cleveland Browns (@CIN)
25. New Orleans Saints (@CAR)
26. Green Bay Packers (CHI)
27. Chicago Bears (@GB)
28. Tennessee Titans (@SD)
29. St. Louis Rams (WAS)
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (HOU)
31. Carolina Panthers (NO)
32. Arizona Cardinals (@NE)