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Week 2 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

This week's DEF/ST rankings saw a lot of change ups. See how your picks fared and what might be in store for them this week.

JJ Watt putting some pressure on Jay Cutler
JJ Watt putting some pressure on Jay Cutler
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The first week of the NFL season is done and it was exactly what we thought it was. Or what we didn't think it was. What are we to think after that bananas first week?! Well, right now, it's still tough to tell where some defenses/special teams are really going to be strong so exercise caution. Did some defensive units really show what to expect all season? Or were some defensive performances just illusions because of poor first week preparation? Looking at you Los Angeles. Take a look at the Week 2 rankings. Still a long season to go.

Week 2 Rank

Team

Opponent

Previous Week's Ranking

Notes

1

Seattle Seahawks

@LAR

1

If the Rams play anything like they did on Monday night, there's no reason to think the Seahawks won't load up the box on Todd Gurley.

2

Denver Broncos

vs. IND

5

IND O-Line has played better, but Miller and Co. have feasted on better lines. I'll say a prayer for you Andrew Luck.

3

Carolina Panthers

vs. SF

4

Despite being gashed by CJ Anderson, CAR's D still played relatively well. We'll see here if SF Week 1 play was an illusion.

4

Minnesota Vikings

vs. GB

7

Despite turning in 2 defensive scores in Week 1, GB will be a much tougher matchup. A repeat performance against Rodgers will vault this D to the top of the list.

5

New York Jets

@ BUF

11

Recorded 7 sacks against a good CIN team and now they get Sheldon Richardson back. Watch out Tyrod.

6

Buffalo Bills

@ NYJ

13

NYJ's offense didn't exactly inspire confidence last week. Look for Rex to have his defense playing to form against his former team.

7

Green Bay Packers

@ MIN

8

GB was up to the challenge of the high-powered Jags Offense. MIN one-dimensional offense may be in trouble here.

8

New England Patriots

vs. MIA

18

NE shocked the football world holding AZ in check for most of the game. Look for them to take care of business against a less-talented MIA offense.

9

Houston Texans

vs. KC

2

HOU played solid in Week 1, but don't underestimate the loss of defensive signal caller, Brian Cushing. How about Jadeveon Clowney though?

10

Philadelphia Eagles

@ CHI

12

The Bears aren't much better than last week's opponent. If they can force more turnovers, we could be looking at a solid unit.

11

Baltimore Ravens

@ CLE

19

CLE is playing another starting QB. They stymied the Bills last week. Repeat?

12

Kansas City Chiefs

@ HOU

10

KC didn't come to life on D until the Chargers lost their top WR. We'll see if that helped them gain momentum, though.

13

Jacksonville Jaguars

@ SD

20

JAX might be a defensive unit figuring a few things out. They're lack of consistent pressure is still troubling.

14

Arizona Cardinals

vs. TB

3

AZ got handled by a backup QB and wasn't forcing turnovers. Prompting the hottest Week 1 take: Are we sure Arizona's good?

15

Cincinnati Bengals

@ PIT

9

To be fair, no one can stop Antonio Brown. It is a rivalry game, however, so anything is possible.

16

New York Giants

@ NO

14

The Giants belong in the middle of the pack here because we're still not sure if this defense is good. The D-line looked vastly improved, but also, here comes Drew Brees.

17

San Francisco 49ers

@ CAR

21

Navarro Bowman was pretty much everywhere on MNF. But don't reach for this defense. The Rams looked completely unprepared which isn't something to expect from CAR.

18

Washington Redskins

vs. DAL

27

Will Josh Norman cover Dez Bryant all day? WAS will fare better this week against the rookie, Dak Prescott, as opposed to Big Ben Roethlisberger.

19

Los Angeles Rams

vs. SEA

6

How did this team record 0 sacks?! Hopefully, a match up against a porous SEA O-line and a less mobile Russell Wilson (injury) will help them figure things out.

20

Oakland Raiders

vs. ATL

15

OAK entered a shootout with NO so it wasn't the best gauge for how good this defense might be. They may have a much easier go against the Falcons if ATL can't figure out their run game.

21

Pittsburgh Steelers

vs. CIN

16

CIN relinquished 7 sacks on Sunday so PIT may put decent points on the board. They have to try to contain AJ Green, though.

22

Miami Dolphins

@ NE

29

It's hard to tell if SEA offensive line was just that bad, or was the MIA front 4 actually good? We'll get a better look this week if they can get to Jimmy Garoppolo.

23

Chicago Bears

vs. PHI

28

The spotlight will be on Wentz this week in primetime so we'll see what the CHI D can do to rattle him. Sleeper potential this week.

24

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

@ AZ

17

Arizona really started rolling once they let Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson loose. Not sure if the Tampa D can keep up with them.

25

Detroit Lions

vs. TEN

23

DET could fair better defensively against Marcus Mariota as opposed to Luck. That being said, DET D put up -4 pts according to ESPN scoring leaders.

26

Dallas Cowboys

@ WAS

30

Dallas won't be a defensive consideration until they can get a pass rush. And all their pass rushers are suspended for now, so don't expect any changes this week.

27

Tennessee Titans

@ DET

25

TEN shut down MIN offense from scoring, but lost anyway. DET's O is much more competent, and putting up serious points.

28

Cleveland Browns

vs. BAL

26

CLE is still very young on both sides of the ball and BAL is playing well. Don't expect the CLE offense to stay on the field long enough to provide their D some rest.

29

Atlanta Falcons

@ OAK

24

OAK has a ton of weapons and ATL has maybe 1 or 2 good defensive players. Advantage: OAK.

30

Indianapolis Colts

@ DEN

22

More injuries to the IND secondary might have DEN pass catchers looking at a field day here.

31

San Diego Chargers

vs. JAX

31

It's hard to trust a lackluster D to play inspired with an extreme lack of home field advantage and blowing a huge lead the week before.

32

New Orleans Saints

@ NYG

32

NO's defense managed -8 points according to ESPN scoring leaders. That's all you need to know.

Special teams notes:

There were 0 combined kickoff return and punt return touchdowns scored in Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season. The Tennessee Titans almost broke one off and the Cincinnati Bengals are averaging 36.7 yards per kickoff return so far and could be a contender to be the first team to break one.