Two weeks down and already we can see some of the overreactions from Week 1 start to even themselves out.
Last week’s big winners the Ravens were brought swiftly back down to earth by Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and the rest of the Bengals, though the Bills might actually be the worst team in the league as they were defeated in their home opener by the Chargers to go 0-2 with a -55 point differential. We have also seen a couple of gunslinging quarterbacks at opposite ends of their career help lead the league to the most touchdowns we have seen in the first two weeks in the last 10 years (174).
Onto the rankings and we have already seen a change at the top as the Rams are the new leaders as they demolished the woeful Cardinals 34-0 in the LA Colisuem, achieving a +72.9% grade. It was a repeat of the same fixture last season where the Rams again shut out the Cardinals at home 33-0, though that game was played in London. The Rams have the top defense in the NFL through two weeks, plus the biggest points differential with +54, 21 points more than the next best team (Ravens). The Cardinals had a stinker on both sides of the ball, managing just five first downs and only making it into Rams territory on their final drive. Their -72.9% grade was their worst since the Rams game last season and it leaves them second bottom of the rankings after two weeks.
It was also a good week for the Colts and Chargers, who both got their first wins of the season on the road against Washington and Buffalo respectively. The Colts were sneaky dominant against a Washington team that may have flattered to deceive in their Week 1 win in Arizona, finishing with a +45.7% grade and the 3rd highest defensive grade of the week. It was their highest game grade for nearly two years and in the early overall rankings, the Colts move up from 21st last week to joint 8th this week. The Chargers dominated on both sides of the ball against the Bills, taking advantage of both a rookie quarterback and a defense that had a player RETIRE at half time. Through two weeks the Chargers have the league’s best offense (+66.3%), thanks to being a consistent top-5 team across a number of offensive categories.
The Saints sneaked a narrow win over the Browns but the two team cancelled each other out, with both teams achieving a 0.0% grade, the first time in the 11 years of games I’ve graded that two sides have achieved such a feat.
The Chiefs’ and their super explosive offense under first year starter Pat Mahomes have the biggest discrepancy between offense and defense rankings, with the second rated offense and the absolute worst defense in the NFL through two weeks. 16 weeks of shootouts with the Chiefs? Yes please.
Three defeated teams this week finished with a higher grade than the team that beat them, with the Panthers, Raiders and Eagles all unlucky not to finish week 2 with a win based on their game grades. The Vikings played out a 29-29 tie with the Packers and probably deserved to lose based on the game flow, but heavily outgraded the Packers +20.0% to -15.7%.
Week 2 Grades
Season to Date
Do the rankings meet your views after the first two weeks of games? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on twitter @PaddiCooper