The NFL has just gotten underway and it’s been extremely fun to watch so far. We’ve seen some contenders dominate as they should, underdogs prove all their haters wrong, and several teams have lost a bunch of key players to their roster. Overall, it’s been an awesome two weeks. Let’s break down the top 10 teams based on their success so far but also factoring in roster talent.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After a bad start to the season with a loss to the Saints, the Buccaneers had a really nice bounceback game against the Panthers where both their offense and defense looked great. Tom Brady isn’t putting up Hall of Fame numbers, but he’s adjusting well to the new system. However, we have to see how this team performs against top tier teams. They were poor against the Saints, but I still have faith in them to produce big numbers in the win column this year. Regardless, I need to see more from them.
9. New Orleans Saints
After a great start to the season where they beat the Buccaneers handily and looked like a top three team in the NFL, they fell short to the Las Vegas Raiders in a game where Derek Carr thoroughly outplayed Drew Brees. So far, I really haven’t been impressed with what I’ve seen from Brees. He’s still as accurate as ever, but his arm strength is just declining by the minute and it doesn’t even look like he’s capable of throwing past 20 yards.
Another huge issue for them is that Michael Thomas is going to be out for a few weeks. They’re going to be relying heavily on the run game with him gone, and the offense is going to struggle at times. They have a great defense, but on Monday Night Football the Raiders ran right over them. Their defense is going to need to step up big time because the offense is going to be really mediocre until Thomas comes back. I still have faith in them, of course, but it may be rough for the next couple of weeks.
8. Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams, after missing the playoffs last year at 9-7, have shown that they are still very much a playoff contender. They narrowly defeated the Dallas Cowboys in an intense week one matchup and then destroyed the Philadelphia Eagles in week two. Their defense has been extremely good, as Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott threw for a combined one touchdown and both teams scored less than 20 points against them.
Los Angeles’ offense is still a question mark, but Jared Goff had a great game against the Eagles which is very promising. He will be the X-Factor for this offense, as they’ve got the weapons in place for him to succeed. Consistency will be key for Goff in these upcoming weeks and his success will determine how competitive the Rams are going forward.
7. New England Patriots
The Patriots have easily been one of the most fun teams to watch in the NFL thus far. Going from your prototypical pocket-passer in Tom Brady to a great scrambler and improviser in Cam Newton should have been a big adjustment for Bill Belicheck, but once again they were one step ahead. Newton has been great as a scrambler and currently has a 71.4 completion percentage; the highest of his career by far.
The Patriots cruised past the Dolphins in week one and lost on an ironic goal line stop by the Seattle Seahawks. This team looks really scary right now, however, they’ve got a pretty tough road ahead. This team, especially Newton, will be put to the test in the upcoming weeks and we’ll see just how legit of a contender this team is.
6. Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals have come out with a bang in their first two weeks. Everyone knew they would improve, but this team has a serious chance to not only improve, but possibly win their division.
Kyler Murray has played like an MVP candidate so far this year, as he’s been one of the best dual-threat QBs in the league. His shiny new toy in DeAndre Hopkins has already been a huge factor in their offense as well.
The defense, which was one of their big concerns heading into the year, has also performed extremely well. They’ve allowed the second fewest points in the league so far. We all knew the Cardinals were talented but not many could’ve predicted that they’d be at the top of the NFC West this year.
5. Green Bay Packers
After an extremely hot start to the year, the Green Bay Packers currently sit as the best offensive team in the league. Led by the dominant Aaron duo of Rodgers and Jones, they put up over 40 points in both of their matchups. Their defense leaves a lot to be desired but if this team continues to put up point totals like this, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t win their division.
Davante Adams suffered an injury and could be out for a couple of weeks, but the same thing happened last year, and the Packers were still fine. They’ve got a really tough matchup next week against the Saints where they’ll be put to the test, but I would not be surprised if they walk away with a win.
4. Buffalo Bills
After a year where the Bills defied expectations and went 10-6, they’ve come storming out to start the year. Josh Allen has been absolutely ridiculous through the first two weeks and the addition of Stefon Diggs has proven to be a crucial one. The run game hasn’t been what it was last year, but if Allen continues to throw the way he is right now, they may not need the run game to be dominant.
The defense has been top 15 but it hasn’t been as dominant as it was last year, which is a bit concerning considering that they’ve played the Jets and the Dolphins. We can’t fully evaluate them until they play a good team, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far.
3. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have gotten off to a terrific start to the year, as they’ve displayed the 2nd best offense and a clean 2-0 record. Russell Wilson is the frontrunner for MVP at the moment, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett have been tremendous, and Chris Carson has provided a ton of work in the run game. This offense is dominant and should finish as top five in the league. The defense has been fringe bottom 10 at the moment which is definitely worrisome, but they’ve played two great offensive teams in the Patriots and the Falcons.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
The reigning Super Bowl champs are 2-0 as expected and have been one of the best teams in the league also as expected. They were very close to losing to the Chargers, but I don’t buy into that game too much. Patrick Mahomes was unusually bad, and they weren’t prepared at all for rookie Justin Herbert. They’re going to be near the top of the AFC standings unquestionably, and they should continue to dominate with the best QB in the league and my pick for OROTY in Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
- Baltimore Ravens
This one was really a no-brainer for me. The Ravens have been far and away the best team in the league at the moment and frankly, it hasn’t been close. They have the third best offense, the best defense, and the highest point differential in the league. People have been talking about how the Ravens are going to get “figured out” but they’ve got arguably the most talented roster in the league and a QB who is putting up yet another MVP campaign.
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