“Y’all said the jags were gonna be good this year.” The tweet of the week goes to none other than Bomani Jones! El Flaco, as he likes to be called, had several in-game thoughts that had me chuckling to myself as I watched many hopeful teams get dismantled. On the flip side, one thing that nobody could find humorous would be the plague of injuries that swept the National Football League in it’s second week. Seriously, who cares about your fantasy football scores when guys like Danny Woodhead are getting carted off the field? It may just be recency bias, but I feel like the injury epidemic is getting worse every year across all pro sports. For the players sake I hope that medical science can keep up with the constant physical stress that they put on their bodies. There’s my soapbox rant for this week.
Enough of the heavy, “how did your team do this week?” Not as many nail biters this time around, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t just as entertaining as always. Let’s revisit last weeks Split 10:
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Denver Broncos
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Carolina Panthers
5. New England Patriots
28. San Diego Chargers
29. Chicago Bears
30. Tennessee Titans
31. Cleveland Browns
32. Los Angeles Rams
Stop that laughing! So maybe I jumped the gun on putting Green Bay in the top spot. Or maybe I’ll be stubborn and keep them there this week! Outside of a Sunday night embarrassment, I feel well represented again. The old cliché is that there’s plenty of football left to be played. Meaning we have have another 15 weeks of regular season until it’s really time to sort the contenders from the pretenders. While that is true, we can still be very confident in arranging this week’s Split 10. Here we go!
1. Pittsburgh Steelers 2-0
Did you really think I’d keep Green Bay in the top spot because of pride? Well, you probably know me well if you did. As a man, you have to admit when you’re wrong. MAN was I wrong. Not just last week, I kept the Steelers out of preseason top 5. These guys heard me loud and clear, and I’ve been paying for it ever since. As of right now, Pittsburgh looks like the team to beat in the AFC, and with my other NFC powers each taking tough losses it seems only right the top spot goes to the AFC. This offense is just ridiculous. After losing their second best wide receiver in Martavis Bryant, promising tight end in Ladarius Green, and possibly the best running back in the league in Le’Veon Bell before the season starts, they quite possibly look better than they did last year. More than that is the balance of the team. Through Week 2 Pittsburgh has a total of eight offensive touchdowns, while giving up only two on the defensive side. The rest of the league has been put on alert, the Steelers are hungry.
2. Denver Broncos 2-0
Don’t you love raking in twice as much after doubling down? I know I do. After losing their leading tackler in Danny Trevathan, and a huge presence on the defensive line in Malik Jackson, this Broncos defense looks just as ferocious as 2015. Two number one overall picks up, and two of the right back down. Von Miller cares not where you were drafted, and Aqib Talib is addicted to the end zone. Holding Andrew Luck to under 200 passing yards, while sacking him five times and intercepting him for a touchdown is quite a feat. There are concerns, while the offense was more efficient than last week, there is much to be desired. Trevor Siemian showed us again that he is not afraid to make any throw on the field. However, the red zone efficiency will just not cut it in the later part of the year. Denver had just one offensive touchdown in a game where they were in the red zone four times. If that can be corrected, there is no reason why the Broncos can’t be considered a contender in a division that might not be as good as most of us thought it would be.
3. Carolina Panthers 1-1
See? Over-reaction Monday (Or in this case Friday) is a good thing to stay away from. The sky was not falling in Carolina after the loss to Denver. They played a good team in a hostile environment. Now it looks like Cam and Kelvin are picking up right where they left off. 46 points against a solid defense should let everybody know that this offense means business. The question remains whether or not the Panthers secondary can step up to the plate in time for the post-season. All other systems are a go, and Carolina looks poised to contend again.
4. Arizona Cardinals 1-1
Carson Palmer and the Cardinals looked to be searching for some stress relief after losing a tough game at home in week one. Poor Jameis Winston had to be the victim on this one. Another 40 point game featured Winston turning the ball over five times to Arizona. Four offensive touchdowns and a Pick-6 to top it off means the NFC runners up are getting the train back on the tracks.
5. Green Bay Packers 1-1
I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to say it when it means something. R-E-L-A-X. He’s still that baaaaaaaad man. Even though that was one of the worst outings of his career. That being said, as of late, Minnesota has played Rodgers extremely tough, and their defensive front seven is no walk in the park. The Vikings generated real pressure and forced Rodgers into some bad decisions. Good on them, but I would still bet on the Packers to make it farther into the playoffs than the Vikings this year. There’s just too much talent on the offense for them to exit early again this year. If they do, look for somebody in the regime to be in hot water.
Outside looking in: New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants
28. Tennessee Titans 1-1
A solid win from a team that showed some real poise down the stretch to come back over a Detroit team that should have walked away from this game with a win. Detroit’s undisciplined antics cost them a 1st and 1 situation and put them at 1st and 31 instead. Tennessee capitalized on the chance and scored two straight touchdowns to secure the win. Mariota was calm in the face of pressure and delivered a veteran strike to Andre Johnson for the game winning touchdown. One more good win and Tennessee could be gone from this list.
29. Buffalo Bills 0-2
Say it with me, “Rob Ryan IS NOT a legitimate defensive coordinator.” but man is he making his mark on this Bills defense. Only the Bills can make Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets look like Tom Brady and the Pats. This Bills team is in for a looooong season, and I haven’t quite decided if Buffalo is slow enough to let the Ryan brothers stay with them for the entirety of it.
30. Cleveland Browns 0-2
You mean they moved up a spot after they LOST? Well, yes….. yes they did. After starting out red hot, the Browns get hit with the injury bug yet again. This time losing Josh McCown (Gary Barnidge owners everywhere are weeping) on a tough hit. It showed us that there is enough talent to have some success, but chaos discriminates against nobody. Hue Jackson has his work cut out for him. Now down two quarterbacks, Jackson must find a way to right the ship while going to his third option at the most important position in the game.
31. Chicago Bears 0-2
Jay Cutler was so unable to hide his apathy that he had to go to the locker room during the game. What? He got injured? Oh, well I’m sure that’s what took him out of the game. After a terrible interception and losing a fumble, I’m not sure going to Brian Hoyer was a downgrade. On top of the offensive inadequacies, John Fox shows us yet again that it takes a team stockpiled with talent for him to win in this league. After Jeff Fisher, I think Fox is probably next on my list for incompetent coaches that nobody seems to see the truth in.
32. Los Angeles Rams 1-1
Speak of the devil! No, I don’t believe a win over the Seahawks justifies moving the Rams out of the bottom spot. Fisher has shown the ability to beat the better teams in his division while still being completely mediocre during the rest of the season. The popular stat is that the Rams still have yet to score a touchdown this season. On top of that, the Rams have yet to face a top offense in the league. I will reserve a move up for a week when we see the Rams actually tested on the defensive side.
In danger of falling to the bottom: Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints
There’s your week 3 Split 10. Do you disagree? Let me know! I’ve gotten a lot of feedback after just the first two weeks and it’s been great. Remember, I’m a fan first just like the rest of you. The discussion is what makes the league interesting to all of us. So hit me up! Shout at me! Curse my name and my rankings! Change my mind and let’s see how the Split 10 changes next week.
Written By: Eddie Cepeda – Follow Eddie on Twitter:@eddiecee23
Don’t agree with Eddie’s Split 10 – Let him know in the comments below or on Twitter!