Wexler's Week 2 AFC Power Rankings (no. 1, 2 & 3-Texans 1st 3 opponents!!)


Photo: courtesy Getty Images

Photo: courtesy Getty Images

AFC Power Rankings

1. Chiefs (1-0)

Last: Win 34-20 vs Texans

Next: at Chargers (1-0)

They committed to rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire & he delivered the top rushing performance of opening weekend with 138 yards & 2 scores. Pat Mahomes continues to cruise their the regular season - meaning he no longer has to chuck the ball around and throw for a lot of yards to win. He threw for at least 225 yards in all of his first 25 starts, except for the one game he left due to injury. But in four of his last seven starts, he's thrown for under 225 yards. He beat the Texans with just 25 throws (2nd fewest in his career) and 211 yards passing. Easily handled Deshaun Watson and the Houston offense.

2. Ravens (1-0)

Last: Win 38-6 vs Browns

Next: at Texans (0-1)

Baltimore is so good that even though they ran for fewer yards (107) against the Browns, than in any game last season, they demolished Cleveland. How about this for a field position game - Baltimore started 4 drives at the 50-yard line or better, they scored on all of those drives (24 points), while Cleveland started all 11 of their possessions at their own 25 or worse. The defense forced three turnovers and stopped the Browns on fourth down twice. Lamar Jackson continued to throw the ball well, 20-25, 275 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 152.1 passer rating - already his 8th career game (in 23 starts) that he's posted a passer rating of 120 or better.

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3. Steelers (1-0)

Last: Win 26-16 at Giants

Next: vs Broncos (0-1)

The successful return of Ben Roethlisberger has the Steelers in this spot. They lost running back James Connor after just six carries due to injury, then second year back Benny Snell ran for 113 yards. They weren't that sharp offensively, but to no one's surprise their defense was great. Five of the Giants ten drives went four plays or less and netted one yard or less, three Giants drives went backwards. Calling their group disruptive is an understatement as they piled up three sacks eight QB hits and an insane 11 tackles for loss. And that's Saquon Barkley on the bulk of those TFLs - he finished with 15 carries for six yards, so not quite 15 inches pre carry.

4. Bills (1-0)

Last: Win 27-17 vs Jets

Next: at Dolphins (0-1)

The Bills went with an all Josh Allen, all the time offensive philosophy. He threw the ball 46 times - 5 more times than in any regular season game in his career. (Note: he did throw 46 times in his last game, the playoff game vs. Houston, the one where he got sacked three times, fumbled twice and completed just 52 percent of his passes in defeat.) He also had 14 rushes, five more than each of his two talented running backs, Devin Singletary and Zack Moss. All but one of their drives ended inside the Jets 35 yard line, and this game was not as close even the 10-point final margin suggests. The Jets offense was helpless against the Bills defense as they fell behind 21-0.

5. Titans (1-0)

Last: Win 16-14 at Broncos

Next: vs Jaguars (1-0)

It took a last-minute drive to get the win at the Broncos, but that was the result of new kicker Stephen Gostkowski missing his first four kicks of the game (three field goals and an extra point). Tannehill wasn't overwhelming but he did throw it 43 times, did not turn it over while throwing for 249 yards and was sharp on the game-winning drive going 5-7 for 40 yards. Derrick Henry was Derrick Henry, carrying it 31 times for 116 yards. He was also at his best on the final drive - four carries for 27 yards. Defense wasn't particularly disruptive, but they did force the game's only turnover with Kevin Byard forced fumble on Melvin Gordon.

6. Raiders (1-0)

Last: Win 34-30 at Panthers

Next: vs Saints (1-0)

Simple, efficient, balanced offense from the Raiders. Carr threw it 30 times, while they ran it 31 times. Carr wasn't sacked and the team did not commit a turnover. Their defense seemed to tire late in the game when they allowed a 17-play touchdown drive, followed a by a blow by from Panther receiver Robby Anderson on a 72-yard touchdown reception which turned a 12-point fourth quarter lead into a three point deficit. The offense answered with the game-winning score, which held up when the Raiders made a big fourth-and-one stop. The Panthers inexplicably gave the ball to their fullback on that play - just one game after signing Christian McCaffrey to a lucrative long-term extension. He was on the field, but did not get the rock.

7. Patriots (1-0)

Last: Win 21-11 vs Dolphins

Next: at Seahawks (1-0)

New quarterback and new offense looked good with Cam Newton at the controls. He ran a little too much, 15 carries, but scored two touchdowns and looked good doing it. Several of the runs were option plays and the team was the only one to rush for over 200 yards. Six different players had at least one carry and each of them had a carry of at least seven yards. Newton only threw it 19 times, but was accurate enough to keep the chains moving. It was a little bit of a struggle to put the Dolphins away, but the three interceptions of Ryan Fitzpatrick helped.

8. Jaguars (1-0)

Last: Win 27-20 vs Colts

Next: at Titans (1-0)

They let Philip Rivers carve them up. They also let Rivers throw them the ball three times (one interception was called back by penalty). The Colts drove inside the Jaguars 30-yard line six times, yet managed only 20 points. Gardner Minshew was brilliant without trying to overdo it. He only threw 20 times, but he completed all but one of those throws , three of them for touchdowns. Rookie James Robinson had 90 total yards out of the backfield and the Jaguars players showed no signs of tanking for Trevor.

9. Chargers (1-0)

Last: Win 16-13 at Bengals

Next: vs Chiefs (1-0)

This was the least impressive win of the weekend. The Chargers were clinging to a 16-13 lead, but then watched number one overall pick Joe Burrow lead the Bengals on a 14-play, 69-yard drive then appeared to end in a touchdown toss to A.J. Green with just seven seconds left. But Green was called for pass interference, so Cincinnati sent their kicked Randy Bullock onto the field on the next snap to attempt the game-tying 31-yard field goal. Bullock missed badly to the right, Chargers win. They outgained the Bengals and were (+2) in the turnover battle, yet still needed that series of events at the end to avoid overtime.

10. Broncos (0-1)

Last: Loss 16-14 vs Titans

Next: at Steelers (1-0)

See it's not just "your" that has a head coach that is criminally poor with clock management. Broncos head coach Vic Fangio watched the Titans bleed nearly three minutes off the clock, never calling any of his three timeouts, on Tennessee's game-winning drive, which ended in a field goal. His explanation was equally bad saying their kicker hadn't had a good night so they didn't want to extend the drive and they would've called timeout, but the running back went out of bounds and would've called their second timeout, but they got an incompletion. No mention of the fact the Titans had all three of their timeouts and could have "extended" the drive any time they wanted. No mention that the two plays Fangio reference happened with under 25 seconds left. No mention of using a timeout with the Titans on the 16-yard line and 1:20 still on the clock. Instead, the Broncos got the ball back at the 25-yard line with 17 seconds left...and all 3 of their timeouts.

11. Texans (0-1)

Last: Loss 34-20 at Chiefs

Next: vs Ravens (1-0)

The defense showed little resistance and the offense had one good drive in the first three quarters in falling behind 31-7 to the Chiefs.

12. Dolphins (0-1)

Last: Loss 21-11 at Patriots

Next: vs Bills (1-0)

The Dolphins are already counting the days until they turn the team over to rookie Tua Tagovailoa. Maybe in week 6, after their upcoming games against the Bills, Jaguars, Seahawks and 49ers.

13. Colts (0-1)

Last: Loss 27-20 at Jaguars

Next: vs Vikings (0-1)

Philip Rivers threw for an AFC-best 363 yards on an AFC-best 36 completions with a 78 percent completion rate. Yet the offensive managed only 20 points, mainly due to a pair of interceptions and just a 4-of-12 conversion rate on third down. It's just one game, but the Rivers that led the Chargers to 5-wins or fewer seasons in three of the last five years looks like the Rivers that the Colts signed to a one-year, $25 million deal.

14. Bengals (0-1)

Last: Loss 16-13 vs Chargers

Next: at Browns (0-1)

Rookie Joe Burrow ran the ball well and looked good on the final drive of the game that should have resulted in a game-tying field goal. But for most of the game, he struggled as you'd expect a rookie to struggle, especially with no preseason games.

15. Browns (0-1)

Last: Loss 38-6 at Ravens

Next: vs Bengals (0-1)

Baker Mayfield looked rattled. Odell Beckham dropped passes. The offense looked disjointed. Rinse, repeat.

16. Jets (0-1)

Last: Loss 27-17 at Bills

Next: vs 49ers (0-1)

Sam Darnold just simply isn't good. He'll be given the season to prove otherwise. Also, running back Le'Veon Bell got hurt (hamstring). Adam Gase is the AFC favorite to be the first coach that gets relieved of his duties.

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