We returned from RingerNFL strength rankings as we close week two of the 2022 season reports. The Cincinnati Bengals are in a surprising freefall after being outright favorites for weeks on end. Their loss to Pittsburgh in Week 1 may have been a fluke caused by the special teams, but in Week 2 they suffered a total offensive and defensive failure against the Dallas Cowboys and backup quarterback Cooper Rush. Then there’s Miami and Philadelphia, a pair of amazing 2-0 teams who won big in Week 2 and are among the top gainers. Check out the rest of my updated power ratings below as I try to sift through all the chaos that THIS LEAGUE.
The best of the best
1. Buffalo Bills (2-0, last week rating: 1)
2. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0, last week: 2)
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0, last week: 3)
4. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1, last week: 4)
In the spotlight: the leaders are both lucky and good
Patrick Mahomes has been quite impressive this season: he leads the league in passer rating (127.9, well above his career rating of 106.5), shares the league lead in touchdowns (seven), and is second in the league behind Josh Allen. to the EPA for a refund, according to TruMedia. But he is also very lucky. On Thursday, Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. allowed two interceptions (one of which was initially ruled a choice but was ruled out after review), and Mahomes’ other two potential interceptions were nullified by defensive penalties.
According to Focus on professional footballAccording to a chart of 24 different quarterbacks, there were at least two turnover-worthy games in Sunday games. Mahomes, who recorded four out of two games, is the only QB other than Dallas’ Cooper Rush (who started the season on Sunday for the first time) without valid turnover.
Mahomes’ luck is likely to slip to average, but the Chiefs’ 2-0 start, including a Week 2 victory over division rivals, gives Kansas City an early lead in the busy AFC West. The Chiefs lead the entire league in the EPA in offense per game and advertise a defense that currently ranks 10th in yards allowed per game (4.99). Veteran long-ranger Chris Jones and first-round rookie George Karlaftis lead the team with 12 and nine quarterback assists, respectively, and sealed a pass that currently ranks fifth in pressure (40.4%). Kansas City’s front seven came into its own against the Chargers, pressuring Justin Herbert 11 times and hitting him five times (with one sack) in the second half as the Chiefs came back. If the Chiefs can maintain that constant pressure, they will become one of the most complete teams in the NFL. In their current form, the Chiefs remain one of the two leaders of the AFC.
Unsuccessful postseason contenders
5. Green Bay Packers (1-1, last week: 5)
6. Baltimore Ravens (1-1, last week: 7)
7. Philadelphia Eagles (2-0, last week: 12)
8. Miami Dolphins (2-0, last week: 13)
Spotlight: Miami’s speed unveiled new Tua
Tua Tagovailoa’s insipid scoring stats (469 passing yards, six touchdowns) in the Dolphins’ 21-point victory over Baltimore greatly exaggerate the perception of his game. Ravens defensive coordinator Mike McDonald struggled to constantly build up the pressure, and a young, injured Ravens minor allowed a big game on several poor surfaces, including two fourth-quarter touchdowns at Tyreke Hill, which Tagovailoa botched. And Miami Head Coach Mike McDaniel, along with arguably the NFL’s most energetic duo as Hill and outstanding sophomore Jaylen Waddle, just created So Tagovailoa’s offense was very light – Hill and Waddle averaged over 3 yards apart on 22 targets en route to 361 receiving yards and four points, according to NFL Next Generation Statistics.
But that doesn’t mean that Tagovailoa didn’t have the best performance of his young career. He threw two ugly interceptions and had another throw for only 2 yards in the first half, but he surprisingly didn’t go down as a result.
McDaniel told the media after the game that “the worst could have happened” when Tagovailoa made the first interception and began to press his way to the second interception. But then he eventually answered.
“It’s great to criticize yourself,” McDaniel said. “It’s good. He has high standards for himself. But after the first game, I just wanted the guy to enjoy football. … It’s huge because he stopped worrying about the last game, he went and played and took his responsibility seriously.[ly] to his teammates: “Hey, I will confidently lead this team.”
“I think it was a moment he will never forget and hopefully he can use it to move forward.”
Better than any of the deep hill landings and any of McDaniel’s sexy RPOs or scrimmage passes, Tagovailoa shot into tight windows with the utmost accuracy and plenty of the confidence McDaniel talked about on the third down. According to TruMedia, he completed seven out-of-stick passes on the third down against Baltimore, two more than in any other game in his career. Tagovailoa found the game exciting for the first time in a long time, and it’s a huge win for the Dolphins’ postseason aspirations.
9. Los Angeles Rams (1-1, last week: 6)
10. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2, last week: 8)
11. Minnesota Vikings (1-1, last week: 9)
12. Denver Broncos (1-1, last week: 10)
13. San Francisco 49ers (1-1, last week: 11)
14. Arizona Cardinals (1-1, last week: 14)
Spotlight: Cardinals are counting on Kyler to save the day
Kyler Murray will have to turn into a real superhero every week in order for Arizona to make the playoffs, not to mention make the playoffs. In consecutive games before the start of the 2022 season, the Cardinals lost. The team’s minus 46 scoring difference in the first three quarters of games over two weeks is the lowest in the league, according to TruMedia. The host corps is struggling without DeAndre Hopkins (still suspended for another four games), head coach Cliff Kingsbury’s initial scripts for Murray and the offense were dated and conservative, and they fell into deep pits in each of their first two games.
The difference in Week 2 compared to Game 1 against Kansas City is that Murray was able to take his team out of the game. Trailing the Raiders 23–7 in the fourth quarter, Murray set up a back-to-back eight-point possession to force overtime and did so with several absurd plays out of structure on critical downs. On the first touchdown in the fourth quarter, Murray lost a dime to Marquise Brown on the fourth and fourth as the receiver struggled with defensive interference. And in an effort to get overtime, Murray converted a fourth down twice, including a touchdown, and then converted two points from 7 yards with one of the best passes of the NFL season so far.
As interesting as it is to watch, such heroism cannot be sustained. Even without top lane or getting units right now, Kingsbury needs to be more aggressive with Murray, especially early in the game and on first and second downs, to avoid praying for Murray to become a Super Saiyan in the fourth quarter every week.
on the bubble
15. New Orleans Saints (1-1, last week: 17)
16. Tennessee Titans (0-2, last week: 15)
17. Indianapolis Colts (0-1-1, last week: 16)
18. Dallas Cowboys (1-1, last week: 18)
19. Cleveland Browns (1-1, last week: 19)
20. New England Patriots (1-1, last week: 21)
Spotlight: Patriot Assault Lacks Weapons and Creativity
The Crime Pats is in such an unfortunate place. Year 2 quarterback McJones looked much more comfortable managing a higher percentage of 11 against Pittsburgh in Week 2 than against Miami in Game 1, but no amount of staffing can hide a gross lack of playmaking talent and overall creativity. The Patriots are playing Matt’s caller Patricia, and Jones just can’t do anything about the first and second readings right now. Skilled position players lack the dynamism or ability to create yards after catching and fighting through contact, and vanilla play calling, especially on early downs, doesn’t make Jones an easy offense.
New England ranks last in the EPA per game (-0.25) on early downs, and the team’s average first down on subsequent third downs is 7.5 yards, the eighth-highest average in the NFL. Tied for fifth place in yards per attempt (7.0) on shots made within 2.5 seconds of the snap. 2021, Jones finished 31st in the same category (3.5) in Week 2 Sunday games. The Patriots in passing catch rank 28th in yards behind catch-to-receive (4.1). And Patricia called play action seven times low in the league (two times in the first week and five times in the second week).
All the numbers only illustrate how unsettled and unproductive this crime is right now. Jones’ backpressure level is the fourth highest in the NFL before Week 2. 24 percent, but it cannot maximize a clear pocket. According to TruMedia, he only ranks 18th in the EPA for net pullbacks in two games. The Patricia-Jones pairing needs to figure it out as soon as possible if the Patriots are going to win games against stronger teams than the Steelers.
Long range playoff contenders
21. Las Vegas Raiders (0-2, last week: 20)
22. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1, last week: 27)
23. Washington Commanders (1-1, last week: 23)
24. New York Giants (2-0, last week: 25)