There's still plenty to celebrate over our win against the Eagles, on the road, on Monday Night Football, etc. and I encourage reader(s) to celebrate in ways reasonable and... uh, enthusiastic? [The brothers Mottram love them some Redskins football, Hail to that.]
In the interim, I've got to submit my Power Ranking for this week by tomorrow night and am soliciting reader(s) advice on it. Here's how I'm thinking about doing it: I'm going to rank all the 2-0 teams against one another, all the 1-1 teams against one another, and all the 0-2 teams against one another. That task completed, we're going to open debate on which 1-1 should move up to the 2-0 bracket (pushing another team down) and which 1-1 team should move down to the 0-2 bracket (pushing someone else up). As a matter of consistency in an inherently inconsistent and subjective system, I'd like to rely on resume rating as much as possible. That means teams should be ranked according to what they've done (this year) as opposed to what you might have projected them to do at the beginning of the year. Emphasis is placed on games won, considering strength of opponent (which should primarily be ranked by what the opponents have done). Margins of victory matter. I know that it's difficult to rank teams this way since we all had an imbedded sense of how the NFL universe should unfold coming into the season, though hopefully as we collect data we can get past that. Here goes:
Pittsburgh Steelers - Net point differential is first in the league and they've decimated opponents, never yet having a game in doubt. I'd feel better about them here if they had 2 wins over 1-1 teams, but they did hold a Cleveland Browns team to 7 points a week before it was inexplicably able to score 50+ points. They also dominated Buffalo, who nearly beat the Broncos.
New England Patriots - Effective cheaters, they are. As with the Steelers they've stormed opponents, a 1-1 Chargers team and an 0-2 Jets team. I'll probably have some people claim the Pats should be #1, though I think I'm comfortable defending my position and will likely not budge.
Houston Texans - Controversial pick, here. The Texans might have beaten one of the worst teams in the NFL currently in the Chiefs, but they also beat a team that has done something neither the Jets, Browns, Chargers, nor Bills have managed; more points scored than points allowed. The Carolina Panthers are currently a better 1-1 team than any of the teams beaten by the two behemoths, and I think the Texans deserve credit for what they've done thus far.
Indy Colts - I don't want to give them more credit than necessary for handling the Saints, who are not looking scary whatsoever, though Tennessee is a solid 1-1 team with a win over another 1-1 team.
Detroit Lions - see below.
San Fransisco 49ers - I can't intelligibly distinguish resumes between them and the Lions. Both have beaten a winless team and an even team. Lions get the nod in virtue of having truly handled their shit, whereas the 49ers have played close.
Your Washington Redskins - Call me biased, I give not a steaming poop. The remaining 2-0 teams have all won against 0-2 opponents and have mixed opponents excepting the Broncos; and they have a 4 point margin of victory on their wins combined, sitting them at the bottom of this list. They destroyed the Giants, though we're claiming that as the least impressive adversary among the common opponents in virtue of their -32 point differential, 2nd worst in the league. Cowboys deserve praise for dominating both opponents, and doing better against a common opponent than the Redskins, but this space thinks beating the Eagles on the road by 8 points is that much more impressive than the incomparable score between the Cowboys v. Dolphins and the Redskins v. Dolphins. Beating the Giants at home? Pfft. (Hope this doesn't come back to haunt me next week.)
Dallas Cowboys - See above.
Green Bay Packers - Less impressive home win over the Eagles gives me enough justification to rank them below the Redskins, though kudos on beating up the Giants.
Denver Broncos - Explained above.
Cleveland Browns - GUTSY PICK SKIN PATROL. Allow me to twist myself into a pretzel defending this, though let me have it in the comments. Some teams in the 1-1 bracket have made my life easier by beating each other. Of note, the Browns beat the Bengals, who beat the Ravens, who haven't beatan anyone of consequence. So it stands to reason that Cleveland>Cincy>Baltimore. As far as I can tell as of this moment, the Browns are the only team on the receiving end of a 3 team chain in the 1-1 bracket (besides the Cardinals, below), and thus provide me enough justification to place them here. Their loss is also to the team I've ranked numero uno, and they scored more points in one week than we might in three or four.
Arizona Cardinals - Beat Seattle (1-1) who beat Tampa Bay (1-1).
San Diego Chargers - Using much of the logic from above. They've beaten a 1-1 Bears team, and they lost to the team currently ranked #2 overall. Before you argue a case for them to move up into the 2-0, consider that you might be doing so based more on expectations of their talent rather than what they've done this year, and you almost might be placing too low an emphasis on coaching. Norv Turner.
Tennessee Titans - Beaten a 1-1 Jacksonville team that has yet to lose convincingly, and only loss is to a 2-0 Colts team that is ranked well above. This team, moreso than some of its co-defendants in the 1-1 pack, could very easily have been 2-0 at this point.
Cincinnati Bengals - Lost to the highest ranked 1-1 team, beat another 1-1 team. I'll fill the next spot with a similarly disposed franchise that didn't score nearly as many points.
Seattle Seahawks - Field Gulls is one of my favorite SBNation blogs. To the ranking, they lost to Arizona, who I've ranked high here, and beat a 1-1 team in Tampa Bay.
Minnesota Vikings - Crap shoot from here on out as the remainder of the 1-1 teams have beaten up on very weak competition. The question becomes how much they've beaten down, and how weak are those opponents. The Vikings have an 18 net point differential, best in this bracket (better than my 'Skins even) in virtue of beating up on the Falcons.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Lost to a highly ranked Titans though beat up on just a lowly Atlanta. Following rankings close out pretty much how I'm ranking the beaten teams...
Carolina Panthers - St. Louis Rams (I think) are better than...
Baltimore Ravens - the New York Jets, who are better than...
Chicago Bears - the Kansas City Chiefs, better than...
Tampa Bay Bucs - the New Orleans Saints. Did I miss anyone?
Philadelphia Eagles - Mostly self serving at the top of the 0-2 ranks as I don't think it's that important. We're giving props to teams first that have only lost to 2-0 opponents, and especially to those ones that have been beaten by Washington, because we're like so awesome.
Buffalo Bills - Lost to the Steelers. Who wouldn't, right now?
Miami Dolphins - Lost to the Redskins and the Cowboys.
New York Giants - Trying to be consistent here with competing principles. Their margins of loss tell me that they are too high, but the margins have been against the 2-0 Cowboys and the 2-0 Packers. Perhaps an NFC East bias is operating.
Oakland Raiders - Lost to 2-0 Broncos and 2-0 Detroit Lions.
St. Louis Rams - I'm trusting my heirarchy listed in the 1-1 bracket of Rams>Jets>Chiefs>Saints and I'll slide the Falcons after the Saints in virtue of the latter at least losing dramatically to a 2-0 team. Below are the rest:
New York Jets
Kansas City Chiefs
New Orleans Saints
I am sure there is much tortured logic in there with plenty of inconsistencies, though 32 teams is a lot to keep track of all at once. Let me have it in the comments section and help me get my official power ranking submission ready for next week. I need submissions for which teams should jump brackets, though be very convincing. If you don't like my rankings, there are much smarter, funnier ones elsewhere.