Every Tuesday, after all the NFL games have been played, it’s time for The Herd Hierarchy.
Some risers and fallers from the first hierarchy. Week 2 saw Seattle and Green Bay struggle again. Sam Bradford’s stellar debut in Minnesota has the Vikings’ stock rising. The Broncos’ Defense is suffocating and scores a lot. New England gets a big win, but loses Jimmy G.
After two weeks of games, Colin thinks he can tell which teams are for real, and which teams are pretending.
Here’s Colin’s Herd Hierarchy after two weeks of the 2016 NFL season.
10. Packers – Aaron Rodgers’ second half struggles from 2015 have continued into 2016. The big play Packers are only averaging 4.5 yards per play, which is troubling. He was significantly outplayed by Sam Bradford on Sunday night in the Packers loss to the Vikings. The good news for the Pack is that they lead the league in rushing defense and Rodgers can’t possibly play any worse than he did on Sunday. They need Rodgers get right fast.
9. Jets – Ryan Fitzpatrick is a legitimate quarterback that can win games in the NFL, and he doesn’t hesitate to throw the ball down the field. The Jets lead the league in yards per play and have a nice group of receivers. Matt Forte has been an upgrade at running back. Colin doesn’t think they’re a Super Bowl team, but they’re still a tough match up.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 20, 2016
8. Giants – The Giants seem to have hit free agency home runs with Olivier Vernon and Janoris Jenkins. Their overhauled defense makes them one of the most improved teams in the league. Add Eli, and an elite receiving corp, and the Giants have a roster capable of winning the Super Bowl. A strong 2 – 0 start to the year.
7. Broncos – Trevor Siemian won’t be winning games on his own. The good news is he doesn’t have to. He’s completing 68% of his passes and the defense has taken it from there. That’s good enough. Critics say they can’t win if they don’t score, but they’ve taken out Cam and Andrew Luck in the first two weeks. Colin is a believer.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) September 18, 2016
6. Bengals – The Bengals got beat up again by the Steelers on Sunday. They just can’t win that game. It doesn’t make them a bad team. They’ll be OK. Colin isn’t giving up on them over one loss. They’re the second best team in the division and will be firmly in the playoff picture.
5. Cardinals – After getting whacked by Jimmy G in the opener, the Cards rebounded nicely in Week 2. Their defense flashed their big play ability with 4 picks of Jameis Winston in a dismantling of Tampa Bay. They’ve forced a league leading 7 turnovers so far this year. Carson Palmer bounced back in Week 2, and David Johnson is a Top 5 back in the league. A lot to like with the Cards.
4. Vikings – Sam Bradford’s stadium opening, Monday night victory over the rival Packers exceeded all reasonable expectations. Adrian Peterson is down with a knee injury, but Colin thinks an offense featuring breakout performer Stefon Diggs and Bradford is even scarier for opposing defenses in the long term. Their defense is the youngest of the elite defenses in the NFL. Don’t be surprised if the Vikes continue to rise.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) September 19, 2016
3. Panthers – Carolina looked bad in Week 1, but everyone is going to get pushed around by the Broncos this year. They rebounded with a 46 point outburst in Week 2 to get back on the right track. Cam threw for 350 and re-established his connection with old favorite Kelvin Benjamin, who hauled in 13 catches. The Week 2 Panthers looked more like the Super Bowl caliber team people expected.
Cam Newton pointing to Kelvin Benjamin… “I’ve got my dog back. I’ve got my dog back”pic.twitter.com/nOtnZ2yh5w
Your clear WR1 for Carolina
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) September 19, 2016
2. New England – No Gronk, no Brady, no problem again. Jimmy Garoppolo was almost perfect before going down with a shoulder injury. The Patriots will limp into this week’s match up with the Texans with third stringer Jacoby Brissett as their starter. Even if they lose, it doesn’t change Colin’s positive long term outlook for the Pats. Brady and Gronk haven’t even played a snap yet.
Wes Welker showed up to Sunday’s game in a Tom Brady mask.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 19, 2016
- Steelers – The Steelers pushed around division rival Cincinnati, like they always do. Big Ben to Antonio Brown is the top pass catching tandem in the NFL. DeAngleo Williams is playing at a Pro Bowl level in the absence of Le’Veon Bell. The last two times the Steelers have started 2 – 0, they ended up in the Super Bowl. They keep the top spot this week.
That’s the Herd Hierarchy for Week 2, check back next Tuesday to see who’s stock is rising, and who’s is falling.