Two weeks into the season is too early to panic, and maybe even too early to get a full picture of what each team’s true make up is. But we’ve got an idea already, and in some places — like, say, Washington — there’s cause for concern. In other places, like, say, around the NFC East, there’s cause to believe the teams might be erratic from week to week. Needless to say no NFC East teams appear in this week’s top 10 from Mark Maske, but a couple new ones do.
Here they are:
1. Seahawks (2-0) … They appear virtually unbeatable at home after overwhelming the 49ers there Sunday night. If the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC ends up going through Seattle, it’s going to be extremely difficult for any other team, even one as gifted and well-rounded as the Niners, to go there and win.
2. Broncos (2-0) … Older brother Peyton won the Manning Bowl and Denver has established itself as the clear favorite in the AFC through the season’s first two weeks.
3. Texans (2-0) … They’re making impressive comebacks. But walking such a tightrope every game, in falling behind and needing to rely on such late exploits, could catch up to them.
4. Patriots (2-0) … Their victory Thursday night over the Jets certainly wasn’t a masterpiece. But they’re finding ways to win and now they had a mini-bye week to rest and regroup after having the weekend off.
5. 49ers (1-1) … Losing in Seattle is no disgrace. But being so thoroughly beaten by a chief rival puts the 49ers in chasing-the-Seahawks mode very quickly this season. There’s no question who has bragging rights in the NFC West at the moment.
6. Saints (2-0) … They allowed the Buccaneers to stay close, failing to pile up many style points. But they’re 2-0 in the best possible way, with a pair of victories over divisional opponents.
7. Falcons (1-1) … They’re chasing the Saints in the NFC South after running away with the division last season. But at least now they’re in the win column.
8. Packers (1-1) … Does shredding the Redskins’ pass defense even count at this point? Aaron Rodgers tied the single-team team record with 480 passing yards Sunday and the Packers re-established themselves as an NFC heavyweight by dominating the Redskins on the heels of their opening-weekend defeat in San Francisco.
9. Bears (2-0) … They’ve opened the season with two wins over playoff teams from last season, the Bengals and Vikings. It’s a strong division and the Bears should be right in the thick of the race.
10. Dolphins (2-0) … Ryan Tannehill outdueled Andrew Luck. Mike Wallace got involved in the offense. Maybe, just maybe, the Dolphins are for real and there is some legitimate competition for the Patriots in the AFC East.
From The Post
Hamilton: Truly offensive, and there’s no defense
Around the Web:
● Here’s Kyle Shanahan talking to SI’s MMQB about how facing Jason Pierre-Paul and DeMarcus Ware twice a year inspired his use of the read option. This is before this season, so maybe it’s even more interesting now, given how infrequently we’ve seen it in the first two games.
● For anyone who’s ever wondered how a defensive coach assembles a game plan, youcandomore.net has a whole series on the thought process behind it. This particular link is to the call sheet, how a coach picks what works against the opponent’s best plays in certain situations each week, and has them handy so he can call his defense in a matter of seconds.
● Mike Jones’s mailbag and news of the day. The Redskins do not practice on Tuesday.