Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/19/12

Vernon Davis celebrates the 49ers 2nd consecutive week at #1.

So it’s pretty apparent that the NFL needs to get something done with the official’s union. The Denver-Atlanta game was horrible, and there is no sense from anyone anywhere that these replacement refs are going to improve their performance in these games any time in the near future. Coaches and players alike are getting frustrated with all the officiating problems, though the players will (and can) be more vociferous about it. Check out the article from USA Today regarding these issues: (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/nfl/story/2012/09/18/nfl-players-ready-for-referees-lockout–to-end/57797776/1). The only problem is that the NFL and the official’s union aren’t talking right now, and there are no signs that talks will resume soon.

But, until the air clears, we as fans will have to hope that the replacements (who are in a very difficult position to begin with) can get their jobs done with some sort of respectability. It just may take a while.

Something that also may take a while is knocking the 49ers from their perch at the #1 spot in the iSportsWeb Power Rankings. This is only their second consecutive week at #1 (they started week 1 at #2), but with the way they are playing right now, I can’t foresee an opponent that I would bet against them with. With that being said, on to the rankings:

1. San Francisco 49ers

Last week: #1. Defeated Detroit 27-19

You might as well get comfortable with seeing the 49ers here. It could be a while.

2. Green Bay Packers

Last week: #5. Defeated Chicago 23-10.

I’ve never seen a game with that many combined sacks that I can remember, but if the Packers D can have more games like that, things will be just fine in the Land of Cheese.

3. Atlanta Falcons

Last week: #6. Defeated Denver 27-21.

If any one game can reignite the NFL’s negotiations with the regular refs, it’s this one. They were bad, but Peyton Manning was too. The Falcons defense picked Manning off three times in the first quarter.

4. Houston Texans

Last week: #8. Defeated Jacksonville 27-7.

Some rankings I’ve seen have the Texans at #2. That seems a little high for a team that has only played Miami and Jacksonville, two of the worst teams in the AFC. But they are winning, and winning big, so I’ll give them a bump up here.

5. Baltimore Ravens

Last week: #2. Lost to Philadelphia, 24-23.

A huge (points-wise) win against Cincy in week 1 is followed by a flop against the Eagles in week 2. This is still a good team though.

6. New York Giants

Last week: #9. Defeated Tampa Bay, 41-34.

New York won, and moves up a bit this week, but this has to be concerning for their defense. They’re allowing an average of 32.5 points per game so far.

7. New England Patriots

Last week: #4. Lost to Arizona, 20-18.

Arizona, at home? Really?

8. Detroit Lions

Last week: #10. Lost to San Francisco, 27-19.

OK, let me explain. Yes, they are ranked higher than last week. Yes they lost to the 49ers. And yes, Matt Stafford played like my grandmother. But there isn’t a team behind them that I feel is better, so they get this spot by default.

9. Denver Broncos

Last week: #3. Lost to Atlanta, 27-21.

Well, that didn’t take long. After a fantastic game in week 1, Peyton Manning has his worst game since throwing 6 picks against San Diego a few years back. And just an FYI, he has as many interceptions through two weeks as Andrew Luck. Just sayin’.

10. Philadelphia Eagles

Last week: #14. Defeated Baltimore, 24-23.

Mike Vick can keep throwing interceptions as long as the team wins. If he can get his act together though, watch out.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers

Last week: #12. Defeated the New York Jets, 27-10.

The Steelers pummeled a Jets team that last week won by 20 points. They’re still dangerous, folks.

12. San Diego Chargers

Last week: #13. Defeated Tennessee, 38-10.

The Chargers are off to a good start, but still haven’t played a decent team. That keeps them out of the top-10 for now.

13. Chicago Bears

Last week: #11. Lost to Green Bay, 23-10.

Wow that offensive line play was terrible, and so was Jay Cutler. With players already calling each other out, this could be the slippery slope that eventually leads to Lovie Smith’s downfall.

14. Dallas Cowboys

Last week: #7. Lost to Seattle, 27-7.

The Seahawks are a decent team, but this is still a pretty bad loss. The Cowboys just got flat out blitzed. They have to be able to run for more than 50 yards to be successful.

15. Seattle Seahawks

Last week: #19. Defeated Dallas, 27-7.

See above. Russell Wilson completed 75% of his passes and Lynch hung a 120+ on a Dallas defense that figured to be among the best in the NFL this year.

16. Washington Redskins

Last week: #16. Lost to St. Louis 31-28.

RGIII is still playing lights out. He just needs some more help from his supporting cast. The Rams offense looks to be a lot better than I originally gave them credit for in week 1.

17. Carolina Panthers

Last week: #21. Defeated New Orleans, 35-27.

That looked more like the Cam Newton we came to expect last year.

18. New Orleans Saints

Last week: #17. Lost to Carolina, 35-27.

I’ve been saying that Brees’ huge contract + off-season turmoil = missed playoffs. No one believed me. The Saints can still make it, but teams that are 0-2 to start the season have a rough time clawing their way back

19. New York Jets

Last week: #15. Lost to Pittsburgh, 27-10.

Well, that didn’t take long. One week after looking like a legitimate NFL quarterback, Mark Sanchez goes 10-27. The cries for Tebow are loud and strong in New York.

20. Arizona Cardinals

Last week: #25. Defeated New England, 20-18.

A surprising 2-0 start in the desert. And as much as I enjoyed the Patriots losing (in case you missed it, I am a Colts fan by nature), I see this as the exception rather than the rule for Arizona.

21. Cincinnati Bengals

Last week: #23. Defeated Cleveland, 34-27.

Yes, the Bengals move up a few spots. A win is a win, after all. But is a win of the in-state rival Browns really that big of a deal? I think not.

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last week: #20. Lost to the New York Giants, 41-34.

So the move on the kneel down was a dick move on Greg Schiano’s part. Greg Schiano being a douche isn’t the reason the Bucs lost. Josh Freeman needs to play better than he did this past week.

23. Buffalo Bills

Last week: #26. Defeated Kansas City 35-17.

The Bills go from a 20-point beat down to dropping the boom on the Chiefs. I still am not that high on this team, though C.J. Spiller is looking special.

24. Minnesota Vikings

Last week: #22. Lost to Indianapolis, 23-20.

Christian Ponder looks impressive for the second straight week tying the game late in the fourth. He just wasn’t good enough this time.

25. Oakland Raiders

Last week: #18. Lost to Miami, 35-13.

All I can say here is “ouch.” The Raiders look pretty terrible right now. They really need to get more out of McFadden.

26. Kansas City Chiefs

Last week: #24. Lost to Buffalo, 35-17.

A loss to Atlanta? Not so bad. A loss to Buffalo? That’s bad. The Chefs (misspell intended – see here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmgice3ieZ4) can move the ball, they just have no defense. Great googily-moogily.

27. St. Louis Rams

Last week: #28. Defeated Washington, 31-28.

I am impressed thus far with the Rams, especially third year quarterback Sam Bradford. If they keep it up, their rise in the standings could escalate.

28. Indianapolis Colts

Last week: #29. Defeated Minnesota, 23-20.

Above everything else done in the game, Andrew Luck’s 30 second drive to get in field goal range should give Colts’ fans hope for the future.

29. Miami Dolphins

Last week: #30. Defeated Oakland, 35-13.

Reggie Bush was an absolute beast, and Ryan Tannehill even looked good. I’m not sold after only 2 games that he’s the player they want him to be, but it’s a step in the right direction.

30. Tennessee Titans

Last week: #27. Lost to San Diego, 38-10.

What has happened to Chris Johnson? The Titans aren’t going to win with just Jake Locker.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

Last week: #31. Lost to Houston, 27-7.

The Jags ran into a Texans buzz saw. I’d have a hard time being swayed that this is not the worst team in the AFC South.

32. Cleveland Browns

Last week: #32. Lost to Cincinnati, 34-27.

At least the Browns have been competitive. Brandon Weeden looked better, throwing for over 300 yards and 2 touchdowns with no picks after a 4 interception outing against Philly.


As always, feel free to let me know what you think.

Follow me on Twitter @expertfan1.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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