Following the Monday Night Football match up between Tony Romo's Dallas Cowboys and Donovan McNabb's Philadelphia Eagles, my rankings remained the same. The top four teams in my NFL Top 10 Power Rankings for Week 2 are in the NFC, including three teams from the NFC East. Has the balance of power actually completed its shift back to the conference and division that dominated most of the 80s and 90s, or is this just an early season aberration? After all, those NFC teams do have to beat up on one another. I just feel badly for the Redskins, who have to play six games against their formidable division rivals.
1. New York Giants (2-0) - The defending Super Bowl champs have the look of a big time winner again this year, winning their first two games by a combined score of 57-20. A healthy Plaxico Burress has established himself as a top five NFL receiver, Brandon Jacobs is a human wrecking ball and Eli Manning continues to steer the ship in the right direction. And even with the significant injuries and departures to their vaunted D-line, the defense is still one of the best.
2. Dallas Cowboys (2-0) - According to Tony Kornheiser, the Dallas Cowboys have supplanted the New York Yankees as the sexiest professional sports franchise in America. That statement and rookie Felix Jones' performance in a 41-37 MNF victory over the rival Eagles allow the 'Boys to retain their #2 ranking. On a side note, did anyone else hear Tirico say Jones was "tankled" on a first half run after an Eagle made an ankle tackle on the Cowboys running back?
3. Green Bay Packers (2-0) - Aaron Rodgers has gotten off to a better start than the legend he replaced so far in this NFL season and his accuracy is reminiscent of Troy Aikman's just two weeks into his career as an NFL starter. The rest of this team is basically the same group that was a Favre interception away from representing the NFC in Super Bowl XLII.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) - The Eagles offense looked great against Dallas with Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook playing as well as ever. After losing 41-37 in a game that should go to instant replay on ESPN Classic and the NFL Network, the Eagles maintain their position as the league's 4th best team. McNabb is healthy again and his combination of experience and talent could help him play at the highest level of an already borderline HOF career.
5. Denver Broncos (2-0) - Jay Cutler and his group of talented targets are reminding folks of the gunslinging days of John Elway and the Three Amigos, but the defense needs to make some serious improvements. The Broncos are the highest scoring team in the league after two games, but that they could hang 50 on themselves does not bode well for their prospects for post season glory.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) - Still the class of the AFC North. Big Ben is a proven winner and the Steelers' defense still hits harder than yours. Unless, perhaps, you're the Baltimore Ravens.
7. Buffalo Bills (2-0) - Let's see. Marshawn Lynch, Lee Evans, Trent Edwards. Okay, I tried, but I couldn't think of any other players on this team. That's alright, though, because the no-name Bills are playing well enough as a unit to jump out to an impressive 2-0 start.
8. Carolina Panthers (2-0) - The Cardiac Panthers have started the season strong with a couple of last second wins against a pair of teams with top ten talent in the Chargers and the Bears. They also finally have the power running game with Jonathan Stewart that Coach John Fox has pretended to have since Steven Davis toted the mail.
9. New England Patriots (2-0) - The Patriots still have not lost a regular season game since 2006, riding a .923 overall winning percentage during that span, but without Tom Brady, these aren't your sister's Patriots. Randy Moss and the rest of the team are still pretty good, but if Bill Belichick turns in a performance enhancement-less championship performance this year without his best player, they may have to consider renaming the Lombardi Trophy.
10. Indianapolis Colts (1-1) - I wanted to put the Arizona Cardinals here, but when it comes down to it, if these two teams were matched up against one another at a neutral site, I'd pick the Colts to win nine out of ten. Advantage Peyton Manning.
On the Bubble:
Arizona Cardinals (2-0) - Undefeated this late in the season for first time since the first Bush administration. I saw a stat yesterday that gas in 1991 was a buck-oh-nine, which is just four cents more than the price of freedom. Former Marine and war casualty Pat Tillman played for the Cardinals. McCain/Palin is gaining in the polls. Coincidence, or is Karl Rove really that good?
Chicago Bears (1-1) -Surprised the Colts in Week 1 but lost at their own bruising game versus the Panthers in Week 2.
Baltimore Ravens (1-0) - The defense is still anchored by Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, and Willis McGahee should be back to run the ball by next week. This team would have been 2-0 by now had Hurricane Ike not forced their game in Houston to be rescheduled. New Nickname Suggestion: Baltimore Harbor Hurricanes.
St. Louis Rams (0-2) - The nearby Kansas Jayhawks and Missouri Tigers could give The Greatest Joke on Turf a run for its money.
Miami Dolphins (0-2) - Pathetic. Bill Parcells really is the Saint of Hopeless NFL Causes.
Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) - When the Raiders make you look like chumps, I'm not sure if you should be ranked ahead of the Oklahoma Sooners.
Cincinnatti Bengals (0-2) - Marvin Lewis' ship has finally sailed.
Detroit Lions (0-2) - Wow, their defense is bad. Wowwwwww. I mean B-A-D bad. As in not good at all.
NOTE: THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MONDAY, SEPT. 15, 2008 AND UPDATED ON TUESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2008 UPON COMPLETION OF MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME WITH NEW COWBOYS AND EAGLES COMMENTARY AND RECORD UPDATES. BOTH TEAMS MAINTAINED THEIR RANKINGS AS THE NFL'S NO. 2 AND NO. 4 TEAMS, RESPECTIVELY.