NFL Radio Power 12, Week 2: Rams, Bills on rise after impressive wins

Each week, SiriusXM NFL Radio’s hosts vote on the top six teams in both the NFC and AFC. This week’s voters include James Lofton, Bruce Murray, Alex Marvez, Bill Polian, Jim Miller, Pat Kirwan, Gil Brandt and other NFL Radio hosts.


NFC

1. Green Bay Packers (1-0)

Week 2 opponent: vs. Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, 8:30 pm ET (XM channel 225, Sirius channel 81, Internet channel 811)

Green Bay took care of business on the road against a motivated Chicago Bears squad, and that’s good enough to keep the Pack in the pole position for another week of the Power 12. It’s early, but avenging last season’s NFC Championship meltdown against the Seahawks on Sunday night could pave the way to home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs come January.

 

2. Dallas Cowboys (1-0)

Week 2 opponent: at Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday 4:25 pm ET (XM channel 82, Sirius channel 136 Internet channel 808)

The loss of Dez Bryant until potentially Thanksgiving does not bode well for Dallas. With games against Philadelphia and Atlanta coming up in the next two weeks, it’s up to Tony Romo and the Dallas offensive line to keep the team’s collective head above water. The return of Greg Hardy in Week 5 surely will shore up the Dallas defense.

 

3. Seattle Seahawks (0-1)

Week 2 opponent: at Green Bay Packers, Sunday 8:30 pm ET (XM channel 226, Sirius channel 83, Internet channel 826)

Make no mistake. The St Louis Rams earned their overtime win against Seattle this past Sunday. The Rams defensive line manhandled an obviously overmatched Seahawks o-line all game long. If the Seahawks cannot get Marshawn Lynch on track against a Green Bay defense that just surrendered 169 yards of total offense to Chicago’s Matt Forte, well, then Seattle will have worry.

 

4. Arizona Cardinals (1-0)

Week 2 opponent: at Chicago Bears, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 227, Sirius channel 137, Internet channel 800)

So long as Carson Palmer and John Brown stay healthy, Arizona should be in every game this season. Look for the offense to keep rolling against an imminently flammable Chicago Bears secondary in Week 2.

 

5. St. Louis Rams (1-0)

Week 2 opponent: at Washington Redskins, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 226, Sirius channel 145, Internet channel 828)

Before the season the Rams defense was already a known (and devastating) commodity. But who anticipated this offense putting up 34 against the Seahawks? St Louis has to be careful about a letdown this week as they travel to D.C. to face – stop smirking – a ‘Skins team that looked surprisingly competent against Miami in Week 1.

 

6. Carolina Panthers 1-0)

Week 2 opponent: vs. Houston Texans, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 233, Sirius channel 126 Internet channel 804)

After a lackluster win against what appeared to be a hapless Jacksonville squad, the Panthers get the sixth spot practically by default. If you’re more comfortable with putting Carolina’s NFC South brethren the Atlanta Falcons in this spot, dear reader, by all means do so.

 

NFC fantasy football spotlight: Russell Wilson (QB, Seattle) 

2015 stats: 251 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 31 rushing yards

A week after being brutalized (sacked six times!!) by St Louis, Russell Wilson should find things to be a little easier against Green Bay’s good, but by no means invincible defense. Look for Wilson to net 300+ all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.

 

AFC

1. New England Patriots (1-0)

Week 2 opponent: at Buffalo Bills, Sunday 1 pm ET (SiriusXM channel 82, Internet channel 818)

Already in midseason, curb-stomping form, Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady ran roughshod against a paper-thin Pittsburgh defense last Thursday. New England theoretically should have their hands full with a Buffalo defense that simply stymied a very good Indianapolis offense all afternoon last Sunday.

 

2. Denver Broncos (1-0)

Week 2 opponent: at Kansas City Chiefs, Thursday 8:25 pm ET (XM channel 226, Sirius channel 83, Internet channel 809)

Denver’s very good defense completely shut down Joe Flacco and Baltimore in Week 1. However, the Broncos have a much different task on Thursday night against a much-improved Chiefs offense. Peyton Manning, who still does not look good, will be tested early and often against an aggressive Chiefs defense.

 

3. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)

Week 2 opponent: vs. Denver Broncos, Thursday 8:25 pm ET (XM channel 225, Sirius channel 93, Internet channel 815)

Looking for a #HotTake from Week 1? KC’s offense is going to be incredibly fun all season. The offseason acquisition of Jeremy Maclin finally has created room underneath for Travis Kelce; while Alex Smith’s scrambling abilities and, of course, Jamaal Charles in the backfield will be keeping defenses off balance all season. From a divisional standpoint, Chiefs need to take advantage of a down-and-out Peyton Manning and win at Arrowhead this week.

 

4. Buffalo Bills (1-0)

Week 2 opponent: vs. New England Patriots, Sunday 1 pm ET (SiriusXM channel 82, Internet channel 803)

Unless you’re a Jets fan, any Rex Ryan-coached team should be your second-favorite team. And that’s no different with the Buffalo Bills this season. Featuring a suffocating defense that has no problem blitzing you into oblivion (just ask Andrew Luck), the Bills offense was astonishingly competent and capable against the Colts. If a “good” offense is a season-long trend for the Bills then this squad will be vying for a wild-card berth and rubbing shoulders with New England and Miami in the AFC East’s upper tier.

 

5. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)

Week 2 opponent: vs. San Diego Chargers, Sunday, 1 pm ET (XM channel 225, Sirius channel 84, Internet channel 806)

After their final preseason tune-up against Oakland in Week 1 (zing!), Cincinnati’s season begins in earnest with their home opener against San Diego. Following the downright “Gronk-ian” performance by Tyler Eifert against the Raiders, and after seeing Detroit’s Ameer Abdullah shred San Diego’s run defense, look for Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill both to get plenty of touches against the Chargers. Week 2’s matchup against San Diego begins Cincy’s brutal six-game-in-seven-week stretch. To wit, Bengals face: Chargers, Ravens, Chiefs, Seattle, Buffalo and Pittsburgh over that period. Good. Luck.

 

6. San Diego Chargers (1-0)

Week 2 opponent: at Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday 1 pm ET (XM channel 225, Sirius channel 138, Internet channel 825)

If the Chargers can win the second game of their tricky, tabby, two-step to start the season – Lions at home, Bengals on the road – San Diego should be favored in all of their games (save for Week 6 at Green Bay and Week 8 at Baltimore) between now and their Week 10 bye. A very favorable stretch of games that will have the Chargers looking primed for a playoff run if the cards fall right; but first they need to defeat the Bengals, in Cincinnati. No small feat.

 

AFC fantasy football spotlight: Keenan Allen (WR, San Diego)

2015 stats: 15 receptions, 17 targets, 166 yards

The Chargers offense positively nuked Detroit’s rebuilding, but by no means bad, defense last week. The catalyst for that annihilation? Keenan Allen’s 15 catches (on 17 targets) and 166 yards. He didn’t crack the end zone last week, and that should change this week against the Bengals.

 


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