In this new feature on TheLines, we’ll highlight a few teams trending up or downward in our NFL Week 2 rankings. For reference, these NFL power rankings aren’t predicated around long-term markets, such as futures, despite the possibility there might be value available. Instead, they’re evaluating a team’s outlook on a week-by-week basis. The ranks are a composite of eight staff members — in the order of which team they would have favored on a neutral field this week.
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No. 6 Baltimore Ravens ()
In the Ravens’ blowout win over the Jets, they limited ex-Baltimore QB Joe Flacco to the ninth-lowest Dropback EPA in Week 1. On top of that, NFL MVP candidate Lamar Jackson looked the part with a healthier complement of weapons; albeit, he did it against New York’s subpar defense. That moved Baltimore up two spots in our NFL power rankings from Week 1 to Week 2.
If you aren’t a believer in defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and his unit just yet, at least consider steering clear of Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins as a road underdog () in Week 2. The Alabama product continued to showcase poor mechanics in Miami’s victory over New England, and he’ll be squaring off against a more sound secondary this Sunday.
- Who’s highest on the Ravens? Eli Hershkovich (No. 4)
- Who’s lowest on the Ravens? Matt Brown (No. 10)
No. 8 Minnesota Vikings ()
Under a new-look coaching staff, the Vikings outgained the Packers by a full tick in Yards Per Play (YPP). Most notably, star wideout Justin Jefferson took advantage of single coverage throughout the first half, and their defensive front was all over Aaron Rodgers, who was without wide receiver Allen Lazard and offensive linemen Elghton Jenkins and David Bakhtiari, respectively. Kevin O’Connell’s team moved up five spots as a result.
However, the betting market has already dented Minnesota’s Week 2 spread from +2.5 to against the Eagles. Considering that Philadelphia received less credit in the market because it failed to hang onto a double-digit lead against the Lions, the value with the Vikings is either depreciated or flat-out toast. They could make for a fine teaser leg, though, as long as it’s positioned at +7.5 or better.
- Who’s highest on the Vikings? Mo Nuwwarah (No. 6)
- Who’s lowest on the Vikings? Stephen Andress (No. 12)
For more on NFL betting markets, including Eli and Mo’s Week 2 bets, subscribe to the new sports betting podcast, “Beat The Closing Line.”
No. 15 Indianapolis Colts ()
Unlike the previous two teams, the Colts dropped five spots in the Week 2 NFL rankings. Matt Ryan & Co. strung together a fluky Week 1 performance, tallying a mere six points via a seven drives that at least reached the Texans’ 39-yard line.
Nevertheless, their secondary is a mess outside of veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore, as they surrendered the 10th-highest Dropback Success Rate (SR). For context, a play is successful if teams produce:
- 50 percent of the yards needed to move the chains on first down
- 70 percent of yards to gain on second down
- 100 percent of yards to gain on third or fourth down
Indianapolis’ defense may be without linebacker Shaquille Leonard (back) once again for its Week 2 matchup against the Jaguars, which are due for offensive regression themselves after they were victimized by some unfortunate variance. Frank Reich’s bunch is currently against the spread.
- Who’s highest on the Colts? Brett Gibbons (No. 11)
- Who’s lowest on the Colts? Eli Hershkovich (No. 17)