NFL | The state of forces


Thursday night games aren’t always very sexy, but there are exceptions, and this week’s is one of them. Young prodigy Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers will be in Kansas City to take on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Moreover, only the Buffalo Bills are ahead of these two teams in our house rankings. Here is our first « state of forces » of 2022.


1- Bills (1-0) – They’ve made it pretty clear why they’re the team to win this year. Josh Allen and the offense were hardly bothered by Aaron Donald and the Rams defense, while Leslie Frazier’s defensive unit had 7 sacks at the expense of Matthew Stafford. The acquisition of Von Miller is major, but the return of tackle Jordan Phillips, who played at Buffalo in 2018 and 2019, is also significant.

2- Chiefs (1-0) – And the Chiefs, they have clearly demonstrated that they should still be taken very seriously by the other heavyweights of the American. Thursday night’s game against the Chargers promises a lot, and what about October 16, when they face the Bills for the first time since their epic playoff duel.

3- Chargers (1-0) – Keenan Allen (thigh) will likely miss the game in Kansas City, a big factor. The Chargers defense had three interceptions off Derek Carr, and that was without their new cornerback JC Jackson (ankle). The former Patriots is also expected to miss Thursday night’s game.

4- Rams (0-1) – With the exception of Cooper Kupp, no Rams offensive player is scaring the opposition, so Sean McVay will have to get creative. Odell Beckham Jr. recently said his heart is always with the Rams, but will the receiver play this season?

5- Buccaneers (1-0) – The Bucs didn’t put on a great performance Sunday night in Dallas, but they know how to win games as much as any other team. Although it is made up of players who are still relatively young, the Buccaneers secondary plays with a lot of confidence and consistency.

6- Ravens (1-0) – Lamar Jackson is unwilling to negotiate his new contract this season and has turned down the Ravens’ latest offer. According to the information that has circulated, it amounted to 250 million for five years with a total of 133 million in guaranteed money. But Jackson would like the entire contract to be guaranteed, as is that of Deshaun Watson… To be continued.

7- Bengals (0-1) – Both finalists from last season lost in the opener, but the good news for the Bengals is that their defense played well. And we all know that Joe Burrow and their offense will bounce back after their poor performance against the Steelers. That said, their offensive line is clearly not a finished product. At least, hopefully for Burrow.

8- Vikings (1-0) – A little high? Maybe. But their victory against Green Bay could be a prelude to a great season. The atmosphere in the team has improved greatly since Kevin O’Connell replaced Mike Zimmer as head coach.


PHOTO BRUCE KLUCKHOHN, ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell

9- Steelers (1-0) – TJ Watt’s injury is less serious than the team initially anticipated, and the quarterback rusher is expected to return to action in a month or two. The Steelers defense has led the NFL in sacks each of the last five seasons and had seven in its first game.

10- Eagles (1-0) – The final mark (38-35) of their victory in Detroit is a bit misleading. The Eagles led 38-21 going into the fourth quarter. In his first game with Philadelphia, AJ Brown caught 10 passes for 155 yards.

11- Dolphins (1-0) – Tyreek Hill, he grabbed 8 passes for 94 yards in his baptism with the Dolphins. In a season that should be key to his future with the Dolphins, Tua Tagovailoa got it off to a good start, passing 23 of 33 for 270 yards and a touchdown.

12- Packers (0-1) – One of the most talented and complete in the league, the defense will likely need to win a few games on their own if the Packers are to stay among the NFC’s elite. If they don’t get a top receiver, the Packers will waste another Aaron Rodgers season.

13- Raiders (0-1) – With Davante Adams, Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow and Derek Carr – provided he doesn’t throw three interceptions a game too often – the Raiders have the tools to finish in the top 10 attacks.

14- 49ers (0-1) – It’s only one part, but not sure it would be a good idea for the Niners to get rid of Jimmy Garoppolo right away… Unless they see the current season as transitional with Trey Lance.

15- Saints (1-0) – The defense gave the Falcons 201 rushing yards and didn’t get a single sack against a line that’s far from among the best. On the other side of the ball, Jameis Winston was the victim of four sacks even though the Saints offensive line is significantly superior to Atlanta’s defensive front. A somewhat lucky 27-26 victory for the Saints, then.

16- Titans (0-1) – A home loss against the Giants, not quite the best way to start a season that looks more difficult than the last. Especially since the Titans had taken a 13-0 lead in this game.

17- Browns (1-0) – His talent obviously does not compare to that of Deshaun Watson, but Jacoby Brissett is one of the good reserve quarterbacks on the circuit. The Browns will rely on their ground game, while asking Brissett to limit errors and make key plays.


PHOTO JACOB KUPFERMAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES

Jacoby Brissett

18- Seahawks (1-0) – Geno Smith was excellent Monday night, the first time he started a season as a starting quarterback since 2014. Will the Seahawks still play with as much intensity? They won’t face their former point guard Russell Wilson every week…

19- Patriots (0-1) – A little low? Maybe, but talent seems limited in New England. With Mac Jones reportedly hampered by a back injury and the Steelers defense spending more than 43 minutes on the field and playing 96 games against the Bengals last weekend, the Pats’ running game is sure to be in high demand on Sunday. , in Pittsburgh.

20- Broncos (0-1) – What a bad start for head coach Nathaniel Hackett! Attempting a 64-yard field goal instead of a fourth down and five yards to go with the quarterback we paid a fortune to get?

21- Colts (0-0-1) – The Colts ended last season losing in Jacksonville, costing them a playoff berth, then kicking off this one with a draw in Houston. Are we overestimating this team?

22- Commanders (1-0) – It will take more than a home win against the Jaguars to convince us, but Carson Wentz offered a good performance in his first game with the Commanders (27 for 41 for 313 yards, 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions). Not perfect, but encouraging.

23- Cowboys (0-1) – Dak Prescott’s injury obviously won’t help, but that’s not the only problem in Dallas. The depth in the receivers and offensive linemen is lacking and their defense will have to play with a lot more conviction than it did in its first game. Let’s say she didn’t seem in too much of a hurry to tackle on Sunday evening…

24- Cardinals (0-1) – Head coach Kliff Kingsbury certainly didn’t earn any points by saying his team needed to train better after their loss to the Chiefs. It doesn’t look too good for him, especially as the Cards crashed in the second half of the season in Kingsbury’s first two seasons.


PHOTO JEFF DEAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES

Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals head coach

25- Giants (1-0) – New head coach Brian Daboll took a calculated risk by opting for a late-game double conversion at Tennessee, a move that paid off. For a team that starts from afar, this is the kind of victory that can serve as a catalyst.

26- Panthers (0-1) – Baker Mayfield couldn’t beat his old team and Christian McCaffrey got just 33 yards on 10 carries against the Browns. The pressure continues to mount on Matt Rhule.

27- Falcons (0-1) – On paper, the Falcons are one of the league’s worst-off teams, but they came close to defeating the Saints last Sunday. Will they surprise us like last season by giving a hard time to opponents much more talented than them?

28- Bears (1-0) – A week ago, the Bears would have been close or dead last in this ranking, so even if they beat the 49ers, skepticism remains.

29- Lions (0-1) – D’Andre Swift gained 144 yards on 15 carries, Amon-Ra St-Brown caught eight passes and both players scored a major. But you don’t often win when you award 38 points.

30- Texans (0-0-1) – A game-winning draw for the Texans, even though they let slip a 20-3 lead. Just over a week after being signed by the team, tight end OJ Howard, who has never performed up to the expectations of a first pick like he has, scored two touchdowns against the Colts.

31- Throws (0-1) – Joe Flacco will get a second straight start, but Zach Wilson has resumed training with the team after suffering a knee injury last month. The current season should be used for one thing: whether Wilson is the long-term solution or not as a quarterback.

32- Jaguars (0-1) – The Jaguars had the very first pick of the last two drafts (no, there is no lottery in the NFL…) and started their season by losing to Washington. So who else but them for the last step?



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