Perhaps members concerned with the legacy of the 1972 Miami Dolphins can celebrate a little earlier this season.
The alumni of the NFL’s only perfect team always breathe a little easier after losing the last undefeated team every year. It took eight weeks last season.
Well, after just two weeks into the 2022 season, the undefeated group is down to six. In fact, there are more teams without a win (seven). For non-math wizards, that means 19 of 32 teams have split their first two games.
Here are The Post’s power rankings for Week 3, sorting out the blockage in the middle:
1. Buffalo Bills 2-0 (Last week: 1)
What’s more impressive? An offense that scored 41 points and threw for 313 yards, with Stefon Diggs catching three touchdowns? Or a defense that held two-time NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry to 25 yards and limited the Titans to seven points? Hard to believe the Bills have lost to the Titans in each of the past two years.
2. Kansas City Chiefs 2-0 (2)
Much has been said about an improved defense to go along with the explosive offense. Little has focused on seventh-round rookie draft pick Jaylen Watson, whose 99-yard interception return for a touchdown broke a fourth-quarter tie and sparked a win over the Chargers. Justin Watson (no relation) caught a touchdown pass.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-0 (4)
Tom Brady threw a ground tablet into the bench area as it looked like the Buccaneers were heading for a fifth straight regular season loss to the Saints. But then he threw a touchdown to Breshad Perriman on a game-winning 17-point outburst in the fourth quarter after his favorite receiver, Mike Evans, was ejected in a fight.
4. Los Angeles Chargers 1-1 (3)
Two concerns going forward: First, Justin Herbert suffered a fractured rib cartilage that severely limited his mobility – but not his ability to throw darts – late in the loss to the Chiefs. Second, head coach Brandon Staley threw twice on fourth and second near midfield. The NFL’s greatest fourth down player looked conservative in a 27-24 loss.
5. Philadelphia Eagles 2-0 (7)
If Jalen Hurts plays as well as he did in a 24-7 win over the Vikings, the Eagles are the best team in the NFC. Hurts completed 26 of 31 passes for 333 yards, rushed for 57 yards and combined for three touchdowns. After years of roaming cornerbacks, Darius Slay and James Bradberry are a terrific pair.
6. Los Angeles Rams 1-1 (6)
After a poor Super Bowl performance and a worse season opener against Ja’Marr Chase and Diggs, respectively, Jalen Ramsey redeemed himself with an interception in the end zone to preserve a 31-27 victory over the Falcons. The Rams nearly lost a 28-3 lead thanks to Cooper Kupp’s 11 catches and two touchdowns.
7. Miami Dolphins 2-0 (13)
Three years after a humiliating 59-10 season-opening loss to the Ravens, the Dolphins got their revenge in equally stunning fashion. Tua Tagovailoa threw six touchdown passes, including four in the fourth quarter to erase a 21-point deficit and win 42-38. The fastest duo in the NFL — Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle — combined for 22 catches for 361 yards and four touchdowns.
8. Minnesota Vikings 1-1 (8)
The stinky layup in Philadelphia on Monday could have been worse than the NFC Championship Game in January 2018. Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook combined for 84 yards from scrimmage, and Kirk Cousins threw three interceptions. This Week 1 Packers rout seems a long time ago.
9. Green Bay Packers 1-1 (10)
Some things never change. Aaron Rodgers improved to 24-5 all-time against the Bears, though he had plenty of rushing and defensive assist in a 27-10 whoop. Some things are changing: The Packers are one win away from tying the Bears for the most wins in NFL history (784) — a record held by Chicago since 1921, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
10. Baltimore Ravens 1-1 (5)
Maybe the Ravens should have thought twice about letting go of defensive coordinator Wink Martindale after last season. Passes were flying over the heads of defensive backs as the Dolphins racked up 233 yards in the fourth quarter alone. That nullified Lamar Jackson’s stellar performance (318 passing yards, 119 rushing yards, four total touchdowns).
11. San Francisco 49ers 1-1 (17)
12. Dallas Cowboys 1-1 (20)
13. Arizona Cardinals 1-1 (22)
14. New York Giants 2-0 (23)
The Giants are 2-0 for the first time since 2016 because kickers matter. They celebrated when the Titans missed a 47-yard field goal in the last second in Week 1. They beat the Panthers in Week 2 because Graham Gano went 4 for 4 on field goals, including two over 50 yards. A defense mostly made up of rookies and journeymen takes its toll.
15. New England Patriots 1-1 (26)
16. Pittsburgh Steelers 1-1 (9)
17. New Orleans Saints 1-1 (14)
18. Seattle Seahawks 1-1 (18)
19. Denver Broncos 1-1 (19)
29. Cincinnati Bengals 0-2 (11)
21. Las Vegas Raiders 0-2 (16)
22. New York Jets 1-1 (30)
With 2:09 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Browns had a 99.8% probability of victory. Final score in regulation: Jets 31, Browns 30. After head coach Robert Saleh went out on a limb with his “take receipts” rant, the Jets played hard for 60 minutes and needed every second for a miracle 13-point rally aided by an upside-down kick.
23. Cleveland Browns 1-1 (15)
24. Detroit Lions 1-1 (31)
25. Washington Commanders 1-1 (21)
26. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-1 (29)
27. Chicago Bears 1-1 (25)
28. Tennessee Titans 0-2 (22)
29. Indianapolis Colts 0-1-1 (12)
30. Houston Texans 0-1-1 (28)
31. Carolina Panthers 0-2 (27)
32. Atlanta Falcons 0-2 (32)
New York Post