2012 NFL Week 2 power rankings: Patriots on top

Tom Brady Wes Welker

Source: AP

1. New England Patriots (1-0) ↔

Stevan Ridley looked good, Gronk and Aaron Hernandez each caught a TD, the defense literally hit the Tennessee Titans in the mouth, and Tom Brady got knocked down and got right back up. This team looks tougher, faster, smarter, and simply better!

2. San Francisco 49ers (1-0)↑2

Speaking of hitting people in the mouth, the 49ers just beat up the Packers in week one. If it wasn’t for a questionable call to overturn a block in the back late in the game on a Randall Cobb punt return for a TD this one could have been really ugly.

3. Green Bay Packers (0-1)↓1

I know it’s tough to believe a team that was beaten up and overwhelmed in week one only falls one spot, but c’mon, it’s the Packers! Aaron Rodgers still threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns against what is arguably the best defense (by far) in the NFL.

4. Houston Texans (1-0)↑1

If the 49ers’ defense is indeed the best in the game the Texans are the second best. The best defense in the AFC recorded three sacks and forced four turnovers against the Dolphins.

5. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)↑6

One of the biggest climbers of the week, the Ravens deserve this spot as I admittedly underestimated what appears to be a top contender in the AFC. That said, they are old on defense and an Ed Reed injury could be severely detrimental to the success of this team.

Fantasy Football: The most impressive TE’s of the preseason

Aaron Hernandez has had a strong preseason

Tight ends have seen their role increase over the past few years and are now just as valuable as wide receivers. Last season, Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski had the two best seasons ever for tight ends and neither was highly drafted. While it would be foolish to expect to strike gold like that again this season, here are a few tight that have impressed this preseason and who’s fantasy football arrow is pointing up.

Aaron Hernandez

Playing second-fiddle to Rob Gronkowski has lowered Hernandez’s profile, but it hasn’t stopped him from putting up big numbers. Hernandez has continued that play this preseason looking sharp against the Buccaneers in the Patriots dress-rehearsal catching 5 balls for 52 yards. According to Patriots beat writer Greg A. Bedard, “Hernandez has ascended to Brady’s No. 1 option, with Wes Welker next, and then Rob Gronkowski depending on matchups.” While I’m not sure I necessarily agree with that, it’s great news for his fantasy football stock and he’s still going relatively late in drafts. Read more…

Patriots give Hernandez $16 million in guarantees

Aaron+Hernandez

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The New England Patriots have now rewarded both halves of their tight-end holy-s-h-dash-t combination, signing Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez to ultra-long-term deals.

Each got their new contracts after only two NFL seasons, as members of the last draft class (at least through the early years of the next decade) to renegotiate a rookie contract with less than three years in the league.

Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe reported this morning that Hernandez will receive $16 million guaranteed, which includes a $12.5 million signing bonus.

He’ll average $7.5 million per year under the extension, which pays out $37.5 million in new money. Hernandez was due to earn a paltry (in comparison) $540,000 and $570,000 in salary over the next two seasons.  Read More…