Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

Established Contenders

1. Seattle (2-0)

When you beat the best, you are the best. It was at home, where Seattle has a distinct advantage, but the Seahawks completely outclassed the 49ers for the second straight time. The defense has looked incredible to start the season, and there doesn’t seem to be any sophomore slump with Russell Wilson. A Super Bowl favorite, they are sure making a lot of people look pretty smart right now.

2. New Orleans (2-0)

That was definitely closer than you would’ve like, but at the end of the day the Saints are 2-0. Plus Tampa’s defense has looked pretty good so far this season, and it was a division win on the road. Always tough to get no matter the opponent. Good teams find a way to win, and the Saints certainly look like a contender this year.

3. San Francisco (1-1)

The 49ers don’t fall too far. Like Green Bay the week before, their loss came against the top ranked team…even if it was pretty one-sided. Still, the last time the 49ers got their ass handed to them in Seattle, they reeled off victory after victory on their way to the Super Bowl. That loss isn’t enough to knock them out of the conversation.

4. Green Bay (1-1)

Tough to get knocked after a win, but that had more to do with Seattle’s performance. Washington hasn’t looked good to start the season, but that was still a huge win for the Packers. They completely dominated. Their loss was a one score game to the 49ers in San Francisco. That offense still looks dangerous. Even with the injury to Eddy Lacy, James Starks was able to carry the running game.

5. Denver (2-0)

Hard to have two 1-1 teams in front of you, but let’s remember who those teams lost to. Denver has two very impressive wins, but they came against the Ravens and Giants. Two teams that really haven’t established themselves this season. You can’t fault the Broncos for their opponents, and they have been dominant in those wins. They look like the class of the AFC, and they could easily find themselves higher up these rankings as the season progresses.

6. Atlanta (1-1)

They rebounded nicely with a win over St. Louis. But they had a similar problem to last season. No running game to finish off blowouts. It cost them a trip to the Super Bowl last year, and almost cost them this game. But give them credit for holding on, and getting the lead in the first place. It’s not like the Rams are pushovers this year either.

7. New England (2-0)

That’s a very hollow 2-0. Close wins against two division opponents, and an offense that hasn’t clicked yet. But you know the Patriots are going to get better as the season goes along. Not to mention the eventual returns of Danny Amendola, Shane Vereen, and Rob Gronkowski. The Bills and Jets have looked better than expected, and who else in the AFC jumps out at you?

Wait and See

8. Houston (2-0)

Close wins against the Chargers and Titans does not instill a lot of confidence. But they are 2-0, and coming off two straight division titles. This team still has plenty of talent, and who knows how good those two teams actually are. They’re both 1-1 after all.

9. Kansas City (2-0)

I may not be a big fan of the Cowboys, but it’s still impressive to keep them under 20 points. The Chiefs are 2-0 and look like real playoff threats this season. Their defense is really good, and so is Jamal Charles. The offense should get better as Alex Smith gets more comfortable with the system and his receivers.

10. Baltimore (1-1)

This might be a little high, but I didn’t really see any team I thought deserved it more. It hasn’t been a pretty start to the season, but there is still time to improve. This team is the defending Super Bowl champs. They have a good coach and a lot of good player. They’ll put it together and find a way into the playoffs. Even if it winds up being as a wild card.

11. Chicago (2-0)

2-0, but both games at home, and that Vikings game was much closer than it should’ve been. The Bears have talent and could turn into a real contender this year, but there hasn’t been enough to say they are any different than in years past. Jay Cutler looks better than he did a year ago, and this defense can still play. They should at least be in the playoff conversation all season.

12. Miami (2-0)

It was against the Browns and Colts, but they are still 2-0. The defense looks to be a real strength, and Mike Wallace adds a new dimension to their offense. The running game took off last week, but how much of that was a product of the Colts defense? If they can consistently run the ball they have the makings of a playoff team. And with the Patriots problems on offense, they have a chance of stealing the division.

Need to Prove Themselves

13. St. Louis (1-1)

It’s weird to have a team move up after a loss, but it says more about what the teams in front of them did, and the Rams still made a game of it. That was against the Falcons in Atlanta. This team has a lot of talent. The offense is a little sluggish, but things will pick up. The two most explosive players, Jared Cook and Tavon Austin, are completely new to the team. Allow time for chemistry to build. But they really need better production from their running game.

14. Detroit (1-1)

Tough loss to the Cardinals. Arizona is better than they were a year ago, but if you’re going to be a playoff team, you’ve got to get those wins. There is still a lot to like about the Lions, outside of Reggie Bush’s health. There are a ton of playmakers, and if they can get out of their own way they have a shot at 10 wins this year.

15. Dallas (1-1)

Another team that moved up despite losing. I actually thought they looked better in their loss against the Chiefs than their win against New York. Dallas has the talent. More than Monte Kiffin, Rod Marinelli might’ve been the best acquisition of the offseason. That defensive line looks ferocious, even with injuries. They might prove to be the class of the NFC East…even if that isn’t saying much.

16. Cincinnati (1-1)

This team doesn’t look any different than last year’s. 16 may be low. With a week AFC North, they could easily take the division. But for right now, close games to the Steelers and Bears and a 1-1 record aren’t overly impressive. Sticking them right in the middle seems perfect. They could certainly move up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they hovered in this range all season.

17. Buffalo (1-1)

This team has been impressive so far this season. The true wildcard of the NFL, the Bills could end up anywhere from AFC East champs, to cellar dwellers. Either way, they look like they’ll be exciting. The defense has been playing a lot better, especially Mario Williams, and EJ Manuel looks like a shrewd move at this point. This week they go up against a Jets team they haven’t had a lot of success against recently. A win here will go a long way to proving their legitimacy.

18. Tennessee (1-1)

They’ve played much better than this ranking, but after last season it’s hard to get too optimistic too fast. The defense has had quite a turnaround, and they’ve played two good games. They could easily be 2-0 right now. But I’d still like to see it for more than two weeks.

19. Arizona (1-1)

Like the Titans, this is a team that has looked good this season, but not against great opponents, and not enough to make you forget about last season. They will be better than last year, we still have to see by how much. Bruce Arians is proving last season was no fluke, and not all because of Luck. The guy can coach. But we’ll have to see a few more games before moving them up any more.

It’s Not Over Just Yet

20. Carolina (0-2)

NNNEEEAAARRRRVVVVOOOOMMM!!!!! Quite a fall for the Panthers. But they’ve been close in both games. They played the Seahawks tough, and lost to the Bills in a heartbreaker. This team is really talented, but Cam Newton and Ron Rivera are not the faces of a championship team. It’s hard to put an 0-2 team higher than this, and, if they falter against the Giants at home, this was more than they deserved.

21. New York Giants (0-2)

The Giants shouldn’t fall much further than here. For all their struggles so far, they could turn it around and make the playoffs. They have playmakers all over the field, and in a weak NFC East nine games could win it. They desperately need the offensive line to even play poorly. Right now it’s far from NFL quality. Even the Raiders line has been better, and they were supposed to be historically bad. The defensive line needs to improve too, and that falls on Perry Fewell as much as the individual players. It’d be shocking if that didn’t get fixed. Maybe not to the point of dominance, but at least existent.

22. Indianapolis (1-1)

A modest drop after the loss. It was a close game against a quality opponent. This team could still make the playoffs, and it wouldn’t shock a lot of people. 22 seems plenty low for that type of team. It’s just hard to put them higher when on paper they look like a bad team, and they haven’t had a quality win. So yes, Andrew Luck is that good.

23. San Diego (1-1)

Good win for the Chargers, but it was close and I’m not overly enthralled with the Eagles. They look to be trending up, which is more than you could say the last several years, but this season still looks like a six win campaign. A more competitive, hope for the future, six win campaign, but six wins nonetheless.

24. Philadelphia (1-1)

That win against Washington doesn’t seem that impressive now. More importantly, the defense looks like a bit of a problem. This team will be exciting, but it does not have the looks of a playoff team. They may only be a season away, though, and they could upset anyone in any given week. There are just too many holes to feel comfortable putting them much higher.

25. New York Jets (1-1)

That game was awful close. But that was a game they should’ve won. Failing to come through, shows the pitfalls of this team. They are far from the worst in the NFL, but they don’t look like a playoff team. New England won’t be that vulnerable the next time they play. That defense is incredible, but right now there are too many questions on offense.

26. Washington (0-2)

This is the lowest they will be all season. They have too much talent to be this low, but right now they haven’t been competitive in either game. They have a bad offensive line and their defense has been exposed. The receivers haven’t looked great either. RG3 will play better as the season progresses, but for right now it’s hard to argue they’ve been much better than this.

27. Pittsburgh (0-2)

A modest climb for the Steelers after the loss. But the Titans look more legitimate than they seemed a week ago, and they played the Bengals tough. There are just too many holes on offense right now. If they can find an explosive playmaker, or a consistent running game they might be able to steal the North. For right now, they seem like the 3rd best team at best.

28. Cleveland (0-2)

Lucky for them the Vikings come in this week. That is a winnable game that could help them turn the season around. Oh, and Josh Gordon should be back from suspension. But god that offense has looked awful. The defense is as good as advertised, but it really hasn’t been enough. Maybe one more offseason gets this team in the playoff hunt.

Pack it in Boys

29. Tampa Bay (0-2)

This is probably pretty low too, but there is just so much to dislike about this team. Three of the teams above them have a shot at making the playoffs (even if it is because of weak divisions) and above that is a team that beat them head-to-head. Oh and Josh Freeman and Greg Schiano. Yep, I’m fine with 29.

30. Minnesota (0-2)

Well somehow they almost won that game. But it’s becoming pretty clear that Christian Ponder is not the answer. This team looks primed for 4 wins. For their sake they better hope they get less. Poor Adrian Peterson. The guy has only played with a truly good quarterback for one season of his career.

31. Oakland (1-1)

Don’t look now, but the Raiders were competitive in both their games so far. They even firmly placed themselves above the lowly Jaguars. But with all the questions surrounding this team before the season, and a look at their opponents, it’s hard to argue they’re much better than this.

32. Jacksonville (0-2)

This team could honestly go 0-16 and I wouldn’t be surprised.

 

 

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