Sep 8, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) celebrates his reception for a first down against the Atlanta Falcons during the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Week 2 Power Rankings


1.   Denver Broncos (1-0):  How could I not upgrade the Broncos to the #1 spot after the performance Peyton Manning orchestrated on Thursday night? He didn’t need to throw the 7 TDs; he didn’t even need to throw 5. He not only got revenge on the Ravens for cutting his last Super Bowl run short, but showed the league he’s incredibly hungry for that illusive second Lombardi trophy. The Broncos need to develop their run game more, however, as Peyton can’t have this kind of performance every week, and their defense has some question marks.  Previous Rank: 5

2.   San Francisco 49ers (1-0):  Colin Kaepernick proved he could win without needing to run with the ball. He chose to air it out, throwing for 412 yards and 3 TDs, finishing with an impressive passer rating of 129.4 and outperforming former Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers. Newly-acquired Anquan Boldin became Kaepernick’s favorite target as he amassed 208 yards and a TD. What compensation did they give to Baltimore for him again? Oh, right…a 6th round pick.  Previous Rank: 3

3.   Seattle Seahawks (1-0):   Russel Wilson played very well and came through with clutch plays when needed. If you haven’t seen his miracle pass to Doug Baldwin, I strongly suggest you do (GIF). Despite Wilson’s play, RB Marshawn Lynch suffered a Skittles deficiency and only rushed for 43 yards on 17 attempts. This cannot be a trend moving forward since he is one of their best play-makers. Seattle’s defense showed it’s physicality and reminded the league they are still the best.  Previous Rank: 1

4.   Green Bay Packers (0-1):  Even after leaving San Fan. with a loss, there were a lot of positives to take away for this team. Aaron Rodgers was still dominant even against the league’s best pass-rushers, throwing for 333 yards and 3 TDs. Green Bay’s defense looked much improved, which is the biggest step they needed to take towards returning to another Super Bowl. They came within one horribly-blown call by referee Bill Leavy from potentially winning this game.  Previous Rank: 6

5.   Atlanta Falcons (0-1):  Matt Ryan played well on Sunday, but the potential loss of Roddy White (or even just a 100% healthy Roddy White) to a high ankle sprain will hurt his production going forward. The Saints defense is better than last year, but they still are a work in progress and Matty Ice should have been able to win this game with the stacked offense around him. The defense clearly struggled against Drew Brees without veteran CB Asante Samuel.  Previous Rank: 2

6.   New England Patriots (1-0):  It wasn’t a pretty win against Buffalo, but Belichick and Brady will take it. The rookies played like rookies while Danny Amendola won over the support of every doubter of his toughness with his gritty performance through a groin injury. With all the questions surrounding the offense, the defense showed they are much improved and put up an impressive performance. They held Fred Jackson to only 67 yards on 13 carries and CJ Spiller to even less, while in the secondary Kyle Arrington showed why he earned a new contract with New England.  Previous Rank: 4

7.   Chicago Bears (1-0):  Jay Cutler played well behind an offensive line that actually held together, which is impressive considering the Bengals front-7. They gave up no sacks and Cutler was able to complete 21-33 passes for 242 and 2 TDs with a pick. The Bears defense couldn’t contain AJ Green, but then again not many defenses can. They held the rest of the Bengals offense in check and kept them one-dimensional.  Previous Rank: 10

8.   New Orleans Saints (1-0):  How happy is Drew Brees now that Sean Payton is back on the sidelines? Happier than a camel on hump day. Brees threw for almost 400 yards and 2 TDs while the Saints defense looked like a new squad. They still need a lot of work, but they were able to contain one of the best offenses in the league. Can Brees continue to shoulder the offensive burden on this team all year, though? A solid run game would make this offense scary.  Previous Rank: 15

9.   Cincinnati Bengals (0-1):  The Andy Dalton to AJ Green connection was in full force this Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to win the game. They need better play out of the running back position and they had some bad blown coverage in the secondary. This team is still a work in progress, but in a NFC North that saw each team lose its first game, they looked the best.  Previous Rank: 7

10.   Houston Texans (1-0):  What started out as a blowout loss turned into a great football game to conclude week 1 of the NFL season. A huge pick-6 by recently paid Brian Cushing put the Texans in a position to win and they capitalized. They are capable of playing much better football than the team displayed, and they have a chance to return to a dominant form against the Titans next week.  Previous Rank: 8

11.   Indianapolis Colts (1-0):  This game shouldn’t have been as close as it was, but Andrew Luck showed again why he was the #1 overall pick last year by leading the team on that final game-winning drive. Vick Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw had an off day, but this duo should pick up to give Luck’s arm a rest and keep the defense confused. Speaking of defense, the Colts allowed Terrelle Pryor to rush for 112 yards, so they have some work to do.  Previous Rank: 11

12.   Dallas Cowboys (1-0):  Tony Romo played well even after getting hit hard to the chest by two defenders, scaring Jerry Jones and the fans. Rookie WR Terrance Williams had a few big drops, but should improve to give the Cowboys yet another receiving weapon. The defense let Eli have a statistically sound game but came up with 3 interceptions and caused 3 additional turnovers which made the difference in the end.  Previous Rank: 14

13.   Baltimore Ravens (0-1):  Peyton threw for 7 TDs…need I say more? Trading away Anquan Boldin for junk change looked like one of the worst moves ever, as Flacco struggled to find receivers. The receivers he seemed to favor, Stokley and Clark, made matters worse due to their lack of separation. Jacoby Jones leaving the game early after his own teammate collided into his knees didn’t help, but their breakout receiver Torrey Smith only had 4 catches on 8 targets. The swagger surrounding the Super Bowl champions was completely snuffed.  Previous Ranking: 9

14.   Washington Redskins (0-1):  RG3 led the team on a comeback but was unable to finish the job. Alfred Morris’s fumble proved to be very costly, and the defense had no answer for the Eagles’s fast-pace offense until it ran out of steam and coasted to a victory.  Previous Rank: 12

15.    New York Giants (0-1):  Aside from the 3 interceptions (not all were his fault), Eli had a statistically great game after throwing for 450 yards and 4 TDs. The severe struggles of the running backs ultimately cost the Giants the win. They are trying out veteran RBs this week, so the backfield may look different in “The Manning Bowl” this Sunday.  Previous Rank: 13

16.   St. Luis Rams (1-0):  Sam Bradford was able to hold his own in a very tight divisional game. Newly-acquired TE Jared Cook formed a connection with Bradford and reached 141 yards and 2 TDs. Tavon Austin was the #2 receiver but only tallied 41 yards.  Previous Rank: 16

17.   Kansas City Chiefs (1-0):  Andy Reid and Alex Smith had an easy first test against Jacksonville, but nevertheless, they capitalized on the opportunity to send a message to the league: this is not last year’s team. As long as Jamaal Charles continues to play well, Smith only needs to play as he did in San Fan., no stellar numbers but keep moving the ball. I want to see this defense against a real NFL team, though, not Jacksonville.  Previous Rank: 25  

18.   Philadelphia Eagles (1-0):  Chip Kelly’s fast-pace offense turned heads and smoked the Redskins early in the first Monday Night Football matchup. They almost blew the win in the end, but were still able to come away unscathed. It will be interesting to see this team grow.  Previous Rank: 26

19.   Detroit Lions (1-0):  Despite allowing a monster 78 yard TD run by the reigning MVP Adrian Peterson, the Lions were able to overcome the deficit to win the game. Reggie Bush led the team in both rushing and receiving with a total of 191 yards and a TD.  Previous Rank: 27

20.   San Diego Chargers (0-1):  Phil Rivers threw 4 TDs and looked like a new man. They played phenominal football in the first half, but stalled hard in the second half enough that the Texans were able to come back and win. If they can improve from this loss, perhaps this Chargers team could surprise a lot of people this year and contend in the AFC West.  Previous Rank: 29

21.   Arizona Cardinals (0-1):  Larry Fitzgerald must be loving having Carson Palmer as his quarterback already as he tallied 8 receptions for 80 yards and 2 TDs. It doesn’t appear as if Palmer is relying on him, however, which makes the offense stronger. The Cards want to see more out of former Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall moving forward.  Previous Rank: 18

22.   Miami Dolphins (1-0):  Ryan Tannehill connected with Brian Hartline for 9 receptions worth 114 yards and a TD, while the defense created 3 turnovers. A solid game for the Dolphins although they didn’t put away the game until the end of the 3rd quarter. A concerning stat, Miami rushed for only 20 yards all game between 3 runners (one of them being Tannehill).  Previous Rank: 22

23.   Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1):  Sunday marked two consecutive games the Steelers have lost to the Titans, this time on their home turf in the season opener. Their run game was stagnant with Stephens-Howling only gaining 16 yards. The loss of Maurkice Pouncey is a huge blow to their already maligned offensive line.  Previous Rank: 17

24.   Carolina Panthers (0-1):  Considering that Cam Newton was against arguably the best defense in the NFL, he played pretty well (125 yards, 1 TD). DeAngelo Williams’ fumble at the end of the game proved to be the difference in a close contest.  Previous Rank: 20

25.   Minnesota Vikings (0-1):  Christian Ponder would have had a good game if it weren’t for his 3 interceptions. This team is going to ride AP as far as he can take them.  Previous Rank: 19

26.   Tennessee Titans (1-0):  Despite the victory against the Steelers, the Titans did not look very good. Locker only threw for 125 yards with no TDs and CJ2K only had 70 yards on 25 attempts. Greg Williams’ defense looks much improved, though.  Previous Rank: 24

27.   New York Jets (1-0):  Geno Smith instantly won over Gang Green by simply winning the game on Sunday. His numbers were average and his offensive line didn’t do him any favors. They may catch another break next week in Foxboro with all the injuries that plague the Patriots offense.  Previous Rank: 31

28.   Buffalo Bills (0-1):  The first QB taken in the draft had a solid NFL debut, throwing for 150 yards and 2 TDs while the defense made some big plays without their star players. Although they faced a very tough New England run defense, one would expect better from the CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson tandem.  Previous Rank: 28

29.   Oakland Raiders (0-1):  Terrelle Pryor rushed for 112 yards and threw for another 217 with a TD. If Darren McFadden can stay healthy, perhaps the Raiders can piece together a few wins this season.  Previous Rank: 32

30.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1):  They turned over the game to the Jets by committing an obscene 13 penalties worth 102 yards. It was only fitting they lost because of an unnecessary penalty that set up the Nick Folk winning field goal for the Jets.  Previous Rank: 21

31.   Cleveland Browns (0-1):  After looking like he matured in the preseason, Brandon Weeden killed the Browns’ chance to win this game with his three interceptions. They failed to capitalize on an opportunity to win at home to start the season with some momentum. Now they have to face the bitter and recently-humiliated rival Baltimore Ravens on their home turf.  Previous Rank: 23

32.   Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1):  The Jaguars were unable to move the ball past their own 36 yard line more than twice Sunday. Enough said.  Previous Rank: 30

 

 

 

 

 

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons Denver Broncos New England Patriots New Orleans Saints San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks

  • http://emaraldcityswagger.com/ Paul Novak

    Great power rankings, Tim!

    • Tim Dillon

      thanks, Paul!

  • Pingback: NFL Power Rankings: Broncos replace Niners at No. 1; Saints rising – CBSSports.com

  • MT

    how can you have a team that lost ranked ahead of the team that beat them? I can see a team that lost to a higher ranked team ala Green Bay ahead of other winning teams but having Atlanta ahead of the Saints when the Saints won.. makes no sense.

    • Tim Dillon

      Atlanta lost in a tight game and without their best corner against one of the best passers in the league. Despite the loss, Atlanta is a more complete team than New Orleans right now

      • MT

        and New Orleans was without their 4 best rushers and still managed to get in Ryans face all game…. more complete? I don’t think so. The Saints were also missing a CB and yet they held Ryan, again more complete? I don’t think so.

        You also have Washington ahead of Phili. Pretty sure I saw that game and it was not even close as to who the better team was. Rankings should be the team on the top can defeat any team below. So to have the losers of games ranked higher then the winners is wrong.

        I enjoyed your insights but have to disagree with your rankings.

        • Tim Dillon

          good points, MT. we’ll see what happens next week! thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Chris Sanchez

    Who’s defense do I trust more : Denver’s or New England’s? The answer is Denver’s Are they perfect? No, both have flawed defenses and neither is a top 10 defense but going up against an elite QB in a neutral location I’d like Denver’s chances more than NE’s. IMO Denver has a better defensive live and a lot better secondary but the Pats have the edge at LB. The problem with Denver’s defense is they are small at LB and can get pushed around by physical teams but elite QBs can have a field day with the weak secondary of the Pats. No other teams in the AFC look to be on the same level as the Pats and Broncos. The Bengals still are a team that struggles to beat quality opponents. The Ravens should be better as the year goes on but they look like they have taken a step back on both sides of the ball. The Texans were impressive in coming back against the Chargers but why were they down 21 to a very mediocre San Diego team in the first place?

    • Tim Dillon

      some very good points, Chris. I’m very interested to see how New England’s defense plays for them this year since they will likely need to carry the team in many games, especially with all the offensive injuries