NFL Power Rankings: Predicting Direction of Every NFL Team After Week 2

Ethan Grant@DowntownEGAnalyst ISeptember 14, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 13: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass the football during first half play against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on September 13, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With Thursday's defensive statement against the Chicago Bears in the books, the Green Bay packers took a step back up the NFL Power Rankings ladder.

Teams like the Atlanta Falcons and the Dallas Cowboys could follow suit with win quality wins on Sunday.

Here's a look at my projected power rankings after Week 2. What is the direction of each team at this point in the season?: Up, down or hovering around in the same spot.

1. New England Patriots:

Direction: Hovering

No where to go but down for the Patriots, after their Week 1 win. After a home game against Arizona, this team should be 2-0 and maintaining their hold on league supremacy.

2. Baltimore Ravens

Direction: Up

The only thing stopping the Ravens is, well, the Patriots. And wouldn't you know it...they have a chance to take care of business against the Patriots in Week 3. We'll find out a lot about Joe Flacco and this new Terrell Suggs-less defense after that.

3. San Fransisco 49ers

Direction: Up

Baltimore got the nod over the Niners because they'll have to march into Philadelphia and knock off the Eagles to get a Week 2 win. Although San Fransisco does have a tough matchup against Detroit at home.

San Fransisco will jump into the top 2 with a Week 3 win after the Ravens and Patriots battle it out for AFC supremacy.

4. Atlanta Falcons

Direction: Down

A win against the Broncos on Monday night football (I think it will happen) will really gets things going in Atlanta. But there's no chance they outlast the 49ers just yet. The passing offense looks great, but I'm not a firm believer in Michael Turner.

5. Green Bay Packers

Direction: Up

The defense took a stand against the Bears, and Clay Matthews reminded the entire league just what he's capable of. The offense hasn't quite clicked, but the season opener against San Francisco might have been an NFC Championship game preview.

6. Houston Texans

Direction: Hovering

The Texans tasted success in 2011. Now they'll know what it feels like to have every team in the division gunning for them. They'll withstand the blow, win 10 games and make the playoffs, but I think we'll has more holes than people thought starting the season.

7. Dallas Cowboys

Direction: Down

The Cowboys will be riding high after overcoming some of Tony Romo's playoff demons with a win in Seattle.

But the tough part of the schedule awaits. It isn't December yet, Cowboys fans.

8. Denver Broncos

Direction: Up

Denver's victory over Pittsburgh at home in Peyton Manning's debut, suggest the AFC West is up for grabs once again. If Manning really starts clicking, look out NFL.

9. NY Giants

Direction: Down

The holes in the Giants secondary are huge, and even the return of Michael Coe from injury won't help that much.

The Giants look headed for a fall. Although the offense will get it done in their Week 2 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that secondary isn't going to stop anyone in the NFC East.

10. Chicago Bears

Direction: Hovering

"As the Jay Turns" would be a great soap opera in Chicago. We've seen him at his worst and at his best. The O-line certainly hasn't helped.

The Bears will go as far as Cutler's right arm takes them.

11. Detroit Lions

Direction: Hovering

The Lions will be 1-1 after losing to San Fransisco in Week 2, but the game will be a nail-biter and should prove that Detroit has the weapons to compete with anyone.

I'm not so sure about the defense just yet, especially after allowing 23 points to St. Louis (though seven came on an interception return).

12. San Diego

Direction: Up

The season (and Norv Turner's job) lay on the shoulders of Ryan Mathews, who, I think, will get the job done most weeks for San Diego. His return from injury could spark some life in one of the best offenses in the AFC.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers

Direction: Down

Getting Rashard Mendenhall back will be a huge plus for this team, which had their struggles running the ball against the Broncos and figure to struggle again against the Jets in Week 2.

While the resiliency of this group is shown each year, I'm not sure they have enough right now on defense to be considered a playoff team. Time will tell if that changes, but right now the Steelers must focus on stopping the suddenly prolific Jets offense.

14. Washington Redskins

Direction: Down

RG3 and the 'Skins will likely start 2-0, but that torrid pace won't last once they hit NFC East play. The talent around Griffin isn't enough to make the playoffs this year, but it looks like he was worth every penny they payed him.

15. New York Jets

Direction: Down

I think the Jets return to form against the Steelers, taking less chances down the field and running the ball more. I think this team still has a strong defense and is two or three good games away from being in playoff contention. But are we supposed to buy 48 points against the Bills?

The Steelers will be a huge test for Rex Ryan's team, and Mark Sanchez's confidence, going forward.

16. Cincinnati Bengals

Direction: Hovering

This Bengals team should finish the season right about where they start—in the middle of the pack. The weapons on offense and the defense aren't quite good enough to match up with Pittsburgh and Baltimore (It seems like we've been saying that forever, right?), but this is a team with a bright future at WR and QB.

17. New Orleans Saints

Direction: Up

No where to go but up for the Saints, who could very well be 0-2 after facing the Panthers. Their defense did nothing to prove they could stop RG3. How will they be able to stop Cam Newton?

Jonathan Vilma's return will help, but this Saints team will have to claw to make the postseason.

18. Philadelphia Eagles

Direction: Up

Even though the Eagles will start the season 0-2, I have a feeling that their best football is in front of them. There is too much firepower and talent on both sides of the ball to keep this team down for long.

If Michael Vick can stay healthy, he'll stay away from his interception-laden Week 1 performance and look more like the player that signed a $100 million contract.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Direction: Hovering

A great Week 1 showed that Josh Freeman still has all that potential Tampa Bay saw when they drafted him.

However, they'll have to face off against the Falcons, Saints and Panthers again before the season is over. Top to bottom, the NFC South could turn out to be the best division in football.

20. Tennessee Titans

Direction: Up

What does Tennessee have to lose? No one expects them to be a playoff team, and they're starting a second-year QB over the established Matt Hasselbeck.

Tennessee could go 4-2 in divisional play, which would likely put them in the wild card hunt. Kenny Britt is back from suspension, and Chris Johnson has 15 games to return to form. Don't count the Titans out just yet.

21. Kansas City Chiefs

Direction: Down

With a good defense and solid running game, this team should be successful.

For some reason, I just don't see it. Oakland will surpass them by the end of the season.

22. Seattle Seahawks

Direction: Up

Two hard-luck losses to Dallas and Arizona won't define their season, but they will make the Seahawks dangerous to teams like San Francisco late in the season.

This Russell Wilson kid is proving size doesn't matter and making the Seahawks regret ever giving Matt Flynn starter's money. Wilson was a Braylon Edwards drop away from being 1-0.

23. Carolina Panthers

Direction: Up

The Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers was a weird game all the way around. With limited rushing attempts for one of the league's best running teams (Newton threw for 300), they let themselves be dominated in time of possession.

I don't see that happening again. Once Jonathan Stewart returns from injury, the offense will gain a new dynamic going forward.

24. St. Louis Rams

Direction: Hovering

I really think Jeff Fisher will turn this team into a playoff contender. Give them one more year to add a dynamic player in the draft, and they'll be ready to make a run.

This year, they will play a lot of close games and get beat in some bad-luck outcomes. St. Louis might end up as the opponent that every team circles on their schedule.

Because they're coming after you. Right, Detroit?

25. Oakland Raiders

Direction: Up

The defense is better. The offense is more efficient. The special teams are terrible. No matter, this team is going to leapfrog some of the bottom-tier teams and make a push to finish second in the division.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars

Direction: Hovering

Gabbert gave his team a chance to win, and the defense gave it away. Jacksonville and Minnesota both have elite running backs with sophomore QBs. Hard to project them any higher, since they'll be battling each week.

27. Minnesota Vikings

Direction: Hovering

Same goes for the Vikings, who look to be in games late strictly because they have No. 28 in the backfield. I like Christian Ponder going forward, but I don't like his offensive line.

28. Indianapolis Colts

Direction: Up

Luck is a star in the making, and Indianapolis pulls off the Shaq-to-Dwight Howard comparisons by going from one franchise QB to the next. It's going to take some more time, but Indy will win two games they weren't supposed to.

29. Buffalo Bills

Direction: Down

Is it feasible to think Matt Barkley could be the starter here next season? Ryan Fitzpatrick is a gifted passer, but if he struggles again this season, it might be time to move on.

Losing Fred Jackson hurts, but it's nice to see C.J. Spiller excel. Besides, Buffalo lost to the Jets because of their defense, not offense.

30. Arizona Cardinals

Direction: Down

The Cards have a great defense, but they're a dropped pass away from being 0-1. I think they'll be 0-2 after a trouncing from the Patriots Sunday.

The two-QB system is a nice idea. But, Arizona, if you're listening, throw your hat into the Matt Barkley ring if you get a chance and never look back.

31. Cleveland Browns:

Direction: Hovering

Hard to be mad at Cleveland for losing a game by one point that they were supposed to lose by 20. Still, Weeden can't throw four interceptions every week and expect a victory.

32. Miami Dolphins:

Direction: Down

Reggie Bush can't catch a break. He'll have a hard time catching a pass, too, if Ryan Tannehill can't get the ball over the defensive line. Strap in for a long one, Miami fans.