Updated QB Power Rankings After NFL Week 2

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IISeptember 17, 2012

Updated QB Power Rankings After NFL Week 2

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    We're through another week of the NFL season, and there has been plenty of movement in our quarterback rankings after Week 2.

    After a strong opening game for many quarterbacks, Week 2 brought a bunch of them back down to Earth. Whether it was Jay Cutler's four interceptions or Mark Sanchez's 37 percent completion rate, performances like these helped open our eyes to the true value of these quarterbacks.

    We were also able to see plenty of strong performances that put quarterbacks in a position to move up in the rankings. This was especially true for rookie quarterbacks like Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson, who played well enough to get their first-ever NFL victories.

    We'll continue to update these rankings through the Monday night game between the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos, but here are your updated quarterback rankings after Week 2.

    The Week 1 quarterback rankings can be found here.

32. Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns

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    Last Week Ranking: 32

    Week 2 Statistics: 26-of-37, 322 yards, two touchdowns

     

    What a difference a week can make. After looking like he was years away from being a starting quarterback, Brandon Weeden came back and had a huge game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

    He completed over 70 percent of his passes and didn't have a single turnover against a pretty solid defense. However, what makes his performance in Week 2 even better is the fact that Weeden looked much more poised than he did last week.

    One good performance isn't enough to move Weeden out of the final spot, but the Cleveland Browns should still be excited about his performance this week.

31. Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals

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    Last Week Ranking: N/A

    Week 2 Statistics: 15-of-27, 140 yards, one touchdown

     

    Kevin Kolb was the replacement quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals this week. After his performance against the New England Patriots, it doesn't look like he'll remain the starting quarterback once John Skelton is healthy.

    He has led the Cardinals to two straight wins, and while one of those wins was against a top team in the league, Kolb still looks overmatched as an NFL quarterback.

30. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

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    Last Week Ranking: 31

    Week 2 Statistics: 18-of-30, 200 yards, one passing touchdown, one rushing touchdown

     

    This type of performance is what the Miami Dolphins were hoping for when they drafted Ryan Tannehill. 

    He didn't try to do too much; he just did what the Dolphins needed him to do to help pick up the victory. He was efficient, accurate and was able to show off the athleticism that makes him such an intriguing prospect.

    If Tannehill continues to improve at his current rate, he'll definitely have a chance to make a major move up this list. However, I'll need to see one more week like this one before he jumps past many other starting quarterbacks.

29. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Last Week Ranking: 27

    Week 2 Statistics: 7-of-19, 53 yards, one touchdown

     

    Blaine Gabbert was forced out of the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury, but even before he left he was having a hard day.

    The Houston Texans put Gabbert under constant pressure, and he simply was never able to get into a consistent rhythm. After looking good last week, Gabbert appeared like his 2011 self again in Week 2.

    This is not good news for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

28. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

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    Last Week Ranking: 29

    Week 2 Statistics: 15-of-20, 151 yards, one touchdown, 28 rushing yards

     

    This is more of the Russell Wilson that I expected to see than the one we saw last week. His statistics don't jump off the page, but he did exactly what the Seattle Seahawks needed him to do to come away with a huge win against the Dallas Cowboys.

    As long as Wilson continues to play at this level, the Seahawks will be a threat to make the playoffs and win the NFC West.

27. Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders

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    Last Week Ranking: 23

    Week 2 Statistics: 24-of-48, 373 yards, one touchdown, one interception

     

    It wasn't the greatest of weeks for Carson Palmer. While he certainly wasn't the sole reason for the Oakland Raiders getting crushed by the Miami Dolphins, he also didn't do much to help.

    He had difficulties with his accuracy all game, and while he threw for a ton of yards, they didn't turn into points. The Raiders look like one of the worst teams in the league, and Palmer isn't doing much to help.

26. Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

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    Last Week Ranking: 22

    Week 2 Statistics: 15-of-30, 174 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 21 rushing yards

     

    Even though the Tennessee Titans continue to lose, Jake Locker has played some decent football in his first two starts in the NFL.

    This week wasn't quite as good of a performance as last week, but Locker definitely still looks like a legitimate starting quarterback. He still needs to improve his accuracy, but at least he is making better decisions with the football.

    With that said, if the Titans continue to lose games, Locker will continue to drop down this list.

25. Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs

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    Last Week Ranking: 28

    Week 2 Statistics: 23-of-42, 301 yards, two touchdowns, one interception

     

    Despite the Kansas City Chiefs getting blown out by the Buffalo Bills, Matt Cassel played rather well.

    He was able to move the ball down the field and did a great job of getting the ball into the hands of his best receiver. Dwayne Bowe finished the day with eight receptions, 102 yards and two touchdowns.

    The Chiefs defense needs to play better for this to be a winning team, but at least Cassel is playing some solid football.

24. Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings

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    Last Week Ranking: 26

    Week 2 Statistics: 27-of-35, 245 yards, two touchdowns, one fumble lost

     

    Christian Ponder made a great run after his team was down by 14 points heading into the fourth quarter. He ultimately lost to the Indianapolis Colts thanks to a game-winning drive from Andrew Luck, but his performance was still gutsy.

    This is the type of quarterback play that the Minnesota Vikings need from Ponder. His accuracy continues to improve, as does his decision-making.

    If Ponder continues to put together performances like the one he did on Sunday, the Vikings will continue to be a threat to win each time they step on the field.

23. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

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    Last Week Ranking: 25

    Week 2 Statistics: 10-of-19, 178 yards, two touchdowns, 34 rushing yards

     

    For only throwing the ball 19 times on Sunday, Ryan Fitzpatrick was still able to put together some quality statistics.

    What will really help Fitzpatrick this year is the emergence of C.J. Spiller. Fitzpatrick simply isn't talented enough to win games all by himself, so the fact that Spiller has looked fantastic will take a ton of pressure off his shoulders.

    Week 1 was simply awful for the Buffalo Bills and Fitzpatrick. However, this Week 2 performance will hopefully be more of what Bills fans see.

22. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

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    Last Week Ranking: 21

    Week 2 Statistics: 10-of-27, 138 yards, one touchdown

     

    After an extremely impressive Week 1 performance, Mark Sanchez looked more like his old self against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    He struggled with his accuracy all game long, and to be honest, he played terrible football. While he was playing against a defense that looked possessed to cause him trouble all day long, Sanchez still needs to play better than this.

    Another poor performance like this and Sanchez will slide much further down these rankings.

21. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Last Week Ranking: 24

    Week 2 Statistics: 15-of-28, 243 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions

     

    Josh Freeman did everything he could to win his Week 2 game against the New York Giants. From building a lead early in the second half to throwing a beautiful game-tying touchdown pass with less than two minutes remaining, Freeman was brilliant on Sunday.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers look much better than anyone expected this year, and Freeman getting back to his 2010 form is a big reason why. Look for him to continue to play solid football and continue to make small moves up these rankings.

20. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

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    Last Week Ranking: 18

    Week 2 Statistics: 20-of-31, 224 yards, two touchdowns, 21 rushing yards

     

    Even though Andrew Luck won his first game and did it with a fourth-quarter comeback, I still had to move him down a few spots this week.

    He looked much, much better than he did last week, but he was also playing against the rather average defense of the Minnesota Vikings. On top of that, the few quarterbacks that he was ahead had better games than Luck did in Week 2.

    The chances of Luck staying this low on the rankings for the rest of the season are rather low, but for now, he is only the 20th-best quarterback in the league.

19. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Last Week Ranking: 17

    Week 2 Statistics: 23-of-32, 371 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, 34 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, one fumble lost

     

    Even though the Philadelphia Eagles won again on Sunday, Michael Vick falls a few spots in the rankings.

    He threw four interceptions last week and followed that up with a three-turnover performance against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2. Simply put, if the Eagles want to be a legitimate contender and not just a lucky 2-0 team, Vick is going to need to cut down on the turnovers.

18. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

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    Last Week Ranking: 20

    Week 2 Statistics: 26-of-35, 310 yards, three touchdowns, one interception

     

    This is the Sam Bradford many expected to see last year, but that unfortunately didn't happen. However, Bradford has looked extremely good in his first two games in 2012 and should be in for a huge season for St. Louis.

    He was able to successfully outduel Robert Griffin III and get the Rams a big early-season victory. If Bradford continues to play at this high of a level, the NFC West could be one of the most difficult divisions in all of football.

17. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

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    Last Week Ranking: 15

    Week 2 Statistics: 22-of-42, 232 yards, one touchdown, one interception

     

    Joe Flacco looked absolutely stunning in Week 1 but took a step back in Week 2.

    He barely completed over half of his passes, and while the replacement officials didn't help much, Flacco still has to play better than he did against the Philadelphia Eagles. He made some pretty bad passes on Sunday and finished the game with a 66.8 quarterback rating.

    If the Baltimore Ravens want to be considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender, Flacco is going to need to play much better than he did against the Eagles.

16. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Last Week Ranking: 19

    Week 2 Statistics: 24-of-31, 318 yards, three touchdowns, one interception

     

    Yes, Andy Dalton's big game came against the Cleveland Browns, but he still did enough to warrant a move up these rankings.

    The best news from this game for the Cincinnati Bengals was the confidence that Dalton showed throwing to receivers not named A.J. Green. In fact, Dalton's three touchdowns were all to different receivers.

    The Bengals offense looked extremely potent in Week 2, and as long as Dalton can continue to play like he did, there is no reason for it to slow down anytime soon.

15. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

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    Last Week Ranking: 16

    Week 2 Statistics: 26-of-35, 195 yards

     

    These are the statistics that the Houston Texans should get used to seeing from Matt Schaub. They shouldn't expect him to play at an All-Pro level, but rather be a game manager to a run-first offense.

    As long as Arian Foster and Ben Tate can continue to combine for 184 yards and three touchdowns, the Texans will take a 74.3 percent completion rate and no interceptions all day long.

    It was tough to move Schaub up in the rankings considering how uneventful his statistics were; nevertheless, he remains one of the better quarterbacks in the league.

14. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

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    Last Week Ranking: 6

    Week 2 Statistics: 11-of-27, 126 yards, one touchdown, four interceptions

    No quarterback fell as far down the rankings as Jay Cutler did, but considering his performance against the Green Bay Packers, it is pretty easy to see why he dropped so far.

    Sure, Cutler got absolutely no help from his offensive line, but many, if not all, of his four interceptions were simply poorly thrown balls. Any team that was looking for a way to slow down the Chicago Bears saw it on Thursday night when the Packers destroyed Chicago.

    There wasn't a worse performance in Week 2 than Cutler's, and the Bears should really be concerned about the physical and mental health of their starting quarterback.

13. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

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    Last Week Ranking: 14

    Week 2 Statistics: 20-of-29, 206 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 82 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns

     

    I know it is crazy to rank Robert Griffin III this high after only two weeks, but this kid is just too special to rank any lower.

    Even though the Washington Redskins couldn't come away with a victory on Sunday, Griffin still did everything he could to win this game. He gave his team a 28-23 lead in the third quarter, but the Redskins defense was unable to keep the St. Louis Rams out of the end zone.

    Regardless of the score of this game, Griffin has put the entire NFL on notice that he already needs to be considered one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

12. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

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    Last Week Ranking: 13

    Week 2 Statistics: 14-of-20, 253 yards, one touchdown, 71 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, one fumble lost

     

    While Cam Newton's numbers aren't eye-popping numbers, they were still good enough to get a win and send the New Orleans Saints to 0-2 on the season.

    There will eventually come a point when Newton will need to throw for a huge number of yards like he needed to last year, but the Carolina Panthers don't need to push that if they are winning games. For now, as long as Newton is making solid decisions and managing games, the Panthers have to be pleased.

    As long as Newton continues to play smart football, he'll continue to be considered a top quarterback in the league.

11. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

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    Last Week Ranking: 8

    Week 2 Statistics: 19-of-32, 230 yards, one touchdown, one interception

     

    This is the second straight week that Matthew Stafford has struggled, so it's time for him to drop a little in these rankings.

    He did have a difficult defense to go up against in the San Francisco 49ers, but a truly elite quarterback would have done better than Stafford did. In fact, had he not thrown a pretty meaningless touchdown pass with under two minutes remaining, he would have had an even worse game.

    If the Detroit Lions really want to become a threat in the NFC, they'll need Stafford to play better than he has in the first two games of the season.

10. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers

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    Last Week Ranking: 12

    Week 2 Statistics: 20-of-31, 226 yards, two touchdowns

     

    Few quarterbacks have impressed me as much as Alex Smith has this season. After making huge strides last year, Smith has come back and continued to improve greatly in the 2012 season.

    He's outplayed two quality quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford. Of course, he's had some help from his incredible defense and a rejuvenated Frank Gore, but Smith is still playing quality football.

    As long as the 49ers continue to get games like this out of their quarterback, they'll be nearly impossible to beat.

9. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Last Week Ranking: 11

    Week 2 Statistics: 24-of-31, 275 yards, two touchdowns

     

    So this is what happens when Ben Roethlisberger isn't forced to run for his life on every offensive snap.

    Of course, Roethlisberger also didn't need to worry about Darrelle Revis, but he was still excellent in the win over the New York Jets. The best news for the Pittsburgh Steelers was Roethlisberger's play with Mike Wallace, who finished the game with five receptions, 74 yards and a touchdown.

    As long as Roethlisberger continues to play like he did on Sunday, he'll have to be considered a top-10 quarterback in the NFL.

8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

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    Last Week Ranking: 5

    Week 2 Statistics: 23-of-40, 251 yards, one touchdown, one interception

     

    I knew that ranking Tony Romo as the fifth-best quarterback in the NFL was going to come back and haunt me. However, despite losing to the Seattle Seahawks, Romo didn't do enough to drop himself out of the top 10.

    It's still early in the season, and I fully expect the rest of Romo's season to look more like than Week 1 than Week 2. As long as that is the case, Romo will have no problem ending the season as one of the 10 best quarterbacks in the league.

7. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

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    Last Week Ranking: 7

    Week 2 Statistics: 24-of-37, 241 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions

     

    Unfortunately, the Peyton Manning era for the Denver Broncos hit its first speed bump Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons.

    Manning and the Broncos struggled all game long against the Falcons. He finished with three interceptions and a 58.5 quarterback rating.

    It wasn't enough to move him down the rankings this week thanks to the play of Jay Cutler, but another poor performance could push him out of the top-10.

6. Eli Manning, New York Giants

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    Last Week Ranking: 10

    Week 2 Statistics: 31-of-51, 510 yards, three touchdowns, three interceptions

     

    How great of a performance did Eli Manning put on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

    After a horrible first half that included three interceptions, Manning went on to throw two touchdowns in the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter. One of those touchdowns was to Martellus Bennett to give the Giants their first lead since they were up 6-3 in the first quarter.

    If Manning keeps playing like this, he'll continue to make a move up these rankings.

5. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

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    Last Week Ranking: 9

    Week 2 Statistics: 24-of-32, 284 yards, three touchdowns, one interception

     

    The San Diego Chargers look like a much improved team in 2012, and that is because of the hot start of Philip Rivers. He's got four touchdowns and only one interception on the season to go along with 515 passing yards.

    While those numbers aren't overly impressive, Rivers has done a great job of consistently putting his team in a position to score. Thanks to the play of Rivers, the Chargers look like a legitimate playoff contender in the AFC.

4. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

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    Last Week Ranking: 4

    Week 2 Statistics: 31-of-49, 325 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, one rushing touchdown

     

    If Peyton Manning has another great game against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night, Drew Brees will slip a spot in these rankings.

    He hasn't been overly impressive in either of his two games, as he has just as many touchdowns as he does interceptions (four). His accuracy has been way below his career average, and his season quarterback rating is currently sitting at a pedestrian 71.6.

    With all that said, there is little doubt that Brees is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but he'll need to start playing like it, or the New Orleans Saints' season could go down the drain rather quickly.

3. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

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    Last Week Ranking: 3

    Week 2 Statistics: 24-of-36, 219 yards, two touchdowns

     

    Matt Ryan needed to do just a little more to jump Tom Brady for the No. 2 spot on this list, but his great performance on Monday has kept him firm as the third best quarterback in the league right now.

    He continues to find his weapons, whether it be Roddy White or Tony Gonzalez or Julio Jones. However, what really cements Ryan's status as the No. 2 quarterback is the fact that the Atlanta Falcons look like legitimate Super Bowl contenders through the first two weeks of the season.

    It has been a great start to the season for Ryan, and if he keeps it up he'll continue creeping towards the top spot in these rankings.

2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

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    Last Week Ranking: 2

    Week 2 Statistics: 28-of-46, 316 yards, one touchdown, one interception

     

    I really wanted to drop Tom Brady down this list for losing to the Arizona Cardinals this week, but it is hard to get down on Brady considering he is playing with an offensive line as talented as a high school unit.

    However, even without any time to throw the ball, Brady managed to throw for over 300 yards and a touchdown. In fact, Brady is such a great quarterback that he put his team in position to win this game.

    Brady could eventually get bumped from this No. 2 spot, but it is going to take a truly special performance for that to happen.

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

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    Last Week Ranking: 1

    Week 2 Statistics: 22-of-32, 219 yards, one touchdown, one interception

     

    Let's not look at the statistics from Aaron Rodgers, but rather what he was able to overcome to beat the Chicago Bears on Thursday night. Rodgers was sacked five times and under constant pressure all game long. Despite all this, he was still able to persevere and come away with a victory.

    While Rodgers is ultimately going to need to play better to remain the No. 1 quarterback in the league, with Tom Brady and Drew Brees having off games on Sunday he'll hold on to the spot for another week.