Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season is in the books, making this an ideal time to take a step back, observe how the landscape now appears and adjust the power rankings accordingly.
The opening weekend was certainly action-packed, with plenty of upsets and surprises—as well as a few top teams asserting dominance and proving that they aren’t going anywhere this year.
Let’s take a look at where every franchise in the league appears on the updated power rankings and highlight a few squads poised to make some drastic moves in Week 2.
Week 2 Projections
Moving Up: Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens were on the wrong end of a shellacking as Peyton Manning led his Denver Broncos to a huge opening-night victory over the defending Super Bowl champions.
Manning eviscerated the tired Baltimore defense for 462 yards and a record-tying seven touchdowns last Thursday, embarrassing the team that upset the No. 1-seeded Broncos in last season’s playoffs.
With a return to normal elevation and a matchup against the Cleveland Browns on the horizon, it’s safe to say that things look up for the Ravens.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees will have his boys ready after a Week 1 embarrassment, and there is no worry that Brandon Weeden will slice through the secondary with the same ease that Manning did.
It should be a one-sided affair when these AFC North rivals do battle in Maryland on Sunday, with the Ravens set to move back up the power ranking as a result.
Staying Put: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts were fortunate enough to survive an upset scare by the Oakland Raiders but must be better prepared for an impending matchup with the Miami Dolphins in Week 2.
Andrew Luck may be one of the top young quarterbacks capable of pulling a game-winning touchdown out of seemingly nowhere, but eventually that good fortune is going to betray him.
That could happen as early as Sunday afternoon when the ‘Phins come to town as this new-and-improved AFC East team is desperate to show the world that it is for real.
Although a 23-10 victory over the Browns is impressive in its own right, the Dolphins know that they could make some real noise with a 2-0 start that involves knocking off a 2012 playoff team.
Expect a back-and-forth battle that focuses on offense, with the winning touchdown likely to come late in the fourth quarter. Because these teams are already so close in the rankings, anything less than a blowout loss shouldn’t send either tumbling too far down.
Dropping Down: New York Jets
The Jets shocked the world with an 18-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but it wouldn’t be wise to expect them to remain high-flying for much longer.
A foolish safety added two points in Gang Green’s favor during the early going, and an even more boneheaded personal foul let them get into field-goal range late in the game.
Tampa had every chance to win that one but deserves to start 0-1 after making so many mental errors and playing such poor football. The Jets’ next opponent won’t be as giving.
It’s a quick rest for the team, as New York travels to New England on Thursday to take on the Patriots—a team coming off a near-loss to the lowly Buffalo Bills in Week 1.
Although New England played anything but the disciplined, almost mechanical style of football it is known for, head coach Bill Belichick has enough time—even during the short week—to iron out the wrinkles.
Expect to see fewer mental errors and less receivers bumping into one another on the Pats’ side, although the running game may be of some concern with Shane Vereen out and Stevan Ridley fumbling.
When all is said and done, the Jets will likely lose to their AFC East rival by a big margin—possibly more than the 13.5 points they are being spotted by oddsmakers (via Bovada.lv).
Don’t be surprised to see New York quickly falling back into the basement of the power rankings after a dismal performance.