NFL: 2013 Week 2 Power Rankings

Derrick GContributor IIISeptember 11, 2013

NFL: 2013 Week 2 Power Rankings

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    With just a week in the books, we have learned a few things about the NFL already this season.

    Yes, the Jacksonville Jaguars are as bad as everybody thought they'd be. And yes, the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers are just as scary as we had imagined, maybe even more so.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers may be in store for their worst year since Ben Roethlisberger was drafted, and the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills may have found the franchise passers they've been searching for.

    Now let's see if what we've learned continues to hold true in Week 2.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    The Jaguars started the season in the bottom spot, and a two -point performance gave little reason to change that. Blaine Gabbert threw for 121 yards, and Maurice Jones-Drew added just 45 yards as the offense did nothing all game. 

     

    Season High: 32

    Season Low: 32

    Change: No Change

31. Oakland Raiders

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    It was a good start to Terrelle Pryor's tenure as the Raiders' starting quarterback; however, fans will mostly remember the interception that sealed the loss. Still, he gave the Raiders that extra dimension on offense only a mobile quarterback can give and threw the football well for the most part.

    The Raiders lost, but fans have to be encouraged moving forward.

     

    Season High: 31

    Season Low: 31

    Change: No Change

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Tampa Bay isn't this bad on paper, but after a loss to the Jets, the Buccaneers drop down the rankings. Quarterback Josh Freeman completed under 50 percent of his passes, and a costly mistake on defense set the Jets up for the game-winning field goal.

    The Bucs are much more talented than their ranking, but they need to show it on the field. 

     

    Season High: 27

    Season Low: 30

    Change: -3

29. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Ben Roethlisberger was sacked five times against the Tennessee Titans, and if things weren't bad enough for the Steelers offensive line, they also saw Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey go down for the season.

    Pittsburgh got nothing out of the running game and only managed 195 total yards. With no line, no running game and no time for Roethlisberger to find a receiver, it is looking like it will be a long, hard year in Pittsburgh. 

     

    Season High:23

    Season Low: 29

    Change: -6

28. Minnesota Vikings

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    Adrian Peterson proved last season that a running back can carry a team, but even one of the best runners in NFL history needs a little help from his quarterback. Peterson didn't get that from Christian Ponder, who threw three interceptions and turned the ball over for a fourth time with a fumble.

    Whether or not the Vikings are able to return to the playoffs, you have to think they will be looking at other quarterback options moving forward. 

     

    Season High: 26

    Season Low: 28

    Change: -2

27. Cleveland Browns

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    Despite three interceptions by Brandon Weeden, the Browns had the lead over the Miami Dolphins at halftime. Weeden and the offense added only a field goal in the second half, and Miami took advantage. The Browns defense held the Dolphins to just 17 rushing yards.

    If the offense could sustain a few drives, the Browns may have one of the best defenses in the league, but until they get better quarterback play, we'll never know. 

     

    Season High: 19

    Season Low: 27

    Change: -8

26. Buffalo Bills

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    The Bills may have lost to the perennial AFC East champion New England Patriots, but they gave Tom Brady and company all they could handle. Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel was handled with care, throwing the ball half as much as Brady did. Manuel played well, however, completing 18 of 27 passes and throwing for two touchdowns.

    The Bills have to be happy with what they've seen so far out of him and will likely give him more responsibility as the season wears on.

     

    Season High: 26

    Season Low: 29

    Change: +3

     

25. Arizona Cardinals

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    It was a hard-fought game, but the Cardinals and new quarterback Carson Palmer weren't able to get the job done against the division rival St. Louis Rams, despite holding an 11-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter. The good news is Palmer looked far better than any quarterback the Cardinals threw out last year, and he was able to involved Larry Fitzgerald to the tune of 80 yards and two touchdowns.

    Season High: 21

    Season Low: 25

    Change: -4

24. Tennessee Titans

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    The Titans defense harassed Pittsburgh all day, sacking Roethlisberger five times and forcing two turnovers while holding the Steelers to just 15 yards rushing. Eventually quarterback Jake Locker will need to step up, but in Week 1, the defense was all the Titans needed. 

     

    Season High: 24

    Season Low: 28

    Change: +4

23. San Diego Chargers

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    The Chargers appeared to be in control for the majority of the game against the Houston Texans, but a fourth-quarter pick-six and a game-winning field goal later left San Diego left wondering what had happened.  

    It looked to be an impressive start for a team whose failures are blamed on Norv Turner, but now that the embattled coach is gone, this team needs to live up its talent. 

     

    Season High: 22

    Season Low: 23

    Change: -1

22. New York Jets

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    Geno Smith looked sharp in his NFL debut, throwing for 256 yards and a touchdown and leading the game-winning drive. Veteran tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. looked like his old healthy self, catching seven passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. The defense played well too, keeping Doug Martin in check while holding Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman to an under 50 percent completion percentage. 

     

    Season High: 22

    Season Low: 30

    Change: +8

21. St. Louis Rams

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    Of Sam Bradford's 299 passing yards, Tavon Austin and Jared Cook were the recipients of 182 of them. Fans have been calling to give Bradford weapons for years, and the two key offseason acquisitions showed us why. If this offense keeps rolling, perhaps the Rams will be that dark-horse contender many thought they could be in the NFC playoff race. 

     

    Season High: 21

    Season Low: 24

    Change: +3

20. Carolina Panthers

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    The Panthers were only able to muster seven points, but to be fair, the Seattle Seahawks defense is one of the best in the league. Still, you expect more out of a team with a quarterback who is as dynamic as Cam Newton. The good news is the defense held strong against a Seattle offense that was dominant in 2012. 

     

    Season High: 17

    Season Low: 20

    Change: -3

19. Miami Dolphins

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    The defense was impressive, forcing three interceptions and bottling up Trent Richardson for most of the game. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill did what he needed to get the win, but the running game is going to have to be much better if the Dolphins are going to be competitive throughout the season.

     

    Season High: 19

    Season Low: 20

    Change: +1

18. Indianapolis Colts

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    The Colts won but struggled against a weak Raiders team. Andrew Luck was efficient in the win, totaling three touchdowns. The defense did a good job of stopping first-year starter Terrelle Pryor, but it took a game-clinching interception to seal the win. Now, Indy has to prove it can do it against tougher competition. 

     

    Season High: 18

    Season Low: 18

    Change: No Change

17. Washington Redskins

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    The Redskins just couldn't keep up with the offense that Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles were running on Monday night, and with quarterback Robert Griffin III returning from a knee injury, they couldn't match the pace, either. They made a valiant comeback attempt after being down 33-7, but it just wasn't enough.

     

    Season High: 11

    Season Low: 17

    Change: -6 

16. Cincinnati Bengals

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    The Bengals couldn't get anything going on the ground, as BenJarvus Green-Ellis was bottled up for 25 yards. In addition, quarterback Andy Dalton threw two interceptions as Cincinnati watched a fourth-quarter lead disappear.

    Turnovers were the Bengals' primary issue; the offense had no trouble moving the ball, and the defense played reasonably well. 

     

    Season High: 13

    Season Low: 16

    Change: -3

15. Philadelphia Eagles

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    So far, so good for Chip Kelly and his fast-and-furious version of an offense. The Eagles sprinted out to a 33-7 lead and made the Redskins play catch-up for the rest of the game. While the final score was close, the Eagles controlled it throughout and showed that they can't be counted out in the NFC East. 

     

    Season High: 15

    Season Low: 25

    Change: +10

14. New York Giants

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    Eli Manning threw for 450 yards on Sunday night, but he also threw three interceptions including a pick-six that sealed the loss. Taking care of the ball is a critical part of winning in the NFL, and the Giants didn't do that. Six turnovers resulted in a defeat to the rival Dallas Cowboys. On Thursday, they face Peyton Manning and the red-hot Broncos.

     

    Season High: 12

    Season Low: 14

    Change: -2

13. Kansas City Chiefs

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    Maybe Alex Smith is the answer that the Chiefs been searching for, or maybe their opponent just made him look good. Maybe this is one of the more dominant defenses in the NFL, or maybe Jacksonville was just offensively inept.

    Either way, a win is a win, even against the lowly Jaguars. Give it a week or two before deciding if this team is an actual contender. 

     

    Season High: 13

    Season Low: 16

    Change: +3

12: Chicago Bears

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    The Bears had to come from behind to pull out a win against the Bengals, but Jay Cutler was up for the challenge. It was a good start for him, but you never know what you are going to get from the Bears quarterback. He has proved to be inconsistent over the years; now he needs to show he can have success for more than just short stretches at a time. 

     

    Season High: 12

    Season Low: 14

    Change: +2

11. Dallas Cowboys

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    The Cowboys defense came up big in the Week 1 win over the Giants, forcing six turnovers including Brandon Carr's game-clinching pick-six. Tony Romo completed 36 of 49 pass attempts, and DeMarco Murray added 80 yards rushing.

    Six turnovers won't be standard for this defense, though, so the 450 yards they allowed through the air is cause for concern.

     

    Season High: 11

    Season Low: 15

    Change: +4

10. Baltimore Ravens

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    Despite a rough outing in Denver, many people are going to forget that the Ravens held the lead at halftime and looked like they would be tough to beat. Unfortunately for them, they were playing against Peyton Manning, and the game didn't end well.

    Still, the defense is a talented group, especially in the secondary, despite giving up seven touchdown passes. There are a lot of new players who need to learn how to work together, but they will get there. 

     

    Season High: 6

    Season Low: 10

    Change: -4

9. Atlanta Falcons

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    In a game similar to last year's loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Falcons once again drove down to the red zone and saw a fourth-down pass tipped away to seal the loss. Stephen Jackson averaged seven yards per carry, so the Falcons have a lot to look forward to with an improved ground game this season. They just need to put this tough loss behind them and move on. 

     

    Season High: 5

    Season Low: 9

    Change: -4

8. Detroit Lions

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    Reggie Bush gave the Lions the spark they were missing on offense, with 90 yards rushing and 101 yards receiving. A defense that struggled in 2012 forced four turnovers and held Adrian Peterson under 100 yards, so it did its part as well. Perhaps that 4-12 season was a fluke. 

     

    Season High: 8

    Season Low: 10

    Change: +2

7. Houston Texans

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    It took all the Texans had to pull out the win in San Diego, but the defense stepped up when it needed to—as did second-year kicker Randy Bullock, who delivered the game winner. Arian Foster struggled more than usual, but Matt Schaub picked up the slack with three touchdowns through the air. 

     

    Season High: 7

    Season Low: 8

    Change: +1

6. New Orleans Saints

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    Before Saints fans get too excited, let's remember they won one against the Falcons last year as well. Still, the Saints and their infamously bad defense held a talented offense to just 17 points, and the offense looked as sharp as ever. Maybe having them in the top 10 to start the season wasn't so crazy after all. 

     

    Season High: 6

    Season Low: 9

    Change: +3

5. Green Bay Packers

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    The Packers lost to a tough San Francisco 49ers team but were able to keep it close. It came down to the last play, when one of the team's major issues surfaced as the offensive line let San Francisco get to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers had to force a pass with a defender draped on him, and it didn't make it much past the line of scrimmage. The line and the defense remain issues, but Green Bay is still a tough team.

     

    Season High: 4

    Season Low: 5

    Change: -1

     

4. Seattle Seahawks

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    It wasn't what you would call an impressive win for the Seahawks, but they got the job done against Carolina. Russell Wilson passed the ball efficiently but found the end zone just once. Marshawn Lynch had a rare bad game, managing just two-and-a-half yards per carry. The defense was still impressive, giving up just seven points.

     

    Season High: 4

    Season Low: 7

    Change: +3

3. New England Patriots

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    It's tough to drop a team after a win, but it never should have come down to a game-winning field goal for the Patriots against the Buffalo Bills. Maybe this is the year Tom Brady slows down, or maybe he just needs a healthy Rob Gronkowski back. The Patriots offense was still able to move the ball well; they just weren't quite as dominant as we've seen in the past. 

     

    Season High: 2

    Season Low: 3

    Change: -1

2. San Francisco 49ers

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    I had two concerns for the Niners heading into the season. One, could Anquan Boldin replace Michael Crabtree adequately? Two, could Colin Kaepernick adapt to defenses adjusting to him?

    San Francisco answered both questions. Boldin had more than 200 yards, while Kaepernick threw for more than 400 despite the Green Bay defense keeping him in the pocket. The Niners sure look like the team to beat in the NFC.

     

    Season High: 2

    Season Low: 3

    Change: +1

1. Denver Broncos

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    After seven Peyton Manning touchdowns, the Broncos showed that they deserve the top spot to start off the season. More impressively, they came from behind to win as well. It sure didn't feel like they were losing for over a half before blowing out the defending champions.

     

    Season High: 1

    Season Low: 1

    Change: No Change

     

    I hope you enjoyed this slideshow, and thanks for reading. Comments are appreciated, but if you want to complain about where a team is ranked, please give some thoughtful reasons instead of insults.

    You can follow me on Twitter @deg4.