NFL Power Rankings: Where Each Team Stands After 2nd Week
Week 2 of the 2013 NFL season provided some clarity as to who is legit and how is not, and the Seattle Seahawks made the biggest statement of the weekend.
There were many games that came down to the wire, which makes it tough to see who the contenders truly are. However, the teams at the top of the power rankings began to separate from the rest of the pack.
Fans can start to see where their favorite teams' seasons are headed. Teams that are 0-2 have fans panicking, and they will have to turn it around quickly if they want to make the postseason.
Here are my latest power rankings heading into Week 2's Monday Night Football.
1. Denver Broncos (2-0)
Denver has let teams hang around with them in the first half, but the Broncos have turned both games into blowouts. They entered the season as the favorites to win the AFC, and they have done nothing to hurt their ranking. Beating the last two Super Bowl champions to start the season was impressive, and the Broncos are the team to beat due to their utterly explosive offense.
2. Seattle Seahawks (2-0)
No team made a bigger statement in Week 2 than the Seahawks. With San Francisco coming to town, they defended their home turf and put a beating on their rival for a second straight meeting.
Neither quarterback looked particularly great, which can be credited to the strong defenses. Marshawn Lynch dictated the game, as "Beast Mode" totaled 135 yards and three touchdowns.
Seattle took a 5-0 lead into halftime, but Lynch broke the game open in the second half. A 29-3 victory, with game recap courtesy of NFL.com, has put the Seahawks in the driver's seat in the NFC West. This game could come into play when playoff seeding is on the line, and the Seahawks did what they needed to do.
3. San Francisco 49ers (1-1)
It's tough to drop the 49ers too far down the list given whom they lost to. San Francisco didn't look good at all on offense. They managed only 207 total yards and turned the ball over five times, with quarterback Colin Kaepernick throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble. It's tough to stay in any game with that many turnovers, and it's even tougher to do at CenturyLink Field.
The 49ers weren't expected to win this game, but getting crushed by a rival doesn't bode well for them.
4. New England Patriots (2-0)
The Patriots have won two games by a combined five points. Still, they have knocked off a pair of division rivals, so they have an early lead in the AFC East.
Tom Brady will have to carry the team until Rob Gronkowski comes back. He has a lot of unknowns at the receiver position, and it's impressive that he's been able to lead his team to two wins with the players he has around him.
5. New Orleans Saints (2-0)
The Saints have come through with a pair of clutch wins. A fourth-quarter stand beat the Falcons in the opener, and Drew Brees led the Saints down the field for a game-winning field goal against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
New Orleans led for most of this game but found itself trailing with 12 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. It took until time expired for the Saints to win, but a 2-0 start in the division has them looking good.
6. Atlanta Falcons (1-1)
Atlanta came off a tough lost in New Orleans to rebound with a solid win in Week 2. The Falcons built a 21-0 lead only minutes into the second quarter and then coasted the rest of the game.
Steven Jackson had only three carries against his former team before he left with a thigh injury, according to Marc Sessler of NFL.com. Quarterback Matt Ryan can carry the offense, but the Falcons will need Jackson healthy if they are going to contend for a championship. They averaged only 2.3 yards per carry on 16 attempts, so they have some work to do.
Overall it was a nice performance against the St. Louis Rams. Playing in the Georgia Dome helped the team get its first win, and it can now begin to make adjustments.
7. Houston Texans (2-0)
No team has been luckier than the Houston Texans. Call it luck, call it clutch. It doesn't matter what you call it because the team sits at 2-0 through Week 2.
After rallying from a 21-point deficit in the second half of the opener, the Texans scored in the final minutes and got a two-point conversion to tie the Tennessee Titans in Week 2. Houston won it in overtime.
The Texans have been sluggish at times this year, but they have been able to dig themselves out of holes. They can't expect to rally late against good teams, so a strong start in Week 3 would benefit them.
8. Green Bay Packers (1-1)
After a disappointing loss to the 49ers in Week 1, the Packers destroyed the Washington Redskins. Aaron Rodgers tied a franchise record with 480 passing yards. He threw for four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Green Bay led 24-0 early in the second quarter, and extended it to 31-0 midway through the third quarter before taking the foot off the gas.
James Starks took over at running back for the injured Eddie Lacy, and the veteran had a good showing. He ran for 132 yards with a touchdown on 20 carries, so the Packers can trust him to contribute this season.
This was the type of game that should have been expected. The Packers don't lose at Lambeau Field, and they don't lose in consecutive weeks. Rodgers came out with something to prove, and he looked great as his team routed Washington.
9. Chicago Bears (2-0)
Another team that has relied on fourth-quarter comebacks is the Chicago Bears. They rallied from an 11-point deficit in the second half of Week 1, and they were able to score a game-winning touchdown in the final seconds after the Minnesota Vikings controlled much of the half.
The Bears should feel good about themselves. Although neither of their opponents has a win yet, both teams made the postseason a season ago. Jay Cutler has shown that he is clutch, and he could lead the Bears back to the postseason.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
Blowing an 11-point lead hurts, but the Bengals have a chance to get a big win in Week 2. Pittsburgh comes to town for Monday Night Football, and Cincinnati needs this game. They are expected to contend in the AFC North, so winning a game in the spotlight will be an important first step.
11. Miami Dolphins (2-0)
After making some splashes in the offseason, the Dolphins look like the surprise team of the league so far. Two wins have put them out to a fast start, and they passed a test against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2. It was a back-and-forth game, and the Dolphins were able to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter to win it.
Receiver Mike Wallace didn't have much of an impact in the opener, but he was able to get more involved against Indy. He had nine receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown. If he is able to keep producing, Miami will be a dangerous team.
Two road wins to start the year is huge. The Dolphins were able to get a better performance on the ground in Week 2, and they won an important game. This result could end up coming into play as a tiebreaker down the road.
12. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
The Chiefs beat Jacksonville in their opener, and they were looking to see how they would fare against a quality opponent. They passed the test against the Dallas Cowboys with a one-point win.
It was a solid all-around performance by the team. Alex Smith was able to manage the game and not make a key mistake. The team needed a clean game out of their quarterback, and Smith did just that.
Kansas City has equaled its win total from a season ago, and it could be a contender in the AFC.
13. Baltimore Ravens (1-1)
The Ravens haven't looked very good in the first two weeks, but the defending champions deserve some respect. They lost to the Broncos in the opener, and they moved on. They trailed the Cleveland Browns 6-0 at halftime and responded with a pair of touchdowns in the second half.
Garrett Downing of BaltimoreRavens.com reported that Ray Rice has a hip strain, and this is a team that can't afford injuries to key playmakers. The defense is in rebuilding mode, and Joe Flacco needs help on offense.
14. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
After beating the New York Giants in the opener, the Cowboys were unable to go on the road and beat the Chiefs. The biggest difference from one week to the next: turnovers. Dallas forced six turnovers against the Giants and won by five. The Cowboys lost the turnover battle 2-0 to the Chiefs and lost by a point.
Dallas was unable to get much on the ground, so Tony Romo will have to find a way to carry the offense.
15. Indianapolis Colts (1-1)
The Colts had a tough loss in Week 2, but they had some encouraging performances. Andrew Luck had another solid game, but it was his receivers who stepped up. T.Y. Hilton had 124 receiving yards, and Coby Fleener had 69 yards with two touchdowns.
Indianapolis put up 448 yards, so the offense knows how to move the football, but they have to protect Andrew Luck better. The defense was shaky, but the Colts lost to a good team.
16. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
Everyone wanted to see how the Philadelphia Eagles would respond after a big first game. In Week 2, the offense didn't look great in the first half, but part of that was because San Diego's offense controlled the ball.
The second half was a completely different story. The Eagles had four drives—five if you count the final play—in the second half, and they scored on each of those possessions. Each of those four drives went at least 49 yards, but the Eagles never had the ball for more than four minutes in the entire game.
Michael Vick threw for 428 yards and two scores, and he added 23 rushing yards with another touchdown. LeSean McCoy had 167 total yards on 16 touches, and DeSean Jackson had 193 receiving yards and a touchdown.
The offense is going to put up points. Now the defense must find a way to get stops. It allowed the Chargers to score on each of the first three drives before getting stops on four of the next five drives. However, the Chargers scored on their final three possessions, including a game-winning field goal in the final seconds.
Chip Kelly has changed the team for the better. This could be a surprise team this year, but the defense will need to make stops.
17. St. Louis Rams (1-1)
There is no shame in losing in the Georgia Dome. Most teams suffer a similar fate, but not many teams would be able to make a big comeback. The Rams chipped away at a 24-3 halftime deficit, and they got it down to 31-24 with a few minutes remaining. It was too late to complete the comeback, but it showed a lot of toughness.
18. Tennessee Titans (1-1)
The Titans had a lot to gain this week and looked like they were going to rise to the occasion. They blew an eight-point lead late in the game, and they couldn't get the big stop in overtime.
A win would have sent a message to the AFC South. It would've given the team a 1-0 start in division play, and it would have been a big confidence builder for Jake Locker.
19. Arizona Cardinals (1-1)
Arizona was the victim of a last-second field goal in Week 1, but they rebounded well at home this week.
The Cardinals faced a 21-13 deficit late in the third quarter. Instead of giving up, they started to get back in the game. Quarterback Carson Palmer led three scoring drives in their final four possessions, and he got his team down the field for a game-winning touchdown with only a few minutes to play.
Arizona fans should be very optimistic about this team. Patrick Peterson is one of the best players in the league, and the offense finally has a good quarterback. Palmer was able to complete passes to 10 different receivers, and he will thrive with Larry Fitzgerald.
There's probably not enough talent on both sides of the ball to make the playoffs, but the Cardinals should be competitive this season.
20. Detroit Lions (1-1)
The Lions got a big win against the Vikings in the first week, but they were unable to go on the road and beat the Cardinals. They won only two games on the road last season, and they aren't off to a great start this year.
Reggie Bush had only 69 total yards after an electrifying debut, but that was due in large part to injuring his knee. Detroit needs him to be consistent if they are going to get back to the playoffs.
Calvin Johnson rebounded from a disappointing opener. The receiver had six receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns. However, last year showed that he can't carry the team by himself.
21. San Diego Chargers (1-1)
San Diego should be 2-0. They played well enough to win in Week 1, but couldn't finish off the Texans. This week the Chargers won a wild game.
Philip Rivers looked good again, which is an encouraging sign for San Diego. The quarterback threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns. He has seven touchdowns to only one interception through two games.
The Chargers overcame two fumbles and got a field goal in the final seconds to escape with a big win. The key to the game was keeping the offense on the field. Rivers led the team on seven scoring drives, and the Chargers had back-to-back drives that ended in fumbles that covered at least 40 yards.
Philadelphia never had the ball for more than three minutes and 41 seconds. San Diego had six drives that lasted longer than that, and had another one that fell just seconds short. The offense was able to stay on the field and move the football.
It has been a wild few weeks for the Chargers, so keep an eye to see how they play in Week 3.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)
Pittsburgh looked terrible in Week 1. The offensive line is inexperienced and now has to replace Maurkice Pouncey. The running game is dealing with injuries. Week 2 becomes a must-win situation for the Steelers in prime time, or they will be in store for a long season.
23. New York Giants (0-2)
Turnovers doomed the Giants for a second straight week. They committed six turnovers against the Cowboys last week, and they turned the ball over four more times this week.
After cutting into Denver's lead and making it a 17-16 game, Eli Manning threw three interceptions in the next five possessions. The quarterback has five touchdowns to seven interceptions in two weeks, which shows that he needs some help.
The running game struggled again. The team rushed for 23 yards on 19 attempts, so Manning didn't get much support.
24. Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
It's time to panic in Minnesota. After making the playoffs last season, the team is 0-2 in the NFC North and hasn't faced the Packers yet. Adrian Peterson has started strong this season, but the passing attack still has room to improve.
25. Washington Redskins (0-2)
Talk about slow starts. By the time opponents have finished their first drive in the third quarter this season, Washington has been down 33-7 and 31-0. The offense has yet to score in the first half. The defense needs to stop allowing teams to throw all over it, and Robert Griffin III needs to play better in the first half.
Griffin has thrown for 649 yards and five touchdowns in two games. However, he hasn't put up strong numbers early in the game when his team is still in it. He already has three interceptions after throwing only five all of last season.
The Redskins allowed 480 passing yards, but they also let the Packers run all over them. Coming into the game, the Packers hadn't had a 100-yard rusher in 44 games. James Starks ran all over the defense, and the Packers cruised to a victory.
Whether it's rust or he's just not 100 percent, Griffin needs to play better if Washington is going to contend.
26. New York Jets (1-1)
Geno Smith was unable to lead a game-winning drive for the second straight week. He struggled against the Patriots, but the defense was able to hold its rival to 13 points.
Smith has looked fairly good in the first two weeks, but it will still be a long season for the Jets.
27. Buffalo Bills (1-1)
The Bills lost to the Patriots in the final seconds last week, but they responded by beating the Carolina Panthers with only a couple of seconds left on the clock in Week 2.
EJ Manuel led the team 80 yards in 96 seconds to steal a win. The rookie showed a lot of poise by leading his team to the victory.
The Bills have some talent on offense. Manuel, C.J. Spiller, Steve Johnson and Robert Woods are all solid playmakers, so there is some hope in Buffalo.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2)
Tampa Bay has lost both games on last-second field goals, so it really isn't that far away from being 2-0. However, the Buccaneers still lost and find themselves looking for answers. Josh Freeman's time in Tampa Bay could be nearing an end as controversy continues to swirl around him and head coach Greg Schiano.
29. Carolina Panthers (0-2)
Carolina has lost two tough games, and Cam Newton has been held in check for the most part. He has only 354 passing yards in two weeks. Carolina won't win many games with that little production out of the quarterback.
30. Oakland Raiders (1-1)
Who will finish with the worst record in the NFL?
Terrelle Pryor didn't have a monster game like some expected. He should've dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he was still able to lead his team to a victory in his third start. There is some optimism surrounding Pryor, and he could lead the Raiders to a few victories this year.
31. Cleveland Browns (0-2)
The Browns held the Ravens scoreless for a half, but they were unable to find the end zone in this game as Joe Flacco improved to 11-0 against Cleveland. Brandon Weeden does not look like the answer in Cleveland. The offense continues to struggle as it has scored only 16 points this season. The Browns look like they are headed for another long season and a quarterback change in the near future.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)
Losing to the Raiders says it all. Gus Bradley will need to figure out whom to keep for the future, but he hasn't been able to take away many positives through two games.
*All stats are courtesy of NFL.com
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