NFL Power Rankings: Most Surprising Teams After Week 2
With two weeks of the NFL season in the books, there are some teams that have become major surprises to begin the 2013-14 season.
But not all surprises are good, and while there are some teams who have been a pleasant surprise with their play in the first two weeks, there are other squads that have played down to their competition and aren't looking so hot.
Let's take a look at the full power rankings after Week 2 and which teams are the biggest surprises—whether positive or negative—at this early point in the season.
*Note: Most surprising teams are in italics.
1. Seattle Seahawks (2-0)
Seattle effectively shut down the San Francisco 49ers offense altogether and was able to muster up 29 points against San Fran's elite defense—although it didn't come easy. As long as this team's offense continues to improve, things will only get better for Seattle, which is unbeatable at home thanks to its sensational defense.
2. Denver Broncos (2-0)
Coming in at a close second is Denver. After crushing the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1, the Broncos went into MetLife stadium and won what was a mostly competitive game until the fourth quarter against the New York Giants. Running back Knowshon Moreno is helping to establish Denver's rushing attack, and the only questions that remain are on the Broncos defense.
3. San Francisco 49ers (1-1)
The Niners were beaten handily by the Seahawks in Week 2 in what was a statement win for the Seahawks. San Francisco had the impossible task of winning a game at CenturyLink Field and failed to do so, but there's no shame in that as Seattle was 8-0 at home last season. The Niners still possess one of the most explosive quarterbacks in the NFL, and their defense is second to only Seattle's.
4. Green Bay Packers (1-1)
The Packers once again lit an opposing defense up in Week 2 after dropping 38 points on the Washington Redskins. This came one week after the Packers were able to move the ball well and score 28 points against the Niners' stellar defense. As long as this team's defense shows up, the Packers have the goods offensively to beat anyone in the NFL.
5. Chicago Bears (2-0)
The Chicago Bears have won two close games to start the season and are already looking like a team that can win games in pressure situations.
Quarterback Jay Cutler is enjoying some success with a revamped offensive line and some more weapons to throw to. As a whole, the Bears have a potent offense that can make big plays and run the ball.
On defense, the Bears haven't been great, but they don't need to be now that things are looking up on offense. Besides, this was the same defensive unit that was stellar last season, so don't give up on it just yet.
Chicago has beaten two quality opponents in the Cincinnati Bengals and the Minnesota Vikings, which proves this team is willing and able to make some noise in the NFC.
6. New England Patriots (2-0)
The Pats are an ugly 2-0 team to start the season with the biggest reason being their young and inexperienced receiving corps. New England barely beat the New York Jets 13-10, and the concerns in the passing attack are very real, although this squad's defense is solid and can give Tom Brady some support until Rob Gronkowski gets back.
7. Atlanta Falcons (1-1)
Atlanta is off to a disappointing start to the season in 2013-14. The Falcons lost a Week 1 matchup with the Saints and their suspect defense. Atlanta was only able to score 17 points against a New Orleans team that is far from good on defense.
In Week 2, the Saints pulled out a win over the St. Louis Rams, but it was far closer than it should have been. After jumping out to a 24-3 lead over the Rams, the Falcons almost coughed up the lead down the stretch and allowed quarterback Sam Bradford to throw the ball all over the field.
That's a far cry from what this team was expected to do. After all, Atlanta was considered one of the favorites to win the NFC, but the Falcons have looked average after two weeks of play.
If this team hopes to improve, Atlanta must be more consistent on both sides of the ball. Judging from the looks of their defensive effort so far, the Falcons will need Matt Ryan and the rest of his weapons to pick up the slack.
8. Houston Texans (2-0)
Houston's start to the season can be summed up in one word: phew!
The Texans have barely beaten two lackluster squads in the San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans with their Week 2 matchup against the Titans going to overtime. Questions will remain about Houston's secondary, and the team's defense as a whole hasn't come close to being as impressive as it was last season.
9. New Orleans Saints (2-0)
The Saints offense has been solid but not as great as many expected it to be after scoring 23 and 16 points against the Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, respectively. New Orleans' biggest weakness was thought to be its defense, however the Saints defensive unit has performed better than expected after keeping the Falcons' elite offense in check and taking care of business against the Bucs.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)
The Bengals suffered a tough loss in Week 1, but a nice rebound victory in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers should give them a lift. Unfortunately, Cincy didn't beat a quality opponent on Monday night and simply hasn't elevated itself as a top team in the AFC.
11. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
While their Week 1 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars wasn't all that impressive based on the quality of their opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs did squeak out a win against a tough Dallas Cowboys team.
Nobody was certain about where the Chiefs would end up after going 2-14 last season, but it seems as though this team must be taken seriously on a week-to-week basis.
Quarterback Alex Smith is doing his job by taking care of the ball, and new head coach Andy Reid has his defense playing at a high level. The Chiefs may not break many big plays on offense, but they do have their fair share of playmakers and a solid defense to keep opposing offenses in check.
With two games apiece against the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, as well as a favorable schedule altogether, the Chiefs look to have the talent to string together enough wins in order to make a run at the playoffs in 2013-14.
12. St. Louis Rams (1-1)
The Rams have been a victim of a bad start in each of their two games thus far. In Week 2, St. Louis dug themselves in too deep of a hole and came oh-so-close to completing another comeback victory. With a ton of talent on defense and a much-improved offense, the Rams are on the cusp of being a very good team.
13. San Diego Chargers (1-1)
If not for a lapse in Week 1, the Chargers might be 2-0 thanks to their offense that looks to be explosive. San Diego's defense got torched by the Eagles in Week 2, but quarterback Philip Rivers was at the top of his game and overcame what the Eagles did to his team's defense.
Opposing teams now must respect what San Diego can do. If the Chargers' opponent doesn't bring its best game on defense week to week, Rivers and Co. will find weaknesses and exploit them.
San Diego must figure things out on defense if it wants to move up the food chain in the NFL, but after low expectations to start the season, the Chargers could not be off to a better start.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
Philly's offense has looked dynamic to say the least in the first two weeks of the season, but it's the Eagles defense that remains suspect. The Chargers dropped a ton of points on them in Week 2, and no matter how well the team can score the ball, it's irrelevant if Philly's defense continues to allow the other team to beat it up.
15. Miami Dolphins (2-0)
The Dolphins' 2-0 record is a bit misleading. Miami took care of business in Week 1 against a lowly Cleveland Browns squad and also emerged victorious against the Indianapolis Colts and their porous defense. Until this team beats a true quality opponent, doubts will remain about just how good the Dolphins will be.
16. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
Just when you thought the Cowboys would get off to a 2-0 start to the season after beating the New York Giants in Week 1, the wheels came off the momentum wagon real fast. The Chiefs were able to keep the Cowboys offense at bay in Week 2, and as usual, Dallas is stuck in neutral.
17. Arizona Cardinals (1-1)
Arizona should be 2-0 right now. However, a collapse against the Rams in Week 1 made that impossible. In Week 2, it looked as though the Detroit Lions were going to cream the Cardinals, but Arizona turned things around in the second half and played great defense. Clearly, the Cardinals will not be a stepping stone for any team.
18. Detroit Lions (1-1)
Expectations are that the Lions will play much better than they did last season, but Week 2 didn't prove that. While the Lions got off to a good start with a Week 1 win, they dropped a game on the road to the Cardinals thanks to the stalling of their offensive unit in the second half.
19. Buffalo Bills (1-1)
E.J. Manuel has been a pleasant surprise to begin his rookie campaign, and it looks as though the Bills have a viable quarterback for the future. As possible as it is for Buffalo to be 2-0 after two weeks, the same can be said about them potentially being 0-2.
20. Baltimore Ravens (1-1)
The Ravens recovered in Week 2 after a thrashing at the hands of the Broncos. However, their rebound win was against the Browns, and that didn't do much to help the Ravens' stock. We've already seen what can happen to Baltimore's defense against a good offense, and that makes it hard to believe this team can compete against the league's best.
21. Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
After a Week 1 loss to the Lions, the Vikes played another close, competitive contest against the Bears in which they lost in the finals seconds of regulation. If the ball bounces their way a few more times, the Vikings could be undefeated.
22. Indianapolis Colts (1-1)
The Colts are lucky to be 1-1. Sure, they won their Week 1 matchup with the Raiders, but that isn't exactly a quality opponent, and it certainly wasn't a convincing win. Indy faced its first test of the season against an average Dolphins team and failed miserably, so this team's chance at success is very much in doubt thanks to a slow start on offense and a horrific defense.
23. Washington Redskins (0-2)
After a great finish to the 2012-13 campaign, we all know the Redskins and quarterback Robert Griffin III are better than this. Defensively, this team looks lost, and RG3 has yet to find his stride while he shakes off rust. There should still be optimism in Washington as this team can't play any worse, and the rest of the NFC East isn't much better.
24. New York Giants (0-2)
The Giants were actually competitive against the Broncos for much of the game. This is a team that should be 1-1 at worst, if not for countless mistakes by its quarterback and running back. An 0-2 start isn't sexy by any means, but the Giants are better than what their play has shown and could easily move up the rankings if they show us something.
25. Tennessee Titans (1-1)
The Titans aren't getting any love because they haven't beaten a quality team yet. Week 1 was a gimme game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and in Week 2, the opportunity was there for the Titans to pull off an upset against the Houston Texas, but almost doesn't count.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2)
Like a few other teams in the NFL, the Bucs could easily be 2-0. Both of their losses to start the season were close. Tampa Bay's offense remains a huge question mark, but its defense has looked great to start the season. In Week 2 they held the Saints to just 16 points, so there is hope for the Bucs yet if only they can get their offense going.
27. Carolina Panthers (0-2)
The Panthers showed some competitive promise in Week 1 after barely losing to the Seahawks, but Week 2 was a big disappointment after Carolina dropped one to the Bills. Despite their rough start, the Panthers still have one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL and won't be a total pushover for any team this season.
28. Oakland Raiders (1-1)
With a Week 3 showdown against the Broncos, this may be the last time you see the Raiders with a .500 record the rest of the way. Oakland got the job done against the Jaguars, who may be even worse than the Raiders, and a victory over such a weak opponent doesn't say much for Terrelle Pryor and Co.
29. New York Jets (1-1)
Rookie quarterback Geno Smith had a rough go of it against the Patriots in Week 2, but at least the Jets have a respectable defense that can keep them in games. With two winnable contests in the next few weeks against the Bills and Titans, the Jets have a shot to shock the world and start 3-1.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-2)
Two weeks and two bad showings from the Steelers. This time Pittsburgh actually lost to a quality opponent, but there isn't much room for optimism considering their uglier loss in Week 1 to the Titans. It just seems the Steelers can do nothing right to start the season.
31. Cleveland Browns (0-2)
At least the Browns have scored a touchdown this season. Other than that, there aren't many positives to take away from two losses at the hands of the Dolphins and Ravens. As long as Brandon Weeden is behind center for this team, don't expect much success on offense.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)
If anyone has seen the Jags offense, let us know where it is. Jacksonville has yet to score a touchdown in its first two games of the season, and to prove they are truly the worst team in the NFL, the Jags lost to an almost equally bad team in the Raiders in Week 2.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?