NFL Power Rankings: Most Impressive and Disappointing Teams Heading into Week 3
The first two weeks of the 2013 NFL schedule have produced a number of unpredictable results, and as such, more than a handful of teams are in unexpected positions heading into Week 3.
For starters, at least three teams that went into the season with legitimate postseason aspirations find themselves winless through two games, while another trio that missed the playoffs a year ago finds itself a combined 6-0 thus far.
With so many surprising performances, here's a look at the most impressive and disappointing teams through the first two weeks of the 2013 campaign, as well as complete power rankings for all 32 NFL squads.
NFL Power Rankings Heading into Week 3
|3||San Francisco 49ers|
|5||New England Patriots|
|6||Green Bay Packers|
|8||Kansas City Chiefs|
|10||New Orleans Saints|
|15||San Diego Chargers|
|17||St. Louis Rams|
|23||New York Giants|
|27||New York Jets|
|28||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
No. 8 Kansas City Chiefs
Yes, Kansas City upgraded in two very important areas by bringing in longtime Philadelphia sideline boss Andy Reid and ex-49ers quarterback Alex Smith, but success has come more quickly to the Chiefs than most would have expected.
The Chiefs' 28-2 win over the Jaguars during Week 1 was nothing to write home about, but last Sunday's stunning victory over the Cowboys said a lot about the confidence this team has in itself and certainly bodes well for the future.
In particular, Smith's 233-yard, two-touchdown passing performance was encouraging, and the 57 yards he gained on the ground were very uncharacteristic for the former No. 1 overall pick, who has never been thought of as a mobile quarterback.
Now, with 2-0 K.C. set to take on the Eagles in Reid's return to Philadelphia, look for his new team to play with a ton of emotion as the Chiefs try to win one for their new coach.
No. 23 New York Giants
Just one full season removed from winning the Super Bowl, the Giants figured to stand a good shot at making the playoffs after finishing just short a year ago.
But so far, Tom Coughlin's squad has been very disappointing.
It's true that the Giants' loss to the Broncos in this year's edition of the Manning Bowl wasn't unexpected, as big brother Peyton has Denver's offense firing on all cylinders, but a minus-23 point differential isn't exactly encouraging.
What's been especially troubling has been the play of Eli Manning, who has tossed a total of seven picks against five touchdowns in two games, complete with a QBR of 47.9.
He obviously doesn't shoulder the blame for the Giants' 0-2 start on his own, as the team ranks last in the NFL in rushing yards and the defense has allowed an average of 38.5 points per game thus far.
No. 11 Miami Dolphins
Like the Chiefs, Miami hasn't beaten any Super Bowl contenders en route to a 2-0 start, but that doesn't mean that the Dolphins' success thus far hasn't been extremely impressive.
After a blowout win over lowly Cleveland in Week 1, second-year signal-caller Ryan Tannehill played at least as well as former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck during the Dolphins' triumph over Indianapolis and finally developed some chemistry with new No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace.
Against the Colts, Miami's defense hounded Luck all afternoon and managed to get a stop against the star quarterback's offense in the dying moments of the fourth quarter to secure a win.
After a pair of feel-good wins on the road, the Dolphins will get their biggest test thus far when they take on Atlanta in Miami on Sunday, and if Joe Philbin's team can move to 3-0, it'll be time to start taking this team seriously.
No. 26 Washington Redskins
Clearly, Robert Griffin III is still trying to get back to where he was prior to the devastating knee injury he suffered during the postseason against Seattle last year, but the reigning NFC East champs' struggles run much deeper.
To begin with, Washington's defense has been absolutely atrocious, spotting Green Bay and Philadelphia a combined 51 first-half points during the Redskins' two games, which, as Grantland's Bill Barnwell points out, has had D.C. facing historically large deficits:
Just three teams since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger have trailed by more at halftime over their first two games than Washington.
Of course, a good chunk of this is on RG3 and company, because except for the six touchdowns the Redskins have scored far after games have been out of reach, Kyle Shanahan's offense has been incapable of putting points on the board.
It's not overly surprising that Griffin's needed time to shake the rust off after his second major knee surgery, and the early calls for Kirk Cousins to take over the starting job are both unrealistic and unwarranted.
But Griffin does need to to start getting better moving forward.
No. 24 Minnesota Vikings
After earning a playoff berth last year, the Vikings entered 2013 with hopes of at least doing the same this season, but so far, Minnesota has struggled at both ends of the field.
In Week 1, the Vikings dropped a disappointing game to the Lions and followed that up last week with a heart-breaker at the hands of the Bears.
Two games in, Christian Ponder has been a weakness for the Vikings, as his three interceptions against the Lions were a backbreaker and his overall inability to get a consistent passing game going has put more pressure on Adrian Peterson to produce on the ground.
But with three straight games against mediocre teams, Minnesota does have a golden opportunity to get things back on track by Week 6.
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