NFL Power Rankings Week 2
Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books, and we now know a little bit about every NFL team.
The key word there is a little bit. Since half the teams won, and half the teams lost, it's impossible to have a totally accurate idea of how each team ranks. No playoff berths were clinched in Week 1, neither were any teams guaranteed a losing season.
Nevertheless, Week 1 was likely an accurate sample in many ways as well. Some teams looked like legitimate Super Bowl contenders, others have terrible flaws that look like they could be fatal. We even saw some surprise performances (such as Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.)
How does each NFL team stack up going into Week 2? Read on to find out.
32. Denver Broncos
Third AFC West
Week 2 opponent: Cincinnati Bengals
Staying up late in the East Coast to watch the second game in Monday Night Football's doubleheader was hard even for the most diehard NFL fans.
The game was a sloppy one full of penalties and turnovers. The Oakland Raiders defense manhandled the Denver Broncos offense, causing two fumbles, an interception and a blocked punt.
Despite getting run-happy with John Fox as their head coach, the Broncos running game was still basically non-existent with 38 total rushing yards. Their offensive struggles weren't limited to the running game as already Kyle Orton was hearing boos and demands for Tim Tebow to play instead. Their defense continued to appear woefully inept with Darren McFadden gashing them for 150 rushing yards.
With all the problems surrounding the Broncos, I get the feeling it doesn't matter who starts at quarterback. They're going to lose anyway.
31. Cleveland Browns
Third AFC North
Week 2 opponent: at Indianapolis Colts
For a team that was entering 2011 optimistic about an easy opening schedule, the Cleveland Browns sure underwhelmed this week. They lost at home by 10 points to the Cincinnati Bengals—a team that was a popular pick for worst team in the NFL going into the season.
Colt McCoy continued to struggle at quarterback completing only 19-of-40 passes with an interception. Additionally, it's a mystery who's even there to receive the ball in Cleveland's unimpressive receiving corps. By giving up 10 points in the fourth quarter and failing to score any during that time, the Browns continue to struggle in closing out close games.
This week, the Browns actually have a good chance at winning when they take on the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have fallen into total disarray and are plummeting down the rankings. If the Browns can't capitalize on this easy opening schedule, their hope will be all but gone towards the end of the year when their schedule gets extremely difficult.
30. Carolina Panthers
Fourth NFC South
Week 2 Opponent: Green Bay Packers
Last year, the Carolina Panthers owned the bottom spot in most NFL power rankings going 2-14 for the NFL's worst record. Expectations were absolutely bleak this year with the Panthers dealing with a new coach, a new quarterback, and arguably, the NFL's most difficult division. That triple whammy indicated a rebuilding season with another terrible record.
Well, the Panthers could still be headed for a terrible season, but at least, they looked promising in Week 1. Granted Cam Newton's 422 passing yards were against the miserable Arizona Cardinals pass defense, but still, he was other-worldly compared to the Panthers quarterbacks last year. Steve Smith looked like a new man and offseason acquisition Greg Olsen looked great in his Carolina debut.
Newton's play level will have to go down as he faces better defenses. Also Carolina's defense looked almost as bad as they did in 2010. People who are talking up the Panthers should remember as good as they played, they did lose the game.
Expect the defending Super Bowl champions to bring the Panthers back to earth this week and to keep them in the loss column.
29. Cincinnati Bengals
1-0 1st AFC North
Week 2 opponent: at Denver Broncos
Although the Bengals won, it's hard to believe they've finally turned the corner. This win came against a struggling Cleveland Browns team that folded in the fourth quarter. Don't be fooled by the win, there are myriads of issues left with this team.
There's still issues with what looks to be a mediocre receiving corps. Besides Cedric Benson, it's hard to count any other offensive playmakers. They can't be carried by their stingy defense every week.
Their difficult division difficult schedule should lead to lots of losses real soon. It might even come as soon as this week at the Denver Broncos.
28. Kansas City Chiefs
4th AFC West
Week 2 opponent: at Detroit Lions
Normally, playoff teams from the year before don't plummet so far down the rankings list.
Normally, playoff teams from the year before don't lose by 34 points at home to a perennial doormat. The Kansas City Chiefs 41-7 loss to the Buffalo Bills was their worst home opener loss ever. This is for a team that consistently has losing seasons and hasn't won a playoff game since 1993.
The Chiefs were horrible in the preseason as well as they failed to get a win. If they can't even compete against the Bills, how are they supposed to have a chance against their brutal schedule this year? Before Sunday's stinker, they already had the feel of a letdown team, now they're basically there already.
Safety Eric Berry was lost for the season with a left knee injury.More reason to be worried about a pass defense that is quickly joining the NFL's worst. The Detroit Lions have got to be looking forward to their matchup this week.
27. Buffalo Bills
Second AFC East
Week 2 opponent: Oakland Raiders
It may seem odd that the Buffalo Bills would be just barely above the Kansas City Chiefs. They so completely dominated the Chiefs that it would seem the Bills are a far superior team.
I won't deny the possibility that this is the year the Bills have turned it all around. Ryan Fitzpatrick has quietly become one of the NFL's most underrated starting quarterbacks. Their Chan Gailey-coached offense might be good enough to challenge in an offense heavy AFC East.
The main reason the Bills are so low on this list is their past record. They have the longest absence from the playoffs for any NFL team going back to 1999. Also it'll be rare that a team will so completely lay down like the Chiefs did.
26. Minnesota Vikings
Fourth NFC North
Week 2 opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The above picture is a good symbol of the Minnesota Vikings 2011 season. As good as he is, All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson can't carry this team by himself. Without the help of his teammates, he will go down, and with him, the Vikings hopes for a playoff berth.
They only lost to the mighty San Diego Chargers by a touchdown so it would seem that they are getting better. A closer look reveals problems such as Donovan McNabb throwing for only 39 yards. Their secondary also was lit up allowing 330 passing yards.
McNabb has been steadily getting worse the last couple years, and unlike with their quarterback last year, the Vikings probably won't be afraid to bench him. Already in Week 2, they have pressure rising as they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. An 0-2 start could set off the alarm and bury the Vikings too deep in the standings for them to have any hope of contending in the strong NFC North.
25. Seattle Seahawks
Fourth NFC West
Week 2 opponent: at Pittsburgh Steelers
It's unusual that a playoff team from the year before has so much pessimism surrounding their season. But then again, circumstances were very unusual last year when the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West with a 7-9 record. The Seahawks did not look like a playoff team then, and they certainly don't look like one now.
Currently Tarvaris Jackson is their starting quarterback in what can only be interrupted as a "Suck for Luck" strategy. With the exception of the injured Sydney Rice, there are no players on the offense that scare anyone. And the offensive line looks particularly awful giving up five sacks and forcing Jackson to constantly be on the run.
The NFC West is still incredibly weak so the Seahawks may yet have a chance. But their schedule does them no favors this week as they travel across the country to take on an angry and hurting Pittsburgh Steelers team looking to inflict pain. There's a scary matchup that's got to be giving Jackson nightmares.
24. San Francisco 49ers
First NFC West
Week 2 opponent: Dallas Cowboys
Even with their win in Week 1, there are still a lot of issues surrounding the San Francisco 49ers. Somehow, Alex Smith is still starting at quarterback and consequently their offense seems just as stagnant as ever. Only 209 yards of total offense will not usually be enough to win a game.
Take away Ted Ginn Jr's two return touchdowns in the fourth quarter and they barely get past the lowly Seattle Seahawks.Their offense needs to step up especially since their defense looked very good last week.
The 49ers will be hosting the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2. This interesting matchup should give us a better idea of how good the 49ers are. For them to reach the playoffs, their going to need to get wins at home against average teams like the Cowboys.
23. Indianapolis Colts
Fourth AFC South
Week 2 opponent: Cleveland Browns
The MVP award should now be called the Peyton Manning award. Now that Manning is finally missing an extended amount of playing time due to injury, we see why the Indianapolis Colts needed him so much. Cause without him it's ugly, really ugly.
The Manning-less Colts were underdogs in Week 1 against the Houston Texans, but few expected a 34-7 Texans blowout. This loss gave the Colts a good case for being the NFL's worst team. The only reason they're not listed at the bottom here is the fact they have other good veteran players that figure to step up and make this team competitive in future weeks.
That doesn't change the fact that they were thoroughly outplayed by a team that under Manning they beat basically every time.Their inability to either run or defend the run has become a glaring problem. Kerry Collins looked like he should have stayed retired after completing only 16-of-31 passes and fumbling twice.
Now in the rare position of underdog, the Colts are very much in danger of ending their nine year playoff streak.
22. Miami Dolphins
Fourth AFC East
Week 2 opponent: Houston Texans
I actually was somewhat impressed by the Miami Dolphins performance in Week 1. For all the heat Chad Henne and their offense took during the offseason, they were able to come up with 390 passing yards. Perhaps, their offense is better than people give them credit for.
That being said, the defense was awful Monday night. Even against a prolific offense like the New England Patriots, giving up 517 yards is disgraceful. Despite the improved offense, the Dolphins aren't good enough to win shootouts with no help from their defense.
For Week 2, the Dolphins will remain at home to take on the Houston Texans. The Dolphins are one of the few NFL teams that struggles to play at home having gone 1-7 there last year and losing 10 of their last 11 at home. With the Texans high-scoring offense coming in, this could be another miserable home game for the Dolphins.
21. Arizona Cardinals
Second NFC West
Week 2 opponent: at Washington Redskins
The Arizona Cardinals are another team that won in Week 1 but not convincingly. Their win over the Carolina Panthers was ugly especially on the defensive side of the ball. Can Newton's historic debut was very much contributed to by the Cardinal's horrific pas defense.
Besides the pass defense, the rest of the team did well on Sunday. Kevin Kolb proved to be a significant upgrade from last year's quarterback mess.They even had a good running game for once with Beanie Wells gaining 90 rushing yards.
What started the year as the easiest schedule in the league doesn't figure to get too difficult when the Cardinals travel to face the Washington Redskins in Week 2. The Redskins may be better than initially expected, but on paper, are still a very beatable team. The Cardinals have to avoid being overconfident and be aware of the time change playing on the East Coast.
20. Tennessee Titans
Third AFC South
Week 2 opponent: Baltimore Ravens
The Tennessee Titans actually get a higher spot on these rankings despite losing. Their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars was close, and with Peyton Manning's injury leveling the AFC South playing field, this team could potentially still challenge for their division title.
What was worrying about the loss to the Jaguars was Chris Johnson's disappearance. Part of that can be attributed to Johnson's holdout from training camp but still the second-highest paid running back in the NFL should do way better than that. Johnson is the focal point of Tennessee's offense, and their chances greatly decrease without him playing well.
The Titans take on their former division nemesis the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2. The Ravens are stout against the run, and like the Jaguars, they have their own star running back in Ray Rice. The Titans are going have to play extremely hard to stay in this game and keep their fans in their seats at LP Field.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars
First AFC South
Week 2 opponent: at New York Jets
The Jacksonville Jaguars opened themselves up to all kinds of scrutiny when they released starting quarterback David Garrard. Yet, journeyman backup Luke McCown came in and played a conservative game. Against the Tennessee Titans, it was enough to give the Jaguars their first win.
What makes the Jaguars so different from other NFL teams in this passing league is their run-first mentality. Maurice Jones-Drew is still among the league's elite running backs and easily the Jaguar's most powerful weapon. Giving him the ball a lot gives them a clock-controlling offense that should help their defense stay plenty rested.
Next week, the Jaguars will face the New York Jets, one of the AFC's finest teams. An upset win here could signify that the Jaguars are going to give the Houston Texans some competition for the AFC South crown.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Third NFC South
Week 2 opponent: at Minnesota Vikings
This is not how a promising young team wants to start the season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their opener at home to the Detroit Lions—a team they were favored to beat. The Buccaneers had entered the 2011 season with high expectations following their surprising 10-6 season in 2010.
Although the scoreboard indicated a close game, it's concerning how the Buccaneers lost. The Lions shut down the Buccaneers running game letting them finish with only 56 rushing yards. The Lions also moved the ball with ease against Tampa Bay's young defense.
Thankfully for the Buccaneers, they didn't lose any ground in the NFC South since every other division rival lost their opener. That means a win against the Minnesota Vikings this week would give the Buccaneers a share of first place in the division. A loss would make 2010 begin to look like a fluke year that was caused by an easy schedule.
17. St. Louis Rams
Third NFC West
Week 2 opponent: at New York Giants
Even with a loss, the St. Louis Rams still look like the best team in the NFC West. Still a large part of that is due to the NFC West's weaknesses, with no NFC West teams appearing in the top half of the rankings. Maybe the Rams will get there later this year, but for this week, they were basically dominated at home by a very good Philadelphia Eagles team.
The Rams also had a nasty case of the injury bug Sunday. Steven Jackson and Sam Bradford were among the key players that were hurt. Their availability is key to the Rams success this year.
Another thing the Rams have to worry about is their run defense. The Eagles aren't known for being a running team, yet they still accumulated 236 rushing yards against the Rams. If they don't play better this week, the New York Giants runners could have a field day against them.
16. Dallas Cowboys
Third NFC East
Week 2 opponent: at San Francisco 49ers
Even with all the talk of Tony Romo being an elite quarterback, the problem still remains that he can't finish games. Last Sunday in the Meadowlands, Romo choked yet again under pressure, and this time, it really hurt his team.
Crazy as it sounds, Sunday's game was the first time in franchise history that the Dallas Cowboys lost a game after having a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter. But Romo's fumble and pick helped give the New York Jets the comeback victory. This loss hurts even more because it was against a Jets team that is one of the best in the AFC.
Should the Cowboys lose this week in San Francisco, it will be hard not to have flashbacks to last year's disastrous 1-7 start. Supposedly, the problem was coaching which was fixed the hiring of Jason Garrett. If they get off to another slow start, Jerry Jones may look to make some on field changes instead.
15. Atlanta Falcons
First NFC South
Week 2 opponent: Philadelphia Eagles
The Atlanta Falcons entered the season as Super Bowl favorites a year removed from having the best record in the NFC. After Week 1, they have now been outscored 78-33 in their last two meaningful games and 0-4 in the preseason. Evidently, the Falcons have some problems to deal with.
A lot of these struggles go back to their Achilles heelthe defense. Like in the playoffs against the Green Bay Packers, the Falcons continued their defensive trouble in the opener.
The Falcons have traditionally been better at home under Mike Smith so a game at the Georgia Dome comes at a welcome time. Although this will be the fourth straight year they play the Philadelphia Eagles, this will be the first time Michael Vick is starting against the Falcons. Regardless of how the game plays out, it should be an emotional one for both Vick and the Falcons.
14. Oakland Raiders
First AFC West
Week 2 opponent: at Buffalo Bills
It wasn't pretty, but the Oakland Raiders finally won an opening game. This was the first time they had won an opener since 2002—the last season they had a winning record. The win also continued their AFC West dominance, giving the Raiders eight consecutive wins over division rivals.
Despite knowing that this is a passing league, the Raiders take pride in both their ability to run and stop the run. With a healthy Darren McFadden, the Raiders could have one of the league's top running games this year. Their rush defense was best in the league in Week 1, allowing only 38 yards and completely taking away the Denver Broncos running game.
Surprisingly after their second game of the season, either the Raiders or the Buffalo Bills will be 2-0. The Raiders have struggled with letdown games after big wins in the past. Getting a win here could finally distinguish them from the flawed Raiders teams of the last eight years.
13. New York Giants
Fourth NFC East
Week 2 opponent: St. Louis Rams
Losing to the Washington Redskins by two touchdowns would seem to indicate that you're really bad.The Redskins are expected by many people to be among the NFL's worst teams. This loss hurts the New York Giants even more because they had owned the Redskins lately having won six consecutive games against them.
Even with the loss though, I still think the Giants have the potential to be an above-average team like they usually are. They still have a tough defense particularly in their always good defensive line. Even with their recent choking ways, the talent still remains from a team that won the Super Bowl several years ago.
Perhaps, the Giants biggest problem now is the crazy amount of injuries they are having. Both Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora are injured leaving the defensive line a little vulnerable while receiver Hakeem Nicks might also be hurt. Their Week 2 game against the St. Louis Rams features two teams suffering from injuries that could really use breaks.
12. Detroit Lions
Second NFC North
Week 2 opponent: Kansas City Chiefs
The Detroit Lions have been getting a lot of buzz, entering 2011 as one of the league's sexy young teams. A lot of that has to do with a dominant four-game winning streak to close off 2010. The Lions can also attribute their success to some recent draft picks who are playing really well.
Defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa was a great win for a team that recently went several years without getting a road win. Also a healthy Matthew Stafford and a healthy Jahvid Best seems to translate to a more than healthy passing game and running game respectively. Even their defense which had only recently been terrible, played well for the big road win.
The Lions get to open at home this week with a game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs struggled in all facets of the game last week and looked generally awful. This could be a rare occasion where the Lions actually enjoy the good side of a blowout.
11. Washington Redskins
First NFC East
Week 2 opponent: Arizona Cardinals
The Washington Redskins are one of this week's surprises on the rankings. Just one week ago, it seemed everyone was down on the Redskins, mostly due to their difficult division and quarterback controversy.
Things changed a bit after the Redskins took care of business against the New York Giants in week 1. Despite the uncertainty at the quarterback position, the Redskins have a solid team on both sides of the ball. And if Rex Grossman continues to play like he did Sunday, the Redskins might good enough to make some noise in the NFC East.
For Week 2, the Redskins will stay home, this time taking on the Arizona Cardinals. Both teams had losing records last year yet one will be 2-0 after this week.
10. San Diego Chargers
1-0 2nd AFC West
Week 2 opponent: @ New England Patriots
As usual, the San Diego Chargers got off to a slower start at the beginning of the NFL season. They barely beat the Minnesota Vikings, winning 24-17 in a game that shouldn't have been as close. It's a sign of progress that the Chargers won this game, considering most years, they end up losing a lot of games like these towards the beginning of the year.
Like expected, the Chargers offense continues to be among the league's best. Their defense also looks solid, even after giving up a lot of rushing yards to Adrian Peterson. Strangely, it's their special teams that are still the problem as was evidenced by a Percy Harvin kick return touchdown literally the first play of the season.
One of the marquee matchups for Week 2 is the Chargers game against the New England Patriots. Some respected NFL analysts believe these are the two best teams in the AFC. These teams could very well meet again in the playoffs.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers
Fourth AFC North
Week 2 opponent: Seattle Seahawks
The Pittsburgh Steelers may seem ranked too high on this list after what happened in Week 1. They were terrible in their blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Judging only by that loss the Steelers could be among the worst teams in the NFL.
But you can't judge a team by one game. That loss was very telling, and it revealed some serious flaws such as a weak secondary and a slow defense that is aging rapidly. The Steelers return 21-of-22 starters from the Super Bowl so they should respond positively from the Baltimore beatdown and return to their normal standard of play.
Their Week 2 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks gives the Steelers an excellent opportunity for a win. The Steelers are favored to win big and show the NFL world that the Ravens domination of them was a fluke. This team is incredibly dangerous when backed into a corner so the game against the Seahawks could be very one-sided.
8. Houston Texans
Second AFC South
Week 2 opponent: at Miami Dolphins
Finally, the path seems clear for the Houston Texans to have their first playoff berth ever. They dominated the Indianapolis Colts, making it clear who the AFC South favorite is. The Texans are now in an unusual role—the role of being a favored team.
Their explosive offense is still elite in both running and passing the ball. What's telling is that even without Arian Foster, the Texans still had a great day running the ball thanks to efforts from Derrick Ward and Ben Tate. And finally, their defense seems decent, which is way better than last year when their horrible pass defense dragged them down.
The Texans will face the Miami Dolphins for their second game. It'll be interesting to see how the Texans offense does against a Dolphins defense that was shredded by the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. Likewise, it will be interesting to see if the Texans defense can put together another good performance.
7. New Orleans Saints
Second NFC South
Week 2 opponent: Chicago Bears
The New Orleans Saints are the highest ranked team on this list to lose in Week 1. It's hard for this elite team to feel too much shame in losing by eight points to the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. Although the Packers led for much of it, the Saints kept it close and even had an exciting comeback that fell short by one yard.
Still allowing 42 points in the season opener offers some reason for concern especially since the Saints allowed 41 points in their playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Evidently, their defense is not as good as the championship unit that helped them win the Super Bowl in 2009. Also despite having three very good running backs, the Saints had trouble running the ball all night especially in short-yardage situations like the one that cost them the game.
Since Sean Peyton and Drew Brees arrived in New Orleans, the team has had one of the best homefield advantages in football. That's why they've got to be happy about returning to their loyal fan base at the Superdome this weekend. Even though they play a difficult team in the Chicago Bears, home-field advantage could be a factor that prevents them from falling to 0-2.
6. Baltimore Ravens
Second AFC North
Week 2 opponent: at Tennessee Titans
The Baltimore Ravens responded in a huge way to any critic who questioned their ability to contend or their ability to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 35-7 win marks the Ravens' largest margin of victory against the Steelers ever.
The victory happened because the Ravens got off to a fast start and did not slow down. They continued moving the ball with ease even getting 170 rushing yards against a Steelers team that is known for stopping the run. It also helped things that the Steelers were literally giving the ball back to the Ravens with a team-record seven turnovers happening during the game.
The Ravens were so completely better than the Steelers that it's hard to really get much out of this game. It's also going to be hard for the Ravens to top this kind of performance. Although their Week 2 game against the Tennessee Titans looks like an easy one, maybe this week the Ravens will be brought back to earth with a closer game.
5. Philadelphia Eagles
Second NFC East
Week 2 opponent: at Atlanta Falcons
So far, the hype seems correct about this Philadelphia Eagles team. They were brutally efficient in their season opener, easily beating a St. Louis Rams team that is favored to win the NFC West. The 31-13 victory involved good play by their many new offseason acquisitions who seem to have adjusted to the Eagles quickly.
There are some areas of concern particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Rams running back Steven Jackson scored a touchdown on his team's first offensive play and had he not gotten hurt, he likely would have piled up yards against the Eagles. Also, Michael Vick takes way too many hits a game so the Eagles need to do a better job protecting their star quarterback.
For Vick, the Eagles next game is probably one of the most important ones of his career. He will finally start against his former team the Atlanta Falconsa team that both loved and hated him during his time there. Now that his career is reborn in Philadelphia, Vick will attempt to show the Falcons how much he has improved since he left there.
4. Chicago Bears
First NFC North
Week 2 opponent: at New Orleans Saints
Many NFL analysts are probably wishing they could take back the words they said regarding the Chicago Bears. Even though this team played in the NFC Championship last year, nearly everyone expected them to fall bellow .500 and not return to the playoffs. Even last year when the Bears were one of the NFL's best teams, they were disrespected to a ridiculous extent with so many people ruling them off as a fluke.
Well if the Bears that showed up in Week 1 stay the rest of the year, this is possibly the NFC's best team. Although their defense bent against the Atlanta Falcons, it did not break as they allowed no offensive touchdowns, forced two fumbles and got one interception. Jay Cutler also played well at quarterback completing 22-of-32 passes and tossing two touchdowns.
This weekend, the Bears have quite a challenge as they travel to face the New Orleans Saints. Opposing teams have torn apart the Saints defense so maybe the Bears offense will have another big day. It will be interesting to see if their defense can stop a Saints offense that is one of the league's best.
3. New England Patriots
First AFC East
Week 2 opponent: San Diego Chargers
The New England Patriots season-opening win against the Miami Dolphins was a great one. The Patriots offensive explosion brought to mind previous Patriots teams namely two of the greatest ever, the '07 Pats and the '10 Pats. But unlike those teams, in this game, Tom Brady threw for the most passing yards in Patriots' history and fifth most all time with 517 yards.
This Patriots offense is so good it doesn't seem to matter who gets the ball. Last week, offseason acquisition Chad Ochocinco had only one catch while the Patriots young tight ends combined for 199 yards and two touchdowns. It doesn't matter who gets the ball, all that matters is Brady will throw the ball a lot on what is currently the NFL's No. 1 pass offense.
There are some concerns about the defense though. The Dolphins torched the Patriots' secondary, and if their defense could have made some stops, the game would have been much closer. If the San Diego Chargers pass offense has a similar game, the Week 2 game may come down to who can win in a shootout.
2. New York Jets
Third AFC East
Week 2 opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars
The New York Jets grinded out an emotional last-minute victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. It was a great comeback as the Jets became the first team to overcome a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter against the Cowboys.
This game was not a traditional Jets victory. For one thing, they seemed to almost give up running and instead had Mark Sanchez throw for 315 yards. Although defensive superstar Darrelle Revis had a rare interception, the pass defense was mostly burned by a talented Cowboys receiving corp that gathered 326 passing yards.
Still a win is a win, and like last year, it seems like the Jets know how to be very clutch this year. They also are one of the rare teams that can talk a ton of trash and still back it up. These reasons make the Jets massive favorites in their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2.
1. Green Bay Packers
Third NFC North
Week 2 opponent: at Carolina Panthers
Is it any surprise the Green Bay Packers are the No. 1 team on these power rankings? The Packers looked every bit the part of Super Bowl champions in their victory against the New Orleans Saints. The Packers 42 points was the most a Super Bowl champion had scored in an opener ever.
Their offense is still scary good. Aaron Rodgers might be playing the best football of any quarterback in the NFL right now. The returns of tight end Jermichael Finley and running back Ryan Grant make this team almost unbeatable.
This week against the Carolina Panthers is a matchup between the NFL's best team from a year ago and the NFL's worst team from a year ago. It's very hard to see any way the Packers lose this game but we must remember anythings possible. As long as the Packers keep winning and playing great football, they've got the number #1 spot in these power rankings locked down.