Week two saw a top-5 battle between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. Seattle won easily and overtook San Francisco for the number two spot in the power rankings.
Denver is holding on to the top spot and shows no signs of letting it go. But there has been some movement underneath the Broncos in the rankings. The New Orleans Saints are now in the top 10, and a few teams fell far. The Washington Redskins drop all the way to number 25 after starting 0-2, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneer fell five spots to number 27 after another disappointing loss.
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1. Denver Broncos (2-0, Last Week: 1)
Denver’s win over the New York Giants showed once again how dangerous the Broncos’ offense is. The defense isn’t bad either, but Denver’s offense can score 40 points a game and carry this team all the way to the Super Bowl. That will be harder to do now that offensive tackle Ryan Clady will miss the season with a foot injury, though, so don’t be surprised if Denver’ pass blocking is shakier for the rest of the season.
2. Seattle Seahawks (2-0, Last Week: 2)
The Seahawks have now become the 49ers’ kryptonite, and that earns them the number two spot in the rankings. They look unbeatable at home, and they have the smart quarterback and tough defense you need to be a great playoff team. The best teams can also win on the road, though, so Seattle must win some big road games to prove it is a Super Bowl contender.
3. San Francisco 49ers (1-1, Last Week: 2)
It’s clear that the 49ers are a great team, but these losses to Seattle are making them look less and less like a championship team. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin and quarterback Colin Kaepernick looked average on Sunday after each had great days last weekend. Leaders like them need to be more consistent.
4. New England Patriots (2-0, Last Week: 4)
The Patriots are winning, but not in the dominant way they have in the past. This season, their victories have been sloppy, but the fact is they’re 2-0. They’ve played weaker teams like the Jets and the Bills so far, so quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick must figure out a way to score points against the league’s best teams.
5. Atlanta Falcons (1-1, Last Week: 6)
Led by Matt Ryan and a high-scoring offense, the Falcons are 1-1 but looking sharp. Running back Steven Jackson was injured in the team’s win over St. Louis on Sunday; his status should be monitored, as the running game will suffer if he misses time. The Falcons can prove whether they are the NFC’s best team when they play the Seahawks at home on Nov. 10.
6. Houston Texans (2-0, Last Week: 5)
The Texans shouldn’t have needed overtime to beat the Titans on Sunday. They’re definitely one of the league’s best teams, but they won’t be elite until they dominate lower-level teams like Tennessee. Another cause for concern is star wide receiver Andre Johnson’s concussion, which he suffered in the Texans’ win. His health will be crucial for Houston this season.
7. Green Bay Packers (1-1, Last Week: 7)
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers set his own single-game record with 480 passing yards against Washington on Sunday. The Packers offense has never been a problem. They will put up points with ease, and if the defense can contain opponents, Green Bay will remain a top-10 team and get back to the playoffs.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1, Last Week: 8)
Beating the Steelers isn’t as impressive as it used to be, but Cincy’s win over its division rival is another sign that the Bengals can win the AFC North. The defense is strong and the offense has playmakers like wide receiver A.J. Green and rookie running back Giovani Bernard. They’re too young to compete with teams like Denver and Seattle, but this team can make the playoffs.
9. Baltimore Ravens (1-1, Last Week: 9)
More concerning than Baltimore’s average play is running back Ray Rice’s injury. If he’s out, it won’t be for long, which is good for this team. The offense isn’t as explosive as it was last year, and the defense needs to find new leaders. With the Bengals looking good, the Ravens might not even be the best team in their division right now.
10. New Orleans Saints (2-0, Last Week: 12)
The Saints are 2-0 and climbing up the rankings. By beating divisional rivals Atlanta and Tampa Bay, New Orleans has a head start on winning the NFC North. The usually high-scoring Saints have scored only 39 points in their two games, but the offense should pick up. Even more importantly, the defense has only given up 31 total points.
11. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0, Last Week: 13)
The Chiefs won two total games last year, and have already gotten two victories this season.
12. Indianapolis Colts (1-1, Last Week: 10)
After almost losing to the Raiders, the Colts lost to a Dolphins team they should have beaten.
13. Chicago Bears (2-0, Last Week: 17)
New coach Marc Trestman and quarterback Jay Cutler have led the Bears to an impressive 2-0 start.
14. Miami Dolphins (2-0, Last Week: 23)
The Dolphins are coming off of a great win over the Colts. This team could be trouble for the rest of the AFC East.
15. San Diego Chargers (1-1, Last Week: 19)
After giving up a four-touchdown lead in their game one loss, the Chargers responded by beating the high-powered Eagles in week two.
16. Dallas Cowboys (1-1, Last Week: 11)
Wide receiver Dez Bryant was the only bright spot in the Cowboys’ loss to the Chiefs in week two.
17. St. Louis Rams (1-1, Last Week: 20)
Though they lost to the Falcons, the Rams made the game competitive after trailing 24-3 in the first half.
18. Minnesota Vikings (0-2, Last Week: 14)
They’re 0-2, but the Vikings lost a close one to the Bears.
19. New York Giants (0-2, Last Week: 16)
The Giants are too talented to be 0-2, but that’s exactly what they are.
20. Buffalo Bills (1-1, Last Week: 24)
Buffalo’s last-second win over Carolina will build rookie quarterback EJ Manuel’s confidence.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1, Last Week: 18)
Michael Vick and the offense had another good game, but the Eagles’ loss to the Chargers makes it tougher to believe in coach Chip Kelly’s new offense.
22. Tennessee Titans (1-1, Last Week: 26)
The Titans made it tough for the Texans, last year’s AFC South champs, to win in week two.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-2, Last Week: 21)
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers must figure out how to get a win to stay in the AFC North race.
24. Arizona Cardinals (1-1, Last Week: 28)
Quarterback Carson Palmer has made the Cardinals look much better than they did last year.
25. Washington Redskins (0-2, Last Week: 15)
RGIII is not the same player he was last year, and Washington has gotten off to a terrible start.
26. Oakland Raiders (1-1, Last Week: 27)
A win against the lowly Jaguars may not be all that impressive, but it’s good for young quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s confidence.
27. Detroit Lions (1-1, Last Week: 25)
Running back Reggie Bush’s injury doesn’t look very serious, which is good for the Lions. Detroit is not nearly as good without him.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2, Last Week: 22)
The Bucs are 0-2, but both their losses have both been close. That makes their record look better, but they still need to win soon.
29. Cleveland Browns (0-2, Last Week: 30)
The Browns held the Ravens to only 14 points, but things still don’t look promising in Cleveland.
30. New York Jets (1-1, Last Week: 31)
The Jets had a chance to beat the Patriots, but made way too many mistakes.
31. Carolina Panthers (0-2, Last Week: 29)
It’s not too late for the Panthers to compete in the NFC South, but they haven’t put up much of a fight so far.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2, Last Week: 32)
At this point, a Jaguars win will be a pleasant surprise.
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