Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2013 NFL Power Rankings: Week 2

Doing power rankings is a difficult thing to do, especially after only one week. It requires taking all 32 teams and putting them in order from best to worst and when you have 16 teams tied for first place and 16 other teams tied for last place, it's especially tricky. On top of that, every fan is always super sensitive about their team and unless their team is at number one, they will complain about their team not being high enough. So why do I do it when I'm almost guaranteed to get people yelling at me no matter what order I put teams in? Well, the answer is that it gives me an excuse to write about the NFL. Even if you disagree with my order, it is fun to debate about this stuff, as long as you are courteous and reasonable with your comments. I didn't start last week because I wanted at least one week's worth of action before I started. But after all the drama that went on, let us discuss!

1- Denver Broncos - 1-0 - The Broncos have been my Super Bowl favorite for quite some time now due to their great offseason. Not only do they have Peyton Manning leading the way, but they also added Wes Welker to an already strong group of receivers. Opening night against the Ravens I think is a sign of things to come as Peyton made a mockery of the Ravens defense with all his weapons, throwing for nearly 500 yards and 7 touchdowns. With the AFC being fairly weak this year comparatively and the Broncos' division not providing much of a challenge, it is going to be hard for teams to stop the Broncos this year.

2- San Francisco 49ers - 1-0 - The Niners and the Seahawks are going to be in a constant battle all season for positioning in the NFC West and that will be a really fun battle to watch. Despite those two teams being the best two teams in the NFC, the civil war amongst the teams added to the fact that the Rams and the Cardinals aren't going to go down without a fight will probably result in the Niners and Seahawks not ending up with the best records in the NFC. They also will probably end up facing each other before the Conference Championship game, which means they also won't be the last two teams standing. Both teams won this weekend, but the Niners get the edge this weekend with their impressive win over a very good Packers team.

3- Seattle Seahawks - 1-0 - The Seahawks defense was as good as advertised on Sunday. The problem is that their offense got completely shut down by the Panthers and they barely escaped with a win. That was a little concerning to me because I was expecting a blowout in that game. Honestly, though, I think that was a fluke game and I think they will be perfectly fine. This upcoming Sunday will determine who gets that number two spot in my power rankings for the next long while as the Seahawks will play host to the aforementioned Niners.

4- Houston Texans - 1-0 - Outside the Broncos, the Texans are the other AFC team that I have confidence in this season. Besides those two, their are a lot of questions. And even with the Texans for the first half I was nervous. I do think a big part of the comeback against the Chargers was the Chargers breaking down, but regardless that was a super impressive comeback that showed this team can be very clutch.

5- Green Bay Packers - 0-1 - Yes the Packers lost on Sunday, but I am still keeping them this high because it was the Niners that they lost to and it was a very good game. The NFC North is going to be very competitive this year, but I still give the edge to the Packers to come out on top.

6- Chicago Bears - 1-0 - I had my concerns about Bears new head coach Marc Trestman, but they looked really good in their first game. The defense hasn't missed a beat. Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and Brandon Marshall all looked like they were on the top of their game. And most importantly the offensive line did their job and allowed zero sacks. If they keep this up and remain healthy then I can see the Bears challenging the Packers for the division, but in the last several years they've always had something go wrong, so I'm not betting on them quite yet. But for the moment, they deserve this high ranking.

7- Detroit Lions - 1-0 - This is a lot higher than most people have the Lions, but the Lions do have a very talented team and it showed on Sunday. Matt Stafford and Megatron have always made for a dangerous combo, but what impressed me most on Sunday was that the rest of the team also looked great. Reggie Bush gave them a solid running game on Sunday and if he keeps that up, this will be a very dangerous offensive team. Also, the Lions defense played a solid game against the Vikings and so if they keep this up I think they can put last season behind them and go back to being the playoff team that they were two years ago.

8- Philadelphia Eagles - 1-0 - Have I jumped on the Eagles bandwagon after just one game? Well, no. I've liked the Eagles chances ever since Chip Kelly got hired. The Eagles are a super talented team that with the right coach could easily go back to competing and I've thought for a while now that Chip Kelly could make the Eagles compete in the division. The game against the Redskins proved me right. Sure, the second half concerned me, but I think we will be seeing a lot more of the first half Eagles as opposed to the second half Eagles.

9- New Orleans Saints - 1-0 - Last year was a year for the Saints to forget. Those thinking that those struggles would continue this year I think were a bit foolish. Sean Payton is back as their head coach and that is a huge deal. Most encouraging, though, is how solid their defense was against the Falcons. If the defense can keep that up, I definitely believe that the Saints, not the Falcons, will be the team to beat in the NFC South.

10- New England Patriots - 1-0 - A win is a win they all say, but the Patriots' win on Sunday was very concerning. With all the players they've lost this offseason, their offense was always a huge question and Sunday's game showed that this team has a lot of problems. The upside for them is that they do have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and that alone makes it so I can't put them too low right now, but they are going to need to figure things out quickly because it's not every week that they will have the Bills on the schedule.

11- St. Louis Rams - 1-0 - This also will look a bit high for many people, but last year when everyone was giving all their attention to the Niners and Seahawks, the Rams rather quietly dominated the division, losing only one divisional game all season, that being the Seahawks. This season they added Jared Cook at tight end and Tavon Austin at receiver, giving Sam Bradford some weapons to use and that helped out big time Sunday against the Cardinals. With an already solid defense, the one main concern is the running game. Don't sleep on the Rams this year. Jeff Fisher is going to make this team compete.

12- Indianapolis Colts - 1-0 - Andrew Luck was impressive in the win on Sunday, but the big problem with the win was that it was against the Raiders. They should've beaten the Raiders by a lot more and the big trouble is that the Raiders won't be on the schedule every week. In fact their schedule gets a lot tougher as they get further into the season, so they need to step it up.

13- Cincinnati Bengals - 0-1 - There was a lot to be hopeful for in the Bengals loss this past week. One of the big ones is that their game was actually close while the Ravens, Steelers, and Browns all got clobbered in their season openers. Andy Dalton's progression is the key to this team's success and at times he looked great, but when push came to shove, the Bengals couldn't pull it off in the clutch. The Bengals do have a really tough schedule, but if the other teams in the AFC North continue to play as bad as they did, it won't take much for the Bengals to win the division. A lot of people are talking Super Bowl for this team and those that are I think are getting a little carried away. They must've have forgotten that the Broncos, Texans, and Patriots are all in the AFC again this year.

14- Kansas City Chiefs - 1-0 - I know it was only against the Jaguars, but the new look Chiefs looked great on Sunday. This team actually had a lot of talent last year despite going 2-14. They just didn't have a quarterback or a coach that could do much and now that they have both with Alex Smith and Andy Reid, I think that this Chiefs team can earn a wild card spot.

15- Atlanta Falcons - 0-1 - Despite the Falcons getting dropped by the Saints on Sunday, I still see a lot of people that are super drunk on the Falcons. I don't get it. Sure they have a talented roster on paper, but last year they were the most overrated team in football. They won 13 games on by far the league's easiest schedule, but in doing so they almost lost several games to poor teams that they should've won by double digits. If they step it up and play like everyone thinks they will play like, then I will gladly put them higher, but they have to prove it to me and after dropping their season opener, they don't deserve any higher than this in my opinion.

16- Dallas Cowboys - 1-0 - Yes, the Cowboys got a great divisional win against a good Giants team on Sunday night, but it was very worrisome to me that despite the Giants looking very disoriented in that game with seven turnovers and no running game, they still almost beat the Cowboys. It was like the Cowboys were asking to lose, but the Giants wanted to lose a bit more. Any other team would've slaughtered the Giants if they had played like that.

17- Miami Dolphins - 1-0 - The Dolphins did get a win to start the season, but it was only against the cursed Browns team. Moreover, they didn't have much of a running game and their biggest offseason acquisition Mike Wallace was obviously angry at his team and quarterback for not getting the ball more. When going up against more high caliber opponents this could cause bad chemistry issues that could be the death of this team.

18- Arizona Cardinals - 0-1 - Arizona should be happy that they now actually have a quarterback in Carson Palmer who looked very good on Sunday in the close loss to the Rams. I also think that Bruce Arians is a great hire at head coach and he will make this team competitive. The problem is that they don't have very many winnable games and so from the looks of it, this cursed franchise is probably going to stay cursed, but don't be surprised if Carson Palmer pulls off another miracle like Kurt Warner did. Both quarterbacks had an awfully similar situation heading into Arizona. Warner was even a bit worse as he was only brought in as a backup to mentor Matt Leinart.

19- Minnesota Vikings - 0-1 - With the Lions looking like they may be back in the mix this season as well as the Bears and Packers being competitive, the Vikings will probably be the odd team out this season. Adrian Peterson is a beast and he almost single-handedly took them to the playoffs last season, but I don't know if he can repeat that this year. Christian Ponder is going to need to step up and the game against the Lions didn't give much hope in terms of that.

20- Washington Redskins - 0-1 - The Redskins are another team that a lot of people have been drunk on and I personally had a feeling that RGIII would be quite rusty coming off a serious injury and no preseason practice and it turns out I was right. But it wasn't just him in that first half, the whole Redskins team look pathetic in the first half. Luckily the second half showed a lot of promise, but I still get the feeling this will be a rough sophomore campaign for RGIII. His game in the past has relied on him being super daring and bold, but that has caused several injuries already and I feel that he is going to try to learn how to take care of himself so that his career lasts longer than two seasons and this will cause a lot of adjusting on his game that in the long term will be great but in the short term will be rough.

21- Tennessee Titans - 0-1 - Well, the Titans opened up the season by surprising the nation in going into Pittsburgh and grabbing a week one win. Honestly, though, I think that game was all about the Steelers and their many problems right now rather than the Titans dominating because the Titans were only very average in that win. Outside a few scattered games against teams like the Jaguars and Raiders, there is really not a whole lot more winnable games for this Titans team that looks very void of talent.

22- Baltimore Ravens - 0-1 - The Ravens were looking decent in the first half of the Broncos game, but they were totally ripped apart in the second half. Yes, a lot of this had to do with the Broncos dominance, but there were plenty of times where it looked just too easy for the Broncos and thus I place a lot of blame on the Ravens. They looked lost and confused on both sides of the ball and you can tell that this is going to be a much different team from the one that one the Super Bowl just a few months ago.

23- Buffalo Bills - 0-1 - The Bills actually surprised me in their week one game against the Patriots and that is why they are not in the bottom few teams. But being honest, the Patriots were quite the mess with their brand new team and so the Bills were just taking advantage of that. I don't expect EJ Manuel to do much and I don't expect the Bills to win a whole ton of games, but perhaps they will prove me wrong. They play the Panthers, Jets, Ravens, and Browns in their next four games and from looking back at week one, those in theory could all be winnable games.

24- New York Giants - 0-1 - The Giants do have Eli Manning on their team as well as several good receivers, so there is a good chance that they climb up this chart in the coming weeks, but as of right now they were a big mess on Sunday night. They have zero running game and were very messy with seven turnovers. They have a lot of cleaning up to do and they need to do it fast because Eli's big brother Peyton will be in town this upcoming Sunday and right now it's looking like a very lopsided Manning bowl.

25- San Diego Chargers - 0-1 - For a whole half of the game on Sunday, I thought the Chargers of old were back in business. But nope. Phillip Rivers and company did what they did best and that is dropping winnable games. Now I actually believe in new head coach Mike McCoy, but as of now they have a lot of proving to do before I start talking them up.

26- New York Jets - 1-0 - The Jets won their home opener? How in the heck did that happen? Geno Smith I can eventually see being a decent quarterback in this league, but he really needed to sit back and watch for a while. He got the win, though. Does this mean we have overlooked this Jets team? I don't think so. I think that win is more of a fluke win that shouldn't have happened.

27- Carolina Panthers - 0-1 - On the bright side, the Panthers defense looks like it will be stellar this year. On the bad side, their offense failed to show up against the Seahawks. The Panthers could be a surprise team this season, but it will all depend on Cam Newton and how he progresses because for some reason the Panthers thought it would be a good idea to give him no more weapons to work with outside what he had last year. Another mediocre season for the Panthers and head coach Ron Rivera will be looking for further employment.

28- Pittsburgh Steelers - 0-1 - Wow. Just wow. I thought that the Steelers would pull it together like they always seem to do about every other year under Mike Tomlin and make a run for the division. It only took me one week to completely change my mind. This Steelers team is a complete mess. They have no running game. Big Ben doesn't have much to work with in terms of receivers. And worst of all serious injuries on this team are already starting to build up. It might be a long season in Steel City.

29- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 0-1 - The Bucs were my sleeper team this year and right now they are making a fool out of me. That game against the Jets was just embarrassing. It's almost sad, though, because this Bucs team is loaded with talent in just about every position. If Josh Freeman can pull it together and play consistently good like he has the potential to, the Bucs could go on a good run. They just need to put that last game behind them and move forward.

30- Oakland Raiders - 0-1 - This Raiders team is another team that surprised me this past week. Terrell Pryor actually showed some flashes of brilliance and if only he had a team around him I might think that he could actually be a decent quarterback. But that is the problem. This team is very void of talent and because of that you look at their schedule and outside their next game against the Jaguars, you really have a hard time picking out too many wins for them.

31- Cleveland Browns - 0-1 - This is another team that I think could be a sleeper team, but the problem is that they are still asleep. They have talent on defense and although I don't believe in Weedon as a quarterback, they also have talent on offense. Lucky for them, everyone else in their division got a loss this past week, so if they wake up, they still have plenty of time to make some noise. But until then, they stay in the cellar in my rankings.

32- Jacksonville Jaguars - 0-1 - Nothing the Jaguars did in the offseason made a whole lot of sense to me especially the decision they made to go into the season with only Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne as their quarterback when they had plenty of opportunities to grab someone in the second or third rounds of the draft. You get the feeling that they just want to lose, especially after watching them play the Chiefs on Sunday. I think they will pretty much be the owner of this spot for a while.

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