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WEEI NFL Power Rankings, Week 2: Niners have hold on No. 1 heading into showdown with Seahawks
Posted By Joe Zarbano On September 10, 2013 @ 11:56 am In General | 5 Comments
The 2013 season is underway, and naturally the overreactions from the first week of games are prevalent across the league. Four playoff teams from last season lost to non-playoff teams in Week 1. Some of these upsets had serious implications in this week’s WEEI NFL Power Rankings. For example, the Bengals dropped out of the top 10 to No. 12, and the Redskins fell all the way to No. 17.
The top five teams remained the same as last week, however there was some movement in the group. The Broncos jumped to No. 2 after a record-breaking night, and the Falcons dropped to No. 4 after falling to the Saints. The Patriots (6) and Texans (7) remain on the cusp waiting for one of the top five teams to falter.
Week 2 is all about the divisional showdowns. The most intriguing game to watch is the top-ranked 49ers at the third-ranked Seahawks, as the bitter rivals clash for the first time this year. Stay tuned to see how that game and the rest of the Week 2 matchups affect the rankings.
1. (1) 49ers (1-0) — The Niners are a flat-out scary, well-balanced team. They pressure the quarterback and can beat you in many different ways offensively. Is it too early to say the addition of Anquan Boldin is the offseason move of the year?
2. (4) Broncos (1-0) — If the Broncos can muster a relatively productive run game, their offense will be unstoppable. The amount of weapons Peyton Manning has at his disposal should be illegal. The one area of weakness for Denver is its pass rush. However, that can’t be too much of a concern with an offense that will average over 30 points per game.
3. (2) Seahawks (1-0) — The offensive line must do a better job protecting Russell Wilson if the Seahawks want to accomplish their goal of winning the division and playing at home throughout the playoffs. The team standing in their way, the 49ers, thrives at pressuring the quarterback. Seattle has a major test in Week 2.
4. (3) Falcons (0-1) — Matt Ryan may have many weapons, but his line has to protect him better if the Falcons offense is going to be successful.
5. (5) Packers (0-1) – The Packers must remain committed to running the football even though they weren’t so successful Sunday against the 49ers. They were playing one of the best run defenses in the game, so rookie Eddie Lacy can be cut some slack. Once that run game gets going, Green Bay is going to be a scary team in the NFC.
6. (6) Patriots (1-0) – It may be a few weeks before the Patriots’ well-oiled machine of an offense returns. Tom Brady and his receivers struggled to get on the same page and likely will need a few more games to figure it out. Thankfully for New Englanders, their schedule allows them some time to iron out the kinks.
7. (7 ) Texans (1-0) — A healthy Brian Cushing could make the difference in Houston, as proven in Monday night’s comeback win over the Chargers. The Texans are a resilient, balanced team.
8. (13) Saints (1-0) – The Saints defense was historically bad last year, but Rob Ryan and the D shut everyone up after holding one of the most talented offenses to just 17 points in a win over the Falcons. “Who Dat?!” nation is revitalized with the return of Sean Payton and a huge divisional win to open the season.
9. (10) Bears (1-0) — What a way for the Marc Trestman era to begin in Chicago. Jay Cutler wasn’t sacked once against one of the best front sevens in football as the Bears knocked off the Bengals.
10. (14) Cowboys (1-0) – Winning the turnover battle usually leads to W’s in the NFL, and the Cowboys were one of the worst teams at takeaways in 2012. Dallas is well on its way of passing its total of 16 from last year after causing six in its opener against the Giants.
11. (8) Ravens (0-1) – In an attempt to fill the role of Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs told his team before the season opener, “I have never seen so much disrespect for a defending Super Bowl champion in my life.” It turned out that disrespect was justified, as the champs went on to lose to the Broncos in embarrassing fashion.
12. (9) Bengals (0-1) — Following Sunday’s loss to the Bears, coach Marvin Lewis discussed his team’s lack of discipline as the Bengals committed eight penalties, three of which were for 15 yards. Cincinnati has the potential and talent to win a wide-open AFC North, but the team must keep its composure during games .
13. (15) Colts (1-0) — Protecting Andrew Luck was a point of emphasis heading into the season, but the offensive line struggled against a poor Raiders pass rush. The 2012 No. 1 pick was sacked four times but also picked up where he left off last season with another game-winning drive — the eighth of his young career.
14. (12) Giants (0-1) — The Giants have a gaping hole at the running back position. An unproductive run game to go along with a poor offensive line will have the G-Men on their heels all year until they get healthy or upgrade at those positions.
15. (19) Rams (1-0) — Jeff Fisher‘s team is loaded with young talent. One of the most exciting players is defensive end Robert Quinn. The 23-year old lineman is emerging as one of the best pass rushers in the game and made a statement to the rest of the league on Sunday as he compiled three sacks and two forced fumbles.
16. (24) Eagles (1-0) — Great divisional win by the Eagles over Washington. We got a glimpse of what Philly’s high-octane offense is capable of in the first half of Monday night’s game when Mike Vick, DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy highlighted an offensive frenzy. At the end of the game, however, Vick was limping, which naturally brings up concerns that the QB won’t be able to stay healthy through a 16-game season.
17. (11) Redskins (0-1) – It doesn’t get much uglier than that. Washington turned the ball over three times, Robert Griffin III did not look sharp, and the defense was unable to stop the run and generate any pressure on the quarterback for most of Monday night’s loss to the Eagles.
18. (21) Chiefs (1-0) — They played one of the worst teams in the league in the Jaguars, but the Chiefs should be excited about how the Andy Reid era began in KC. Not once last year did the Chiefs put 28 points on the board, and this year they did it in Week 1. Alex Smith was efficient in his debut and the defensive line was relentless with a strong pass rush.
19. (23) Lions (1-0) — The most disappointing team in the league last year closed out its season with eight consecutive losses. The Lions snapped that slide with a W in Sunday’s opener against the Vikings. Reggie Bush was the difference-maker and is a much-welcomed addition to that offense. He brings an element that Matthew Stafford has yet to play with in his NFL career.
20. (16) Vikings (0-1) – Minnesota’s winning formula consists of running the ball well with Adrian Peterson, winning the time of possession battle, and generating a strong pass rush to make up for a weak secondary. On Sunday, the Lions dominated possession with over 36 minutes and the Vikings defensive line struggled to put pressure on Matthew Stafford.
21. (20) Dolphins (1-0) — A tough stretch lies ahead for the Dolphins as they’ll play the Colts, Falcons, Saints and Ravens in the next four weeks. They’ll need a lot more production from their offensive line and run game if they want to add to the win column.
22. (26) Chargers (0-1) – The Chargers may very well have suffered the most devastating loss of Week 1. For a team starting a new chapter, blowing a 21-point second-half lead and reverting back to previous form is tough to bounce back from.
23. (22) Panthers (0-1) — The Panthers can take some positives away from their loss to the Seahawks. They played well defensively and were able to hold Marshawn Lynch to just 2.5 yards per carry. A few key mistakes were the difference, but the Panthers should be encouraged with the way they played.
24. (25) Titans (1-0) – Solid win for the Titans. They held the Steelers to 2.1 yards per carry, and Jake Locker managed the game well without turning over the ball.
25. (17) Steelers (0-1) — The banged-up Steelers have a plethora of issues. The injuries to Maurkice Pouncey, Heath Miller and Le’Veon Bell took its toll on the offense and will continue to do so until these key offensive starters can get healthy.
26. (18) Buccaneers (0-1) – The way the Bucs performed on Sunday made me double check to see if Greg Schiano was still on the sideline. There aren’t many coaches who instill the importance of discipline to their team like Schiano does. Yet on Sunday Tampa Bay committed 13 penalties, and it ended up costing the team a very winnable game.
27. (30) Jets (1-0) — Geno Smith played well enough to earn the starting job permanently in New York. At this point, there is no reason for Rex Ryan to go back to Mark Sanchez. Smith is the future; you know what you’re getting with Sanchez.
28. (27) Browns (0-1) — Another game, another Browns loss. Cleveland hasn’t won its first game of the year since 2004. Brandon Weeden should not be dropping back to pass 53 times. Trent Richardson is one of the most talented backs in the game, use him.
29. (28) Bills (0-1) — There will be plenty of growing pains for all involved as the Bills try to rebuild once again. Even rookie coach Doug Marrone proved he has a lot to learn after Week 1. EJ Manuel showed some very encouraging signs in his first NFL game.
30. (29) Cardinals (0-1) — We saw many of the same things from the Cardinals that we’ve grown accustomed to. The defense was stout, but on offense the line could not protect the quarterback and the offense wasn’t able to convert on third down.
31. (32) Raiders (0-1) – Surprisingly, there were some good signs that came out of Sunday’s loss to the Colts. Pressuring the quarterback was an uncommon sight in Oakland last year, but the defense opened the season strong with four sacks. Offensively, Terrelle Pryor made some mistakes but also showcased his speed and playmaking ability.
32. (31) Jaguars (0-1) – There’s not a worse offense in the league. Blaine Gabbert has already been ruled out for Week 2, but even when he is healthy enough to return, the Jags should stick with Chad Henne. Gabbert has shown little to no improvement and doesn’t give his team the best chance to win.
Which NFL teams are in your top 10? Leave your opinions/comments below or send via Twitter to @JoeZWEEI.
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