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NFL Week 2 Power Rankings: Birds On Top

Ray Fire

Didn’t that feel good? The NFL was back in full form this past weekend, and so were some of last year’s elite teams, along with some surprises (oh hey Tampa Bay). Each Tuesday we will release our power rankings 1-32. Here are the first rankings for the 2012 season:

1: Baltimore Ravens (1-0)

Ed Reed shows off that older is better, when it comes to the Ravens defense.

Defeated the Bengals 44-13 on Monday Night Football according to the scoreboard. According to game-film, the Ravens destroyed their AFC North rival. Joe Flacco backed up his “best QB in the league”statement with his 21-29, 299 yards, and 2 touchdown performance. Ray Rice looked like a happy paid man and the “older” defense, was simply, even better.  Tough challenge ahead with the Eagles.

2: San Francisco 49ers (1-0)

Defeated the Packers 30-22. The defense not only held Cedric Benson (the only ball carrier) to a poor performance, but they forced Aaron Rodgers to throw the ball 44 times. The reigning MVP certainly tried to do it all for his team but the 49ers offense was more explosive on this day.

3: New England Patriots (1-0)

Tom Brady not only played tough guy but he was also the teacher during the Patriots’ beat down and injuring of Jake Locker and the Titans. The only concern here was Wes Welker having three receptions and 14 yards.

4: Atlanta Falcons (1-0)

Although it got scary for a moment, Matt Ryan and Co. took care of business against Kansas City. The reason why the Falcons make it into the top 5 is the emergence of Julio Jones. They not just have one big play threat at wide receiver with Roddy White, but now Jones becomes their second #1 receiver.

5: Dallas Cowboys (1-0)

So much for a celebration night of the Giants. The Cowboys came in and laid a good Ol’ Fashion Texas beat down on the G-men. Tony Romo looked MVP caliber and the always questioned defense held their ground against Eli and his elite wide receivers. The Cowboys could be the team to beat in the NFC East this year.

6: Houston Texans (1-0)

I know it sounds crazy to have the reigning AFC South champions outside of the Top 5 especially after bullying the Dolphins, but it was expected. They get yet another week to be the bully as they take on Jacksonville this week, so don’t expect much movement from Houston until after week 3 when they take on Denver. They would’ve made the Top 5 if Arian Foster (who played well) was 100% healthy, still nervous about his situation.

7: Chicago Bears (1-0)

Although Matt Forte’s fantasy owners might be annoyed that Michael Bush got two touchdowns while he only got one, the Chicago offense is very happy in general. Jay Cutler and his old pal Brandon Marshall hooked up for a touchdown, and rookie Alshon Jeffery also caught a scoreboard changer. They face the Packers on Thursday night, so let the battled be tested.

8: Denver Broncos (1-0)

What neck injury? Peyton looked like the same old Hall of Fame destined quarterback in Week 1. He threw his 400th career touchdown during the game, and looks to have established a relationship with Demaryius Thomas (5 receptions, 110 yards, 1 touchdown). Irony, Tracy Porter (man who picked off Manning in the Saints’ Super Bowl victory) picked off Roethlisberger and returned it for six. Offense and defense making plays? Scary but good for John Elway and Bronco fans.

9: Packers (0-1)

The only time you’ll see a winless team in the Top 10. They had the toughest game outside of any other matchup in Week 1 and nearly came out with the victory. The run game was completely missing as Aaron Rodgers threw the ball 44 times. The defense can’t allow 30 points every game, better defense and better running, the Packers will be okay. Tough matchup with Chicago will either move them close to Top 5 or out of the Top 10 in next week’s rankings.

10: Chargers (1-0)

Phillip Rivers had it going from the beginning. While the game was quite ugly, it was the Chargers defense more than anything that became the ultimate opportunist. Rivers rarely made any mistakes, but the running game is still in question.

11: Jets (1-0)

So much for that Tim Tebow guy. After the Jets offense was laughable the entire pre-season, Mark Sanchez came out firing vs Buffalo. Three touchdowns and an INT that wasn’t all his fault, and he had a Tony Romo type performance on Sunday. Rookie Stephen Hill along with teammate Jeremy Kerley clearly don’t think Antonio Cromartie is the second best receiver on the team with their three touchdowns (Hill 2 Kerley 1). Speaking of the defense, they knocked Fred Jackson out for a month, but a possible concussion for Darrelle Revis may have fans worried about this week’s game vs Pittsburgh.

12: Giants (0-1)

We should be used to this by now, the Giants look disappointing in the beginning but end up getting hot late and winning the Super Bowl. That won’t be the case if this team doesn’t get it together and stay healthy. Their cornerbacks were smoked all game vs Dallas and Victor Cruz had more drops than Salsa dips. David Wilson fumbled early and was silent thereafter, causing concern in the entire running attack. The Champs better get it together, quickly.

13: Lions (1-0)

It’s almost comical that the Lions were upset by the Rams, but St. Louis’ defense was no joke. Stafford’s 3 interceptions certainly wasn’t helping Detroit but they made it count when it mattered most. Everyone must get healthy for this team to be on point, and Stafford must realize what jersey he’s throwing at. Now they face San Francisco in Week 2, will Stafford rise to the challenge?

14: Redskins (1-0)

RG3, RGIII, Robert Griffin the Third, Rookie of The Year? Oops. Well, after the amazing upset of the Saints, the Redskins look real. It was the Griffin show, and should stay that way as they face the St. Louis Rams in Week 2. Washington’s defense was able to hold off just enough in the shoot-out, but once again, all that can be said, Robert Griffin. It went from a rookie debut to the birth of “Griffining”.

15: Buccaneers (1-0)

Impressive debut for head coach Greg Schiano as he led his team to more than statement making win. They not only allowed 10 yards rushing but were in the face of last year’s Rookie Of the Year Cam Newton. If Josh Freeman can connect with veterans Dallas Clark and Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay could be a legitimate threat in the NFC South.

16: Saints (0-1)

The Saints have ton of question marks on defense but their main concern is still the bounty scandal. Once the players’ suspension are finally in place then it seems as if the Saints will be on track. Young players were stepping up against the Redskins but it’s to early to tell if the Saints were that bad or the Redskins that good.

17: Eagles (1-0)

May be shocking that a team with a victory is this low, but they actually deserve this. To struggle against the Cleveland Browns is nothing more than an embarrassment. The turnovers were all self-inflicted wounds on the team and if they don’t get it together, their dream will be a nightmare.

18: Cardinals (1-0)

They lose their starting QB in John Skelton, an oft-injured RB Beanie Wells didn’t start, but yet they still found a way to win. Who will be the starting quarterback is still in question but they face the Patriots this week, giving them little to no hope. The backups have to step up but just how big of a step can Kevin Kolb/Ryan Williams make?

19: Vikings (1-0)

We all thought Adrian Peterson was hurt. His two touchdown performance against Jacksonville was typical, but then again so was the non-explosive offense for Minnesota. Christian Ponder and the offense couldn’t move the ball while the defense allowed Jacksonville to get on the board for 23 points. A lot of things must change if the Vikings want to stay competitive in the tough NFC North.

20: Steelers (0-1)

Quite simply, the running game must get figured out. It seems almost sad to rank them this low but despite staying in competition with the Broncos, the Steelers struggled, often.

21: Seahawks (0-1)

Russell Wilson looked like a rookie in his first career game, but none in thanks to Braylon Edwards’dropped pass which would’ve won the game. The defense is there, but the offense must get rolling in order for Seattle to compete.

22: Panthers (0-1)

It wasn’t just Cam Newton but both the offense and defense struggle for Carolina vs Tampa Bay. The running game was non-existent and only a heave to Brandon LaFell got them on the board. It was an ugly game all around, but they could play spoiler and savior against New Orleans on Sunday.

23: Raiders (0-1)

Carson Palmer looked solid on Monday Night despite playing without two of his top wide receivers in Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford. The Raiders look at adversity yet again as Jacoby Ford has undergone surgery. Positive news, Darren McFadden played very well for them and could turn the corner in his career.

24: Colts (0-1)

The Colts were very unlucky in their first game (no pun intended) as they faced an angry Bears offense and defense. Andrew Luck looked great during some areas but the Bears defense played physical. It’s a learning experience for the Stanford graduate.

25: Bengals (0-1)

Andy Dalton was nearly killed on Monday night but they were facing an emotional Baltimore Ravens team. The defense looked sub-par but rookie corner Dre Kirkpatrick should change that when he returns from a knee injury. Defense and offensive line changes must be made for this team to grow.

26: Rams (0-1)

They nearly shocked the world with their upset of the high-octane offensive Detroit Lions. Their defense looks stout but the offense couldn’t move the ball. Someone will need to step up at wide receiver, if they want to keep Sam Bradford happy.

27: Jaguars (0-1)

They played very well for a team that was facing the Minnesota Vikings. The defense clearly struggled but this is a rebuilding project, and at least one side is improving. The offense is that improving side, and with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback they should continue to improve.

28: Titans (0-1)

Jake Locker is injured, Chris Johnson looks irrelevant to begin the season, and the schedule doesn’t necessarily favor them moving forward. This team must get their young stars to be just that, stars. Otherwise, they shall continue to fall.

29: Chiefs (0-1)

Matt Cassel played well in garbage time but none of the star players came to play vs Atlanta. Peyton Hillis must still be on the Madden cover with his horrific performance, and the defense allowed Matt Ryan to look like Michelangelo on them.

30: Bills (0-1)

Fred Jackson is out for a month, Mario Williams disappeared, and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s favorite receivers played for the Jets last week. The Bills only hope at this point is CJ Spiller. Good thing they face the lowly Chiefs.

31: Browns (0-1)

Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson looked like fifth-round rookie picks instead of first-round franchise changers against Philly. Surprisingly the defense held their own against a high-octane offense. This team needs a lot of help, but at least they’re trying.

32: Dolphins (0-1)

Ryan Tannehill will be the most liked played in the league just based on his work ethic. He will certainly be trying all year but who will help him is the biggest question. This team is a couple of years away from being relevant again, unless something changes in a quick manner.



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