Week 2 NFL Power Rankings: Denver Broncos "Take It"

Dustin Bradford

Week 1 of the 2013 NFL Season was filled with tons of intrigue and exciting games. It's like Christmas for us rabid fans.

There were a couple of shockers and my preseason rankings were obviously off in a couple of areas, but for the most part it played out as I would have expected. Only three teams in my bottom ten won a game this week, however, half the teams in my top 16 did lose. What does that mean? It means several teams I didn't think would take that next step have in fact begun to take that next step.

The two biggest surprises for me came from the Buffalo Bills and the Oakland Raiders in losing efforts and the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles in their victories this weekend. I assumed the Chiefs would handle the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars, but 28-2? No, that is still an NFL team at home we're talking about here.

Let's see how things got blown up this week in my NFL Rankings. Check out last week's power rankings here.

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1

Denver Broncos

A 49 point beat down of the defending Super Bowl champions more than warrants a jump back to the top spot. I do believe this is what Brian Dawkins meant when he said, "TAKE IT!"

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2

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers played a great game at home against the Green Bay Packers in what could be a prelude to the NFC Championship game. Colin Kaepernick is an absolute stud and probably the most dangerous quarterback in the National Football League right now, since he can beat you with both his arm and his legs. The only reason they only jumped to the number two spot is because of the seven touchdown passes Peyton Manning tossed in his season debut.

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3

Seattle Seahawks

Ho hum. That about sums up the Seahawks opening day game against the Panthers, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt as this same Panther team gave Russell Wilson issues last season as well. In my heart, I think the Seahawks are around the 7th best team in the NFL, but I'll keep them up here with the elite teams until they prove me differently.

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4

Green Bay Packers

The Packers are one of the few losing teams to move up in rankings today, but it really was a game of Goliath's on Sunday between Aaron Rodgers and the 49ers. As I was watching that game, I really felt like I was seeing two elite teams slugging it out for bragging rights. The 49ers had homefield advantage and that might have been just the edge they needed to knock the Packers out in Week 1.

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5

New Orleans Saints

I got criticized for putting the Saints in my top 10, but so far it looks like I got it right so far. The win against the defending NFC South Champions is enough to leap frog Drew Brees and the Saints into the top 5 this week. In the end, I think the Falcons are the better team, but for now the Saints have the edge taking a critical division game at home against a perennial playoff contender.

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6

Atlanta Falcons

The game between the Falcons and Saints was a hard fought divisional slugfest, so I wasn't surprised to see the Falcons come up just short in their 23-17 loss. Matt Ryan played okay, but beating Drew Brees and the Saints in their house takes more than just okay. I expect this squad to get back on track next week and I wouldn't bet on the Saints when they come to the Georgia Dome later this season.

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7

Chicago Bears

This spot was either going to be the Bengals or Bears. Judging by their game on Sunday, I was again right to rank them 10th and 11th respectively. This time, it was the Bears that seized victory from a Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall touchdown pass late (whoa, Broncos circa 2008 anyone?) that sealed the deal for the Bears.

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8

New England Patriots

Tom Brady and the Patriots pulled a rabbit out of their hat to take the victory against the Bill, but that just makes it look even worse. This team is in trouble, but perhaps the return of Rob Gronkowski will get this team back near the top five. They will still win the AFC East, but this squad could be one and done in the playoffs.

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9

Cincinnati Bengals

Sure they lost, but they looked the part of a playoff team against another playoff team. Andy Dalton will likely never go beyond the Phillip Rivers type of talent level, but with A.J. Green he has a weapon that should help this team put up enough points to compete.

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10

Baltimore Ravens

The temptation to drop the Ravens like a stone in the rankings was great, but the reality is they were steamrolled by the best team in the league, so I had to take that into account. We'll see if the defending Super Bowl champions figure things out in the coming weeks.

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11

Houston Texans

The Texans got surprised in San Diego yesterday. Though Matt Schaub and the Texans started getting it going late, their defense just didn't look the part at all until the very end. They definitely saved face, but to open the season up getting exposed through the air doesn't bode well for this club. It will be interesting to see how they hold up in the coming weeks.

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12

Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo and the Cowboys took one of the biggest leaps up my board after their Sunday Night beating of Eli Manning and the Giants. This team does that though. They give you glimpses of awesomeness then suddenly they look like trash. However, the reason I liked enough of what I saw to give them this big of a bump was the resurgence of Miles Austin. Dez Bryant, Austin and Jason Witten is enough weapons to have me thinking this team could be a legitimate threat to make the playoffs.

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13

Detroit Lions

The Lions are looking pretty dang good. Reggie Bush adds a dynamic that should make this offense absolutely explosive. Matt Stafford will have no excuses this year, not with both Bush and Calvin Johnson to dish the ball too. The only problem I see, is where do they make the playoffs? The NFC North is one tough division.

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14

Philadelphia Eagles

For a team to walk into a division rivals own house with a new coach and new scheme and dominate the divisional crown winner from the year before more than warrants a huge leap in power rankings. I'll be the first admit that I was stunned by the offensive display in the first half by this squad. Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy are beasting right now.

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15

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs dominated the Jaguars from start to finish, but there were so many solid performances by other teams against superior teams that I just couldn't justify moving the Chiefs up the boards any more than four spots. We'll need to see more of this team before making any definitive judgement's.

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16

San Diego Chargers

Phillip Rivers had a monster game on Monday Night Football, but their roster is still rather weak and I'm not one to over sell their performance here - especially after the same old folding like a wet piece of paper at the slightest hint of adversity. I gave them a respectable bump anyway for how they played the Texans, but let's see how they do on a road against another perennial playoff team. Cough, Broncos, Cough.

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17

Washington Redskins

It's good to know Mike Shanahan still knows how to build a solid defense. Without Robert Griffin III, I would have to believe Shanny would already be on the hot seat with the Redskins. We'll have to see if he can pull things together well enough to compete for a Wild Card spot, because in the end I think two games likely separates the division winner from the cellar dweller in the NFC East.

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18

New York Giants

For a team that committed six turnovers, they really looked good. In fact, they damn near won the game against the Cowboys. Eli Manning and the Giants won't commit six turnovers every game, so I have to believe they might be the better team than the one they lost to. We'll know more after they play Peyton Manning and the Broncos next week.

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19

Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck and the Colts needed a late score to top the Oakland Raiders last week, so if you are wondering why they dropped in my rankings so badly its because they almost lost to the Raiders. At home. In fact, they should be ashamed of themselves.

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20

St. Louis Rams

I was buying Rams stock during the offseason, but they really needed a ton of luck to overcome the Cardinals in the season opener. I expected a little more from Sam Bradford than what I got, so I have to believe they might not be as good as I thought.

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21

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are not a great team judging by what I saw. Six wins maybe? They did beat the Browns, who looked absolutely terrible, so I thought what better way to reward the Dolphins than by giving them the former-Browns spot on my rankings. Ryan Tannehill. Blah.

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22

Pittsburgh Steelers

Oh my how the mighty have fallen. Ben Roethlisberger has no protection, no running game and few other offensive weapons, so don't expect much in the way of points. The Steelers will get to seven wins by virtue of their defense, but not much more. Troy Polamalu is a certifiable freak of nature.

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23

Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton and the Panthers played the Seahawks tough, but in the end they fell short. Newton seems to fall short in most of his games, so I am hesitant to even consider buying stock in their performance last week. Besides, they'll likely get steamrolled by the two powerhouses in their division anyway.

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24

Minnesota Vikings

Adrian Peterson is a beast, but he won't get anywhere near 2000 yards rushing this season. It's just too hard to do. Don't believe me? Ask the other FIVE players who have done in it in NFL history. The Vikings also don't have a quarterback, so expect them to finish near the bottom of the powerful NFC North.

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25

Tennessee Titans

Where did this defensive team come from? Their scrappy nature could help within the division as well. Don't be surprised if it helps them top the Colts for second place in the AFC South. I'll need to see a bit more to start buying heavily into this team.

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26

Buffalo Bills

E.J. Manuel looked good in his debut, but the Bills lost because their are stupid. They just need to trade C.J. Spiller to a team that actually understands how to use him. That way, the ignorant Bills coaching staff can just keep using Fred Jackson, since that seems like what they prefer anyhow.

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Cleveland Browns

The Browns still have a solid defense, but I definitely overvalued the ineffectiveness of a terrible quarterback. Brandon Weeden is terrible, which makes me wonder just how terrible Colt McCoy was if Weeden was the better option! Either way, they are back down here near the bottom where they obviously deserve to be.

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Oakland Raiders

I must admit, I was licking my chops when Andrew Luck had the Colts up big early, but rather than lay down like every other Raider team over the last couple of years when the going got rough, this team fought back and damn near won the game. We'll see just how far a Tebow-like limited quarterback can take them.

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29

Arizona Cardinals

It appears the Cardinals are not as good as people though. Oh wait, I thought they were not very good. I may be changing my tune in coming weeks, because I actually liked what I saw from Carson Palmer. However, when it came to closing the deal they folder. Already down 0-1 in this tough division doesn't bode well, especially when you consider they haven't even played Seattle or San Francisco yet.

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30

New York Jets

Yes they won and yes they still suck. In fact, I'm so not a believer in Geno Smith that I ranked the Raiders a few spots higher because I am a bigger believer in Terrell Pryor. If the Jets win four games this year it will need to be against division rivals.

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31

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers were another team I was criticized for ranking too low. Look people, they lost to the freaking Jets! They JETS! I'd love to put them last, but even this team is better than the Jaguars - maybe even some high school teams too.

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32

Jacksonville Jaguars

Whelp, looks like I had this team ranked right when I did my original ranking back in April. Shutout offensively, but they did somehow manage a safety. Hapless. That is the only word that fits. How Tim Tebow wouldn't be a worthwhile endeavor for this joke of a franchise is beyond me. At least they'd be losing with style.

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