2012 NFL Power Rankings: Week 2

Sorry for the delay. Posting Week 2 Power Rankings after the week started makes my rankings look kind of stupid, like having the Bears that high. But whatever. I have been working very hard to make this site more presentable and easier to look at. I removed the terrible ads that were screwing up every page, and am in the process of making it easier to navigate. Not to mention a lot more pictures and logos! So while you wait for the construction to be finished, here is the rankings for week 2. Enjoy the games this Sunday!


1. (4) New England Patriots (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated Tennessee Titans 34-13

Though it is only one game, the Patriots showed a strong running game and an attacking defense that the team lacked last year. Stevan Ridley looked tremendous, carving up a helpless Titans defense. The two high profile rookies, Chandler Jones and Donta Hightower, teamed up for an impressive defensive touchdown. If the Patriots can even be average on defense and with the running games, things will look bad for the rest of the AFC.

Key Offensive Player: RB Stevan Ridley. 21 rushes, 125 yards, 1 TD
Key Defensive Player: DE Chandler Jones. 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble


2. (6) San Francisco 49ers (1-0).
Week 1: Defeated Green Bay Packers 30-22

The Niners picked up right where they left off last regular season. Led by their attacking defense and strong running game, they gave the Packers fits and picked up their first win of the season. Frank Gore looked sharp, shredding a weak Packers run defense. Alex Smith has this "game managing quarterback play" down to a science, completing 20 of 26 passes for over 200 yards. Navorro Bowman is a complete stud, and you could make a case that the Niners have the two best linebackers in the entire NFL.

Key Offensive Player: RB Frank Gore. 16 rushes, 112 yards, 1 TD
Key Defensive Player: LB Navorro Bowman. 11 tackles, 1 interception


3. (3) Houston Texans (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated Miami Dolphins 30-10

The Texans kind of sleepwalked through most of the first half. Then after the two minute warning they ransacked the Dolphins, intercepting Ryan Tannehill twice and scoring 21 points during the last two minutes. JJ Watt showed his unique versatile game, getting to the quarterback and using his size to knock some balls up in the air that were picked off. On offense, Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson were more then enough to get the job done.

Key Offensive Player: WR Andre Johnson. 8 receptions, 119 yards, 1 TD
Key Defensive Player: DE JJ Watt. 3 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 tipped passes


4. (7) Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated Cincinnati Bengals 44-13

The Joe Flacco hype machine was more then just hype, as the self proclaimed best quarterback in the NFL shredded an injury riddled Bengals defense all night. He started the game off with a deep bomb to Torrey Smith, and didn't take his foot off the gas pedal all night. Cam Cameron finally has opened up the offense for Flacco, and the no huddle was tremendous all night. Flacco laid the ball where it needed to be all night and could not be stopped. Ray Rice was hardly needed on the ground. On defense, the studs led the way. Ageless Ray Lewis was all over the field, Haloti Ngata caused havoc down low and Ed Reed added yet another interception return for a touchdown. The Ravens most definitely have the talent to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, especially if the team is clicking like they were Monday night.

Key Offensive Player: QB Joe Flacco. 21-29, 299 yards, 2 TD
Key Defensive Player: LB Ray Lewis. 14 Tackles, 1 forced fumble


5. (9) Atlanta Falcons (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated Kansas City Chiefs 40-24

Like Joe Flacco, the Matt Ryan hype train was well justified on Sunday. Ryan and his weapons decimated the Chiefs helpless secondary. Julio Jones continued his monster 2012 with two very impressive touchdowns. Tony Gonzalez, Harry Douglas and Roddy White were also all over the field. There is a lot to worry about if you are a Falcons fan, however. Ryan won't always be able to go off like this, but he might have to. Michael Turner looked terrible, slow, sluggish and very out of place in the up tempo Falcons offense. On defense, the Falcons lost their best cornerback for the year when Brent Grimes went down with a serious injury. Still, the Falcons look like the cream of the crop in the NFC South.

Key Offensive Player: QB Matt Ryan. 23-31, 299 yards, 3 TD, 1 rushing TD
Key Defensive Player: LB Stephen Nicholas. 12 tackles, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery


6. (10) Chicago Bears (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated Indianapolis Colts 41-21

The Bears offense was way too much for a weak Colts defense to handle. Jay Cutler was on top of his game, and clearly loved having Brandon Marshall back. Marshall hauled in 9 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. The one two punch of Matt Forte and Michael Bush was on point as well. We will see if the Bears truly are for real when they march into Lambeau. That will be a much tougher test then a helpless Indianapolis Colts team.

Key Offensive Player: WR Brandon Marshall. 9 receptions, 119 yards, 1 TD
Key Defensive Player: DE Henry Melton. 5 tackles, 2 sacks


7. (1) New York Giants (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to Dallas Cowboys 24-17

I do not think this week one loss means much, the Giants are still a very good team. Dallas was just on top of their game offensively and were at home. There are concerns for the Giants though, most notably a weak secondary that allowed no name Kevin Ogletree to go off on them. But the offense was still able to move the ball somewhat and I think the Giants will get back on track by destroying the Buccaneers in week two. I won't bump them too far down my rankings.

Key Offensive Player: RB Ahmad Bradshaw. 17 rushes, 78 yards, 1 TD
Key Defensive Player: LB Keith Rivers, 7 tackles


8. (2) Green Bay Packers (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to San Francisco 49ers 30-22

The Packers are still easily one of the ten best teams in the NFL, so I won't knock them out of the top ten because of one loss. It has become extremely tough to win at San Francisco. What worries me is how bad the secondary is. They were bad last year and looked even worse last Sunday. Guys were wide open all night long and they made Alex Smith look like Joe Montana. That is completely unacceptable and won't fly when there are so many great quarterbacks in the NFC. The passing game is still dangerous, and will have to be all season because it looks like the running game and defense is going to be a major liability all season long. People want to give Cedric Benson the benefit of the doubt because the Niners defensive front is so great, but I think it's just Cedric Benson being Cedric Benson. He is a very low level talent.

Key Offensive Player: QB Aaron Rodgers. 30-44, 303 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Key Defensive Player: LB Clay Matthews. 3 tackles, 2.5 sacks


9. (14) Dallas Cowboys (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated New York Giants 24-17

"The Cowboys beat the Giants, but they are ranked lower? Whaaaaat? You are stupid, dumb and fat." Simple, I think the Giants are better then the Cowboys and the season is 16 weeks long. The Cowboys played great last Wednesday, you cannot deny that. There is serious talent on this team, and when guys like Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray and DeMarcus Ware play like they played, they are so tough to beat. We will see what hilarious moments the Cowboys have in store for us the rest of the season, though.

Key Offensive Player: QB Tony Romo. 22-29, 307 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Key Defensive Player: LB DeMarcus Ware. 5 tackles, 2 sacks.


10. (17) Denver Broncos (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19

After a slow start, the Broncos came to play and destroyed the Steelers. The defense ran through a terrible Pittsburgh offensive line and was all over Ben Roethlisberger all day. On offense, Peyton Manning took over and threw two nice touchdowns. Demaryius Thomas once again showed his big play ability against the Steelers, hauling in a 71 yard touchdown. Denver took advantage of a Pittsburgh team riddled by injuries, and will face a much tougher opponent when they travel to Atlanta to play the Falcons this weekend.

Key Offensive Player: QB Peyton Manning. 19-26, 253 yards, 2 TD
Key Defensive Player: LB Wesley Woodyard. 12 tackles, 1 sack


11. (11) Detroit Lions (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated St. Louis Rams 27-23

The Lions showed why they are a much better team then the Lions of old. They played terrible but still found a way to win it at the end. That is what good teams do. Matthew Stafford, in particular, was absolutely horrible, throwing red zone interceptions left and right. But as great quarterbacks do, he forgot the first 58 minutes of the game and engineered a terrific 80 yard, game winning touchdown drive after the 2 minute warning. If Kevin Smith can stay healthy (about as good of odds as me winning the lottery) the Lions will have the rushing game to complement their great passing. Smith looked great.

Key Offensive Player: RB Kevin Smith. 13 rushes, 62 yards, 1 TD. 4 receptions, 29 yards, 1 TD
Key Defensive Player: DT Corey Williams. 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble


12. (5) New Orleans Saints (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to Washington Redskins 40-32

 Maybe Sean Peyton is kind of a big deal after all. The offense looked totally out of sync, as Drew Brees threw a very uncharacteristic 28 incomplete passes. The defense was all out of whack as well, allowing big play after big play to a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start. There is serious cause for concern but I wouldn't give up all hope yet. The offense is sure to improve. The defense, however? Hmmm. Well, the offense will improve!

Key Offensive Player: WR Lance Moore. 6 receptions, 120 yards, 1 TD
Key Defensive Player: DE Cameron Jordan. 9 tackles


13. (8) Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated Cleveland Browns 17-16

The Eagles looked absolutely dreadful, but they still managed to pull out a win against the pathetic Browns. Michael Vick had possibly his worst game as an Eagle. He ran around aimlessly like a rookie and threw some terrible throws and interceptions. Eagles fans have to be extremely worried. Even though you can't teach an old dog new tricks it might be wise for Andy Reid to rely on his running game once in a while. You could make a case that he has the best running back in football.

Key Offensive Player: RB LeSean McCoy. 20 rushes, 110 yards
Key Defensive Player: S Kurt Coleman. 5 tackles, 2 interceptions


14. (21) Washington Redskins (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated New Orleans Saints 40-32

What a performance by Robert Griffin III. It looked like the coaching staff was handcuffing RG3 with nothing but screen passes all day long, but they eventually took off the handcuffs and he responded with a monster day. It came against a bad secondary, though. The Redskins actually have a very good chance to start 4-0, with games against the Rams, Bengals and Buccaneers coming up. If that happens expect Skip Bayless and the rest of the idiots at ESPN to proclaim RG3 will always and forever be better then Andrew Luck. Though those morons are probably saying that anyway. I don't watch that garbage network.

Key Offensive Player: QB Robert Griffin III. 19-26, 320 yards, 2 TD
Key Defensive Player: S DeJon Gomes. 5 tackles, 1 interception


15. (12) Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to Denver Broncos 31-19

Injuries may have ruined Pittsburghs season before it even started. Ben Roethlisberger was under pressure all day and looked terrible. There is absolutely no running game in Pittsburgh and Big Ben is not the type of quarterback who can fling it 50 times a day and carry teams to victories like Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady. But I never count Pittsburgh out. Ben is a winner and the coaching staff is very good at making adjustments.

Key Offensive Player: TE Heath Miller. 4 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD
Key Defensive Player: LB Larry Foote. 8 tackles, 1 sack


16. (18) San Diego Chargers (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated Oakland Raiders 22-14

I am not a believer in the Chargers at all. I won't really comment on them because I was not going to stay up until two in the morning to watch a West Coast Monday night game. The team will welcome Ryan Matthews back with open arms, until he injures himself on the first carry of the game. You know, I was thinking about Ronnie Brown. Remember when Brown, Cadillac Williams and Cedric Benson all went in the top five of the draft about a decade ago? None of those guys ended up being all that special. You didn't think they would go 0 for 3. Funny how it looked like Benson was on his way out of the league and he is the only guy who looks like he is not completely finished.

Key Offensive Player: QB Philip Rivers. 24-33, 231 yards, 1 TD
Key Defensive Player: LB Donald Butler. 8 tackles, 1 sack


17. (22) New York Jets (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated Buffalo Bills 48-28

Proof that the preseason means. Absolutely. Nothing. The Bills were completely unable to stop pretty much every offensive player on the Jets. Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, take your pick on who the offensive player of the game was. New York was up 41-7 early in the quarter and probably could have hung 60 on Buffalo if they wanted to. I still don't think the offense is all that good, but for one week, they shut up all doubters.

Key Offensive Player: QB Mark Sanchez. 19-27, 266 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Key Defensive Player: CB Darrelle Revis. 5 tackles, 1 INT, shutting down everyone


18. (15) Kansas City Chiefs (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to Atlanta Falcons 40-24

Ouch. I can't even blame Matt Cassel for that one. The Falcons were just on a mission and completely blitzed through the helpless Chiefs on both sides of the ball. This is the second straight year Kansas City had 40 dropped on them during their week 1 home opener. I still think the Chiefs have enough talent to win this division, but it is more and more clear they are a one and done team in the playoffs with such poor quarterback play.

Key Offensive Player: RB Jamaal Charles. 16 rushes, 87 yards
Key Defensive Player: LB Derrick Johnson. 8 tackles


19. (16) Tennessee Titans (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to New England Patriots 34-13

I still like the rest of the Titans offense to perform well moving on, but Chris Johnson officially worries me. Eventually we all have to stop blaming Johnson's struggles on the offensive line and accept that he may have become the NFL's version of Andray Blatche. Maybe he just got his money and decided to not care anymore. It definitely wouldn't be the first time that has happened in sports.

Key Offensive Player: Not RB Chris Johnson with 11 rushes for 4 yards
Key Defensive Player: LB Akeem Ayers, 11 tackles


20. (28) Arizona Cardinals (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated Seattle Seahawks 20-16

Arizona's defense is very solid. I think they could go toe to toe with San Francisco in that department. What will hold the Cardinals back this year will be the offense. Kevin Kolb looked good on Sunday, but he is still Kevin Kolb. Add to that a very bad running game and perhaps the NFL's worst offensive line, and I don't see how they win 8 games this year.

Key Offensive Player: WR Larry Fitzgerald. 4 receptions, 63 yards
Key Defensive Player: LB Paris Lenon. 9 tackles, 2 sacks


21. (13) Seattle Seahawks (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to Arizona Cardinals 20-16

Russell Wilson really struggled on Sunday, but playing in Arizona against a very good Cardinals defense is not an easy way to begin your career. He gets to battle the Cowboys at home week 2. While DeMarcus Ware has to scare the hell out of him, the Seahawks are a much better team at home, they have one of the best home field advantages in the league. If he struggles again, it could be time for Matt Flynn, who is a $10 million a year backup right now.

Key Offensive Player: RB Marshawn Lynch. 21 rushes, 85 yards
Key Defensive Player: LB KJ Wright. 9 tackles, 1 forced fumble


22. (25) Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated Jacksonville Jaguars 26-23

Adrian Peterson is a freak of nature. A modern day Greek God. He doesn't always drink beer, but when he does he prefers Dos Equis. He showed his trademark burst, toughness and cutting ability a mere nine months after destroying his knee. I know the Vikings are not very good, but they have a great chance to start 2-0 as they play the hapless Indianapolis Colts this Sunday.

Key Offensive Player: RB The God Adrian Peterson. 17 rushes, 84 yards, 2 TD
Key Defensive Player: LB Chad Greenway. 13 tackles


23. (27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
Week 1: Defeated Carolina Panthers 16-10

I am not a fan of Tampa Bay at all. One player I do like is Doug Martin. He showed during the pre season and week 1 that he can be the centerpiece to Tampa Bay's offensive attack. He might have to be because it seems that Josh Freeman has really regressed from his first couple of NFL seasons. The team has tried to surround him with talent but he just does not look all that comfortable out there. The three Florida teams total might not win 12 games all season.

Key Offensive Player: RB Doug Martin. 24 rushes, 95 yards
Key Defensive Player: CB Ronde Barber. 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT


24. (23) Carolina Panthers (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16-10

DeAngelo Williams continues to be the most overpaid player in the game. Seriously, -1 yard on 6 carries, and that is with a 7 yard run sprinkled in? I am just not a fan of Carolina's coaching. I do not think they do nearly enough to establish the run. Cam Newton is a dynamic talent but is still learning how to play the quarterback position. They need to be a run first team but they continue to not use their running backs and air it out all game. I can't see the Panthers winning more then 6 games with that approach, just like last year.

Key Offensive Player: WR Steve Smith. 7 receptions, 106 yards
Key Defensive Player: DE Greg Hardy. 8 tackles, 1 sack


25. (24) Oakland Raiders (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to San Diego Chargers 22-14

The Raiders are comical. No matter how talented they are they always find spectacular ways to lose, usually by committing 700 penalties a game or insane clown shoes like special teams play like last Monday night. What a tremendous tragedy the Dolphins vs. Raiders game is sure to be this Sunday.

Key Offensive Player: RB Darren McFadden. 738 receptions, 4 yards
Key Defensive Player: LB Phillip Wheeler. 8 tackles, 0.5 sacks


26. (20) Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to Baltimore Ravens 44-13

I picked the Bengals to be a losing team this year because I was not a believer in that offense this year. Cincinnati basically had no chance at all against the Ravens on Sunday, offense or defense. The entire team looked completely overmatched. I still like Andy Dalton long term and I think AJ Green is one of the five most talented wideouts in the NFL, but thanks to Cincinnati's ownership always being so cheap, they were forced to go with a bunch of no names at receiver. Green will be double and triple teamed every game until some of these guys step up.

Key Offensive Player: RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. 18 rushes, 91 yards, 1 TD
Key Defensive Player: DT Geno Atkins, 2 tackles, 2 sacks


27. (29) Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to Minnesota Vikings 26-23

The Jaguars lost but Jacksonville fans have to feel very good about two things. First, Maurice Jones-Drew returned and looked as good as expected for a guy with no training camp. But the real story was how sharp Blaine Gabbert looked. Sure, it was against a terrible Vikings secondary, but with how awful Gabbert was last year this was a very pleasant surprise. He looked sharp all afternoon and utilized forgotten Marcedes Lewis quite a bit. He hit Cecil Shorts with a beautiful 40 yard touchdown pass with only 20 seconds left for what we thought was the game winner before the defense blew it.

Key Offensive Player: QB Blaine Gabbert. 23-39, 260 yards, 3 TD
Key Defensive Player: LB Paul Posluszny. 7 tackles


28. (19) Buffalo Bills (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to New York Jets 48-28

Since the Bills started 5-2 last year, they have been absolutely pathetic. The team deserves it for all the bad decisions they have made, most notably giving backup level talent Ryan Fitzpatrick a nice contract extension. He just does not have arm strength and talent to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. On the bright side, CJ Spiller looked fantastic. Of course, most of his damage came when the Bills were down 41-7. Buffalo will try to redeem themselves against the Chiefs, who were embarrassed just as bad last Sunday.

Key Offensive Player: RB CJ Spiller. 14 rushes, 169 yards, 1 TD
Key Defensive Player: LB Nick Barnett. 9 tackles


29. (30) St. Louis Rams (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to Detroit Lions 27-23

More of the same for the Rams. Two offensive lineman went down on Sunday and are out for the year. So Sam Bradford will once again be running for his life behind a terrible line and not have any good wideouts to throw to other then slot man Danny Amendola. The David Carr career trajectory continues. On the bright side, there is quite a bit of talent on defense. Cortland Finnegan had a very good debut for the Rams and they recently locked up stud middle linebacker James Lauranitis.

Key Offensive Player: WR Danny Amendola. 5 receptions, 70 yards
Key Defensive Player: CB Cortland Finnegan. 9 tackles, 1 INT


30. (26) Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to Chicago Bears 41-21

I really like Andrew Luck and think he will be a great pro, but you had to expect this outcome. For his first game, he gets to travel to Chicago to play against the Bears? That isn't exactly fair. He showed some flashes of talent, but too often was under pressure and didn't hit his wideouts where he needed to. There is no doubt in my mind that he will play much much better against a bad Vikings secondary that made Blaine Gabbert look like an actual NFL quarterback.

Key Offensive Player: WR Reggie Wayne. 9 receptions, 135 yards
Key Defensive Player: LB Robert Mathis. 5 tackles, 2 sacks


31. (31) Miami Dolphins (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to Houston Texans 30-10

 The Dolphins did all they could to hang with the Texans for the first half. Reggie Bush was running well and Ryan Tannehill hit a couple good throws in between some bad errors. Then Houston's defense completely overwhelmed the over matched rookie and it was over soon after. Miami has a few good players on defense, but there is just not enough talent on offense to hang with most teams in the NFL. Miami will struggle to score points every game.

Key Offensive Player: RB Reggie Bush 14 rushes, 69 yards. 6 receptions, 46 yards
Key Defensive Player: DT Randy Starks. 6 tackles, 2 sacks


32. (32) Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Week 1: Lost to Philadelphia Eagles 17-16

The Browns are absolutely terrible. There really is nothing I can say good about them. If Mike Holmgren, who somehow still has a job, wasn't so conservative in the draft, this team could possibly have had Robert Griffin III throwing to Julio Jones. Instead, they have a rookie quarterback who is almost 30 years old who just played one of the worst games at quarterback of all time. In typical Browns fashion, they decided not to go for the two point conversion in the fourth quarter, and predictably the Eagles ended up winning by one point. 

Key Offensive Player: None. They were all terrible. Well, the kicker hit 3 field goals.
Key Defensive Player: LB D'Qwell Jackson. 3 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 INT, 1 DEF TD

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Jonathan Carrano

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