September 10, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) scores a touchdown in the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at M

NFL Power Rankings - Week Two

Welcome to the B&T Power Rankings.  The place where we rank the teams on their record, front office actions, and overall craziness.  Expect some arbitrary explanations, some in-depth analysis, and your fair share of surprises.

Football is back!  And with football comes excitement, good times, and lots of crazed fans.  To keep it all in check we’ve run down the games and are bringing you the power rankings following week one of the 2012 season.  Last week’s rankings are in brackets.

Hate ‘em?  Love ‘em? Agree? Disagree?  Leave it in the comments.

#1. [1] Baltimore Ravens, 1-0:  Until someone even makes them look vulnerable the Ravens won’t be leaving the top spot.  The defense looked great and Joe Flacco looked like one of the best against the Bengals D.

#2 [2]. New England Patriots, 1-0:  Getting 100+ yards on the ground from Stevan Ridley was big for the Pats.  Tom Brady looking like a warrior is always nice too.  They’ll be tough to beat throughout the year and they look like they know what they’re doing a bit more than most teams did this week.

#3 [3]. Chicago Bears, 1-0: Still my favorite to win the NFC North, the Bears looked explosive and displayed the Jay Cutler – Brandon Marshall connection that made them a force in Denver.  It’s going to be tough to stop this offense.

#4 [6].  Atlanta Falcons, 1-0: If you’re defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio in Denver you’re terribly worried about how to stop the Atlanta offense next week.  I’m not certain it can be done.  Maybe in a few more games to have more tape on Julio Jones, but right now there isn’t anybody who won’t be smoked by Matt Ryan and Company.

#5 [9]. San Francisco 49ers, 1-0: Beating the Packers in Lambeau can’t be overstated enough.  The team looked prepared, fresh, and hungry.  Jim Harbaugh will have his team chomping at the bit all season and if they play like they did against Green Bay then the opposition should worry.

#6 [10] . Houston Texans, 1-0: Matt Schaub is back and that’s big, but what’s even bigger is J.J. Watt showing that he sure won’t have a sophomore slump this season.  He doesn’t need to carry the Houston defense, but I’m certain he could if he wanted to.

#7 [8]. Denver Broncos, 1-0: As predicted, Peyton Manning is the man.   Denver looks good, really good.  If you are looking for a team to win the AFC West, look no further.

#8 [5].  Green Bay Packers, 0-1: It’s tough opening the season against the 49ers, but the Pack should have won it at home.  They’ll need to get going fast before they fall behind the Bears in the division; it isn’t just Green Bay country up North anymore.

#9 [4]. New York Giants, 0-1: Tom Coughlin looked livid on the sideline all game.  I would have been too.  The Cowboys stopped running and picked apart a defense that should have been stouter.  The offense needs to return to 2011 form rapidly as well.  They need to rebound quickly.

#10 [15]. Dallas Cowboys, 1-0: I was high on the Cowboys largely because of the pressure Romo now has on him to win or to lose his job (thanks Jerry Jones).  He responded very positively and made the defending Super Bowl champions look like child’s play.

#11 [7]. Pittsburgh Steelers, 0-1: The Steelers lost, but they looked decent, not great but decent.  There is too much of a successful history for this team to drop out of the top 10.  They should get things going sooner rather than later, but let’s hope it isn’t after they’re 0-2.

#12 [13]. Washington Redskins, 1-0It may seem a little high for a team that was hot to start it out, but think of what they just did. They went to the Superdome and showed the Saints who was boss.  That takes more than balls, that takes professionalism and skill.  They have both in spades behind RGIII.

#13 [11]. Cincinnati Bengals, 0-1: The Bengals were dismantled by the Ravens on both offense and defense.  Andy Dalton is still good and A.J. Green will be great, but they just aren’t in the same league yet.

#14 [12]. Detroit Lions, 1-0:  Good job on getting the win, but Matt Stafford needs to do better than three picks in a game, the team relies too much on him doing well.  Fortunately, I think that their first week was out of the ordinary for a team that is looking at getting back in contention in the NFC North.

#15 [24]. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1-0: I don’t know how many of you watched the Bucs game, but the team looked really good.  Josh Freeman looked back in form (granted he only threw for 138 yards) and the was in control throughout.  16-10 isn’t the best finish to a game that started 10-0, but they are just beginning to gel.  If you have an opportunity to watch the game, check it out because it’s worth watching.

#16 [16]. New Orleans Saints, 0-1:  A small rise for a team that just lost to a rookie quarterback in his debut. The team needs to get back on track but it may be tough to do since they don’t have their head coach and are still shrouded in scandal.

#17 [29]. New York Jets, 1-0:  The Jets humiliated the Browns this week.  It’s tough to watch a game that was so decidedly one-sided.  Rex Ryan has got to be happy that he fooled everybody during the preseason by making it look like he didn’t have an offense.  I wouldn’t put it past him to have planned the whole thing.

#18 [18]. Philadelphia Eagles, 1-0:  They won.  That’s about the only positive.  In a contest that looked very tough for the Eagles and Michael Vick, the Eagles outlasted the Browns…and it wasn’t because the Browns were playing out of their mind.  If I didn’t respect Andy Reid so much, this team would be a lot lower.

#19 [21]. Tennessee Titans, 0-1:  Jake Locker looked really, really good in the season opener before leaving the game.  I hope he isn’t injured because the Titans could really use him.

#20 [14]. Seattle Seahawks, 0-1:  The team is probably right where they are expected to be in Pete Carroll’s plan for development.  They lost a close one against a bad team though.  It happens.

#21 [19]. Carolina Panthers, 0-1: It’s not yet a sophomore slump for Cam Newton (who looked very good) but losing to the Bucs wasn’t exactly in the plans for this team.  They were looking for a statement win and ended up losing, it’s tough, but expect them to rebound.

#22 [26]. San Diego Chargers, 1-0: They handled the Raiders in week one, but that doesn’t make them a great team.  It does help them in their division though and that’s big.  Philip Rivers looked good and that’s what this team needs.

 #23 [25]. St. Louis Rams, 0-1:  The team has a lot of talent and hung with the Lions all game.  It would have been a big upset, but it just wasn’t in the plans.  I’m still high on the magic that surrounds the team though and they could make the Redskins come back to earth in week 2….could being the key word.

 #24 [27].  Kansas City Chiefs, 0-1:  They’ll dominate the Bills next week.  They’ve still got talent, it’s just not always a pleasure to start 0-1.

#25 [30]. Minnesota Vikings, 1-0: Christian Ponder looked very good against the Jags on Sunday.  The team had an electrifying finish and showed poise in being able to move the ball.  Having Adrian Peterson back is so much more important than can be stated.

#26 [17]. Jacksonville Jaguars, 0-1: Blaine Gabbert has definitely made strides and led his team to win the game with :20 remaining.  The defense let the team down by allowing the Vikings to march down for a tying field goal and then another to win it in overtime.  That hurts, especially for a team that had a great defense in 2011.

#27 [22]. Indianapolis Colts, 0-1: Everyone keeps comparing Luck to Manning.  As good as Luck is, Manning is a very big exception.  Three picks will not go away from Luck’s mind as easily as anticipated.  The Colts need to be patient, but it’ll be tough if poor play continues.

#28 [32]. Arizona Cardinals, 1-0: Well, they won…Another quarterback problem welling up for the Cards, but maybe Kevin Kolb will be the real deal this year?

#29 [20]. Cleveland Browns, 0-1: I’m still high on the pieces they’re putting in the place.  The defense looked good, but Brandon Weeden looked like he needs time to grow.  At age 28 that may not be something the Browns are willing to invest in.

#30 [22]. Buffalo Bills, 0-1: So much for being competitive…The Bills stunk it up hard.  The defense was supposed to be their saving grace, but that obviously didn’t work.

#31 [28]. Oakland Raiders, 0-1: The Raiders need to focus on pounding the rock and wearing down defenses.  Otherwise they’ll get beat all season.

#32 [31]. Miami Dolphins, 0-1: And the Ryan Tannehill era started with a bang…it was the sound of the door being slammed on them by the Texans.

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