2011 NFL Power Rankings – Week 2

NFL Power Rankings 2011 Pre 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Playoffs

Week 1 is in the books. Already we’ve had some surprising results (Baltimore, Buffalo) and some disappointments (Pittsburgh, Atlanta). See how the results of those games affect our latest rankings:

Rank Team Comment
1 Green Bay Packers The Packers started out hot with a 21-7 first quarter lead, but allowed the Saints to get back in the game and needed a game ending goal line stand to secure the win. But a win is a win and the Packers proved they are still the NFC favorites.
2 New England Patriots Tom Brady set a personal passing yard record–along with a Monday Night Football record–throwing for 517 yards against the Dolphins on the road. The defense looked shaky at times in the 38-24 victory, but for the eighth straight season the Patriots begin the regular season 1-0.
3 Baltimore Ravens The Ravens opened the season in spectacular fashion with a shocking 35-7 beatdown of the Steelers. The offense looked strong, with 100+ yards & 2 touchdowns from Ray Rice as well as a 3 touchdown game from Joe Flacco, and the defense looked stout as usual, forcing a ridiculous 7 turnovers.
4 New Orleans Saints The Saints stayed with the Packers despite an early hole and Drew Brees looked to be in mid-season form already. The Saints run game was poor and it will be interesting to see if they decide to pass even more or try to establish a ground game moving ahead.
5 Philadelphia Eagles Mike Vick and the Eagles were efficient both offensively and defensively in a Week 1 road win against the Rams. They’ll face an interesting test this weekend as Vick returns to face his former team the Falcons on Sunday night.
6 Pittsburgh Steelers The Steelers struggled against the Ravens on Sunday. One might expect the offense to have difficulties against the Ravens defense, but the real concern should be the inability of the defense to slow down the Ravens’ offense.
7 San Diego Chargers Special teams in San Diego remain an issue–with Minnesota scoring a kickoff return touchdown on the first play of the season–but the Chargers overcame the loss of Nate Kaeding to take home a 24-17 win. Definitely a good first step to ending a string of slow starts.
8 New York Jets Although the Jets seemed to have been stifled for much of their Sunday Night Football game against Dallas, they did just enough–and overcame mistakes of their own–to beat the Cowboys. A team with this kind of luck is certainly difficult to prevail against, as has been the case over the past two seasons.
9 Atlanta Falcons The Falcons entered this week considered to be a Super Bowl team and left with a loss and a lot of questions. Things won’t get any easier in week two as the Eagles come to town.
10 Houston Texans With Peyton Manning out in Indy and the rest of the AFC South down, this figures to be Houston’s best chance to finally win the division. A 34-7 victory over the punchless Colts certainly helps that cause.
11 Detroit Lions The Lions went on the road, faced a good Bucs team, and walked away with a W. Matthew Stafford, with 305 yards and 3 TDs, showed why people are calling the Lions a playoff contender if he can stay healthy all year.
12 Chicago Bears The Bears had a great week 1, keeping the Falcon offense out of the endzone and giving them an overall beatdown. Cutler played well and he’ll have to continue to do so to silence the critics who are still on him about last years NFC Championship game.
13 New York Giants The Giants lost to the Redskins and looked bad all around, even after taking an early lead. They’ll have to get it turned around quick if they want to compete with the Eagles for an NFC East title.
14 Tampa Bay Bucs The Bucs played a close game against up and coming Detroit but ended up with the loss. RB LeGarrette Blount had an awful game which put more pressure on QB Josh Freeman. Freeman should have better luck this week when he faces the porous Vikings secondary.
15 St. Louis Rams The Rams had a rough week one, getting pounded by the Eagles and losing QB Sam Bradford and RB Steven Jackson to injuries. Thankfully Bradford looks like he’ll be playing in week two, but Jackson’s injury looks like it could cause him to miss some time which is something the playoff hopeful Rams can’t really afford.
16 Dallas Cowboys The Cowboys looked good for 3 quarters on Sunday Night against the Jets. Their late collapse has fans calling for Tony Romo’s job, though there are no alternatives available. It’s hard to predict at this point whether they will right the ship, or have another bad season.
17 Arizona Cardinals Arizona notched a week one win and new QB Kevin Kolb looked good, but this was against the Panthers too. A better Redskin team is up next for the Cardinals and if they give up 400+ yards to a rookie in his first game, there are some serious questions as to what will happen to them against veteran QBs.
18 Oakland Raiders It might not have been a stylish performance, but a 63-yard field goal from Sebastien Jainkowski–among other plays–helped Oakland continue their streak of AFC West victories from last season.
19 Washington Redskins The Redskins pulled off an nice upset against the Giants, while getting surprisingly good quarterback play from Rex Grossman. If the Giants and Cowboys continue to struggle, they could make things interesting within the division.
20 Buffalo Bills Though the Bills have fallen on hard times of late, the start of the 2011 season did not pile on; a 41-7 road victory over a playoff team from last season is definitely something to build on.
21 Indianapolis Colts The Kerry Collins era in Indianapolis got off to an inauspicious start with a 34-7 loss on the road to the Texans. The loss of Peyton Manning has had a clear and early impact on the Colts’ chances of contending this season.
22 Tennessee Titans The addition of Matt Hasselbeck was supposed to help the Titans improve; a season-opening loss to Jacksonville hurts. Even worse was the apparent absence of Chris Johnson, who underwhelmed after getting his payday.
23 Jacksonville Jaguars Despite cutting long-time starter David Garrard and spelling Luke McCown in relief, the Jaguars did enough to earn a 16-14 win over the Titans. Can Jacksonville defy low expectations?
24 Minnesota Vikings In a game that was a tale of two halves, the Vikings went in at halftime with a 17-7 lead and then did essentially nothing on both sides of the ball in the second half and lost by 7. Peterson played well, but with McNabb throwing for a pathetic 39 yards, the Vikes will need a lot more out of him to survive.
25 Miami Dolphins The good news? Chad Henne and the offense seemed rejuvenated compared to the past few seasons. The bad news? The defense yielded 38 points and 517 yards to the Patriots and Tom Brady.
26 San Francisco 49ers The 49ers opened the season by crushing division foe Seattle, thanks in big part to Ted Ginn Jr. and his punt and kick return TDs. That being said, they managed just 209 yards for the game which won’t get it done against better opponents.
27 Cleveland Browns Sunday’s loss to the Bengals was not a great start for a team some thought might make a run at a division title. Peyton Hillis will have to average better than 3.4 yards per carry for them to improve on last year’s record.
28 Carolina Panthers Say what you will about the Cardinal defense, but Cam Newton’s 422 yard, 2 TD debut was incredible. After missing out on a winnable game, they will now be likely looking at 0-2 as they have to face off with a team significant better than Arizona, the Green Bay Packers.
29 Kansas City Chiefs Ouch. One year removed from an AFC West title and a playoff berth, the Chiefs got embarrassed in their home opener to the tune of 41-7 by the Bills. A return to the division basement may be in play.
30 Cincinnati Bengals The Bengals pulled off an upset against the Browns. It was an impressive win, especially considering the injury to starting quarterback Andy Dalton. Don’t get too excited, they still have a long way to go to compete in the division.
31 Seattle Seahawks Seattle fans now know what it’s like to have Tavaris Jackson taking snaps; even the “routine” throws become an adventure. It will take a lot for the Seahawks to get back to the playoffs, and facing a Steelers team coming off on embarrassing week one loss isn’t a good thing.
32 Denver Broncos The season did not start off on a good note for Denver, as starting quarterback Kyle Orton fizzled and angry fans have already begun calling for Tim Tebow; the third quarterback on the depth chart.

Commentary breakdown: Alex (AFC North, NFC East), Brian (AFC East/South/West), Pat (NFC North/South/West).

Alex Chalupka - Originally from the Baltimore-Washington area, Alex is a huge Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Terrapins fan who currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s also an Orioles fan and follows the NBA and other sports as objectively as possible. He enjoys writing about all sports and is the founder/editor of theSportsGeeks.com. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Brian Parker - Born in Maine, a state with no professional sports team, Brian Parker is nonetheless a huge statistics nerd and fan of the NFL and NHL, with some passing interest in the MLB. Regional ties see him as a Patriots and Red Sox fan, though a childhood of watching Patrick Roy tend the net as a Montreal Canadien puts him on the opposite side of his fellow New Englanders for that NHL rivalry. Brian has both an M.A. and a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Maine. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Pat Lussenhop - Pat was born and raised in rural Minnesota and is currently living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He graduated from St. John's University (MN) with a degree in psychology and went on to get his masters in school psychology at the University of Northern Iowa. He's a lifetime sports fan and follows basketball and football the most. His favorite teams include any team that has "Minnesota" in it's name and he enjoys sports statistics and any good sporting debates. - Follow him on Twitter here

Post navigation