NFL Power Rankings: Week 2

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Sep 8, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Stepfan Taylor (30) celebrates with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Chargers 18-17. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

16. Pittsburgh Steelers: This isn’t the Steelers defense we’re used to. The Browns averaged 6 YPR against this defense and they struggled when Hoyer rolled out of the pocket. Thankfully, the offense was able to capitalize when it was needed the most. Antonio Brown is the most underrated wide receiver in the game, as he’s had at least 5 receptions a game in his last 17 games. When talking about the best in the league, Brown’s name should come up more than it does.

15. San Diego Chargers: Miscues and sloppy play kept the Chargers from going 1-0. The offense struggled all game long and the defensive line allowed Palmer to pick them apart, while running past them too. The team has to get their play straightened out as they face the Seahawks this coming weekend. If they play sloppy like they did against the Cardinals, 0-2 is very possible for this team.

14. Detroit Lions: As good as Calvin Johnson and Matthews Stafford were, we would like to see how this team can compete against better competition. Stafford seems comfortable within Jim Caldwell’s offensive game plan and if he continues to make strides, this passing attack will be deadly beyond just Johnson. The defense also showed positive signs and made athletic plays when the time came.

13. New England Patriots: This low?! Yes. Last year there were questions about this team and how they appeared to be going down, even though they ended up in the AFC championship game. However, Tom Brady was not himself and you have to wonder if age is finally getting to him. He went 2-18 on passes that went 15 yards or more. Also, this defense was getting a lot of offseason hype, but the Dolphins didn’t let that scare them as they had 191 rushing yards on the Patriots.  It’s only one game, but it was a concerning one for the Patriots.

12. Indianapolis Colts: It’s obvious this team will go as far as Andrew Luck takes them. They missed numerous opportunities, but this team sure knows how to fight back. Even without their best pass rusher Robert Mathis (who’s now out for the season), this team held Manning to 8-15 for 45 yards in the 2nd half. But his defense still needs a pass rush in order to help get them to the next level.

11. Miami Dolphins: This defense is legit. Cameron Wake is one of the best pass rushers in the league and proved once again that he can take over games. The offense ran like there was no tomorrow and the offensive line seems vastly improved from last year (ironic, isn’t it?). The Dolphins are showing they are no pushovers and this win was a statement that they are ready to take the next step and possibly beat out the Patriots for the AFC East crown.

10. Carolina Panthers: Ron Rivera gambled with sitting Cam Newton and won big time. This defense proved it’s still one of the best and the offense seems to have finally come together. Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen are going to be huge targets for Newton throughout the year. No longer can people use the excuse that Newton doesn’t have any weapons as Sunday showed he does. Now it’s time to use them.

9. Arizona Cardinals: Remember when people questioned how this defense would look after losing their linebackers? Well they shut those critics up. Even with Ryan Matthew’s 20 yard touchdown run, the Cardinals only allowed an average of 2.2 yards per run. Carson Palmer did a good job spreading the ball out (Larry Fitzgerald only had one reception) and the Cardinals showed how deep their receiving corps truly is. This is going to be one of the toughest teams to beat in the NFL.