NFL Power Rankings: Week 2

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Sep 4, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) in an offensive huddle during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Packers 36-16. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

8. New Orleans Saints: Rob Ryan helped develop a tough defense for the Saints in 2013, but where was that this week? They could barely register any pressure on Matt Ryan who tore apart their secondary. The front seven struggled throughout this entire game and that needs to be addressed quickly. As long as Drew Brees is the quarterback, they will always be able to win games, but the Saints need more than that to win these types of games. Expect Ryan to fix this defense by next week.

7. Atlanta Falcons: The Hard Knocks team punched the Saints in the mouth in a dramatic win. Matt Ryan had his best game as a pro and you can tell how much he missed his weapons last year. If they can stay healthy, this team can keep up with anyone. The offensive line must continue to keep Ryan upright to keep this momentum going. Fans wondered how this team would look this season; in week one, they showed what they’re capable of.

6. Green Bay Packers: When you throw out an entire side of the field (Richard Sherman’s half) in your offensive game planning, it’s easy for opposing defenses to win matchups. The Packers need to better manage games like this and not be afraid to attack when push comes to shove or else they’ll suffer a similar result. Speaking of pushing and shoving, the Packers appeared to not want to tackle Marshawn Lynch as the game progressed. The NFC North has some tough runners and that tendency needs to change quickly.

5. Philadelphia Eagles: Nick Foles had three turnovers in this game, one less than he had all season last year. Question marks arose with this team, but the offense showed they’re able to put their foot down when the going gets tough. This team needs cornerback help, even though they possess one of the best nickel corners in the league with Brandon Boykin. If they don’t get positive, consistent play out of their corners, it will be solely up to the offense to keep winning.

4. Cincinnati Bengals: It took Andy Dalton until his 4th year to finally beat the Ravens in Baltimore. The offense and defense were clicking for most of the game, with a few mishaps here and there. The offense needs to do a better job at scoring touchdowns when the opportunity presents itself, as they left points on the field. The defense did very well, despite giving up the long Steve Smith touchdown. No, Andy Dalton wasn’t Good Andy, but he was Smart Andy. And that’s exactly what the Bengals need from him in games like this.

3. Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning and the Broncos are back on the right track with a win against the Colts. Now having beat every team, Manning has to show he can win in the playoffs again this year. With a newly bolstered defense and having added weapons to the receiving corps, this is yet another year Manning can make the Super Bowl. Montee Ball was thought highly of when coming out of college, but he has yet to show his full potential. He had a solid game on Sunday, but he needs to continue to show positive signs so this offense isn’t one dimensional.

2. San Francisco 49ers: Think the constant media talk about this team missing the playoffs got to them? Don’t think so. After an abysmal preseason, Colin Kaepernick had one of his most impressive games as he showed both mobility and arguably the best arm strength in the league. Not only that, but the defense, which has numerous injuries, held a talented Cowboys offense in check. Yes, Murray ran well, but the secondary answered a lot of questions. Don’t be surprised if this team makes the NFC Championship game once again.

1. Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson is all grown up and continues to show his accuracy and decision making. Marshawn Lynch showed he can still tap into beast mode and the defense is still the best in the league. This team has the best chance of winning the Super Bowl and repeating as champions; what’s the argument against them? They play within arguably the toughest division in the NFL, but that only bolsters their case if they win it. It’s going to be hard to bet against this team any time this season. Even though the NFL loves offense, the Seahawks continue to show that defense wins championships.

See Stripe Hype next week for its latest NFL Power Rankings.