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Niners move into top spot of NFL Power Rankings

September 19, 2012 - Andy Heintz
There was plenty of movement from Week 1 to Week 2 in several NFL Power Rankings this week. That is because stallwarts like Baltimore and New England lost and upstart teams like Arizona, San Diego and Philadelphia remained unbeaten.

Here is a rundown of my latest power rankings and my new No. 1 team at the top.

1. San Francisco 49ers, 2-0 Through two weeks, the Niners are unbeaten and are the only team in the league that has beaten two playoff teams from the previous season. San Fran runs the ball effectively, can beat you downfield with the pass and the defense is one of the nastiest and best units in the league. And with a road trip to Minnesota coming this weekend, the Niners should have no trouble moving to 3-0.

2. Houston Texans, 2-0 Houston and San Francisco are similar. Both teams go against the grain in the new pass-happy NFL. The Texans have two capable backs and they ground and pound all day. The Texans are 2-0 and Andre Johnson hasn't really been a factor. That is not good for the rest of the AFC. J.J. Watt also is a difference maker on defense.

3. Atlanta Falcons, 2-0 The Falcons may have the best skill position weapons of anyone else in the league -- as long as they stay out of trouble. Matt Ryan is becoming one of the elite QBs in the league and the defense seems to be much improved under Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan.

4. Green Bay Packers, 1-1 The Packers showed us against Chicago why they are still a team to reckon with the NFC. A loss to San Francisco didn't take away all those weapons offensively, but moving forward I question how good the defense can be against better than average offenses. The Packers will score points, but will they stop anyone from scoring.

5. Philadelphia Eagles, 2-0 They have not done in a good-looking way but wins are wins in the NFL. And the Eagles are 2-0. They are the first team in NFL history to start the season 2-0 with each win coming by one point. They can't keep cutting it so close but right now they deserve this ranking.

6. San Diego Chargers, 2-0 Phillip Rivers is apparently back to playing like the Rivers of 2010 and not the bad Rivers of 2011. The Chargers have looked good the first two weeks, which usually is opposite since Norv Turner has taken over. They usually start slow and become one of the best teams at the end of the year, Nate Kaeding also has been very valuable to the team in the first two weeks.

7. Arizona Cardinals, 2-0 The biggest surprise through two weeks may be the Cardinals, who also start 2-0. The win over the Seahawks was modest but Arizona got everyone's attention when it knocked off New England in Foxboro this weekend. The defense is carrying them right now and if they get stronger play at QB the team could make noise all season.

8. Baltimore Ravens, 1-1 The Ravens suffered a tough loss to Philadelphia this past week and could easily be 2-0. The replacement officials got involved in this game and are starting to impact the results of a lot of games. I still feel like this team is elite and will show it later this season.

9. New England Patriots, 1-1 One bad game by the Patriots has them sliding eight spots. The former No. 1 ranked team suffered a tough home loss to an upstart Arizona team, but Tom Brady will rise again and will continue to show why he is one of the best QBs in the game. The Patriots need a running game and they need another weapon besides Rob Gronkowski. Where in the world is Wes Welker?

10. Denver Broncos, 1-1 It was a tough decision here but the Broncos get the nod. Peyton Manning looked human against the Falcons but not even three early interceptions eliminated from a chance to win. All those mistakes and the Broncos still only lost by six. They can run the ball and the defense played well against the Falcons for the most part. The offense just put them in bad spots.

Bottom Five: 5. Browns, 4. Titans, 3. Raiders, 2. Chiefs, 1. Jaguars.


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