While a drubbing in Seattle took San Francisco off the top spot, the Seahawks couldn’t manage to slide into the vacancy — Denver reigns this week.
The Chargers and Chiefs top the jumpers, while Pittsburgh and Carolina pace this week’s falls in a Power Ranking set that also sees some jockeying for position in and around the Top 10.
Here’s how our analysts see it and the cumulative rank (below) that comes of their ballots.
Taking the cumulative scores on average, we have this week’s Power Rankings: (last week’s rank and change in position in parentheses)
1. Denver Broncos (2, +1)
Though not as impressive as their effort in Week 1, Peyton’s Broncos won the ‘Manning Bowl’ by putting up another 40 points and replacing Von Miller’s impact with a pass-rush-by-committee approach. A unanimous takeover of the top spot.
2. Seattle Seahawks (3, +1)
With lightning provided by Mother Nature and thunder from the ‘12th man’, the setting in Seattle was anything but welcoming for San Francisco as the Seahawks rolled to a dominant victory and moved past their division foe in these standings.
3. San Francisco 49ers (1, -2)
Taken down in convincing fashion by bitter rival and fellow powerhouse Seattle, the 49ers have been knocked off their perch, and some of the shine has come off of Kaep & Co. However, our team still has them firmly in the Top 3.
4. Green Bay Packers (4, 0)
The Packer offense quickly made it a laugher over Washington and that, paired with the 49er flop above them, prompted a pair of our analysts to sneak Green Bay into the Top 3, but it wasn’t enough to budge them in the cumulative ranks. They hold at No. 4 with eyes up.
5. Houston Texans (6, +1)
Tested again, the Texans found a way for the second consecutive week. Perhaps most notable in this one was the idea that they may have finally identified an opposite-side threat to pair with Andre Johnson – a long missing ingredient. Houston swaps spots with the Patriots.
6. New England Patriots (5, -1)
Question marks abound as Brady’s surrounding cast spent the day still searching for its feet and the front seven struggled against the run. They fall one spot and have a tenuous hold here with a few more teams looking to make a move up.
7. Atlanta Falcons (7, 0)
With injuries mounting and pressure around the edges of their O-line becoming a regular occurrence, the Falcons held on for a win and managed to hold ground at No. 7. Their advantage over New Orleans here is barely that as the 7-8 spots were decided by decimals.
8. New Orleans Saints (8, 0)
Some good fortune paired with an efficient last-minute march saw the Saints get win No. 2 in the division. Cameron Jordan and their defense was again up to the task, and it was the offense that made this one closer than it had to be. New Orleans stays at 8.
9. Chicago Bears (9, 0)
On the back of a big jump up last week, Chicago is the third team in this stretch to hold steady this time around, as they landed the final blow in a big-play slugfest with the Vikings. An up-and-down game for Cutler finished on a high and the Bears maintain membership in our Top 10.
10t. Cincinnati Bengals (12, +2)
Rookie runner Gio Bernard gave just enough spark to help Cincinnati secure their half of ‘division week’ in the AFC North. Up and down around this No. 10 spot, our team is showing hesitant faith that the Bengals belong.
10t. Kansas City Chiefs (15, +5)
Kansas City continues to climb. Garnering enough votes to share the 10th spot, their second win in as many weeks has them looking to surpass their 2012 total next week and belief in the team’s offseason restructure is building.
12. Baltimore Ravens (11, -1)
They needed a positive showing after the embarrassing opener, but a less-than-dominant rebound win over Cleveland carried little weight so the Ravens were passed up by two teams a bit better at capturing the imagination.
13. Dallas Cowboys (10, -3)
Two steps forward, three steps back, or so it’s been in these rankings as the Cowboys couldn’t match the magic of their home opener in this week’s trip to Arrowhead.
14. Miami Dolphins (17, +3)
Amid the run of teams heading South in these rankings, the Dolphins are moving in the other direction and post their second straight upward bounce — doing so, surprisingly, without a standout game from Cameron Wake.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (13, -2)
After last week’s splash and corresponding jump in the rankings, the speedy Eagles slipped back with another shady defensive display – this time one they couldn’t run past.
16. New York Giants (14, -2)
No matter how accustomed Eli is to dealing with the pressure his line allows, it’s an issue in need of attention if this team is going to go anywhere in 2013. The G-Men drop two more spots and are searching for answers.
17. Indianapolis Colts (16, -1)
Gosder Cherilus made good on his 2012 standing as a top-notch pass protector, keeping Wake at bay. Luck, however, faltered in the face of the pressure that did make it through and the Colts take a second consecutive single step back.
18. St. Louis Rams (20, +2)
Robert Quinn is playing out of his mind but the upward-looking Rams couldn’t dig out of a sizable first-half hole. Solidly middle of the pack, they take a step in the right direction with a minor move up.
19. San Diego Chargers (26, +7)
This week’s high-riser took out last week’s, as our team was looking for some sort of validation to the Chargers’ Week 1 first half showing and Rivers delivered.
20. Washington Redskins (18, -2)
Back-to-back weeks of ugly first halves and desperate scrambles to make final scores respectable have the Redskins sliding. Down five spots last week and a couple more here, they need to put the brakes on and get some sort of defense on the field.
21t. Buffalo Bills (22, +1)
There were positive moments to be found and the win, of course, was welcomed but issues remain as the Bills crawl up one more spot. Making a home at the top of the 20’s.
21t. Detroit Lions (19, -2)
Suh and CJ did what they do, but the Lions could never pull away from a Cardinal offense that found it tough to make plays. A late penalty spelled the end and pulled Detroit back down after their five-spot rise last week.
23. Tennessee Titans (25, +2)
A cautious end cost them a win that would have pulled them further up the standings, but as it was the Titans fall to Houston in painful fashion and their rise here is more about the sliding teams around them.
24. Minnesota Vikings (24, 0)
Wild swings in their back-and-forth tilt with Chicago ended with the Bears celebrating and the Vikings taking their second division loss. After a five-spot drop last week, Minnesota holds ground at No. 24.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers (21, -4)
Early returns have them looking like the fading force in the North that some expected and Pittsburgh slides another four spots (after moving down five last week). Looking like a legit member of the Bottom 10 at this point.
26. Arizona Cardinals (28, +2)
Up two more spots from their initial No. 29 in these rankings, the Cardinals found a way to slip past the visiting Lions. With a high-water mark among our analysts at the 21st rank, there’s at least some belief that their climb could continue.
27. Carolina Panthers (23, -4)
With their dominant duo on the defensive edges falling flat, and a disappointing day from their third-year signal-caller, the Panthers find themselves at 0-2 and moving more rapidly downward.
28. Cleveland Browns (27, -1)
Now settling in to the Bottom 5, the Browns have inched downward week on week. Good things seen from the defense haven’t outweighed the lingering questions surrounding the offense.
29. New York Jets (30, +1)
Even with positives to be taken from their Thursday Night loss, it’s a slow climb up from these ranks, though a couple of wins could see them into the growing group of nobody-wants-it teams ahead of them.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (29, -1)
Hanging with a team in the Top 10 here didn’t impress enough as it took a defensive score to grab the lead and a missed field goal opened the door for another final-minute fall.
31. Oakland Raiders (31, 0)
Downing the only team behind them in the rankings, Oakland again flashed an improved and active defense. They’ll follow with a trip to Denver to face the top end of the ranks in their Week 3 Monday Night matchup.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (32, 0)
Cementing their grasp on the final spot, Jacksonville showed little life from the outset in Oakland. They’re here on seven of eight ballots and escape just up to 31st on the other.