NFL Consensus Power Rankings - Week 2
Week 1 is in the books and it was a week full of close games. In fact, 12 of the 16 games were decided by a touchdown or less and that ties an NFL record.
With our power rankings each week, we answer a question in a roundtable fashion among our contributors.
This week's question: What is one thing that you didn't know before Week 1's games that you know now?
Kevin Hanson (follow on Twitter):
I was wrong. He has a shot to blow away those numbers this year.
Of course, I don't expect 200-yard games from Boldin every week, but I do expect him to be targeted much more than I had initially anticipated.
Here's an interesting stat about Boldin's debuts with the Cardinals, Ravens and now 49ers:
Anquan Boldin making his 49ers debut is the 1st player in NFL history to record a 100-yard receiving game in his debut for 3 different teams— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) September 11, 2013
Boldin saw a league-high 17 targets in Week 1. As opposing defenses focus on shutting down the read option and running game, it allows Boldin to find soft spots in the middle of the field. It would be realistic to expect 10-12 targets per game for Boldin for the rest of the way. If he were to get 10 targets per game, on average, for the remaining 15 games, that would put his full-season total at 167. In 2012, that would have been good enough for fifth-highest in the league behind Wes Welker (174) and ahead of Andre Johnson and A.J. Green (both tied with 164).
I wouldn't be surprised if Boldin actually puts up a line of 100/1,300/8, which vastly exceeds my expectations for him only a week ago.
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John Trifone (follow on Twitter):
I didn't know that the Eagles could look like a team with the potential to contend in the NFC.
For a few years now, Philly has had all the athleticism in the world, but just couldn't put it together. Most people had predicted them to finish in the basement, as most considered the Chip Kelly experiment to be something of a rebuild. I'm not handing them the division just yet, but they certainly look like they have that potential.
The offense in the first half was one of the most impressive of the week, and if they can stay healthy, I'm not sure that there is a defense out there that can hang with them. You can game plan and scheme all you want, but you can't make huge lineman run up and down the field, trying to catch LeSean McCoy with only a few seconds in between plays.
Time will tell with the Eagles, but the first 30 minutes of that game was eye-opening for me.
Sean Beazley (follow on Twitter):
This one is easy, and it's just how bad the Pittsburgh Steelers are, and will be this season.
I do give some credit to the Titans defense for shutting them out before garbage time, but Big Ben and the Steelers offense was very poor on Sunday. The Titans don't exactly have a world class defense, in fact they were one of the worst defenses in the NFL last year, and they didn't exactly break the check book in signing players in the offseason. Losing Maurkice Pouncey for the year (projected) will only hurt them more.
Defensively, the loss of James Harrison was also noticeable. I would be shocked to see the Steelers the way they played yesterday to finish above .500 this season.
Dan Yanotchko (follow on Twitter):
The thing that I know now after the first slate of games this week, is that the NFL's goal of having every team finish at 8-8 is closer than you think.
Of course, there are still the elite teams out there, but even teams that were supposed to win in a walk struggled. The Colts escaped the Raiders, the Patriots eeked out the Bills, the Buccaneers lost to the Jets, the Titans beat the Steelers, and the Seahawks struggled with the Panthers.
I think there will be some 9-7 teams that make the playoffs this year, and it certainly will be an interesting season.