Power Rankings

    The Times’ NFL rankings

    by Lance Pugmire

    Up: 49ers + 1 | Down: Jaguars - 1

    1

    49ers

    2-0
    1

    QB Alex Smith’s efficiency (no INTS in 216 passes), defense-led victories over Packers, Lions make them early favorite for Super Bowl.

    2

    falcons

    2-0
    0

    Takeaway skills set up big first half against Denver. Now they have challenge of getting up for nonconference road game in San Diego.

    3

    texans

    2-0
    0

    Two blowouts (albeit over Miami and Jacksonville) reveal all elements of a winner: defense, strong running game, sound coaching.

    4

    eagles

    2-0
    0

    Hard-to-please fans might not like nine-turnover route to the wins, yet beating Ravens and QB Mike Vick’s pressure play deserve credit.

    5

    cardinals

    2-0
    0

    Field goal away from losing to Patriots, but it missed and four sacks of Brady worth noting since defense rarely slumps. Eagles next.

    6

    broncos

    1-1
    0

    QB Peyton Manning rallied self from three INTs and new team on road after big early deficit. Home showdown awaits against Houston.

    7

    packers

    1-1
    0

    Shutting down Bears’ Cutler a needed boost for Rodgers and Co., and now they get a long rest before venturing to Seattle Monday.

    8

    chargers

    2-0
    0

    Two wins without RB Ryan Mathews because of swarming defense that has given up TDs only with victory at hand. Test vs. Atlanta next.

    9

    ravens

    1-1
    0

    One-point defeat at Eagles soured by poor officiating. Doses of defense and RB Ray Rice moving forward make them a tough out.

    10

    patriots

    1-1
    0

    Struggle to score TDs, stunning home-opener loss to Arizona has bitter chaser of facing Sunday night at Baltimore.

    11

    steelers

    1-1
    0

    Clamping down Jets in second half marks annual resurrection of “Steel Curtain” reputation. Roethlisberger a precise 24-of-31.

    12

    lions

    1-1
    0

    Secondary absences hurt cause at tough 49ers, but QB Matthew Stafford-WR Calvin Johnson duo should start big run at Tennessee.

    13

    giants

    1-1
    0

    Another testament to why QB Eli Manning has done what he’s done, rallying through two picks and two-touchdown second-half deficit.

    14

    redskins

    1-1
    0

    Now they know: don’t lose your temper in final minutes. Rookie star QB Robert Griffin III 20-of-29, rushed for 82 yards in close loss.

    15

    seahawks

    1-1
    0

    RB Marshawn Lynch running with authority, QB Russell Wilson not playing like a kid and special teams capable of stoking home-field fire.

    16

    cowboys

    1-1
    0

    Jerry Jones probably wanted someone to black out his glasses in 20-point loss at Seattle. Inconsistency remains the reputation.

    17

    jets

    1-1
    0

    QB Mark Sanchez throws chum in water to New York media along with incompletions, finishing 10-of-27, 138 yards as “Tebow Watch” warms.

    18

    bears

    1-1
    0

    Grumpy QB Jay Cutler answers toughness questions in Packers’ attack, but leadership remains enigmatic. Hobbled RB Forte doesn’t help.

    19

    buccaneers

    1-1
    0

    Blown lead at Giants, failed “Miracle at Meadowlands” attempt defuses new Coach Greg Schiano’s work, yet they’re clearly much better.

    20

    panthers

    1-1
    0

    Piled up rushing yards with QB Cam Newton directing option attack, a true threat moving forward. Newton also passed for 253 yards.

    21

    bengals

    1-1
    0

    Bullied Browns again, with QB Andy Dalton throwing three TDs. Red flag is allowing 27 points to Cleveland after opening spanking.

    22

    saints

    0-2
    0

    Either them or Kansas City will be 0-3 next week. Clearly cutting the head off leader has changed them and Brees left to throw too much.

    23

    rams

    1-1
    0

    Coach Jeff Fisher’s toughness being felt, and QB Sam Bradford has found definite comfort receiver in Danny Amendola (15 receptions).

    24

    bills

    1-1
    0

    C.J. Spiller rushed for 123 yards and two TDS in win, and defensive investment finding chemistry as five sacks, three turnovers attest.

    25

    dolphins

    1-1
    0

    RB Reggie Bush reverted to USC days with 172 yards vs. Raiders, lifting pressure from rookie QB Ryan Tannehill. Still work in progress.

    26

    chiefs

    0-2
    0

    Looking bad, very bad. Where was RB Jamaal Charles in blowout loss? Where was protection? Now they walk into New Orleans’ desperate den.

    27

    colts

    1-1
    0

    Andrew Luck gets first win thanks to Adam Vinatieri’s 53-yard kick near buzzer. What qualifies season as a success? I’ll say six wins.

    28

    vikings

    1-1
    0

    Can’t be happy with loss to Colts. Grind of season something to watch on RB Adrian Peterson, whom they need big games from for victory.

    29

    browns

    0-2
    0

    RB Trent Richardson broke 100 yards, fellow rookie QB Brandon Weeden surpassed 300 and still wasn’t enough. Dog pound, indeed.

    30

    titans

    0-2
    0

    Wow, they look rough. Trailing 17-0, they were pinned near own 5 and never really worried Chargers. RB Chris Johnson calling out line.

    31

    raiders

    0-2
    0

    Flat trip follows sloppy opener. Run defense fails this time. Tell me where to find excitement? Now they look up and see Steelers coming.

    32

    jaguars

    0-2
    1

    As if things weren’t bad enough, QB Blaine Gabbert hurt. Send the worst replacement refs to their next game, they need a break. Or 10.

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    Credits: Rankings by Lance Pugmire. Helmets by Doug Stevens.
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