NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs Rise, Steelers Fall

5 of 5

Sep 8, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs onto the field before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


4. Denver Broncos

Record: 1-0

Previous Ranking: 4

I’m going to go out on a limb a say Peyton Manning doesn’t throw seven touchdown passes in a game for the rest of the season. I know, I’m bold.

Seriously, that might be the best game Denver plays all year, and a lot of it had to do with Baltimore being completely out of sync on defense. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when Denver is both challenge by an opponent and has a hard time getting the offense started. Because Denver will only go as far as their defense allows them to go.

As of now, that looks like the Super Bowl.

3. Green Bay Packers

Record: 0-1

Previous Ranking: 2

So Green Bay goes on the road to the best team in football in the first week of the season and ends up one possession away from winning the game? Yeah, Green Bay is really good. There is a strong likelihood the Packers will get another shot at the 49ers in January.

Until then, Green Bay needs to figure out to stop Anquan Boldin.

2. Seattle Seahawks

Record: 1-0

Previous Ranking: 3

Seattle was very sloppy in their game against the Carolina Panthers, turning the ball over once, racking up 99 yards in penalties, and rushing for just 70 yards. Still, they got the late touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse in the fourth quarter, and the defense was tremendous.

How much of their offensive scheme was about not tipping their hand to San Francisco is an interesting idea to ponder. There seems to be some opportunities missed even with the sloppy play. I supposed we’ll find out Sunday night.

1. San Francisco 49ers

Record: 1-0

Previous Ranking: 1

Congratulations for making the Super Bowl in 2012, San Francisco. Your reward is to play the two best teams in the NFL to begin your season!

The 49ers offense looked almost unstoppable against Green Bay last weekend, with Anquan Boldin filling the role of “Who Needs More Than One Wide Receiver?” Boldin and Vernon Davis proved to be enough to beat Green Bay, but it won’t be as simple against the Seahawks, whose defense may end up being the best in football when all is said and done.

If the 49ers are going to beat Seattle in Seattle, then Frank Gore is going to have to be more of a factor than what he was against Green Bay. Green Bay made a strong effort to stop the running game, and it work in the sense that neither Colin Kaepernick or Gore had great days on the ground. But Seattle has more talent on their defense than Green Bay does, so stopping the run won’t be as hard for them as it was Green Bay. Plus, Seattle has a tremendous tandem of secondary players in Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas to stop the Boldin/Davis combination.

The matchups don’t look good for San Francisco, but seeing how locked in Kaepernick is makes it hard to bet against them, even at Seattle.