Week 1 NFL Power Rankings: From A FanSports
As the first week of the NFL season came and went, some teams won, some teams lost, and some teams, like the Buffalo Bills, saw life in perspective. With only one game down and fifteen to play, it’s hard to understand who’s good, who’s bad, and who’s just awful. But, with our week one power ratings, we are trying to do just that.
1. Indianapolis Colts: In what was supposed to be a close game, Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne led Indianapolis to a New Orleans hit. The only thing the saints are marching on now is remorse.
2. New England Patriots: We all know that the “real” Super Bowl last year was between the Pats and the Colts. With New England punishing the New York Jets, the same championship can raise its head.
3. San Diego Chargers: Phillip Rivers wasn’t exactly a great quarterback in this game, but the Chargers found a way to beat “Da Bears.” Still, if they want to make up for the opportunities they missed last season, they better make sure their offense isn’t offensive to their fans.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo, rebounding with greatness from his mistake in last year’s playoff game, made every Fantasy player want to be on his team. If the Cowboys can continue to consolidate, they will be the team to beat in the NFC.
5. Denver Broncos: The Denver Broncos recently haven’t had a good performance on opening day. This trend, until Jason Elam’s last second literal field goal, seemed to continue. Not only was it a great road win for Denver, but it was a great emotional victory, and one that will give Jay Cutler a boost to his young confidence.
6. Carolina Panthers: Two words for Carolina fans: they are back. The duo of Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith once again provided the foundation for a solid victory, on the road no less. The Panthers defense also did a great job silencing Steven Jackson. Let’s face it, that’s not easy to do.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sure, they won big, but let’s not get carried away – they were playing the Browns. Nonetheless, Big Ben looked great in his 2007 debut, showing fans that the source of his 2005 power was not in his appendix. We’ll see how they do it when they play a team that doesn’t come from Cleveland.
8. Cincinnati Bengals: If the most disappointing part of Cincinnati games continues to be Chad Johnson’s overblown but poor touchdown celebration, the Bengals could have a great season. They cut it close to the end, but their defense figured out how to win. That’s what good teams do.
9. Chicago Bears: No, they didn’t win, but they held one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL at just 14 points. Still, if they’re going to be a contender, even in the NFC, they have to have some kind of offense: put Brian in and ax Rex.
10. Seattle Seahawks: They started slowly, but the Seahawks eventually found themselves flying. If their defense continues to play well and Shaun Alexander can remain without a jury, they will make the playoffs. Where they go from there, nobody knows.
11. Baltimore Ravens: The loss to the Bengals not only hurt the Ravens’ pride, it also left Steve McNair with a separated shoulder and Ray Lewis with a bicep injury. In light of having more turnovers than a neighborhood bakery, the Ravens have a lot of work to do on offense.
12. New Orleans Saints: Yes, they were mistreated at Indy, but don’t count the Saints yet. If last year taught us anything, it is that this team and its fans are full of heart. The heart wins where talent fails.
13. Philadelphia Eagles: A loss to Green Bay wasn’t exactly how Donovan McNabb wanted to start the season, but ruling them out is a huge overreaction. Lambeau Field on opening day is one of the most difficult places to play. Attribute that and hope the Eagles don’t ruffle their feathers this way again.
14. Green Bay Packers: Sunday’s game reminded people in Green Bay why they root for the home team. In a less-than-stellar division, Green Bay actually has some playoff potential. They have Favre’s experience and leadership along with youthful talent. They are going to surprise some people.
15. Houston Texans: After destroying the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston fans may find themselves shouting “Super Bowl, Super Bowl.” But let’s not get too crazy. The Chiefs are not a very worthy opponent. If the Texans can easily beat someone better, Houston fans may have reason to get excited.
16. Tennessee Titans: With Vince Young and Chris Brown as threats, the Titans could see an explosive year. What’s more, his defense really played … well, well.
17. San Francisco: His defense and offense seemed to have switched roles, with the defense actually playing very well and the offense poor. Still, Alex Smith won when he had to and Frank Gore, running back extraordinary, will have a good season. This team will have a better year than average.
18. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings were truly warriors against the Falcons on Sunday. While they looked great, keep in mind that Atlanta has had a bad offseason. Still, if the Vikings can do this with teams whose seasons have not been doubled by Fido, the Minnesotans may find themselves making the NFC North quite competitive.
19. Washington Redskins: It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win. His offense did the job when it was needed. An overtime win on opening day is always exciting. For now, the Redskins are doing very well.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: AFC Chicago Bears Jacksonville are lost when opponents score: Without their dominant defense, the Jaguars won’t win. If his offense doesn’t start doing … nothing, this is going to be a very, very long season.
21. Miami dolphins: The overtime loss to the Washington Redskins hurt the Fins, both qualifying and emotionally. Still, there are signs of life: Trent Green did well in his debut (he would have done better if his receivers kept the ball). If his defense can stop the race, the Dolphins will bounce back.
22. New York Giants: The Giants and Cowboys game was getting exciting and then injuries came. The Giants are not low on the power rankings because they played horribly, but because their entire team was apparently injured. Brandon Jacobs will be out for a month, Osi Umenyiora will be out for a few months, and Eli Manning will be out for at least one game, maybe more. The Giants will be happy when it’s October.
23. Arizona Cardinals: His defense really played well against the 49ers. Too bad the same cannot be said for his offense. If they’re going to have even a mediocre season, Arizona’s receivers will have to open up so Leinhart has a place to go.
24. Detroit Lions: In what was the preview of the anti-Super Bowl, the Detroit Lions destroyed the Oakland Raiders. The Lions aren’t going to win a championship, but their offense should have a productive year. This could be a turning point.
25. New York Jets: Jets fans are realizing that if they want to be a good team, they will have to learn to play with the greats. Not only did they lose to the Patriots, they looked horrible. Hopefully the coach they call Man Genius can find a way to win.
26. Buffalo Bills: With thoughts and prayers directed at Kevin Everett, soccer seems unimportant. Hopefully he, even if his football career is over, can bounce back and lead a good and fulfilling life.
27. St. Louis Rams: When your star runner has a lousy game, you are not going to win. Losing at home on opening day will be tough for the Rams to beat. Steven Jackson will have to turn it around, and not turn it around, if the Rams are going to save the season.
28. Atlanta Falcons: It’s really a shame the entire team has to suffer for one man’s inhumane decisions. It would be nice to see Joey Harrington get it right. He may not be a better quarterback than Michael Vick, but I bet he’s a better person.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Don’t discount this team just yet … give it some games. His defense showed signs of life, but his offense struggled in every sense of the word. Still, Gruden knows how to train. You will find a few tricks up your sleeve.
30. Oakland Raiders: Even when they were horrendous last year, his defense was excellent. That seems to no longer be the case. The Chargers and Broncos are happy that the Raiders are in their division.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Wow, this outfit looks bad. Opponents might even have a chance to win at Arrowhead in November and December of this year. Like the Raiders, the Chargers and Broncos welcome the Chiefs’ presence in the AFC West.
32. Cleveland Browns: Look for Brady Quinn as the starting quarterback before the season ends. You might as well put it down and attribute it to a year of “rebuilding.”