NFL Power Rankings: Teams That Will Tumble After Week 1

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2012

Jan 20, 2011; Honolulu, HI, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo at midfield as AFC quarterback Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers (17) prepares to hand off to Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (23) during the 2011 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

With the opening game of the 2012 NFL regular season upon us, the fun of watching football again has fans across the world on the edge of their seats for the Week 1 action.

As much as each fan has that special team they live their life for, there are a group of organizations that will disappoint this week and start their fall down the 2012 power rankings.

After Week 1, each of these teams will find themselves much farther down the rankings than before the season started.


Dallas Cowboys

Week 1 Matchup: at NY Giants, Wed, Sept. 5 at 8:30 p.m. ET

The Dallas Cowboys start the season on a Wednesday against the defending Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants. While kicking off the season is an honor, the team will lose big on a national stage.

After being trounced by the Giants, the Cowboys and their Super Bowl hopes will begin their slow descent into mediocrity and miss the playoffs.

It all starts with their Week 1 loss, though.

There is no doubt that Dallas has the talent to be a great team, but health concerns and the team’s inability to get on the same page doomed them in 2011 and will likely do the same in 2012; that means a slow drop in the power rankings.


Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 1 Matchup: at Denver, Sun, Sept. 9 at 8:20 p.m. ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been one of the perennial powerhouses in the NFL over the last decade, but the way the team plays the game now is totally different.

As much as the Super Bowl-winning Steelers used to be predicated on running the ball and a tough defense, Pittsburgh passes more than anything and the “Steel Curtain II” is nothing more than a group of older players now.

This isn’t the same Steelers team anymore.

With a tough Week 1 matchup against the new-look Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning will pick apart the mediocre Steelers' secondary and hand the team their second straight win over Pittsburgh.

Despite falling in the power rankings, this loss will be far less painful, though.


San Francisco 49ers

Week 1 Matchup: at Green Bay, Sun, Sept. 9 at 4:25 p.m. ET

The Green Bay Packers are arguably the best team in the NFL, but they will face the tough San Francisco 49ers Sunday.

Lucky for Aaron Rodgers and the boys, the 49ers are as overrated as they come.

Besides the fact that San Fran has a top-five defense, their offense is nothing special. Led by the inconsistent arm of Alex Smith, the 49ers will never win the big game as long as they allow Smith to pull the trigger in key situations.

After the overrated quarterback blows any chance the 49ers have against Green Bay, San Francisco will start the slow fall to the middle of the power rankings.

So sad.


NFL Power Rankings

Team 2011 Record
 1. New York Giants  9-7
 2. Green Bay Packers  15-1
 3. San Francisco 49ers  13-3
 4. Houston Texans  10-6
 5. New England Patriots  13-3
 6. Baltimore Ravens  12-4
 7. Philadelphia Eagles  8-8
 8. Atlanta Falcons  10-6
 9. San Diego Chargers  8-8
 10. Pittsburgh Steelers  12-4
 11. Detroit Lions  10-6
 12. Dallas Cowboys  8-8
 13. Tennessee Titans  9-7
 14. Cincinnati Bengals  9-7
 15. New Orleans Saints  13-3
 16. Chicago Bears  8-8
 17. Kansas City Chiefs  7-9
 18. New York Jets  8-8
 19. Denver Broncos  8-8
 20. Seattle Seahawks  7-9
 21. Buffalo Bills   6-10
 22. Arizona Cardinals  8-8
 23. Washington Redskins  5-11
 24. Carolina Panthers  6-10
 25. Oakland Raiders  8-8
 26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers  4-12
 27. Miami Dolphins  6-10
 28. Jacksonville Jaguars  5-11
 29. Cleveland Browns  4-12
 30. Indianapolis Colts  2-14
 31. St. Louis Rams   2-14
 32. Minnesota Vikings  3-13


Check back for more on the National Football League as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s NFL page to get your fill of all things football.


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