NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Packers and More Teams Whose Stock Sunk After Week 1

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 9: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers runs away from pursuit by Aldon Smith #99 of the San Francisco 49ers in the first half of the game at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 10, 2012

The Green Bay Packers were far from the only Super Bowl contender to come up short in Week 1 of the 2012 NFL regular season.

A simple glance down the final scores of this opening week of pro football shows many surprising final scores that not many experts would have predicted. Those same upsets and intriguing losses are sure to scramble the power rankings heading into Week 2.

While a Week 1 loss isn't indicative of a failed season and each team still has plenty of time to right the ship, we cannot ignore what happens in the tell-all season openers. 

Let's take a look at some teams who are headed in the wrong direction after season-opening losses.

 

Green Bay Packers

The Packers simply took too much time to get going in their high-profile season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, and they paid for it in a 30-22 loss at home Sunday.

Aaron Rodgers got his numbers (30-for-44, 303 YDS, 2 TDS, 1 INT), but he showed no signs in the first half of being a quarterback capable of what he's done in the past two seasons. He did lead his team back and gave it a chance late, but it was mostly due to his offense's lack of productivity that the Pack were in a hole to begin with.

They had no rushing attack to speak of, which has become an Achilles heel for the Packers. Newly-acquired RB Cedric Benson couldn't amass 20 yards in his nine carries, and Rodgers eventually ended up as the team's leading rusher by the end of the game.

If Rodgers and company don't find a way to get their offense going early next week, they'll be in grave danger of starting the season off 0-2.

 

New Orleans Saints

Given the way their offseason turned out, it doesn't seem like a huge deal that the Saints are 0-1 at first glance.

Though, it's important to realize that they went up against a rookie QB and a Washington Redskins team that was among the worst in the NFL last season.

The Saints were slow into their stride early on, and a hot Robert Griffin III got his team out to a lead it wouldn't relinquish. 

Drew Brees had a decent game, but just like the Packers, he can't afford to get behind early when facing a team that believes in itself. 

 

Carolina Panthers

After Panthers center Ryan Kalil made a big-time Super Bowl guarantee before the season started (h/t Yahoo! Sports), you'd expect his team to come out more inspired than it did Sunday.

The Panthers were fortunate enough to land a very beatable Tampa Bay Buccaneers team in Week 1, but they were stifled by a Bucs run defense that kept them to just 10 total yards of rushing.

Carolina had success throwing the ball between the 20's, as Cam Newton passed 300 passing yards. But his two interceptions proved to be detrimental in a low-scoring 16-10 defeat. 

Many sportswriters and fans alike had high hopes for the Panthers entering the 2012 season. But as it's often proven in the NFL, it doesn't always play out in the game like it does on paper. 

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