NFL Power Rankings: Teams That Showed Surprising Potential in Week One
The NFL's opening week showed a more accurate depiction of every franchise, and some teams won't be happy with what was revealed.
Others are ecstatic when they weren't expected to be. Even in a losing performance, a few teams showed there is light at the end of the tunnel for their struggling squad.
Week 1's games don't decide playoff matchups, but they can tell us a lot about certain teams moving forward.
Let's take a look at three teams that showed unexpected potential in the season's opening week, followed by some power rankings.
The Browns lost to the Philadelphia Eagles on a Clay Harbor touchdown reception with 1:18 remaining in the game, but they nearly pulled the upset.
Cleveland's defense made that possible, and that's where their surprising potential comes from.
Philadelphia's offense boasts as much, if not more, speed and skill than any other attack in the league. They did accumulate 456 total yards, but 17 points are what really matters. The Browns forced five turnovers and consistently bent without breaking.
Players like L.J. Fort and Craig Robertson showed their skill in the front seven for the Browns, and Joe Haden added to his reputation as a shutdown corner.
Cleveland's offense still has a long way to go, but defense goes a long way in the rugged AFC North. Sunday's performance provides a solid building block for the Browns moving forward.
St. Louis Rams
The Rams nearly turned Matthew Stafford's three interceptions into a victory on Sunday, but the Lions' QB's late-game heroics kept that from happening.
But that doesn't mean the Rams came away empty-handed. For a team that only won two games last season, there were some positive signs in this disappointing loss.
Unlike his counterpart, Sam Bradford didn't turn the ball over. He did attempt 23 fewer passes, but protecting the ball is important regardless.
The Rams were efficient on offense, even if they did lack big-play ability.
Cortland Finnegan's play was even more encouraging. He had 10 tackles and took a Stafford interception back for a touchdown in the second quarter. The Rams' secondary had a ton of issues last season, and Finnegan's presence should help that unit down the line.
St. Louis isn't a contender, but this was a step in the right direction. Bradford looked solid in his return to the field, and the Rams' defense forced turnovers.
The Vikings defeated Jacksonville in overtime and looked better than expected in the season's opening week.
Adrian Peterson showed flashes of his old self with a two-touchdown day, and Christian Ponder had a very solid showing to start his sophomore campaign.
Peterson's display was expected, despite his injury, but Ponder's wasn't. Steady play behind center will severely alter this team's path, but Ponder must continue making strides.
It was the Jaguars, but a win is a win for any maligned franchise. Ponder didn't throw for a touchdown, but he was 20-of-27 passing. He managed the game, and allowed his team to support him.
Defensively, the Vikings played well. They gave up 355 yards, but surrendered less than five yards per play. That's progress for a defense seeking some optimism after last season.
The Vikings need Ponder to be consistent from week to week, but this opening performance was encouraging. If he keeps it up, there's potential here.
NFL Power Rankings
*Rankings take into account Week 1 performances and nothing else
10. New York Giants
11. Baltimore Ravens
13. Philadelphia Eagles
18. Pittsburgh Steelers
22. Seattle Seahawks
23. Tennessee Titans
24. Buffalo Bills
25. Cleveland Browns
27. Oakland Raiders
32. Miami Dolphins
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?