NFL Power Rankings after Week 1- Good Times, Bad Times = Dallas, New England

Matt HainesContributor ISeptember 9, 2008

So I didn't get a chance to write Power rankings for Week 1, but if I had, I'm sure I would've had the Patriots on top, the Bears on the bottom, and the Eagles sitting about sixteenth or seventeenth. But all of a sudden, things have changed in the NFL. Week 1 provided us fans with many different storylines and upsets, none bigger than Tom Brady out for the season after going down with a knee injury against the Chiefs. Then there was also Jet Favre beating the Dolphins, the Giants D letting the world know that they're not done this season, the Colts getting outright beaten by the Bears, the come from behind Panthers victory, etc. etc. So I figured I'd write a little bit about where I think all these teams belong.

NFL Power Rankings after Week 1


1.       Cowboys- As Brady goes, so go the Pats and now it looks like Big D’s gonna take this league like a tornado, especially seeing what they did to Cleveland.

2.       Chargers- Yeah, it’s not good to lose to the Panthers. But they’re not a terrible team and it was a last minute push. Besides, LT will come into his own and Rivers’ play was phenomenal compared to his previous work.

3.       Steelers- Pittsburgh dominated the Texans in almost every way. A bit of a shabby performance from Roethlisberger, but Fast Willie helped to make up for it. It’s a little early to call them the favorites in the AFC, but they sure as hell played like they were.

4.       Eagles- They came out like a fireball and never slowed down. Donovan must be on top of the world right now, but did they look so good because they are so good or did the Rams have something to do with it?

5.       Saints- Drew Brees always finds a way, and he did a great job of improvising and such against a very good Tampa backfield. Maybe they’ll be the ones to prove that the best defense is a good offense.

6.       Colts- Yep, that was embarrassing. Who wants to start out the season losing to Chicago. But honestly, can you really doubt Peyton to take this and turn it around. Every tick in the loss column for the Colts is like a spark, and Manning’s a ticking time bomb.

7.       Giants- It wasn’t Eli’s greatest game, but Burress and Jacobs made up for it. And the defense showed it could actually hold up without Osi. They better shape up before weeks 9 and 10 though, because they won’t beat Philly or Dallas they way they played.

8.       Packers- There may have been one guy chanting “Bring back Favre!”, but he was quickly drowned out by the rest of the crowd screaming for Rogers. He did pretty well and him and Grant ran all over the Minnesota D, proving their still top dogs in the North.

9.       Jaguars- Pretty rough start for Garrard and the Jags, but they still have the raw talent needed to launch them to the top. Once they get everything under control, watch out because they may not be stopped. It doesn’t help that they lost two of their starting O-lineman though.

10.    Broncos- After brushing the Raiders off like it was nobody’s business, the Broncos are looking like they could emerge as an AFC powerhouse with Cutler at the helm. Can you just imagine what next week’s going to look like when Marshall’s playing?

11.    Buccaneers- It’s true they lost to the Saints, but they kept it close against an offensive powerhouse. Their offense isn’t too big, but look for that D to win them some games.

12.    Jets- Mark my words, that defense is good. Now with Brady out, I’m sure everyone will say their the favorites for the AFC East. And Favre wasn’t too bad his first time out with them. He’ll get settled and it should all be gravy from there.

13.    Bills- I’m sure they’ll be right on the Jets heels for a while. With a little bit of trickery and a lot of elbow grease, the Bills didn’t seem to have trouble dispelling the idea that Seattle’s defense is all that good.

14.    Bears- I would’ve never thought I’d be putting them any higher than maybe 20, but the Bears played great football Sunday night and proved they may be a contender in the NFC. Forte was incredible and that defense is looking like the one that took them to the Super Bowl two years ago.

15.    Panthers- I thought they’d get beaten, but with a little resilience Delhomme showed that the Panthers are for real this year. Oh, and they beat the Chargers without Steve Smith, so think about when he comes back.

16.    Titans- Some may say they should be higher for taking down Jacksonville in a stunner, and those people are right. The big reason they’re so low is because Young’s out for a few weeks, which means Kerry Collins will be leading the team. Need I say more? Then again, it may not matter the way Chris Johnson came out of the gate and the way the defense shut down what is supposed to be a very potent Jacksonville offense.

17.    Vikings- Big loss to the Pack at Lambeau, but they stayed in it the whole way. Jackson seriously needs to improve, and the feared defensive unit wasn’t all that effective, except for a blocked kick.

18.    Cardinals- Arizona started slow but came back to show that they want to be known as the favorites for the NFC West this season. Watching all the other teams play, it seems like they’ll have no problem. But aside from that they did play very well, even if it was just against San Fran.

19.    Browns- Anderson just couldn’t get it together against Dallas, but who can blame them. The Browns are on the hot seat this year and this is a setback. But c’mon, can you really blame them for losing to the Cowboys? Sure it was bad, but nothing they can’t come back from.

20.    Patriots- Brady’s gone for the season, so does anyone think their still Super Bowl faves? With that goes my pick of a repeat Giants- Pats Super Bowl, and also the hopes and dreams of about seven eighths of New England. I figure they belong in this mid-ranger because their defense is so good and they have a four Running Back carousel going against one of the easiest run schedules in the leagues.

21.    Falcons- Speculated by many to be the worst team this year, Matt Ryan seemed to set his sights on proving people wrong. The offense was great and the defense held up relatively well to the Detroit offense, which was quite good at some points last year.

22.    Ravens- A rookie coach, a rookie QB and a rookie running back all starting opening week, and somehow they still found a way to win. Flacco was quite impressive in fact, and the defense turned the mighty Bengals passing game into a total non-factor.

23.    Dolphins- Miami’s trying to show that all it takes to compete is a decent enough Quarterback, which they missed all of last season, by bringing in Chad Pennington. In fact, he kept them in it until the very end. You know what I’d love to see this year? Miami run up the score on the Pats.

24.    Seahawks- This is a team with a very big problem: They have this amazing Quarterback, but he has no one to throw too. With their top two receivers out for a while, they had a candidate in Burleson. And then he hurt his knee and he’s out for the season.

25.    Detroit- Maybe Martz was the answer. The offense wasn’t too bad, but they could not take advantage of the fact the Falcons defense isn’t all that good. And the Lions defense was nowhere to be found as Michael Turner rolled over them for 220 yards.

26.    Texans- Houston just didn’t show up against the Steelers, enough said. Schuab was bad and the running game was nothing special. The Steelers D took care of the offense, and when the teams switched, Pitt had no problem taking it to the house. Houston’s got a long way to go.

27.    Redskins- The only time the Redskins offense really looked good was when the Giants were playing loose in zone coverage because they had a established a pretty good lead. The West Coast that Zorn brought over just seemed to confuse everything. It looks like Jim has his work cut out for him.

28.    Raiders- No, they’re not better. The defense got stomped by the Broncos and Russell, McFadden and co. did little to ease the situation.

29.    49ers- Frank Gore played very well. That’s about it for the Niners. O’Sullivan’s not looking like the answer at QB San Francisco was looking for.

30.    Chiefs- They played pretty well against the Patriots, only losing by 7 points. Sure, they didn’t have Brady throwing, but still their the Patriots. And if Croyle’s out for enough time, Huard may just be able to make the Chiefs look decent.

31.    Rams- They were bad. It was like they had a deal with Philadelphia and the Eagles were allowed to do whatever they wanted. Jackson couldn’t get anything going and Bulger looked downright confused the entire game. It’ll probably get better, but right now it can’t get much worse.

32.    Bengals- As bad as the Rams were, they couldn’t touch Cincinnati. Palmer threw worse than he probably has in his entire career, including at USC. This meant Housh and Ocho Cinco had nothing going for them, and the defense played equal to Palmer’s level. Sadly, the best player was Shayne Graham.


Like I said, I'm sorry I couldn't get the Power Rankings posted for the first week, but check back from now on. I'll try to post them Tuesday, just about the time that other sports writers post theirs. Thanks for reading.