1. New York Giants: I owe the Champs this one. No, they earned it. My decision last week to pick the ‘Skins was based on the fact that Plaxico Burress missed the preseason. Burress was the best player on the field last Thursday. Lesson: Never go against a player fresh off of signing a contract extension.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers: Big Ben has picked up where he left off last season, the resurgence of Willie Parker can’t hurt either. Believe me, they’re tired of hearing about the Cleveland Browns being the best team in the division, you can add another chapter to this great rivalry come Sunday.
4. New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees looks sharp again, Reggie Bush is all over the field and the defensive overhaul is working out. The Saints will be okay without Marques Colston (4-6 weeks) as Bush, Jeremy Shockey, Devery Henderson and David Patten will pick up the slack.
5. San Diego Chargers: The Bolts are better than what they showed on Sunday, but at the same time Super Bowl contenders don’t lose games like this at home. The next four games look to be winnable, with or without Shawne Merriman.
7. Tennessee Titans: Took a big step on Sunday in beating the Jaguars, Vince Young’s career is going the way of Kordell Stewart at an alarming rate. Chris Johnson is a keeper, but I’m concerned about Young.
8. Chicago Bears: A tip of the hat to Bears management for sticking with Lovie Smith. In Kyle Orton, Smith has a quarterback that will manage the game and not lose it. The defense out-physicaled a Colts team, reeked of rust in their new digs. Matt Forte is this year’s Ryan Grant and with a serviceable backup in Kevin Jones he’ll be fresh as the season goes on.
10. Buffalo Bills: The Bills were going to be a solid team in the AFC East WITH Tom Brady healthy. Sunday against Jacksonville we’ll see if this team can begin to turn a good season into something special.
11. Indianapolis Colts: I didn’t like what I saw from the Colts Sunday night, they didn’t look ready to play. They have no time to regroup as they head to Minnesota to face and equally ticked off Vikings squad.
12. Jacksonville Jaguars: Marcus Stroud is fired up about returning to Jacksonville and his teammates are fired up about this season. The best thing the Jags can do is forget last week’s performance, and hope that their two backup guards now starting hold up.
14. New York Jets: Who is scripting the life of Brett Favre? You mean to tell me in the same year he comes to the Jets Brady gets ko’d for the season opening the door for the Jets to win the AFC East? If that happens John Madden will push for all U.S. currency to read: “In Favre We Trust.”
15. Cleveland Browns: The Brownies are better than what we saw Sunday. They always get up for the Steelers, put the kids to bed early - this one’s gonna be physical.
16. Minnesota Vikings: I didn’t see any rhythm between Tavaris Jackson and his receiving corps, they still have time to regroup. Wait! Sunday, the Colts bring to town a stout secondary led by Bob Sanders.
18. Carolina Panthers: For the Panthers to go on the road and win a game that close without their best player Steve Smith says a lot.
19. Seattle Seahawks: With Nate Burleson out for the season and three other receivers on the injury list, the Seahawks are going to have to find a way to hang on in the NFC West until times get better.
20. Baltimore Ravens: Can rookie QB Joe Flacco keep it going in Baltimore? With a decent running game, serviceable receivers and an all-world defense at his back, the only person that can screw this up is Joe Flacco.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Losing Jeff Garcia for an undetermined amount of time is going to hurt a team that was looking to improve on last season’s breakthrough.
22. Atlanta Falcons: Will they be ranked here next week? Probably Not. Can I name 10 teams the Falcons are better than right now? Yup.
23. Arizona Cardinals: If all facets of this offense ever clicked at once they would be something to see.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Far too much talent to be ranked this low, at least we now know it isn’t Marvin Lewis screwing up the team.
25. Washington Redskins: Probably shouldn’t be ranked this low, but their inability to move the ball was scary. New coach+New system= Slow start. Which spells danger in the fierce NFC East.
26. San Francisco 49′ers: The tools are here for the Niners to be a good team but five turnovers isn’t going to get you many wins in this league.
27. Houston Texans: Didn’t have a chance against the Steelers on Sunday, maybe they’ll be charged up for their home opener against the Ravens.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: This team is in trouble.
29. Miami Dolphins: Until this team gets a running game expect nothing.
30. Oakland Raiders: Was Al Davis actually aging on camera during the shellacking by the hated Broncos Monday night?
31. Detroit Lions: My money is on the Detroit Tigers to outscore the Lions this week.
32. St. Louis Rams: “With the first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft the St. Louis Rams select…”