Well I said, I'd be back to update my Top rankings and here I am after Week 1. There have been some strange, and amazing events happen already in the kickoff to the NFL Season. I'm here to rank the Top 10 teams after week one. I will be basin my ranks on how well a team looked top to bottom, not just by the amount of points a team scored.
1. Dallas Cowboys (1-0 Next Game: At Philadelphia) - Terrell Owens caught 5 passes for 87 yards with a 35-yard touchdown from Tony Romo. Romo effortlessly picked apart host Cleveland’s secondary and the rest of the defense, going 24-of-32 for 320 yards. But a lot of the credit goes to Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and the offensive line. Barber had a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs, while rushing 16 times for 80 yards. Felix Jones rushed 9 times for 62 yards, while scoring a touchdown on his first carry as an NFL running back. The defense, with Adam “Don’t Call Me PacMan” Jones starting, played well and stopped the Browns high-octane offense. If they play this dominant all year, say hello Super Bowl.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0 Next Game: At Cleveland) – “Fast” Willie Parker ran for 138 yards and 3 touchdowns on 25 carries. “Big” Ben Roethlisberger threw 2 touchdowns to Hines Ward. Big Ben missed only one attempt while going 13-of-14 for 137 before being lifted in the third quarter for what is being called shoulder soreness. Rookie running back Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 28 yards on 10 carries. With the win Sunday, the Steelers won their sixth straight opener, the NFL’s longest streak since Miami won 11 from 1992-2002. Expect these performances throughout the entire season.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0 Next Game: At Dallas) – Donovan McNabb was 21-of-33 for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns, including a 90-yard touchdown pass to Hank Baskett. Rookie wide receiver DeSean Jackson, the first Eagles rookie wide receiver to start a season opener in 18 years, had 6 catches for 106 yards and returned a punt 60 yards, which set up a field goal. Brian Westbrook rushed for 91 yards on 19 carries, and a touchdown; he also had a touchdown catch. I believe the defense is going to be something special this year, stopping Marc Bulger, Jackson, and Co. Sunday. I see a lot of points for this team, as long as they stay healthy, and a solid defense all year.
4. Green Bay Packers (1-0 Next Game: At Detroit) – The Era of Aaron Rodgers has begun, and boy has it ever started on a high note. Rodgers sowed poise, confidence, arm strength, mobility, and the will to win. He was 18-of-22 for 178 yards and 1 touchdown; he also ran for 35 yards and 1 touchdown also. Ryan Grant didn’t look slowed down, running for 92 yards on 12 carries. The defense looked good, and didn’t give up a homerun play for a touchdown to Adrian Peterson. I’ve said from the beginning of the preseason, the Packers will win the NFC North.
5. New England Patriots (1-0 Next Game: At Jets) – Well they won the game, but lost their greatest player ever to a season-ending injury. Tom Brady, on a pass of 28-yards to Randy Moss, got tackled awkwardly by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard, and didn’t get up for a while. The injury is being called a torn MCL and ACL, but that wasn’t confirmed yet by the Patriots. Brady was 7-of-11 for 76 yards before leaving the game. Randy finished with 6 receptions for 116 yards and 1 touchdown. I still believe this team will win at least 10 games, but their ranking will be going up and down throughout the season.
6. New York Giants (1-0 Next Game: At St. Louis) – Not a bad start for the defending Super Bowl champs. To start this off right, the defense didn’t seem to miss a step with the retirement of Michael Strahan and the injury to Osi Umenyiora. They played great and still can get to the quarterback. Eli Manning looked like a better version of Eli, but I expect his play to go up and down throughout the season like usual. Their running backs: Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward looked like they could run through and around anybody. Plaxico Burress looked healthy and showed that his play last year wasn’t a fluke. Expect the Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants to dominate the rankings all year.
7. Tennessee Titans (1-0 Next Game: At Cincinnati) – First off, I don’t like seeing starting quarterbacks go down to injury, but I believe Vince Young getting hurt, will actually make this team better. Kerry Collins is a better passer than Vince Young and that is what this team needs. They have the defense and running game to win some games and keep some close, but with a passing game, they will win a lot of games. Even though LenDale White had a rushing touchdown, it was rookie running back Chris Johnson who kept the Jacksonville defense off-balance. I believe he will either be Rookie of the Year, or at least Top 5. I believe it will be two years in a row for making the playoffs for Tennessee.
8. San Diego Chargers (0-1 Next Game: At Denver) – Even though this team stumbled out the gates like last year, when pretty much this same team started 1-3 and then ended up finishing 11-5 and made the playoffs, and I believe they will do the same this year. The injury to Shawn Merriman is hard to take, but this team is too talented to not make the playoffs. Philip Rivers looked healthy and prove it by going 17-of-27 for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns with one of those going to Antonio Gates, who looked healthy also. Gates had a fumble, but hey, it’s football that happens. LaDainian Tomlinson looked ok, rushing for 97 yards on 21 carries, but no touchdowns. I still believe you have to consider this team as a Super Bowl contender, but I don’t think they will make it.
9. Indianapolis Colts (0-1 Next Game: At Minnesota) – The Colts didn’t look like the Colts of old, but the game Sunday was with a Peyton Manning feeling and looking like he wasn’t 100 %. He was 30-of-49 for 257 yards and just 1 touchdown. When you have to throw that many times, there is something wrong. Joseph Addai, Dominic Rhodes, and Mike Hart combined for just 53 yards total. Once Jeff Saturday comes back, Peyton is 100 %, and the defense stops the run like it usually does, then I expect them to be right back in the Top 5 in no time. I see playoffs for this team, and maybe a Super Bowl, but you just never know, I don’t think they will make Super Bowl, but I’ve been proven wrong before.
10. New Orleans Saints (1-0 Next Game: At Washington) – The Saints are back. The offense is running in overdrive and the defense looks to be coming around nicely. Reggie Bush and Drew Brees are finally looking comfortable with each other, and that showed Sunday. The injury to Marques Colston hurts, but that’s why they picked up Jeremy Shockey. On Sunday, Brees was 23-of-32 for 343 yards and 3 touchdowns; his touchdown passes were to David Patten for 39 yards, 84 yards to Devery Henderson, and 42 yards to Reggie Bush; he also had 1 interception. Reggie Bush finished with 8 catches for 112 yards and ended up catching the game winning touchdown. I believe the Saints will win their division, and if they can stay healthy, they might be able to make a deep playoff push.
Some Fun Facts From Week 1
· The Philadelphia Eagles had three 100-yard receivers against St. Louis: DeSean Jackson, Greg Lewis, and Hank Baskett. It was a first for the team since Timmy Brown, Tommy McDonald, and Pete Retzlaff did so against Washington in 1960.
· Dallas’ Terrell Owens caught his 130th career touchdown catch Sunday, tying him with Cris Carter for second on the career list behind Jerry Rice (197).
· Chad“Formerly Johnson” Ocho Cinco has changed his name, but his jersey remained the same Sunday. The Bengals receiver legally changed his name from Chad Johnson to Chad Ocho Cinco, but the NFL decided against allowing him to put his name on his jersey….for now.
“He has a financial obligation to Reebok, which produces the jerseys available to fans,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. “That has to be resolved before the on-field jersey can be changed.”
· The Baltimore Ravens have gone an NFL-best 20 straight games without allowing a 100-yard rusher.
Hope everybody enjoys, and I hope to see you next week.