NFL Week 1 Report Card: 5 Teams That Still Have Much to Prove

Chris LeydenCorrespondent IISeptember 12, 2011

NFL Week 1 Report Card: 5 Teams That Still Have Much to Prove

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    The first Sunday of the NFL season has come and gone, and there have been plenty of surprises and disappointments.

    While teams such as the Texans and Ravens came out and showed they they are not only serious divisional contenders but also Super Bowl contenders, other teams stumbled out of the gate.

    While it is never a good idea to read too much into the first week of the season, there will be plenty of fans waking up Monday morning concerned with this upcoming season.

    The following slideshow contains five teams that dropped the ball in their opening game, and who still have a lot to prove going forward.

    As always feel free to comment below and express what teams you thought were disappointing.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    It is one thing to come out flat in the opening weekend, especially following a short off-season. It is another to do so against the team that most people predicted would be making the first pick of next year's draft.

    The Kansas City Chiefs were dominated from start to finish against the Buffalo Bills, giving up 41 points to a team that was expected to be making Andrew Luck their new quarterback next season.

    To go from making the playoffs last season to this bad of a start is not a good sign for Kansas City fans, as Matt Cassel averaged an awful 3.3 yards per completion.

    The Chiefs will now head to Detroit to take on a Lions team that looked impressive in their opener, but who few think is a contender this year. If the Chiefs struggle as bad next week as this week, it may already be time to hit the panic button in Kansas City.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    For as bad the Chiefs looked against the Bills, the Steelers being blown out by Baltimore may be even more shocking, because of the expectations for Pittsburgh.

    It seems as though the Steelers may have fallen into that old pattern of losing the Super Bowl and then collapsing the next season, as they were shellacked by the Ravens, 35-7. From 2000 to 2004, and again in 2006, the loser of the Super Bowl finished the next season with a losing record.

    That being said it is not yet time to write the Steelers off, as the Ravens are a very good football team, but in what is normally a great game between two AFC North rivals, the Steelers were blown out.

    Pittsburgh should be able to bounce back against Seattle, but if they struggle there that could be cause for concern for fans of the Terrible Towel.

Indiannapolis Colts

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    Apparently that Peyton Manning guy is good, or the Houston Texans have finally turned all that talent into something special.

    In what was likely a combination of both, the Texans went into halftime up 34-0, and it was not until a few minutes left in the game that the usually high powered Colts offense finally put points up on the board.

    If anyone around the NFL though the Colts could do it without Manning they thought wrong, as Kerry Collins finished with a completion percentage of just over .500, for less than 200 yards and two turnovers.

    Of course Collins is not at fault for the Colts defensive struggles, which included giving up 34 points to an offense that was missing its best player in Arian Foster.

    The Colts take on the Browns next, who had a disappointing loss to the Bengals to kick off their season.

Atlanta Falcons

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    The Atlanta Falcons were the best team in the NFC last year during the regular season, but fell apart and were knocked around by the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs.

    Unfortunately for Atlanta fans it was the playoff Falcons that showed up against the Chicago Bears Sunday, and they lost 30-12.

    The Falcons have some of the best offensive weapons in the league, but they couldn't get in the groove and ended the game with no offensive touchdowns.

    What may even be more of a worry is the fact that the Falcons gave up 30 points to a less than stellar Bears offense.

    The Falcons started last season off on the wrong foot and everything turned out alright, so it isn't time to hit the panic button in the Peach State yet.

Cleveland Browns

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    Many people thought the Cleveland Browns were going to take a big step forward this season, and although I don't think many were picking them to make the playoffs, I think people thought they could take care of some of the weakest teams in the league.

    Instead the Browns fell to the Cincinnati Bengals, considered by some (including me) to be the worst team in the NFL.

    Colt McCoy completed less than half of his passes, and the team took 11 penalties for a total of 72 yards. Combine that with a third down conversion rate of just over 1/4 and the Browns were bound to lose.

    The Browns will now take on another team from this list, the Colts, in a game that should tell us a lot about both teams.