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Cubicle GM NFL Power Rankings: Week 1

Jacob NitzbergAnalyst ISeptember 15, 2009

PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 11:  Mewelde Moore #21 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his first down in the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans on September 11, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Titans 13-10 in overtime.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Welcome to the Week 1 edition of the Cubicle GM NFL Power Rankings.  Every Tuesday you can look forward to our composite rankings, as well as a bit of insight and analysis about each of the 32 teams.

The rankings are determined by simply taking the average of each of the contributors here at The Cube.  For Week 1, we have rankings from me, Gideon, Mickey, Walker and we welcome Joey to the mix.

Each contributor has their own methodology to the rankings, as you can see in greater detail in the backup data here.  Some try and take into account factors such as strength of schedule or performance in losses, while others (Joey) appear to have a “what have you done for me lately?” approach.

As a result, the top of the rankings were not quite unanimous, with defending champion Pittsburgh receiving four of five first place votes.  The bottom of the ranks were split in half, Detroit and St. Louis each received two 32nd place nods.

As we learned last year from Detroit’s 4-0 showing, the preseason doesn’t mean much.  After Week 1, there was a lot of movement in the ranks, as 17 teams moved at least five spots up or down the ranks, with four of those teams moving up or down by double digits.

As it’s still early in the season, there is bound to be plenty of disagreement between the contributors here.  Twenty of the teams saw a gap of seven or more in the rankings, with 12 teams having a gap of double digits.  Amazingly, after being involved in seven of eight major disputes last week, Walker was not involved in any.  The main outlier was our pal Joey, who weighted Week 1 very heavily in his ranks.

Seattle Seahawks (17) – Joey 5, Gideon 22

Carolina Panthers (15) – Mickey 15, Joey 32

San Diego Chargers (13) – Jacob / Gideon 3, Mickey 16

Cincinnati Bengals (12) – Joey 18, Mickey 30

Miami Dolphins (11) – Gideon 17, Joey 28

Tennessee Titans (11) – Gideon 9, Joey 20

New Orleans Saints (11) – Joey 1, Gideon 12

New York Giants (10) – Gideon 2, Joey 12

Indianapolis Colts (10) – Jacob 5, Joey 15

Chicago Bears (11) – Gideon 14, Joey 25

Denver Broncos (10) – Joey 16, Gideon 26

Jacksonville Jaguars (10) – Jacob 17, Mickey 27

On the divisional side, the NFC led the way again, but after Week 1 the East took first place with an average score of 7.95.  The NFC North, thanks to Da Bears, dropped to second with an 8.50 average.  The AFC West remains at the bottom, although improving its average rank to 20.60.  Second to last was the NFC South, dropping to 19.70 thanks to Carolina’s pitiful performance.

As a reminder, you can check out all the backup data here.  Without further ado, onto the rankings.  Last week’s ranks are in parentheses.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (1) – The Steelers got a good win over the Titans to get some revenge from last season, but paid a hefty price losing Troy Polamalu for three to six weeks with a knee injury.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (7) – The Eagles’ huge win on the road in Week 1 was overshadowed by the injury to QB Donovan McNabb.

3. New Orleans Saints (15) – Drew Brees’ 358 yard, six TD performance made fantasy owners everywhere smile. It would be nice to be able to play the Lions all 16 games.

4. New England Patriots (2) – Tom Brady triumphantly returned to Foxboro and led the Pats to an impressive comeback win. The status of LB Jerod Mayo’s knee is a major concern, however.

5. New York Giants (4) – The Giants’ defense looked good in a win over Washington, mostly thanks to the return of Osi Umenyiora.

6. Minnesota Vikings (12) – Adrian Peterson is really, really, really, really, really good at football.

7. San Diego Chargers (5) – The Chargers escape Week 1 with a divisional road win.  It sounds much better when the Raiders aren’t mentioned as the opponent.

8. Green Bay Packers (14) – The Packers defense looked spectacular Sunday night against the Bears, and Aaron Rodgers came through when it counted.

9. Baltimore Ravens (6) – The Ravens defense didn’t look great in beating the Matt Cassel-less Chiefs, but QB Joe Flacco certainly did.

10. Indianapolis Colts (3) – The Colts squeaked out a win, as Reggie Wayne picked up the slack for the injured Anthony Gonzalez.

11. Atlanta Falcons (13) – The Falcons have to be happy with their addition of Tony Gonzalez, but even more pleased with the performance of the defense.

12. Dallas Cowboys (17) – No T.O., no problem.  Tony Romo spread the ball around nicely while throwing for a career-high 353 yards in the Cowboys’ win over the Buccaneers

13. Tennessee Titans (8) – Despite a loss to the defending champs, the Titans have to be happy with their defensive performance.

14. Seattle Seahawks (24) – The Seahawks looked great on both sides of the ball in their win on Sunday.  So would most teams playing against the Rams.

15.  New York Jets (22) – It may only be one game, but the Jets’ decision to trade up for Mark Sanchez looks pretty smart right now.

16. San Francisco 49ers (25) – Mike Singletary’s first full season as a head coach has gotten off to a great start.  The Niners will need more from their offense to keep it up though.

17. Buffalo Bills (23) – The Bills suffer another heartbreaking 25-24 loss on Monday Night Football.

18.  Chicago Bears (10) – It’s hard to overshadow Jay Cutler’s miserable debut, but Brian Urlacher’s season-ending wrist injury did just that.  Ouch.

19. Denver Broncos (26) – I’ll let Gus Johnson take this one.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (21) – A bright spot in the Jaguars’ loss to Indy was their defense, which held the vaunted Colts offense to just 14 points.

21. Houston Texans (18) – A trendy sleeper pick before the season, the Texans were anything but in a disappointing home loss to the Jets.

22. Arizona Cardinals (11) – Starting the season with a divisional loss at home is not the best way to defend your conference crown.

23. Washington Redskins (19) – The Skins looked alright against the Giants, but turnovers and their inability to convert in the red zone cost them.

24. Miami Dolphins (16) – The Dolphins tried all kinds of trickeration against the Falcons.  Not much of it worked, as the offense was stymied.

25. Cincinnati Bengals (27) – The Bengals suffered a tough loss in the waning seconds against the Broncos.  What should be of more concern was their inability to score in the first 59 minutes of the game.

26. Carolina Panthers (9) – Which QBs are available in the free agent pool?

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (20) – The decision by head coach Raheem Morris to name Cadillac Williams the starter looks like a good one.  Not many other ones have, as the Bucs allowed 34 points to the Cowboys.

28. Oakland Raiders (30) – A valiant effort by the Raiders comes up just short, but their WR corps showed a great deal of promise.

29. Kansas City Chiefs (29) – The Chiefs put up 24 points on Baltimore with Brodie Croyle under center.  Could this be a positive sign of things to come?

30. Cleveland Browns (28) – It’s going to be another long year in Cleveland.  The Browns only had 188 total yards in the first 57 minutes of their loss to Minnesota.

31. Detroit Lions (32) – It can only get better.  Right?

32. St. Louis Rams (31) – After the Rams’ offense put up a bagel against Seattle, QB Marc Bulger is already on the hot seat.

This article originally posted on Cubicle GM.

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