• March 4, 2024

NFL Power Rankings: Week 1

There were quite a few surprises in the first week of meaningful football.

When ranking NFL teams in the preseason, it’s very difficult to remove the previous season out of the equation.

Because of that, quite a few teams either jumped up or dropped significantly after Week 1.  While Indianapolis and Kansas City took huge nose dives, Buffalo made the biggest jump.

One area that hasn’t changed is the Top 2 teams.  The previous ranking is in parenthesis.

  1. (1)Green Bay Packers; 1-0: If I could raise them even higher than No. 1, I would.  Aaron Rodgers was brilliant in his QB duel with Drew Brees.
  2. (2)New England Patriots; 1-0: So what their defense gave up almost 500 yards?  When your MVP leads the offense to over 600 yards, you’re not going to lose.
  3. (8)Baltimore Ravens; 1-0: The Ravens had the most impressive win of the weekend.  Talk about Lucky Seven!!  That’s how many points they allowed and how many turnovers they forced against a veteran, arch rival Steelers squad.
  4. (11)Chicago Bears; 1-0:  Chicago played as if they’re still upset over comments regarding Jay Cutler’s toughness.  They completely embarrassed a fellow division champion.
  5. (3)New Orleans Saints; 0-1:  An early turnover and some questionable play calls forced the Saints in a game of catch up against the Super Bowl Champs.  Against most other teams, they would’ve still won.
  6. (5)New York Jets; 1-0: While many are pointing fingers at Tony Romo, give the Jets credit for taking advantage of his miscues.
  7. (4)Pittsburgh Steelers; 0-1: Even if you’re not a Steelers fan, you can’t help but be disappointed in their Week 1 performance in Baltimore.
  8. (6)Philadelphia Eagles; 1-0: Impressive win over the Rams when you consider this is the first time this O-line played together
  9. (9)San Diego Chargers; 1-0: The Chargers got the “W”, but when your time of possession is over 37 minutes and you hold the opposing QB to 39 yards passing, one would think the margin of victory would be more than one TD.
  10. (16)Houston Texans; 1-0: The Texans smelled blood the moment they found out Manning wasn’t playing and took full advantage.
  11. (15)Detroit Lions; 1-0: Very impressive road win by the Lions.  The best part is Matthew Stafford walked off the field.
  12. (13)Dallas Cowboys; 0-1: The Cowboys were one yard away from securing an impressive road win against the Jets.  Unfortunately, Tony Romo’s 4th quarter performance was Lebron-esque.
  13. (7)Atlanta Falcons; 0-1: I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt after a 13-3 season in 2010.  How does this offense manage to be kept out the end zone??
  14. (30)Buffalo Bills; 1-0: Are the Bills really this good??  Regardless of the opponent, nothing can discount a 34 point victory on the road.
  15. (23)Washington Redskins; 1-0: Rex Grossman was impressive playing mistake free football.  The Redskins defense wasn’t half bad either.
  16. (14)Tampa Bay Buccaneers; 0-1: If you’re a young, up and coming team, you have to take care of the other young, up and coming teams if you want a chance to challenge the big dogs in January.  Especially when playing at home.
  17. (19)Arizona Cardinals; 1-0: Kevin Kolb and Beanie Wells were impressive in their win, but who wants to be the team that allowed the record for most passing yards in a rookie’s debut??
  18. (20)Oakland Raiders; 1-0: The Raiders have decided to rebel against the fact that the NFL is a passing league.  The held on to a close win over their division rival in Denver.
  19. (12)New York Giants; 0-1:  With the amount of injuries the Giants suffered in the preseason, the last thing they could afford was an Eli Manning turnover deep in their own territory.
  20. (17)St. Louis Rams; 0-1:  Losing to the Eagles wasn’t as big as losing both Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola.
  21. (10)Indianapolis Colts; 0-1:  Even if Peyton Manning was available, I don’t think the Colts would’ve overcome the Texans.  With him possibly being out for the season, Manning’s eventual replacement could very well be Andrew Luck.
  22. (22)San Francisco 49ers; 1-0: The 49ers got the win, but their offense is going to have to get more than one TD in the future.  They can’t keep relying on David Akers and Tedd Ginn, Jr.
  23. (26)Miami Dolphins; 0-1: Chad Henne and Miami’s offense played well enough to win most games.  Too bad the Dolphin’s gave up record numbers to the Patriots.
  24. (21)Minnesota Vikings; 0-1: If Donovan McNabb continues to play like he did Sunday, Christian Ponder will be starting before this month is over.
  25. (29)Jacksonville Jaguars; 1-0: The Jaguars defeated Tennessee by dominating on the ground and controlling the clock.  Luke McCown’s job was to simply not mess up.
  26. (31)Carolina Panthers; 0-1: Cam Newton was excellent in his first NFL game.  Unfortunately, moral victories don’t count in Power Rankings.
  27. (25)Denver Broncos; 0-1: Right now, Miami has to happy their trade for Kyle Orton never happened.
  28. (28)Tennessee Titans; 0-1: The Titan’s loss wasn’t nearly as close as the final score.  24 yards rushing from Chris Johnson isn’t going to produce many victories.
  29. (32)Cincinnati Bengals; 1-0:  With their 3rd string QB, the Bengals took advantage of unprepared Cleveland defense to take the lead.  Let’s see how long their luck lasts.
  30. (18)Kansas City Chiefs; 0-1:  I don’t care how improved Buffalo is.  There’s no explanation for losing 41-7 at home.
  31. (24)Cleveland Browns; 0-1: When you’re home playing the so-called worst team in the NFL which happens to be a division rival, you can’t afford to blow a 4th quarter lead to their backup QB.
  32. (27)Seattle Seahawks; 0-1: Seattle lost by 16 to the 49ers and that’s one of their easier opponents this year.

Haran Knight

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September 13, 2011 2:58 am

Haran, I never understand how they can rank teams with no wins & worse records ahead of teams with winning records. Mind boggling!! Who cares who they’ve played.

September 13, 2011 8:27 am

thsi is crazy 2 teams that lost and one of them got there ass kicked and they are ahead of the birds cmon man.

September 13, 2011 9:18 am

If your gonna put the ravens at 3 then shouldnt the bills be in the top 5 too?

September 13, 2011 9:29 am

Haha he also said that the bears beat a divison foe in atlanta. yeah, and the eagles and rams is a bitter division rivalry as well.

September 13, 2011 9:51 am

I think you should have ranked the Eagles higher then they are currently at #8. Why? Because the Eagles didn’t play to their full potential. They were sloppy. The had a slow start. Vick only completed 43% of his passes. Think about it if someone told you (provided you didn’t know the score) the Eagles started out slow offensively and defensively. Vick completed only 43% of his passes. Desean dropped what would be a long touchdown catch and run and another one in the endzone…And he asked you to predict the score would you ever think that they would have come out with a big win 31-13? Common sense says no. But they did come out with a big win even though the play surely doesnt sound like they did. Now if they were playing to there full potential. Vick completes lets say 58% of his passes. Desean doesn’t drop those two catches we could have easily dropped 40+ points on the Rams. This shows that we are a better team and thus our power ranking should go up. We didn’t play our best game no where near our best game and we still came out with a big win…it says a lot

September 13, 2011 10:15 am

DAMN! And you guys were ripping Paulman for his rankings. His were just about, right on the number. Those power rankings are bass ackwards!

September 13, 2011 11:22 am

Haran – in your response to mubi there, you’re combining ‘what ifs’ with ‘did’s. To me that’s is where these discussions become illogical. You’re combining the ‘what if no S. Jackson innury/not play that actually happened’ with the 43% which actually happened. You can play that game all day with any combinations. That’s where I think this excersize is pointless – concerning ourselves with the ‘what ifs’. There’s no way to back up the ‘what if’s’ because once we go there you can add ‘and asante picked off 4 passes for pick 6’s’! You can just plug in as many what ifs as you want in any direction. It’s silly.

September 13, 2011 11:31 am

haran – cool

But for me, that’s why the power rankings should be like this:

16 teams tied for 1rst
16 teams tied for 2nd

September 13, 2011 12:46 pm

Perhaps, you would explain how you can laud the Ravens’ demolition of the Steelers as the most impressive win of the weekend, place them at the #3 spot, and then place the Steelers at #7. The Steelers were a total disaster Sunday.

September 13, 2011 1:42 pm

i am just saying the facts are that our team came out and won big even though we didnt play up to par….when we play up to par our team will be a lot better..even if steven jackson didn’t hurt his quad I don’t think the result would be much different because cadillac williams is a good football player he is like our ronnie brown…if lesean goes down I am sure brown can fill in for mccoy and be at least 80-85% as effective as mccoy is…..williams can do the same for jackson i beleive…so jackson going down isnt that much of a factor…yeah if they had jerious norwood come in for jackson yes that would be much more of a significant level of production as opposed to williams coming in and playing for jackson…

also i believe if we played like that against rest of the nfl we can beat most of the average to mediocre teams…our pass defense really played well…we took away the rams outside passing game for the most part and our d-line did a good job against the pass…i beleive we can do that with a lot of teams in the nfl…HOWEVER against the elite teams in the nfl and most superbowl contenders we need to play much better then we did and I personally believe we can play much better then we did and we will play much better as the season goes along….

September 13, 2011 2:13 pm

haha this is embarassing… you picked a team that turned the ball over 7 times, got sacked 4 times, and scored 1 TD over the eagles.

The same eagles that many people picked to be a victim to the “up and coming rams”… the same eagles that if they made 1 tackle on 1 play, would of won in a blowout… and you put 2 teams with loses over them… the saints are arguable, but the jets were kept in a game by a team that choked, and the steelers were embarrassed…

you should honestly be ashamed.

September 13, 2011 2:20 pm

Also the eagles are better than the falcons, the falcons scored 2 field goals… 2… I was at the damn eagles game, and didnt see a single other game and I know these things

September 13, 2011 2:39 pm

Big Ben better get divorced and start chasing College Girls again if he’s going to play like that as a married,settled down type of guy.. He threw 2-3 passes which were absolutely horrible, off his back foot l, lob passes back into the middle of the field with recepient Safety Ed Reed just sitting there licking his chops.. I was surprised they didn’t bench Big Ben and bring in Dennis Dixon for the 4th quarter, who I think will take Big Bens job in another season or 2…

September 13, 2011 3:21 pm

And I thought Paulmans rankings were bad. SMH.

If you really want to get technical, the Baltimore Ravens were the most impressive team over ANY other in week 1 — therefore, they should be ranked #1 overall in Power Rankings.

But of course, none of you follow the true technical aspect of what power rankings are suppose to be.

September 13, 2011 3:43 pm

My rankings only reflect the NFC Conference for it’s the only one that I really care about since the Eagles have to not only compete with the other NFC Teams to make the PLayoffs, but ultimately beat the other teams in the NFC to get to a Super Bowl, but your point is well taken, The Ravens and Bears probably had the most complete, and most impressive performances in Week #1 in my book…

September 13, 2011 4:42 pm

I won’t tell you how you should feel, but your power rankings are idiotic….at best….and thats how I FEEL about YOUR rankings.

However, don’t take it personal, I feel the same way about alot of power rankings and the reasoning they give.

September 13, 2011 5:19 pm

The eagles would be in the top 5… probably 4 or 5. There were ranked 6 by you going into the season, and slid 2 spots down by beating the team they were supposed to beat. While the steelers were made fools of by baltimore, and chicago should of beat atlanta at home, you had chicago below the eagles when the season started, and the jets were fortunate enough to have the cowboys choke that game away, and almost lost at home. Just by that alone, they should go into your top 5.

I am not being a homer what so ever, I will say the Saints are still a better team than the eagles, but its debatable…

1. Ravens
2. Pats
3. Packers
4/5 Saints/Eagles

Those are the top 5. The ravens have to be number 1, the pats cant be because they let chad henne throw for 400 yards, the packers and saints showed no sign of any defense even though they are both very good offensively. The eagles played above averagely, and were 1 tackle away from a blowout, again, against a team a lot of people picked to win their division, and picked to win that game.

I just take issue with people not picking the eagles, because of this horsecrap dream team nonsense… and being too “anti-homer”

September 13, 2011 5:26 pm

Zoltek, thats about the best power rankings I’ve seen. For top 5 at least. My top 10 in the NFL would go like this:

1) Baltimore Ravens
2) New England Patriots
3) Chicago Bears
4) Green Bay Packers
5) Buffalo Bills
6) Philadelphia Eagles
7) Detroit Lions
8) Washington Redskins
9) Houston Texans
10) Oakland Raiders

I’m going by what I saw in week 1 and not on the history of the teams or where I believe they will end up by the end of the season. My top ten power rankings are done how power rankings SHOULD be done. Taking into account all aspects of the team (offense, defense, special teams).

September 13, 2011 6:09 pm

This is in response to BirdoBeamen.

Um REALLY? Do you really have your week 1 rankings set up where the Bears AND THE—-> BILLS <—- are ahead of the Eagles? Oh I can go on! Is Oakland really in your top ten? Wait wait wait….Are the Redskins and Lions in your top ten? REALLY?? You do know the planet we live on and share is Earth right? Are there little yellow elephants flying around where you are right now?

Look, I understand that you may have gotten excited watching CHI dismantle ATL, but the fact is ATL is a weak team and their record last year was a fluke considering they couldn't win against a winning team and barely won others.

I'm thrown off by the Green Bay thing to. How are they 4th? Are you going to tell me they're 4th because of Green Bay's defense against one of the best Quarterbacks (Top 5) in this league? Green Bay looked darn near unstoppable on Thurs and not necessarily because of how bad NO's defense was because on a lot of Rodger's throws the coverage was terrific…he just seemed to fit it in.

Why is Washington in your top ten because they beat a Giants team with no Osi, no Tuck, no Kevin Boss, no, Steve Smith, no Prince, down a linebacker and a corner and Eli Manning not hurt (Yes that was a major shot at Eli)?

Why is Houston in your top ten because they beat a team without Peyton Manning?

Look everybody has their own opinion and you certainly are entitled to yours, but what you don't have the right to do because of the laws in our great country is to be smoking on the stuff that you OBVIOUSLY have been getting high off of for some time now. That their my friend can get you arrested.

September 13, 2011 6:34 pm

@BirdoBeamen…….Oh yeah, don’t take it personally.

September 13, 2011 8:05 pm

Good Stuff Birdo,
But Pats giving up 400+ Yards to Chad Henne has go to have them lower in the rankings and below the Bears & Packers in my book.. Even though the Saints and Packers gave up a lot of yards to each other, both Teams offenses are much more efficient and explosive than the Dolphins.. The Lack of a Pass Rush will doom the Patriots unitl Haynesworth gets back to what he used to be.. Also the Redskins performance offensively and defensively was more impressive in beating the GIants then the Eagles beating the Rams and I would think any unbiased football would agree with this if you watched both games and Oakland beating the bad Broncos in a close game I am not sure warrants a top 10 .. More impressive wins by the underdog 49ers & even the Benglas …. But to each his own…

September 13, 2011 8:22 pm

I watched a good bit of the games. The Redskins would have been ranked higher if they beat the REAL Giants.

Yes, the Pats gave up 400 yds to Miami, but it really wasn’t even close and the game was never in question. Oakland battled in the rain and McFadden is the next premiere running back of this league.

September 13, 2011 9:13 pm

I hear you about the Giants, but they way they have player dropping left and right, this may be the best they are all season, I sense a Cobowy like Meltdown with the Giants This year

September 14, 2011 2:14 am

Birdo, other than Texans being a little higher, you are spot on!

September 14, 2011 9:47 am

Spot on? Lol! You guys are amazing! If you factor in certain team’s opposition in their respective wins than your so called top ten “sounds” ridiculous….”IN MY OPINION”! Just as an example: This year the Colts have a very good chance at being the worst team in the league. They certainly looked like they may have been the worst team in Week 1. A Manning-less Colts team is comparable to a President-less United States of America. That alone should keep Houston out of the top ten. You really don’t know what you have in Houston simply based upon them playing well against the Colts. Not this year anyway.
That’s just one example!