NFL Power Rankings Week 1

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Published: September 11, 2012

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Fall is around the corner and as the leaves begin to change colors, so do our hearts and minds surrounding the start of football. All these things culminate to the beginning of yet another wonderful and groundbreaking NFL season. Week 1 is in the books and my, oh my, were there a few surprises that set the stage for 2012 season.

Robert Griffin III shined among the starting rookie quarterbacks, while Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill, and Brandon Weeden racked up a number of interceptions. The Packers and the Saints were taken for a ride by two unlikely teams, and the number of bad calls made the zebra refs may have cost more than a few teams a likely victory.

So, were back to football! Lets take a glance at the Power Rankings heading into week 2.

1. Baltimore Ravens 

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 2
Baltimore RavensIn rout of the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football, the Baltimore Ravens showed they could be one of the teams to beat in the AFC. Joe Flacco was completely locked into the game going 21 for 29, 299 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Ravens proved on the opening Monday Night Football game that they are not to be toyed with and now they could possibly have a dominant offense to go along with their already stellar defense. Watch out for the Ravens this season. Next Week @ Eagles

2. Houston Texans    

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 3
The Houston Texans stormed out of the gates in Week 1 with an easy victory over the dismantled Miami Dolphins. Matt Schaub returned to the reins of the Texans throwing for 266 yards and one touchdown, while stellar wideout Andre Johnson had a big day grabbing 8 passes for 119 yards and a score. The Texans are showing already that they are dangerous and likely to make it back to the postseason. Next Week @ Jaguars

3. New England Patriots

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 5
PatriotsComing off last season’s Super Bowl disappointment, the Patriots are renewed and ready to go. Week 1 was a breeze for the Pats who easily took care of the Titans with a 34-13 win. Tom Brady was stellar as usual, tossing two touchdown passes and throwing for 236 yards. Although New England’s O-line is in a bit of shambles, the Pats should have no problem winning the AFC East this season. Next Week vs. Cardinals

4. Denver Broncos

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 8
BroncosThe Peyton Manning era has officially begun in Denver and boy, did Manning prove all his doubters wrong with a phenomenal performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Manning threw 2 touchdown passes while racking up 253 yards through the air, giving the Broncos new life in 2012. Say goodbye to Tebow, cause Manning has the Broncos in a prime position to be one of the NFL’s most dangerous adversaries. Next Week @ Falcons (Monday Night Football)

5. Chicago Bears

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 7
Chicago BearsBetter known for being a defensive team, the Chicago Bears have finally gotten an offense that can put points on the board. Jay Cutler started out shaky, but was ruthless by the second half passing for a whopping 333 yards and 2 touchdowns. The new receiving addition in Brandon Marshall has truly paid off for Chicago since he caught 9 balls for 119 yards and a score. The Cutler Marshall combination is one to be feared in the NFC and the Bears are looking prime for taking home the NFC North crown. Next Week @ Packers (Thursday Night Football)

6. San Francisco 49ers

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 10
49er'sAlex Smith has evolved into quite the quarterback. Not only did Smith outshine previous NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, he outshined half the quarterback crop on Sunday. The Niners once more have proven that under the leadership of Jim Harbaugh are capable of taking down top tier teams, while the gold diggers now have a solid offense to back up the #1 defense in the league. If anything, the Niners are the team to beat in the NFC. Next Week vs. Lions (Sunday Night Football)

7. Green Bay Packers

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 1
PackersExcitement was in the air for last year’s NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, but despite a very flat- footed performance, Green Bay was taken down by one of the NFC’s best in the San Francisco 49ers. Rodgers was very un-MVP like in the first half, struggling in the passing game, while the Packers run game was super-ineffective. The Dom Capers led defense is something to be worried about if you’re a Packer Backer and now on a short week, the Packers need to bounce back quickly if they hope to be a 2012 NFC contender. Next Week vs. Bears (Thursday Night Football)

8. New York Giants

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 4
The defending Super Bowl Champions found themselves at odds with their NFC East division rivals to start the new NFL season and were shocked to find that America’s Team came ready to play. It was in the second half that the Giants fell apart and let Tony Romo take control of the game. Eli Manning tossed one touchdown throwing for 213 yards, but couldn’t do enough to take down the Boys. The Giants are an up and down team during the season and will need to do a lot more than they did this week if they hope to see not only the postseason, but the Super Bowl this year. Next Week vs. Buccaneers

9. Pittsburgh Steelers           

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 6
Pittsburgh SteelersSteel City comes into 2012 having been embarrassed by the Broncos in the first round of the playoffs last season, only to be embarrassed once again on the big stage of Sunday Night Football by the newly led Peyton Manning Denver Broncos. Yet, the Steelers are as good as ever this season, and with Mike Wallace finally committing to the team, the Steelers will probably be just as good as they were a season ago. No worries for Black and Yellow. Next Week vs. Jets

10. Atlanta Falcons  

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 15
Atlanta FalconsCould this be the year the Falcons find their groove again? Based on Sunday’s performance against the Chiefs, Atlanta looked poised to be mighty good, so good that they may even be the team to beat in the NFC South. Matt Ryan was on fire, throwing for 299 yards and three scores, a feat we haven’t seen Ryan do in a long time. Julio Jones caught two of those TD passes and went on to gain 108 yards on the day. The Falcons are itching to be an elite team again, and it looks as if they have found their niche again. Next Week vs. Broncos (Monday Night Football)

11.  Philadelphia Eagles

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 12
EaglesDespite a mediocre performance from Michael Vick, the Eagles managed a last minute touchdown to edge the Cleveland Browns winning 17-16. Vick looked discombobulated behind center, throwing 4 interceptions on the day and only running for a measly 32 yards on 7 carries. He did, however have 2 touchdown passes and 317 yards through the air. Still, like last season do the Eagles appear to be as good as they look? Or can appearances be deceiving? I’ll guess we’ll see how well the Eagles will hold up this year. Next Week vs. Ravens

12. New Orleans Saints

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 9
SaintsWith a terrible off-season still looming large over the Saints heads, they obviously haven’t gotten over all the drama they suffered over the summer. Sean Payton is out and new interim head coach Joe Vitt has taken the reins, albeit he is still suspended for another 5 games due to the bounty gate scandal. At the moment, the Saints lack direction. Brees and his band of Mardi Gras misfits gave an uneven performance against the revived Washington Redskins. It was turnovers and sloppy play that ended the day on a sour note for New Orleans. Is it possible that karma has come back for revenge? Or was week 1 just a fluke for the Saints? This, and more, coming soon. Next week @ Panthers

13. Detroit Lions

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 14
Detroit LionsThe lusty Lions are again leaning on the shoulders of QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson to carry them through another season. Granted, if Stafford can’t stay healthy, then Detroit could be in a lot of trouble. The Lions scraped by the Rams this week and barely got the W in a half-hearted effort from Stafford, who threw 3 interceptions. Even though they got the win, the Lions haven’t started this season with the same fire they did a year ago. Hopefully the flame hasn’t flickered out in Motor City. Next Week @ 49ers (Sunday Night Football)

14. San Diego Chargers


Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 16
New year, new Bolts. The Chargers looked solid in their Monday Night Football performance against the Oakland Raiders with a revived Philip Rivers looking poised in the pocket and making smarter throws so far this season than he did a year ago. He went 24 of 31 for 231 yards and a touchdown. It was last year that Rivers threw 20 interceptions, this year he looks to decrease that number significantly. A good win for the Chargers against their heated rival the Oakland Raiders. It will be interesting to see what Norv Turner has in store for his team this year. Next Week vs. Titans

15. Dallas Cowboys

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 18
Dallas CowboysSurprises come in small packages and the Dallas Cowboys delivered a whopping surprise to begin the 2012 NFL season. Taking down the defending Super Bowl Champions on national television had to have the kind of start Jerry Jones was hoping for. It wasn’t until the second half that the Boys found their groove, but once they did, they never let up and it was Tony Romo who solidified himself as the leader of America’s team to help defeat the Giants. There has been a lot of buzz this season surrounding the Cowboys and how good they are. We’ll see if they can live up to the hype. Next Week @ Seahawks.

16. Kansas City Chiefs

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 13
ChiefsThe Kansas City Chiefs are a big question mark this year. It seems they are the same team from a year ago with the exception of Romeo Crennel taking over as the head coach. The Chiefs weren’t much to look at last season, but something in the air this year makes it seem they could have a better season, even with their devastating week 1 loss. Keep your eyes on the Chiefs. Next Week @ Bills

17. Washington Redskins

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 22
RedskinsWelcome to the NFL Robert Griffin III. A stellar performance by the second overall pick boosted the Skins to an unlikely win over the dominant Saints. RGIII threw 2 touchdown passes in his debut and had 320 yards through the air. The Redskins may not be primed for the playoffs just yet, but this newly revived squad is beginning to shape itself into a finely tuned franchise. Next Week @ Rams

18. New York Jets

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 26
JetsGang Green might have thrown the entire nation for a loop during the pre-season by playing so lousy, but week 1 they were ready to throw down, and throw down they did, putting up 48 points against the Bills. The Jets struggled big time to score touchdowns in the pre-season, but came out on Sunday and played lights out. Mark Sanchez was terrific, throwing 3 touchdowns and just 1 pick. It was a performance the Jets needed to show that they are capable of being a better team than they were a season ago. Next Week @ Steelers

19. Arizona Cardinals

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 22
Arizona CardinalsA tremendous goal line stand against the Seahawks helped the Cardinals prevail this weekend. John Skelton, who was named the Cardinals starter for the year just after pre-season was injured late in the game and it was the unlikely Kevin Kolb who came off the bench and led the Cardinals to a late touchdown. Again, the Cardinals have a lot of areas that need improvement, but snagging that first win and making the last minute goal line stand was important to show how ferocious Arizona’s defense really is. This is one team that could make an unusual splash this year. Next Week @ Patriots

20. Buffalo Bills

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 11
Buffalo BillsHeavily favored to take down the Jets this week, the Buffalo Bills seemed uneasy in week 1. A slow start for them eventually led to their slow death as the Jets racked up an insurmountable lead giving the Bills little opportunity for a comeback. Ryan Fitzpatrick never really got comfortable until the second half when they were able to finally put points on the board, but by that time, the Bills were already sunk. If the Bills hope to avoid another disastrous year, they need to start fast, and start strong. They will not win games when they don’t show up in the first half. Next Week vs. Chiefs

21. Tennessee Titans

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 17
TitansThe Titans looked to have a solid team coming into the new season, but a big stumble against the Patriots have set them back. Jake Locker, the newly named starting QB was injured late in the game, giving the veteran Matt Hasselbeck his starting spot again. Locker threw well in his first start and has the capacity to be a good quarterback, but the Titans may not have enough this year to be a great team in the AFC. Only time will tell. Next Week @ Chargers

22. Cincinnati Bengals

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 19
Cincinnati BengalsIt was a rough start to the 2012 season for the Cincinnati Bengals who marched into Baltimore hungry for a win, only to come out of a butt kicking that never seemed to end. Andy Dalton had a solid game passing for 221 yards, but couldn’t match up against the potent Ravens defense. On a high note, the Bengals can look forward to the production of BenJarvus Green-Ellis who was a nice under the radar pick-up. He impressed with 91 yards rushing on 18 carries. The Bengals have a lot of work to do if they want to even be noticed in the AFC North. Next Week vs. Browns

23. Seattle Seahawks

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 20
With a prime opportunity to snag a week one victory, Russell Wilson couldn’t muster a go ahead touchdown with 30 seconds left to lift the Seahawks over the Cardinals. A devastating loss for Seahawks fans indeed, but there is hope on the horizon considering they have a dynamic defense and the looks of a franchise QB in Russell Wilson. Fear not Seattle, your time could be coming sooner than you think. Next Week vs. Cowboys

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 27
Tampa Bay Buc'sLast year Tampa Bay was predicted to do great and they fell flat towards the middle of the season, this year they’ve been predicted to do better. Week 1 was a test for the Bucs, which they passed with flying colors. Under new leadership in head coach Greg Schiano; Tampa Bay may just have been rejuvenated. Now the big question looming is if they can compete with the other dynamo teams in their division. We’ll just have wait and see if that comes to fruition. Next Week @ Giants

25. Carolina Panthers

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 21
Carolina PanthersThe Panthers gave new life to their banged up team last year by adding Cam Newton in the draft. This year, expectations are high, but some may fear that Newton may fall victim to the sophomore slump. Week 1 proved that the Panthers do in fact need to step up their game. Newton had a decent day through the air going 23 for 33 for 303 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. But it wasn’t able to help Carolina prevail over the Buccaneers. Sophomore slump or not, Newton is the presumed savior of the franchise; hopefully he can continue to hold his mantle on high and do what is expected of him. Next Week vs. Saints

26. Indianapolis Colts

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 23
Indianapolis ColtsThe number one overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft had his debut against the Monsters of the Midway, and lets just say the Monsters ate him up with ferocity. Luck passed pretty well throughout the afternoon with the exception of throwing 3 interceptions, yet the kid is still learning and will one day bring the Colts back to where it was during the Peyton Manning era. Rebuilding has officially begun in Indy. Next Week vs. Vikings

27. Minnesota Vikings

Record: 1-0                 Rank Last Week: 29
VikingsAdrian Peterson is back in full force as a prime time running back. His 84 yards and two touchdowns helped lift the Vikings over the Jaguars in heated overtime battle. Christian Ponder looked solid going 20 for 27 for 270 yards, some reliable numbers from the young man. However, the Vikings still have a lot of kinks to work out if they plan on being a force in the NFC North. Next Week @ Colts

28. Oakland Raiders

Record: 0-1 Rank Last Week: 25
Oakland RaidersThe Raiders looked very spotty in their Monday Night performance against the Chargers. Carson Palmer and the offense had a hard time finding their groove and the special teams unit turned into a disaster considering the starting long-snapper for the Raiders, Joe Condo turned in early due to injury leaving the snapping duties to third year linebacker Travis Goethel who skipped two snaps along the ground resulting in Oakland turnovers. It was something you’d see out of a little league football game. Nonetheless, it took 59 minutes for the Raiders to finally get a touchdown, but they did. The offense looked good on the last few drives, but the Raiders proved they should practice with their long snappers. Overall, Oakland could develop into AFC contenders later in the season. Next Week @ Miami.

29. Miami Dolphins  

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 28
Miami DolphinsNobody expected much from the Miami Dolphins entering into the 2012 season, and frankly they didn’t deliver much in their week 1 game against the Houston Texans. New man in South Beach Ryan Tannehill delivered an ugly performance as the starting QB for the Fins and couldn’t really muster up anything against the dominant Texans. Dolphins fans may want this season to end already because they have a lot of work to do if they hope to be as elite as they were when Dan Marino was under center. Next Week vs. Raiders

30. St. Louis Rams

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 30
RamsJeff Fischer takes over the head coaching duties in St. Louis looking to bring this team back from the dead. Unfortunately, they just couldn’t hold off the fierce Detroit Lions for a week 1 victory. Although, the Rams did show some big signs of promise as Sam Bradford looked sharp going 17 for 25, 198 yards and a touchdown. The offense still has a ways to go but their progression is what is important. We’ll see how well the Rams do this season especially under the guise of Fischer. Next Week vs. Redskins

31. Cleveland Browns

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 31
Cleveland BrownsIs it too late to get a refund? The Browns were on the cusp of defeating the Eagles when they gave up a last minute touchdown that boosted Philly right over them. Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden started his first professional game to disastrous results by throwing 4 interceptions. The Browns are in fact lucky that they did not lose by more than one point. Hopefully, this game was a dud and Weeden can begin to develop into the explosive quarterback the Browns drafted him for. Next Week @ Bengals

32. Jacksonville Jaguars

Record: 0-1                 Rank Last Week: 32
Jacksonville JaguarsSo close yet so far as the Jaguars couldn’t pull out the overtime win in Minnesota. It was a tight battle that seemed to lean the other way for Jacksonville. Blaine Gabbert had an on/off day but tossed a 39 yard go ahead touchdown pass with less than a minute left which was his finest moment of the afternoon. Gabbert still seems a little shaky with his offense and needs get more comfortable in pressure situations considering Jacksonville couldn’t put up any points in overtime leading to their eventual loss. The Jags only glimmer of light may be in Maurice Jones-Drew who still proved he’s a top tier running back, but other than that, this team needs some help. Next Week vs. Texans

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