NFL Power Rankings Week 1

Wednesday September 11th, 2013

Peyton Manning tied an NFL record Thursday, throwing for seven touchdown passes against the Ravens.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

In 2012, the list of teams that picked up Week 1 wins included Arizona, Detroit, Philadelphia and the New York Jets. Those teams ended up with a combined total of 19 victories over the course of the season, an average of 4.75 per squad.

Among the losers on that opening weekend: Cincinnati Green Bay, Indianapolis and Seattle -- playoffs teams all.

MORE COVERAGE: Steelers disappoint | New schemes help Bush, Cutler | Eagles' innovation

In other words, Week 1 results hardly stand as a guaranteed harbinger of things to come. This year's first weekend of football put forth a flurry of unpredictability, from Denver's destruction of the defending champs on Thursday right on through Houston's dramatic comeback against San Diego.

Here's where things stand after Week 1 of 17:

NFL Power Rankings
1Denver Broncos
Last Week: 3
Well, that certainly was impres ... The Broncos offen ... How are you going to cover all those receiv ...

Peyton, will you please stop throwing touchdowns for two seconds so I can type this up?!
2San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 4
Here's a fun Week 1 tidbit for you: Colin Kaepernick finished with 22 yards rushing ... three less than what Alex Smith totaled for the Chiefs. If you're still stuck on the notion that Kaepernick is a run-first quarterback or that San Francisco is trotting some gimmick offense out there, you have not been paying attention.
3Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 2
You'd think that residing in the birthplace of Starbucks would make the Seahawks better morning people. But those East Coast, 10 a.m. PT starts have been killers for Seattle -- just as they have been for most teams making the cross-country trip. With a sluggish 12-7 win over Carolina, the Seahawks matched their 2012 early-East Coast timeslot win total.
4New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 15
The Saints play two 2012 playoff teams over the first 10 weeks of the season. They just beat one. The strength of schedule numbers will tell you that the Saints have the league's second-toughest draw, behind only Carolina. But New Orleans will be favored in at least six of its next eight games.
5New England Patriots
Last Week: 5
Tom Brady is to short-yardage QB sneaks what Tom Brady is to dating attractive women. So proof that the Patriots were out of whack Sunday came when Brady fumbled on a 4th-and-goal at the Buffalo 1. That said, not many teams can deliver such an uneven performance and still win on the road against a division rival.
6Houston Texans
Last Week: 7
After J.J. Watt rejected a third-down Philip Rivers pass in the fourth quarter on Monday, Rivers stared back while Watt wagged a finger in celebration. On Rivers' next pass, Brian Cushing stole a game-tying pick-six. The Texans' defense, when it's rolling, can flat out get in a QB's head.
7Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 6
Do the Packers want another crack at San Francisco in the playoffs or would they rather avoid the Niners altogether? NFL fans probably would not mind Round 4 -- these NFC heavyweights have delivered three thrillers in the past year.
8Chicago Bears
Last Week: 14
Of all the Week 1 oddities league-wide, that Jay Cutler was not sacked even once on 33 pass attempts, by a tremendous Cincinnati front, is near the top of the list. Give credit to Marc Trestman for going out of his way to keep Cutler on his feet.
9Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 8
Speaking of Cincinnati, the Bengals turned it over three times, committed eight penalties (including Rey Maualuga's boneheaded late personal foul), lost the time of possession battle ... and nearly won in Chicago.
10Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 16
The Cowboys' interception total last season: seven. They're currently on pace for 48 in Year 1 of Monte Kiffin's reign as defensive coordinator, after picking off Eli Manning three times. The last of those turned into a game-clinching, 49-yard TD return by Brandon Carr.
11Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 13
This is just a friendly suggestion, Indianapolis, but you might want to try blowing someone out from time to time. It'd be fun and less stressful, I promise. Of course, since Andrew Luck is now 10-1 in games decided by 10 points or less, may as well keep pushing the drama to a maximum level.
12Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 1
The Ravens should take the tape from the second half of their game in Denver, light it on fire, then throw it into Camden Yards as a reminder to never make the defending Super Bowl champs adjust their schedule for a random Thursday night baseball game.
13Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 24
Too high? Well, we'll find out in the next three weeks, as the Chiefs traverse through the NFC East with matchups against Dallas, Philadelphia and the Giants. But if you win 28-2 on the road (even when the opponent is Jacksonville), you deserve a bump.
14Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 9
There is no shame in losing at New Orleans, especially in Sean Payton's emotional first game back. How it happened, though -- with the Atlanta offensive line crumbling against New Orleans' front seven -- will have the Falcons tossing and turning.
15Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 29
Had Monday night's game between Philadelphia and Washington been about five minutes longer, the Redskins might have completed their comeback. Or the Eagles might have scored four more touchdowns.
16Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 21
Sunday's 16-9 road win over Pittsburgh might be the greatest victory in NFL history by a team whose return man accidentally took a safety to start the game. The Titans' front seven is going to cause a lot of teams problems.
17Detroit Lions
Last Week: 23
The Lions are 1-8 in Calvin Johnson's career when Megatron makes 10 or more catches; they're 6-10 when he finishes with exactly four receptions as he did on Sunday. The main takeaway from those numbers being that the Lions don't win nearly enough for a team that has Calvin Johnson.
18St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 19
Jared Cook led the Rams with seven catches and 141 yards in Sunday's win over Arizona. Tavon Austin landed second in both categories with six grabs for 41 yards. Sam Bradford must feel like Jimmy Stewart at the end of It's a Wonderful Life every time he walks into the locker room.
19Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 20
Not sure the Dolphins can win many games with Lamar Miller rushing for three yards and Mike Wallace catching one pass, but that formula worked in Week 1. The next four games (at IND, ATL, at NO, BAL) will tell us a lot about this team's playoff hopes.
20New York Giants
Last Week: 11
Peyton Manning threw for 462 yards last Thursday because he could. Eli Manning threw for 450 on Sunday night in Dallas because he had to. There's a difference. Oh, and lookie here, the brothers Manning meet this week in New York.
21Washington Redskins
Last Week: 10
Robert Griffin III was 5-for-11 for 53 yards in the first half on Monday. He was 25-for-38 for 276 yards and two TDs after halftime. Give him a little time to find his footing again.
22Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 17
When Adrian Peterson took a handoff on the Vikings' first play from scrimmage Sunday and raced 78 yards to pay dirt, how many people would have bet on Peterson falling shy of 100 yards rushing for the game?
23New York Jets
Last Week: 30
Geno Smith led the Jets to a Week 1 win over Tampa Bay, complete with a game-winning drive in the closing seconds. Rex Ryan then announced Monday that Smith would start in Week 2. No kidding.
24Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 12
The Heinz Field fans were booing the home team by the second quarter and they were headed for the gates early in the fourth. The Steelers lost three players, including its O-line anchor Maurkice Pouncey, to season-ending injuries in Week 1. They won't get any sympathy from Cincinnati in Week 2.
25Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 18
So the Bucs want to be taken seriously as a playoff threat out of the tough NFC South? That's not going to happen with losses like Sunday's, when Lavonte David's boneheaded penalty handed the Jets a late W.
26Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 22
No team in the NFL is worse in Week 1s than the Panthers. They haven't won on the season's first weekend since 2008, and Sunday's 12-7 setback against Seattle dropped them to 6-13 all-time in Week 1. They should be sick about that loss to the Seahawks, too, because a victory was there for the taking.
27Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 27
There was a lot to like in the opener for Buffalo, including a pretty steady performance from rookie QB EJ Manuel. The end result was all too familiar, though, with Buffalo letting one slip away late against New England.
28Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 25
Go ahead and book it: The Cardinals will pull off a couple of upsets this season -- possibly as early as Week 2 against Detroit. (The Cardinals smoked the Lions last season, 38-10.) But there are going to be a lot of games like the 27-24 loss to St. Louis, where Arizona competes hard and falls short.
29Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 32
It's so very Raiders to trade for a quarterback and use a draft pick on another QB, only to discover they had a viable starter on their roster all along. Terrelle Pryor definitely looked the part in an impressive performance at Indianapolis.
30San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 28
Ten-year veteran QBs with seven-plus seasons of starting experience simply cannot make the type of mistake Philip Rivers made on a game-tying pick-six Monday night. San Diego will not become a contender again until it finds a lot more mental toughness -- and some missing confidence -- late in close games.
31Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 26
Didn't take long to toss that offseason momentum out the window, did it? Cleveland still appears to be on the right track as a franchise, but a Week 1 faceplant at home against Miami could set the table for an 0-3 or 0-4 start, with games at Baltimore and at Minnesota forthcoming.
32Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 31
Question: Is losing 28-2 more embarrassing than losing 28-0 would have been? It somehow feels like it -- perhaps because the Jaguars actually led Kansas City, 2-0, before getting stuck in the mud.
BURKE: Sour Rankings -- The 10 Worst Moments of Week 1
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AUDIBLES: First down, fourth down -- Andrew Luck among Week 1 stars
BELLER:'s Week 2 Fantasy Football Projections

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