Millenium Week 1 NFL Power Rankings
by Jennifer Jordan
As week one of the NFL season came and went, some teams won, some teams lost, and some teams, like the Buffalo Bills, had life put in perspective. With only one game down, and fifteen to go, it’s hard to get a grasp on who is good, who is bad, and who is just plain awful. But, with our week one power rankings, we are trying to do just that.
1. Indianapolis Colts: In what was supposed to be a tight game, Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne led Indianapolis to a blow out of New Orleans. The only thing the Saints are marching in now is remorse.
2. New England Patriots: We all know that the “real” Super Bowl last year was between the Pats and the Colts. With New England grounding the New York Jets, the same championship may rear its head.
3. San Diego Chargers: Phillip Rivers wasn’t exactly a great QB in this game, but the Chargers found a way to win against “Da Bears.” Still, if they want to reclaim the chances that evaded them last season, they better make sure their offense isn’t offensive to their fans.
4. Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo, rebounding with greatness from his flub in last year’s playoff game, made every Fantasy player wish that he was on their team. If the Cowboys can continue to gel, they’ll be the team to beat in the NFC.
5. Denver Broncos: The Denver Broncos have recently not faired well on opening day. This trend, until Jason Elam’s literal last second field goal, looked to be continuing. Not only was this a huge road win for Denver, but it was a huge emotional win, and one that will give Jay Cutler a boost to his young confidence.
6. Carolina Panthers: Two words for Carolina fans: they’re back. The duo of Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith once again provided the grounds for a solid win, on the road no less. The Panthers defense also did a great job of silencing Steven Jackson. Let’s face it, that’s not easy to do.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sure, they won big, but let’s not get carried away: they were playing the Browns. Nonetheless, Big Ben looked great in his 2007 debut, showing fans that the source of his 2005 power wasn’t in his appendix. We’ll see how they do when they play a team that doesn’t come from Cleveland.
8. Cincinnati Bengals: If the most disappointing part of the Cincinnati games continues to be Chad Johnson’s hyped up but lame touchdown celebrations, the Bengals could be in for a great season. They cut it close at the end, but their defense found out how to win. That’s what good teams do.
9. Chicago Bears: No, they didn’t win, but they did hold one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses to only 14 points. Still, if they are going to be contenders, even in the NFC, they have got to have some sort of offense: put in Brian, and give Rex the ax.
10. Seattle Seahawks: They started off slow, but the Seahawks eventually found themselves soaring. If their defense continues to play well, and Shaun Alexander can stay in jury free, they’ll make the playoffs. Where they go from there, is anyone’s guess.
11. Baltimore Ravens: The loss against the Bengals didn’t only hurt the Ravens pride, it also left Steve McNair with a separated shoulder and Ray Lewis with a bicep injury. In light of having more turnovers than a neighborhood bakery, the Ravens have a lot of work to do on offense.
12. New Orleans Saints: Yes, they were manhandled in Indy, but don’t count out the Saints just yet. If last year taught us anything, it’s that this team, and their fans, are full of heart. Heart wins where talent fails.
13. Philadelphia Eagles: A loss to Green Bay wasn’t exactly how Donovan McNabb wanted to begin the season, but writing them off is a huge over reaction. Lambeau field on opening day is one of the hardest places to play. Chalk it up to that and hope the Eagles don’t get their feathers this ruffled again.
14. Green Bay Packers: Sunday’s game reminded people in Green Bay why they root root root for the home team. In a less than stellar division, Green Bay actually has some playoff potential. They have the experience and leadership of Favre coupled with youthful talent. They are going to surprise some people.
15. Houston Texans: After destroying the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston fans may find themselves with the urge to chant “Super-Bowl, Super-Bowl.” But, let’s not get too crazy. The Chiefs aren’t a very worthy opponent. If the Texans can easily beat someone better, Houston fans may actually have a reason to get excited.
16. Tennessee Titans: With Vince Young and Chris Brown as running threats, the Titans could see an explosive year. What’s more, their defense actually played…well, good.
17. San Francisco: Their defense and their offense seemed to have swapped roles, with the defense actually playing great and the offense lacking. Still, Alex Smith won when he had to and Frank Gore, running back extraordinaire, will have a good season. This team will have a better than average year.
18. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings were truly warriors against the Falcons on Sunday. While they looked great, keep in mind that Atlanta has had one heck of a bad off season. Still, if the Vikings can do this to teams whose seasons haven’t been folded by Fido, Minnesotans may find themselves making the NFC north rather competitive.
19. Washington Redskins: It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win. Their offense got the job done when it needed to. An overtime win on opening day is always exciting. For now, the Redskins are sitting pretty.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: The Chicago Bears of the AFC, Jacksonville is lost when opponents score: without their defense dominating, the Jaguars won’t win. If their offense doesn’t start to do…anything, this is going to be a long, long season.
21. Miami Dolphins: The loss in OT to the Washington Redskins hurt the Fins, both in the standings and emotionally. Still, there are signs of life: Trent Green did well in his debut (he would have done better if his receivers held onto the ball). If their defense can just stop the run, the Dolphins will bounce back.
22. New York Giants: The Giants and Cowboys game was getting exciting, and then the injuries came. The Giants aren’t low in the power rankings because they played horribly, but because seemingly their entire team was injured. Brandon Jacobs is out a month, Osi Umenyiora is out for a few months, and Eli Manning is out for at least a game, maybe longer. The Giants will be glad when it’s October.
23. Arizona Cardinals: Their defense actually played well against the 49ers. Too bad the same can’t be said for their offense. If they are going to have even a mediocre season, the Arizona receivers are going to have to get open so Leinhart has somewhere to pass.
24. Detroit Lions: In what was the anti-Super Bowl preview, the Detroit Lions destroyed the Oakland Raiders. The Lions aren’t going to be winning any championships, but their offense should see a productive year. This could be a turning point.
25. New York Jets: Jets fans are realizing that, if they want to be a good team, they are going to have to learn how to play with the big boys. Not only did they lose to the Patriots, but they looked awful. Hopefully the coach they call Man Genius can find a way to win.
26. Buffalo Bills: With thoughts and prayers going out to Kevin Everett, football seems unimportant. Hopefully he, even if his football career is over, can get well and lead a good, fulfilling life.
27. St. Louis Rams: When your star running back has a dismal game, you aren’t going to win. Losing at home on opening day is going to be a hard one for the Rams to shake off. Steven Jackson is going to have to turn it around, and not turn it over, if the Rams are going to salvage the season.
28. Atlanta Falcons: It’s really too bad that the entire team has to suffer because of one man’s inhumane decisions. It would be nice to see Joey Harrington do well. He might not be a better quarterback than Michael Vick, but here’s to betting he’s a better person.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Don’t count this team out just yet….give it a few games. Their defense showed signs of life, but their offense struggled in every sense of the word. Still, Gruden knows how to coach. He’ll find some tricks up his sleeve.
30. Oakland Raiders: Even when they were horrendous last year, their defense was great. That appears to no longer be the case. The Chargers and the Broncos are glad the Raiders are in their division.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Wow this team looks bad. Opponents might even have a chance of winning at Arrowhead in November and December of this year. Like the Raiders, the Chargers and Broncos welcome the Chiefs presence in the AFC West.
32. Cleveland Browns: Look for Brady Quinn to be the starting Quarterback before the season is over. May as well put him in and chalk this up to a “rebuilding” year.
Millenium Week 1 NFL Power Rankings