RankingsSeptember 17, 2011

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NFL Rankings: Reacting to Week 1 - 8 comments

By R.J. White

We’re used to surprising results in Week 1, so though a lot of final scores were shocking in nature last weekend, nothing should have shocked us entirely. Buffalo broke out for a 34-point win on the road against a division winner, while Super Bowl favorites like Pittsburgh, Atlanta and New Orleans dropped their first games of the season. However, it’s not quite time to anoint the Bills as a playoff contender and rank them over those one-loss teams. But if they win again this week? Who knows.

Below are my NFL Rankings for Week 2. Every team that won moved up in the rankings save for the Packers, who could climb no higher than No. 1. Almost every team that lost slipped in the rankings, with the Panthers being the only exception. They outplayed the Cardinals for three quarters before allowing a 70-yard touchdown on a bad tackle attempt and a punt return TD to Patrick Peterson. Carolina showed enough to not be considered a bottom-five team, especially with the Colts, Chiefs and Seahawks throwing up stinkers.

RankPreviousTeamRecordWeek 1Week 2
11Green Bay Packers1-0W, NO 42-34at CAR
Maybe I drank too much of the Cam Newton Gatorade, but this doesn’t look like a double-digit win for the Pack. A win, yes.
23New England Patriots1-0W, MIA 38-24vs. SD
Five hundred and seventeen yards later, Tom Brady is looking for another MVP title. NE-SD winner could be AFC No. 1.
34Philadelphia Eagles1-0W, STL 31-13at ATL
A convincing win on the road against a quality team bodes well for Philly’s chances this year. Can they do it again?
47San Diego Chargers1-0W, MIN 24-17at NE
Will the Chargers ever get their special teams worked out? In the AFC West, it may not matter.
510Baltimore Ravens1-0W, PIT 35-7at TEN
Baltimore was the most impressive team of Week 1, and Ray Rice is looking like the No. 1 pick of 2012 fantasy drafts.
68Houston Texans1-0W, IND 34-7at MIA
After dismantling the AFC South’s dominant team, the Texans are poised to run away with their division.
79New York Jets1-0W, DAL 27-24vs. JAC
The Jets move up by virtue of a win, but they didn’t look particularly great. Another trip to AFC title game may be pipe dream.
814Detroit Lions1-0W, TB 27-20vs. KC
This is one over-hyped sleeper that may come through. Health is the only concern for this potential playoff team.
915Chicago Bears1-0W, ATL 30-12at NO
The Bears put the beat down on the Falcons; now let’s see if they can take out another big boy, this time on the road.
102Pittsburgh Steelers0-1L, BAL 7-35vs. SEA
Don’t get too down on Pittsburgh; Week 1 was their toughest road game by far this year, and they could still win 14.
115Atlanta Falcons0-1L, CHI 12-30vs. PHI
If Atlanta wanted to be taken seriously as a contender, it had to win at home against the Bears. Could be a long season.
126New Orleans Saints0-1L, GB 34-42vs. CHI
The Saints played their hearts out on Thursday but lost, and now they have to face another playoff team in Week 2.
1312Dallas Cowboys0-1L, NYJ 24-27at SF
The Cowboys seem good for at least one choke job per year; now they need to settle down and play smart football.
1418Oakland Raiders1-0W, DEN 23-20at BUF
The Raiders are a quiet contender, clearly the second-best AFC West team at the very least.
1519Arizona Cardinals1-0W, CAR 28-21at WAS
The Cardinals seemingly escaped with a win in Week 1, but I put no faith in their defense moving forward.
1611St. Louis Rams0-1L, PHI 13-31at NYG
A rough Week 1 on the scoreboard and in the trainer’s room for the Rams can be forgotten with a MNF win.
1713Tampa Bay Buccaneers0-1L, DET 20-27at MIN
Detroit exposed Tampa Bay’s weakness on offense in what should have been a blowout. I think the Bucs keep dropping.
1825Washington Redskins1-0W, NYG 28-14vs. ARI
The Redskins had a nice game against the under-manned Giants defense, and they could go 2-0 with another decent game.
1924Jacksonville Jaguars1-0W, TEN 16-14at NYJ
The Jaguars won an ugly game against a division rival, but releasing Garrard is going to come back to haunt them.
2031Buffalo Bills1-0W, KC 41-7vs. OAK
How ’bout them Bills? The Chiefs are really, really bad, but the Bills could be better than we thought as well.
2126San Francisco 49ers1-0W. SEA 33-17vs. DAL
They needed a couple special teams TDs to put away the Seahawks at home. I’m definitely selling my 49er stock.
2232Cincinnati Bengals1-0W, CLE 27-17at DEN
Our last winner checks in here, and I have a feeling they’ll be sinking back toward the bottom before long.
2316Tennessee Titans0-1L, JAC 14-16vs. BAL
It feels like the Titans lost a winnable game by keeping the ball out of their best player’s hands. Shouldn’t happen again.
2422Miami Dolphins0-1L, NE 24-38vs. HOU
The Dolphins put up a fight on offense on Monday, and Chad Henne looks better than advertised. Orton who?
2520New York Giants0-1L, WAS 14-28vs. STL
The Giants’ outlook is bleak after all their injuries and an embarrassing loss to the Redskins. Is Tom Coughlin safe?
2630Carolina Panthers0-1L, ARI 21-28vs. GB
I’d love to put them higher, but with just two wins in 2010, they have plenty to prove. What a great debut by the rookie.
2723Minnesota Vikings0-1L, SD 17-24vs. TB
A team with one of the best players in football (Adrian Peterson) shouldn’t be ranked this low, then you watch them play.
2821Kansas City Chiefs0-1L, BUF 7-41at DET
Unless the Bills have developed a playoff contender under the radar, this could be four spots too high. It’s not getting better.
2917Cleveland Browns0-1L, CIN 17-27at IND
The Browns had sleeper buzz but lost a game that felt like a lock. At least Joe Haden looks spectacular on defense.
3027Denver Broncos0-1L, OAK 20-23vs. CIN
The Broncos still have a lot of rebuilding to do before we can take them serious, and Week 1 injuries aren’t going to help.
3129Indianapolis Colts0-1L, HOU 7-34vs. CLE
After New England played solidly with Cassel, it’s clear that Peyton Manning is the MVP of the last decade (and more).
3228Seattle Seahawks0-1L, SF 17-33at PIT
They probably have a better group of talent than Indianapolis, but I can’t get behind Tarvaris Jackson as a starter.

R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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8 Responses to “NFL Rankings: Reacting to Week 1”

  1. User avatar Navyseal says:

    You say, “…don’t get too down on Pittsburgh…” yet YOU dropped them from 2nd overall to TENTH !!!


  2. User avatar daullaz says:

    1. Top ten is still pretty good; I hardly consider that “too down.” 2. They’re going to rise when they start winning, but it wouldn’t be fair to the good teams that won to be ranked below a 0-1 team. Any team that I felt within reason had a quality win or is an elite team had to be ranked over Pittsburgh. I’m trying to make these rankings a mix between on-field results and future potential.

  3. User avatar krsmith16 says:

    I’m not sure what to make of the first sentence under the Panthers. Could someone please translate?

  4. User avatar daullaz says:

    Sorry, I lost my train of thought in the middle of it apparently. Will fix.

  5. Hippo45 says:

    Why did Chargers move up after their win over the Vikings? They played terrible and barely won.

    Also, the score for that game is wrong. Chargers won 24-17 not 28-21

    Here is my top 10

    1. Eagles
    2. Ravens
    3. Packers
    4. Patriots
    5. Steelers
    6. Texans
    7. Jets
    8. Bears
    9. Cowboys
    10. Falcons

  6. User avatar daullaz says:

    @Hippo45: You’re right about the score. It’s been fixed. As I said in the intro, a win in Week 1 moves you up. That won’t always be the case moving forward, but it made sense to do it this week.

  7. User avatar krsmith16 says:

    Ok, gotcha.

    Hard to argue with the rankings. Good stuff.

  8. User avatar DraftDodger says:

    Looks like a lot of the rankings will last another week. You might switch Green Bay and New England since the Pats beat the team that was supposed to be AFC champ while the Packers barely squeaked by a team they were expected to be much better than.

    The Ravens/Titans game is the biggest head scratcher though. How much better are the Titans than people thought, and if they are so good, how much if any do you have to drop the Ravens?

    The Eagles game should answer questions about Atlanta.

    Overall in hindsight your ratings were extremely good, and will probably get even better in the coming weeks.


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