MY NFL Power Rankings -Week One
1. Green Bay Packers-
The defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers went roaring into week one showing any remaining critics that they aren’t slowing down any time soon. Dom Capers defense did not live up to expectations in the first game of the season, but managed to make the big plays when needed. Rodgers completed 27-35 for 312 yards and threw for three touchdowns in their 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints. If the defense can return to 2010 form, the Packers will remain a team to be reckoned with.
2. Baltimore Ravens-
One word: Defense. The Baltimore Ravens dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers in week one, beating them 35-7. Big Ben was sacked four times as the Ravens set a franchise record forcing seven turnovers. Ravens QB Joe Flacco went 17 for 29 for 224 yds throwing for three touchdowns in the beat down. The Steelers infinitely known for their defense never looked in the game, probably because the Ravens didn’t allow them to. If the Ravens defense looks the way it looked in game one for the rest of the season, their offense can take a back seat and enjoy the ride.
3. Philadelphia Eagles–
A six-year, 100 million dollar contract does a body good. Michael Vick showed up for week one hoping to prove that he is worth the money that the Eagles threw at him this offseason. Vick was far from perfect, connecting on only 43 percent of his passes. But, that being said, the Eagles had 239 yards rushing and went 8 for 11 on third downs. The much hyped Eagles beat the St. Louis Rams 31-13, with plenty of help from the defense piling up five sacks. Michael Vick said after the game there is definite room for improvement, with that beings said, the Eagles are on the right track to compete wholeheartedly in 2011.
4. New England Patriots–
Tom Terrific threw for a record setting 517 yards and four touchdowns in the 38-24 routing of the Miami Dolphins on Monday night. The Patriots offensive line stepped up big, giving Brady hours to throw resulting in New England totaling 622 yards, the most in franchise history and the most allowed by the Dolphins. The Dolphins didn’t lay down however, battling with a more aggressive offense under new offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll. New England is 1-0 and starting the season off right with a much expected win against the Miami Dolphins. It will be interesting to see if Chad Johnson can get his head out of the clouds and enjoy the ride. The Patriots would be number two on my rankings if the win wasn’t against the Dolphins. Face it, the Patriots will remain at the top of the Power Rankings throughout the season.
5. New York Jets-
Mark Sanchez looked abysmal in the first half of the Jets-Cowboys game on Sunday, but hoisted a comeback win that earned the best preliminary television rating for a week 1 game on a Sunday or Monday in 15 years. Mark Sanchez had been anointed the chosen one by NY media and Jets fans alike, but boasting 54.8 completion percentage in 2010, there is much room for improvement laying on the shoulders of Sanchez if he wants to lead his team to the Superbowl. The Jets are nothing if not resilient. There defense could carry them far this season. But, watching Sunday’s game told us one thing: the Jets have some work to do.
6. New Orleans Saints-
Even after the crushing loss to Green Bay, we still see why the Saints are one of the elite teams in the league. With QB, Drew Brees at the helm, he went 32-49, with 419 yards and three touchdowns in their 42-34 loss to the Pack. RB Darren Sproles was electric, prompting Saints fans too say: Reggie Who? The Saints looked strong on both sides of the ball, but the decision during the last play of the game sending Mark Ingram to get stuffed by Clay Matthews at the goal line was heavily criticized. Either way, the Saints aren’t going away, look for them to be hanging around the top of the power rankings for weeks to come.
7. Chicago Bears-
The Bears crushed the Atlanta Falcons 30-12 in surprising fashion in week one. QB Cutler threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns. The 25-year old RB from Tulane, Matt Forte, rushed for 68 yards and had a 56 yard touchdown off a screen pass. The Bears defense stifled the Falcons offense holding them to only one touchdown early in the fourth. The Bears will remain a force in the NFC North and will go on to take the division again. But, only time will tell if Jay Cutler has what it takes to lead them to the promised land, if you ask me, he doesn’t. Look for Forte to have his best year since being drafted in 2008.
8. Houston Texans-
Yes, the Houston Texans are on my list. If they stay there, remains to be seen. The Texans played the Manning-less Colts in week one dominating them 34-7. Now, if the bruised and battered Colts had Manning, chances are the Texans wouldn’t be here at number eight. But, they are, and they have a good chance of staying there. The Texans came out of the gates swinging looking to make a name for themselves. Texans QB, Matt Schaub threw for 220 yds and a touchdown, while Ben Tate rushed for 116 yds in relief of Arian Foster. That’s right, the replacement rushed for 116 yards…. that is good news for the Texans. Foster returned to practice this week and is day-to-day. Some people are still skeptical about the Texans, so we will have to just wait and see. Oh, and keep an eye on rookie Brooks Reed, he will make his presence known on the field this season.