There’s a lot of prejudice in the first power rankings of the NFL season, but through the combination of expectations and first impressions, it would be hard to argue that the best teams in the NFL right now are once again the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.
When it comes to the worse, there were plenty of teams that looked very bad on the first weekend of the season – from the trio in the NFC East of the Cowboys, Giants and Redskins, to the expected Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For now, the Rams look like the rock bottom of the NFL this season.
1. Seattle Seahawks (1-0): The Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers 36-16 and it wasn’t even that close, looking quite ready to carry on with their Super Bowl defense season.
2. Denver Broncos (1-0): At its best, the Broncos’ offense is as good as it gets in the NFL, but there were worrying moments in the second half, beating the Colts 31-24.
3. San Francisco 49ers (1-0): They did allow the Dallas Cowboys to climb back from a 25-point deficit to 28-17 at the end of the game, but looked a lot better than the worrying preseason.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0): Andy Dalton helps win games, and that’s all that matters for a team with a very good running game and defense, beating the Baltimore Ravens 23-16.
5. Atlanta Falcons (1-0): The defense didn’t look too hot, but the Falcons showed heart and resiliency, not to mention a very potent offense, coming back from behind in the fourth quarter to win 37-34 in overtime against the New Orleans Saints.
6. New Orleans Saints (0-1): The offense looked good but slowed down, especially the passing game, in the second half, leading to dropping a big lead and losing 37-34 to the Falcons.
7. Detroit Lions (1-0): It’s good to start against the Giants, making every aspect of the team look good in a 35-14 win.
8. Indianapolis Colts (0-1): It’s going to be hard succeeding without a running game, but the Colts will look better than their first half at Mile High, losing 31-24 to the Broncos.
9. Miami Dolphins (1-0): An impressive start to what should be something of a breakout year for them, coming back from behind to score 23 unanswered points in the second half, beating the Patriots 33-20.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0): Not a great game on all accounts from the Steelers, beating the Browns 30-27 on a late field goal, but it seems to be a better setup than what they had last season, especially on offense.
11. Arizona Cardinals (1-0): It wasn’t pretty for most of the game, but the Cardinals stepped up on offense when it mattered to come away with a 18-17 win over the Chargers.
12. Carolina Panthers (1-0): We were reminded that Derek Anderson is still in the NFL, leading the Panthers to a 20-14 win over the Bucs while Cam Newton was frustrated and resting.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0): Not the most confidence building performance from Nick Foles, and yet the Eagles climbed out of they dug themselves in the first half, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-17.
14. Green Bay Pakcers (0-1): More injuries are never good news, and after the Packers lost 36-16 to the Seahawks on opening night, this looks like another season in which too much will depend on the ability of Aaron Rodgers.
15. Houston Texans (1-0): For now, the new Ryan Fitzpatrick experiment is working, combined with a solid defense, beating the Washington Redskins 17-6.
16. New England Patriots (0-1): The secondary isn’t as good as advertised and the offensive line is a mess following a 33-20 loss to the Dolphins.
17. San Diego Chargers (0-1): The Chargers continue their trend of messing up in the fourth quarter on opening day, losing 17-18 to the Cardinals.
18. Buffalo Bills (1-0): The Bills’ plans of taking the game away from EJ Manuel and making it about forcing turnovers and running the ball worked, beating the Chicago Bears 23-20 in overtime.
19. Tennessee Titans (1-0): This might be the season Jake Locker breaks out in, as not having Chris Johnson seems to be making a lot of people happy, leading to a 26-10 win over Kansas City.
20. Minnesota Vikings (1-0): A very impressive start to the season with a 34-6 win over the St. Louis Rams. However, it was the Rams they were playing.
21. Chicago Bears (0-1): Marc Trestman was happy with his defense, not so much with his offense as the Bears lost 23-20 in overtime to the Bills.
22. New York Jets (1-0): The Jets are improving as Geno Smith is, but Rex Ryan is getting creative with his decisions, leading to a 19-14 win over the Oakland Raiders which wasn’t very convincing.
23. Baltimore Ravens (0-1): No one is talking about the loss to the Bengals but about Ray Rice getting kicked off the team, and what kind of aftershocks will follow.
24. Cleveland Browns (0-1): The joke about the Browns is that they’re in a rebuilding century, not year. They almost silenced some of those joked before losing 27-30 to the Steelers.
25. Dallas Cowboys (0-1): It’s hard to know where to begin from. The defense had their work cut out for them with three Tony Romo interceptions, leading to a 17-28 loss at home against the San Francisco 49ers.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1): Josh McCown is an upgrade at quarterback, but it’s going to take more than him to bounce back from the damage caused by Schiano, losing 20-14 to the Panthers.
27. New York Giants (0-1): Nothing, from the passing, blocking, running and defending, looked good in a 35-14 loss to the Lions.
28. Washington Redskins (0-1): The Redskins looked very bad on all fronts as they lost 17-6 to the Houston Texans.
29. Kansas City Chiefs (0-1): Sometimes what you see in the preseason does mean something, and the Kansas City Chiefs looked like they did before Andy Reid arrived.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1): It’s rare to see the Jaguars having a competent quarterback to start out the season, but this team, following their 17-34 loss, still has a long road to take before becoming respectable again.
31. Oakland Raiders (0-1): Some thought they’d be worse on their opening week. Derek Carr, a rookie, threw two touchdown passes, and still the Raiders didn’t look good in a 19-14 loss to the Jets.
32. St. Louis Rams (0-1): The Rams are down to their third-string quarterback, which means that despite their impressive defensive unit, this is going to be an awful season, beginning with a 34-6 loss to the Vikings.