It’s far too early to crown a champion in the NFL. A LOT can happen over the course of the next 15 games for all 32 teams, but right now, I think there are two teams who stand out above the rest, and they are the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers.
The Broncos dominated the reigning champion Baltimore Ravens, and the Niners came back and showed great resiliency and offensive versatility against the always tough Green Bay Packers.
As for the rest of the league? Spots are up for grabs after one week. Here are my power rankings after one week of football, so take these with a grain of salt.
1. Denver Broncos – The Broncos were dominant against the defending Super Bowl champs. Peyton Manning threw seven touchdown passes, and they actually left a couple of scores on the field. This team is as-advertised.
2. San Francisco 49ers — The Niners showed great resiliency and offensive versatility as I said before, and their defense will always be tough. This is a really good looking team if Kaepernick plays like that consistently.
3. New Orleans Saints — Huge home victory in Sean Payton’s first game back as head coach over the Falcons. The Saints played tough D against one of the best offenses in the NFL.
4. Atlanta Falcons — The Falcons suffered a close loss in New Orleans, but they are still one of the best teams in the NFL. I’m not going to bump them too far because of one game.
5. Seattle Seahawks — Not the debut we were expecting from the Seahawks, but again, you have to see the bigger picture here. Seattle will be okay, and they escaped with a win.
6. Cincinnati Bengals — Chicago is a tough place to go in and win, especially early in the season. The Bengals are still the 2nd best team in the AFC, in my opinion.
7. Houston Texans — Just an incredible comeback by the Texans on MNF. They got to 1-0 the hard way, but this team has a lot to like.
8. Green Bay Packers — Tough loss for the Packers against the 49ers. Colin Kaepernick was still knitting sweaters in the pocket. They have to find a way to pressure QBs or they won’t go anywhere.
9. Chicago Bears — Jay Cutler had a clean jersey after the game. Stunning. If the Bears keep that up, they should be NFC North favorites. The Bengals are a very good team.
10. New England Patriots — The Patriots cut it close in Buffalo. With Hernandez, Woodhead, and Welker gone, how long can this team keep up with opposing offenses?
11. Indianapolis Colts — The Raiders gave the Colts all they could handle, but I think Indy’s offense will get better as the season progresses.
12. Philadelphia Eagles — Chip Kelly’s offense was as-advertised, and LeSean McCoy is going to thrive this year. Great win by the Eagles.
13. Dallas Cowboys — Dallas had a huge home win against the Redskins Sunday night. If their defense can play even half as good as that on a weekly basis, they’re headed for the playoffs.
14. New York Giants — The Giants have a huge game week two against the Denver Broncos at home, and after losing to Dallas on the road, they have more questions unanswered than anything else.
15. Detroit Lions — Reggie Bush is just what the doctor ordered for the Lions’ offense.
16. Baltimore Ravens — Baltimore isn’t the same without Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin, and Ray Lewis. Not the same AT ALL.
17. St. Louis Rams — The Rams got a big week one win, and showed they can score some points on a decent D. Let’s see what kind of consistency they can have.
18. Kansas City Chiefs — The Chiefs dominated in their first game of the season, but it was against the worst team in the league. Still, nice to get started with a W.
19. Washington Redskins — RG3 needed that first game to get over the mental hurdle of his knee injury. He will be fine, and they’ll climb back up these rankings.
20. Miami Dolphins — The Dolphins’ D might be pretty tough this year, especially with Cameron Wake playing out of his mind. Team to watch.
21. Arizona Cardinals — The Cardinals are better than you or Dennis Green thought they were.
22. Carolina Panthers — Carolina’s front seven is beastly, but their offense should be far more explosive.
23. San Diego Chargers — The Chargers collapsed on a Monday Night. Who would have thought?
24. Tennessee Titans — Tennessee got a big season-opening win against the Steelers, but it was butt ugly.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers — See above.
26. Minnesota Vikings — Christian Ponder will be a backup in the league next season. He might cost Leslie Frazier a job.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — The Bucs were supposed to route the Jets. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt but give me a break, Tampa.
28. Buffalo Bills — Buffalo has some nice young playmakers. It’s going to be an exciting re-building year if nothing else.
29. New York Jets — The Jets got a win, and that’s already more than most people thought they could do. Let’s see what happens next…
30. Oakland Raiders — Terrelle Pryor might help the Raiders accidentally win three games this year.
31. Cleveland Browns — Brandon Weeden was great in the pre-season, and picked up where he left off as a rookie. He looked pretty terrible.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars — This is the worst team in the league, currently. They might only win one or two games all year, if that.