Power Rankings: Week 1 – Looking For Calm After Shocking Sunday

There were some serious shocks to kick off the season and with that, I’m in a somewhat perilous position in that the role of the power rankings author is to try and balance what you’ve seen in front of you alongside the fact that it is only Week 1 and weird stuff always happens in Week 1 as some teams start out the blocks quicker than others.

I’ve tried to strike a balance by rewarding those who maybe we just got wrong as they pulled off great performances and got the W (see New Orleans, Cincinnati), holding fire on some promotions where I thought the winners of the shock may have just knocked off the rust for their victims (see Pittsburgh as the prime example) and I’ve been more likely to move the losers down in those scenarios than move teams up. But those teams won’t have to wait long if it’s indicative of a pattern!

With that said and done, let’s get into it:

Front Runners

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2. Kansas City Chiefs

Both of these teams won, and against good teams in Dallas and Cleveland. However neither team made it easy, both having to fight their way back at home to get the win. Therefore, the two stay atop the rest, but the gap to the bubble is narrowing.

On The Bubble

3. Cleveland Browns (UP 2)
4. Los Angeles Rams (UP 3)
5. Seattle Seahawks (UP 3)
6. Buffalo Bills (DOWN 3)
7. Baltimore Ravens (DOWN 1)
8. Green Bay Packers (DOWN 4)

Now I warned you in last week’s rankings that this group is likely to be one of the most volatile on a weekly basis and it’s proving so early doors. If it wasn’t for two uncharacteristic errors from the Browns in Nick Chubb’s fumble and Jamie Gillan’s handling of a long snap, they probably would’ve beaten Kansas City at Arrowhead. No small feat and a real statement of intent.

The Rams made pretty easy work of Chicago’s defense and barely broke a sweat to restrict their offense in making their intentions known for the season while Seattle looked in mid-season form against the Colts. The Bills and Packers both had dreadful starts against teams who on paper they should’ve beaten and who have had issues in the offseason in the Steelers and Saints. The Ravens were down one due to others moving around before kick-off with potential to climb a few spots, but the Raiders coming back to get them on Monday night inspires little confidence after a horrendous camp for Baltimore.

Could be all change next week again. Main thing is to be in this group if you can.

Playoff Calibre

9. San Francisco 49ers
10. Dallas Cowboys (UP 5)
11. Los Angeles Chargers (UP 1)
12. Tennessee Titans (DOWN 2)
13. Indianapolis Colts (DOWN 2)
14. Miami Dolphins (DOWN 1)
15. New England Patriots (DOWN 1)

The Cowboys really showed up when others didn’t expect them to on Thursday night and have proved that they are worth the hype some are giving them. Tennessee really failed to deliver any hope in their loss to Arizona and the Colts were muted against Seattle. The 49ers could’ve ran off to a massive win against Detroit but turned off the jets towards the end. The Fins scraped by the Patriots but neither seemed too hot.

Not foreseeing any promotions to the bubble yet, but some switch outs with those in the hunt is very possible next week.

In The Hunt

16. New Orleans Saints (UP 3)
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (DOWN 1)
18. Arizona Cardinals
19. Washington Football Team (DOWN 2)

This is the section that might annoy the most. Pittsburgh end up with an excellent win at Buffalo and yet go down a spot? The Cards thrash Tennessee in Nashville and don’t move? However the Saints deserve to be top of this pack after an incredible win over the Packers, and Washington fall through the others performing and the Football Team now losing Ryan Fitzpatrick for at least multiple weeks despite keeping it close against the Chargers.

If these trends continue, then we could be big promotions really quickly. There are still plenty of questions with all of these teams and despite the Steelers and the Cardinals coming up with excellent wins, a lot could be said of how bad the Bills and Titans were out the gates. If they can back it up again, I’d have no issues with finding room further up!

On The Sidelines

20. Las Vegas Raiders (UP 2)
21. Chicago Bears
22. Philadelphia Eagles (UP 1)
23. Cincinnati Bengals (UP 6)
24. Minnesota Vikings (DOWN 4)
25. Denver Broncos
26. New York Giants
27. Atlanta Falcons

Well a couple of teams here really put to bed some questions with great performances on Sunday. I did include a caveat that the Bengals could soar the table early with a good performance against the Vikings and an overtime victory did just that. The Vikings’ defense remains woeful, but the Bengals really outperformed the chatter throughout the summer. The Eagles also surprised with a resounding performance so good that almost demoted the Falcons to the draft watchers division.

The Raiders looked lost at times on Monday night but somehow got the win in a chaotic game. They were going to move up as a result of changes elsewhere but for that are worthy of the movement in their own right.

The results for Chicago, Denver and New York weren’t much of a surprise so no changes there.

Draft Watchers

28. Carolina Panthers
29. New York Jets
30. Houston Texans (UP 2)
31. Detroit Lions
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (DOWN 2)

Detroit showed some moxie against San Francisco but really the result was a foregone conclusion and a lot of those points scored were padding. The Panthers and Jets game was close but with the expected outcome. The Texans tore up the Jags, though, which to me was quite a shock but it does show that the Texans have something about them and that Tyrod Taylor is an NFL calibre starter, for now at least. The Jags however were really poor to the point where there seems to be no real change from last year at all.

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