The first week of the NFL season didn’t have many surprises. Denver and San Francisco looked especially great, as quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Colin Kaepernick had fantastic performances.
Most of the movement in our power rankings took place at the bottom. Philadelphia moved up four spots after debuting its new warp speed offense, and Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay fell after disappointing losses.
Tell us where you think your team should be ranked in the comments!
1. Denver Broncos (1-0, Last Week: 1)
In their big win over Baltimore, the Broncos showed everyone why they were among the preseason favorites. Peyton Manning was historically good, tying the single-game record for touchdown passes, with seven. New Bronco Wes Welker caught two of those touchdowns, and the defense put pressure on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. This team is for real.
2. San Francisco 49ers (1-0, Last Week: 2)
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick (412 passing yards, three touchdowns) looked extremely sharp in the 49ers’ 34-28 win over the Packers. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin was responsible for more than half of his yards. The defense gave up more points than they have in past years, but Kaepernick is looking like he could be the best of the group of young dual-threat quarterbacks.
3. Seattle Seahawks (1-0, Last Week: 3)
Seattle has to score more than 12 points to win games, but its defense held Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to only one total touchdown. Quarterback Russell Wilson was sharp (320 passing yards), but will have to engineer more touchdown drives for the Seahawks to remain in the league’s elite category.
4. New England Patriots (1-0, Last Week: 4)
The Pats won a close one against the Bills, but Tom Brady didn’t look great and receiver Danny Amendola was injured. If he misses a few games, this offense will be in trouble. The AFC East battle might be a tougher one than we thought.
5. Houston Texans (1-0, Last Week: 6)
Houston looked like it would start its season with a disappointing loss to San Diego, but the greatest comeback in team history prevented that. The Texans can’t afford to get down early in games this season if they want to be considered Super Bowl contenders. Other teams won’t let them come back.
6. Atlanta Falcons (0-1, Last Week: 5)
The Falcons couldn’t separate themselves from division rival New Orleans in week one. Quarterback Matt Ryan played well, but Atlanta will have to win games against good teams like the Saints to win a championship. Until then, the Falcons will still have doubters.
7. Green Bay Packers (0-1, Last Week: 7)
Kaepernick torched the Packers just like he did in the playoffs last year, but Green Bay didn’t get blown out last week. They can take some optimism from that going into their week two game against Washington.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1, Last Week: 9)
Though they lost a road game against the Bears they should have won, the Bengals remain in our top 10. The connection between quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green looked sharp, and should help Cincinnati win a lot of games this season. If Baltimore continues to struggle, the Bengals can win the AFC North.
9. Baltimore Ravens (0-1, Last Week: 8)
The defending champs look like they could be in trouble. The Ravens couldn’t establish their passing attack against the Broncos, and they gave up 49 points and seven touchdown passes. No need to panic yet, but Baltimore definitely has things to work on.
10. Indianapolis Colts (1-0, Last Week: 10)
Losing to the Raiders at home would have been an embarrassing way to start the season, but Andrew Luck and the Colts got the win. The offense needs more big plays than it had in week one. Luck is certainly one of the best young passers in the game, and he should be able to generate more points for the offense during the season.
11. Dallas Cowboys (1-0, Last Week: 10)
Week one is too early to make a statement win, but the Cowboys gained a lot of respect by beating the New York Giants.
12. New Orleans Saints (1-0, Last Week: 16)
The return of coach Sean Payton and the win over Atlanta gives the Saints a better shot at winning the division.
13. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0, Last Week: 17)
Quarterback Alex Smith was exactly what the Chiefs needed him to be: smart and safe.
14. Minnesota Vikings (1-0, Last Week: 12)
A loss to Detroit was a bad way to start the season for Minnesota, which needs to prove last year's playoff appearance wasn't a one-hit wonder.
15. Washington Redskins (0-1, Last Week: 11)
Washington ended well in its loss to Philadelphia after looking very shaky early on.
16. New York Giants (0-1, Last Week: 13)
The Giants continued to build on their reputation as an inconsistent team by losing to the Cowboys.
17. Chicago Bears (1-0, Last Week: 19)
Beating a playoff-caliber team in Cincinnati was promising for the Bears, who are hoping new coach Marc Testman can build a winner.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0, Last Week: 22)
The Eagles' crazy-fast offense looked almost unstoppable, but can they sustain that speed for an entire season?
19. San Diego Chargers (0-1, Last Week: 21)
The loss to the Texans was a demoralizing one, but San Diego can at least say it competed with a top-10 team.
20. St. Louis Rams (1-0, Last Week: 20)
The Rams escaped week one with a close win over Arizona. The two teams could be in a close battle for third place in the NFC West throughout the season.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1, Last Week: 15)
Pittsburgh's loss to Tennessee only added to the difficulties of contending in the tough AFC North.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1, Last Week: 18)
A costly late hit penalty helped the Jets get the win over the Bucs. Tampa Bay will be haunted by that one.
23. Miami Dolphins (1-0, Last Week: 23)
Sure it came against Cleveland, but a win is a win. Now the Dolphins have to try to beat the Colts on Sunday.
24. Buffalo Bills (0-1, Last Week: 24)
Buffalo looked good against division rival New England, but it has only beaten the Pats once in their last 20 meetings.
25. Detroit Lions (1-0, Last Week: 28)
Reggie Bush's fantasy owners are very happy after Detroit's win over Minnesota.
26. Tennessee Titans (1-0, Last Week: 27)
After beating the Steelers, the Titans get a good test this week by playing the Texans.
27. Oakland Raiders (0-1, Last Week: 30)
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor definitely has things to work on, but he provided encouragement by nearly leading Oakland to an upset win over the Colts.
28. Arizona Cardinals (0-1, Last Week: 32)
Carson Palmer looks like a great signing for the Cards, who almost beat a solid Rams team.
29. Carolina Panthers (0-1, Last Week: 26)
The Panthers should have defeated the Seahawks, but holding a great team to only 12 points was a strong start to the season.
30. Cleveland Browns (0-1, Last Week: 25)
The Browns did not look good against the Dolphins. It could be another long season in Cleveland.
31. New York Jets (1-0, Last Week: 29)
The Jets must build off of their week-one win when they meet the Patriots on Thursday night.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1, Last Week: 31)
Jacksonville's only points in week one came off of a blocked punt for a safety. Other than that, nothing went right.
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