Week One of the 2012 NFL season is in the books, and we have polled out illustrious panel of contributors to bring you our weekly Power Rankings. As I think we have noted previously, our contributors will vary from week to week, and the rankings are supposed to reflect where the teams are at this moment in time, not where we expect them to be at the end of the season. This is only Week One, so we recognize that one week does not make a trend. teams that won in the first week don’t necessarily belong above those who lost.
With that intro, here are our Week One rankings:
1. San Francisco 49ers (1-0) – They made the Packers look pretty silly. Physical team that can dominate a game.
2. New England Patriots (1-0) – Improved defense and improved running game both apparent in decisive win over Titans.
3. Houston Texans (1-0) – Likely to coast through the AFC South.
4. Chicago Bears (1-0) – They beat a team they should have beat, but did so impressively. Thursday will tell us a lot about this team.
5. Dallas Cowboys (1-0) – Impressive win on Wednesday against the Giants. Will they finally live up to their alleged potential, or is the window closed?
6. Green Bay Packers (0-1) – This team could plummet with a loss against the Bears. Defensive “improvements” look to be anything but improvements.
7. Baltimore Ravens (1-0) – Ghost Rat thinks these guys should be higher. They displayed a solid offensive performance last night against the Bengals.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) – This was about as disappointing as a win can get.
9. Denver Broncos (1-0) – Impressive return for Peyton Mannning; he still has it.
10. New York Jets (1-0) – Mark Sanchez NEEDED this game, but the Jets won’t even average 24 points this season.
11. Washington Redskins (1-0) – RG3 shows he is as good as advertised. Could they surprise?
12. New York Giants (0-1) – Defending champs starting off slow; typical Tom Coughlin team.
13. Detroit Lions (1-0) – Struggled to beat St. Louis by forcing the ball to Megatron. Lucky to pull that game out.
14. Atlanta Falcons (1-0) – Looked solid in their opener; might be able to seize the NFC South.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) – Weaknesses on both sides of ball give this appearance of a very mediocre team.
16. San Diego Chargers (1-0) – They did enough to win on the road against a divisional foe.
17. New Orleans Saints (0-1) – The defense is not good, and not even Drew Brees can always overcome that fact.
18. Arizona Cardinals (1-0) – Close but important win at home over division rival Seattle.
19. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) – Is Baltimore that good, or is Cincinnati taking that step back we suggested?
20. Carolina Panthers (0-1) – Surprising and disappointing loss on opening weekend.
21. Seattle Seahawks (0-1) – Missed opportunity in a winnable game.
22. Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) – Major beat down at home against an impressive Atlanta team.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) – Yes, they beat Carolina. Yes, they are still ranked lower. It was an impressive win, but we’re not believers just yet.
24. Tennessee Titans (0-1) – They are a good team, but ran into a buzz-saw in the Patriots. Keep an eye on Locker.
25. Oakland Raiders (0-1) – They managed to pull out a loss at home thanks to long-snapping. It doesn’t take much to derail this team.
26. Buffalo Bills (0-1) – So much for that improved defense.Yuck.
27. Cleveland Browns (0-1) – They blew a huge upset by sticking with Weeden, who was miserable. Bring back Colt!
28. Minnesota Vikings (1-0) – They showed grit in their overtime win over the Jaguars.
29. St. Louis Rams (0-1) – They played well against the Lions. Bradford showing the promise of two years ago.
30. Miami Dolphins (0-1) – Picked apart by the Texans; about what we expected in Week One.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) – They gave good effort on the road but still lost to a bad team.
32. Indianapolis Colts (0-1) – Showed promise against the Bears. This team should get better as the year goes on.