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Power Rankings (week 1)

September 07, 2011 by Steel Haven

1.9.Green Bay Packers10-6Got hot at the right time despite a spate of injuries. Have the talent to repeat.
2.1.New England Patriots14-2Haven't won a playoff game since soul crushing defeat in the Super Bowl at the hands of the Giants ended their dream of an undefeated season. Of course they have gone 35-13 in the regular season since then.
3.2.Pittsburgh Steelers12-4Clearly have all the pieces to return to the big game. Performances after last 2 Super Bowl appearances are reason for concern.
4.5.New Orleans Saints11-5Breesus appears poised for a big comeback after turning the ball over way too frequently last year.
5.4.Atlanta Falcons13-3Took a step forward in the regular season. Now need to show they can carry that forward into the playoffs.
6.6.New York Jets11-5Sanchez is a remarkable 4-2 in road playoff games in his 2 year career. Him and Greene need to do better in the regular season so they can overcome the Patriots in the division and start getting some home playoff games.
7.10.Philadelphia Eagles10-6Showed Vick the money. Now they better hope he doesn't take a step backwards or get injured with Kolb in Arizona. Offensive line and linebacker are the real areas of concern for the dream team.
8.13.San Diego Chargers9-7Based on talent alone they should be ranked higher. Alas last year was not a fluke when they somehow found a way to miss the playoffs despite the number 1 ranked regular season offense and defense. Turner has a long history of finding created ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
9.3.Baltimore Ravens12-4Trading for Evans and signing McKinnie almost smells of desperation.
10.20.Dallas Cowboys6-10Hard to envision as much going wrong as last season.
11.24.Houston Texans6-10Manning injury gives them a perfect opportunity for a fast start in the division. Of course they squandered a victory over the Colts in the opener last season.
12.8.Indianapolis Colts10-6Manning is now expected to miss 4 games. In big trouble if he misses more.
13.19.Detriot Lions6-10Defense could be scary. Need Stafford to stay on the field.
14.14.New York Giants10-6A disastrous half of football against the Eagles cost them a playoff berth in 2010. Injury decimated defense already a concern.
15.12.Tampa Bay Buccaneers10-6Future is bright with Freeman. For some reason I see a step backward in the short term.
16.7.Chicago Bears11-5Still not sure how Lovie coaxed a divisional title out of them last season. I could see a first to worst scenario. Then again I never liked them last year.
17.18.St. Louis Rams7-9Loss in the finale in Seattle kept them from .500 and cost them the division. Need Bradford to react positively to McDaniels replacing Shurmur.
18.29.Arizona Cardinals5-11I'm drinking the Kolb kool-aid. OK, maybe sipping.
19.11.Kansas City Chiefs10-6Took advantage of an easy schedule last season. Don't have that luxury this season.
20.15.Oakland Raiders8-8Ran the table in their division and still failed to make the playoffs. Didn't get better in the offseason.
21.26.Tennessee Titans6-10Need Johnson to hit the ground running and avoid injury or season will unravel quickly.
22.27.Cleveland Browns5-11Can McCoy build on success of the preseason or will the clock strike midnight when the games begin to count?
23.21.Minnesota Vikings6-10Probably better off in the long run if Ponder gets an opportunity sooner rather than later. McNabb appeared to be toast in Washington last season.
24.30.Denver Broncos4-12The steadying hand of Fox can't hurt. Keeping Orton also helps in the short term.
25.22.Miami Dolphins7-9A good offensive line and defense unlikely to be able to overcome Henne, Bush and the ultra-inconsistent Marshall in leading roles on offense. A regime change seems inevitable before 2012.
26.31.Buffalo Bills4-12Probably not bad enough to fall apart completely and lay claim to Luck. A pity really because there isn�t much to look forward to in the short or long term.
27.23.San Fransisco 49ers6-10Is Harbaugh hoping to parlay the inconsistent (OK, awful) play of Smith into a reunion with Luck? Garrard could make them a contender in the worst division in football.
28.16.Jacksonville Jaguars8-8Decision to release Garrard on the Tuesday before the opener and start McCown while grooming Gabbert saves them $8M. Hard to see how it makes them better on the field. Expect Del Rio to be looking for work after the season if not sooner. Veteran Jaguars can't be happy.
29.17.Seattle Seahawks7-9Carroll seems willing to take a step backward to procure the services of Luck or Barkley after signed Jackson to start at QB. Another NFC West team that could legitimately contend with Garrard behind center.
30.32.Carolina Panthers2-14Could surprise due to running game, defense and a non-lame duck head coach. Newton's expected growing pains make any great leap forward unlikely in the short term.
31.25.Washington Redskins6-10The Sex Cannon beat out Beck in QB competition. Wait.... What? That was a QB competition in 2011?
32.28.Cincinnati Bengals4-12A train wreck.

*Last year's final regular season ranking
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