Power rankings are dumb after just one week of the NFL season for the simple reason that there haven't been enough games to determine who is truly "good" and who is truly "bad." However, it is fun to write about who played well and who didn't on a week to week basis, which is (at its core) the reason people do all this power ranking stuff so early in the season. That, and the page views. Stampede Blue's fun little spin on power rankings will be to categorize the good, bad, and ugly teams on a weekly basis until Matt Grecco's The Winning Stats system compiles enough data to provide you with true power rankings.
Their offense exploded Monday night, accounting for 430 yards and 37 points (one touchdown in their 44-13 win was an INT returned for a score). Joe Flacco threw for 299 yards and two TDs, completing 21-29 of his passes. Flacco seems to have turned a corner, and might be in the "elite" category of QBs now. He will need to sustain this if Baltimore is to stay the on top of the AFC North this year.
Jim Harbaugh's guys went into Green Bay and thumped the Packers just as the New York Giants did in the playoffs last year. Their defense completely controlled a potent Packers offense, and Alex Smith continued to rebuild his career after last season's solid effort. Smith went 20-26 for 211 yards and two TDs, including a 14-yard score to Randy Moss, another player looking to rebuild his career.
Yes, the Jets. The same team that looked so terrible in preseason were dominant in Week One when the games actually counted. Prior to the start of the season, I said this was the worst team in the AFC East, and I will stand by that. One game does not change the fact that the Jets have problems all over their roster. However, if you are a Jets fan, you have to feel good with how the team responded to adversity, especially Mark Sanchez. He was 19-27 for 266 yards and two TDs with one pick, but that doesn't tell the full story. He led the Jets to two touchdown drives early, and with a 14-0 lead, the Jets simply poured it on the Bills. Sanchez must sustain this high level of play all season. If he does, "analysts" like me will have egg on our face.
The "new era" for Jim Irsay's Colts was not pretty. A 20-point loss to the Bears due mainly to the Colts committing five turnovers (four by rookie quarterback Andrew Luck) made for some ugly football. Injuries to an already bad offensive line made Luck's job especially difficult all day, and the defense (which started strong) lost its edge after Dwight Freeney left in the first quarter with an ankle injury. Few expected the Colts to prevail in this game, but the team must play better if they want to stay out of the "bad" next week.
Andy Reid and the Eagles should have lost to the Cleveland Browns this past Sunday, and if Colt McCoy had been the Browns start at QB and not rookie Brandon Weeden, the Eagles would be 0-1 today. Rarely do you see a team commit five turnovers on the road, and WIN! Yet, because Weeden was a turnover machine himself, the Eagles squeaked by. Philly fans have to be considered about Michael Vick. He accounted for all of Philly's turnovers. For a veteran of his ability, that is unacceptable. He must take care of the football.
New York Giants
They laid an egg opening night of the NFL season against the Dallas Cowboys, a team they have owned seven of the previous nine games. To the Cowboys' credit, they exploited the injuries in NY's secondary, routinely targeting reserve corners Michael Coe and Justin Tryon. Coe was on Kevin Ogletree most of the night, and he caught 8 balls for 114 yards and two scores. The Giants have to get healthier if they are going to stay in the NFC East hunt.
The Houston Texans put a clown suit on them Sunday, and the red-honking nose on that suit was rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. It's tough to ask a rookie to go into Houston for Week One and play well, but Tannehill did account for three Houston's four turnovers. Overall, he did not perform well, and he had very little help throughout the day. Not long after the loss, news bubbled to the surface that G.M. Jeff Ireland was on the hot seat. Not surprising.
This team, and this franchise overall, is a mess. For the second year in a row, they got blown out Week One at home. Last year, the blame for the poor product on the field fell to then-head coach Todd Haley. Haley was replaced mid-season by Romeo Crennel, who was brought to the Chiefs as their defensive coordinator by team president Scott Pioli. Pioli and Crennel won championships together in New England with Bill Belichick. With Crennel serving up a similar turd Week One to the one Haley did last year, at some point team owner Clark Hunt must seriously reevaluate Pioli, who has underwhelmed since he took over the franchise's front office. Equally underwhelming was Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel. He had three turnovers Sunday. Like Crennel, Cassel was brought to Kansas City by Pioli, via New England.
Yes, Robert Griffin III is a special player, but if your defense allows a rookie to carve you up in his first start, which happens to be Week One of a new season, then something is really wrong. Don't let the 40-32 score fool you. The Saints were completely rolled in this game. The score was 30-13 heading into the fourth before Drew Brees started throwing the ball all over the field in a vain attempt to make the score more respectable. New Orleans surrendered 426 yards of offense and allowed a rookie QB to throw for 320 yards and two scores on 26 attempts. That's ugly.
If you have some teams you'd like to list as Good, Bad, Ugly, or anything in between, shoot them in the comments.