NFL Power Rankings: Week 1
With the 2012 NFL season just hours away from kickoff, here are my power rankings for week 1. With a game being played tonight, I will also have my pick for tonight’s game, at the end of the post. Each Wednesday or Thursday there will be an updated power rankings until the end of the season. I will also make weekly picks to each game every sunday morning.
Power Rankings Week 1:
1. New England Patriots – Some might be clamoring for the Giants here, however I do not believe they are the best team in the league. The Patriots look better than last year and will look to win the AFC again this year.
2. Green Bay Packers – The Packers defense decided to not show up last year. This year, they should improve, though I do not expect them to regain their top 2010 form.
3. New Orleans Saints – With no coach, the Saints will look to their Quarterback/Coach-on-the-field, Drew Brees, as their team leader, coach, and quarterback to lead them to the Superbowl in New Orleans.
4. Houston Texans – The Texans will look to stay healthy when it counts and make their way to their first ever Superbowl.
5. San Francisco 49’ers – The 49’ers drafted another weapon this offense to help Alex Smith. Defense should continue to be their strength as the 49’ers look to take home the Lombardi trophy.
6. New York Giants – Don’t think they are this good, and will likely not get higher this season. Respect for winning last year, but don’t think they make the playoffs this year.
7. Baltimore Ravens – Quarterback Joe Flacco enters his final year on his contract looking to prove he’s worth the big money. Ravens will be playing deep into January.
8. Chicago Bears – Bears were rolling last year until injuries struck the team. With the addition of Brandon Marshall, they should be heading to the playoffs this year.
9. Detroit Lions – The Lions led by their strong offense will hope their defense will improve enough, so they can take the next step as a team.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers will have several RB’s early on, and hope to find one they can lean on. Their strong defense, and receivers should help this team make the playoffs.
11. Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys need to improve their O-Line if they want to win that tough division.
12. Denver Broncos – The addition of Peyton will help the Broncos win the AFC West.
13. Philadelphia Eagles – If the Eagles stay healthy, they could threaten Dallas to win the division. However, staying healthy is a BIG question mark.
14. Atlanta Falcons – Love the trio of Ryan/White/Jones, however Turner and Rodgers will need to help them out. If Defense shuts down some of the top offenses in the NFC, they might head to the playoffs.
15. San Diego Chargers – The loss of Mathews early will hurt, though Rivers should bounce back and lead the team to a Wild Card spot.
16. Seattle Seahawks – Strong defense, though leaning on many rookies. If Wilson plays well, they may sneak into playoffs.
17. Cincinnati Bengals – Easy schedule last year and they took advantage of it. Will miss out on the playoffs this year.
18. Buffalo Bills – Addition of Mario Williams will help the defense. Should take the 2nd spot in the division.
19. Carolina Panthers – If Newton continues strong play, the improvement of this defense can make this team a tough opponent every week.
20. Kansas City Chiefs – The addition of Hillis will help the offense set a running tone, though need to improve on defense.
21. Oakland Raiders – New Offensive Coordinator in town, will help McFadden even more. McFadden healthy could make this team tough to beat.
22. Tennessee Titans – Locker takes over, and with a healthy Britt, they could potentially be a wild card contender in a relatively weak AFC.
23. New York Jets – Nick Folk might be busy all year. Sanchez needs to improve as a quarterback or this team will be a real mess.
24. Washington Redskins – RG3 should have a solid rookie campaign, though in a tough NFC East the Redskins will struggle to win.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Bucs brought in Vincent Jackson, however will need Josh Freeman to improve significantly if they want to win more than 5 games.
26. Minnesota Vikings – Adrian Peterson will not be 100 percent early on, and they will struggle to win many games in the NFC North. However on offense, this team could put up points if Ponder improves.
27. St. Louis Rams – Stephen Jackson is getting older, though Pead seems somewhat promising. Young receivers in place, though Bradford needs to play better than he ever has to have a shot at winning more than 4 games this year.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars – Gabbert needs to prove he can play Quarterback if the Jags want to win. Good running game, and solid defense, so they might sneak away with a few wins this year.
29. Indianapolis Colts – Luck has looked really good, and with Fleener, Wayne, Brown, and Collie they may score some points. However, defense needs to step it up.
30. Arizona Cardinals – Some playmakers on both sides of the ball, so they may win a few games. However, still looking for someone to throw the ball to Fitzgerald.
31. Miami Dolphins – If Tannehill plays well, they may be able to win a few games. Defense is solid, and maybe be able to sneak out a win or two.
32. Cleveland Browns – Weeden was an interesting pick, and he will have to play like his age, or may be replaced by the 1st overall pick next year.
These rankings will likely fluctuate week-to-week. They will be updated mid-week before the first game of the next week.
For tonights game, I have the Cowboys beating the Giants. I think Cowboys offense, will be to much for Giants secondary. However, the Giants defensive line may eat up Romo. Should be a fun game, and high scoring.
Cowboys – 34 Giants – 24.
What do you guys think of these rankings? Someone too high? too low? Leave a comment or tweet me @YoniPollak. Looking forward to a great NFL season.