We’re one week into the season, and already the NFL landscape has been shaken with the Colts losing their first game of the season to the upstart Titans. Although many experts had the Colts picked as their number one team going into the season, it’s not quite time to hit the panic button yet. The 2008 Colts started the season 3-4 before rolling off nine straight regular season wins to finish 12-4, so they’ve underachieved early before and still ended at the top of the standings.
Here are my 2010 NFL Power Rankings going into Week 2 of the NFL season:
1. New Orleans Saints (1-0)
The defending champs are number 1 in my power rankings until they are beaten. The high-flying Saints offense is going to have to step it up to keep winning, though.
2. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
Very ugly win against the New York Jets, but a win is a win and if the Ravens offense can get some modicum of consistency going they should have no problem rolling through most of the AFC.
3. New England Patriots (1-0)
Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker. Eventually age is going to catch up with the Pats, but I don’t see it happening this year. The Pats have only missed the playoffs once since 2002, and they went 11-5 that year (2008).
4. Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
The Colts were dominated by the Texans in Week 1, but I’ll wait until after Week 2 to drop them too far. The Texans are an up-and-coming squad, and the Colts still have one of the best QBs in the NFL in Peyton Manning.
5. Green Bay Packers (1-0)
The Packers would be higher up if they hadn’t just lost their starting running back, Ryan Grant, to a season ending injury. Aaron Rodgers is a legit MVP contender, but without a solid back, the Pack might be going home early in the playoffs again this year.
6. Houston Texans (1-0)
Laying the smackdown on the defending AFC champions should give all Houston fans hope that they can climb another hurdle and make their first-ever playoff appearance this year.
7. Minnesota Vikings (0-1)
I don’t personally think Favre has enough left in the tank to pull off another miracle season in Minnesota, but they played very well against the defending champs and I can’t drop them out of the running yet.
8. Tennessee Titans (1-0)
The Vince Young-led Titans ended 2009 with 8 wins in their final 10 games. The Titans started strong against the Raiders in Week 1, but we’ll see how their offense plays against a good defense before anointing them with the status of playoff contender.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)
The Steelers won against a good Falcons team despite having to start third-string QB Dennis Dixon. A huge matchup with Vince Young and the Titans looms in Week 2.
10. Washington Redskins (1-0)
New QB (Donovan McNabb), new coach (Mike Shanahan), new era (win against a heavily favored Cowboys team). They still have to deal with the seemingly neverending Albert Haynesworth saga, though.
11. Dallas Cowboys (0-1)
The Cowboys struggled on offense for the entire preseason, and the struggles continued into their Week 1 loss to the Redskins. A loss at home against Chicago in Week 2 could put coach Wade Phillips on the hot seat.
12. Atlanta Falcons (0-1)
The Falcons went into Week 1 thinking they had an easy win against a depleted Steelers squad. Now Atlanta is hoping they don’t go into Week 3’s matchup with the Saints 0-2.
13. New York Jets (0-1)
The defense was strong, but the offense was even worse than most worst-case scenario predictions. Mark Sanchez and company will have to do much better than their abysmal Week 1 performance to make anyone believe that they’re actually Super Bowl contenders.
14. New York Giants (1-0)
Eli Manning and company looked anything but sharp against Carolina. How he follows up his performance playing against big brother Peyton in Week 2 will say a lot about which direction the Giants are headed this season.
15. Seattle Seahawks (1-0)
The start of the Pete Carroll era in Seattle was a success with a huge win over the 49ers. There are still more questions than answers with this squad, however.
16. San Diego Chargers (0-1)
A surprising loss to the Chiefs in Week 1, along with the continued absence of wideout Vincent Jackson, show that the AFC West is open for grabs. The Chargers get the benefit of the doubt for now based on past performance, but they look more vulnerable than ever.
17. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)
A win over the heavily favored Chargers gave Kansas City fans hope that they are finally on the up-side of a rebuilding project. A Week 2 matchup against the lowly Browns could see the Chiefs at 2-0 for the first time since 2005.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0)
David Garrard completed 16 of his 21 passing attempts, including three touchdowns. I can’t tell yet if the Jaguars are legit contenders, but at least they showed they aren’t going to roll over and let teams take them for granted.
19. Miami Dolphins (1-0)
A close game against the Bills was not what Miami hoped for going into Week 1. How they bounce back on the road against Favre and the Vikings will say a lot about this Dolphins squad.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (0-1)
The Eagles might be better off with Michael Vick at starting QB than Kevin Kolb. It’s uncertain whether either QB can lead this team to the playoffs, though.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
Carson Palmer did all he could to keep the Bengals in the game, but T.O. and the entire Bengals defense were nowhere to be found. Expectations are high in Cincy, and we’ll see what happens to this team if the Bengals miss the playoffs.
22. Arizona Cardinals (1-0)
The post-Kurt Warner era in Arizona is underway with a very close win against a rebuilding Rams team. Derek Anderson wasn’t very sharp, as expected, but at least he didn’t throw any interceptions.
23. San Francisco 49ers (0-1)
With Arizona trying to adapt to a new QB and Seattle looking fragile as always, this was supposed to be the year the 49ers made it back to the playoffs. After a Week 1 dismantling at the hands of the Seahawks, the 49ers might be looking at another long season.
24. Chicago Bears (1-0)
A win’s a win, right? The Bears struggled to put up points against Detroit, and had to rely on a controversial call from the officials to squeak out a Week 1 victory. If the O-line keeps allowing Cutler to get knocked around (he was sacked four times against the Lions), they won’t be so lucky next time.
25. Denver Broncos (0-1)
The “Tim Tebow Era” started off with a fizzle, as Tebow only got two carries against the Jaguars and only gained a yard on each carry. The AFC West is an open battlefield this season, so we can’t count Denver out yet, but they looked completely uninspired against the Jags.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
A win’s a win, right? Tampa Bay isn’t looking to contend this year, but they should be able to pull off wins against other bottom-feeders like they did in Week 1 against the Browns.
27. St. Louis Rams (0-1)
They lost to the Cardinals, but Sam Bradford showed flashes of promise despite being picked off three times.
28. Buffalo Bills (0-1)
The Bills kept it close against a Dolphins team that many think will compete for a playoff spot. A trip to Lambeau to face the Packers in Week 2 won’t be as easy.
29. Carolina Panthers (0-1)
How Matt Moore recovers from his concussion against Tampa will tell us whether the Panthers have any hope going forward this year.
30. Oakland Raiders (0-1)
The good news? Oakland gets to play at home against the Rams. The bad news? The Raiders were apparently overconfident heading into their Week 1 game against the Titans. What exactly do the Raiders have to be confident about?
31. Detroit Lions (0-1)
Almost winning against the Bears would’ve seen the Lions higher up on the Power Rankings if Matt Stafford hadn’t injured his shoulder…again. Without Stafford, the Lions will struggle to pull out more than one or two wins on the season.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-1)
Look at the Browns’ 2010 schedule and tell me they’re going to win more than two games this season. The 2008 Lions better keep their eyes on this team, ’cause we might have another 0-16 season on the horizon. The Browns are officially at the bottom of these Power Rankings until they win a game.
All stats and records from ESPN.com