Who are the top ten NFL teams after week 1 of the 2010 season? Which teams are just outside and could enter as soon as next week? A brief evaluation of each of the top ten teams in these top-ten NFL Power Rankings.
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Week 1 NFL Power Rankings #10: Tennessee Titans (1-0)
The Tennessee Titans enter the power rankings at #10 after an impressive win against the Oakland Raiders. Don’t get too excited about the Titans yet: a good offensive play for the Raiders was a good snap or a 5-yard penalty. The Raiders couldn’t perform simple fundamentals in the game and we’re prepared.
The Titans should be tested against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 2. The Steelers are much better coached and should give the Titans a competitive game, although home field and the lack of Ben Roethlisberger will help the Titans in the fourth quarter.
Week 1 NFL Power Rankings #09: New York Giants (1-0)
The Giants are the 2nd of 3 entries this week at #9. A balanced 2nd half performance led the Giants to a 31-18 victory over Carolina. The Giants have a good quarterback and the potential to play balanced football. They’re my favorite to win the NFC East and I thought Carolina’s running game would outdo them in week 1, so I’m even more impressed with the Giants in the overrated NFC East.
9 could be low, but a victory against the Indianapolis Colts would easily increase their ranking. Just so happens that the Giants will travel to Indianapolis to play Peyton Manning and the Colts in week 2 in Sunday Night Football.
Week 1 NFL Power Rankings #08: Minnesota Vikings (0-1)
The Vikings fall back 5 places to #8. After participating in the 2009 NFC Championship game, the Vikings are in disarray. Their defense is decimated with injuries and the offense has no synchronization due to Brett Favre’s late arrival and injuries aplenty. Favre missed numerous passes that would have been easy touchdowns last season because his timing with receivers was off. If the Vikings can go .500 throughout the first half of the season, they might put together a late season run when Sidney Rice returns… maybe.
The Vikings host the Miami Dolphins in week 2. The Vikings must win their next two games because they’ll play 5 straight games against playoff teams from 2009.
Week 1 NFL Power Rankings #07: San Diego Chargers (0-1)
The San Diego Chargers fell 1 place to #7 after being upset by the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead. The Chargers dominated the game by nearly doubling time of possession and yardage, but the Chiefs were opportunistic with a 56 yard touchdown run, 94 yard punt return, and capitalized off a Ryan Mathews fumble that started a drive inside the Chargers red zone.
Norv Turner never has this team ready to start the season, which is another sign that they’ll need a coaching change before becoming legitimate Super Bowl contenders. #7 is generous, but they could fall next week if the Titans and Giants continue to prove themselves.
The Chargers host the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 2.
Week 1 NFL Power Rankings #06: Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
No 16-0 controversies surrounding the Colts this season after their 34-24 defeat in Houston. The Colts defense gave up over 250 yards rushing to what’s perceived as one of the league’s weaker rushing offenses. In a division with Maurice Jones-Drew and Chris Johnson, that’s a dangerous weakness to have.
The Colts home-opener features the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. Eli Manning vs. Peyton Manning… can’t miss. To add to the drama…loser will likely be ousted from these power rankings!
Week 1 NFL Power Rankings #05: Houston Texans (1-0)
Entering my top-10 power rankings are the Houston Texans. I almost put them in last week, but I’ve always jumped the gun with them being a playoff competitor. I needed to see them win a big game before I committed to them, and they more than earned their way in.
The Texans defense needs some progression. However, they have the talent to become one of the AFC’s most balanced teams, similar to the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots. The biggest questions for them will be consistency, their schedule, maturity, and their passing defense. They defeated the Colts, but Manning had over 400 yards passing.
The Texans travel to Washington in week 2. The Redskins and their defense should prove to be a difficult road challenge for the Texans early in the season, so the Texans can’t become overconfident from their opening season victory.
Week 1 NFL Power Rankings #04: Baltimore Ravens (1-0)
The Baltimore Ravens jump 1 position after a 10-9 grudge match against the New York Jets. The Ravens looked like the ole Ravens of the past decade: Great defense, but a passing game that could prevent them from being Super Bowl contenders. Don’t panic, however: It’s early in the season and Joe Flacco was playing against a vicious Jets defense.
The Ravens travel to Cincinnati to play a Bengals team that will be desperate for their first victory. Bengals have a good defense, so it could be another game similar to the Jets debacle.
Week 1 NFL Power Rankings #03: New England Patriots (1-0)
The New England Patriots jump 5 positions after defeating the Bengals 38-24. Are the Patriots just better prepared early in the season, are the Bengals that bad, or are the Patriots back? I’d say it’s mostly #1… that, and the Terrell Owens addition was over-hyped.
The Patriots offense was explosive against a defense that’s expected to be pretty good in 2010. The surprising part of the Patriots victory was how their young defense seemed to gel so quickly. If the Patriots combine their explosive offense with a reliable defense, few teams will stop the Patriots.
The Patriots travel to New York to play the Jets in week 2. A strong performance could elevate them to #2 next week. A weak win could put them back to #4.
Week 1 NFL Power Rankings #02: Green Bay Packers (1-0)
The Green Bay Packers are up 2 to #2 after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-20 in week 1. Despite having one of the worst games of his career, Aaron Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers offense to 27 points throughout the first 3 quarters in unfavorable conditions. Combined with the rust of an opening regular season game, and the Packers offense could have tons of potential in 2010… or they could be over-hyped.
It’s difficult to judge the defense. In the first half, they were playing against Kevin Kolb, who looked completely baffled by the 3-4 pressure defense. In the second half, they were playing against Michael Vick, a mobile quarterback who they hadn’t game planned for and who burned them on numerous occasions.
The Packers play the Buffalo Bills in week 2 and are a huge favorite. They shouldn’t be lower than #3 next week.
Week 1 NFL Power Rankings #01: New Orleans Saints (1-0)
They weren’t impressive in the regular season opener, but the defending Super Bowl champions remain #1 until they lose.
The New Orleans Saints travel to the West coast to play the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.
OUT: Dallas Cowboys (7), Cincinnati Bengals (9), New York Jets (10)
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets
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