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Blog Entry

2011 NFL Power Rankings, Week 1

Posted on: September 13, 2011 8:06 pm
 
And...we're back!  It's been a long offseason, what with the lockout and such, but there were no games missed (except the first preseason game, but who cares about that), so all seems to be well.  It was a confusing week for me, and a bit of a disappointing one as my team (Cowboys) gave one away late and a lot of the results just seemed wrong.  A lot of bad performances around the league in Week 1, with a couple that were praiseworthy in defeat.  The winners for the most part looked pretty spectacular.  That said, it's one game, and I'm not officially counting anyone out just yet.

Introducing a new feature for 2011, a look at the picks I made for this week's games.  As you may know, Pete Prisco here at CBS and Peter King of Sports Illustrated & NBC's pregame show make their picks and predict the score too.  I've been doing this since 2007 or so, but now I'm going to keep track of my picks here in the Rankings and note where I screwed up.  Here are the Week 1 standings:

Prisco: 8-8
Red: 8-8
King: 12-4

Obviously, King has a decided advantage after the first week.  All three of us had in common Atlanta, Cleveland, and Kansas City.  I also messed up on Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, NY Giants, and Dallas.  The explanation for this is not terribly involved, but I'll go through them anyway.

Atlanta, Cleveland, and Kansas City all had winnable games, despite Atlanta being on the road.  I'm not a believer in the Bears (is anybody outside of Chicago?) so it's no surprise I didn't pick them.  I don't trust them, honestly.  And I dislike Jay Cutler.  Speaking of Cutler, in spite of what Bob Costas claims, any criticism that he took from players and the media over that injury flap last season seemed entirely justified to me.  Fans tend to blow up about stuff like that and lose objectivity, but the players who are out there every week and can spot a guy who's not putting in the effort to get back out there are qualified to make their opinion known.  I for one applaud them for calling out Cutler for being what he is/was.

I sure as hell didn't expect Buffalo to be any good, either.

As for the rest, I took a chance on Tennessee and Indy.  Tennessee was essentially a toss-up, or so it seemed.  Indianapolis has a great history against the Texans, and Houston has a tendency to yack in the big games.  They didn't this week, so I took one on the chin.  And who could have foreseen what happened to Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers?  They're usually ready to play, last I checked.  Not this time.

The Giants had injuries on defense, but with Rex Grossman the opposing QB...well, do I need to say more?

And the Cowboys.  Yeesh.  I could probably write an entire post on that game, but I'll just say that while I didn't expect that result, I wasn't necessarily surprised either.

OK, with all that said, here are my Rankings for Week 1.  Remember, these reflect the results of the games, and are not meant to be predictive in any form or fashion.  Generally, since each winning team is 1-0, I tried to take into account the impressiveness of their victory.  I then add that into a pot with my own gut feeling and my particular bias.  Hey, at least I admit I'm biased, right?

1.) Green Bay (1-0)
  Give the champs credit; they came out swinging and discovered another weapon in Randall Cobb.  Some may call the defense a concern, I say that they'll round into form in due time.  Nothing to see there.

2.) Baltimore (1-0)
   Well, that was a demolition.  It's hard to tell what to make of that game, to be honest, because I can't even remember the last time the Steelers played that badly.  I'm guessing Neil O'Donnell or Kordell Stewart was starting at QB.  But hey, I've been wrong before.  I figured the Ravens would be a strong team, not to mention a Super Bowl contender.  But to have this kind of result after the first game?  Wow.

3.) New England (1-0)
  I was impressed.  But I kind of expected something like this, and when Prisco picked the Dolphins, I just chuckled.  Tom Brady comes out and throws for over 500 yards, just to remind everyone who thinks that other QB's are better than he is that he's still the best.  And without Peyton Manning to contend with, another MVP season for Brady could be in the cards.  Is it likely?  I'd say so, but I'm doing my best to not overreact here.

4.) NY Jets (1-0)
  It's always nice to be a beneficiary of someone else's stupidity.  In this case, the Jets took advantage of stupid plays by Tony Romo, not to mention that huge punt block.  Mark Sanchez wasn't exactly at his best (whatever that is), but he played well enough and didn't make a soul-crushing mistake like Romo did.  The defense might be a concern as well, but as long as the opponent's receivers can't stop cramping, I'm not sure it's a big deal, just like in Green Bay.

5.) Philadelphia (1-0)
   Oh, snap, the Dream Team won!  Yeah, I'm not buying that garbage about Philly being the "Dream Team".  They won and looked pretty good, so whatever.  Supposedly the stats were not good for Vick; let's be honest, though, stats don't mean everything.

6.) Detroit (1-0)
  Matt Stafford goes down to Tampa and cramps up, but still gets the win.  I gotta admit, seeing him limp around late in the game made me cringe a little.  The guy is always (almost always?) injured, and seeing something like that doesn't really inspire confidence.  But the temperature was over 100 and it was Week 1...and they play their home games in a dome.  So it's probably not a concern.  Like most things that went on in Week 1, really.  Solid win, and a good start to a season where people expect things to happen.

7.) San Diego (1-0)
   It got ugly, especially on special teams, but they ended up winning.  Of course, any team should win big when holding the opposing QB to 39 yards.  That's really bad, and one has to wonder how many of those McNabb can have before getting replaced.  With Denver and KC going down, the Chargers have a chance to get out to an early lead, depending on how Oakland plays moving forward.  But they do have to beat Oakland at some point.

8.) San Francisco (1-0)
  If Ted Ginn, Jr. had a better day as a pro before Sunday, I obviously missed it.  He was the difference against Seattle.  Supposedly, Seattle is a contender for the worst team in the league (and good on Carroll for being at the helm for it, he deserves it).  So maybe there's a concern that the 49ers should have had more of a beatdown going on before Ginn went off.

9.) Buffalo (1-0)
  Biggest surprise of the week?  I'll cast my vote.  I thought Kansas City would show up at some point.  Obviously, I was wrong.  And I didn't see Buffalo coming out and putting 41 on ANYBODY.

10.) Houston (1-0)
   A solid win for the Texans over a division rival.  I'll just pass on this one caveat: they didn't score a single point in the second half.  That fact has been glossed over by just about everyone of note, but I saw it.  I'm not saying that means anything, but if they're playing better teams (let's face it, Indy without Peyton was just awful), they need to keep their foot on the gas pedal for 60 minutes, not 30.

That's all for this week.  See you next week!
Comments
xue88
Since: Jun 27, 2011
Posted on: October 7, 2011 10:50 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Sep 16, 2011
Posted on: September 16, 2011 7:09 am
 

2011 NFL Power Rankings, Week 1

Does anyone actually care what 'the eugene" has to say? The guy is a jack ass. Stafford cramps up in a dome? It was an outdoor game in Tampa sooooooo?????



Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: September 15, 2011 5:20 pm
 

2011 NFL Power Rankings, Week 1

The defending champions obviously can not be moved out of the top spot as long as they are undefeated.

Absolutely.  Even if the Pats/Ravens/Jets/Eagles keep it up.  Thanks for your comment.

@derfderf: Good on you for not being a homer and trying to prop up the Bears.  I'll agree that the beatdown they laid on Atlanta was impressive.  I'm just not a believer in them at this point.  But look at it this way: if they beat the Saints, they're gonna be in.  Because you have to bet that at least three to five of the teams in here after Week 1 will be out after Week 2.



Since: Nov 22, 2010
Posted on: September 15, 2011 12:39 pm
 

2011 NFL Power Rankings, Week 1

I'm a Green Bay fan, but I'm not sure you can put Buffalo in the top ten for what they did to KC, and not put the Bears there for what they did to Atlanta.  I expected both ATL and KC to fall back out of the playoffs this year, but I am still more impressed by a domination of the Falcons than of the Chiefs.  I hope the Bears start to lose, but for now they belong in the top ten more than Buffalo



Since: Mar 21, 2010
Posted on: September 15, 2011 4:15 am
 

2011 NFL Power Rankings, Week 1

Good post first and foremost. I will just briefly piggyback on each of the Top 10 of the Power Rankings.

1.) Green Bay (1-0)
  Give the champs credit; they came out swinging and discovered another weapon in .  Some may call the defense a concern, I say that they'll round into form in due time.  Nothing to see there.
The defending champions obviously can not be moved out of the top spot as long as they are undefeated.

2.) Baltimore (1-0)
   Well, that was a demolition.  It's hard to tell what to make of that game, to be honest, because I can't even remember the last time the Steelers played that badly.  I'm guessing Neil O'Donnell or Kordell Stewart was starting at QB.  But hey, I've been wrong before.  I figured the would be a strong team, not to mention a Super Bowl contender.  But to have this kind of result after the first game?  Wow.
That was more than a demolition. It was more like a bloodbath. The last time the Steelers played this poorly all around you probably have to go back to the days of Bubby Brister and Mark Malone as the starting quarterbacks.

3.) New England (1-0)
  I was impressed.  But I kind of expected something like this, and when Prisco picked the , I just chuckled.  Tom Brady comes out and throws for over 500 yards, just to remind everyone who thinks that other QB's are better than he is that he's still the best.  And without to contend with, another MVP season for Brady could be in the cards.  Is it likely?  I'd say so, but I'm doing my best to not overreact here.
I kind of expected that because the Patriots season ended last year with a playoff loss to the New York Jets, and that has stuck in their craw all offseason.
4.) NY (1-0)
  It's always nice to be a beneficiary of someone else's stupidity.  In this case, the Jets took advantage of stupid plays by , not to mention that huge punt block.  Mark Sanchez wasn't exactly at his best (whatever that is), but he played well enough and didn't make a soul-crushing mistake like Romo did.  The defense might be a concern as well, but as long as the opponent's receivers can't stop cramping, I'm not sure it's a big deal, just like in Green Bay.
What was really maddening to watch was the play calling. Now Felix Jones got a touchdown going off to the left side and went untouched as the Cowboys line completely blew the Jets line off of the ball. So what do the Cowboys do the next time they get within the 5 yard line. That's right let's run Felix off to the right side and ignore the fact that left side of the line had imposed its will on the Jets the previous trip down. Then Romo coughs up the ball and the rest is history.
5.) Philadelphia (1-0)
   Oh, snap, the Dream Team won!  Yeah, I'm not buying that garbage about Philly being the "Dream Team".  They won and looked pretty good, so whatever.  Supposedly the stats were not good for Vick; let's be honest, though, stats don't mean everything.
Talk about having a bullseye painted on your back every week this season. They have to now go out there and back it up.
6.) Detroit (1-0)
  Matt Stafford goes down to Tampa and cramps up, but still gets the win.  I gotta admit, seeing him limp around late in the game made me cringe a little.  The guy is always (almost always?) injured, and seeing something like that doesn't really inspire confidence.  But the temperature was over 100 and it was Week 1...and they play their home games in a dome.  So it's probably not a concern.  Like most things that went on in Week 1, really.  Solid win, and a good start to a season where people expect things to happen.
If Stafford cramps up in a dome game, then he will probably be labeled as a "soft" player for the rest of his career. In spite of this I still believe that the Lions will make the playoffs this year.
7.) San Diego (1-0)
   It got ugly, especially on special teams, but they ended up winning.  Of course, any team should win big when holding the opposing QB to 39 yards.  That's really bad, and one has to wonder how many of those McNabb can have before getting replaced.  With Denver and KC going down, the have a chance to get out to an early lead, depending on how Oakland plays moving forward.  But they do have to beat Oakland at some point.
San Diego probably learned its lesson last year that they can no longer get off to their usual slow start and think that they will automatically get to the playoffs because of the weak division they play in.
8.) San Francisco (1-0)
  If , Jr. had a better day as a pro before Sunday, I obviously missed it.  He was the difference against Seattle.  Supposedly, Seattle is a contender for the worst team in the league (and good on Carroll for being at the helm for it, he deserves it).  So maybe there's a concern that the should have had more of a beatdown going on before Ginn went off.
After seeing this performance Mike Singletary has probably punched a hole or two through a wall wishing Ginn performed like that last season.
9.) Buffalo (1-0)
  Biggest surprise of the week?  I'll cast my vote.  I thought Kansas City would show up at some point.  Obviously, I was wrong.  And I didn't see Buffalo coming out and putting 41 on ANYBODY.
I think Kansas City is still reeling from that whooping that they took against the Ravens in the playoffs back in January. I was shocked by Buffalo as well. Anybody that started Ryan Fitzpatrick in their fantasy leagues last week should be handed the league championship right now.
10.) Houston (1-0)
   A solid win for the Texans over a division rival.  I'll just pass on this one caveat: they didn't score a single point in the second half.  That fact has been glossed over by just about everyone of note, but I saw it.  I'm not saying that means anything, but if they're playing better teams (let's face it, Indy without Peyton was just awful), they need to keep their foot on the gas pedal for 60 minutes, not 30.
This is their first step towards the division title. The Colts without Peyton Manning are done.
That's all for this week.  See you next week!
Same Bat Time! Same Bat Channel! Sorry. Could not resist going there with the old Batman TV series reference. Good post once again.



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