NFL Power Rankings: Patriots loss sets up Sunday night duel between top two teams
Rule No. 1 about what you saw in Week 1: Don't overreact
Slow down. It's just one week.
We have a tendency to overreact to everything that happens in the first week of the NFL season, especially now in the social-media era. One bad play turns a player into a terrible one, while one highlight play makes him a social-media star.
Same with units and coaches and everything else associated with the game.
That's why we have to step back and breathe a little when it comes to what happened during the first NFL weekend. Don't overreact.
The Patriots will fix their defensive issues -- I think. The Seahawks will be good enough to win despite their offensive line play. The Jaguars can't be as good as they looked in their blowout of the Texans, can they?
The Patriots' loss drops them from the top spot in my Power Rankings to the fifth spot, with the Green Bay Packers, fresh off their victory at home over Seattle, taking over as the No. 1 team. The No. 2 team is the Atlanta Falcons, the Packers' opponent this week in Atlanta.
The NFL season usually doesn't crystallize until October, so let's slow down on the knee-jerk reactions. These rankings will look a lot different come next week. That much I know.
|1||Packers||They looked much improved on defense against the Seahawks, which is a good thing going forward. But they get a real offensive test against the Falcons this week.||1||7-9-0|
|2||Falcons||It wasn't a pretty opener in winning a close one at Chicago, but a road win is important. Now comes a barometer game this week against the Packers at home.||1||10-6-0|
|3||Steelers||It wasn't easy against the Browns, but they found a way. They have to be cleaner going forward.||1||13-3-0|
|4||Chiefs||That was an impressive opener against the Pats, and the best thing was the play of Alex Smith. If he can continue that, this team could be a deep playoff team -- and more.||9||10-6-0|
|5||Patriots||The defense was terrible against the Chiefs, and faces a stiff challenge this week against the Saints. It has to show improvement -- or else.||4||13-3-0|
|6||Cowboys||Their defense looked better than expected against the Giants, but that could also be because the Giants' offense isn't very good. Having Ezekiel Elliott available is huge for this team.||3||9-7-0|
|7||Raiders||The good sign coming from the victory over the Titans was the improvement of the defense. We know the offense will be good.||4||6-10-0|
|8||Seahawks||Losing on the road at Green Bay isn't horrible, but the way that offensive line played doesn't bode well for the future. Is that unit any better than a year ago?||3||9-7-0|
|9||Lions||After falling behind 10-0, they dominated the Cardinals the rest of the way Sunday. Matt Stafford threw an early pick-six, but threw four touchdown passes after that.||14||9-7-0|
|10||Buccaneers||Their scheduled opener was postponed, so now their season opener comes at home against the Bears. Playing 16 straight without a bye will be tough.||2||5-11-0|
|11||Dolphins||With the scheduled opener postponed, they now open at Los Angeles against the Chargers. That won't be easy.||1||6-10-0|
|12||Broncos||They nearly blew the game to the Chargers in the fourth quarter, but that's a big division victory. The defense will have to carry this team.||5||5-11-0|
|13||Eagles||Carson Wentz got off to a good start, but the most impressive thing from their road victory over the Redskins was how well the front seven played.||5||13-3-0|
|14||Vikings||Sam Bradford was sensational against the Saints. The key: The line was better. If that continues, watch out for this team.||7||13-3-0|
|15||Panthers||It's hard to gauge their blowout of the 49ers because the 49ers aren't very good. But they did dominate on defense.||4||11-5-0|
|16||Ravens||That defensive effort against the Bengals was impressive. Can they keep it up? If so, they will be the same Ravens we've come to expect.||8||9-7-0|
|17||Giants||That offense was putrid against the Cowboys. They need to get Odell Beckham, Jr., healthy in the worst way.||11||3-13-0|
|18||Rams||Getting the Colts without Andrew Luck was a nice way to open the season. But they looked good blowing them out.||8||11-5-0|
|19||Cardinals||That was not a pretty showing at Detroit. The offense looked bad, especially Carson Palmer.||12||8-8-0|
|20||Chargers||They showed some fight coming back against Denver, which you expect from a team with Philip Rivers. They get home this week to play the Dolphins, who have yet to play a game.||10||9-7-0|
|21||Titans||Their defense was a disappointment against the Raiders. They have to be better on that side of the ball to be a playoff team.||7||9-7-0|
|22||Jaguars||They sure didn't look like the team we saw in the preseason when they blew out the Texans on the road. The defense could be dominant.||6||10-6-0|
|23||Texans||It's time for DeShaun Watson to take over at quarterback. And what happened to the defense against Jacksonville?||8||4-12-0|
|24||Bengals||The offensive line was a disaster against the Ravens and will be a season-long issue. The heat is on Marvin Lewis.||8||7-9-0|
|25||Redskins||The Kirk Cousins watch has officially begun. He wasn't good against the Eagles in the first game of a money year.||5||7-9-0|
|26||Saints||So much for the idea that the defense would be improved. It wasn't against the Vikings.||4||11-5-0|
|27||Bills||They can't play the Jets every week, but that was a solid start to their season. Now comes at much tougher test at Carolina.||--||9-7-0|
|28||Browns||There were a lot of good things that showed up in the loss to the Steelers. They will be feisty all season long.||1||0-16-0|
|29||Bears||They competed against the Falcons and had a chance late to win it, which is a nice sign going forward. Mike Glennon did some good things, but was inconsistent. Even so, he will stay as the starter.||1||5-11-0|
|30||Colts||No Andrew Luck means no chance. They just don't have a lot of talent at other spots.||5||4-12-0|
|31||49ers||They did little on offense against the Panthers, which isn't a good sign for new coach Kyle Shanahan, a supposed offensive wizard.||--||6-10-0|
|32||Jets||Was that loss at Buffalo the start of the 0-16 season? They didn't do anything to change that thinking.||--||5-11-0|
R.J. White, who nearly won the Las Vegas SuperContest, locks in his pick for the NFC Championship...
Mike Tierney has owned NFL totals and has a strong pick for the AFC Championship Game
The Saints coach wasn't in the mood to answer questions about Drew Brees on Tuesday
This is footage that you'll definitely want to see
It wasn't the matchup that we expected, but the Jaguars would argue that's everyone else's...
The Eagles quarterback and the Vikings quarterback have paths that have crossed many times