Frank Doyle’s first Power Rankings of the 2011 NFL season sees the Pack and the Pats as the two best teams in the NFL.
1. Green Bay Packers. (1-0, 1-0-0 ATS.) What Super Bowl hangover? The Packers are the best team in the League.
2. New England Patriots. (1-0, 1-0-0 ATS.) 517 yards passing for Tom Brady. Not bad for a sixth round pick.
3. Philadelphia Eagles. (1-0, 1-0-0 ATS.) Michael Vick’s completion percentage against the Rams is a source of worry but the Eagles had a really good win at St Louis. Huge game this weekend at Atlanta.
4. Baltimore Ravens. (1-0, 1-0-0 ATS.) It’s one thing to beat the Steelers, but to humiliate them must be super, super sweet for the Ravens after all they’ve endured at the Steelers’ hands.
5. New York Jets. (1-0, 0-1-0 ATS.) The Jets have the gift of getting it done.
6. Chicago Bears. (1-0, 1-0-0 ATS.) The Bears were under big pressure on Sunday at Soldier and they delivered, cavils about the quality of the Falcons besides. If the Bears can return from Louisiana with a win, it’ll set them up nicely for the Packers’ visit to Chicago in Week 3. That’ll be a game.
7. Houston Texans. (1-0, 1-0-0 ATS.) Indianapolis was missing Peyton Manning, but the Colts have never asked Manning to play defense as well. Big win for the Texans in a season where they have to deliver.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers. (0-1, 0-1-0 ATS.) It’s hard to put a fork in the Steelers after one game. But between the Ravens last weekend and the Packers in the Super Bowl, does the Steeler defense suddenly look a little … vulnerable?
9. New Orleans Saints. (0-1, 0-1-0 ATS.) There’s no shame in losing to the current Green Bay Packers, but the Saints’ inability to deliver in the red zone is a source of worry. Huge game for the Saints this weekend when the Bears visit New Orleans.
10. Washington Redskins. (1-0, 1-0-0 ATS.) Rex Grossman is 21-14 as a starter in the National Football League. Washington will take watching.
11. Detroit Lions. (1-0, 1-0-0 ATS.) Huge win on the road for the Lions, and now Detroit is a hot home favorite against the Chiefs. Heady days in the motor city.
12. Oakland Raiders. (1-0, 1-0-0 ATS.) It’s unlikely the Raiders will stay this high in the rankings, but right now they’re looking like the biggest challenge to San Diego in the AFC West.
13. San Diego Chargers. (1-0, 0-1-0 ATS.) And the Chargers are below the Raiders because they didn’t cover their NFL betting line. It’s hard to fully trust the Chargers just yet.
14. Dallas Cowboys. (0-1, 1-0-0 ATS.) Tony Romo. Just good enough to get you beat? Discuss.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (0-1, 0-1-0 ATS.) Bad beat for Tampa Bay last weekend. You have to defend home field. If the Lions catch fire this year maybe it won’t look that bad by Christmas, but the Buccaneers offense could use some oomph.
16. Buffalo Bills. (1-0, 1-0-0 ATS.) Sweet, sweet win for the Bills and Chan Gainey at Arrowhead. Good for them.
17. Arizona Cardinals. (1-0, 0-0-1 ATS.) In all the hype about Cam Newton’s NFL debut, it’s no harm to remember that Arizona actually won the game.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars. (1-0, 0-1-0 ATS.) There were a lot of shock results in the League last Sunday but Jacksonville beating Tennessee, a dark horse pick for the AFC South, is right up there.
19. Cincinnati Bengals. (1-0, 1-0-0 ATS.) As is Cincinnati’s win over the Browns in the Battle of Ohio. Tremendous win for the Bengals. If they can keep it up is another question.
20. San Francisco 49ers. (1-0, 1-0-0 ATS.) Ted Ginn Jr brought a high shine to the Niners in Jim Harbaugh’s debut as head coach.
21. Atlanta Falcons. (0-1, 0-1-0 ATS.) Not only did the Falcons lay a great big egg at Soldier Field, they picked the absolute worst time to do it – the week before Michael Vick’s return to Atlanta. The Falcons are making life very difficult for themselves.
22. Denver Broncos. (0-1, 0-1-0 ATS.) Teee-boww! Teee-bowww! Teee-bowwww! Another long year in Colarado.
23. New York Giants. (0-1, 0-1-0 ATS.) The Giants haven’t got the players people think they have. It’s as simple as that.
24. Miami Dolphins. (0-1, 0-1-0 ATS.) Miami did its best against New England. There’ll be better days for the Dolphins than what happened them on Monday night.
25. St. Louis Rams. (0-1, 0-1-0 ATS.) The Rams had a very bad day on Sunday. Injuries kill you in the NFL. Nervous times in Missouri.
26. Carolina Panthers. (0-1, 0-0-1 ATS.) Cam Newton’s huge passing game couldn’t save them, and the Packers are coming to Charlotte this Sunday. Ouch.
27. Cleveland Browns. (0-1, 0-1-0 ATS.) Disaster. There’s no other word for it. Cleveland sports teams have infinite sources to break fans’ hearts.
28. Tennessee Titans. (0-1, 1-0-0 ATS.) Nine carries for Chris Johnson? Really?
29. Indianapolis Colts. (0-1, 0-1-0 ATS.) Are the Colts going to mail in the season? It’s one thing to get beat, but my goodness. The Colts were rustled out of Reliant Stadium.
30. Minnesota Vikings. (0-1, 1-0-0 ATS.) Donovan McNabb was never going to be the answer at quarterback.
31. Seattle Seahawks. (0-1, 0-1-0 ATS.) Neither, of course, was T-Jack.
32. Kansas City Chiefs. (0-1, 0-1-0 ATS.) The last thing to hit Kansas as hard as the Bills was prohibition. The Chiefs look awful. Awful.