NFL Week 1 Power Rankings

In retrospect, I probably yelled "We Are" a few too many times on Saturday. I'm not a Penn State alum, and to be honest, I've never been too enthralled with their cult-like fan base, but the annual Pitt/Penn State game is a holiday in this city, so I took Penn State -7.5 and was an honorary beaver for the night. I'm not proud of it, but my previously comatose checking account is.

But the college football Saturday slate was just a warm-up for Week 1 of the NFL season. I woke up Sunday morning to a downpour, with my electricity jumping in and out like a double-dutch tournament. My excitement immediately turned to anxiety, as I frantically searched for some bars nearby that would accommodate the watching interests of a non-Steelers fan. I probably respect Pittsburgh sports fans more for this, but it's nearly impossible to get even one television in an establishment changed from the Pittsburgh team. Luckily, Mother Nature was nice enough to let me enjoy my favorite day of the year from the comfort of my own home.

And what a weird day it was. We had shootouts, near-shutouts, delays, and ties. We had sloppy conditions, missed field goals, defensive game breakers, and Tyreek Hill making sure everybody knows that he's still faster than them. Aaron Rodgers avoided a thought-to-be season-ender and I'm pretty sure that Titans/Dolphins game is still in progress.

Unfortunately, we also saw some big names go down. Injuries are inevitably part of the game, but when we see superstars like Aaron Rodgers and class-acts like Greg Olsen and Delanie Walker get knocked out for potential long periods of time, it tugs at our heart strings a bit. Fantasy football impacts aside, these guys put their bodies on the line every week for our enjoyment, and seeing stuff like that just sucks — plain and simple.

Week 1 of the NFL season is always interesting because, despite our own preconceptions and predictions, we really know nothing. While things may seem a bit clearer now, we still know nothing. But, I get paid the big bucks to pretend I do, so here goes nothing.

1. New England Patriots (1-0) — The Patriots are still the cream of the crop, even if that phrase sounds like your grandma's favorite soup. They didn't blow the Texans away, even though they had their chances to do so, but they'll only get better with time and as Tommy get some of his favorite weapons back from injuries and suspensions. If this was Madden, the Patriots would "sim to playoffs."

2. Minnesota Vikings (1-0) — The defense forced four turnovers, and Kirk Cousins was solid in his Minnesota debut. Cook and Murray are a two-headed backfield to be reckoned with, and both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen made key plays for the offense. They take a trip to Mr. Rodger's neighborhood next week. Let's hope Mr. Rodgers is ready to play.

3. Baltimore Ravens (1-0) — A gentleman's shutout and a surprisingly explosive offense could mean big things for Baltimore this year. They should have a slightly harder task on Thursday night against a Bengals team that just dropped 34. Playing the Bills every week would be nice though. I think my college flag team could go like 7-9 against Buffalo if we showed up sober.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) — One game in, and you probably couldn't find anyone in Kansas City who remembers that Alex Smith dude. Patrick Mahomes is the real deal, and the Chiefs have exactly the type of team that Andy Reid likes to unleash his creative playbook with.

5. Los Angeles Rams (1-0) — The Rams broke this game open in the second half, much to the dismay of the few Raiders fans who were still sober enough to understand what was happening. The Rams have so much talent on both sides of the ball, and a coach who knows how to utilize it. They'll be tough to beat.

6. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) — The Eagles did what good teams do- win the ugly ones even when the home team fans boo them into the locker room. The defense bent, but didn't break, and Doug Pederson reached back into his same bag of tricks. That guy has grapefruits, and a head of hair that looks like it may fly away in the wind if he takes his visor off.

7. Carolina Panthers (1-0) — Cam Newton walked into Bank of America Stadium in his pajamas, and the Panthers offense did look a little sleepy throughout most of the game. Mistakes were made, but they grinded out a victory at home thanks to timely conversions and a hungry defense that sacked Prescott six times. The Greg Olsen loss is huge, and potentially sets up an unprecedented booth-to-field trade between Olsen and Jason Witten. Let's not forget he teamed with Fox last year when he had this same injury.

8. Green Bay Packers (1-0) — I promise I'll try to clown Cris (sweet spelling) Collinsworth at least once a week, but his repeated use of the word "woah" was my exact feeling when we saw Aaron Rodgers carted into the locker room. Rodgers didn't exactly Paul Pierce us, but he returned to the game and led the Packers to an improbable second-half comeback on Sunday night. Still, he was noticeably hurting and without his usual mobility, so we will all collectively hold our breaths. I'm no Green Bay fan, but I'm a football fan, and Rodgers is the most exciting player to watch today. Besides, having to experience Brett Hundley last year wasn't as nearly as painful as what a DeShone Kizer starting gig would mean this season.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) — The Giants were able to move the ball against this defense, but they buckled down every time when they needed to. We will wait and see about Leonard Fournette, because that could change everything for this team. Early reports seem optimistic. They still don't trust Blake Bortles.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0-1) — It's been an interesting week for the Steelers. I think we all kind of assumed Le'veon Bell was going to rejoin the team, maybe be a little rusty for a week or two, and then return to his normal dominant self. Nonetheless, James Connor replaced Bell admirably, a performance that may hurry Bell back. The weather in Cleveland was wild, and the Browns are actually solid, so I wouldn't be too worried about the Steelers.

11. Atlanta Falcons (0-1) — The red zone woes continue, and there's enough blame to go around. Their defense looked strong both up front and in the secondary, but poor play calling and execution in goal-to-go situations was the turning point. They'll get ten days off until their home opener against Carolina, but Chick-Fil-A's home opener won't be until a late October Monday Night game. Church, football, and a chicken sandwich every Sunday makes sense to me, but not Truett Cathy.

12. Denver Broncos (1-0) — Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, and Paxton Lynch made it easy to forget that the Broncos have two of the best receivers in the game. If they get Royce rolling and continue to bring the heat up front with Von Miller and company, I may have to stop calling for John Elway's head and instead start calling for his edibles connect.

13. Washington Redskins (1-0) — Maybe it's time for us to stop counting out Adrian Peterson every year. The guy isn't human. Jay Gruden coached a near-perfect game, and the defense was on the verge of a shutout until a meaningless David Johnson touchdown in the fourth quarter. Chris Thompson and Jordan Reed both looked healthy. The D.C. faithful hopes that continues.

14. Los Angeles Charges (0-1) — Losing nine straight games to the Chiefs means that they are officially your daddy. The Chargers got down early and were playing catch-up the rest of the day. They have a better defense than they showed, and I whole-heartedly expect a revitalized effort next week. They better at least. If Phillip Rivers finishes the year with more kids than wins, then I'm out $200. These are the type of prop bets that exist in 2018.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) — In the most shocking game of the week, Ryan Fitz-magic put on an absolute show against a defense that we thought was good. DeSean Jackson flash-backed to his Philly days, and Mike Evans looked like the Mike Evans of 2016. There is no way this team is actually good, but Fitzpatrick must have some symbiotic Harvard mind-control that turns every pass into a Trent Dilfer dime. I guess it's not too early to start the quarterback controversy talks.

16. New York Jets (1-0) — Sam Darnold's first throw was a pick-six. He then proceeded to put 48-points on the board. Granted, some of that production was from defensive and special teams touchdowns, and his run game helped him out, as well, but overall, the third-pick looked good in his first NFL game. The Jets and the Bucs were the surprises of the weekend for sure. I still wouldn't expect the Jets to hold this spot for long.

17. Cleveland Browns (0-0-1) — The Browns didn't lose this week. We haven't heard that in awhile. They didn't win, but they didn't lose either. That's what we call progress. In all seriousness, this Browns team showed grit fighting back from a two-score deficit in the fourth quarter, and they had their chances to steal one from their division foe. It's pretty clear that the Browns are going to be better this year, but don't be surprised if they lose a bunch of tight games.

18. San Francisco 49ers (0-1) — Jimmy GQ suffered his first loss as a pro, but the biggest loss of the day for the Niners may have been to Marques Goodwin. Hopefully he is okay, and early reports seem positive. Either way, the 49ers hung tough with probably the best team in the NFC on the road, and while I'll still maintain that they are a year away, it was encouraging for San Fran nonetheless.

19. New Orleans Saints (0-1) — Now, these are the Saints we've grown to know and love. I don't know what happened to this team last year, but the Saints are way more fun to watch when they have to score 50 points every week to win. The curse of Marcus Williams is real, people.

20. Houston Texans (0-1) — The Texans couldn't have had a slower start, but they fought back to make it a one-score game. Bill O'Brien failed to throw the challenge flag on a key first-down catch, and the booth didn't review another on a Gronk touchdown. Deshaun Watson will be better, as will the team as a whole.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) — It took the Bengals three games to score a regular season touchdown last year, so they have to be happy about their early season offense. Joe Mixon is in for a breakout year, and the Red Rocket isn't as bad as people make him out to be. How's that for a glowing compliment? Marvin Lewis's hot seat is a little cooler this week.

22. Chicago Bears (0-1) — This Bears defense is serious. Despite the second-half collapse, I liked what I saw on both sides of the ball for Chicago. They may not win a ton of games this year, but they are a team you don't want to see on your schedule. Khalil Mack is a scary man. Did you happen to catch that game, Mr. Gruden?

23. Miami Dolphins (1-0) — I used to annoy my brother and sing him "the song that never ends." Now, I know how he felt. Kenny Stills scored a touchdown at about 1:45, and then again at about 6:45. The Dolphins took my assigned last-place rating for them, told me to shove it, and then gave the local meteorologist a Kurt Angle ankle lock until he made sure the game was delayed long enough for the Titans to lose interest. Yes, I am aware that meteorologists don't actually determine the weather, they just predict it poorly.

24. New York Giants (0-1) — Welcome to the NFL, Saquan Barkley. Barkley would have similar type games in college when teams would stack the box. He would be bottled up for most of the game and seemingly on his way to a pedestrian performance, until he takes one 70 yards to the house. The Giants are going to be better than their 3-13 record last year, but they have to stop shooting themselves in the foot. That's some Cheddar Bob shit.

25. Dallas Cowboys (0-1) — The Cowboys defense is better this year, but it doesn't matter if Dak Prescott is going to throw Steve Nash bounce passes to his receivers all game. It's too early to call next week a must win, but I'm sure Tim Hasselbeck or some other bald idiot analyst will anyway. And why is Dan Bailey jobless?

26. Seattle Seahawks (0-1) — This isn't the Seahawks team we're used to, though it's nice to still see Pete Carol chewing his gum like a psycho on the sidelines. Russell Wilson and his collection of misfits weren't the problem, it was the defense surrendering 470 yards and was unable to stop the Broncos from running out the clock to end the game. If the Seahawks have a winning record this year, Russell Wilson should probably by the MVP.

27. Tennessee Titans (0-1) — I guess in a 37-hour game, injuries are bound to happen. But, for the Titans, they got hit hard by losing Marietta, and Taylor Lewan for the game, and Delanie Walker probably for the season. This is a tough game to analyze, for obvious reasons, and I think the Titans are still a playoff team assuming Walker is the only serious injury.

28. Oakland Raiders (0-1) — A strong start turned disastrous for the new-look Raiders. With the loss for Gruden and company, debuting NFL coaches were 0-7 this week.

29. Indianapolis Colts (0-1) — Luck's snowboard shoulder looked healthy, but the Colts second-half Swiss cheese defense after gaining a 23-10 lead is not going to equate to many wins for Indianapolis. They had a chance to win at the end, though, and may have if Jack Doyle didn't fumble on their would-be game winning drive.

30. Detroit Lions (0-1) — Something tells me Matt Patricia is going to be hammering some comfort food this weekend. The Lions looked bad. Really, really bad. Matt Stafford was missing easy reads, and their defense and special teams were both atrocious. I don't think many people saw this one coming.

31. Arizona Cardinals (0-1) — Oof. That was more brutal than July in the desert. Josh Rosen may see the field sooner than we expected, and Steve Wilks has to figure it out before the Cardinals turn on him instantly. And let's be honest, this game was boring as shit.

32. Buffalo Bills (0-1) — I get that you don't want to throw Josh Allen into the fire too quickly, but Nathan Peterman deserves to be on the field like Kevin James deserves another television series. This team is awful. How's that for analysis?

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