Four reasons why the Patriots are one of the top teams in the league (can you spot Wes and Randy?). (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
It's way to early to start talking about which teams are the best. There were some awful upsets in week 1, as well as some ugly victories. You know what? Who cares. Let's rank the teams.
Note: I'll be doing my statistical rankings after week 3. For now, they're not very useful.
32. Cleveland Browns - With Jake Delhomme at the helm, the Browns still lost. Oh, and Delhomme has thrown 6 picks his past two games. As long as he's at the helm, the other team always has an enormous chance to win the game. Go Browns? How quickly Mangenius has fallen to Mangidiot.
31. St. Louis Rams - Sam Bradford debuted with 55 pass attempts and a very solid game as a starter. However, the Rams were unable to overtake the Arizona Cardinals as the game ended. On a positive note, the Rams were still in the game in the 4th quarter! That's an upgrade!
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Lowest ranked team with a win! But it was ugly and against the Browns. Josh Freeman, despite having very little talent around him, is a better quarterback than Mark Sanchez. Look for Freeman to put up similar numbers to Sanchez, but with less of a supporting cast. Doesn't keep the Bucs from the bottom.
28. Buffalo Bills - The Bills managed to stick around in a Week 1 Divisional Game...too bad "close" doesn't count. Bills lose, don't have an offense and, unlike the Jets, don't have a dominant defense. Ouch. Ryan Mallett anyone?
27. Chicago Bears - Penalty schmenalty, they lost to the Lions. Just saying. Jay Cutler still threw an interception and fumbled the ball, but he had an overall good day as a quarterback. Maybe better days are on their way in Chicago? Doubt it.
26. Oakland Raiders - Glad to see them down here. I'm looking forward to a top 5 draft pick and it seems like a distinct possibility. Jason Campbell continued his mediocre quarterback play and, no, he's not their savior. The Raiders just aren't good. On the other hand, Darren McFadden has finally shown some potential. Maybe he'll be able to carry the team to some victories. I hope not.
25. Denver Broncos - Sorry Denver, your offense is sub-par and your defense is toothless. However, there is still some talent on the team and coaching staff; hopefully it can be pulled together and put on the field as a finished product. This team is rebuilding and needs a lot of help. Rise, youngsters!
24. Carolina Panthers - The Panthers ended 2009 on a hot streak, but have definitely cooled off. Young "star" quarterback Matt Moore didn't look like a starter in week 1. This team is destined for nothing due to their one dimensional offense (stack the box?) and generally unimpressive defense.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars - Yeah, they beat the Broncos. They're still the Jaguars. They have zero defense. While Maurice Jones-Drew is a top 5 running back in the league, and while David Garrard is used in the way Mark Sanchez SHOULD be used, their offense isn't scary. They've got 6-10 written all over them.
22. San Francisco 49ers - The team that never is. They got smoked by a division rival, after being hyped all summer. Any team can stop their offense by slowing Frank Gore and forcing Alex Smith to try and win the game through the air. Spoiler: He won't.
21. Arizona Cardinals - How quickly they fall. They hung on to a victory against the Rams. With no solid starting quarterback and Larry Fitzgerald as the only real weapon, the Cardinals don't have a potent offense anymore. Some might say that a good season is not in the...cards?
See the Top 20 After the Jump!
20. Atlanta Falcons - Same story as the 49ers. Slow Michael Turner and force Matt Ryan to win through the air. Only difference is that Ryan is able to win through the air. That's why a corner and safety is needed to blanket Roddy White. Take away White and the Falcons won't win. Yeah, yeah, Tony Gonzalez. He won't win games.
19. Cincinnati Bengals - They have a potentially great offense and defense, but they have a horrible team in the trenches. Their defensive front seven and offensive line are going to lose them many games this season. Carson Palmer won't have any time to reach his Reality Show Receivers and opposing receivers will have too much time to get away from Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers - They're a gritty team who can find ways to win. However, their offense is weak, especially without Rowdy Ben, and their defense rests on the fragile shoulders of Troy Polamalu. If he's injured, their secondary disappears and the 5-6 upper tier quarterbacks in the AFC will eat them for breakfast.
17. Dallas Cowboys - Let the hype machine roll! So much for Super Bowl. Tony Romo is a gloried David Garrard (efficient, but I wouldn't trust him to lead a 4th quarter comeback. Yeah, yeah, holding on Alex Barron. Still didn't win.) and their offense is packed with weapons, and their defense has plenty of potential. The 'boys will get back on track late in the season and make a push for the playoffs, as they always do. They're just not a scary team.
16. Washington Redskins - How Mike Shanahan has already had a positive impact. The defense was stout and, while the offense wasn't anything to write about, it wasn't awful. It was just mediocre. Give McNabb some extra time in the system and...well, they'll still be mediocre since he has no one to throw the ball too. I'd advise people to pick up Santana Moss and Chris Cooley in fantasy leagues, though.
15. San Diego Chargers - They're surprisingly average. Their offensive line was destroyed on Monday Night Football (miss Marcus McNeil yet?) and their defense was okay. Their special teams, beyond Mike Scifres, was horrendous. They're still one of the best team on the West Coast, but that's like saying the cold is better than the flu- regardless of what's being talked about, it still is awful and makes you want to throw up.
14. Kansas City Chiefs - Patriots JV has seemed to have grown up! The offense wasn't bad, the defense wasn't bad and the special teams was great. The Chiefs have a strong chance of making the playoffs. They look like an 8-8 team, but that's all that's needed in the West.
13. Miami Dolphins - They beat the Buffalo Bills. Barely. They're the BUFFALO BILLS. So much for a revamped offense. For all the hype bestowed upon the Dolphins, their follow-up will have to wait until later in the season. They're still working on it. The Dolphins are a young team and need a lot of polishing. Maybe next season.
12. Philadelphia Eagles - How soon can they get Kevin Kolb back? Do they want him back? Michael Vick looks like the perfect quarterback for this offense. Their defense is average, but the offense has potential if a quarterback is decided upon. They managed to have a comeback against an elite team- keep an eye on them.
11. Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks are a giant question mark. They demolished the 49ers. But are they for real? For now, they're on the outside, but they are looking to regain their 2005ish form.
10. Tennessee Titans - Vince Young is in a system perfect for him and Chris Johnson is a monster. If they can keep it up all season, they have a chance to thrive this season. Their defense won't take them far, but their offense is potent. Think Ravens without the defense.
9. New York Giants - Eli Manning is the epitome of an up-down quarterback. For every good throw, he'll have a horrible one. Every touchdown will have a pick following it. They'll play well enough to be near the top of the NFC East, but they're not be consistent enough to succeed in the playoffs.
8. New York Jets - Mark Sanchez is one of the 5 worst starting quarterbacks in the league. Delhomme, Trent Edwards and I'd put Sanchez next on that list. He lacks confidence and he's definitely not playing well enough to be given more free reign. Their defense is the only thing that will keep the Jets in games, but they'll struggle against teams with 4 legitimate receivers (read: Colts, Patriots, Saints, etc) due to how much they rely on the blitz.
7. Minnesota Vikings - They lost a close game to the reigning Super Bowl champions. Brett Favre is an idiot, though, and he's detrimental to the long term success of the team. They have great offensive and defensive balance and should be able to play well against every team.
6. Indianapolis Colts - Lost to a division rival. This is the first time in the history of the AFC South that the Colts are in last place. That's big. The Colts will still be good for at least 12 wins, but their defense is, once again, suspect. Peyton Manning can't win games if the defense doesn't exist.
5. Houston Texans - The Texans have finally appeared to have passed the "Colts Hurdle." If they can't win games against the Colts, they should definitely be able to make the playoffs and have a potent enough offense to make some noise.
4. Green Bay Packers - They beat the Eagles and their offense is as good as advertised. Their defense may need a little work, but there's nothing to be very worried about. The Packers are a solid team and easily one of the best in the NFC.
3. New England Patriots - The Patriots manhandled the Bengals, but Cincy was an extremely overrated team. The questions on offense: Can Fred Taylor run well every week? Can the O-Line hold up against good defensive lines? The questions on defense: Where is the Pass Rush coming from? Is the secondary too Inexperienced? Last week answered most other questions for the Patriots (Who will step up as a #3 receiving threat, etc).
2. Baltimore Ravens - Joe Flacco has a goldfish memory, which suits him well. If he makes a mistake, he moves on and makes a play the next time around. With such a strong defense and a potentially volatile offense, the Ravens have to be one of the AFC favorites. They're over the Patriots because the playoff romp, which should be fresh in the Patriots players' minds for the rest of the season.
1. New Orleans Saints - Reigning Champs won the NFC Championship grudge match. They've earned the #1 spot until they lose.