Week 1 NFL Power Rankings

Photo by Michael Perez/Associated Press

Despite the small sample size of Week 1, the UVU Review sports staff has assembled NFL power rankings based on the observations from the group.

  1. New England Patriots (1-0)

The Patriots beat the Cardinals, on the road, with their backup quarterback. Not to mention, without the best tight end in the league. The Patriots are always good with Bill Belichick controlling the train. Just wait until Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski come back to play.

  1. Denver Broncos (1-0)

The Broncos look to repeat without Peyton Manning this season. Starting quarterback Trevor Siemian wasn’t impressive in his first game, with two interceptions, one touchdown and a rating of 69.1. However, he has a solid defense backing him up, and we all know the saying, “Defense wins championships.”

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)

The Steelers look to shake things up for other teams around the league this season. Future Hall-of-Famer Ben Roethlisberger has evolved into a better pocket passer, and with two great weapons at his disposal in DeAngelo Williams and Antonio Brown, they look like a team to fear this season.

  1. Arizona Cardinals (0-1)

With a franchise record of 13 regular season wins in 2015, the Cardinals fell one game short of reaching the Super Bowl. Arizona starts the season with high hopes and, with so much talent on both sides of the ball, looks like a true NFC title contender this season.

  1. Carolina Panthers (0-1)

Reigning MVP Cam Newton is looking to repeat last year’s regular season magic, hopefully with a more favorable ending to the story. Carolina’s biggest issue this season is a suspect secondary with the loss of Josh Norman. They will look to their leader to help them bounce back from what could have been greatness.

  1. Green Bay Packers (1-0)

Something wasn’t right last season in Green Bay, Wisc., and it all started with the early loss of key wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Without him, Aaron Rodgers didn’t look like himself. With Nelson back this season, along with several other key players, the Packers look to make a deep playoff push this season.

  1. Seattle Seahawks (1-0)

For a team as talented and deep as the Seahawks, it’s underwhelming to see them only win by two against a vastly inferior Dolphins team at home. Still, this is a group that historically starts slow under Pete Carroll, so should we really be surprised with a bad first game?

  1. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)

The biggest story is A.J. Green, who apparently bought a passport to Revis Island before the game as he enjoyed his stay as he pulled in 12 receptions for 180 yards and a touchdown.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)

Good night. The biggest comeback in Chiefs history to start the season and Alex Smith looked like an elite quarterback. The team didn’t even miss Jamaal Charles as Spencer Ware ran wild in both the rushing and passing game.

  1. Oakland Raiders (1-0)

The Raiders did something BYU football couldn’t: Go for two and win the game. The Raiders showed grit and toughness to come back and they showed guts by going for the win instead of the tie. Now if only they made a comeback like that against a better defense…

  1. New Yorks Jets (0-1)

Yes, they lost, but it was close, and these two teams are so evenly matched it’s hard to tell who’s better. Matt Forte was an immediate contributor, but the team needs to finish drives better or they won’t see a higher spot on this list.

  1. New York Giants (1-0)

So far it looks like all the money spent on defense is paying off. They managed to keep preseason superstar Dak Prescott to a quiet day and closed out with a tough win against a division opponent.

  1. Minnesota Vikings (1-0)

Let’s hope when Sam Bradford gets the nod he plays better than Shaun Hill, who was fine, but he wasn’t impressive. Adrian Peterson needs to wake up at the running back position, but when he comes around and Bradford steps in, this team will start to show its real colors.

  1. Houston Texans (1-0)

The Texans looked like the cream of the crop in the AFC South in Week 1 against the Bears. If they remain consistent they could repeat as division champions.

  1. Dallas Cowboys (0-1)

Despite a close loss to the Giants, the Cowboys offense was affective with backup Dak Prescott under-center in the first week of the season. Even without starter Tony Romo, Dallas looks like a legitimate division contender.

  1. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)

The Ravens were pleasantly surprised to see Mike Wallace has something left in the tank as he was a mismatch for the Buffalo defense in Week 1. They should have no problems against the Browns in Week 2.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)

Behind the arm of Jameis Winston and the legs of Charles Sims, the Buccaneers were able to outlast the Falcons on Sunday. They should be held in check in week 2 as they face a more competent defense in Arizona.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)

Rookie Carson Wentz certainly looked like a future franchise quarterback in Week 1 against the Browns, and he should find plenty of open receivers again in Week 2 against the Bears.

  1. Detroit Lions (1-0)

With Matthew Stafford at the helm, the Lions offense looks like a well-oiled machine.  Their defense on the other hand looked a quart low in Week 1 against the Colts as they blew an 18-point lead in the second half and needed a last-second field goal to bail them out.

  1. Washington Redskins (0-1)

Washington is plagued by a weak defense in addition to a one-dimensional offense. The defense allowed Roethlisberger to complete 27 of 37 passes for 300 yards and three TDs Monday night. Kirk Cousins threw two interceptions with 329 yards passing, but received no help on the ground with a total of 55 rushing yards.

  1. Miami Dolphins (0-1)

Despite a hard fought battle in Seattle, the Dolphins left the Pacific Northwest with a disappointing 12-10 loss. Ryan Tannehill and the offense mustered just 214 yards of total offense, including 64 yards on the ground. The defense looked strong with two turnovers, but it could be fool’s gold against a Seattle offense notorious for slow starts.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)

The Jaguars gave the Packers all they could handle Week 1, but couldn’t complete the fourth-quarter comeback and fell 27-23. After he threw an interception on the game’s opening drive, Blake Bortles completed the game with 320 passing yards and a touchdown. Don’t expect this team to stay down for long.

  1. Buffalo Bills (0-1)

Tyrod Taylor and the Bills offense looked anemic in Week 1 against the Ravens as they managed just 160 total yards, including 95 passing yards. A major issue with the Bills’ offense is likely injured receiver Sammy Watkins, who is listed as questionable against the Jets due to a foot injury.

  1. Atlanta Falcons (0-1)

Matt Ryan distributed the ball efficiently across the Falcons’ offense for 334 passing yards Sunday. However, the glaring issues in the loss came in the ground game, where they managed just 52 yards. If the Falcons can’t figure out how to run the ball, it could be a long season at the bottom.

  1. New Orleans Saints (0-1)

The Saints melted down in the second half Sunday as they allowed 25 points in the final 30 minutes, including 22 fourth-quarter points. Drew Brees appears to be in usual form, 28 for 42 passing for 423 yards, but this New Orleans defense is porous, allowing 167 rushing yards to the Raiders.

  1. Indianapolis Colts (0-1)

Luck will only get you so far. Despite four touchdowns from Andrew Luck, the Colts’ defense allowed the Lions to run wild for 116 rushing yards in Week 1. Until Luck gets some help, the Colts will continue to sit at the bottom looking up in the AFC South.

  1. San Diego Chargers (0-1)

Wide receiver Keenan Allen didn’t even make it through two quarters in his return before tearing his ACL. His loss will be huge for the Chargers, as he already had six catches for 63 yards before exiting. How long will it take to get training camp holdout Joey Bosa ready for game action?

  1. San Francisco 49ers (1-0)

The 49ers benefited in Chip Kelly’s debut from playing the listless Rams, but don’t let the scoreboard fool you. Blaine Gabbert did not look like a franchise quarterback, averaging just 4.9 yards per attempt, 31st in the league among passers after Week 1. Last in that category? Rams quarterback Case Keenum.

  1. Tennessee Titans (0-1)

While Winston shined in his sophomore NFL debut, Marcus Mariota struggled. If the Titans are to make the jump to respectability this season, they’ll need better play from their leader. Tennessee had the game in hand through nearly three quarters before two bad Mariota turnovers led to Minnesota defensive touchdowns.

  1. Los Angeles Rams (0-1)

One man can only do so much. Todd Gurley still looks like an NFL star, but with no offensive line and no weapons around him, he’s got nowhere to run. Gurley averaged only 2.8 yards per carry, getting hit in the backfield more often than not.

  1. Chicago Bears (0-1)

Wide receiver Kevin White made his long-awaited debut to mixed results. He had three catches for 34 yards and looked capable of being a big-time target, but he also looked to be responsible for Jay Cutler’s lone interception of the game on a poorly run route.

  1. Cleveland Browns (0-1)

Has there been any week more indicative of the Browns’ history than this? Cleveland passed on drafting Wentz this spring and instead signed Robert Griffin III. In their first game, they were beaten by Wentz and Griffin landed on injured reserve. It’s going to be another long fall.

Reporting by David Roura, Adam Cichoski, Devin Olsen, Brad Curnow, Kaleb Searle

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