Week 1 of the 2012 NFL Season is in the books and it was one to remember. Peyton Manning showed that the Denver Broncos are legitimate threats, while the San Francisco 49ers knocked off the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field. Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens were flying high, while Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears were doing much of the same. It was only Week 1, but we have a much better picture of things now.
Every Tuesday I'll be posting my personal NFL Power Rankings prior to linking out to the other major rankings around the Internet, and I gotta say, I'm struggling with feeling like a homer at this point. I had the 49ers at No. 4 and the Packers at No. 1, and aside from getting a bit lax in the fourth quarter, the 49ers really did dominate that game, even though the final score didn't show it.
Ah, screw it. Let's get to the rankings, shall we?
1. San Francisco 49ers | Niners Nation | 1-0 | LW: 4
That defense is still the best in the National Football League, and that offense operated like a well-oiled machine on Sunday. Alex Smith continues to let the game slow down around him, and for the first time in a long time, the group of receivers actually look, well, good. All signs point to the 49ers contending for the Super Bowl.
2. Baltimore Ravens | Baltimore Beatdown | 1-0 | LW: 5
You don't do what Joe Flacco and the Ravens did to the Cincinnati Bengals and not move up in the rankings. They promised a new, dynamic offense and boy did they deliver. If Flacco can stay close to that form all season, we could find ourselves in a Harbowl Super Bowl.
The Patriots were efficient if nothing else, but it's hard to determine just how good they are after beating the Tennessee Titans. Tom Brady looks ready, as always, which is probably the most important.
4. Green Bay Packers | Acme Packing Company | 0-1 | LW: 1
They lost in Week 1, but they lost to a team that is now No. 1 in the rankings. Aaron Rodgers might just be the best quarterback in the league and that's why they're ranked this high.
Sure, it's not all-that impressive to best the Miami Dolphins, but the Texans showed they're ready if nothing else, and there's a lot of hype surrounding both the offense and defense.
New York dropped this far because they're just not a very good regular season team. They don't win until the playoffs and a repeat performance from them is unlikely.
7. Chicago Bears | Windy City Gridiron | 1-0 | LW: 10
Jay Cutler and that offense got out to a slow start, but by the second quarter, they were dominating an Indianapolis Colts team that is obviously better than the very poor record from a season ago.
It was just the Kansas City Chiefs, but Matt Ryan looks like a stud and that offense is only getting better and better.
9. Denver Broncos | Mile High Report | 1-0 | LW: 15
How much legitimacy can Peyton Manning lend a team when his neck is held together by Adrian Peterson's ACL and MCL from a season ago? A lot, as it happens.
Sure, they won, but they struggled mightily against the St. Louis Rams and Matthew Stafford threw three interceptions. They've got a tough matchup against No. 1 San Francisco in Week 2.
You don't get beat that badly and maintain your ranking. The Saints are supposed to be better than that, regardless of the bounty punishments.
Not only did the Steelers get bested soundly by the Broncos, they simply looked bad all night. There weren't many positives to take away from that game.
OK this is a huge jump in the rankings, but Robert Griffin III was the only rookie quarterback who didn't disappoint on Sunday and he did his thing against the Saints.
San Diego looked rather unimpressive in a win over the Raiders and no longer look like the top team in the AFC West.
Usually beating the defending Super Bowl champs in Week 1 will get you more than a one spot boost, but that's not the case when the team in question is the New York Giants.
OK, they might be falling too far after a win but Michael Vick does not look like a good quarterback and they were ranked too high initially.
Another huge jump simply because that offense looks like it might actually not be the worst in the league.
18. Tenessee Titans | Music City Miracles | 0-1 | LW: 21
They moved up a good bit, but that's because a lot of teams definitely needed to move down. They looked decent against a Patriots team that was out for blood.
Josh Freeman is a good quarterback and there is more young talent on that team than most teams in the league. They just need to pull it all together.
20. Cincinnati Bengals | Cincy Jungle | 0-1 | LW: 14
The Bengals can still be a contender this season, and sure, the Ravens looked great, but you don't end up on the losing side of that score without making plenty of mistakes.
They beat the Seattle Seahawks. Uh, hooray?
Oakland did pretty well against the Chargers, but they were unable to put it all together to pick up the win. They can still fight for the AFC West but they need to win those head-to-head matchups.
Overestimated the consistency of Ryan Fitzpatrick. He's not supposed to be the kind of quarterback that throws that many interceptions.
24. Indianapolis Colts | Stampede Blue | 0-1 | LW: 25
That defense is going to be good this year, and if Andrew Luck can capture some of that ... Robert Griffin magic, this team might just win a few games.
Cam Newton had a lot of question marks coming into the 2011 NFL Draft, but he had a great season and looked like a top tier QB. Suddenly, he's throwing off his back foot every throw and looking absolutely horrible. This is what the draft experts predicted him to be like through his rookie season, not his sophomore.
26. Seattle Seahawks | Field Gulls | 0-1 | LW: 20
Russell Wilson looked decent. That's about the only good thing that can be said.
Minnesota picked up a win, which is good for them, but they had to rely on luck to best the worst team in the league.
St. Louis moves up a couple spots for forcing the Lions to actually try and pull out the win in the final seconds. Sam Bradford actually looked decent this time around!
29. Cleveland Browns | Dawgs By Nature | 0-1 | LW: 31
That defense will carry them to a lot of close games but unfortunately, they'll be close losses.
30. Kansas City Chiefs | Arrowhead Pride | 0-1 | LW: 19
Just absolutely dominated in every aspect of the game.
31. Miami Dolphins | The Phinsider | 0-1 | LW: 29
Ryan Tannehill is not going to have a good year if he doesn't make some changes sooner rather than later.
Ah ... yeah .. they're just not very good, are they?