The NFL season is through its first week, and now that we have all of the results in, we need to update our power rankings.
Week 1 was certainly one that lived up to the hype that has been building ever since the Los Angeles Rams hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy in the air back in February. We had a highly entertaining first game as the Buffalo Bills eased past the defending champs on their own turf, and that’s before we even got to the opening Sunday of the season.
Multiple games coming down to the wire, plenty of teams already having a lot of their plans dashed as a result of injuries, and we are already starting to get an inkling as to what teams can do well and what they need to improve on if they’re going to be successful.
As we mentioned yesterday in our weekly recap, this is just one game and it’s hard to get a true sense of where things are going, but based on the eye test and other factors, some of which might have been lingering since last season and into the preseason, you can take a bit of an educated guess as to where things are going.
So with that being said, here are who we believe are the top ten teams in the NFL right now:
10 – Cincinnati Bengals (-1 from last week)
If there is one thing that their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers demonstrated, is that their offensive line, despite seeing numerous changes in a bid to improve, still needs a lot of work if they’re going to have any success. A lack of protection for Joe Burrow led to a number of turnovers that, if the Steelers were a better team on offense wouldn’t have been allowed to get as close as it did.
These should get better in time and then the rest of the offense will follow, but until that new unit gels, Burrow is still facing the same problems as last year.
9 – Pittsburgh Steelers (+1)
They were ranked pretty closely last week, and whilst this won’t always be the case, once you play the game, that gives a good indicator as to where the teams stand, and so the Steelers and Bengals swap places.
The loss of T.J. Watt is going to be a massive blow, but there are still enough playmakers on defence to weather the storm whilst he is out for the next few weeks and that’s why they are as high as they are. The offense struggled, but showed a lot of promise that they can get it together as they continue to play more.
8 – Green Bay Packers (-4)
A big drop, as once again this looks like a team that needs a lot of work doing to it before they can be taken seriously as contenders. The lack of cohesion between Aaron Rodgers and his receivers was clear to see. The pieces are all there for them, they just need to make sure that things are worked out quickly, as they can’t afford to lose any more steps on the team who could pip them for the NFC North crown. That team being…
7 – Minnesota Vikings (Not ranked last week)
Saw that the Packers had a few things to work on and exploited it perfectly, most notably on the defensive line when they took advantage of the absence of David Bakhtiari and got four sacks on the day, which also played its part in forcing pressure and two turnovers on the day.
The offense was also cooking pretty well and showed why they can put up a shootout with anytone in the league if they have to.
6 – Baltimore Ravens (Not ranked)
Admittedly, it was against the New York Jets, but in their performance you saw a team that was organised and gelled compared to some of the others in the NFL, and that will give them a great advantage going forward into the season.
Then you’ve got Lamar Jackson, who showed that he isn’t going to go easy and hold things back just because he’s hoping to protect himself without a conformed contract for next season, so if that’s a marker for the rest of the season, then the NFL needs to beware.
5 – Los Angeles Rams (-1)
Still the champions, and still have a lot of the parts from their team last season, but taking on a Buffalo Bills side isn’t going to be easy for anyone this season, so we shouldn’t really be judging them on one game against a very good opponent.
The decision not to utilise Cam Akers is one that caught a lot of people off-guard, but we should see a lot more from him going forward to bring another weapon into the mix that should keep opponents guessing.
4 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2)
Took care of business against a Dallas Cowboys team that wasn’t going to threaten them in terms of putting points on the board, but again showed that there was a lot there that can be translated into other games moving forward, particularly the offensive line that showed it can hold its own as they only allowed 2 sacks against Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence, despite facing a lot of changes this offseason.
Not exactly a stellar performance in passing as they failed to make 200 yards, but then with the running game as good as it is, they don’t really need it all that much.
3 – Los Angeles Chargers (+2)
The first test that we saw between two teams in the AFC West (branded by many as the toughest division in football this year), saw the Chargers take first blood in the battle for supremacy. A very evenly matched game, but in all facets of the game, the Chargers showed that they were a team not to be messed with by failing to commit a single turnover on offense and forcing 3 on defence.
Their next game though is arguably a much bigger test, and that game sees them take on…
2 – Kansas City Chiefs (No change)
Did everything that you could have asked them to do, in fact the only problem is that they appeared to take their foot off the gas a little bit and that the winning margin was as close as it was (and it wasn’t even that close to begin with).
There may have been questions about what the offense would look like under Patrick Mahomes after the loss of Tyreek Hill, but he answered all of them superbly with his display, whilst the defense also put themselves about with three sacks showing that they are looking like an improved force from last season
1 – Buffalo Bills (No change)
Not much to say on this really. You saw how they played against the Rams. Is there anything that would make you doubt them being the best team in the league? No, so let’s just leave it at that.