With one weekend of the NFL done, and weekend two about to get underway, I thought I would unveil my NFL Power Rankings, which I plan to do every week. So…
1. Dallas Cowboys (1-0): The Cowboys dominated the Cleveland Browns in week one. Tony Romo and Terrell Owens were in synch. The defense shut down the so-called high-powered Cleveland offense. This week’s contest with the Philadelphia Eagles might show us all just how good the Cowboys really are.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0): So, are the Steelers really good, or are the Houston Texans really bad? I think the Texans are bad, but damn, the Steelers did everything that they wanted to do, without any interference from the Texans. The Steelers should easily handle the Cleveland Browns this week.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0): As bad as the Steelers beat the Texans is as bad as the Eagles beat the Rams. And the Steelers actually relented and let the Texans score a few points at the end of the game; the Eagles didn’t do that. I’m not sold on the Eagles in this slot for the whole season, but as for now, well, done. They go into Dallas on Monday. I have this feeling the game is going to be a huge mismatch. But I’m not saying who will be on the winning end of the mismatch.
4. Carolina Panthers (1-0): With Tom Brady hurt, there are many who think the San Diego Chargers are the best team in the AFC. If that’s so, the AFC is in trouble because the Chargers couldn’t handle the Panthers. Jake Delhomme is very underrated as a QB, especially when it comes to running the two-minute drill.
5. Denver Broncos (1-0): Remember when the matchups between the Broncos and Oakland Raiders used to be important? HAH. Not anymore. I think the Broncos play at half-speed when they play the Raiders, and they still dominate. But it seems to me that Denver always starts out good before fading at the end of the season.
6. New England Patriots (1-0): Tom Brady is out for the season. Matt Cassell, a man who hasn’t started a game at QB since high school, is the new Patriot QB. But the Pats have lots of weapons on offense and defense. They’re still the class of the AFC East.
7. Green Bay Packers (1-0): The Packers and Aaron Rodgers, at least for this week, have proven that they don’t miss Brett Favre. They should easily handle Detroit this week.
8. New Orleans Saints (1-0): Struggled a bit against Tampa Bay, but Reggie Bush had a big game. Stud wide receiver Marques Colston is out for four to six weeks, and the Saints will be looking for more big contributions from Bush.
9. Chicago Bears (1-0): Talk about spoiling the opening of a new stadium; that’s what the Bears did to the Colts. The Bears defense never the let Peyton Manning get in synch.
10. New York Giants (1-0): A not very impressive win in the first game of the NFL season. But still, a win is a win.
11. Buffalo Bills (1-0): They didn’t have any problems with the Seahawks, and the offense actually appeared to be firing on all cylinders. If that continues, the Bills might be good.
12. Baltimore Ravens (1-0): Kept the high-octane Cincinnati Bengals offense grounded. I’m sure they’re pumped at the damage they can inflict on the Texans.
13. New York Jets (1-0): Sure, they won, but the Miami Dolphins almost won the game. Brett Favre is a disaster waiting to happen.
14. Arizona Cardinals (1-0): Big whoop. They beat the San Francisco 49ers. Color me not impressed.
15. Tennessee Titans (1-0): They should be rated higher, as many people like the Jacksonville Jaguars, but there’s just too much controversy going on with this team right now.
16. Atlanta Falcons (1-0): Call me when they beat someone other than the Detroit Lions.
17. San Diego Chargers (0-1): One of the AFC’s so-called best teams lost as time expired on the clock. This stuff happens when Norv Turner’s the coach.
18. Cleveland Browns (0-1): Are the Browns really as bad as they looked last week? I say the problem was just that the Cowboys were that good. Let’s see if they can keep the score against the Steelers close this weekend.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1): Shut down the Titans’ offense. Only problem was that Tennessee shut down their offense.
20. Miami Dolphins (0-1): They really should have beat Brett Favre and the Jets.
21. Indianapolis Colts (0-1): Maybe preseason is important. Peyton Manning just looked out of sorts.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1): Kept the Saints scared. But Jeff Garcia is hurt, so don’t expect any offensive highlights this week.
23. Seattle Seahawks (0-1): From what I saw, they looked old and unimpressive in their loss to the Bills.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1): Did you see the way the Bengals defense let slow-footed Raven rookie QB Joe Flacco just jog into the end zone for the game winning TD? The Bengals looked really bad.
25. Minnesota Vikings (0-1): Memo to Vikings coach Brad Childress: just give the ball to Adrian Peterson.
26. Kansas City Chiefs (0-1): Damon Huard is the QB. Enough said.
27. Washington Redskins (0-1): I’ve seen Gary Kubiak handle two-minute drills better than new ‘Skins coach Jim Zorn. That should tell you how bad Washington looked last week.
28. San Francisco 49ers (0-1): Hey, Frank Gore looked good.
29. Houston Texans (0-1): I hear that David Carr sent Matt Schaub flowers for making the Houston fans remember Carr fondly.
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30. Oakland Raiders (0-1): A former great franchise that makes the Texans seem well-run.
31. St. Louis Rams (0-1): I think the Texans put up more fight last week than the Rams. This means the Rams were pathetic.
32.Detroit Lions (0-1): Lions GM Matt Millen makes Tim Purpura look competent.
-- John Royal