Week 1 is in the books, and Twitter and mid-day talk shows are spewing hot takes at a record pace. Before going into the rankings, I want to remind you that September is essentially the preseason for most teams, with the majority of starters playing little, if any, in the preseason. Unless your team suffered a major injury, week 1 virtually says nothing about how they will look in November. I kept that in mind while making the list, so apologies if I ranked your team low despite a solid opener performance.
1) Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins looked great and this team looks poised for a Super Bowl run.
2) Los Angeles Rams
The Rams struggled a bit in week 1 which should be worrisome to the rest of the league because they’re just getting started.
3) New England Patriots
Rob Gronkowski’s retirement talk seems like a distant memory.
4) Philadelphia Eagles
This team is good enough to make up for Nick Foles’ poor play, but let’s hope Carson Wentz is back sooner rather than later.
5) New Orleans Saints
Giving up 48 points to Tampa is hard to ignore but I feel like this will be a game that we’re still wondering about later in the season. The offense looked dynamic and the defense will only go up from here.
6) Pittsburgh Steelers
Let’s only let Ben Roethlisberger play at home from now on, okay?
7) Jacksonville Jaguars
This defense is so good, and it appears they avoided a major injury to Leonard Fournette
8) Carolina Panthers
The defense looked great and Cam Newton did just enough offensively to pull out the ugly win. Losing Greg Olsen and Daryl Williams were major blows though and it’s concerning for an offense that struggled most of the game.
9) Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes’ debut will become a folk tale one day. The Chiefs won’t score this easily all season, but it’s ridiculous how many points they’re going to put up this year.
10) Houston Texans
Watson will improve but let’s hope he doesn’t die behind this offensive line in the process.
11) Atlanta Falcons
The play calling was bad, and Matt Ryan was off the entire night. Are sure it’s still not 2017?
12) Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers. What else is there to say?
13) Chicago Bears
There’s so much talent all over, but it’s going to take time for it to come together. Blowing a 17-0 halftime lead to the Packers doesn’t mean they’re the same old Bears, they’re still just growing.
14) Baltimore Ravens
Do the Ravens have a dynamic offense? Probably not, but it was a tremendous performance by Joe Flacco and company. Unfortunately, you can’t play Buffalo every week, but this offense looks exciting.
15) San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garroppolo is human after all. The Vikings defense is a tough test for any QB, so it was impressive to watch him play seemingly unfazed after each interception he threw. He’s great and will keep improving.
16) Los Angles Chargers
Not a very crisp game from LA on either side of the ball but that’s not uncommon for week 1. What concerns me is Joey Bosa’s injury and how many more games he’ll miss. Besides that, I wouldn’t panic.
17) Oakland Raiders
Khalil Mack’s presence was missed the entire game and saying Derek Carr struggled would be an understatement. Still, keep in mind the Rams are one of the best teams in the league and Oakland held their own for a good portion of the game. The sloppiness we saw in the second half just improve as the season progresses.
18) Detroit Lions
Matt Patricia’s first game couldn’t have gone any worse. When your team gets steamed rolled week one and your starting QB throws four picks and gets beat up, it’s easy to assume the worst. But this defense will improve, and Matt Stafford will play better. The Lions are not this bad, and I expect this to a weird blip on their season.
19) Tennessee Titans
Delanie Walker is out for the season and both Marcus Mariota and Taylor Lewan suffered injuries that leaves their immediate availability murky. Just a brutal way to start the season. I will give Tennessee some style points for their new uniforms though.
20) New York Giants
The offense struggled but to be fair, they were playing the best defense in the league. Beckham and Barkley were both bright sports, and the unit as a whole should only improve throughout the season.
21) Denver Broncos
Von Miller is living cheat code. And despite throwing three picks, the Case Keenum lead offense already looks like a drastic improvement.
22) Washington Redskins
I have doubts that Adrian Peterson will continue to dominate like he did on Sunday but adding any consistency from him to an offense that already has play makers with Chris Thompson and Jordan Reed is exciting. If they can stay healthy, this should be a fun team.
23) Dallas Cowboys
The offense was painfully predictable to watch. Ezekiel Elliott is going to have hard time getting anything going if the passing game continues to be a complete nonfactor. On the bright side, this defense looks as good as advertised.
24) Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon looked like a true three-down back in the win over the Colts. It was the breakout performance we’ve been waiting for from last year’s second round pick. This offense has a chance of becoming a solid unit if Mixon can continue to be a bell cow.
25) New York Jets
The Sam Darnold hype-train is moving at full speed with no breaks. Expect Darnold and this defense to regress from week 1, but there was a lot to love from Monday’s performance.
26) Seattle Seahawks
I fear the rest of the season will follow a similar pattern where Russell Wilson is running for his life for 60 minutes. Doug Baldwin’s injury is also a major concern, but there appears to be enough talent with Will Dissly, Tyler Lockett, and Brandon Marshall to hold down the fort while he’s gone.
27) Arizona Cardinals
Nothing went right for the Cardinals on Sunday, but there’s too much talent on both sides of the ball to not expect improvement as the season goes on.
28) Miami Dolphins
A win is a win, but this game was ugly and wacky. Still, give Miami credit for pulling it out despite two weather delays.
29) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Can you smell the Fitz magic in the air? Ryan Fitzpatrick’s stellar performance was the shocker of the weekend. We know it’s only a matter of time before Fitzpatrick comes back to Earth, but if he can play at half that level for the next two weeks, we could be in for an interesting QB situation when Jameis Winston returns.
30) Cleveland Browns
0-0-1 is the Browns best start since 2004. That’s what I call improvement.
31) Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck is certainly rusty, but we saw him take some hits and deliver some big throws. That alone is a reason to smile, despite the tough loss.
32) Buffalo Bills
I’m usually an optimist, but the only thing positive I can say is that it can’t possibly get any worse than Sunday’s performance. (Hopefully.)