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SONT NFL POWER RANKINGS: Week 1

The NFL Season is finally here despite everything, and boy was week 1 one to remember! With the craziest offseason in recent memory, some teams surged, some remained the same, and some fell way down from where they were last year. Without further ado, SONT week 1 power rankings. You can always @KODES8088 on twitter and I’ll respond if you think I’m horribly wrong, but will respond faster if you just agree with me.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs

The defending Super Bowl Champions left no doubt to who still sits on the thrown in a season debut that was nearly flawless. $500 Million Dollar Man Mahomes dissected a Texans defense with ease (24/32, 211 yards and 3 TD). Franchise Tag Man Chris Jones proved his worth on defense by harassing Deshaun Watson all day and blowing up running plays. The Chiefs should only get better with rookie Edwards-Helaire already have run for over 130 yards in his debut. Also, shoutout to Harrison Butker for going 100% on 6 attempts between PATs and Field Goals. You’d be surprised how bad it was this week for kickers.

  1. Baltimore Ravens

With the reigning MVP in tow, the Ravens cruised to an easy victory over the Browns with Lamar Jackson making everything look super easy to the tune of 275 yards, 3 TDs and no pics. One of the touchdown catches by Andrews was probably the catch of the week reeling in a tough one-hander. New faces made big impacts this week with J.K. Dobbins running for 2 TDs on the offensive side. As for the defense, Calais Campbell had 3 out of the team’s 7 pass deflections and rookie linebacker Patrick Queen led the team in tackles and notched a sack. This team will be very dominant this year.

  1. Green Bay Packers

In a vintage Aaron Rodgers performance, the Packers ran away with this game later in the game and got contributions from nearly everyone on offense. Green bay had 7 different ball carriers in the run game between jet sweeps and reverses. Jaire Alexander also had himself a game with a safety, and an interception that led to a TD. The Pack is not ready to lay down and start on the future so easily.

  1. Seattle Seahawks

MVP runner-up Russell Wilson had a heyday against the Falcons’ secondary. He tossed 5 TDs and two of which went to Chris Carson whom Seattle welcomed back into the lineup following a season ending injury to him at the tail end of the 19/20 season. Jamal Adams made himself right at home in the Seattle defense with a team-leading 12 tackles and a sack. Adams opens up a whole new level of blitzes for Seattle that they just did not have last year, and this makes them infinitely more dangerous.

  1. New Orleans Saints

Not the prettiest win, but one that is huge for the Saints in their division. Winning this game is also psychological by providing the Superdome as still a place of home-field even without the stadium packed. The defense might be the best its ever been during Brees’ tenure. The same can be said for the special teams that provided good field position on punt returns, pinned the opponent inside the 20 almost every time, made every attempted kick, and recovered a pop-up kick that would seal the game. In other news, Michael Thomas might be out, but the Saints should be able to survive.

  1. Los Angeles Rams

Following an offseason questioning what went wrong after having been in the Super Bowl a couple years ago, the Rams answered week one with a huge win against a very talented Cowboys team. They did so with great front-line play (against a still solid Cowboys line) and by establishing the run. I assumed rookie Cam Akers would have the job, but Malcolm Brown racked up 79 yards through the ground and helped put Goff in a comfortable play action position. Goff played better than the box score suggests, and they are still a threat in the NFC West, as well as the NFC.

  1. Arizona Cardinals

For those who read my NFL preview, you know I am very high on this Cardinals team and they answered the call. Despite a slow start, the Cardinals got rolling down the most important stretches of the game. Kyler Murray totaled 321 yards of total offense and enjoyed his new weapon in DeAndre Hopkins (14 catches for 151 yards) and juked out some defenders hard core en route to a rushing touchdown. Not to be outdone, the defense had a crucial stop on 4th and goal, and then closed out the game via Byron Murphy Jr who had huge pass breakups to close out the game. This Cardinals team is rising, and I hope other teams are ready.

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers

A lot of people forget that the Steelers were almost a playoff team last year without someone competent under center. Big Ben came back looking solid with 3 TDs and no interceptions. Big Ben does need to get rid of the ball sooner but hopefully with Bennie Snell Jr. starting earlier a steady run game would do the Steelers good instead of waiting for James Conner to get going. The Steelers’ success can be attributed to a nasty front 7 that kept Bud Dupree and picked off Daniel Jones twice (T.J. Watt and Casey Heyward). They can easily handle the rest of the AFC North outside of the Ravens and could potentially split with them.

  1. Buffalo Bills

This team could arguably be higher if Josh Allen didn’t have mind-numbing fumbles. The Bills have shown early that they are not afraid to let Allen use his athleticism to make plays and while he did, he had his second career game with two lost fumbles (which oddly enough was also against the Jets in the opening week last year). Fortunately for Josh, the Bills defense forced 6 punts, a fumble, and an interception themselves so all he had to do was get the ball to Stefon Diggs and John Brown who combined for about half of Allen’s passing yards. Easy things to fix and this Bills could really be a dark horse for a Super Bowl run.

  • Jacksonville Jaguars

Duval county must be pretty stoked about this week 1 upset that their Jaguars managed to pull off against the heavily favored Colts. After seeming to tank for next season, the Jags came out and followed second year signal caller Gardner Minshew and their rookies to victory. Minshew only missed one pass en route to 173 yards and 3 TDs with no interceptions. As for the rookies: Laviska Shenault caught a TD, undrafted rookie James Robinson had 90 all-purpose yards out of the backfield, and CJ Henderson had an interception in his debut and one of his 3 pass deflections sealed the win. Clean win from a young aspiring Jags team.

  • Las Vegas Raiders

Can it still be called a shootout if the running backs are doing all the scoring? The Raiders and Panthers gave audiences a great view and the Raiders broke in their new home on the shoulders of Josh Jacobs and his 3 touchdowns in the RedZone. What was more impressive is after scores being exchanged by the teams, the Raiders won the game on a 4th and 1 stop and showed that their defense could show up when called upon.

  • Tennessee Titans

The 19/20 AFC runners-up had a very hard time against a banged-up Broncos team and were helped out with a handful of injuries and drops. Despite shooting themselves in the foot with 3 missed field goals and a missed PAT, the Titans collected themselves by Tannehill and Derrick Henry’s cleat straps, and marched down the field where Gostkowski cleared his criminal kicking record and split the uprights on the game-winning field goal kick. The Titans had multiple chances to end the game earlier and have some things to clean up that won’t fly against other teams, but Tannehill impressed, and coach Vrabel remained patient and consistent with the run game.

  • Washington Football Team

After spotting Philly 17 points, the Washington Football team rallied back with 27 unanswered points to reach half of their win total from last year in week 1. Dwayne Haskins shook a shaky 3/9 start to end the day 17/31 and a TD. The real marking of this being Ron Rivera’s team was the defense that had 8 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 3 pass deflections, 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery. Holyyyyyyyy crap.

  • New England Patriots

Cam Newton’s opener in a new uniform was a success. He showed competency as a passer playing some ‘Brady Ball’ (lots of quick, short routes) and he absolutely dominated as a runner (15 rushes, 75 yards, 2 TDs). The Dolphins had no answer for the running game, and no answer for the sturdy Patriots defense. A more legitimate test awaits the Pats this week in Seattle.

  • Los Angeles Chargers

Sometimes a team holds onto a win due to the other team’s incompetency, but a win is a win. Following a chip shot miss from the Bengals’ kicker, the Chargers are 1-0 and are here due to a front 7 that was in Joe Burrow’s face all day. Meanwhile Bryan Bulaga’s presence helped minimize pressure Tyrod faced as he threw some really pretty balls but maybe too many for a Chargers team that should prioritize the run more. They also need to get Ekeler more involved and face a tall task with the champs coming into town next weekend.

  • Chicago Bears

There’s lucky, and then there’s the Chicago Bears. The Bears managed to narrowly avoid a loss to the Lions unfortunately due to a drop from a rookie running back. Something I did learn about the Bears is that they have playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. Allen Robinson made tons of fully outstretched catches, Jimmy Graham provides good size to box out cornerbacks in a more peak way, Anthony Miller also made amazing grabs, and Cordarelle Patterson clutched the game with a huge 4th and 1 toss conversion. Now that I’m down beating around the bush, I’m saying that Trubisky did not to win this game and was lucky to have the guys on the offense that he did have. I am not sure how long it will take for Foles to get in but hopefully for Bears fans it’s sooner rather than later. Also, Jaylon Johnson had a great debut with 3 pass deflections and 6 tackles!

  • San Francisco 49ers

The Niners played a tough game against a reborn Cardinals team. Initially, Mostert picked up where he left of with some huge runs and the 49ers built a 10-0. From there, the offensive line started to get pushed back and Garoppolo’s feet were too flat in the pocket. There’s some room for worry with George Kittle limping off the field but 49ers will have to keep their number of losses small with an entire division where they are behind already. Hand. The. Ball. Off.

  • Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings bit, clawed, and scratched to keep this game close and provided the NFL with a unique score. This Vikings team was nearly unrecognizable with Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook’s explosiveness from when I last saw them in the playoffs. Thielen and Cook combined to score 30 POINTS BETWEEN TOUCHDOWNS AND 2-POINT CONVERSIONS! The Vikings need to get a pass rush going whether Hunter is in the lineup or not because no pass-rush against the likes of Aaron Rodgers leads to a loss.

  • Carolina Panthers

In a surprising display of offense, the Panthers put up 30 points week one and gave fans one of the best games of the week (even though it was probably one of the more under viewed). Teddy Bridgwater performed in his Panthers debut and a lot of that is thanks to Robby Anderson’s 115 yards and 8 points (between the touchdown and 2-point conversion). I’d be a little concerned that a defensive-minded coach gives up 34 in week 1. I’d also be concerned if on 4th and 1 with the game on the line you don’t give the ball to the best running back in the league. None of my business.

  • Houston Texans

There’s really no way to put this lightly, but Deshaun Watson was fighting for his life out there in the NFL kickoff and that’s how it really is going to be for most of this season. The offense will have to pick up even more of the defense’s slack with D.J. Reader being lost to free agency and it was obvious from the 166 rushing yards from the Chiefs. Will Fuller stepped up big and caught 8 passes for 112 yards in the absence of Hopkins. We will see if he can be consistent. Also, congrats to David Johnson and his 77 yards and touchdown. That’s another guy the Texans will need to be consistent to make the playoffs.

  • Dallas Cowboys

What a disappointing way to start the season for Mike McCarthy’s boyz. They were subject to a decently controversial offensive pass interference call, but this is not an excuse for the loss because they really had a chance to tie the game earlier in the fourth and chose to go for it with a pretty bad play call. I’d expect something like that from Jason Garrett, but we will find out quickly if McCarthy has been out of coaching for too long. CeeDee Lamb had a decent debut and Dak Prescott should be a solid 4,000 yards passer this year.

  • Atlanta Falcons

If I were the Falcons, I would simply convert on 4th down. Atlanta lost their game because no one wins going 0 for 4 on 4th down attempts. They converted on one on a fake punt just to end up fumbling and therefore, did not convert. The Falcons just have to do better at finishing drives period because Matt Ryan passed for 450 yards and you can’t be moving the ball like that just to stall out. They have an interesting matchup at the team just ahead of them in the power rankings that I’d argue is a must-win this early in the season.

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After a quick QB sneak to start the scoring, the Bucs got sloppy fast and the game got out of hand. The brightest spot of the day was arguably the run defense that held the Saints attack to 2.4 yards per carry but outside of that the offense was stagnant in the run game, and the number 1 receiver had one catch for 2 yards. Brady also threw 2 pretty terrible interceptions. The Bucs could be the next Browns with all the hype and none of the performance, or they could turn it around and beat the Panthers for a sigh of relief this week. I too am looking for their answer.

  • Indianapolis Colts

Pretty rough start for the Colts who lost their running back 1 just around halftime, and then have their really expensive QB1 make some bad decisions/throws that end up costing them the game. It was also a puzzling call to go for it on 4th and 1 in the RedZone in the first quarter instead of taking a 10-0 lead. Those 3 points may have changed the whole course of the game and I am very nervous for this Colts team that appears conflicted about their identity and may not live up to standards. Huge gut-check this week against a pissed Vikings team. Good luck.

  • Denver Broncos

Things seemed to go from bad to worse when the Broncos lost Von Miller to IR, lost Courtland Sutton the Friday before game time, AJ Bouye, and Philip Lindsay during the game. With four starters out, it was up to other players to step up and they didn’t. Rookie receiver Jerry Jeudy had two HUGE drops that could have been the nail in the coffin or an additional score on drives for the Broncos and Melvin Gordon had a bad fumble early in the game. The players weren’t helped out to win when Vic Fangio used no timeouts on the Titans final drive and also went for it on 4th and goal early in the game instead of taking a field goal. Losing to a team after they miss 4 kicks really takes it out of you but if I’m trying to be positive, Noah Fant looked great with 5 receptions for 81 yards and a TD. Shelby Harris and Jurrell Casey also had a handful of solid pass deflections.

  • Cincinnati Bengals

In one of the rudest awakenings I have ever seen, Joe Burrow got bumped, crashed, and torn down by a vicious Chargers front 7 that confirmed to me that LSU’s line was better than the Bengals’ line is now. He also tried some silly rookie stunt with a flick play that was an interception, had Joe Mixon fumble (who never does), and Randy Bullock miss a game-tying field goal. Fortunately for Burrow, I really don’t think it could get much worse. The Bengals’ secondary did impress me with 6 pass deflections between William Jackson III and Jessie Bates III.

  • Detroit Lions

Blowing a 23-6 lead doesn’t get you far in the power rankings. It especially doesn’t when it’s the Bears inept offense you blow the lead too. I really do hope DeAndre Swift is able to brush off that drop in his first NFL game and grow and get better for him because it was disheartening to watch the young man from Georgia go through that. The loss is not all on him though as the Lions moved away from running the ball with Adrian Peterson who was collecting 6.6 yards per carry and the defense did not make pass breakups that they should have. Poor Stafford.

  • New York Giants

The Giants were pretty close to the Steelers in this game thanks to Daniel Jones. The Giants also lost this game to the Steelers due to Daniel Jones. Both of these statements can be correct when Jones goes through his progressions, extends plays, and zips balls into tight windows, and then throw a prayer up in the sky that doesn’t make it out of bounds and falls from the heavens into the arms of a defensive end. Also just imagine how different of a game we have if the Giants manage to score a touchdown when getting that muffed punt within the 5-yard line. Guess we will never know.

  • Philadelphia Eagles

One does not sit high in the power rankings when blowing a 17-0 lead to an unidentified threat of the Washington football team. Things really hit the fan near halftime for Carson Wentz who started off 12/15 for 2 TDs and finishing the game 24/42 and only adding 2 interceptions. Not having Miles Sanders killed the Eagles this game where running the ball was not an option or working. The matchup doesn’t get any easier through the front 7 or air next week against the Rams who just dispatched fellow NFC East favorite Dallas.

  • Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins put up a good fight against a team that was a lot better than them and I’d argue even had a chance to win. Devante Parker’s injury was unfortunate and stalled the passing game pretty hard when no one stepped up to help Fitzpatrick out. This led to Fitz trying to hard to force some passes and throw 3 interceptions to keep the Dolphins out of the game. The Dolphins inability to stop the Pats’ rushing attack was also concerning and they need to find a way to fix the middle of their defense ASAP or this is going to be a very long season. Also, they traded for Breida so why not give him the ball?

  • New York Jets

I’d like to think that Josh Allen is a charitable guy and spotted the Jets a few fumbles to keep them in the game. Unfortunately, it’s the Jets and they stink. The defense refused to tackle Bills playmakers and seemed to pick up on how lost they were without C.J. Mosley last year. Sam Darnold also made some mind bogglingly bad decisions and they lost Le’Veon Bell for potentially a few weeks. This Jets team has been the victim of huge free agent spending ending up on the bench instead. Fortunately, Jamison Crowder had himself a game with 115 yards.

  • Cleveland Browns

The only things you really need to know: The Browns ran a FAKE PUNT ON 4TH AND 4 IN THE FIRST QUARTER, and also had a 4TH AND 41 at one point in the game. Odell had 3 receptions on 10 targets, and the Browns went 3/12 on 3rd downs and 0/3 on 4th downs. There is almost nothing good that came out of this week because even if you look at their average yards per carry being 5.1, each starting back fumbled the ball once. Somebody pray for this team.

Written by Kodey Stauffer

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