Power Rankings: Week 1
No change at the top, but plenty of movement through the middle as teams show themselves for the first time in 2013. A big leap up for the Eagles marks the height of differences from last week to this, and a six-spot fall for Tampa Bay is the steepest drop as the PFF crew submits their choices for this week’s Power Rankings.
The ballot-by-ballot look below is followed by the compilation that sees one team fall out of the Top 5 and the aforementioned Buccaneers join the group at the bottom.
Putting it all together, the rankings after Week 1: (last week’s rank and change in position in parentheses)
1. San Francisco 49ers (1, 0)
Anquan Boldin took over in his 49er debut and helped San Francisco take the first step toward their goal of another run at the Super Bowl. The win over another Top 5 team in the Packers gains the 49ers three first place votes, and they hold their spot at the top for another week.
2. Denver Broncos (3, +1)
That Thursday Night showing convinced enough of our staff that the Broncos’ offense can carry them. They move up with everyone marking them among the league’s Top 3, showing they can get the job done without Von Miller.
3. Seattle Seahawks (2, -1)
Leap-frogged by Denver, Seattle picked up the win but wasn’t nearly as convincing in doing so. Firm grasp on third with six of our analysts slotting them exactly there, much more is expected from this team.
4. Green Bay Packers (4, 0)
Dropping a close one in San Francisco won’t do much damage to your standing, and it turns out to be true here as Green Bay holds firm at No. 4. It gets easier from here.
5. New England Patriots (6, +1)
Danny Amendola jumped back in and served as Brady’s go-to option in the Gronkowski-Welker-Hernandez void, but it still took a pair of fourth-quarter field goals to get the Patriots past the Bills. A tight win in the opener kept them from dropping, and they actually slide into the Top 5, but questions remain unanswered.
6. Houston Texans (8, +2)
Spotting the Chargers a 28-7 third-quarter lead on Monday Night Football and then storming back will catch eyes, but that first half raised questions and their move up is a modest one helped by Baltimore’s flop.
7. Atlanta Falcons (5, -2)
The first to fall multiple spots, Atlanta’s O-line showed worrying vulnerability on the edges and left Matt Ryan under pressure and under performing on nearly half of his drop-backs. They’ll need to solve that right tackle issue and hope Sam Baker’s day on the left was not a sign of him falling back to the form of years past.
8. New Orleans Saints (10, +2)
Landing a shade behind the team they just beat, New Orleans brought the Falcons down two ranks and moved up a pair of spots themselves. The pass rush that was a question coming in ended up being a key to the win. Any prolonged success on defense and this team could be pushing the Top 5.
9. Chicago Bears (14, +5)
Our first big gainer, the Bears jump five spots with a pair of our analysts setting them in seventh after Cutler & Co. overcame a typically strong day by the Cincy D-line and got good work from the Jordan Mills half of their rookie right side.
10. Dallas Cowboys (12, +2)
On the back of the Selvie-led pass rush display and, more importantly, a full basket of New York giveaways, the Cowboys get credit for taking what they’re handed to find their way into our Top 10. They’ve teased before, but with help like this, 2013 could be the year Dallas finally makes a move.
11. Baltimore Ravens (7, -4)
So that rebuilt D still has some work to do to make fans forget the old guard and team identity for so many years. Torched by the Broncos in the second half, the defending champs fall four spots and out of the Top 10. The challenge now is to regroup and avoid a follow-up that drags them down further.
12. Cincinnati Bengals (9, -3)
Despite A.J. Green’s first half efforts, and a nice showing by the team’s tight end tandem, the Bengal offense couldn’t sustain for the whole game. Chicago chipped away, and eventually walked away with the win to snag Cincy’s place in these rankings, and send the Bengals tumbling three spots.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (21, +8)
Looking like a classic ‘need to see it first’ approach to ranking the Eagles, our staff bumps them eight places and the fastest-of-the-week rise here matches the pace of their wild showing on Monday night.
14. New York Giants (11, -3)
Perhaps it’s a win to see that a division loss built on six turnovers only takes you down three spots, but the Giants can’t feel good about their standing after that effort and seeing the Cowboys reap the benefit. They have to be more careful with the football going forward.
15. Kansas City Chiefs (17, +2)
Excitement tempered by considering their opponent, but the Chiefs showed their O-line is coming together and their QB add was a good fit for what is asked of him. They break into the top half of the rankings and look to build on the positivity.
16. Indianapolis Colts (15, -1)
Caught off a bit by the expected doormat Raiders, Andrew Luck and the turnaround-of-2012 Colts come away with the win but fail to inspire more than a middle of the pack rank, and fall a spot as KC leaps past.
17. Miami Dolphins (18, +1)
Despite Miami’s bevy of new additions, it was their old standby that dominated once again as Cameron Wake had the kind of day we’re used to seeing from him. The Dolphins settle for a gain of one rank and hover near the midline.
18. Washington Redskins (13, -5)
The first of a trio of five-spot fallers (with Pittsburgh and Minnesota), the Redskins’ disjointed and at times furious effort on Monday Night has them highlighting that the belly of the rankings is very much in flux this early in the year.
19. Detroit Lions (24, +5)
With a D-line in as good a shape as theirs and Stafford showing well, it’s not crazy to expect the Lions to come away with wins like this one. Taking the ‘W’ from their division foe, they also swapped spots in the rankings; climbing up from No. 24 last week and sending the Vikings down.
20. St. Louis Rams (20, 0)
In the battle of the NFC West’s other two teams, Robert Quinn’s standout day threatened a breakout season and St. Louis scored three times in the fourth to overtake Arizona. Securing the win meant them maintaining their 20th rank.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers (16, -5)
Not a good week. The Steelers slide down five places and see players dropping to injury left and right. It’s an early test of depth and resiliency that will determine whether Pittsburgh falls further.
22. Buffalo Bills (25, +3)
Hanging with New England gets them a bump, and a respectable day from their rookie QB gets them a measure of respect. There are still issues to solve (left guard proved to be a real problem), but they move up on this list nonetheless.
23. Carolina Panthers (22, -1)
A 12-7 loss to Seattle certainly isn’t embarrassing, but it stings just the same given what might have been. Essentially knotted with Buffalo above and Minnesota below in these rankings, moral victories carry odd weights in this neighborhood.
24. Minnesota Vikings (19, -5)
Peterson scores three times and Ponder puts up a -3.0 grade, sound familiar? It wasn’t all on the QB, though, as the Viking D took its lashes and led the run down the rankings.
25. Tennessee Titans (28, +3)
The Titans’ win in Pittsburgh may say more about the state of the Steelers, but riding Jurrel Casey’s stout start got it done. Tennessee steps up three spots toward the mosh in the middle of the rankings – moving in the right direction.
26. San Diego Chargers (27, +1)
Blowing a big lead to open the season won’t do much more than tease hopes, but there were positive to take away and a half-game glimpse of what they could be keeps them in this range of the rankings.
27. Cleveland Browns (26, -1)
With the regular season arrived, Brandon Weeden felt free to return to state, though his O-line and receivers didn’t help. Browns fall to Miami and are teetering on inclusion in the Bottom 5.
28. Arizona Cardinals (29, +1)
A quarterback, finally… now to tend to that offensive line. The Cardinals lost in a spirited effort and gain a rank in the process as the Bucs sail past them downward.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (23, -6)
Tumbling six spots after the first regular season contest, this pirate ship looked rudder-less featuring a drive so bad it has to be seen to be believed. At least they have Revis.
30. New York Jets (31, +1)
A late field goal helped the Jets survive Revis’ return and brought them within a hair of the reeled-in Bucs in these rankings. A particularly positive outlook from one of our team helped.
31. Oakland Raiders (32, +1)
A competitive effort in Indy got Oakland up to the 30th spot on a pair of ballots as Terrelle Pryor’s legs kept them in the game. Next up? The only team below them here.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (30, -2)
Took a thumping at the hands of Kansas City — their 2012 partner in the cellar — and just missed a unanimous No. 32 call with one of our analysts feeling optimistic.