Week one of the NFL season is usually a high variant week because our impressions of teams are based on nothing more than assumptions, predictions, and results from a year ago. Even given that, week one of the NFL season this year was absolutely bonkers. From 2:30 PM-4:00 PM CST on Sunday is why Redzone exists. If you were watching, you saw the Browns win a game at the buzzer against the Panthers on a 55 yard field goal by a kicker in his first career game. Then you saw the Bengals and Steelers kickers lose their absolute minds and run a game down to the wire that should have ended no fewer than five times. Then the Saints went down field at the end of regulation to kick what should have been a game winning field goal, only to have Atlanta get into range in 15 seconds before the Saints blocked a game winning field goal attempt. Then you got to watch an absolute embarrassment between the Texans and the Colts. Then you got to watch Patrick Mahomes starting to absolutely and surgically ruin the Cardinals.
It’s going to be a fun season.
As always, the rankings are my own and are mostly for joke. But also dead accurate.
1: Kansas City Chiefs (last week 3)
Patrick Mahomes going on a quarterbacking spite tour to prove he can win with anyone at receiver is going to be fun.
2: Buffalo Bills (1)
Second best win against an NFC West team of the week.
3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2)
Nothing overly inspiring from the Bucs. Tom Brady looks slow, but he always has. He might get sacked 50 times this season because the moment a defender gets near him, he turtles.
4: Los Angeles Chargers (6)
I nearly bet the Chargers to win the Super Bowl, but the odds were coming off low. I’m thinking the 12-1 odds on the Chargers looks a lot better than the 22-1 odds I ended up taking on the Bengals. Khalil Mack is on pace for 51 sacks this season.
5: Philadelphia Eagles (13)
Baring injuries, the Eagles will probably win this division before Christmas. That said, i think we can all agree that it brings a ton of joy to know that the Cowboys are the only team in the NFC East to lose.
6: Minnesota Vikings (17)
I’m going to keep putting the Vikings farther up the list than they probably deserve because it is so damn satisfying to knock Kirk Cousins down a bunch of pegs.
7: Baltimore Ravens (9)
Everyone’s favorite sleeper team this season barely beat the Jets. Thats not exactly the type of thing that brings you a great sense of team pride. Lamar Jackson in a contract year is going to make him most likely play more safely, which means he will be a pocket passer more. Here is the list of people with a lower QB rating than Jackson in the pocket in 2021: Ben Roethlisberger and Taylor Heinecke. End of list.
8: Los Angeles Rams (4)
Is Matt Stafford really fine? If he is, then it won’t be an issue. But it didn’t look like he had a full fastball.
9: San Francisco 49ers (7)
They lost in a good old fashioned midwest hurricane. But if you want to compare apples to apples, both quarterbacks were in the same weather conditions. One, Justin Fields, made some plays and won the game. The other, Trey Lance, doesn’t look like he understands how to throw a spiral.
10: Cincinnati Bengals (11)
No goddamn clue what that was. Everything that was supposed to be fixed about the team was worse than it was last year. I have to think they will figure it out eventually, but that was not an ideal start to the season.
11: Green Bay Packers (5)
It was good to see CM Rodgers out there tantruming thing early into the season. Of course he is going to somehow get everything figured out in time to play the Bears on national television, ruining any sense of pride they have.
12: Miami Dolphins (18)
I’d move them up further, but then that wouldn’t justify me throwing the Patriots all the way to the bottom of the rankings. The Dolphins do look like an 11 win team, though. You know, until the first time they play in sub 40 degree weather and their offense becomes non functional.
13: Cleveland Browns (15)
They played competent football for roughly a quarter and that was enough for them to pull out a win versus the Panthers. They aren’t going to be able to get away with that once they are playing an NFL team, though.
14: New Orleans Saints (21)
They should have kicked the piss out of the Falcons. But a win is a win.
15: New York Giants (24)
Daniel Jones is without a doubt one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. They are going to struggle to come from behind and absolutely have to pass the ball. But they get moved up this far because new coach Brian Daboll had the balls to go for the win at the end of the game. With under a minute to play, they could have kicked an extra point and more than likely sent the game to overtime. But they went for two, got it, and won. Damn right.
16: Arizona Cardinals (14)
Really not much you can say about that game, can ya?
17: Washington Commanders (23)
I still don’t trust Carson Wentz, and not a single damn other person should, either. That said, he still has a really good wide receiving corps with Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson along with two effective running backs that haven’t been shot.
18: Las Vegas Raiders (19)
I genuinely can’t tell whether this team will be good or not. The defense looks like trash, but they were also playing the Chargers, one of the best teams in the NFL. Derek Carr threw some terrible interceptions, but LA had spent a bunch of money improving the defense. They couldn’t stop the defensive line from terrorizing Carr all day, but no team is going to have an easy day against Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa.
The Raiders might be genuinely bad at a lot of facets of their game. Or they ran headlong into a really good team. I’ll give it a week or two to let them figure it out.
19: Chicago Bears (27)
I’m not willing to just up and lose all common sense over this team winning a game in a monsoon. Now if they beat the Packers, then i’m going to bet them to win the next six Super Bowls.
20: Seattle Seahawks (30)
If the Denver Broncos were coached by anyone other than a Make-A-Wish kid who had never actually heard of football, then this team would have lost by 20. That said, if that home crowd can keep up that kind of spite all season, then Seattle will be the toughest place to play in the NFL.
21: Indianapolis Colts (12)
The general consensus was that Matt Ryan was going to be really good once he got out of Atlanta and into Indy. It turns out he is still Matt Ryan, which is to say, the 21st best QB in football.
22: Pittsburgh Steelers (22)
TJ Watt is probably going to be out for awhile. Mitch Trubisky is the quarterback of a team whose offensive line couldn’t stop those fat motorcycle twins from getting six sacks. George Pickens followed up looking like the future of the NFL in the preseason to looking like the future Anthony Miller. Najee Harris should be okay, but this team has a lot of problems.
23: Tennessee Titans (16)
I figured this team would probably win the division. Then I watched them get run down by the New York Giants on opening day and now I’m at least relatively convinced that whoever wins the division is going to finish 6-6-5.
24: Dallas Cowboys (10)
Dropping this team 14 spots might seem harsh after one week. Their quarterback for the next two months will be one of the following options:
Cooper Rush-You might be shocked to find that Cooper Rush is a real person and not a high performance tire. He’s also been with the Cowboys for five seasons. In those five seasons, he has thrown 38 passes.
Andy Dalton-He knows the offense, and is just good enough to go 2-6 while Prescott is injured. But it will be an efficiently quarterbacked 2-6.
Jimmy Garoppolo-Don’t know if I spelled his last name right, and I don’t care. The 49ers aren’t trading him until Trey Lance can play competently.
Gardner Minshew-He will also go 2-6, but in an infinitely more fun way.
Drew Lock-Just a hilarious black hole from which nobody will recover.
25: Carolina Panthers (25)
I’m going to give the Panthers an incomplete because they should have won, but they spent three and a half quarters looking like they had no business being on the same field as the Cleveland Browns of all teams.
26: Atlanta Falcons (31)
I lost two fantasy leagues and nearly lost a third because Marcus Mariota can’t throw to Kyle Pitts.
Also, this team isn’t any good. This was their best chance to win a game, and they let the Saints just march up the field and take it.
27: Jacksonville Jaguars (28)
it’s absolutely incredible that All Elite Wrestling just had to suspend it’s four biggest stars and vacate two sets of championship belts, and they are STILL the more functional Khan owned organization.
28: New England Patriots (20)
This team is a fraud. Bill Belichik is a goddamn fraud at this point. He has absolutely no idea how to fix this team. Mac Jones is Craig Krenzel with better coaching. The defense would rather get rid of their best players than ever pay them. The offensive line is going to get someone killed. And the entire offense is run by Joe Judge and Matt Patricia, two guys who wouldn’t be hireable to 31 other teams in the league due to the fact that everyone saw how terrible they were when they were given a chance to have free reign.
29: Detroit Lions (26)
There really were people who were claiming this was going to be a “sleeper” team. They lost by as little as they did because Philadelphia took their foot off the gas. If the Eagles went hard for 60 minutes, they would have won by 28. Every year, people watch some trash ass team on Hard Knocks and decided that the team is going to be better than they are because of the “inside access” they get to see with the team.
Dan Campbell is what happens when a wacky waving inflatable tube man and a Bang energy drink have a baby.
30: New York Jets (29)
The more things change, the more they stay the same. If football had relegation’s, then at this point the Jets would be playing once a year at the World Wiffleball Championships.
666,420: Doing a listicle about who the best dressed world leaders are at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral
691,224: Denver Broncos (8)
So, 99.999 percent of the time, Twitter is a godless hell hole. Then, the worst coaching decision making anyone could ever imagine during a two minute drill happens, and it becomes a magical place where everyone comes together to shit on a common thing. Nathaniel Hackett’s coaching was so aggressively bad that I’m not convinced this team will ever will a single game with this guy coaching.
12,392,198: Houston Texans (32)
Usually, last place in my Power Rankings is reserved permanently for the Jets. But the Jets didn’t play for the tie on Sunday. What the Texans did should be reserved for teams destined to get relegated into the XFL. Late in overtime, the Texans got the ball. If they could get the ball to the opposing team’s 33 yard line, they would have a makeable 50 yard field goal for the win. Instead, coach Lovie Smith let time run off the clock, got to midfield, and with 20 seconds left, on 4th down, he punted. 15 yards from field goal range. Smith punted to make sure he got a tie.
If I were the Texans front office, i’d have fired Lovie before he got off the field. But the Texans are run by one of the biggest failsons in an industry that almost exclusively thrives on them, and is helmed by Jack Easterby, who wanted Josh McCown to be the coach of this team because they go to the same church, but didn’t want the bad PR from hiring a guy who had never coached football before. So yea, this team is destined to be awful.