Week 1 is in the books and let's see who is at the top of the heap and who could very well be in for a long season. Here are our picks for the top performers in the AFC based on their Week 1 showings. Where does your team stand in our NFL Power Rankings?
rankings, particularly after the first game of the season, allow us to either
reinforce our opinions or give us the latitude to adjust our preseason
expectations based on what we witnessed on Sunday (and Monday). These rankings
are not based exclusively on how the teams did in Week 1 but certainly a bad
team that performed well will be ascending while a good team who tanked will be
descending our NFL ladder. Without further ado, let's take a look at the AFC.
1. New England Patriots -
much to say other than the Patriots vaunted aerial attack now has a ground
assault unit to complement it. Stevan Ridley tore through a Titans defense to
the tune of 125 yards and one touchdown while averaging 6 yards per carry. It
allowed Tom Terrific to sit in the pocket and surgically dissect Tennessee's
secondary with his usual aplomb. Oh, and guess what, their defense looks reborn
with the impact play of 1st round draft picks Chandler Jones and
Baltimore Ravens - Defense punishes while Flacco shreds. Does the offense finally catch up with the defense in Baltimore? If so, the Ravens will be playing in
3. Houston Texans -
Arian Foster and Andre Johnson all looked like they were in midseason form
after a convincing 30-10 win over the Dolphins. Sure, it's only the Fish but
these Texans look like they've got their six-shooters already loaded.
4. Denver Broncos -
I'm not sure
if Peyton Manning is a cyborg or just a very resilient middle-aged quarterback
who suddenly reminded everyone that there's room for one more in the Brady,
Brees, Rodgers triumvirate. Demaryius Thomas proved that Manning has at least
one potent weapon and the Broncos may truly be for real.
5. New York Jets -
and company will prove us all wrong after all and that the J-E-T-S are a
contender upon a thorough demolition of the Buffalo Bills. Mark Sanchez led a
balanced and dominating attack though the defense still leaves much to be
San Diego Chargers - The Bolts win their opener on the road but will they falter like last
year or does talent finally really matter in San Diego?
7. Pittsburgh Steelers -The Steelers
long drives did little to limit the Broncos offensive effectiveness but
Pittsburgh kept close pace throughout even though Big Ben's offensive line let
him down to the tune of 5 sacks and more wear and tear on his battered body.
Cincinnati Bengals -
We will give Dalton and company a pass as they
were bludgeoned in Baltimore but they need to get on track quick
9. Buffalo Bills -
the Bills addressed their defensive weaknesses in the offseason but perhaps we
were very wrong. Despite 28 points, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three picks and left
his defense gasping.
10. Kansas City Chiefs -
stopping the Falcons' Matty Ice and the Chiefs just happened to be the speed
bump in the middle of the test track that was the Atlanta air attack on Sunday.
They will get better.
11. Tennessee Titans -
Johnson could have hit the line of scrimmage and simply fallen forward to improve
upon his anemic 0.4 yards per carry. The Titans were simply outclassed against
New England and became a one dimensional attack when their running game was
Oakland Raiders -
Palmer needs to find a receiver other than his
running back and the Raiders need their long snapper back...in a hurry!
13. Cleveland Browns -
has everything to do with the Browns defense and nothing whatsoever to do with
their putrid offense led by an overwhelmed and bewildered rookie QB named
Brandon Weeden. Still, they almost pulled an upset over a much more skilled
14. Jacksonville Jaguars -
Gabbert has given the Jaguars a reason to believe, and his performance was
almost good enough to beat a lousy team on the road in Minnesota...almost.
15. Indianapolis Colts -
threw for over 300 yards and one touchdown but it was the three interceptions
that people will remember in his debut. Nevertheless, his connection with
veteran Reggie Wayne was evident and there is hope in Indianapolis...just not
16. Miami Dolphins -
news is that the Dolphins lost to a talented Houston Texans team so there is no
shame after their 30-10 shellacking. The bad news is that 1st round
draft pick Ryan Tannehill looked completely lost. He needs time to hold a
clipboard and learn.
With all of these teams in action this weekend, be sure to check back to find all of our free NFL picks for Week 2.