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Week 1 NFL Power Rankings: Bills soar, Patriots and Cowboys miss major opportunities

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NFL Power Rankings Week 1
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen signals during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

The first week of the NFL season has come and gone. While fans can rejoice that football is once again back in all of our lives, there are some fanbases who are already ready to see their season end. 

Major injuries, upsets, and questionable coaching decisions filled the NFL news cycle and frustrated fans and analysts alike. 

With week one in the books, let’s take a look at AM New York’s first NFL Power Rankings of the season after week one.

32. New York Jets

The Jets had some things going for them on Sunday. Defensively, they held Baltimore to just 83 total rushing yards. The issue? Their offense looks awful with Joe Flacco at the helm. The hope is that Zach Wilson can come in and improve the group dramatically because that was an awful start. It’s hard not to see this team as the worst in the NFL. 

31. Atlanta Falcons

I am not high on Atlanta at all. While the team showed some promise against an arch-rival, they also blew a 26-10 lead in the second half. Atlanta just can’t hold onto leads. The good news is that there will be fewer leads to blow this year because of the lack of overall talent. 

30. New England Patriots

The ONLY reason I didn’t put them last is because Bill Belichik has historically been very good at turning bad opening days around (see 2003). This team is very bad on offense though. I don’t even think it’s fair to blame Mac Jones for this because the coaching around him is just as bad. Patriot fans better prepare for a rough season. It’s hard to imagine the Patriots being one of the worst teams in the NFL, but here we are. 

29. Houston Texans

If you’re high on the Colts this year, then opening day came as a shock to you. I, however, think Indy’s team is grossly overrated and has major holes all along the roster. Therefore, I don’t put major stock in Houston tying a game they easily could have lost in overtime if it wasn’t for a failed field goal attempt. 

28. Carolina Panthers

I liked the Baker Mayfield trade going into the season. I still think Carolina can make noise in the NFC. But if there was a game that Baker needed to dominate, it was Sunday, and the quarterback just didn’t do it. Carolina can still be good this year, but Baker will need to play a lot better. 

27. Jacksonville Jaguars

Take a look at the rest of the AFC South and tell me the Jaguars don’t have at least a shot of making a run at the division. Still, blowing a late lead to Carson Wentz and the Commanders wasn’t pretty. The offense is clearly making strides and the front seven is a lot better than people may give them credit for, but this team is still learning how to win. The Jags are on the up and could make noise across the NFL. 

26. Seattle Seahawks

The good: Seattle got revenge on a quarterback that wanted out. The bad: they barely beat a team that fumbled twice at the goalline and couldn’t decide what they wanted to do in the final seconds of an NFL game. Geno Smith gets props for how he played in the first half, but boy was that second half ugly. 

25. Dallas Cowboys

For you NFL history buffs out there, opening day was like the first postgame press conference for Tampa Bay Bucs coach John McKay. The Cowboys were embarrassing on opening night against the Bucs. The defense couldn’t bring down Leonard Fournette and the offensive line was atrocious. Add in the fact that Dak is gone for at least a month with a broken hand and the Cowboys season is already in trouble. 

24. Detroit Lions

Boy did the Lions offense look good Sunday or what? Dan Campbell had Detroit rocking and ready to go in the season opener against Philly. There are some concerns in the secondary, and Jared Goff missed a ton of easy throws, but Detroit is going to be a lot better than people realize in 2022. The Lions are going to be a fun team in the NFL this year. 

23. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts may just be the most overrated team in the NFL this year. Shaq Leonard didn’t play in the opener, but it didn’t stop Davis Mills from carving up a relatively weaker Colts secondary. The Colts also put up over 500 yards of total offense and managed just 20 points. I don’t think this team is as good as people think they’ll be. 

22. New York Giants

It’s truly amazing what good coaching can do to a ballclub. The New York Football Giants got behind early 13-0, and fans were groaning about another lost season. Then the second half adjustments came in and the Giants took it to the Titans of all teams. New York could be higher, but a 46-yard field goal miss is the only thing separating this team from an 0-1 start. The NFL is better when the Giants are playing well and it looks like we’re close to that. 

21. Chicago Bears

Which game was more impressive: the Giants knocking off the Titans, or the Bears stunning the 49ers? In my opinion, the elements made the Bears game even more impressive. It’s easy to see how this team will struggle for the rest of the year, but Matt Eberflus was very impressive in his coaching debut as well. It will be a little bit before the NFL takes Chicago seriously but they are on the right track. 

20. Cleveland Browns

Thanks to Cade York, the Browns held off a late Baker Mayfield run to go 1-0 without Deshaun Watson. If Cleveland stays at, or around .500 by the team Watson is back from his suspension, the Browns cold be very dangerous. It helps when Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are the best backfield tandem in football. 

19. Tennessee Titans

The Titans blew a 13-0 lead, and then missed a makeable field goal for the win in the closing seconds against the Giants. Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill weren’t bad on Sunday, but the lack of talent at receiver and defense was very clear on Sunday. Tennessee has Buffalo next….uh-oh. 

18. Pittsburgh Steelers

How in gods name did Pittsburgh win that game in Cincinnati? The Steelers defense was superb all game: picking off Joe Burrow four times (with five total turnovers) and got some help from a chip-shot miss in overtime. Still, Mitch Trubisky wasn’t bad in the opener and the team was saved from any major season-ending injuries. How the team weathers TJ Watt’s absence will determine how far this team goes.

17. Arizona Cardinals

What a mess. The Cardinals offense without DeAndre Hopkins was out of sync, and the defense was pummeled by Patrick Mahomes. There’s still enough talent on the roster to salvage the season when Hopkins comes back, but that was a very discouraging start from a team that had a tumultuous offseason.

16. Washington Commanders

Carson Wentz’s first go-around back in the NFC East went about as well as one could expect. The quarterback made up for his reckless mistakes by leading a fourth quarter comeback against the Jaguars and the defensive line is still really good. With Dak out, Wentz could be in open competition for the NFC East crown. 

15. Denver

Much will be said about Nathaniel Hackett and Russell Wilson’s antics in the final minutes of Monday night’s contest. Still, the team lost by one point in a game where their runningbacks fumbled not once, but twice at the goalline. Denver will be fine, but them being stuck in a loaded AFC West won’t make it easy.

14. Baltimore Ravens

Nothing much more to say. Baltimore took care of the Jets in pretty quick fashion. They aren’t higher on the list because the team suffered yet another injury to the offensive line. It’s hard to see how far this team can go with players dropping with injuries every week. 

13. Las Vegas

I wasn’t as discouraged on the Raiders performance Sunday as others were. Derek Carr probably won’t have as bad a game, and the Chargers wanted revenge for the Raiders keeping them out of the playoffs last year. This team is still extremely talented and should be a hard out across the NFL. 

12. New Orleans Saints

The Saints averted major disaster with a furious fourth quarter comeback against Atlanta. Jameis Winston played well, but there are still some major doubts on his long-term ability to win in New Orleans. Defensively, this group was torched by a poor Atlanta offense but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt because of opening day. 

11. Green Bay Packers

There’s a new sheriff in the NFC North now. Kevin O’Connell coached circles around Matt LaFleur and the Packers were shellshocked on opening day. Green Bay will be fine because this is what they normally do, but Minnesota is much better than people realize. Aaron Rodgers won’t be cakewalking to another division title.

10. Philadelphia Eagles

As bad as the defense looked, the OL played one of their worst games together in years, and the Eagles still put up over 470 total yards of offense. This team is loaded with talent and should be expected to win the division now that Dak Prescott is out for a month. Philadelphia could be an NFL darling as long as they clean up the defense. 

9. San Francisco 49ers

The Trey Lance era got off to a terrible start in Chicago with horrid weather conditions. Lance will need to play better, but it’s hard to see the 49ers playing many games in those kind of conditions. They’ll be fine as long as Lance takes care of the ball. 

8. Miami Dolphins

As good as Miami’s defense looked against a pathetic Patriots attack, the offense was surprisingly disappointed. The Dolphins put up just 13 points on offense, with the running game being shut down. It’s hard to see that continue throughout the NFL season. Miami will be very dangerous this year. 

7. Cincinnati Bengals

How many times will we see Joe Burro look that bad this season? The Bengals were expected to be much improved after the overhaul of their OL, but that group took a beating against Pittsburgh. Burrow won’t play that bad again, and they have a winnable game against Dallas coming up. The Bengals should be back in the NFL playoffs this year. 

6. Minnesota Vikings

There wasn’t an NFL team that looked more impressive than the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Cousins looked to be in complete control, Justin Jefferson is a superstar, and the defense is a lot better than people realize. The Vikings could conceivably go 5-0 to start their season with their schedule.

5. LA Rams

There aren’t many defending Super Bowl champs that not only get their butts whooped on opening night, but need a hard count to combat the opposing fanbase. The Rams have some serious problems with their offensive line, but it shouldn’t keep them from winning the west again. They’ll be fine as the NFL season continues.

 4. Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers are loaded, and are sick of losing one-score games. Justin Herbert might just be in the running for the best quarterback in football, and the pass rush is one of the best in team history. Thursday night against the Chiefs will be an absolute treat. The NFL clearly knows what it’s doing with their schedule. 

3. Tampa Bay Bucs

The Bucs put up only 19 points but moved the ball up and down the field Sunday night in Dallas. Julio Jones looks three years younger, and the defense is still full of talent. With LA, and Green Bay having hiccups on opening day, the Bucs take the crown of best in the NFC to start. 

2. Buffalo Bills

It’s hard to say the Bills did anything wrong on Thursday with their blowout win in Los Angeles. Josh Allen was excellent, but one has to worry about the amount of his he’ll get this season. Regardless, Von Miller has this defense primed and ready to go. They dominated a Rams offense without Tre’Davious White as well. Goodluck to the poor NFL souls that have Buffalo on their schedule. 

1. Kansas City Chiefs

Any thoughts of Patrick Mahomes taking a step back without Tyreek Hill were quickly shut down on Sunday. The Chiefs blew out a talented Cardinals team on the road, and Mahomes was as lethal as we’ve ever seen him. A Chiefs/Bills conference title is what this season could be leading to. The Chiefs aren’t going away as an NFL power. 

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