NFL power rankings: a week late, but a week wiser

I'd like to say I planned on running my monthly NFL power rankings a week into the season. Honestly, it just slipped my mind.

It works out nicely, though, because I now have a small body of work on which to base my raving, ranting and ranking. And after an interesting first week of football, I've already changed my mind about a few teams.


1. Saints (preseason ranking — 1): The champs started their title defense with another win over the Vikings. Speaking of defense, the Saints' 'D' might be better than it was a year ago.

2. Patriots (13): The Patriots scored touchdowns in all three phases of the game while dismissing the Bengals, and Wes Welker (two TDs) sure looked like Wes Welker to me.


3. Ravens (5): It wasn't pretty, but that's OK. The "Monday Night Football" win over the Jets showed America the difference between title contenders and boisterous wannabe pretenders. Now the Ravens have to avoid a letdown against the Bengals.

4. Packers (6): The Packers barely held off a late charge from Mike Vick and the Eagles, and injuries are now a bigger concern than the defense. Unheralded RB Ryan Grant is out for the season.

5. Giants (16): In forcing five turnovers and piling up four sacks against the Panthers, the Giants defense looked pretty nasty.

6. Texans (12): Arian Foster and the Texans made the biggest statement in Week 1, rumbling over their AFC South nemeses from Indianapolis thanks to Foster's three rushing TDs.

7. Steelers (15): The Pittsburgh defense was excellent against the Falcons — so good that I wouldn't be surprised if the Steelers, sans Big Ben, are 3-0 when the Ravens visit the 'Burgh in Week 4.

8. Titans (17): If Chris Johnson can stay healthy and Vince Young can continue to play like he did Sunday against the Raiders, the Titans will be playoff-bound.

9. Dolphins (11): The Dolphins dominated the Bills, which isn't very impressive. We'll see how they fare at Minnesota on Sunday.

10. Colts (3): I was stunned the Texans smacked around the Colts' front seven like that, but I still say Indy takes the division.

11. Vikings (2): The Vikings will only go as far Brett Favre can carry them, and 52 guys are pretty tough to lug on a bum ankle.

12. Redskins (20): I'm still trying to figure out how the 'Skins did it, beating the Cowboys like that without an offensive TD.

13. Jets (7): The Miami Heat of the NFL, eh? Not without a decent quarterback, they're not. Mark Sanchez won't cut it.

14. Seahawks (24): Pete Carroll is jacked and pumped after his Seahawks whooped up on the 49ers, the NFC West favorites.

15. Cowboys (4): If the Cowboys do the smart thing and take a knee at the end of the first half, they're 1-0 right now.

16. Falcons (10): They played decently well against the Steelers — except for allowing Dennis Dixon to throw for 236 yards.

17. Lions (25): The refs didn't screw over Calvin Johnson and the Lions. The football gods did. That's a tough way to lose a game.

18. Bengals (8): Cincy was eerily silent after the Bengals got worked by the Patriots, but the chatter is starting to pick up heading into Sunday's AFC North showdown against the Ravens.

19. Chiefs (26): The Chiefs were 1-of-11 on third down against the Chargers and lost the time-of-possession battle by 15 minutes...

20. Chargers (9): So how exactly did San Diego lose this one?

21. Bears (19): Mike Martz is back. Chicago racked up 463 yards of total offense against the Lions.

22. Eagles (18): Give the keys to Vick, Andy Reid. Please. The football world misses the Michael Vick Experience.

23. Panthers (23): Who's ready for the Jimmy Clausen era?

24. Jaguars (27): Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jags are a decent team, but they're overmatched in the AFC South.

25. 49ers (14): Too soon for the 49ers to panic? After that dud against the Seahawks, they host Drew Brees and the Saints.

26. Cardinals (21): Arizona lost too much talent — namely Kurt Warner and Karlos Dansby — to seriously compete in 2010.

27.  Buccaneers (31): I like what the Bucs are building down in Tampa Bay. They hit a home run in April's draft.

28. Raiders (22): Well, so much for the Raiders not being the Raiders this season.

29. Broncos (28): The Broncos' talent has been depleted by injuries and questionable roster moves. But hey, Tim Tebow!

30. Bills (29): With that terrible offensive line, the Bills hardly tried to run the ball against the Dolphins in a tight loss.

31. Rams (32): How about Mark Clayton? The Ravens castoff had a career-high 10 catches for 119 yards in a Week 1 loss.

32. Browns (30): The Browns lost to the Bucs in a battle of NFL cupcakes, one of a few winnable games on the Brownies' schedule.