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2010 NFL Power Rankings: Week 1 - Top 10
Green Bay Packers (1-0) - Previously: #2 - Forum member Tango asked, "Hey Walt, no word about how awesome Clay Matthews was yesterday?" after reading my 2010 NFL Week 1 Game Recaps.
My bad. Matthews was incredible, He terrorized Philadelphia's offensive line and quarterbacks all afternoon. Matthews can't be blocked. In fact, he's so awesome that he's the reason that the continents are separated. Matthews can win a staring contest while blinking. And while kids sometimes go to sleep with teddy bears, Matthews sleeps with an actual bear. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Baltimore Ravens (1-0) - Previously: #3 - The Ravens-Jets game was one of blown opportunities and dumb errors. Baltimore saw Joe Flacco fumble to give the Jets a gift field goal on the first drive of the game. Willis McGahee then fumbled inside New York's 20-yard line at the end of a 9-minute drive. Todd Heap dropped a touchdown that fell right out of his hands. And Flacco later tossed a pick deep in New York territory.
The Jets meanwhile, committed 14 penalties, most of which seemed to come at the worst possible times. For instance, they were guilty of a defensive holding on a 3rd-and-28 that gave Baltimore a first down. Why Kyle Wilson felt like he needed to grab T.J. Houshmandzadeh on a 10-yard pattern is beyond me.
The Jets offense set the game of football back to the days of Doug Pederson. Mark Sanchez went 10-of-21 for 74 yards, refusing to look downfield at all. New York had just six first downs, and converted only 1-of-11 third downs (Baltimore was 11-of-19). The Jets were outgained in yardage (282-176) and lost the time-of-possession battle by 18 minutes.
And what the hell happened to Shonn Greene? Greene, who had an incredible playoff run, had just five carries for 21 yards. He fumbled twice and seemed to take a backseat to LaDainian Tomlinson, who looked pretty solid. Greene reentered the game late in the fourth quarter and dropped a pass. His fantasy owners cannot be happy right now.
New Orleans Saints (1-0) - Previously: #4 - The Saints are so tough that Minnesota's 330-pound left tackle had to be carted off the field with a finger injury.
Seriously, what the hell was that? How much of a wuss is Bryant McKinnie? "Wahhhh my finger hurts I need someone to carry me off the field waahhhh!!!"
Houston Texans (1-0) - Previously: #5 - Damn you, Tom Jackson! I thought I made a ballsy prediction when I had the Texans advancing to the AFC Championship in my 2010 NFL Season Previews. Jackson one-upped me, picking Houston to go to the Super Bowl.
Jackson is an awesome NFL analyst (a rarity on ESPN). It really is a shame that ESPN ruined NFL Primetime with Trey Wingo, Merril Hoge and Herm Edwards. Seriously, if they show one more highlight reel out of sequence, I'm going to have an aneurysm.
New England Patriots (1-0) - Previously: #7 - Hmm... maybe everyone shouldn't have doubted Bill Belichick's ability to coach up a bunch of "scrubs." The Patriots were very impressive against the Bengals. They'd be higher in my power rankings, but Tom Brady's new hairdo really annoys me.
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) - Previously: #9 - I can't wait to see what this Steelers team looks like when Ben Roethlisberger comes back. The defense looked pissed against the Falcons. It was almost as if some big, drunk dude forced them into the bathroom and did naughty things with them.
Indianapolis Colts (0-1) - Previously: #1 - It really amazes me that teams go into the season thinking they can get away with having crap offensive lines. The Bills, Lions and Eagles did this, but you'd expect organizations of that ilk to make that type of a silly mistake. But the Colts? What happened, oh, great Bill Polian?
Polian had Rodger Saffold sitting there at No. 31. He passed up on Saffold, a franchise left tackle who is already doing a good job protecting Sam Bradford's blind side. Peyton Manning paid for Polian's huge error, as he was hit on nearly every play in the Texans game.
Dallas Cowboys (0-1) - Previously: #8 - Is anyone actually surprised that the Cowboys just lost like they did? They always lose like this. This is what happens when you have a confused baffoon patrolling your sidelines.
By the way, great text from Awesome Kelly in Arizona during the Redskins-Cowboys game: "Wade Phillips' turkey neck is going to have an aneurysm or lay some eggs."
San Diego Chargers (0-1) - Previously: #6 - I don't know what the Chiefs did to Arrowhead, but that place is a madhouse. I had a headache after the game, so I can't even imagine what Philip Rivers went through.
I wish I could say that I love the direction the Chiefs are heading. They have so many explosive players capable of scoring at any instant. Their defense is a billion times better with Romeo Crennel calling the shots. And they finally look like they have a homefield advantage again.
Unfortunately, it all doesn't matter because Matt Cassel sucks. Cassel went just 10-of-22 for 68 yards and a touchdown. He didn't make any mistakes, but he couldn't move the chains either. The Chiefs were out-gained by nearly 200 yards, and if you take away Jamaal Charles' long run, they gained just 145 total yards of offense. Kansas City was able to win this game based solely on special teams, Ryan Mathews' fumble and Charles' 56-yard touchdown.
A funny and apt post by forum member Chief Tyler:
Chiefs game plan for success:
1. Stop the run.
2. Keep the ball out of Matt Cassel's hands as much as possible.
3. Pray for rain.
As for the Chargers, different year, same story. They always suck in September, improve in October, and get hot in November and December before choking in January. It'll still be an enormous upset if they don't win the division. Their special teams coach should be fired, however. That was completely embarrassing.
Tennessee Titans (1-0) - Previously: #12 - Hard to tell if Tennessee's defensive line is that good, or if Oakland's offensive line is that bad. Perhaps both?
Chris Johnson is an awesome player, by the way, but the Titans really need to invest in a translator for him. I honestly couldn't understand a single word he said in his post-game press conference. It sounded like, "w8rg r hgwire 0f8 hwrg th nthqw 97gr hgo35." It's almost as if Johnson took speech lessons from Shannon Sharpe while growing up.
2010 NFL Power Rankings: Week 1 - Bottom 10
32. Buffalo Bills (0-1) - Previously: #32 - Consider the following sequence of events:
- The Bills had Trent Edwards at quarterback and nothing at offensive tackle. They refused to upgrade either position this offseason.
- General manager Buddy Nix spent the No. 9 overall pick on one of the few positions the Bills didn't need to address.
- Despite the high pick of C.J. Spiller, Buffalo ran the ball just 14 times compared to 39 passes in the season opener against the Dolphins.
How does that make any sense? If you spend a high pick on a running back, why not use him? Why keep passing with your inept quarterback, who was 4-of-7 for 8 yards at one point in the game? And by the way, I find it hilarious that a day after posting a parody of the Bills in which Heath Shuler was 30-of-30 for 30 yards in Chan Gailey's offense, Edwards went out and nearly duplicated that feat.
31. St. Louis Rams (0-1) - Previously: #31 - Did Mark Clayton really catch 10 passes? Now you see why I have the Rams selecting A.J. Green in my 2011 NFL Mock Draft.
By the way, I'm pretty upset that I wasn't able to fit the entire NFC West in my bottom 10. It was close, but there were just two too many other crappy teams. It's too bad that the Rams will be good in 2011, because I'd recommend the NFL and college football collaborating in an NFC West-SEC swap. I'd love to see that.
30. Cleveland Browns (0-1) - Previously: #25 - I guess Jake Delhomme's son is on a milk carton again.
Time for Notes from NFL.com GameCenter - a list of a few stupid comments I read on NFL.com's new crappy GameCenter and my thoughts on them:
1. "jets suk ..DOLPHINS RULE all ACF EAST...."
I suppose "ACF" stands for "American Conference of Footballs." I didn't do a preview of that division this offseason. My bad.
2. "J-E-T-S smell, smell, smell!!!"
Zing! This GameCenter poster will be here all week - probably because he has no life.
3. "it would not matter if the browns had tom brady and chris johnson the way they coach they would still be losing!!!!!!"
This was actually a grammatically correct sentence; I just wanted to point out that this gentleman will not be invited to Eric Mangini's next sleepover.
29. Oakland Raiders (0-1) - Previously: #22 - Ah, remember the good old days of last week when everyone thought the Raiders would be solid this year? Good times.
More Notes from NFL.com GameCenter:
1. "the madden curse who made that up its stuipd"
Apparently, you may have done that.
2. "lol field goal so week they cant score a td"
As opposed to field goal so day or so month.
3. "OMG I dont care if it the 3rd strong guys ... will the Cowboys PLEASE score TD this year ... our only Td is from the defense lol!!"
Too bad the first and second strong guys are unavailable.
28. Detroit Lions (0-1) - Previously: #17 - I can't believe how stupid NFL officiating is. Calvin Johnson's game-winning touchdown was ruled incomplete because there apparently was no second action. Really? Johnson grabbed the ball. One foot came down. That's one action. A second foot came action. That's two actions. His first foot came down again. That's three actions. His knee hit the ground. That's four actions. What the hell are these clowns talking about? No second action? Maybe there was only one action - if they're referring to the official placing a bet on the Bears moneyline.
And don't get me started on Matthew Stafford's inept pass protection. NFL organizations take note: If you lie to your fans about your inept left tackle, that magically won't make him any good.
I'm pretty pissed because I had the Lions winning nine games this year. I thought this would be the season that Detroit would finally be able to cheer on a winner. That obviously won't happen now with Stafford out for a while.
27. Denver Broncos (0-1) - Previously: #23 - Everyone makes mistakes in the prediction business. But on this play, Tim Tebow eclipsed the ESPN Fantasy Magazine's 2010 statistical projections for him:
(13:49) DB15 at QB (Shotgun) T.Tebow up the middle to JAC 40 for 1 yard (T.Alualu).
That's right! Tebow's one rushing yard was one more rushing yard than ESPN had him getting this season. You can view the other blunders that ESPN's 2010 Fantasy Magazine made here.
26. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) - Previously: #30 - I'm not buying a team that won because of a long run, fumble and punt return. There's more on this above in the San Diego capsule, so here's an interview I conducted with Darrelle Revis:
ME: Hey Darrelle, thanks for joining me.
ME: I guess you didn't hear me. Hey Darrelle, thanks for joining me.
ME: Oh, my bad. I forgot that you wanted to be my highest-paid interview guest ever. Here's five bucks.
REVIS: "I appreciate it Walt. Great to be here."
ME: You shut down numerous elite receivers last year. Did you work on anything this offseason to improve your coverage skills even further?
REVIS: "Hold on a second, I'm going to need five more dollars after the next two times you open your mouth. I won't speak until I get my five bucks."
ME: What? Didn't I just pay you?
REVIS: "One more time."
ME: You can't be serious.
ME: Ugh. Fine. Here's five more bucks.
REVIS: "Great! What do you want to talk about?"
ME: How about answering my previous question?
REVIS: "I hate to interrupt you again, but you have two more sentences until you have to pay me five more dollars."
ME: But I just gave you five bucks!
REVIS: "One more."
ME: Dude, you're a douche.
ME: Screw you, Darrelle.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) - Previously: #28 - I've received several angry e-mail from Jaguars fans, all sounding like this: "RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE, YOU SAID THE STANDS IN THE JAGUARS GAME WAS EMPTY BUT IT WAS A SELLOUT, YOUR AN IDIOT LOZ YOU PROBZ DINT EVAN WATCH THE GAME RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!!!"
I did watch the game. And the seats were empty. The stadium was at less than half capacity - even before the lightning delay. Now, two things may have happened here. First, as forum member SilentJaguar pointed out, many fans may have been at the concession stands because it was the hottest game in Jacksonville history. Or second, owner Wayne Weaver may have bought all the seats to keep his franchise from losing another $144 million in value this year.
If it's the second scenario, I have to say that I'm very disappointed in Weaver's effort. He could have placed cardboard cutouts in the stands to at least make it look like his stadium was full.
24. Chicago Bears (1-0) - Previously: #27 - Can't we just pretend the Bears lost? Forget that stupid incompletion miscall on Calvin Johnson - how about that ridiculous decision to go for it on 4th-and-goal down one point with nine minutes remaining? What was the thought process there? "Hmm... I need an extra point-type field goal to win, but that's way too risky because my kicker could miss it. Let me go for the touchdown instead!" I seriously don't understand how a coach not named Wade Phillips or Andy Reid could have screwed that up.
23. Arizona Cardinals (1-0) - Previously: #26 - I had a tough time deciding the order of Arizona, Seattle and San Francisco. I decided to rank the Cardinals behind the other two because Derek Anderson played like he downed eight beers before the Rams game.
And speaking of the NFC West, I received several e-mails from Seahawk fans telling me how stupid I was for picking the 49ers to win 31-3. There was even a thread dedicated to this on the forum. I liked forum member Steelers_Pens_Fans's retort to this:
You beat Alex Smith. What's next? A thread telling us how you beat Glass Joe in Punchout?
2010 NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. Washington Redskins (1-0). Previously: #14
12. New York Giants (1-0). Previously: #19
13. Minnesota Vikings (0-1). Previously: #13
14. Atlanta Falcons (0-1). Previously: #15
15. Miami Dolphins (1-0). Previously: #10
16. New York Jets (0-1). Previously: #16
17. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1). Previously: #11
18. Philadelphia Eagles (0-1). Previously: #18
19. Carolina Panthers (0-1). Previously: #21
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0). Previously: #24
21. Seattle Seahawks (1-0). Previously: #29
22. San Francisco 49ers (0-1). Previously: #20
Run Defenses, Pass Defense, Pass Protection:
Something new this year - I'm keeping track of precise run defense, pass defense and pass protection rankings in Excel. The benefit to this is that it'll be broken down by week. Here are the download links: