2011 NFL Power Rankings (After Week 1)
Ranking the NFL teams from No. 1 to No. 32 is never an easy task, but here at Bang the Book, we’re keying in on all 32 teams in NFL betting action this year. Check out how the teams rank after Week 1 of the season!
1: Green Bay Packers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 1) – The Pack are clearly the best team in the league, and though they really had to hold on tight to knock off the Saints, there is no way that we can deny how good they are. QB Aaron Rodgers is off to a fantastic start, and WR Randall Cobb made a heck of a debut for a rookie with two TDs.
2: New England Patriots (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 2) – Holy moly! Throwing for over 500 yards is remarkable in a game, even if your name really is QB Tom Brady. Everything is clicking right now for New England, but there is definitely a problem with this defense, which allowed over 400 passing yards to QB Chad Henne.
3: Philadelphia Eagles (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 4) – QB Michael Vick didn’t have all that great of a game last week against the Rams, but RB LeSean McCoy did. It is clear that even if Vick is down, there are enough weapons on this team that can make people pay. Don’t believe us? Just ask QB Sam Bradford how much he liked going against this potent secondary. The Eagles are definitely capable of being the best team in football.
4: Baltimore Ravens (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 6) – There wasn’t a team that put forth a better effort in Week 1 in a big, big game than Baltimore. The Ravens forced seven turnovers against their hated rivals, and RB Ray Rice accounted for right around 150 total yards and two TDs against a team that only allowed 60 rushing yards per game a season ago.
5: Houston Texans (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 10) – The Texans absolutely beat the snot out of Indy last week, and there is no doubt that they are going to be considered the cream of the crop this season in the AFC South. There is still a question as to whether RB Arian Foster is going to be coming back to the lineup soon, but will it matter? RB Ben Tate looked great in his debut in front of the Reliant Stadium faithful last week, running for over 100 yards and a score against the Colts.
6: Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 3) – We’re going to leave Pittsburgh as the top losing team in the game this year, though we are definitely asking a lot of questions after this team got absolutely slaughtered. The Steelers clearly aren’t as good as Baltimore is right now, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t one of the best 10 teams in the game.
7: New York Jets (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 9) – Sure, New York had no business beating the Cowboys last week, but it was good enough to pick up a win when it really mattered. The Jets just have a knack of making plays, and they did what they needed to do. QB Mark Sanchez did throw for over 300 yards last week, and that’s definitely something worth noting going forward against a rock solid Dallas defense.
8: New Orleans Saints (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 7) – It’s hard to really punish the Saints after going on the road and coming up just short against the defending champs on banner raising night in one of the most hallowed stadiums in all of sports. QB Drew Brees threw for over 400 yards, but this defense struggled and struggled mightily. If the running game can’t slow down things for opposing offenses, there will be a similar struggle all season long against virtually everyone they play against.
9: Chicago Bears (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 15) – Did we all totally miss the mark on the Bears this year? They sure looked fantastic against the Falcons in Week 1, and QB Jay Cutler definitely looked a lot like the quarterback that Chicago thought it was getting, and not the one that he turned out to be in the second half of the season and in the playoffs. This defense is fantastic and always has been, but if Cutler can just be average, the Bears are going to be in awesome shape.
10: Atlanta Falcons (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 5) – Uh-oh, Atlanta. The Falcons looked terrible against Chicago, and the one score that they had came via the defense, which had its own problems against a relatively questionable offense. QB Matt Ryan needs to get the ball up the field more to WRs Roddy White and Julio Jones to open up more lanes for the electric RB Michael Turner, and if he doesn’t, the Falcons won’t win anywhere near enough games to win the AFC South.
11: San Diego Chargers (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 13) – We’re still just not all that impressed with the Chargers this year. Though the offense did put up some impressive yardage totals against the Vikings, the fact remains that the chances were there to score a ton of points, and only mustering a seven point win just doesn’t seem right. QB Philip Rivers can’t make mistakes like he did against Minnesota if he wants to beat the best teams in the league, something that will likely be found out this week against the Pats.
12: Dallas Cowboys (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 8) – QB Tony Romo is fantastic for three quarters of seemingly every game, but when it’s crunch time, he has been labeled as a choke artist. Still, the fact that Dallas was good enough to beat the Jets on the road, on 9/11, in the Big Apple, with all of the emotions of the start of the season running rampant, we have no choice but to remain impressed. We figure that this team will be back in the Top 10 once again soon even though most don’t have it anywhere near ranked this high.
13: Detroit Lions (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 17) – QB Matt Stafford, RB Jahvid Best, and WR Calvin Johnson really put together some fantastic showings last week against the Bucs, and the end result was a whopping 27 points put on the board. Are there still some questions defensively on this team? Sure. We won’t deny that. However, Detroit looks very, very good right now, and earning a playoff spot isn’t out of the question if the crew can stay healthy.
14: Oakland Raiders (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 19) – When the Raiders introduce their team at home for the first time, they really should introduce K Sebastian Janikowski last. The offense did well against a suspect Denver defense last week, but the highlight of the entire game was an NFL record tying 63 yard field goal by Sea Bass. The footnote of the game though, is that Oakland won its eighth straight divisional showdown, a very, very impressive mark no matter who you are in this league.
15: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 11) – It was a nice fight back by the Bucs last week, but they just weren’t the better team on the field against the Lions. They need to establish the run more this year, as six carries for RB LeGarrette Blount isn’t going to cut it, especially since he is the primary back in the backfield. This week’s clash against Minnesota should provide some more holes for the backs.
16: Washington Redskins (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 30) – The biggest gainers in our eyes this week are the Redskins, who we probably had undervalued at 30, but have overvalued now at 16. QB Rex Grossman was awfully impressive against the G-Men, but we have to temper our excitement, knowing that this was a secondary that was absolutely beaten to shreds by injuries before the season ever got started.
17: New York Giants (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 14) – We still believe that the Giants have the ability to make the playoffs, but what we might have found out last week is that the Redskins do as well. This team needs to get healthy, and in a hurry, or it is going to be a long, long start to what could be the final season for Head Coach Tom Coughlin. QB Eli Manning has his work cut out for him this year.
18: Buffalo Bills (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 31) – QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for four TDs, and it looked like LB Shawne Merriman found the Fountain of Youth out there in Kansas City last week. Simply put, everything worked for Buffalo, and it really had a fantastic start to the season with the 41-7 result. Can things keep going for the Bills? We’re not optimistic, but we now are fairly confident that this isn’t one of the worst teams in the league.
19: St. Louis Rams (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 18) – When you lose RB Steven Jackson, QB Sam Bradford, and WR Danny Amendola in a span of a couple hours of one another due to injury, you know that you’re not having a good day. We still believe that, when everyone gets healthy, the Rams are going to have a team to compete with in the postseason, and that being said, we don’t want to punish them too much even though they were beaten soundly by a tremendous ball club.
20: Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 23) – Just by default, we have to move the Jags up just a bit this week since they did prove to be victorious. Their defense looked great… The offense… not so much. And of course, there’s the big question whether it was good defense by Head Coach Jack Del Rio’s club, or whether it was just that bad of an offense on the other side of the field that came into Ever Bank Field.
21: Arizona Cardinals (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 25) – We really have the same situation here with the Cards that we did with the Jags. These teams aren’t that good, but they did find ways to win games, albeit it against terrible teams, and they looked a heck of a lot better than some of the garbage below them. Don’t confuse Arizona as a playoff team this year, though. If you’re allowing over 400 passing yards to QB Cam Newton, you’ve got some issues.
22: San Francisco 49ers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 27) – Thanks to WR Ted Ginn Jr. and his two special teams touchdowns, the 49ers rejoiced in victory in the first week of the season. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh and company have some real work to do this week at home though, as the Cowboys aren’t going to be pushovers like the Seahawks truly were. This is a totally different type of challenge.
23: Carolina Panthers (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 28) – Give it up for the Panthers in Week 1! Sure, they were beaten by an Arizona team that is truthfully probably one of the worst in the league, but QB Cam Newton was absolutely brilliant in his first game of his career, accounting for over 430 yards of offense and three TDs. He couldn’t quite get the win, but it was definitely a step in the right direction for a team that hasn’t had a lot to look forward to in the recent past.
24: Minnesota Vikings (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 21) – QB Donovan McNabb isn’t going to be winning games with his arm this year, apparently. He only threw the ball 15 times against the Chargers last week on the road, and though WR Percy Harvin proved to be explosive in the return game, he and RB Adrian Peterson can’t carry this team to victories by themselves. They need some help, and the defense couldn’t have done any more than it did last week against a high power San Diego offense.
25: Kansas City Chiefs (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 16) – Kansas City is lucky to just be ranked here this week after the stinker that it put up against Buffalo at home. RB Jamaal Charles looked alright, and WR/RB Dexter McCluster does look like he is going to be an exciting ball player after all, but when push comes to shove, QB Matt Cassel just has to be better. We sure hope that this was a matter of his lingering injury and not a real problem in the future, of the Chiefs are dead in the water.
26: Seattle Seahawks (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 22) – Think the Seahawks are going to be doing some work this week on special teams? It wasn’t the much maligned defense that really let them down last week, nor was it an offense that was playing without WR Sidney Rice. The special teams allowed not just one, but two scores in a row after the offense clawed back to within two of the Niners, and that just can’t happen in the NFL at this level.
27: Cleveland Browns (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 20) – So much for all that hope in the Dawg Pound this year… Cleveland knows that it has a lot of work to do after not proving that it was good enough to just spank the Bengals last week. Losing to arguably the worst team in the league just isn’t going to cut it, especially knowing that QB Colt McCoy, in a West Coast offense in which he checks down more often than he does anything else, was only completing 19-of-40 pass attempts.
28: Miami Dolphins (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 26) – The Dolphins thought that their problems were going to be offensively this season, but after watching QB Chad Henne account for over 450 total yards of offense, it’s hard to place any blame on his shoulders. The defense, though… What gives with allowing over 600 yards? It’s not like you’re the East Carolina defense trying to stop the Oregon offense out there. C’mon guys. New England is good. Not that good.
29: Denver Broncos (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 24) – Head Coach John Fox might be wondering why on earth he took this job after Monday Night Football. Apparently, all he is going to hear in home games are chants of “Te-bow!” We know that the Florida Gator isn’t getting into the lineup barring some injuries, save for some individually crafted moments in games, but Fox has to be getting tired of hearing it. It’s bad enough he’s trying to rebuild a team that was a train wreck. He doesn’t need the fans against him, too.
30: Tennessee Titans (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 29) – Dear Matt Hasselbeck: Retire already. Hasselbeck just looked terrible in his debut with the Titans. Don’t let those numbers fool you. He basically shot-putted a ball a few feet down the field that WR Kenny Britt happened to take for 80 yards and a TD to bolster those stats. Tennessee’s offense was just nowhere to be found whatsoever against Jacksonville, and that isn’t nearly going to be as hard of a task as Baltimore will be this week.
31: Cincinnati Bengals (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) (LW: 32) – We just refuse to move the Bengals any higher than this. They’re still just not that good, even if they were capable of going on the road and beating the Browns. QB Andy Dalton’s wrist is going to be analyzed quite a bit over the rest of the week to see whether he can give it a go this week. It’s not like QB Bruce Gradkowski was anything special in Dalton’s absence last week.
32: Indianapolis Colts (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) (LW: 12) – The truth of the matter is that the Colts probably are the worst team in the NFL right now. Want some proof? Just look at the fact that the oddsmakers have lined them as home underdogs against a Cleveland team that was just beaten by the team that we had ranked dead last in the league before the start of the season.
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