We start anew with our third season of Power Rankings here on NFL Gridiron Gab. There were a lot of great stories in week one, so without further hesitation, let’s get to our first set of power rankings for the 08 season.
NFC Top 5
1. Dallas – An impressive showing against a team that lost just one home game in 2007. The Cowboys put up nearly 500 yards of offense, and held what many feel is a very good Browns offense in check. Their matchup with the Eagles this week is going to be very interesting.
2. NY Giants – Give some props to the champs, who came out swinging against the Skins on Thursday night in the opener. Brandon Jacobs looks like he’s going to have a big year, and while he wasn’t spectacular, Eli Manning did a good job making some big throws and keeping the Skins D on their toes.
3. Green Bay – I like the moxie this team showed during their Monday night 24-19 win over the Vikings. Putting all the Favre and other distractions behind them, the Pack showed us they are still a good team. Aaron Rodgers also did a good job shutting some people up as well.
4. Philadelphia – They looked about as good Sunday as at any point in 07. Donovan McNabb wants to use this season as a message to everyone that said he was washed up. Even without their top wide outs, they made it look easy against an overmatched Rams team at home.
5. Chicago – Most expected little from the Bears this season, but they are out to prove the critics wrong, and did so with an impressive road win against a very flat Colts team. Kyle Orton protected the ball, and Matt Forte looked like the real deal. No doubt they may be better than we all thought.
NFC Bottom 3
1. St.Louis – They were simply overwhelmed by the Eagles and as bad as they played Sunday, this team cannot be this bad – can they? There is a lot of heat today on the coaching staff and front office for the lack of effort shown, and things don’t look like they will get much better at home Sunday vs the Champion Giants.
2. Detroit – After a 4-0 preseason, the Lions laid a big-time egg on Sunday in Atlanta against the rebuilding Falcons. Their run defense was gashed by Michael Turner, and rookie QB Matt Ryan was able to even make some big throws against the secondary, which played well in the preseason. Seems like the same old Lions.
3. San Francisco – This team has owned the Cardinals over the past few years, but this year on opening day Arizona finally had their number. J.T. O’Sullivan didn’t play bad, but they were unable to take advantage of a solid day of offense, and allowed the Cards defense to shut the door on them too often.
AFC Top 5
1. New England – This very well may be the final time we see the Pats in the top spot in 08, as the injury to Tom Brady has basically ruined their season by most accounts. Sure they are going to feel they still have a chance to compete, but don’t kid yourself, this team is going to be hard pressed to even make the playoffs at this point.
2. Pittsburgh – There will be plenty of talk about the best team in the AFC with the Pats hurting, and this group may be the number one choice. They dominated the Texans, a team many felt was going to be better in 08. Willie Parker looks back to form, and Big Ben was sharp in missing just one pass all day. A key game in Cleveland Sunday night.
3. NY Jets – Two words – Brett Favre. The crafty vet looked poised and under control in his first start as a Jet, and while the O-line did allow some pressure on him, he was able to make some plays and earn a win in Miami. They have to be licking their chops at the thought of Brady being done for the year, and sights set on being a real contender in the AFC.
4. Denver – On the road Monday night they crushed their rivals the Raiders. Jay Cutler was on the money even without top WR Brandon Marshall, and the defense put their foot down early and often on the sluggish Raiders offense. This team looks like a team that can challenge in the AFC West and play with anyone.
5. Buffalo – At home vs Seattle the Bills were impressive, scoring on a punt return and a fake field goal in a 34-10 win. The defense didn’t allow Matt Hasselbeck and the Hawks west coast offense to get going, and they stuffed the run and made Seattle rely way too much on the pass, which in the end cost them. They are another team thinking East title with Brady done.
AFC Bottom 3
1. Oakland – This team should stop opening up on Monday night, as they are just awful in these outings. Vs the Broncos, they did have some success running the ball and JaMarcus Russell showed signs of life, but the defense was dominated. They are a work in progress, and bad news Raiders fans – looks like another 4-6 win season.
2. Cincinnati – 99 yards passing for Carson Palmer?! Are you kidding me?! The Bengals are truly back to being the “Bungles” in my eyes after this lackluster outing vs rookie Joe Flacco and the Ravens Sunday. 23:45 time of possession and 154 yards on offense isn’t going to win any Sunday, much less against a much more motivated division rival. Marvin Lewis has got to start being talked about as being on the hot seat.
3. Kansas City – Give the Chiefs credit for hanging with the AFC Champion Pats, but they really could have scored a huge win down 7 and 1st and goal and unable to score in the last minute. Brodie Croyle is already hurt, and while Larry Johnson looked better, they have a long way to go. The good news – a home game vs Oakland this Sunday.