The first week of the regular season is in the books. As always, we had some teams that looked as good or as bad as expected, a few which surprised one way or the other, and several question marks for whom opinion will undoubtedly change as the season moves along.
Let’s take a look at where all 32 teams stack up in comparison to each other after one week of play.
1. Philadelphia Eagles, 1-0
It wasn’t always pretty, but the Super Bowl champs were able to hang on to the top spot after a Thursday night win over the Atlanta Falcons. The offense looked out of sync through the preseason, and that has carried over now that the games count. The defense looks primed for another deep playoff run.
2. New England Patriots, 1-0
The defending AFC champions took down the Houston Texans by a score of 27-20 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score suggested. Next up is a road game against a Jacksonville Jaguars squad that gave the Patriots all they could handle in last year’s conference title game.
3. Minnesota Vikings, 1-0
New signal caller Kirk Cousins looked awfully comfortable in purple. Cousins is already showing solid rapport with the plethora of weapons at his disposal, and that’s only going to improve as the season moves along. That’s a scary thought for the rest of the NFC to have to process.
4. Los Angeles Rams, 1-0
A popular Super Bowl pick in the offseason, the Rams lived up to the hype with a Monday night shellacking of the Oakland Raiders. The club hits the road to take on the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. The schedule gets much tougher from that point, so it may take a few weeks to get a true sense of where the Rams stand.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-0
While it wasn’t the most impressive of victories, the Jaguars got the job done with a road win over the New York Giants. They welcome the Patriots to town on Sunday for an AFC title game rematch. It’s an early season benchmark game which will give us a good idea of the trajectory for both squads in 2018.
6. Kansas City Chiefs, 1-0
Rookie Patrick Mahomes looked as good as advertised as the Chiefs dropped 38 points on the Los Angeles Chargers. Four touchdown passes makes for a solid debut under any circumstances, but it’s particularly impressive against a rival that was believed to be the class of the division. For one week at least, the Chiefs offense looks to be at a different level with Mahomes at the helm.
7. Green Bay Packers, 1-0
A hobbled Aaron Rodgers completed a comeback for the ages with three TDs in the final quarter of play. Lost in the shuffle of Rodgers’ mesmerizing performance was that the Packers were down that big to begin with to the Bears, a team that’s clearly on the way up. The NFC North may be even tougher than expected this year.
8. Baltimore Ravens, 1-0
The Ravens took the Buffalo Bills out to the woodshed on Sunday. While it was a thoroughly impressive victory, it’s tough to tell if it’s evidence that the Ravens are better than expected this year, or if it’s another indictment of a poor Bills squad. We should have a clearer answer after Thursday night’s tilt against the Cincinnati Bengals.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers, 0-0-1
It was a good news, bad news Sunday for the Steelers. James Conner showed that he’s more than up to the task of handling a heavy workload, but Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense was out of sync in the challenging weather conditions. An even tougher test is coming to town on Sunday in the form of the Chiefs.
10. Atlanta Falcons, 0-1
The Falcons were really close to making a statement against the Philadelphia Eagles, but the offense just couldn’t seal the deal. It’s year two for offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, and it’s high time for the offense to begin to gel and play up to its capabilities. The Falcons can be a contender if that happens, as the defense is better than most realize.
11. Carolina Panthers, 1-0
A victory is a victory, but the Panthers maty very well be 1-0 due to the ineptitude of the Dallas Cowboys offense. Problems on the Cowboys’ offensive line made the Panthers defense look better than it really is. Cam Newton and company didn’t exactly light the scoreboard on fire either. An early season test against the Falcons could separate contenders from pretenders in the NFC South in a hurry.
12. New Orleans Saints, 0-1
In one of the more surprising results of Week 1, the Saints lost a track meet to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints defense was thought to be much better than the one that showed up on Sunday. On the bright side, Drew Brees can still pour on the points as needed.
13. Los Angeles Chargers, 0-1
While we can acknowledge that there’s a drop off for the Chargers defense when Joey Bosa isn’t able to suit up, that doesn’t excuse such a poor performance in the home opener. A rookie QB came in and dropped four touchdown passes as the Chiefs scored 38 points. That shouldn’t be happening with a team that was thought of as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
14. Washington Redskins, 1-0
New QB Alex Smith was dialed in from the get go as the Redskins manhandled the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. There were plenty of positives to be found on both sides of the ball, and the Redskins just may be able to make some noise in a division that suddenly doesn’t look so tough beyond the Eagles at the top.
15. Denver Broncos, 1-0
The Broncos were able to hang on for a 27-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, and it’s quite clear the club has room to improve. That said, it makes for a solid building block win which gets the season off on the right foot. The Broncos welcome the Oakland Raiders to town on Sunday.
16. Houston Texans, 0-1
Many observers had penciled in the game between the Texans and Patriots as perhaps the top game of the opening week. Opinions were drastically different when the final whistle blew. Deshaun Watson looks like he needs more time to get his legs back underneath him, and playoff talk for the Texans should be tempered until that happens.
17. San Francisco 49ers, 0-1
Jimmy Garoppolo had to lose a game eventually. The Vikings look to be one of the top teams in the NFC, and there’s no shame in dropping a road contest to them as a result. However, Garoppolo and company should be able to take care of business when the Detroit Lions come to town on Sunday.
18. Cincinnati Bengals, 1-0
The Bengals won one of the sloppier games you will ever see over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. They have enough pieces in place on both sides of the ball to be competitive all year, but that’s not going to mean a thing if they don’t get in sync as soon as possible.
19. Seattle Seahawks, 0-1
Times are a changing for the Seahawks, and it could be a challenging year as a result. While they have enough talent to remain competitive and hang with most teams, Sunday’s result against the Broncos has the makings of a familiar refrain for Seahawks fans in 2018: close but no cigar.
20. Chicago Bears, 0-1
The offense looked light years better with new head coach Matt Nagy in charge, and the team’s trade for Khalil Mack looks like one that will play dividends for years to come. While the club lost a heartbreaker to the Packers, things are looking up for the Bears.
21. Dallas Cowboys, 0-1
If the Cowboys do not get better play out of their offensive line, it’s going to be a very long year in Big D. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott had zero room to operate, but the defense was able to keep the game against the Panthers closer than it should have been. If head coach Jason Garrett’s seat isn’t warm yet, another loss or two should do it.
22. Miami Dolphins, 1-0
Weather delays resulting in a marathon game against the Tennessee Titans overshadowed the Dolphins’ real takeaway from Week 1: that the team looks better than expected. A suddenly very interesting game against the New York Jets is up next.
23. New York Jets, 1-0
Rookie Sam Darnold threw a pick-six on his first NFL pass. Before you could say ‘same old Jets’ and shake your head, the club turned things around and delivered one of the more impressive performances of Week 1. The Jets smoked the Detroit Lions by a score of 48-17, and the AFC East suddenly looks a lot more interesting as a result.
24. New York Giants, 0-1
It was a tough opening week for the Giants and new head coach Pat Shurmur. While you can give the offense a slight pass due to the quality of the Jaguars defense, it still looked out of sync on the whole. It’s way too early to get seriously concerned, but consistent improvement over the next few weeks should be a given.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1-0
If you called the Buccaneers heading into New Orleans and laying the smack down on the Saints in spite of being massive underdogs, then you deserve serious props as a prognosticator. For everyone else, you can join us as we wait for Ryan Fitzpatrick and company to come back to earth in Week 2 against the Eagles.
26. Cleveland Browns, 0-0-1
For any other team in the league, a tie in Week 1 would be thoroughly disappointing. For the Browns, it’s a solid stepping stone. The team showed a lot of fight as it clawed its way back in the fourth quarter. It was a very telling effort from a club that looks to be sick and tired of being the league’s doormat.
27. Indianapolis Colts, 0-1
Andrew Luck is back at the helm, but the Colts still do not look good. He and the rest of the Colts are going to need some time to work the kinks out, but it’s going to be a very long season in Indianapolis if we’re saying the same thing at the end of September.
28. Tennessee Titans, 0-1
When playoff teams part ways with a head coach, it’s either because they are steps away from a title and need a little push, or because there are serious problems afoot in the organization. The Titans are not steps away from the Super Bowl. Back-to-back divisional games should tell us what we need to know about the team this year.
29. Oakland Raiders, 0-1
Jon Gruden was back roaming the sidelines in Oakland, but he may have been wishing he was back up in the booth for Monday Night Football as opposed to watching his squad get their clocks cleaned by the Rams. Back-to-back road tilts could be a time for the team to come together and right the ship, or it could be a time for even bigger cracks to emerge.
30. Detroit Lions, 0-1
New head coach Matt Patricia’s debut couldn’t have gone much worse, as the Jets came to town and took ownership of Ford Field on Monday night. A road trip to San Francisco and a home tilt against the Patriots follow. Starting the season 0-3 looks to be a distinct possibility.
31. Arizona Cardinals, 0-1
The Cardinals were embarrassed by the Redskins at home on Sunday, and things don’t get any easier with the Rams coming to town this week. Based on early appearances, it’s tough to find a realistically winnable game on the Cardinals schedule before November.
32. Buffalo Bills, 0-1
The Bills looked horrendous while going down to defeat to the Ravens by a score of 47-3. The club has made a series of puzzling decisions at the quarterback position, so club brass had better hope they completely nailed the Josh Allen pick.