Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Rising or Falling: NFL Teams After Week 1

Here are my week 1 flash judgments and early opinions on all 32 teams:

Giants - They may have beat the Redskins but they definitely looked shaky and vulnerable. With juggernauts Dallas and Philadelphia firing on all cylinders, the Giants will have to claw for a wild card spot.
Stock After Week 1 - Fringe playoff team. Unchanged from predictions.

Redskins - They looked completely out of sorts on offense. The defense is strong.
Stock After Week 1 - Not a playoff team. Unchanged from predictions.

Falcons - Well those newcomers looked good. Perhaps Michael Turner and Matt Ryan are better than advertise. Or perhaps the Lions are that bad.
Stock After Week 1 - Definitely up but still not a playoff team. The difficult divisional games will be their undoing. Unchanged from predictions.

Lions - Not a good start to the season. Maybe they'll swoon to a 1-7 start only to finish 7-1. Hey, it could happen! Right?
Stock After Week 1 - Way down. Some people had them as a sleeper to win the division or grab a wild card. Not gonna happen. Worse than predictions.

Bills - One of the most dominating performances of the first week. Marcus Stroud really helped the D. The return of Paul Posluszny helps too. And how about Roscoe Parrish? Wow.
Stock After Week 1 - Through the roof. They will fight for the divisional title with the Jets and Patriots. Better than predictions.

- Possibly the 3rd best team in the AFC East just dominated them. The Bills are better than some people initially though but still, 38-10? Not good.
Stock After Week 1 - Still probably the best in the NFC West. That's not saying much. Unchanged from predictions.

Titans - A nice win I did not think they couyld get 2 years ina row. I continue to underestimate them.
Stock After Week 1 - Up. I actually think their personnel is better with Kerry Collins under center. Could make noise in a possibly weaker AFC South. Better than predictions.

- Oof. That hurt. My Super Bowl team lost in week 1. Not too many teams have lost their 1st game of the season and gone on to play in the Super Bowl. In fact only 12 of the 84 teams have lost their first game of the season and made the Super Bowl: 2007 Giants, 2005 Seahawks, 2003 Patriots, 2002 Buccaneers, 2001 Patriots, 1996 Patriots, 1993 Cowboys, 1986 Giants, 1983 Redskins, 1981 49ers, 1979 Rams, and 1969 Vikings.
Stock After Week 1 - Dwon down down. The potential is still there but this team may be weaker than first thought. Worse than predictions.

Jets - Well they won. They were expected to. They must play better to live up to the medias expectations.
Stock After Week 1 - They have a chance in the East just like New England and Buffalo. Unchanged from predictions.

Dolphins - They were expected to lose and did but their persistence and refusal to quit was a nice change. The team is better than the medi and "experts" believe.
Stock After Week 1 - They are a 6 or 7 win team. Unchanged from predictions.

- They lost Tom Brady. For the season. They won but it was just the Chiefs. Things will be interesting in the East.
Stock After Week 1 - Definitely down. Worse than predictions.

Chiefs - They kept it close with the Patriots, with and without Brady. They still will struggle this year.
Stock After Week 1 - Devolping but not the best. Unchanged from predictions.

Saints - They pulled it out against a tough division rival. That is a lot different than last year.
Stock After Week 1 - Definite playoff team. Unchanged from predictions.

Buccaneers - They made some mistakes and lost their QB. They are strong but the presence of the Saints and Panthers spells bad things for these pirates.
Stock After Week 1 - Fringe playoff team. Unchanged from predictions.

- Looked downright dominating and maybe slightly better than I had predicted. It will be either them or Dallas in the East.
Stock After Week 1 - Very strong. But I did predict this. Unchanged from predictions.

Rams - Not the best. I still think they can contend in the NFC West. But that's the West, not the East, where they would be eaten alive.
Stock After Week 1 - Not a playoff team. I want to say unchanged but I'll go with worse than predictions.

Steelers - Absolute domination of a chic pick sleeper team. Either Houston is the same ol' Houston or people underestimated the Steelers.
Stock After Week 1 - Thankfully I didn't buy into Houston being good or Pittsburgh being bad. Could they still be better than predictions?

Texans - Not a good start for a "sleeper" team. They were annihilated. Throw even more to Andre Johnson, please.
Stock After Week 1 - I had them finishing last in the division. Unchanged from predictions.

Ravens - Boring game but ended as I assumed. Flacco manages the game better than Boller and has a stronger arm than Smith. The defense is healthy for now.
Stock After Week 1 - 1/4 of the way to their win total from last season. Still not a playoff team. Unchanged from predictions.

Bengals - Some offense ya got there. Only 99 yards passing with those weapons? It could be an even longer year than I thought. Bye bye Marvin Lewis.
Stock After Week 1 - Despite the poor showing, unchanged from predictions.

Panthers - Beating a strong AFC team that many think will win the Super Bowl. Not a bad start even if there was a little luck and good timing involved.
Stock After Week 1 - My opinion on them had been rising the entire preseason. I'll say better than predictions but I am not surprised.

Chargers - The loss is disappointing but the Panthers are better than most people thought. San Diego will be fine as long as their injuries don't resurface or get worse.
Stock After Week 1 - Still possibly the best team in the AFC. Unchanged from predictions.

Cardinals - They beat a bad San Francisco team so there isn't anything to brag about. A win is a win though. With how bad Seattle looked maybe this year is their year.
Stock After Week 1 - Fringe playoff team only because they are in the NFC West. Unchanged from predictions.

49ers - Started as believed. The team has no emotion and little offensive talent. It'll be another long year.
Stock After Week 1 - Not a prayer even in the NFC West. Unchanged from predictions.

Cowboys - Absolutely manhandled the Browns, who may have been overrated heading into the season. Looked everything like the preseason hype they were getting.
Stock After Week 1 - For real. This team has NFC Champions written all over it. Unchanged from predictions.

Browns - Dropping fast. They looked disorganized and lethargic. They knew how good their opposition was and showed little preparation. The pressure is high in Cleveland.
Stock After Week 1 - Falling in most people's eyes. I'd say they performed as expected. They are a fringe playoff team in the AFC. Unchanged from predictions.

Bears - Wow. Will we see this team every week? Is Matt Forte the answer at RB? Can Kyle Orton avoid costly mistakes? Is the defense back to normal? If so then this team won't be a pushover in the NFC North.
Stock After Week 1 - I apparently vastly underestimated this team. I had them as being one of the worst in the league. I don't think that anymore. Much better than predictions.

Colts - That was unpleasant. They were completely manhandled by a team picked by many to finish 3rd or 4th in the NFC North. Peyton Manning looked rusty and the entire offense was out of sorts.
Stock After Week 1 - They are still good but the injuries to the o-line proved more of a problem than originally thought. Manning needs another week or two to get back in game form. They are still a playoff team. Unchanged from predictions.

Packers - Aaron Rodgers did it. It was a good game between division rivals. The Pack emerged victorious this team with some key plays.
Stock After Week 1 - Green Bay and Minnesota are on par with one another. Should be a fun race in the NFC North. Especially if Chicago is as good as they were in week 1. Unchanged from predictions.

Vikings - The defense failed them and Tarvaris Jackson made a mistake when he could least afford to. They must get more production from the running game to remain toe-to-toe with Green Bay.
Stock After Week 1 - A little disappointing but they competed. Unchanged from predictions.

Broncos - Well they destroyed their opponent. Too bad it was Oakland. They did it without their #1 receiver. Impressive.
Stock After Week 1 - They played better than I thought they would. Perhaps they are a fringe playoff team. Better than predictions.

Raiders - Disaster. A few people thought they could make some noise this year. Well they did but it wasn't good noise. Give them until 2009.
Stock After Week 1 - Bad. As expected. Unchanged from predictions.

So there it is. Week 1 is in the books and we have evaluated each team. Logic tells us that our opinions will change weekly, as some teams live up to the hype and other start to fall. Tune in next Tuesday for my 2nd recap. All of this is a shot in the dark because we truly won't know who is for real until at least week 6. For now, EVERY TEAM HAS SOME HOPE.

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