Sept 9, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones (89) can't catch a pass while being defended by San Francisco 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown (25) at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
This is the first installment of a weekly NFL power rankings from members of the SB Nation Arizona staff. Check back in seven days from now to see where your team stands following their most recent showing.
1) San Francisco 49ers (1-0) - If this defense can smother Aaron Rodgers then the rest of the league better take notice. But the best part is that this offense is finally prepared to put the points up to give them reinforcement. Even Alex Smith can't face plant in the red zone with this many toys.
2) Baltimore Ravens (1-0) - I know I shouldn't be using my "jump to conclusions" mat this early but it's hard not to think the Ravens are the AFC favorites after watching Monday night's game. Joe Flacco is deadly out of the no huddle and the defense hasn't skipped a beat without Terrell Suggs.
4) Houston Texans (1-0) - So you have a relentless, blood-thirsty defense to go along with a handful of nightmare-inducing weapons on offense: what's not to like? Matt Schaub's health, that's what. Hopefully he proves me wrong though because this team is to incredibly fun to watch when he's in there.
5) Atlanta Falcons (1-0) - If the Falcons had anyone but Michael Turner's corpse in the backfield, they'd own the most potent offense in NFL. The loss of Ben Grimes hurts but even without much of a run game, this team is still a virtual lock for playoff spot.
6) Green Bay Packers (0-1) - If the Niners' game showed anything it's that even if you dominant this team in every aspect, they will still refuse to die. Things won't be getting any easier next week though against the Bears, especially if Greg Jennings sits out.
7) Chicago Bears (1-0) - This is easily the best team Jay Cutler has ever been a part of. A win this Thursday in Lambeau would make the Bears the unquestioned favorites in the NFC North.
8) New York Giants(0-1) - It's probably unfair to drop this team even this much after one poor effort. But as Victor Cruz goes, so goes the Giants' offense so he'll need to figure out his drop issues if this team is going to resemble its postseason power form again.
9) Dallas Cowboys(1-0) - That Tony Romo is so hot right now. Never really understood analysts counting this team out; the secondary is vastly improved and the front seven is just as deadly as ever.
10) Denver Broncos(1-0) - Peyton Manning and company passed their first test in memorable style, looking near unstoppable while operating out of the no huddle. But the biggest surprise here was a defense that looked of the vintage Orange Crush variety.
11) Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) - Although the stats don't show it, Ben Roethlisberger turned in a top-five quarterback performance this past week. And with Pittsburgh's defense beginning to show its age, Big Ben might be destined for some big time passing numbers.
12) Detroit Lions (1-0) - I know that Matthew Stafford had a terrible game but it still shows a lot that he was able to bring his team back despite his best efforts to blow it. And if Kevin Smith is able to keep defenses honest all season long, this offense will once again be one of the top-five most effective in the NFL.
13) Washington Redskins (1-0) - Mike Shanahan deserves more credit than RGIII for the quarterback's Week One performance. As talented as Robert Griffin appeared, he still is running a system perfectly built to make his life as easy as possible. I'll be interested to see how the rookie reacts once defense get the game tape and notices the simplicity of this offense.
14) Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) - It's sad that Mike Vick chokefest 2012 overshadowed an Eagles defense that looked greatly improved. I'm just worried this might be the case all season long.
15) New York Jets (1-0) - Obviously Mark Sanchez was saving all those touchdowns for the regular season. Kidding aside, last week's game was a bit fluky but one thing for sure is that this defense is about as good as they come.
16) San Diego Chargers (1-0) - As much as it pains me to say it, Norv Turner could be the favorite for Coach of the Year if he can keep it up with this offense. One has to think they'll find the red zone more often once Ryan Matthews returns.
17) New Orleans Saints (0-1) - Steve Spagnuolo was just outsmarted, out-coached and outgunned by Mike Shanahan. Drew Brees is great and all but he's going to need more help than that.
18) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) - Not many eyes may have been watching but the Bucs put on one of the most surprising performances of Sunday. Greg Schiano ball may not be the most exciting product around but you can't deny the results.
19) Arizona Cardinals(1-0) - The defense and special teams are there but I'm waiting to jump on the Kolb bandwagon till after the Patriots game. Still, it's remarkable that the magic from the end of last year hasn't evaporated. The Cardiac Cardinals never left gang.
20) Cincinnati Bengals(0-1) - This year's Bengals are going to be last year's Buccaneers. Yeah, I said it.
22) Tennessee Titans (0-1) - Poor Jake Locker can't do it alone. Chris Johnson will bounce back but this won't be the last game like this he turns in this season.
23) Buffalo Bills(0-1) - Fred Jackson's absence isn't a good thing by any means but C.J. Spiller should be a top-10 fantasy back as long as he's gone. This defense didn't appear as good as advertised so the Bills could be in quite a few high-scoring affairs.
25) Carolina Panthers(0-1) - It was hard difficult to tell if the Buccaneers' defense was just that revamped or if this offense is just that prone to lapses. Brandon LaFell's progress is going to help but this won't be the Panthers' last dud.
26) St. Louis Rams (0-1) - Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins are going to give quarterbacks fits all season long but this defense is still prone to produce 100+ yard rushers on a weekly basis. Oh yeah, and this offense doesn't look very improved either.
27) Oakland Raiders (0-1) - The Raiders are finally heading in the right direction but the pieces just aren't there. Picture this image though: Matt Barkley in black and silver being backed up by Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. You can thank SB Nation Arizona's own Brad Denny for that one.
29) Jacksonville Jaguars(0-1) - So who are you and what did you do with Blaine Gabbert? I know he didn't exactly light the world on fire but this team might win a few more than expected if he can keep it up. The defense and run game is there.
31) Cleveland Browns (0-1) - Just like their Eagles counterpart, dreadful quarterback play stole the spotlight from a defense that finally appears more than serviceable. But just when things were looking up, Joe Haden had to go and get suspended for four games.
32) Indianapolis Colts(0-1) - Andrew Luck's first NFL game: 23-of-45, 309 yards, one TD, three INTs. Peyton Manning's first NFL game: 21-of-37, 302 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT. What I'm trying to say is don't fret Colt fans; the Bears defense is a tough test for even the most experienced of NFL quarterbacks.
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