The schedule makers weren’t kind to the Raiders by making them open their schedules again one of the strongest teams in the league. However, it didn’t seem to look like it would have mattered. In a season that had high expectations for the Silver and Black, they didn’t hesitate to fall flat on their faces.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In a game that would have been an afterthought in most cases, the whole NFL was curios to see which one of the two Rookie QBs selected with the first two picks of this year’s draft would come out on top. Even though he lost, Jameis Winston had a very decent day, without his top receiver. The Bucs will undoubtedly struggle at times during the season, but I think their fans could be in for some exciting times before the year is over.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars have a ton of talent, and are a better team than they think they are. The only question is when will they figure it out, and start playing like winners? The sad part is by the time they figure it out, it will probably be too late to matter.
29. Minnesota Vikings
This team game out completely flat against the 49ers on Monday Night Football. The good news for the Vikings? Christian Ponder is still on the market.
Carlos Hyde was the bright spot for the 49ers in a game that seemed like it would never get going. This win should bring some hope to a team that had a dismal offseason.
27. Washington Redskins
Even after a tough loss at the hands of the Dolphins, the Redskins still seem to be trying to remain confident. Confidence is good, especially for a team surrounded by controversy. After yesterday’s game, I’m afraid it’s going to take a lot more than that for this team to achieve the success they hoped for in this young season.
26. Chicago Bears
In what seems to be their new trademark style, the Bears offense played a solid first three quarters before falling apart. If this continues to be the case, this team needs a new QB, and has a lot of work to do on defense, before they can hope to crawl out of the cellar in the NFL.
24. Tennessee Titans
I know it’s only week one of their careers, but it looks like the Titans may have gotten the better deal out of the Rookie QBs taken in the first round of this year’s draft. Not only did Marcus Mariota look like he could be a franchise Quarterback, but he did most of the damage through the air, which could be a good sign for his durability. It’s a long season, but a lot of the arrows are pointing up for this young team.
Yes, the Cowboys did end up pulling out the victory, but they appeared lost through out most of the game. That seems to be the personality that Tony Romo brings to this team. If they ever want to move into the elite realm of the NFL, they need to start looking for a Quarterback with a killer instinct.
22. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers were given one of the easiest games possible to start out the season, and yet in typical fashion, they were somehow able to make it look difficult. Fortunately for them, they play in the weakest division in football, and should still have a chance to make some noise before the season is over.
The Dolphins needed 4th quarter heroics from their special teams to pull out a win against a very weak Redskins team. Ryan Tannehill threw his first touchdown of the season in the victory, but he is going to need to step up his game a bit if they are going to keep winning consistently.
20. New York Giants
The G-Men played an ugly game on the road in Dallas, and still should have won. That might make you excited if you are a Giants fan, unless you realize the Cowboys actually played worse and still won.
The Saints appear to have the makings of a solid middle of the road team. They should be able to win the easy games, but after losing a large portion of their offense in the offseason, they seem to have given up the potency that once made them a serious contender.
18. Detroit Lions
The talent on the field doesn’t seem to be an issue for the Lions who suit up some of the most talented players in the league from week to week. The problem seems to come from the guys on the sideline who struggle to get their stars to perform consistently. I know it’s only week one, but I believe the coaching staff is due for a complete overhaul.
Heralded as one of the most potent offenses in the league coming into the season, the Colts were flat out embarrassed in week 1. The Bills defense intercepted Andrew Luck twice, and held newly acquired additions, Andre Johnson and Frank Gore to a total of 55 yards. It may be too soon to completely give up on the Colts, but it seems obvious they will struggle to live up to expectations this year.
16. Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones proved once again that when he and the Falcons O-Line are healthy he can be the most dominant player on the field. If he can keep it up, and the defense can provide a little help, this team can be very difficult to match up against.
15. New York Jets
It appears, that this could finally be the season in which Chris Ivory begins to realize some of that amazing talent he flashes of on occasion. If the Jets can establish a ball control offense to go along with their devastating defense, they could quickly become the nightmare of the AFC East.
14. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers offense looked extremely versatile as they dropped quite a number on one of the best defenses from last year. If Philip Rivers can stay consistent as the young talent develops around him, this could be a very exciting year for Bolts fans.
13. Houston Texans
The Texans have the foundation for a very solid team. Unfortunately for them, they played against one of the most underrated teams in the league, and where left playing catch up most of the game. When they figure out who their starting QB should be, this team should be more than okay.
12. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens defense played good enough to win in this one, as they accounted for 1 more point then the offense in their matchup against Denver. Joe Flacco and company are going to have to step up if they want to be competitive in one of the toughest divisions in the league. I know Justin Forsett was a very pleasant surprise last year, but Baltimore would be wise to start looking for his replacement.
11. St. Louis Rams
Coming into the season, everyone knew the Rams defense was going to be solid. The question seemed to be, whether or not they could score. After week one that answer finally seems to be Tavon Austin. If he and Nick Foles can continue to spark this team, it will be the rest of the league who will be looking for answers.
10. Philadelphia Eagles
The offense took awhile to get going on Monday night. Once they did they showed how versatile and deep they really are. As long as Sam Bradford stays healthy, and continues to gel with his receivers, this team will be electric.
With Tom Brady under the helm, and Gronk running wild, the Patriots offense looked strong at home. However, there defense was gashed by the Steelers second string running back. It will be interesting to see how they will hold up against a complete offense.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers who were minus the best running back in the league, Le’Veon Bell, and playing on the road against the reigning Super Bowl Champions, only lost by one Touchdown. Look for them to get back on track at home against the 49ers next week.
7. Denver Broncos
The Broncos came out on top in a defensive struggle between two very evenly matched teams. Now the question is; can Peyton Manning keep leading this offense for a full season.
6. Kansas City Chiefs
Alex Smith threw for 3 touchdowns against one of the best defenses in the league. Although none of them were to a wide receiver, expect that to change as he continues to familiarize himself with his new target Jeremy Maclin.
5. Buffalo Bills
The Bills completely humiliated the Colts, who many were predicting as a strong Super Bowl contender, in Rex Ryan’s first game as head coach. This should be a confidence builder for a young team looking for an identity.
4. Green Bay Packers
With James Jones back in “Title Town,” Aaron Rodgers and Co. once again look to be firing on all cylinders. However, if the Packers want to be taken seriously their defense is going to have to step up in a big way.
3. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are very solid and consistent, and they proved it by continuing to plug along against a Saints team who was determined to give them a run for their money. If this team full of rising stars can keep Carson Palmer healthy, it won’t take long for NFL fans to realize this team is not only for real, but still a long way from reaching their peak.
The Seahawks dropped a close one on the road against a very strong Rams team. For the 2nd game in a row ( going back to the Super Bowl) they lost a game due to poor decision making in the waning seconds. With the experience and strong leadership this team possesses, expect them to bounce back easily.
1. Cincinnati Bengals
Yes, it was the Raiders, but the Bengals came running out of the gates, and took care of business early. The “Red Rifle” had himself a solid game, and Tyler Eifert looks primed for a breakout season.