Week 1 of the 2012 NFL regular season could, in my opinion, be summed up with one major thought: The advertised bad teams proved to be bad, while those thought to be contenders opened up the campaign with wins. Any and all NFL power rankings are, in mid-September, reasons for debates among fans and analysts and not much more. The fact is that you could pick one of three teams for the No. 1 spot in your Week 2 NFL power rankings without being "wrong."
2012 Week 2 NFL power rankings
31. Cleveland Browns (0-1): The Cleveland defense had a solid game, but that unit will now be without Joe Haden for four weeks. Is it possible that the team's offense is actually worse than it was one year ago today?
29. Buffalo Bills (0-1): I do believe Buffalo will rise in NFL power rankings sooner than later. Still, they looked like a team that couldn't be bothered until after halftime.
27. St. Louis Rams (0-1): I largely liked what I saw from the Rams in Week 1. They'll give several good teams scares this season.
25. Oakland Raiders (0-1): Were their own worst enemy throughout Monday's contest against San Diego. Is it still 2011?
24. Seattle Seahawks (0-1): Refs (unintentionally) tried to help Seattle on Sunday. It didn't matter. This team's o-line is a serious concern after just one week of football.
23. Carolina Panthers (0-1): Glad to see we're already doing the "should fans be worried about Cam Newton?" thing. All sarcasm aside, a home game against a hungry Saints team could land the Panthers at 0-2 next week.
22. Tennessee Titans (0-1): I don't want to be too hard on Tennessee considering they were downed by a true contender (New England). When your leading rusher is Jake Locker, and he gained just 11 yards on two carries, there are legitimate reasons to be worried about the team's offense.
21. Kansas City Chiefs (0-1): Once again a team with "plenty of potential," I expected more from the Chiefs in Week 1. Regardless of how many defensive starters you're missing, giving up 40 points at home is embarrassing.
20. Arizona Cardinals (1-0): Backup QB Kevin Kolb got the job done, and the Arizona defense remained calm and closed Seattle out in the final moments of the game. The Cards must now find a running game.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0): A nice debut for Greg Schiano and all, but I'm not yet ready to buy into the Bucs. They hardly lit my world on fire against Carolina.
18. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1): Cincy was absolutely owned at Baltimore on Monday night. The Bengals have to learn to beat good teams if they're going anywhere in 2012.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0): Ranking the Eagles this low in Week 1 NFL power rankings is hardly a mistake. They should have given up two red zone touchdown passes, and they easily could have finished the game with seven total turnovers. Fortunately for Philly, they were playing the Browns.
16. New Orleans Saints (0-1): The "us against the world" mentality must have not included the New Orleans defense. RG3 is the real deal, but the Saints sure made things easy for the rookie quarterback.
15. San Diego Chargers (1-0): Remember that you can't spell "ugly win" without w-i-n. Take the gift from Oakland, and then return home.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1): Once again, Pittsburgh's o-line coupled with Big Ben's love of holding onto the football as long as possible while in the pocket resulted in Roethlisberger taking way too many hits.
13. Detroit Lions (1-0): As champions do, Matt Stafford rallied back from a horrendous start and took his team down the field for a game-winning score. The Lions won't be able to get away with such poor play against the better teams in the league, though.
12. New York Giants (0-1): It's been a long time since I've seen a Giants secondary that is this weak. Prince Amukamara had better get healthy and prove to be a shutdown CB soon.
11. Washington Redskins (1-0): The RG3-led 'Skins are going to be a lot of fun to watch in 2012. I'm not yet ready to put them in the top ten of my NFL power rankings, but they're off to a nice start.
10. Chicago Bears (1-0): Spoiled the season opener for Andrew Luck, and Jay Cutler had a big day despite throwing his obligatory interception. Winning at Green Bay on Thursday would move Chicago up into the top five of NFL power rankings next week.
9. New York Jets (1-0): Were the Jets really that good or were the Bills just absurdly awful? A little bit of both, honestly.
8. Dallas Cowboys (1-0): Give Dallas credit for exposing the Giants secondary and starting the season with a win at MetLife Stadium. Looking ahead, the Cowboys could realistically be 3-0 at the end of September.
7. Atlanta Falcons (1-0): I understand some people refusing to give the Falcons respect at this early stage of the season. Having Atlanta out of the top ten of 2012 Week 2 NFL power rankings does, however, seem quite silly to me.
6. Denver Broncos (1-0): Peyton Manning is back, and Denver's defense is a true force. Perhaps those who picked the Broncos to win it all this season weren't crazy, after all.
5. Green Bay Packers (0-1): The Packers are obviously a great team, but they have to drop in this week's power rankings after the loss at home.
4. Houston Texans (1-0): They were far from perfect on Sunday, and the Texans still beat Miami by 20. Let's see what they do against real competition.
3. Baltimore Ravens (1-0): Joe Flacco, the best QB in the league? Maybe not, but he looked pretty good against Cincy on Monday night.
2. New England Patriots (1-0): Different season, same story: Tom Brady is great, and the Patriots will again be favorites to win it all.
1. San Francisco 49ers (1-0): Kings of my first NFL power rankings of 2012 after beating Green Bay at Lambeau, and also looking good in the process. 2011 wasn't a fluke.
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