The Chargers opened the season with a new coach (Norv Turner) and uncharacteristic struggles on offense, yet the bottom line was similar to what occurred most of 2006 – a victory. As a result, San Diego holds onto to its preseason ranking of No. 1.
Yahoo! Sports NFL writers Jason Cole and Charles Robinson rank every team and provide some analysis. Here's how they rank the teams after Week 1.
San Diego Chargers
New England Patriots
New Orleans Saints
Cole: The AFC occupies the top six spots and easily could have Pittsburgh a little higher, but I'm going to resist the temptation to overreact to a big opening win because Cleveland really looks lost. Chicago and New Orleans, the NFC Championship game qualifiers last season, not only lost by a combined score of 55-13 against San Diego and Indianapolis respectively, but if not for a fumble recovery by Saints cornerback Jason David, they wouldn't have even had a touchdown.
Robinson: The Chargers hold on to the top spot for fending off a Chicago team that looks like it's going to have a hard time against the AFC elite again. New England solidified itself as a rock solid No. 2 with an offense that could be scary good. The Colts were extremely impressive in Week 1, but we still have some doubts about the ability of that defense to hold up over the long haul. Dallas might be over-hyped at No. 5 after that defense looked awful against the Giants, but the Cowboys were missing their top corner.
Cole: Call it a gut feeling, but look for the Giants to waffle between the middle and bottom all season. They have enough players to make some games interesting, but the defense and the depth are simply horrendous. Add the injury to running back Brandon Jacobs and you have a team ready to go into free fall. Philadelphia looked brutal in the opener, but should improve as quarterback Donovan McNabb works off the rust.
Robinson: The 49ers offense should have fared better than it did against Arizona. Where were Darrell Jackson and Vernon Davis? If the Texans' young defense is legit, that's going to be a very, very interesting team to watch. The Packers and that underrated defense took a big leap forward with the most impressive win of any team in the muddled middle. And before Lions and Vikings fans start complaining about being ranked as the worst of the 1-0 teams, consider who your respective franchises defeated.
BOTTOM OF THE PACK
New York Giants
St. Louis Rams
Kansas City Chiefs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cole: Raiders fans should rejoice: Atlanta is so bad that the Falcons could be gunning for the bottom spot pretty soon. In fairness, the Raiders are playing organized football and could move up to No. 28 by the end of the season because the four teams ahead of them are just dreadful. Houston and Detroit should move up, but it's a little early to take their opening wins too seriously.
Robinson: Sure, Larry Johnson played a very limited role on Sunday, but the Chiefs could be in some serious trouble on offense. The wide receiver depth is thinning already, and Damon Huard isn't going to surprise anyone this season. Tampa Bay could sink fast with injuries to Cadillac Williams and Jeff Garcia. Cleveland and Atlanta are the biggest offensive messes in the league.