The first week that I'm starting to do power rankings. I base the rankings on an algorithm that takes into account record, strength of schedule, home and away games, along with point differentials. This doesn't factor in expectation (i.e. Packers expected to be 3-1 or 4-4 at this point) so the rankings here will be a lot different than on other sites. They basically assume that all teams start at an even slate from game 1 (which is why a team like the Bears is at #5, but the Steelers are at #17).
1. Houston Texans 150
Notes: The Texans look like the most solid team in the NFL on both sides of the ball right now. I can see them going 14-2 or 15-1 this year especially being in the weak AFC South.
2. Atlanta Falcons 128
Notes: Their fairly easy schedule this year makes them almost a shoe-in for the division and a bye week.
3. Arizona Cardinals 110
Notes: Have to give credit where credit's due. Right now they are playing solid football especially on the defensive side. The offense will need to prove themselves a bit more in order for this team to be a playoff team.
4. San Francisco 49ers 84
Notes: Had this team being the #1 team in the NFL going into the first game. Definitely potential for this to hold true after 16 games, but the loss to the Vikings does drop them a bit.
5. Chicago Bears 83
Notes: Quietly becoming amongst the elite teams in the NFL. Jay Cutler can be very, very good
and if he's playing up to his potential this team can be anyone in the NFL.
6. Baltimore Ravens 75
Notes: They are one point away from being undefeated this season. They're still one of the most well put together teams in the NFL in terms of both defense and offense.
7. San Diego Chargers 74
Notes: A much improved team this year (so far). This is the team we've been expecting in 2011 and 2010.
8. Minnesota Vikings 63
Notes: They'll eventually die down and will be out of the playoff picture, but a 3-1 start including a win against the 49ers is VERY impressive.
9. New England Patriots 60
Notes: Although they're at a surprising 2-2, their losses were close against a surprisingly good Cardinals team and a solid Ravens team. This team will easily win the AFC East.
10. Denver Broncos 57
Notes: They're not meeting expectations quiet yet and the Chargers playing as well as they are
could give them a run for their money for the division. That being said, they should be able to turn
things around sooner than later.
11. New York Giants 37
Notes: Despite all the key injuries the team has been suffering, they are still 2-2. Two divisional
losses is rough especially to the Eagles, but the Giants will likely find a way to at least sneak into the playoffs like they did last year as long as Eli continues to impress.
12. Cincinnati Bengals 36
Notes: They're showing some slight improvements over last year and could give the Steelers a run for their money for 2nd place in the AFC North.
13. Philadelphia Eagles: 28
Notes: They're lucky to be 3-1 after barely getting the wins against the Browns, Ravens, and Giants. Vick's turnovers are an issue and they will quickly lose the division lead if he doesn't turn things around.
14. Seattle Seahawks: 25
Notes: Don't be surprised if this team stays in the playoff hunt all year.
15. Green Bay Packers: 19
Notes: Very disappointing start for the Packers. Even though they should have won against the Seahawks, they are not living up to expectations. Expect the Packers to turn things around though.
16. Washington Redskins: 2
Notes: A much improved Redskins team with RGIII leading the way. This team won't make the playoffs, but an 8-8 record is very likely.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: - 3
Notes: Key injuries has effected this team on defense. Once they get everyone back, they'll be rising through these rankings.
18. St. Louis Rams: - 4
Notes: Somewhat of a surprise this year to see this team at 2-2 and very close to being at 3-1. They are significantly better than they were last year.
19. Dallas Cowboys: - 13
Notes: This team is a mess, despite wins against the Giants and Buccs. Romo, while a very good QB, has not proven himself as a clutch QB yet.
20. Buffalo Bills: - 14
Notes: They either get blown out, or crush other teams. Difficult to build a team around Ryan
21. Miami Dolphins: - 15
Notes: Definitely an improved Dolphins team, but still a ways to go before their competitive.
22. New York Jets: - 18
Notes: Revis being out for the season will significantly hinder any chance of this team making the playoffs.
23. Detroit Lions: - 31
Notes: Besides the Saints, the biggest disappointment of 2012. They are very close to being 0-4 after barely winning against the Rams for their first game of the season.
24. Indianapolis Colts: - 32
Notes: Better than the Colts of 2011, but not as good as the Colts of 2010 (or other years with Peyton). Andrew Luck has been fitting well with the Colts though and could lead this team to
the playoffs in a couple of years.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: - 34
Notes: They've demonstrated some areas of improvement this year compared to last, but this team
will struggle to all season long.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars: -52
Notes: Not as bad as their 1-3 record might indicate. They have an overtime loss to a surprisingly
good Vikings team, two losses against the very good Bengals and Texans, and a win against the
improved Colts. Don't expect big things out of this team, but 7-9 or 8-8 is possible.
27. Carolina Panthers: - 54
Notes: I expected this to be the surprise team of 2012 and either take the division or earn a wildcard. The way they've been playing, I couldn't be more wrong.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: - 71
Notes: I expect the Chiefs to be close to the bottom of the power rankings all year (unlike last year when they had a late season surge).
29. New Orleans Saints: - 80
Notes: Easily the biggest disappointment of 2012. Drew Brees is still very solid and is actually
leading the league in passing yards despite the Saints being 0-4. Even though they are one of two teams without a win, I can't put them at the bottom 3 just yet.
30. Oakland Raiders: - 83
Notes: I'll chalk up their win against the Steelers due to their key players being injured. If they
continue to play like they've been playing, they won't pass 5-12.
31. Tennessee Titans: - 87
Notes: Even though they have a tough schedule so far, they've been looking absolutely horrible.
32. Cleveland Browns: - 89
Notes: They play teams close (usually), but can't get the win. Big issues on both sides of the ball.