32) New York Jets (last week: 32). Mark it down folks, that trip to Buffalo could be the start of 16 straight losses?
31) Cleveland Browns (last week: 31). The hard-working loss to the Steelers on opening day would suggest there is improvement in the Browns.
30) San Francisco 49ers (last week: 30). As expected, they were trounced by Carolina at home. So head coach Kyle Shanahan goes from coordinating an offense in Atlanta that scored more than 33 points a game last year to one that produced all of three points in its opener. No one said this head coaching thing would be easy.
29) Buffalo Bills (last week: 29). Does a win over the Jets count as a victory? I think not.
28) Indianapolis Colts (last week: 26). The way they played at Los Angeles against the lowly Rams, quarterback Andrew Luck may not want to come back. Oh and by the way that seat warmer under head coach Chuck Pagano is just heating up!
27) Los Angeles Rams (last week: 28). Waxed the lowly Colts in an impressive opening day win. Quarterback Jared Goff began paying dividends for the franchise that took him first overall in the draft last year, 306 yards passing (71 more than he produced in any of his games last year). By the way, the worst scoring team of 2016 put 46 points on the board in game one of 2017. Somehow I think that says more about the Indianapolis defense than it does about the Los Angeles offense.
26) Chicago Bears (last week: 24). Much improved defensively but they have nothing to go to downfield in the passing game with the loss of wide receiver Cameron Meredith in the preseason and now Kevin White. The former 7th pick overall in the 2015 draft suffered a broken collarbone against Atlanta Sunday. White has played five games and has 21 receptions for 193 yards without a touchdown in his career. Can you say busted draft pick?
25) Washington Redskins (last week: 21). Captain Kirk and company decided not to show up in a division loss to the Eagles. Just think Washington Redskins fans, it could be all downhill from here!
24) New Orleans Saints (last week: 20). The highly regarded New Orleans offense humbled by a potent Vikings defense, but what is most distressing? In the end, it’s the same old Saints defense and that will be their undoing this season.
23) Houston Texans (last week: 11). I’m not big on this bunch especially the offense but the defense with J.J. Watt and all that bluster, then they lay an egg against the Jacksonville Jaguars? REALLY!!! I am so glad I don’t bet on this stuff!!
22) Jacksonville Jaguars (last week: 27). They did what at Houston? 29-7 over the Texans on the road no less!!!! At the moment Executive Vice President of Football Operations and former Jaguars/Giants coach Tom Coughlin is the front runner for executive of the year. (Okay, I know, that’s overreaction Monday but this poll is a product of overreaction Monday.)
21) Cincinnati Bengals (last week: 18). Blanked at home in the opener: a doughnut!! I know they restocked the roster in Cincy this off season. I guess they restocked those shelves with garbage.
20) Tennessee Titans (last week: 12). Nothing to sing about in Music City. DeMarco Murray gained just 44 rushing yards on 12 carries. When a running back hits the wall, its like an insect hitting your windshield it just splatters! How’s that for some week one overreaction?
19) Los Angeles Chargers (last week: 17). No shame in losing at Denver; most visitors do.
18) Philadelphia Eagles (last week: 25). Impressive debut on both sides of the ball at Washington. I think Carson Wentz is the “real deal.”
17) Miami Dolphins (last week: 22). Irma forced them to take a week one bye.
16) Arizona Cardinals (last week: 14). Carson Palmer and this Cardinals team saw their window of opportunity close two postseasons ago in the NFC Title game at Charlotte. Palmer’s three interceptions Sunday at Detroit sealed their fate in game one. Running back David Johnson suffered what could be a season-ending wrist injury, and that seals their fate once and for all.
15) Carolina Panthers (last week: 16). Cam Newton and company took care of business in San Francisco.
14) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (last week: 13). See Miami.
13) Baltimore Ravens (last week: 19). Defense came to play on opening day, shutting out the “Bungles” on the road.
12) Detroit Lions (last week: 23). Matthew Stafford, newly crowned highest paid player in the NFL, starts with a pick-six. Then he throws four touchdown passes (yes he’s worth the money). Lions rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who dominated preseason, is no Mr. August; he caught two TD passes in the opener as well, making him a man for two seasons!
11) New York Giants (last week: 5). Great defense, but had no idea the offense would be this bad, especially the offensive line. They’re gonna get Eli Manning killed! Just three points at Dallas against that defense?
10) Minnesota Vikings (last week: 15). Impressive offensively against the Saints in the Monday night opener. With that defense, if Sam Bradford is going to play that well, the Vikings will contend. Bradford is a big “if” for no other reason than he’s overdue for another injury.
9) Seattle Seahawks (last week: 3). No I did not overrate the Seahawks; they ran into an inspired bunch of Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field and lost. Most teams in that situation in that stadium do the same. They will win 12 games and the NFC West going away! They will be a major factor in the NFC in January!
8) Dallas Cowboys (last week: 10). If Jerry gets his way and Zeke gets to play, the Cowboys will be hard to beat at all this season.
7) Oakland Raiders (last week:9). Great win at Tennessee; no question the Raider offense is for real and for at least one week the defense was good as well.
6) Denver Broncos (last week: 7). Won at home as expected over the Chargers. Do they ever lose at home?
5) Green Bay Packers (last week: 6). Loved what I saw from the Green Bay defense Sunday against Seattle. But this week, the Packers “tackle” the top offense in the game today, the Atlanta Falcons. Do to the Falcons what they did to the Seahawks and do it on the road? Then maybe we’ve got something.
4) New England Patriots (last week: 1). They Emperor has no clothes! Okay, so they could take the Edelman loss, but when his replacement Danny Amendola went down, suddenly the Pats had to rely on “one trick Pony” Brandin Cooks and that ain’t gonna cut it! Then linebacker Dont'a Hightower goes down and the defense can’t function. So from overwhelming Super Bowl favorites, the Pats became mere mortals. Oh ,and for much of the night Tom Brady looked like a 40-something year old trying to play QB in the NFL.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers (last week: 4). All-World running back Le’Veon Bell, who skipped training camp then signs his franchise tag in time for the opener, looked like he missed camp. Bell had 32 yards on 10 carries against a Browns defense that ranked 31st against the run last year. The "Stillers" struggled with the lowly Browns on the shores of Lake Erie. On opening weekend, with all of the uncertainty that goes into it, “just win baby.” And they did.
2) Kansas City Chiefs (last week: 8). They ended up dominating the Pats in Foxboro which is really saying something. Furthermore Alex Smith looked like the No. 1 pick in the draft. The loss of All-Pro safety Eric Berry hurts, but there is a lot to like about the Chiefs, especially the fact they stripped the Emperor of his “hoodie.”
1) Atlanta Falcons (last week: 2). The improved Bears defense gave them all they wanted and more. Their 23-17 win in Soldier Field was not impressive, but it took care of business. Against a feisty Chicago defense, the Falcons offense scored ten fewer points than it average last year and that is further evidence that the Atlanta defense is more than capable of carrying this club all the way to January if necessary! Not to worry, it won’t have to; Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Davonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and company on offense will do more than their fair share to carry the load.