Shutdown Corner NFL Power Rankings: It's just one week, don't overreact

I'm going to tell you a story about the post-Week 1 power rankings last year, and Seattle Seahawks fans won't believe it because I defended the Seahawks.

Oh, it's true, I'm no Seahawks hater even though I didn't start this season with them at No. 1. I picked them to win the Super Bowl last year. And was there ever outrage when I kept them at No. 1 after they "struggled" in Week 1 to beat Carolina 12-7. Well, as we know, it turns out that was no "struggle." That was one of the best road wins any team had in 2013. And as we know, Seattle was clearly the best team in the NFL last season. There's a lesson there, and it's not to overreact to any one game, especially Week 1.

The Patriots lost on Sunday, for example. You won't see them move out of the top four this week. Why? I explain here:

NFL analysis is built on overreaction; that's what happens when you play just 16 games. Every game shouldn't be a referendum on every team though, especially in a league where teams play much different schedules. Please don't use the "They're 1-0! They should be higher than an 0-1 team!" argument, because one game pretty much defines small sample size. It'll generally take more than one game for me to drastically change my opinion on a team.

Except the Buccaneers, who are dead to me after whatever that was on Sunday.

Onto the post-Week 1 power rankings:


32. Washington Redskins (0-1, last week: 29)

A total donut against a team that was 2-14 last year. Almost every other team near the end of this list showed at least a little something.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1, LW: 32)
How exactly do you evaluate a team that was up 17-0 at the half and got outscored 34-0 after it?

30. Oakland Raiders (0-1, LW: 31)
Pretty rough debut for quarterback Derek Carr, but the running game (25 yards on 15 attempts) could have helped a little.

29. Cleveland Browns (0-1, LW: 30)
How exactly do you evaluate a team that was down 27-3 at the half and outscored their opponent 24-3 after it?

28. Dallas Cowboys (0-1, LW: 24)
Not even sure why they're this high. Doesn't look like it'll get any better.

27. Houston Texans (1-0, LW: 26)
Nice win, but let's wait for a tougher opponent to move them up more.

26. New York Giants (0-1, LW: 23)
One of the instances in which the preseason mattered. The Giants looked exactly as confused Monday night as they did in August.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1, LW: 12)

24. Buffalo Bills (1-0, LW: 28)
Great, fantastic win on the road to start the season. I'm not ready to give them a huge bump up just yet, but they're on that path.

23. Kansas City Chiefs (0-1, LW: 21)
I didn't move them down any further based on the vapors of last season, but man, 9-0 seems like forever ago.

22. St. Louis Rams (0-1, LW: 14)
I'm trying not to overreact to one week, but the loss to the Vikings was so thorough, and at home, that the Vikings had to be higher.

21. Minnesota Vikings (1-0, LW: 27)
That was impressive at St. Louis. Certainly sets up a very interesting Week 2 game against New England. Let's re-evaluate these guys after that.

20. Atlanta Falcons (1-0, LW: 22)
Maybe a team can be really good with a dominant passing game and little else (actually, the running game was fairly efficient against New Orleans, too).

19. Baltimore Ravens (0-1, LW: 19)
Are we done arguing that this team should be in the top 10? Good. Appreciate it.

18. New York Jets (1-0, LW: 20)
Geno Smith was solid and the running game did well. And we know the defense will be pretty good.

(USA Today Sports Images)
(USA Today Sports Images)

17. Tennessee Titans (1-0, LW: 25)

That was an impressive Week 1 performance, especially since it was so balanced. Many players contributed. Great sign.

16. San Diego Chargers (0-1, LW: 17)
The offense stagnated at times, though Arizona's defense had something to do with that. At least we know, from last year, that this team isn't affected long-term by heartbreaking losses.

15. Detroit Lions (1-0, LW: 18)
Very impressive. Or, was it that the Giants are that bad? We'll find out soon. But remember, the Lions have started fast before.

14. Miami Dolphins (1-0, LW: 16)
I'm wishing I had bumped up the Dolphins a little more in last week's rankings. This is going to be a pretty good team.

13. Arizona Cardinals (1-0, LW: 15)
Glad to see Andre Ellington playing and looking good. Pretty nice comeback win to start the season, too.

12. Chicago Bears (0-1, LW: 10)
The only reason I have for keeping them this high is that their roster is very talented and they should be good. But dating back to the start of the preseason, they've shown nothing.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0, LW: 11)
How exactly do you evaluate a team that was up 27-3 at the half and was outscored by their opponent 24-3 after it?

10. Indianapolis Colts (0-1, LW: 8)
How exactly do you evaluate a team that was down ... fine, you get it. No reason to think anything less of the Colts after losing at Denver, no matter the poor start.


9. Carolina Panthers (1-0, LW: 13)

Perhaps the front seven can carry this team to the playoffs again. That was a great effort on Sunday. Maybe their many limitations really won't matter.

8. Green Bay Packers (0-1, LW: 7)
They weren't going to win at Seattle the first game after the Seahawks' Super Bowl title. The 1989 49ers or 1991 Redskins might not have, either.

7. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0, LW: 9)
It was a little concerning that they had five field goals, leaving so many points on the field. But make no mistake, it was a really nice win.

6. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0, LW: 6)
I thought about moving them up, but top five teams don't let Jacksonville go up 17-0 in the first half. Little concerned about Nick Foles, at least Sunday's first-half version.

5. New Orleans Saints (0-1, LW: 5)
They lost in overtime on the road to a huge rival. No shame there. They'll be fine. The cornerback situation is worrisome though.

4. New England Patriots (0-1, LW: 4)
It's hard to be too excited after that Week 1 loss, but look at that roster and tell me you expect this team to struggle like that very often.

3. Denver Broncos (1-0, LW: 3)
They'll move up pretty quickly if that defense from the first half on Sunday night is the norm for them.

2. Seattle Seahawks (1-0, LW: 2)
Great, great performance by the champs. The NFC better do its work now, because nobody is winning in Seattle in January.

1. San Francisco 49ers (1-0, LW: 1)
I didn't see a reason to move them down.

- - - - - - -

Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting