1. New Orleans Saints
The Saints dispatched the Vikings in the season opener on Thursday, showing they can play and win a defensive game.
2. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens completely clamped off the Jets anemic offense and won a tough road game against an AFC contender. The confidence level in Baltimore has to be sky high right now.
3. Green Bay Packers
The Packers controlled the Eagles for the better part of Sunday’s game. They may be in front to stay in the NFC North.
4. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings drew a tough opening week, and played as well as could be expected. This team will show dramatic improvement over the next few weeks as the offense gets more repetition between Favre and the receivers filling in for the injured Sidney Rice.
5. Houston Texans
The Texans appear to finally have their roster where it needs to be to compete with the Colts in the AFC South. The power running game was only matched by the huge effort put forth by the defense. Peyton Manning had big fantasy numbers, but the defense controlled the Colts running game (44 yds) and put heavy pressure on Manning consistently.
6. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts were manhandled up front by Houston on Sunday. They can expect each opponent from here on out to try the same approach that the Texans used.
7. New England Patriots
The Pats dominated the Bengals in a game some felt would be much closer. New England get the chance to put the rival Jets two games back in the division if they can manage a road win Sunday.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers just wanted to tread water through Big Ben’s suspension. They got through week one on the back of their defense, which throttled one of the league’s best running games.
9. New York Giants
The pass rush looked to be in vintage form against Carolina. It will need to be again next week in Indianapolis.
10. New York Jets
The “walk” was nowhere to be found on Monday night following all the talk throughout the preseason. The Jets penalty yardage (125) more than doubled their passing yards (60), and the offense only managed a pathetic 6 first downs. You have to wonder about Rex Ryan’s defensive game plan as well since blitzing on every third down wasn’t working, and he still didn’t vary the attack. The Ravens converted 11 of 19 third downs, which was the true difference in the game as the Jets bottled up the Ravens ground game. The season will officially enter disaster mode if Gang Green gets another hard knock at home this week against the Patriots.
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