by Nick Ferraro
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers won on Thursday a lot like they did all year last year: Big Ben throwing and the defense giving up next to nothing. Can they do it again without a running game?
2. New England Patriots
That wasn’t exactly what the Pats had in mind for the opener, but Brady led them on a winning drive, and he will just get more comfortable every week. Their opponents have to be happy though to see some of the more obvious chinks in the armor.
3. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts still are still operating under the radar among the major contenders. They are also still finding ways to win close games against Jacksonville.
4. Atlanta Falcons
It was a solid performance from the Falcons. The Dirty Birds are the NFC’s version of the Titans.
5. Philadelphia Eagles
A road opener in Carolina figured to be a tough spot. Delhomme wanted to make sure the Eagles had it easy. The Eagles don’t get anywhere near the preseason predictions if McNabb can’t stay healthy.
6. New York Giants
The Giants can handle the Skins. Everyone knows that. They get a chance to make a real statement on Sunday in Dallas.
7. Tennessee Titans
I can’t drop the Titans for losing a tight game on the champ’s home field. This is a good team who will likely be in foul mood this Sunday.
8. Baltimore Ravens
How did the Chiefs have the game tied with two minutes left? I can’t see the Ravens being successful over the long haul as a shootout team, no matter how much progress Flacco has made.
9. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys won handily behind several big plays on Sunday. They get to make us start to care if they can beat Giants.
10. New York Jets
The Texans offense is not as bad as they looked on Sunday. That was the Jets making them look bad. With a win this week, people outside New York and New Jersey will notice the other team that plays in the Meadowlands.