By Wesley Kaminsky
Last season, it was Cam Newton who dazzled us all, throwing for 422 yards in his NFL debut. One year later, Robert Griffin III went into the Superdome, threw for 322 yards, two touchdowns, and beat the Saints. It took awhile Washington, but your quarterback has finally arrived. The Redskins will make some noise in the NFC East this season.
Griffin was just one of many stories through Week 1 of the NFL season. In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap.
Taking over this weeks number one spot in the power rankings are the 49ers, who marched into Lambeau Field and beat the Packers. Another team that made a statement was Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Manning finished 19-26 for 253 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Steelers.
Ah, so much to get to. Where does your team rank after Week 1?
1. San Francisco 49ers (4): 1-0. That was a statement win for the 49ers in Green Bay. Alex Smith outplayed Aaron Rodgers. Impressive. (Next game: vs. Detroit on SNF)
2. New England Patriots (2): 1-0. With an improved defense and running game, the Patriots may just be better than last season. (Next game: vs. Arizona)
3. Baltimore Ravens (5): 1-0. Joe Flacco was sharp and the defense was dominant as the Ravens set the tone for the AFC North. (Next game: at Philadelphia)
4. Houston Texans (6): 1-0. The Texans followed up their victory over the Dolphins by rewarding Matt Schaub with a new four-year extension. Good move. (Next game: at Jacksonville)
5. Green Bay Packers (2): 0-1. With that loss, the Packers have now lost two straight games at Lambeau Field. It doesn’t get any easier this week with the Bears coming to town. (Next game: vs. Chicago on TNF)
6. Atlanta Falcons (8): 1-0. Matt Ryan hooked up with Julio Jones for two touchdowns in the opener. That’s something you will get used to in 2012. (Next game: vs. Denver on MNF)
7. Chicago Bears (7): 1-0. Jay Cutler connected with Brandon Marshall nine times as the Bears clicked were clicking on all cylinders offensively. Thursday night will be a big test as they travel to Green Bay. (Next game: at Green Bay on SNF)
8. Denver Broncos (14): 1-0. Peyton Manning showed no signs of rust during his first game in a Broncos uniform in a win over the Steelers. That’s not a good sign for the rest of the AFC. (Next game: at Atlanta on MNF)
9. Dallas Cowboys (13): 1-0. Tony Romo was sharp as the Cowboys got a big win in New York to open the season. Credit to Rob Ryan’s defense too as they looked much improved. (Next game: at Seattle)
10. New York Giants (1): 0-1. The Giants didn’t look ready to play against the Cowboys and it showed. Reminder: The Super Bowl is over. It’s a new season. (Next game: vs. Tampa Bay)
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (9): 0-1. With his history, you almost always expect Ben Roethlisberger to win it for the Steelers late in games. Tracy Porter had something to say about that. Peyton Manning is familiar with him. (Next game: vs. NYJ)
12. Detroit Lions (12): 1-0. Matthew Stafford showed his true colors late in the game in a fourth quarter comeback against the Rams. The task is a bit tougher this week in San Francisco, where Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz will meet for the second straight year. We remember what happened the first time. (Next game: at San Francisco on SNF)
13. New York Jets (19): 1-0. The Jets quarterback problems are gone. Well, at least for a week. (Next game: at Pittsburgh)
14. New Orleans Saints (10): 0-1. The offense didn’t click like they usually do, and the defense couldn’t stop Robert Griffin III. Think they miss Sean Payton? (Next game: at Carolina)
15. San Diego Chargers (16): 1-0. The Chargers will threaten the Broncos for the AFC West crown. Their win against the Raiders wasn’t as close as the score indicated. (Next game: vs. Tennessee)
16. Washington Redskins (24): 1-0. Robert Griffin III has arrived. The Redskins will be a headache for the NFC East. (Next game: at St. Louis)
17. Philadelphia Eagles (11): 1-0. Michael Vick was fortunate to finish with just four interceptions, but the Eagles managed to come away with the win. Still, not too promising of a start. (Next game: vs. Baltimore)
18. Cincinnati Bengals (15): 0-1. The Bengals got run out of the building in the second half in Baltimore. That now makes them 0-8 against the Ravens and Steelers combined in their last 8 meetings. (Next game: vs. Cleveland)
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26): 1-0. The Buccaneers looked like an entirely different team from 2011. Greg Schiano will bring discipline. (Next game: at NYG)
20. Carolina Panthers (20): 0-1. The Panthers can’t really look much worse on offense than they did in Tampa Bay. Cam Newton looked like a different quarterback from his rookie season. (Next game: vs. New Orleans)
21. Tennessee Titans (17): 0-1. Not a good start to the season for the Titans getting blown out at home. Granted, they were playing the Patriots. (Next game: at San Diego)
22. Arizona Cardinals (25): 1-0. Kevin Kolb’s heroics won the game for the Cardinals. Could this be what gets him going? Don’t cross your fingers. (Next game: vs. New England)
23. Seattle Seahawks (23): 0-1. Russell Wilson put the Seahawks in position to steal the game in Arizona, yet couldn’t get any help from his receivers. (Next game: vs. Dallas)
24. Kansas City Chiefs (21): 0-1. The defense struggled all game and the Chiefs couldn’t keep up with the Falcons lethal offensive attack. (Next game: at Buffalo)
25. Minnesota Vikings (27): 1-0. That game was a message to anybody who doubted Adrian Peterson coming back from injury too soon. (Next game: at Indianapolis)
26. Oakland Raiders (22): 0-1. I wasn’t too high on the Raiders to start the season and Monday Night didn’t help matters. (Next game: at Miami)
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (31): 0-1. Blaine Gabbert’s touchdown with 20 seconds to play was supposed to be the game winner for the Jaguars. They let this one slip away. (Next game: vs. Houston)
28. Buffalo Bills (18): 0-1. Remember that much improved Bills defense? Yeah, they gave up 48 points to start the season. Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t help matters either, throwing three interceptions. (Next game: vs. Kansas City)
29. St. Louis Rams (32): 0-1. Jeff Fisher’s presence was felt immediately as the Rams nearly stole one in Detroit. They’ll be better this season. (Next game: vs. Washington)
30. Indianapolis Colts (29): 0-1. Andrew Luck struggled in his first game as expected. It’s not easy to start your career staring down that Bears defense. (Next game: vs. Minnesota)
31. Cleveland Browns (28): 0-1. It’s hard for me to believe that Colt McCoy can be half as bad as Brandon Weeden looked on Sunday. He finished with a stat line of 12-35, 118 yards and four interceptions. Yuck. (Next game: at Cincinnati)
32. Miami Dolphins (30): 0-1. Aside from Reggie Bush, there weren’t many bright spots for the Dolphins offense on Sunday. That includes Ryan Tannehill. (Next game: vs. Oakland)
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.