By CHRIS BROCKMAN
LOS ANGELES — Wow. How’d that Week 1 taste? Did it go down smooth or were a few half-chewed bites stuck in the wrong tube? Yeah, me too. Who saw Marcus Mariota coming? (hint: he coaches the Eagles). What comebacks by Dallas and San Diego and Carlos Hyde, holy ghost of Frank Gore. What’s the biggest miscue of the weekend? Who shined and who had mud on the tires? I don’t know, but that’s probably a country song. What I do know is who’s The Man. Let’s find out as we head into Week 2.
32.) Tampa Bay Bucs (last week: 27; record: 0-1) – Jameis Winston’s first career pass was returned ?? yards for a touchdown but hey, look on the bright side, you know who else’s first career pass was a pick-six? Brett Favre.
31.) Jacksonville Jaguars (30; 0-1) – The Jaguars failed to have a single play in Carolina territory in the second half. That is not good offense and not a good sign to start the year.
30.) Cleveland Browns (31; 0-1) – The Browns lose for the 11th straight time in Week 1 but guess what? JOHNNY FOOTBALL!! Yes, his first pass for a TD was awesome but he turned it over three times and this team is very not close to being any kinds of competitive.
29.) Oakland Raiders (25; 0-1) – Count me among those who thought Oakland had a chance to win Sunday and among those now abandoning ship, especially if Derek Carr is out for any considerable time. Though if anything positive came from this embarrassing loss it’s the realization Lativius Murray is a legitimate two-way threat at running back.
28.) Minnesota Vikings (17; 0-1) – Lemme get this straight Norv Turner, you called just 10 running plays for Adrian Peterson? Ten? Just so we’re clear. And maybe it’s time Teddy Bridgewater lost the gloves; looked like a nice night in Santa Clara.
27.) Washington Redskins (32; 0-1) – There was a screen grab from this game where Kirk Cousins was sitting on the bench next to Robert Griffin and I couldn’t help but think how good it would be for one of those NFL.com Fantasy Football commercials when they guys have nothing to say to each other.
26.) Houston Texans (19; 0-1) – So Bill O’Brien says on “Hard Knocks” that he won’t have a short leash on Brian Hoyer as starting quarterback and then yanks him at halftime against Kansas City for Ryan Mallett. Now we know what O’Brien defines as “short.”
25.) New York Giants (23; 0-1) – What in the name of Andy Reid’s Ghost was that clock management at the end of that Sunday night game? Now Eli Manning is saying he told Rashard Jennings NOT to score? Methinks this is the beginning of the end for Tom Coughlin.
24.) Chicago Bears (18; 0-1) – This is Jay Cutler’s lifetime record (including playoffs) against the Packers: 1-12. Also, who wears throwback uniforms in the season opener? Did that seem strange to anyone else?
23.) Tennessee Titans (28; 1-0) – Marcus Mariota threw four touchdown passes in the first half; is that good? That seems good to me. And while the Bucs aren’t world beaters it was still an impressive way to start his career.
22.) New York Jets (26; 1-0) – FITZMAGIC!! This is what you’re getting from Ryan Fitzpatrick. He’s always been able to sling the rock around the yard, you’re just never sure where it’s ending up. Today it was in the hands of Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. And HOLY Chris Ivory. He ran like a rhino today.
21.) Carolina Panthers (24; 1-0) – All I know about this game is that I picked Jacksonville to win, which lets you know about expectations heading into this year for Cam Newton and the Panthers. But anytime you can win on the road in the NFL, it’s impressive.
20.) Detroit Lions (13; 0-1) – I know it was a road game on the West Coast but giving up 30 unanswered points when you have a 21-3 lead is not a good look anywhere. Also not good for business: only targeting Calvin Johnson four times (2 catches) during the entire game.
19.) San Francisco 49ers (29; 1-0) – Yes, it’s just one week and a lot is going to be said and written about every team in the league, but wow, did this team play tough-nosed defense and Carlos Hyde looked like a beast in the making. Maybe they won’t be a disaster afterall? Maybe.
18.) New Orleans Saints (12; 0-1) – Sure looked like Sean Payton and Rob Ryan were engaged in a heated conversation near the end of that game huh? That’s a firestorm waiting to happen.
17.) Pittsburgh Steelers (21; 0-1) – The score said one-possession but Pittsburgh was never in Thursday night’s opener against New England. Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown put up numbers but it’s tough to win without the NFL’s best running back and All-Pro center. Oh, and when you don’t cover the game’s best tight end. That makes it hard too.
16.) Cincinnati Bengals (16; 1-0) – Jeremy Hill ran hard for a pair of scores and Andy Dalton ho-hummed his way to 269 yards, two touchdowns and a 115 passer rating as the Bengals beat up on the Raiders. Not impressive but also not the egg many thought might be laid.
15.) Atlanta Falcons (22; 1-0) – People wondered if the Falcons were going to play any defense, well they played just enough for a pretty impressive win Monday night. And I’m pretty sure Arthur Blank is glad to scratched Julio Jones that check a couple weeks ago.
14.) Miami Dolphins (9; 1-0) – I think we all expected some more offense out of Ryan Tannehill and Co. but Jarvis Landry showed how explosive he can be with a game-winning punt return touchdown.
13.) Baltimore Ravens (5; 0-1) – Terrell Suggs is out for the year (and maybe career) and the only touchdown came on a pick-six. It’s not too early for this potential Super Bowl contender to panic but this was not a good showing.
12.) San Diego Chargers (11; 1-0) – Philip Rivers dug the Chargers into a hole and then threw them out of it with an MVP-like second half (35-42, 404yds, 2 TD, 2 INT). I get the feeling that San Diego will be playing plenty of games like Sundays this year. They couldn’t stop be running up the middle.
11.) Arizona Cardinals (10; 1-0) – Carson Palmer stood upright. Larry Fitzgerald was making plays. The defense was hitting people and causing disruption. It’s almost like they’re legit contenders in the NFC.
10.) Dallas Cowboys (7; 1-0) – It’s always good as a quarterback when you face a team that doesn’t cover your favorite receiver when the game is on the line and everyone watching in person and at home knows you’re throwing to him because your other all-world receiver is out with a broken foot. Always. Resilient performance from Tony Romo. Save it for January.
9.) Kansas City Chiefs (15; 1-0) – Andy Reid (second reference!) was 5-0 against Houston heading into Sunday and apparently has a player on his team who works out more than J.J. Watt in tight end Travis Kelce. If your number was 87 you scored a ton of touchdowns this weekend.
8.) Philadelphia Eagles (6; 0-1) – How long do you think Chip Kelly is going to be thinking about that 4th-and-1 late in the game he passed on? A day? A week? Into December? That was NOT the Chip Kelly we all thought we were getting. And someone get Sam Bradford some ice! Holy 52 passes, Batman!
7.) Buffalo Bills (20; 1-0) – We knew the Bills were going to play defense but to systematically beat the consensus Super Bowl favorite in all phases of the game was not what anyone was expecting. Tyrod Taylor looked very comfortable in his first NFL start and Percy Harvin was back to making plays. Definitely putting the AFC East on notice.
6.) Denver Broncos (8; 1-0) – There wasn’t a six-touchdown performance or even a one-touchdown performance from Peyton Manning Sunday but Denver did just enough to eek out a win, mainly by dominating on defense.
5.) St. Louis Rams (14; 1-0); – The Rams want to be players in the NFC West, well Sunday was a good start. Can’t remember the last team to sack Russell Wilson six times in a game but that defense was swarming. If you have them in fantasy, congrats and enjoy all those points this season.
4.) Indianapolis Colts (3; 0-1) – Hmm, wonder if there’s more to this whole Chuck Pagano vs. The Front Office thing than we know because Indy looked like a team outplayed in every facet of the game. Andrew Luck won’t be this bad but he’s gotta hope T.Y. Hilton isn’t shelved for long. Oh, has anyone seen Frank Gore?
3.) Seattle Seahawks (2; 0-1) – Russell Wilson was sacked six times and it’s the third game against the Rams where that’s happened. Curious to see if this game has some sort of playoff implications down the road. It was that kind of game.
2.) Green Bay Packers (4; 1-0) – Man, it’s almost like Aaron Rodgers and James Jones have played together before, right? They sure seemed to have some chemistry out there. Rodgers owns the Bears 13-3, 34 TDs, 13 INT) and there’s no bones about it.
1.) New England Patriots (1; 1-0) – You know the rules of these power rankings: the number one team is so until it loses and the Patriots weren’t close to losing last Thursday. Not when Tom Brady is throwing to a wide-open Rob Gronkowski for touchdowns. GRONK SPIKE!!