Week 1 Power Rankings: Saints hold top spot

This is a full disclosure: I’m not a power rankings guy. This ain’t the NCAA and a final champion will be crowned in a rational format. Polls don’t really matter. But, this is in my job description so here goes, again.

And just because one team won in Week 1, and beat a certain team, but is now ranked behind them, doesn’t matter. My goal each week is to have ranking now that will hold up best come playoff time, when we know who is legit and which teams are not.

1.) Saints – Loved the power running game in second half. Defense showed well. Drew Brees is Drew Brees.

2.) Packers – Will keep getting better. Secondary a little vulnerable now.

3.) Ravens – Won the Hype Bowl. If they win at Cincy this week will be sitting pretty.

4.) Patriots – Assault on the scoring records already underway. I’m not sweating this Randy Moss stuff, at least not yet.

5.) Texans – Complete physical beatdown on Colts with Cushing not even on field. If they maintain that physical approach will be in playoffs.

6.) Titans – Can copy that Texans blueprint to pound the Colts similarly when need be. AFC South is gonna be a brawl.

7.) Colts – Not going to overreact off one game, but offensive line and defensive line concerns from preseason manifested in Week 1.

8.) Steelers – It’s not going to be a smooth operation without Big Ben, but every win gained now will really loom large in January.

9.) Cowboys – Beat themselves with penalties, bizarre play-calling, costly mistakes. Will they learn the lesson?

10.) Vikings – Things are not going to come as easy in 2010.

11.) Giants – If they play like they did in first half they’ll sink, and if they duplicate that second half effort they could soar.

12.) Chargers – Tough loss in a tough environment at Arrowhead. Have some worries about this outfit. Put this team in any other division and they’re .500 I figure.

13.) Eagles – So many injuries to overcome so soon plus a potential QB controversy. Man.

14.) Redskins – Gutsy win and great effort on D. That offense gonna need some work, run game in particular.

15.) Bengals – Was that a Mike Zimmer defense on Sunday?

16.) Jets – The production needs to match the bluster. Teams will be ramped up to knock them off.

17.) Dolphins – Not impressed. Preseason woes lingered. Should have handled Buffalo better.

18.) Falcons – Applaud the overall defensive effort — right up until OT.

19.) Bears – Offense put up numbers … but incredibly lucky to hold off Shaun Hill. I remain skeptical.

20.) 49ers – Putting them ahead of Seattle after the blowout loss will inspire much ire. I think over 16 weeks they win the division, though.

21.) Jags – If they can get that kind of QB play I will rethink my preseason opinion. But that’s a big if.

22.) Chiefs – Long season. Might be competitive in this division. Had great home field advantage and took advantage. Big win for their program.

23.) Seahawks – No better possible opening result for the Carroll/Schneider tenure. Now have to try to keep it up.

24.) Raiders – Not gonna jump off the bandwagon yet, and that was a tough opponent, but man. Not good.

25.) Lions – The team was on the move ’til Stafford went down again. Tough, tough breaks all around for them Sunday.

26.) Panthers – Can’t think of a worse way for Matt Moore’s first opening day to go. Yikes. At least they can run the ball.

27.) Broncos – Have a feeling this is really not going to be their year.

28.) Cardinals – The Kurt Warner era is over. Even in the weak NFC West this team could struggle.

29.) Bucs – Comeback win big for any young QB, even if it’s at home against the Browns.

30.) Rams – They just find ways to lose games, but Sam Bradford looked like the real deal.

31.) Browns – Jake Delhomme is not the answer.

32.) Bills – Showed good fight in the home opener, but that’s about all they have going for them right now. Offense was putrid.

— Jason La Canfora

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