(Yahoo!) Let’s go back to a simpler time, before we knew the proper psi for football inflation, when the first guy we thought of when we said “The Catch” was Dwight Clark and not Odell Beckham.
I’m talking about Week 1 of the 2014 season.
We learned so much about all 32 NFL teams in that season opener! Here were some of your big story lines coming out of that week:
• Led by Knowshon Moreno’s 134 rushing yards, the most in the league in Week 1, the Miami Dolphins swarmed the New England Patriots. The Dolphins outscored the Pats 23-0 in the second half on their way to a 33-20 win.
“When I get the ball in my hands, I expect great things,” Patterson said, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
We know what happened next. The Titans lost 14 of their next 15 games. The Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl. Locker and Moreno are no longer in the NFL and Patterson has basically disappeared since that game. The Cowboys ended up being much better than the 49ers. Rodgers won the NFL MVP. Anderson … well, he didn’t.
We’ll look back on some of the things we saw in Week 1 this season as signs of things to come. Some other things will seem totally random by the end of the season. Maybe even by the end of September. Good luck figuring out what is truth and what is fiction after one week.
It’s hard to not overreact to what we saw in Week 1 because that’s all there is to analyze. But we wouldn’t freak out about some one-week anomaly in Week 10. So I’m not going to do so in Week 1. Not every team is going to move dramatically in the rankings just because of 60 minutes of football.
Here are the overreaction-free post-Week 1 power rankings:
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1, Last week: 29)
Jameis Winston wasn't good, but it's clear this is a poorly coached team. Losing 42-14 in the season opener at home, against a team that went 2-14 last year, is spectacularly awful.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1, LW: 30)
Trailing 10-9 in the third quarter, Blake Bortlesthrew a terrible interception that was returned byJosh Norman for an easy touchdown. If Bortles is going to make the leap, he can't keep making mistakes like that.
30. Oakland Raiders (0-1, LW: 28)
29. Washington Redskins (0-1, LW: 31)
28. Chicago Bears (0-1, LW: 27)
Matt Forte looked fresh and fast with 166 total yards. As long as he continues to look that good, John Fox will continue to ride him.
27. Tennessee Titans (1-0, LW: 32)
26. Cleveland Browns (0-1, LW: 26)
Johnny Manziel wasn't great, but he likely got few practice reps during the week as the backup, was facing a tough Jets defense on the road, and his best receiver was probably Travis Benjamin. And he wasn't all that bad either.
25. New York Giants (0-1, LW: 22)
It's amazing how coaches spend 80 hours a week figuring out things like what an opponent's tendency is on defense in third-and-long situations, but not 30 seconds studying the proper way to manage a clock and win a game at the end.
24. New York Jets (1-0, LW: 25)
Before Sunday, Chris Ivory had played two seasons with the Jets. He had 20 or more carries in a game three times. He had 100 yards each time. Which leads one to ask, why was Sunday only the fourth time he was given 20 carries by the Jets?
23. Houston Texans (0-1, LW: 20)
Sunday was another reminder of how badly the Texans screwed up the 2014 draft. They still don't have a quarterback. The Brian Hoyer thing didn't even last four quarters before he was yanked. And this season, they'll still probably win enough games that they won't be able to draft one of the top quarterbacks in 2016.
22. Minnesota Vikings (0-1, LW: 16)
The offense looked miserable. Adrian Peterson had just 10 carries for 31 yards. Teddy Bridgewater held the ball too long. I don't want to move a team too much based on one week, but nothing looked too good.
21. San Francisco 49ers (1-0, LW: 24)
It's possible the defense is really good, and Carlos Hyde is a stud. Safety Antoine Bethea played as good of an all-around game as you'll see a safety have. The entire offseason isn't erased because of one game, but it was promising.
20. Carolina Panthers (1-0, LW: 21)
The Panthers will have to do better than 263 yards and one offensive touchdown to keep winning. They won't face the Jaguars' offense every week.
19. New Orleans Saints (0-1, LW: 19)
Arizona has a fairly good offense, but its 25 first downs came a little too easy. Nothing the Saints did in Week 1 would lead you to believe the defense improved much from last season.
18. Atlanta Falcons (1-0, LW: 23)
Forget a committee, Tevin Coleman seems light years ahead of Devonta Freeman in that backfield.
17. St. Louis Rams (1-0, LW: 18)
Great win. They've had great wins under Jeff Fisher before. What we need to see now is the Rams winning games that don't come against marquee opponents at home.
16. Detroit Lions (0-1, LW: 14)
Ameer Abdullah looked really good in his debut. But that begs the question: Why, oh why, did Abdullah get only seven carries in a game that the Lions once led 21-3?
15. San Diego Chargers (1-0, LW: 17)
Keenan Allen tied a Chargers record with 15 catches, and he had 166 yards in a comeback win. The rookie season version of Allen appears to be back. Not sure what happened last season, when he struggled.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (0-1, LW: 12)
Of all the coaches you'd think would be bold on fourth-and-1 late in the game, instead of taking a shot on a long field goal, you'd think Kelly would be No. 1 on that list. He kicked it, the field-goal attempt missed, and the Eagles lost.
13. Buffalo Bills (1-0, LW: 15)
Rex Ryan said Monday he's already done with his defensive game plan for the Patriots. I don't doubt it. What an atmosphere that will be in Buffalo on Sunday.
12. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0, LW: 13)
Week 1 was a nice statement. It doesn't mean much if the Chiefs don't follow that up with a home win against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night.
11. Arizona Cardinals (1-0, LW: 10)
The Cardinals appear convinced that Chris Johnson can be the lead back while Andre Ellington is out for perhaps a few weeks with a PCL sprain in his right knee. Maybe Bruce Arians sees something that wasn't apparent in Johnson the past few years.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1, LW: 8)
The secondary is just not good. It's going to be hard to fix it too much from here on out either. Ben Roethlisberger better take care of his arm because he's going to be throwing a lot this season.
9. Miami Dolphins (1-0, LW: 9)
A win is a win, although that one in Washington was sloppy. It makes no sense, however, why Lamar Miller had nine carries before the Dolphins' final drive to run out the clock. That needs to change.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (1-0, LW: 11)
Hope you got Tyler Eifert in the last couple rounds of your fantasy draft.
7. Baltimore Ravens (0-1, LW: 6)
Terrell Suggs' season-ending injury is a problem. So too is Joe Flacco throwing for 117 yards in the opener. The Broncos have a very nice defense but the Ravens don't have many weapons in the passing game.
6. Dallas Cowboys (1-0, LW: 7)
Without Dez Bryant, the running game takes center stage. The problem is that running game gained 80 yards on 23 attempts against a bad Giants defense on Sunday night.
5. Indianapolis Colts (0-1, LW: 4)
Maybe the Colts have become tough to gauge because of their division. They're 12-0 in divisional games, as they play in the worst division in football, since the start of 2013. They're 10-11 playing everyone else.
4. Denver Broncos (1-0, LW: 5)
Six different receivers caught passes for the Broncos on Sunday. Five of them averaged less than 10 yards per catch. The exception was Jordan Norwood, who had 25 on two catches. That's troubling.
3. Green Bay Packers (1-0, LW: 3)
Randall Cobb didn't look like himself, with 38 yards on five catches. Will his shoulder be better by the time the Packers play the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night?
2. New England Patriots (1-0, LW: 2)
The Patriots probably shouldn't feel great about giving up 464 yards in the opener, even if it was to the Steelers' explosive offense. But they did so while winning fairly easily, so no need for concern yet.
1. Seattle Seahawks (0-1, LW: 1)
After seven months of watching offseason moves and studying teams, I believed the Seahawks were the best team in the NFL coming into the 2015 season. In Week 1, they lost by 3 points in overtime, on the road in a venue they never play well at, against a division rival. The Rams got a long touchdown in the final minute when a defender fell down, a flubbed kickoff to start overtime and then stopped a fourth-and-1 run in overtime by Marshawn Lynch. Does a razor-thin loss like that change my opinion about the Seahawks as a whole?
No, not really.
Hey, if the Packers beat the Seahawks in Week 2 to drop Seattle to 0-2, we probably need to reevaluate a bit. And the Seahawks have concerns. They missed holdout safety Kam Chancellor. The offensive line looked bad. The defense gave up way more than we're used to seeing it allow, to an offense missing its top two running backs.
But does anyone think the Seahawks have taken a big step back from last season because they lost one overtime game in St. Louis? I don't. I don't see a need to move them yet.