By Christopher Reina
For the 2010 season, our weekly team rankings will be based solely off our Trench Counter formula, which means a completely objective examination.
1. Chicago Bears: 12.9
The Bears completely dominated the line of scrimmage and the yardage battle, but their three costly turnovers allowed the Lions to have an excellent chance of stealing a victory at Soldier Field. Nevertheless, the explosive performance of Matt Forte in his first game in Mike Martz's offense gives Chicago some legitimate reason to indulge in optimism.
2. Miami Dolphins: 11.4
Coming into the game with the lofty expectations that a $43 million contract elicits, Karlos Dansby registered a sack on the third play of the game on a Buffalo 3rd and long, setting the tone for a game in which Miami allowed only 166 yards from scrimmage.
3. Seattle Seahawks: 11.2
Similar to his style at USC, Pete Carroll split up the carries amongst Justin Forsett, Julius Jones and Leon Washington fairly evenly. But Forsett was the most effective runner with 43 rushing yards, even if 32 came on a single run.
4. New York Giants: 10.8
The new guard offense established themselves early and often, with Hakeem Nicks catching three touchdown passes and Ahmad Bradshaw getting 20 carries compared to 12 for Brandon Jacobs.
5. Baltimore Ravens: 8.9
The Ravens are now in their second decade of being a team that almost exclusively identifies with being fun and fearsome on defense, built around Ray Lewis, and that showed once again against a Jets' team that only passed for 60 yards. Baltimore's weakness was purported to be in the secondary, at least until Ed Reed returns, but it wasn't the case on Monday.
6. New Orleans Saints: 8.7
The Saints managed to beat the Vikings in the Thursday night opener on just two touchdowns, as their defense held Visanthe Shiancoe in the second half as Brad Childress went away from Adrian Peterson.
7. San Diego Chargers: 8.5
The Chargers are easily the highest ranked team to lose in Week 1, as Kansas City was unable to manufacture much offense against them beyond the Jamaal Charles 56-yard run and the Dexter McClusters punt return.
Ryan Mathews looked strong at times, but his fumble setup the Chiefs with their second touchdown.
8. Tennessee Titans: 8.3
The Titans began emerging as a playoff sleeper in the weeks leading up to the regular season and the Raiders did nothing to disprove that notion. Chris Johnson was initially bottled up by Oakland, but his ability to so promptly find that home run play without any difficulty is what makes him the NFL's best back.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers: 7.9
Without Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers returned to their running game, with 143 total rushing yards.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: 5.6
David Garrard had a 138.9 passer rating on Sunday. In 2009, the Jaguars were 4-0 when Garrard's rating was over 100.
11. Arizona Cardinals: 5.1
Derek Anderson completely just 53.7% of his passes in Arizona's win over St. Louis, but most of those incompletions came on throws to Larry Fitzgerald (3-for-15 targets). Anderson was 7-for-7 in his throws to Steve Breaston, who racked up 132 yards.
12. New England Patriots: 3.9
Brandon Tate received five targets from Tom Brady and also had a 97-yard kickoff return.
13. Green Bay Packers: 1.6
The Packers are a Super Bowl darling because of Aaron Rodgers, but their best player on the field (on a day in which Rodgers had an uncharacteristic 73.1 passer rating) was Clay Matthews. Matthews knocked Kevin Kolb out of the game while logging seven solo tackles and two sacks. Green Bay shifted their looks with Matthews and opposing offenses will need to game plan for him in a way they didn't last season.
14. Houston Texans: 1.5
The Texans had 2.6/1 ratio in terms of rushing yards (257) versus passing yards (98), something that is typically flipped for all teams, let alone a Houston team with Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson. But Arian Foster was just that good on Sunday to justify the lopsidedness.
15. Cleveland Browns: 0.7
The Browns were -28.7 in terms of passer rating comparison in Week 1, even though Jake Delhomme connected with Mohamed Massaquoi on a nice 43-yard TD pass.
16. Washington Redskins: 0.7
Donovan McNabb had a passer rating of just 63.4, but the feel with him at quarterback was different and also better, even if Washington will win or lose on the strength of its defense.
17. Dallas Cowboys: -0.7
The Cowboys are beginning to become inextricably linked to mistake-filled football, something they can ill-afford to do in their division.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: -0.7
Rookie Mike Williams didn't set the WR world on fire with his stat line (five carries for 30 yards), but had a circus catch for a touchdown.
19. Indianapolis Colts: -1.5
What do the Colts have if they no longer own the Texans? Peyton Manning's arm might fall off if he needs to throw the ball 57 times per game and his two sacks is also disconcerting in light of being brought down just 10 times in 2009.
20. Philadelphia Eagles: -1.6
The Eagles came into the season with uncertainty at quarterback, which was further muddled by alternating Kolb and Michael Vick during the first half. After Matthews knocked Kolb out of the game, Vick showed some glimpses of his All-Pro self, finishing with over 100 yards rushing and a 101.9 passer rating.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: -3.9
The Bengals made this game a lot closer than it actually was, with the Patriots running up a 31-3 lead before Jermaine Gresham caught a TD pass from Carson Palmer.
22. St. Louis Rams: -5.1
The Rams looked much better on Sunday than they did in 2009 and the acquisition of Mark Clayton appears to be one that was overlooked in the offseason. Oklahoma products Sam Bradford and Clayton connected on 10 receptions for 119 yards.
23. Denver Broncos: -5.6
Denver's inability to rush the quartberback without Elvis Dumervil will be an issue to monitor throughout the season, but Robert Ayers (18th overall pick in 2009) did have one sack and four QB hits.
24. Atlanta Falcons: -7.9
The Falcons look improved on defense, but Michael Turner's 2.2 yards per carry was one of the more underrated surprises of the weekend.
25. Oakland Raiders: -8.3
Even though Jason Campbell looked incredibly ordinary, Darren McFadden's performance (95 rushing yards, 55 receiving yards) was the big takeaway for the Raiders.
26. Kansas City Chiefs: -8.5
The Chiefs will carry a lot of momentum coming out of their Week 1 victory over San Diego, but must produce better than 9.1% on third down to win those games where they don't receive punt returns for a touchdown.
27. Minnesota Vikings: -8.7
The matchup was bad from the word go, but the Vikings desperately need Vincent Jackson in order to even reach the playoffs.
28. New York Jets: -8.9
The Jets will host the Patriots on a short week in an early must-win to avoid going 0-2 to two teams that will also be contending for playoff spots.
29. Carolina Panthers: -10.8
The Giants defended the Patriots the same way they will be defending for the next 15 games, takeaway the run and force Matt Moore to make plays.
30. San Francisco 49ers: -11.2
The 49ers were unable to establish their ground game and were one of 15 on third down.
31. Buffalo Bills: -11.4
The Bills potentially have a three-headed running back monster in C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch, but the rookie ran for just six yards on seven carries and was almost equally ineffective as a receiver with four catches for eight yards.
32. Detroit Lions: -12.9
It hardly seems fair to the Lions to come so close to winning a big divisional road game and be ranked last, but they only created 168 yards of total offense while giving up 564 to the Bears. Jahvid Best's two touchdowns look good, but he accumulated just 36 total yards on 19 touches.
Via Christopher Reina/RealGM
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