Every week during the NFL season, Colin puts out his Herd Hierarchy NFL power rankings, and with Week 1 in the books he’s made some adjustments to his first Top 10.
The Seahawks and Patriots dropped down. The Steelers and Titans are out, and the Chiefs are in after dominating in Foxboro.
Here are his Top 10 teams after Week 1:
10. Baltimore Ravens – Colin loves the Ravens’ D, and they had an NFL high 5 takeaways in their road shutout of Cincy in Week 1. Even though their offense looked inconsistent, and Joe Flacco was uneven, he’s putting them at 10 because their D will keep them in games, and in the hunt in the AFC North.
9. Carolina Panthers – The Panthers showed a commitment to the run (38 attempts), and their front 7 looked impressive, albeit against the rebuilding Niners. They aren’t going to light up the scoreboard, but if they can run the ball and play defense, they should win enough games to make the playoffs.
8. Seattle Seahawks – Colin loves the Seattle roster, especially their defense, but he drops them from 2 all the way to 9 this week because Russell Wilson was running for his life against the Packers behind an offensive line that still looks shaky. They also don’t have a clear cut lead running back. Offensively, it’s all on Wilson, which will be a problem, especially on the road.
7. Minnesota Vikings – Sam Bradford averaged 10+ yards per pass, and rookie Dalvin Cook looks like a star. Defensively, they held the prolific Saints passing game in check. Colin likes their overall roster better than Green Bay’s, they just don’t have Aaron Rodgers, but nobody does. If Bradford can stay healthy, Minnesota is for real.
6. New England – The Patriots Super Bowl celebration was crashed by the Chiefs, who seemingly exposed every one of the Patriots flaws. Brady and Belichick should be able to fix most of the offensive problems, but the defense can’t rush the passer. The loss of Donta Hightower showed how thin they are at linebacker, too. They may score points, but it’s not clear how they are going to consistently stop anyone.
5. Kansas City Chiefs – KC had three touchdowns of 20+ yards against the Chiefs, and “game manager” Alex Smith played maybe his best game as a pro. Colin thinks they have one of the best overall rosters in the NFL, and rookie running back Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill are explosive. Andy Reid gives them a coaching advantage in most games, but the biggest question is if Smith can continue to play like he did in Week 1, or if he’ll revert to dinking and dunking like he has for most of his career.
4. Oakland Raiders – Derek Carr and the Raiders went on the road and beat the Titans by averaging 5.7 per play. Marshawn Lynch looked great in his first game since sort of retiring, and will be a huge asset in short yardage and goal line situations. The D is still questionable, but they are more than capable of winning shootouts.
3. Philadelphia Eagles – Colin picked Philly to win the NFC East, and Carson Wentz looked great in Week 1, converting 57% of the third downs he faced. The Eagles have the best offensive and defensive line combo in the league. The Philly D had 4 takeaways, and because the offense can extend drives, they should be able to stay fresh. Colin loves Wentz and the Eagles.
2. Dallas Cowboys – Dallas was the only NFL team that didn’t have single 3-and-out in Week 1, and that was against an impressive Giants defense. Ezekiel Elliott looks like he’ll continue to play thanks to an court injunction of his suspension. Dallas is the only NFL team without a notable offensive flaw, and the defense looked impressive.
- Green Bay Packers – Everyone knew the Packers offense would score points, but it was their defense that impressed Colin in their win over the Seahawks. They forced Seattle into 3-and-outs on over half their drives and consistently pressured Russell Wilson. If they continue to play at this level, Colin would pick Aaron Rodgers and the Pack to beat any NFL team on a neutral field.
Here’s Colin breaking it all down:
“If you put everybody on a neutral field, GB is probably the most well-oiled machine.”
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) September 12, 2017