- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Four of the seven highest-ranked teams in the most recent ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings lost their regular-season openers.
It's too early in the season to drastically change rankings, but it's also reasonable to acknowledge the only on-field evidence collected.
The New Orleans Saints, ranked second last week despite earning No. 1 votes from three of four panelists, should overtake Indianapolis for the top spot when the next rankings come out Tuesday. The Saints' victory against the fifth-ranked Minnesota Vikings wasn't convincing, but the top-ranked Indianapolis Colts lost by 10 points at Houston and that should drop them.
The chart shows how ESPN's four voters -- me, John Clayton, Paul Kuharsky and James Walker -- ranked teams last week. Red lettering reveals which teams lost in Week 1.
The reckoning: Six games featured lower-ranked teams beating higher-ranked teams:
(30) Tampa Bay 17, (29) Cleveland 14. Wondering how many times Mike Holmgren looked at his watch during this one.
(26) Seattle 31 , (13) San Francisco 6. Niners have converted twice in their past 28 third-down chances at Seattle.
(25) Jacksonville 24, (22) Denver 17. Not much of an upset at all.
(18) Pittsburgh 15, (7) Atlanta 9. Every victory without Ben Roethlisberger a bonus for the Steelers.
(17) Washington 13, (4) Dallas 7. Alex Barron's third holding penalty was the killer -- and his 22nd since 2005.
(14) Houston 34, (1) Indianapolis 24. Colts had beaten Texans by total of 21 points in previous four meetings.
My early favorite for the No. 1 spot: New Orleans. Let's see if the Saints get their offense going against the 49ers next week.
Four of the seven highest-ranked teams in the most recent ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings lost their regular-season openers.The sixth-ranked Baltimore Ravens could join the list if the New York Jets beat them Monday night.