2011 NFL Power Rankings: Week 1
Let the real football begin!
After a long labor battle, training camp and four weeks of preseason action, the 2011 regular season is finally upon us. Who are the real contenders? Who's under the radar? Which teams are going nowhere? Our voters (ESPN.com's John Clayton, ESPN.com's Ashley Fox, AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky, NFC West blogger Mike Sando and AFC North blogger James Walker) have some ideas (see below).
The Week 1 slate should provide more clues. Saints-Packers. Falcons-Bears. Steelers-Ravens. Colts-Texans. Cowboys-Jets. Yes, there's plenty of intrigue, and many of the top spots in ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings are on the line.
The Saints could possibly jump from No. 5 to No. 1 if they're able to knock off the defending champs in the season opener. The Ravens begin at No. 8, but a victory over the rival Steelers could send them soaring up the charts.
Editor's note: "LW" indicates each team's ranking in the preseason edition of the 2011 Power Rankings.