Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 1

There's nothing quite like the first week of the NFL season.  It just… feels… so…  good…

Like many of the other weekly features here on Foxboro Blog, our Top 12 is back and ready for action.  For those of you who are new to the site, the reason why we choose to go with a Top 12 is multi-factorial.

#1 – Ranking all 32 teams is too time consuming, and nobody cares who the 26th best team in the NFL is.

#2 – Twelve teams make the playoffs each year, so assuming one conference isn't completely lopsided, examining the Top 12 teams should give you a pretty good idea of how the teams likely to meet in January will stack up.

#3 – It's Tom Brady's number!


#1 – New England Patriots

It's my rankings and I'll be a homer if I want to. But seriously, outside of the Baltimore area, you'll have a hard time finding someone who won't concede that the Patriots were the best team in the AFC last season.  They were a Gronkowski injury away from being the champs. The Pats restocked the defense, and got Tom Brady a legit deep threat in Brandon Lloyd.  Bill Belichick has plugged the holes that held back the team last season.  In 2012, if the O-line can hold up and there are no major injuries, teams are going to have an extremely difficult time slowing down the Patriots.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 0-0       Next Game: @ Titans


#2 – Green Bay Packers

The Packers are a bit of an enigma to me.  The won the Super Bowl in 2010 when they probably shouldn't have and then flamed out in 2011 when they should have gone all the way.  I'm not sure what that says about them. If all goes according to plan, they should be there in the end facing off against the Patriots.  The 1-2 slots in this ranking could go either way, and honestly, so would Super Bowl XLVII if both these teams can make it there.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 0-0       Next Game: vs. 49ers


#3 – Houston Texans

This is the team that scares me the most in the AFC.  They can throw, run, and play D.  The big question is whether or not they can stay healthy.


Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 0-0       Next Game: vs. Dolphins


#4 – Baltimore Ravens

I feel like the Ravens have taken a small step backward with the loss of Suggs and guys like Ray Lewis getting one year older.  That being said, they are clearly legit title contenders and the Week 3 matchup against New England will likely be the toughest contest of the regular season for the Pats.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 0-0       Next Game: vs. Bengals


#5 – San Francisco 49ers

The Niners could very well deserve to be the top team on this board.  I just haven't seen enough from them to stick them that high. Time to prove that they weren't one-year wonders.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 0-0       Next Game: @ Packers


#6 – New York Giants

No respect for the champs?  Hey, they flat out earned the title last year by coming out smoking hot in the playoffs.   That doesn't change the fact that they finished 9-7.  World Champions? They are.   World class?  Not quite.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 0-0       Next Game: @ Titans


#7 – New Orleans Saints

The Saints can hang with anyone on this list, but the loss of Sean Payton has to count for something.  I can only imagine how devastating it would be if the Pats lost Belichick for a season.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 0-0       Next Game: vs. Redskins


#8 – Philadelphia Eagles

This is probably where the Eagles deserve to be on paper.  However, last year's team proved that the paper rankings mean nothing.
 

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 0-0       Next Game: @ Browns


#9 – Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers will likely be there when January rolls around.  However, I'd be very surprised if they still are in February.  They are the top of the AFC's "second class".

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 0-0       Next Game: @ Broncos


#10 – Chicago Bears

This team probably could be higher and they can prove me wrong in the coming weeks.  Long-term though, this just feels like a team that is going to get siderailed by injuries at some point down the line.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 0-0       Next Game: @ Titans


#11 – Atlanta Falcons

Another team that wouldn't shock me if they vaulted up the board in the coming week.  After last season's big disappointment, they will need to prove that they deserve better than this, though.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 0-0       Next Game: @ Chiefs


#12 – Detroit Lions

Stafford and Megatron may be the league's most unstoppable duo. However, I'm not sure that the rest of the team is quite up to the task.


Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 0-0       Next Game: vs. Rams


 

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

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