Sept. 9, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton (19) prepares to take the snap as the offensive line squares off against the Seattle Seahawks defensive line during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals beat the Seahawks 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Week One Power Poll

Here are the very belated 12th Man Rising’s staff writers’ power poll ranking following the first week of football.  As you can see, there was quite a bit of movement for some teams as the league gets sorted out, and I suspect there will also be a fair amount of movement in the rankings following this week as well.

Hawks of a Feather
Five of the six writers had the Patriots, Texans, Ravens, and 49ers in their top five.  The 49ers moved up four spots after week one, demonstrating that they haven’t fallen very far, if at all, after last season.  The Packers, meanwhile, fell four spots to fifth.

Movin’ On Up
The teams that gained the most after their first game of the season were Jets and Redskins, each moving up ten spots to tenth and twelfth, respectively.  The Jets looked very good against the Bills, hanging 48 on them.  The Bills aren’t a very strong opponent, however, and my hunch is that the Jets will start sliding down the rankings as the season goes on.

The Redskins looked impressive in Robert Griffin’s debut.  They appear to have found a solid starting running back in Alfred Morris, as well.  The Redskins play in a very tough division, but I expect them to make some statements during the season.  Mike Shanahan is also somewhat of a wildcard as he is known for making unconventional roster decisions during the season.

Other big movers were the Cowboys (up nine spots), Vikings (up eight), Rams (up seven), and the Cardinals (up five).

The Biggest Losers
The teams that fell the furthest after week one are the Bengals and the Giants.  Both teams slipped eight spots to 22nd and 14th, respectively.  The Bills tumbled seven spots to 30th.   The Steelers also fell six places to 11th and Seahawks, also falling six places to 17th.  This is probably a more realistic placement for the Seahawks.

I know that I factored in a lot of optimism to my initial poll and have consequently had it knocked out of me, courtesy of Arizona, and adjusted my ranking of the Hawks downward to a more reasonable 18th.  The lowest ranking they received was 21st and the highest was 12th.

Unconventional Wisdom
The team that had the biggest difference of opinions between where they ranked and an actual vote were the Bengals who rank 22nd but received a vote for 32nd.  The Cowboys ranked 9th but received a vote at 18th for a difference of nine spots.  The Rams also had a large difference of opinion, a high of 16th to a low of 28th for a maximum differential of nine spots.  The Falcons came in at sixth, receiving rankings as high as third and as low as 14th.

That’s it for this late edition of 12th Man Rising’s power polls. Stay tuned next week when the polls will be updated for week two, likely on Wednesday.

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