NFL Week 1 Powerless Ranking: Sloppy play ruled the day

NFL Week 1 Powerless Ranking: Sloppy play ruled the day

You know the Jets are here again, but who else started the season with a dud?

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Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season is officially in the books and it’s time to look at the teams that stunk it up. Week 1 gave us plenty of sloppy football to process and some of the teams in this first ranking might surprise you. Then there are the others you probably predicted in the preseason.

So, let’s get to the Week 1 powerless ranking. (Click here for the preseason rankings).

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2 / 8

Dishonorable mention: Denver Broncos

Dishonorable mention: Denver Broncos

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Goal line offense and ball security should be the priority in practice following Denver’s opening night loss on Monday Night Football to the Seattle Seahawks. This was a game the Broncos would have won if not for turnovers and mismanagement of the clock by head coach Nathaniel Hackett late in the fourth quarter.

Wasting the clock down to a few seconds with three timeouts in your back pocket just to set up a 64-yard prayer of a field goal for the win is probably a decision Hackett wishes he could rethink. Russell played well in his return to Seattle and got booed for his efforts. He did look a little rusty early on but then settled down.

The Broncos traded a lot to get Wilson, and then in the very first game, with everything on the line, the head coach decided not to go down swinging with his best weapon. This is what Russ left Seattle for, eh?

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3 / 8

5. Arizona Cardinals

5. Arizona Cardinals

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Kyler Murray threw a hissy fit in the offseason and ultimately got what he wanted. Murray got his extension with a $160 million guaranteed, and everyone was waiting to see what he’d do in Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Kyler had a decent game, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Cardinals lost 44-21 to the Chiefs.

Overall, Arizona looked terrible as the defense gave up five TD passes by Patrick Mahomes. Tyreek who? The Cardinals did catch a break, though, since only one NFC West team won their opener, with the Seahawks shocking the Broncos Monday night.

If the Cardinals are going to contend this year, Murray will need to step up his game, and that could be tough without Deandre Hopkins, who still has five games left to serve on his PED suspension. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown produced a decent debut for the Cards catching a TD reception but only four catches total for 43 yards. Arizona needs a whole lot more out of Hollywood while Hopkins finishes serving his suspension.

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4 / 8

4. San Francisco 49ers

4. San Francisco 49ers

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The biggest Week 1 surprise on this list might be the 49ers. Even with an inexperienced quarterback taking the reins, no one expected San Francisco to look that bad. The weather was a factor, but both teams had the same conditions.

Trey Lance did not have a good game and seemed nervous with happy feet in the pocket for most of the afternoon. Lance still has lots of upside, but it’s going to take time, and you have to wonder, with Jimmy Garoppolo waiting patiently on standby, how long Kyle Shanahan will let this scenario play out.

San Francisco traded a lot to move up in the 2021 draft to select Lance. So, you’d think they would be in it for the long haul with him, but the team around Trey is ready to make another run now. Shanahan might have a tough decision to make in the coming weeks. If he pulls the plug on Lance prematurely, that could shake the kid’s confidence. If he waits too long, the season could be a wash.

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5 / 8

3. New England Patriots

3. New England Patriots

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New England got torched in nearly every aspect of their Week 1 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. It doesn’t generally matter who calls plays when the offense executes poorly. The offense struggled most of the day, with Matt Patricia reportedly taking over play-calling duties (with Bill Belichick’s influence).

Jones was far from great in this game, but he did throw for one more yard (213) than Brady on this day. Sometimes you’ve got to find the positive wherever you can. If this experiment in New England continues with Patricia and Joe Judge, it will be another down year for Patriots fans.

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6 / 8

2. New York Jets

2. New York Jets

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If you came into the regular season thinking the Jets would be anything other than what they’ve been for decades, let me apologize for shattering your dreams. After a big offseason of plentiful moves to fill gaps in the roster, the Jets came out Sunday and did what they always do. They thoroughly wet the bed.

With Zach Wilson recovering from a knee injury, 37-year-old veteran Joe Flacco got the start. Flacco knows his opportunities are limited at this point in his career, so he took full advantage of his time on the field. New York called 59 pass plays in this game. Fifty nine! Jets OC Mike LaFleur (younger brother of Packers head coach Matt LaFleur) wasn’t shy about letting Flacco fling the ball over the yard. You’d think he had Aaron Rodgers under center, considering how many passes Flacco attempted.

Joe did rack up some numbers throwing for 307 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. He completed over 62 percent of his passes which he would’ve been praised for 10 years ago. Today that isn’t even average.

In letting the 37-year-old throw the rock that many times, the Jets only rushed 17 times for 83 yards with two fumbles (one lost).

The Jets scored just nine points against the Ravens, Flacco’s former team. Coming up on the schedule is Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh. Get used to seeing the Jets on this list again this season.

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7 / 8

1. Dallas Cowboys

1. Dallas Cowboys

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Week 1 of the ‘22 season is undoubtedly one the Cowboys would like to forget. Unfortunately, that’ll be tough after losing Dak Prescott for 6-8 weeks with a thumb injury that required surgery Monday.

Most analysts were split on Dallas’ chances of winning the opener against Tom Brady and the Bucs, but nobody could’ve predicted the No. 1 offense from a year ago looking so inept to start the season. Dallas converted just three out of 15 third-down opportunities. They scored only three points and averaged 3.8 yards per play.

The next few weeks with Cooper Rush at QB could be devastatingly unimpressive for this Cowboys offense. Dak had a hard enough time getting anything going in Week 1. Rush will need more than luck to get through these next couple of months. Dallas could be a fixture on this list for the foreseeable future.

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