Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season has already provided plenty of intrigue. The 49ers and Cowboys showed out in dominant performances on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Chiefs and Eagles, last year’s Super Bowl participants, showed some signs of slippage. And the Browns, Lions and Saints staked their claims to new territory after missing the postseason.
Sure, only 15 games are in the books. But it’s never too early to think about football, and Week 1 definitely taught us a few things.
With the Bills-Jets game still on the Week 1 docket, here is my NFL Top 10.
1. San Francisco 49ers
The Brock Purdy-led squad issued quite the message to the rest of the league with a resounding beatdown of the Steelers on the road.
2. Dallas Cowboys
Hanging a “40-burger” on a bitter division rival certainly sets the tone for a team with a Super Bowl-or-bust mentality.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
It was not pretty, but the Eagles found a way to get into the win column despite a lackluster performance from an offense that sputtered for most of the day against the Patriots.
4. Cleveland Browns
Deshaun Watson looked a little more like the QB the Browns expected when they made the blockbuster move to acquire him from Houston a season ago. The three-time Pro Bowler adds a little sizzle to a run-heavy offense that perfectly complements an opportunistic defense.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
Without Chris Jones and Travis Kelce, the Chiefs stumbled out of the gate in Week 1. The All-Pro duo masks the Chiefs’ biggest flaws while pushing the team to the top of the ultra-competitive AFC.
Julian Edelman on FOX NFL Kickoff: “Chiefs are not a dynasty yet”
6. Detroit Lions
Dan Campbell’s old-school approach has made the Lions the team no one wants to face on NFL weekends. As a team with the capacity to control the trenches on each side of the line, the Lions specialize in beating up their foes with their physicality and toughness.
7. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins’ aerial attack overwhelms opponents as Tua Tagovailoa tosses the ball around to a collection of playmakers with world-class speed. With the Dolphins capable of turning any game into a track meet, opponents will need to put up 30-plus to knock off Mike McDaniel’s squad.
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8. New Orleans Saints
If Dennis Allen’s defense continues to stymie opponents with its physicality and toughness, the Saints could move into the heavyweight division of the NFC.
9. Green Bay Packers
The Jordan Love era looks a lot like the Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre eras that preceded his arrival. The Packers’ revamped offense flashes explosiveness but has a “Bully Ball” element that could make the team more challenging to deal with down the stretch.
Jordan Love: “We showed the world what we were about”
10. Baltimore Ravens
The new-look offense needs a little work, but the Baltimore defense can hold things down until Lamar Jackson & Co. hit their stride — and they’ve added enough receiver talent to take a step forward.
Bucky Brooks is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He also breaks down the game for NFL Network and as a cohost of the “Moving the Sticks” podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.
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