Week 1 of the 2011 NFL season is now in the books and this past week's games started to give hints on which teams’ fans will be in for a good year and which ones, well, won't.
Last week, the Ravens vs. Steelers game in Baltimore ranked as the top game of the week, but the Steelers decided not to show up ready and got whooped 35-7 with seven turnovers. The best game of the week was probably the Thursday night match-up between the Saints and Packers. The two teams combined for 76 points with the Packers winning 42-34 after stopping the Saints’ Mark Ingram at the goal line with no time remaining.
This week's slate of games has its fair share of great match-ups as well as some duds (Broncos vs. Bengals, I'm looking at you). Here are this week's rankings:
1. New England Patriots vs. San Diego Chargers
Average Ticket Price: $232.05
The Chargers visit Gillette Stadium this Sunday for the Patriots home opener in what should be the best game of the week. Tom Brady threw for 517 passing yards last week, which is the 5th most ever, and included a 99 ½ yard completion to Wes Welker, but the Chargers defense may prove a little more difficult. They gave up only 39 yards passing to the Vikings in Week 1.
2. New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears
Average Ticket Price: $213.13
The Saints had a tough draw in their Week 1 game, but things don't get much easier for them when they return home this week against the Bears, who dismantled the Atlanta Falcons last week, 30-12. The Saints were 5-3 last year at the Louisiana Superdome and hope to start off their 2011 home schedule with a win.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks
Average Ticket Price: $181.18
Last week the Steelers looked like anything but the defending AFC Champions. Luckily for the Steelers and their fans, they have the Seattle Seahawks and their not-so-good offense coming to Pittsburgh this Sunday.
4. San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Average Ticket Price: $154.12
If this were the late 1980's, this would be the biggest game of the year, but even today it’s a high-demand game. While the average ticket price is the 4th highest, this game has sold more than twice as many tickets as the next highest game.
5. New York Giants vs. St. Louis Rams
Average Ticket Price: $130.31
Both the Giants and Rams are reeling after Week 1, having lost their season openers and having to deal with major injury concerns going forward. But this game is in New York (well, technically New Jersey), and Giants fans always turn out for their team.
6. Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Average Ticket Price: $124.85
This game marks the return of Michael Vick to Atlanta and may turn out to be the most talked about event of the NFL weekend. Falcons' fans still love Vick and it should be interesting to see the reaction he gets wearing his new uniform.
7. Carolina Panthers vs. Green Bay Packers
Average Ticket Price: $124.79
The defending Super Bowl champs head to Carolina in Week 2, but Panthers fans couldn't care less about their opponent as they are all anticipating the home debut of QB Cam Newton. The rookie quarterback threw for a record-breaking 422 yards, the most by any rookie in his NFL debut, last week and has sent expectations soaring for his potential.
8. Indianapolis Colts vs. Cleveland Browns
Average Ticket Price: $106.75
I tend to believe this is skewed from people who originally bought tickets thinking Peyton Manning would be playing. He's not and the Colts may be the worst team in the NFL right now. And the Browns aren't much better.
9. Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Average Ticket Price: $100.68
The only reason this game is this high on the list is because of the loyalty of Broncos fans, butthe quality of play on the field will probably make them question that loyalty. I'm guessing there will be a lot of "Tebow" chants in this one.
10. Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens
Average Ticket Price: $93.04
The Ravens proved they will be one of the best teams in the NFL after last week and will try to keep that momentum going when they visit Tennessee. Unfortunately, the Titans are not looking as promising after losing to the Jaguars last week.
11. New York Jets vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Average Ticket Price: $91.48
All the Jets fans must be saving up for the team's November 13th match-up with the Patriots because this is awfully low for a Jets home game.
12. Buffalo Bills vs. Oakland Raiders
Average Ticket Price: $90.01
The Bills surprised everyone with their win last week, but it's not a surprise one of their games is this low on the list. The team has a great local following but plays in what is probably the smallest market in the NFL.
13. Minnesota Vikings vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Average Ticket Price: $76.87
The Vikings are one of the teams rumored to be flirting with moving their franchise to Los Angeles for a better stadium. The team and players wants a new stadium in Minnesota, but local officials don't look like they are willing to help.
14. Washington Redskins vs. Arizona Cardinals
Average Ticket Price: $66.28
This game is surprising low on our list because normally the Redskins are one of the top selling teams in the league. Maybe Redskins fans aren't very excited about another Rex Grossman start.
15. Detroit Lions vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Average Ticket Price: $59.84
The Lions are starting to look like the next big team in the NFL; maybe it will take a few more weeks before their fans actually take notice.
16. Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans
Average Ticket Price: $54.00
The Dolphins are struggling to sell tickets to their games at home and are in serious jeopardy of having a television black-out for this Sunday's game.
Come back next Thursday for the Week 3 rankings!
Rankings are based on the average price of tickets sold on the TicketNetwork Exchange as of 9/15/2011 at 2 p.m. EST.