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NFL Power Rankings Week 3

NFL Power Rankings

NFL Power Rankings Week 3

The second week of the NFL season gave us some of the best quarterback play in recent memory, some of the worst kicking, and another dose of Fitzmagic.

This week, we have a new top 3! As always, these loosely reflect my current Super Bowl odds.

Los Angeles Rams

Power Ranking: 1

  • Record: 2-0
  • Previous Rank: 3
  • Week 2: Win vs Cardinals, 34-0
  • Week 3: vs LAC

The Rams were dominant in all facets of the game on Sunday, and have shown no glaring weakness through two games. The Chargers’ offense will be a good test for the Rams’ secondary when the “Fight for L.A.” plays out on the field this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Power Ranking: 2

  • Record: 2-0
  • Previous Rank: 5
  • Week 2: Win vs Patriots, 31-20
  • Week 3: vs TEN

The Jaguars convincingly beat the Patriots without RB Leonard Fournette. Had Bortles and the Jags been this aggressive in last year’s playoffs (45 pass attempts), they would have won the AFC Championship.

Minnesota Vikings

Power Ranking: 3

  • Record: 1-0-1
  • Previous Rank: 4
  • Week 2: Tie @ Packers, 29-29
  • Week 3: vs BUF

After a terrific fourth-quarter comeback in Green Bay, the Vikings should be 2-0. Instead, Daniel Carlson is out of a job, and Dan Bailey is Minnesota’s new kicker. Kicking is unlikely to decide the Week 3 game against Buffalo.

New England Patriots

Power Ranking: 4

    • Record: 1-1
    • Previous Rank: 1
    • Week 2: Loss @ Jaguars, 31-20
    • Week 3: Sunday Night Football @ DET

Within 24 hours of a humbling loss in Jacksonville, the Patriots added mega-talent Josh Gordon to their receiving corps for next to nothing. Belichick and Co. will make adjustments and bounce back, like they always do. On to Detroit.

Philadelphia Eagles

Power Ranking: 5

  • Record: 1-1
  • Previous Rank: 2
  • Week 2: Loss @ Buccaneers, 27-21
  • Week 3: vs IND

All eyes will be on South Philly when QB Carson Wentz makes his much-anticipated return to the field in Week 3. With Wentz cleared for contact, the bigger concern is how the defense surrendered 400 yards and 4 TDs to Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 2.

Green Bay Packers

Power Ranking: 6

  • Record: 1-0-1
  • Previous Rank: 6
  • Week 2: Tie vs Vikings, 29-29
  • Week 3: @ WAS

After blowing a fourth-quarter lead and getting outplayed in overtime, the Packers escaped Week 2 with a tie. Fun fact: this was the only 29-29 tie in NFL history. A questionable late roughing the passer call on LB Clay Matthews was a bitter pill for Packer fans to swallow: the rule is being more strictly enforced because of the hit that broke Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone last season.

Kansas City Chiefs

Power Ranking: 7

  • Record: 2-0
  • Previous Rank: 10
  • Week 2: Win @ Steelers, 42-37
  • Week 3: vs SF

Update: the Chiefs’ offense with QB Patrick Mahomes under center STILL looks like a race car with the restrictor plate removed. Mahomes threw another 6 touchdown passes this week, becoming the first player in NFL history to throw 10 TDs in the first two games of the season.



New Orleans Saints

Power Ranking: 8

  • Record: 1-1
  • Previous Rank: 8
  • Week 2: Win vs Browns, 21-18
  • Week 3: @ ATL

The Saints were spared a similar-or-worse fate as Pittsburgh’s Week 1 tie against the Browns when K Zane Gonzalez missed two FGs and an extra point in the fourth quarter. QB Drew Brees, RB Alvin Kamara, and WR Michael Thomas each appear to be in mid-season form.

Atlanta Falcons

Power Ranking: 9

  • Record: 1-1
  • Previous Rank: 9
  • Week 2: Win vs Panthers, 31-24
  • Week 3: vs NO

Matt Ryan and the rest of the Atlanta offense rebounded nicely from their poor showing in Philadelphia on opening night. The Falcons host the Saints in another tough NFC South matchup this week.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Power Ranking: 10

  • Record: 0-1-1
  • Previous Rank: 7
  • Week 2: Loss vs Chiefs, 42-37
  • Week 3: Monday Night Football @ TB

After a come-from-ahead tie against Cleveland in Week 1, the Steelers badly needed a win in their home opener. Instead, their defense picked up where it left off the last time they played at Heinz Field.

Los Angeles Chargers

Power Ranking: 11

  • Record: 1-1
  • Previous Rank: 13
  • Week 2: Win @ Bills, 31-20
  • Week 3: @ LAR

The Chargers offense looks like one of the best in the league. So does the Rams defense. The strength-vs-strength matchup could be one of Week 3’s best games.

San Francisco 49ers

Power Ranking: 12

  • Record: 1-1
  • Previous Rank: 15
  • Week 2: Win vs Lions, 30-27
  • Week 3: @ KC

Nice bounce-back game for Garoppolo and the 49ers offense, who clearly still miss top WR Marquise Goodwin. 30 points may not be enough at Arrowhead.

Denver Broncos

Power Ranking: 13

  • Record: 2-0
  • Previous Rank: 16
  • Week 2: Win vs Raiders, 20-19
  • Week 3: @ BAL

The Broncos trailed for most of Week 2 against the Raiders, but QB Case Keenum led a fourth-quarter comeback and last-minute FG drive for a win the 2017 Broncos would not have been capable of pulling off.



Cincinnati Bengals

Power Ranking: 14

  • Record: 2-0
  • Previous Rank: 20
  • Week 2: Win vs Ravens, 34-23
  • Week 3: @ CAR

A dominating first-half performance propelled the Bengals to an easy win over the Ravens, and they’re now alone in first place atop the AFC North. Cincy must hope that veteran RB Giovani Bernard can help overcome the loss of breakout RB Joe Mixon, who will reportedly miss 2-4 weeks after arthroscopic knee surgery.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Power Ranking: 15

  • Record: 2-0
  • Previous Rank: 19
  • Week 2: Win vs Eagles, 27-21
  • Week 3: Monday Night Football vs PIT

If QB Ryan Fitzpatrick throws interceptions on his next 10 passes, his passer rating will still be over 100. Since Fitzmagic faces a very vulnerable Pittsburgh secondary on Monday night, don’t count on those interceptions.

Chicago Bears

Power Ranking: 16

  • Record: 1-1
  • Previous Rank: 17
  • Week 2: Win vs Seahawks, 24-17
  • Week 3: @ ARI

For the second time in as many weeks, the Bears front seven looked legit, LB Khalil Mack was a monster, and QB Mitchell Trubisky and the offense showed signs of growth. Without Aaron Rodgers on the other side of the field, it was enough for the first win of the Matt Nagy Era.

Carolina Panthers

Power Ranking: 17

  • Record: 1-1
  • Previous Rank: 12
  • Week 2: Loss @ Falcons, 31-24
  • Week 3: vs CIN

QB Cam Newton overcame an ugly hit to the head early in Week 2 to have a terrific game. Rookie WR D.J. Moore scored from 51 yards out on his first NFL reception and nearly brought in a game-tying Hail Mary as time expired.



Baltimore Ravens

Power Ranking: 18

  • Record: 1-1
  • Previous Rank: 11
  • Week 2: Loss @ Bengals, 34-23
  • Week 3: vs DEN

Which is more surprising: Baltimore’s no. 7 overall passing offense or its no. 23 rushing offense through two games? According to coach John Harbaugh, LB C.J. Mosley’s knee injury, “doesn’t look to be long-term.”

Houston Texans

Power Ranking: 19

  • Record: 0-2
  • Previous Rank: 14
  • Week 2: Loss @ Titans, 20-17
  • Week 3: vs NYG

Deshaun Watson showed flashes of his spectacular rookie-year form with WR Will Fuller back in the lineup. Unfortunately, the Texans will not win many games scoring 17 points while giving up special teams touchdowns.

Miami Dolphins

Power Ranking: 20

  • Record: 2-0
  • Previous Rank: 29
  • Week 2: Win @ Jets, 20-12
  • Week 3: vs OAK

Ryan Tannehill game-managed the Dolphins to another win, and they now have a better record than the Patriots. Anyone think it will last?

Washington Redskins

Power Ranking: 21

  • Record: 1-1
  • Previous Rank: 18
  • Week 2: Loss vs Colts, 21-9
  • Week 3: vs GB

Consistency has eluded the Washington offense to this point, but the defense has played well. The one-two punch of Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson at running back has looked strong.

Indianapolis Colts

Power Ranking: 22

  • Record: 1-1
  • Previous Rank: 28
  • Week 2: Win @ Redskins, 21-9
  • Week 3: @ PHI

The Colts are a Jack Doyle fumble away from maybe being 2-0, and their defense surprisingly led the way against Washington. They’ll need that effort and then some for their Week 3 trip to Philadelphia for Carson Wentz’s return.

Tennessee Titans

Power Ranking: 23

  • Record: 1-1
  • Previous Rank: 27
  • Week 2: Win vs Texans, 20-17
  • Week 3: @ JAC

The Titans pulled off an improbable division win against the Texans without QB Marcus Mariota, TE Delanie Walker, and three of their starting offensive linemen. Unless S Kevin Byard continues to throw TD passes on trick plays, the Titans will need a lot more from Blaine Gabbert to pull off an upset this week in Jacksonville.



Seattle Seahawks

Power Ranking: 24

  • Record: 0-2
  • Previous Rank: 21
  • Week 2: Loss @ Bears, 24-17
  • Week 3: vs DAL

Even Russell Wilson couldn’t escape the Chicago pass rush, taking six sacks and throwing his first pick-six since his rookie season. The offense clearly misses WR Doug Baldwin. Perhaps an assist from the 12th Man will help the Seahawks get their first win in the home opener?

Dallas Cowboys

Power Ranking: 25

  • Record: 1-1
  • Previous Rank: 22
  • Week 2: Win vs Giants, 20-13
  • Week 3: @ SEA

The limitations of the Dallas offense were still evident in their win over the Giants. Can anyone other than Zeke Elliott contribute consistently?

Cleveland Browns

Power Ranking: 26

  • Record: 0-1-1
  • Previous Rank: 24
  • Week 2: Loss @ Saints, 21-18
  • Week 3: Thursday Night Football vs NYJ

The Browns had to find ways to lose on Sunday, and they did not disappoint. Could their Week 3 trip to the Meadowlands unlock the beer fridges?

Oakland Raiders

Power Ranking: 27

  • Record: 0-2
  • Previous Rank: 26
  • Week 2: Loss @ Broncos, 20-19
  • Week 3: @ MIA

The Raiders blew another early lead, but it took late-game heroics from Case Keenum for the Raiders to lose at Mile High. QB Derek Carr was spectacular and WR Amari Cooper bounced back nicely.

New York Jets

Power Ranking: 28

  • Record: 1-1
  • Previous Rank: 25
  • Week 2: Loss vs Dolphins, 20-12
  • Week 3: Thursday Night Football @ CLE

The defense was again solid, but QB Sam Darnold made some rookie mistakes against Miami. The Jets have a short week to prepare for a trip to Cleveland, where they’ll try to avoid the ignominious distinction of being the team to end the Browns’ winless streak.

Detroit Lions

Power Ranking: 29

  • Record: 0-2
  • Previous Rank: 30
  • Week 2: Loss @ 49ers, 30-27
  • Week 3: Sunday Night Football vs NE

The Lions showed some surprising fight in a back-and-forth battle in San Fran, but ultimately fell short when a late Jimmy Garoppolo interception was overturned due to a penalty. Things don’t get any easier with the Patriots coming to Ford Field this weekend.

New York Giants

Power Ranking: 30

  • Record: 0-2
  • Previous Rank: 23
  • Week 2: Loss @ Cowboys, 20-13
  • Week 3: @ HOU

Eli Manning looked awful on Sunday night, struggling to get the ball into the hands of the Giants skill players. Rookie RB Saquon Barkley was a bright spot on offense with 14 receptions.

Arizona Cardinals

Power Ranking: 31

  • Record: 0-2
  • Previous Rank: 31
  • Week 2: Loss @ Rams, 34-0
  • Week 3: vs CHI

Getting shut out at home in Week 2 should be the low point for an NFL team. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the worst may be yet to come.

Buffalo Bills

Power Ranking: 32

  • Record: 0-2
  • Previous Rank: 32
  • Week 2: Loss vs Chargers, 31-20
  • Week 3: @ MIN

The Erie County Sheriff’s Department is attempting to enforce a ban on table slamming at Bills tailgates. Why take away one of the only things their fans have left?

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