NFL Power Rankings: Week 3

Reading Time: 7 minutes

 

1) Los Angeles Rams

(Up 1 spot)

The Rams look unstoppable. In a week that featured a lot of ugly football, it’s a relief to watch a great team beat the snot out of a lesser opponent.  

2) Minnesota Vikings

(Down 1 spot)

Missing big field goals is a rich tradition for this franchise. No one likes a tie, but you have to love how this offense looked in the second half. Diggs and Thielen are the best WR duo in the league and Kirk Cousins’ arm was on full display with a number of breathtaking throws.

3) New England Patriots

(No movement)

It was a rough game all around for the Pats. It was hard to ignore the glaring lack of talent compared to the Jaguars. Don’t be concerned though, the modern-day Patriots tend to improve throughout the season as the roster hierarchy becomes clearer. It’s hard to have any expectations for Josh Gordon who is on his way to town, but if there’s anyone who can save his career, it’s Tom Brady.     

4) Philadelphia Eagles:

(No movement)

Carson Wentz is back! I expect it’ll take a few weeks before he’s back to MVP form, especially with Mike Wallace and Alshon Jeffrey out. No one else in the NFC East appears to poise a threat at this point, so Wentz has time to knock off the rust.

5) Jacksonville Jaguars

(Up 3 spots)

Via Getty Images

Let us never forget week 2 of the 2018 NFL season where Blake Bortles out played Tom Brady for four quarters.

6) Kansas City Chiefs

(Up 3 spots)

This might be the most talented offense in NFL history. Patrick Mahomes will cool down at some point, but the collection of Kelce, Hill, Hunt, and Watkins is just too much for other teams to handle. Kansas City’s defense is another story. Getting Eric Berry back will help but having to rely on your offense to put up 40+ a week is a worrisome formula.    

7) New Orleans Saints

(Down 3 spots)

The defense looked better, but the offense looked worse. Rough, but September football is usually pretty ugly, so I’ll give them credit for pulling out an ugly game. Expect the Saints to pick up steam as the season goes on.   

8) Atlanta Falcons

(Up 3 spots)

Despite a brutal few weeks where Atlanta lost Deion Jones, Devonta Freeman, and Keanu Neal to injuries, the Falcons put together an impressive four quarters of football. I’m not one to say a week 2 game is a must win but starting 0-2 with a home loss to another division contender is a difficult hole to dig out of. Big props all around to this offense for turning around week 1’s ugly showing.      

9) Carolina Panthers

(Down 1 spot)

Sunday was an uncharacteristically terrible performance from this defense, that I believe won’t happen again. Offensively, Carolina’s passing game looked more explosive than what we saw week 1 against Dallas. Tough loss, but they should be fine.       

10) Green Bay Packers

(Up 2 spots)

The debate on if Aaron Rodgers should play seemed to end quickly once number 12 took the field and lit up one of the league’s best defenses. The question going forward is how worried should we be about this defense after blowing a late nine-point-lead almost instantly.

11) Chicago Bears

(Up 2 spots)

Mitchell Trubisky is still a work in progress but as long as this defense can dominate and close out games, he can afford to make a few bad throws.  

12) San Francisco 49ers

(Up 3 spots)

Anything but a perfect win over Detroit, but it’s something to build off. Getting sacked six times is another reminder that Jimmy Garoppolo’s 2017 honeymoon is over and he’s still learning how to play QB at the professional level. He improved on his three-interception game last week and it’ll be interesting to watch how he preforms at Kansas City next Sunday.

13) Pittsburgh Steelers

(Down 7 spots)

I’m trying not to overreact, but Pittsburgh’s defense underperforming, and Ben Roethlisberger inconsistent play can’t exactly be ignored. James Conner is a solid player, but this offense just doesn’t seem right without Le’Veon Bell. Patience is already running thin, and a loss at Tampa Bay next week to FitzMagic might cause mass riots in Pittsburgh.       

14) Los Angeles Chargers

(Up 2 spots)

Buffalo isn’t exactly a quality opponent, but it was nice to see the Chargers bounce back in a big way. This team can be a juggernaut and that was on full display for once.  

15) Houston Texans

(Down 5 spots)

I hate beating the dead horse, but this offensive-line is painful to watch. They’re not the only reason for Watson’s poor play but they’re not helping. I’m not panicking yet, but I’m starting to become very concerned.    

16) Cincinnati Bengals

(Up 8 spots)

Joe Mixon is the real deal and looks ready to transcend the Bengals offense. So of course, he’s going to miss a few weeks with an injury. Still, I really like what I see. Andy Dalton looks fantastic and the defense looks solid. I might regret this, but I’m starting to get a little hyped.

17) Baltimore Ravens

(Down 3 spots)

It took one bad performance to negate the Joe Flacco is having his best offseason talk. I still don’t see Lamar Jackson taking the job this year, but a few more bad performances and things might get interesting.    

18) Denver Broncos

(Up 3 spots)

Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus (8) celebrates his game winning field goal with punter Marquette King (1) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Denver. The Broncos won 20-19. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

The defense is good, and I think the offense will continue to improve. I’m still not completely sold on Denver yet, but we’ll know soon enough when the schedule gets stronger the next few weeks.  

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Up 10 spots)

I have no faith that this is sustainable, but FitzMagic is here and I’m going to enjoy it for as long as possible.

20) Dallas Cowboys

(Up 3 spots)

For at least three drives, the Cowboys resembled a professional offense. Who cares about the offense though when the defense is dominating. The D-line looked borderline unstoppable, even without Randy Gregory and David Irving and Kris Richard’s secondary was causing just as much trouble with blitzes. The D is back in Big D.

21) Miami Dolphins

(Up 7 spots)

I didn’t believe in the Dolphins coming into the year, and truthfully, I still don’t, but they’re 2-0 and winning close games. Ryan Tannehill and this defense really impressed against the Jets and they have another favorable game against the Raiders this week.     

22) Oakland Raiders

(Down 5 spots)

Look, 0-2 sucks but they haven’t looked terrible. They improved last week and hopefully will continue to trend upward. However, it’s still hilarious to listen to Gruden complain about his team’s lack of pass rush when Khalil Mack in Chicago.

23) New York Giants

(Down 3 spots)

Saquon Barkley might be the best RB to enter the NFL in a decade, but Eli Manning is still Eli Manning and this O-line is still horrible. The optimistic side of me realizes that the Giants have played two great defenses to start the year, but it’s still stunning to me that an offense with Barkley and Odell Beckham can be this bad and boring to watch.  

24) Washington Redskins

(Down 2 spots)

Quite the stinker compared to last week, but at least fans didn’t pay to go watch it. The offense especially really struggled, which is something I don’t think we’ll be saying much this year against the Colts.   

25) Tennessee Titans

(Down 6 points)

Dane Cruikshank – the Titans back up safety – was their leading receiver last week after taking a a fake punt for a TD. That’s pretty much all you need to know about their current state on offense. No doubt this was a monster win for them without Mariota, but I struggle to see them scoring against Jacksonville this week.  

26) Seattle Seahawks

(No movement)

Von Miller week 1, Khalil Mack last week, and DeMarcus Lawrence this week. Please pray for Russell Wilson.   

27) New York Jets

(Down 2 spots)

Sam Darnold struggled a bit more last week but still delivered some impressive throws. I expect the season going forward to follow a similar roller coaster.  

28) Detroit Lions

(Down 10 spots)

A much better showing this week but I’m starting to wonder how much this team really has. I don’t think they’re a terrible team, but the schedule doesn’t get much easier. When Matt Patricia likely gets handed his third straight loss by his former team next week, there’s a chance this locker room starts to turn sour.

29) Indianapolis Colts

(Up 2 spots)

There’s no question that the NFL is more fun with Andrew Luck playing. T.Y. Hilton is still awesome, and the offensive-line looks better. Hard not to be happy for the Colts and their fans when the future looked so bleak a year ago.

30) Cleveland Browns

(No movement)

The Browns should be 2-0 right now, but they still can’t find a way to close a game; or make field goals. Still, it was a great effort, especially by the defense. This team has the talent to get their first win in two years, but they’re struggling to shake the loser mentality.   

31) Arizona Cardinals

(Down 5 spots)

What a disaster. Sam Bradford and the rest of this offense have been horrific through the first two weeks. We knew it was only a matter of time before the Josh Rosen protests would begin, and it seems like a no-brainer at this point for a team in need of a spark.   

32) Buffalo Bills

(No movement)

Having a player retire at halftime will guarantee you a spot at the bottom of the list. Josh Allen’s accuracy was spotty to say the least, but there were some positive flashes from the kid too. His development is going to take a while, but at least he looked like he could eventually become a competent QB; which is more than we can say about Nathan Peterman.  

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