NFL Power Rankings - Week 3
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)
Last Week: 1
This team is just fun to watch. Tampa Bay has now won nine games in a row (including playoffs) and have scored at least 30 points in each of those outings. Tom Brady has thrown nine touchdowns in just two games thus far. The possibility of the Buccaneers going back-to-back seems to be getting higher and higher every week.
2. Los Angeles Rams (2-0)
Last Week: 3
It was a quieter win than last week, but an impressive one all the same. The Rams were able to defeat the Colts in Indianapolis, being led by a huge receiving game from Cooper Kupp-who went for 163 yards and 2 touchdowns. As of now, the Rams look like the best team to dethrone the Bucs, but next week we’ll see if looks can be deceiving as the two top teams go head-to-head in Sofi Stadium.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (1-1)
Last Week: 2
Patrick Mahomes picked up his first ever loss in the month of September; and it came as a heartbreaker. The Chiefs were the better team on Monday, and it showed for the majority of the game, until they were shutout 12-0 in the fourth quarter. The game still seemed in-hand until Clyde Edwards-Helaire fumbled the ball in field goal range during the dying seconds of the contest.
4. Cleveland Browns (1-1)
Last Week: 4
A ten-point victory against the Houston Texans may not look incredibly impressive in some eyes, but in the NFL a win is a win. Baker Mayfield was efficient, and Nick Chubb had another big performance with 95 rushing yards and a game-sealing touchdown. The question going forward for the Browns is how they will fair being thin at wide receiver for the next few weeks, as Jarvis Landry suffered an MCL sprain on Sunday, and answers regarding the OBJ situation are limited.
5. Buffalo Bills (1-1)
Last Week: 7
The Bills were able to get their bounce-back win in a one-sided affair in Miami. Their defense was impeccable, and their running game was able to boost the offense with Devin Singletary going for 82 yards and a touchdown, as well as Zack Moss putting up two more touchdowns for good measure. The only worry in Buffalo right now is Josh Allen looking surprisingly mediocre.
6. Arizona Cardinals (2-0)
Last Week: 6
The Cardinals narrowly escaped with a win against the Vikings on Sunday. It was a sloppy game and there were some big issues that Arizona must clean up-especially on defense-if they want to be real contenders. That being said, Kyler Murray was spectacular again and the Arizona receiving corps might have even more depth than most fans originally thought.
7. Baltimore Ravens (1-1)
Last Week: 10
The Ravens were able to capture a huge win on Monday Night Football to get themselves back on track. Lamar Jackson once again had over 100 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in a single outing in order to carry the team to victory. The question is how long he will be able to carry Baltimore on his back as the offensive line continued to struggle and the Ravens secondary was picked apart for the second week in a row.
8. Green Bay Packers (1-1)
Last Week: 8
It was almost time to hit the panic button in Green Bay at halftime of the Sunday Night Football matchup, where the Lions were up 17-14 and the Packers defense looked horrendous. But they were able to find their identity in the second half, shutting out Detroit 21-0 in the final two quarters in order to grab a 35-17 victory.
9. San Francisco 49ers (2-0)
Last Week: 9
Another hard-to-read victory for the 49ers in week two. The defense, which struggled against the Lions in week one, looked great against the Eagles, holding them to just eleven points. But the San Fran offense, which looked great in week one, seemed to be stagnant in Philly. It’s clear that the 49ers have the talent to contend for a title, but they must be able to eliminate some of their inconsistencies.
10. Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
Last Week: 5
The Seahawks dropped a game that they virtually had wrapped up by halftime, being up 24-9. But they let the Titans fight back and beat them 33-30 in OT. Russell Wilson had another good performance-passing for 343 yards and two touchdowns-but Chris Carson struggled throughout the game. Derrick Henry was bound to breakthrough at some point after his disappointing season opener, but him rushing for 182 yards and three touchdowns isn’t exactly encouraging for the Seattle defense.
11. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
Last Week: 11
Dallas continues as my NFC East favorites after picking up a win in LA. The win came in the form of a 56-yard field goal in the final seconds from Greg Zuerlein. Micah Parsons continued to impress-picking up a sack as the edge rusher-and the Cowboys found their rhythm in the running game with Zeke rushing for 71 yards and Tony Pollard going for 109.
12. Tennessee Titans (1-1)
Last Week: 16
The Titans will only go as far as Derrick Henry goes; and by that I mean they will only win when Henry plays phenomenal football. Tennessee picked up a much-needed 33-30 overtime win after being down by 14 at one point in the fourth quarter. The win was bolstered by Derrick Henry’s 182 yards and 3 touchdowns. But after giving up 38 points last week and 30 more this week, the Titans defense must be better if they want to move into the top-10.
13. Las Vegas Raiders (2-0)
Last Week: 19
Holding the terrible Pittsburgh offense to 17 points on Sunday wasn’t exactly a showstopping performance by the Las Vegas defense, but Derek Carr and this Raider offense continues to play like a top-10 offense. The Raiders schedule coming up doesn’t seem too lethal, so expect them to keep making a steady rise in most rankings.
14. Carolina Panthers (2-0)
Last Week: 21
I’ve seen all the evidence I need: The Carolina defense is for real. Jameis Winston looked back to normal, throwing two interceptions, and he also had to be the teams leading rusher as Alvin Kamara was held to only 5 yards on four carries. Jaycee Horn had a big day, getting the first interception of his career against the team his father used to play for.
15. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)
Last Week: 15
The Chargers showed they have an improved defense and Justin Herbert can make big throws. Two things we already knew. The issue in LA this week was that they committed 12 penalties resulting in 99 yards. If the Chargers can figure out how to get out of their own way, they’ll be fine.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1)
Last Week: 13
The Steelers put up a poor offensive game and were still able to escape with a win in Buffalo. The same thing can’t be said for their home opener against the Raiders. It’s clear that grandfather time is catching up with Big Ben and he needs help from the running game, which he just isn’t getting. No matter how good their defense gets, Pittsburgh can’t be great if the offense doesn’t perform.
17. New Orleans Saints (1-1)
Last Week: 12
The Saints took a fall from grace this week after a big 38-3 win against the Packers. The injured and covid-infected defense for the Saints gave up 26 in Carolina and the offense looked even worse. New Orleans was held to 128 total yards as their best player, Alvin Kamara, only ran for five.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
Last Week: 17
The Eagles made big mistakes that cost them this game but hanging with a very good 49ers team is still impressive. Despite his inexperience, Jalen Hurts has still looked like the answer at quarterback for Philly, and their defense is working its way back into being a strength.
19. Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
Last Week: 18
The Colts defense was able to slow down Matt Stafford and the Rams hot offense. That is a win. But Indianapolis dropped another game due to their offensive struggles; and just to pile it on, Carson Wentz somehow sprained both of his ankles.
20. Washington Football Team (1-1)
Last Week: 20
After Thursday night, Taylor Heinicke said he deserves the starting job in Washington; and for now, I agree. Heinicke went 34/46 with 336 yards and two touchdowns. But it was against a Giants defense that hasn’t been outstanding this season. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs next week in Buffalo.
21. New England Patriots (1-1)
Last Week: 22
The Patriots defense went back to their suffocating play and intercepted Zach Wilson four times while not letting the Jets see the endzone once. On the other side of the ball, Mac Jones did what he needed to do as a game manager to pick up his first career NFL win.
22. Denver Broncos (2-0)
Last Week: 23
Just like that, the Broncos are left as one of the only seven teams left undefeated as Teddy Bridgewater balled out again. That being said, those two wins come against a putrid Giants team and an even worse Jaguars squad. I expect the Broncos to win again next week against the Jets, but we’ll see who they really are in week four against the Ravens.
23. Miami Dolphins (1-1)
Last Week: 14
Tua Tagovailoa was hit hard three times in the first eight plays for the Dolphins on Sunday. That fact typically ends exactly the way that it did: with the quarterback leaving the game on a cart. Tua exited with a fractured rib and to add injury to insult, Miami was smoked 35-0 by a much better Bills team.
24. Chicago Bears (1-1)
Last Week: 26
It’s happening. Andy Dalton left with a knee injury and will not play next week. Justin Fields is set to start. Fields came in last week in a win that was led by the defense-who picked off Joe Burrow three passes in a row. The story of the week next week will be how Fields plays in Cleveland.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)
Last Week: 24
If not for Burrows back-to-back-to-back interceptions, the Bengals would have come out of Chicago with a win. The defense made improvements and the young offense shows potential. But when you look at why the Burrow disaster happened, it points to the offensive line who still cannot protect him.
26. Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
Last Week: 25
The Vikings are 2-0 without a Dalvin Cook fumble and a Greg Joseph missed field goal. But that’s not what shows up on the schedule after week 18. The biggest issue for Minnesota is their defense, who keeps losing them big games even when the offense comes to play.
27. New York Giants (0-2)
Last Week: 27
The biggest win this week for the Giants is that Daniel Jones didn’t fumble. Outside of that, their offense actually played well, and their defense was once again disappointing. New York still had themselves in position to come out of Washington with a win, but a Darius Slayton touchdown drop and a Dexter Lawrence offsides penalty leaves the Giants winless after two.
28. Houston Texans (1-1)
Last Week: 27
This Texans team still has a lot of fight and they showed it in Cleveland as they were playing for an upset and had the game tied at halftime. Tyrod Taylor has been spectacular so, right on cue, he got injured. Taylor is expected to miss up to 4 weeks as rookie Davis Mills finds himself at the helm in primetime this Thursday against the Panthers.
29. Detroit Lions (0-2)
Last Week: 31
The Lions found themselves on the wrong side of an 18 point blowout in Lambeau on Monday night. As upsetting as that game was for Detroit, they were up at halftime and showed that their situation isn’t totally horrendous, which is the only thing they have up on the teams below them on this list.
30. Atlanta Falcons (0-2)
Last Week: 28
The Falcons had the ball and were only down by three points going into the fourth quarter in Tampa Bay. The three-point deficit ended in a 23-point loss. Matt Ryan threw three interceptions and Tom Brady went off in a game that was just more of the same for this disappointing Falcons team.
31. New York Jets (0-2)
Last Week: 30
Zach Wilson started the game with two interceptions in a row; and things didn’t get much better for the rookie QB. Wilson threw four picks, finished with a QBR of 37, and had a plethora of mistakes throughout the 60 minute nightmare in New York. The running game for the Jets actually wasn’t horrible and the defense was competent, so Robert Saleh has to hope that Wilson is able to improve from this.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)
Last Week: 32
The Jags opened the game with a drive straight to the endzone, with 73 yards through the air. Trevor Lawrence only had 45 yards and two interceptions from that point on. Courtland Sutton also cooked the Jacksonville secondary, catching 9 passes for 159 yards.