Week 3 Power Rankings

By Josh Shippen, Reporter

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)

A year after the Super Bowl, the Buccaneers are still by far the most well built team in the NFL on both offense and defense. Brady is playing amazing coming off of a five touchdown game and the defense was able to stuff a resilient Falcons offense in the second half. This brings hope that the defense will be able to stop the Rams, a much bigger NFC threat.

2. Arizona Cardinals (2-0) +4

The Cardinals offense has been playing lights out. Kyler Murray looks like an early MVP candidate in his two games so far and DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk are creating an extremely troublesome receiving core. Add to that, Chandler Jones is back and in full form and you get a Cardinals team that looks ready to burst with talent.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) -1

Don’t be fooled by the Chiefs loss on Sunday night. Had it not been for Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s uncharacteristic fourth quarter fumble, I have full faith that Patrick Mahomes would have been able to lead the Chiefs on a charge to beat the Ravens. 

4. Cleveland Browns (1-1) +1

The Browns were in danger of losing Sunday’s debacle against the Houston Texans had it not been for Tyrod’s Taylor untimely injury.That does not change that the Browns are a strong team who has played very well, especially considering that they are without Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, their top receivers. 

5. Los Angeles Rams (2-0) -1

Matthew Stafford had his second great game in a row, and the Rams look like they can face off any team on offense or defense, although defensive matchups will perhaps be more close than they have in the past.

6. Buffalo Bills (1-1) +4

A very good indicator of good teams is their ability to beat up on bad teams, and the Bills proved that they could do just that with their 35-0 romp of the abysmal Miami Dolphins. Josh Allen looked much more like the Josh Allen we expected, and the Bills look ready to roll after a week one slump.

7. Las Vegas Raiders (2-0) +2

The Raiders haven’t just been winning games, they have been winning games against good teams and they won their latest game decisively. The Raiders have proven that at least up to this point they are not a fluke, and I think they might be one of the few teams that could have a fair match against the Buccaneers or the Cardinals.

8. Seattle Seahawks (1-1) +3

The Seahawks looked like the more dominant team for three quarters of their game against Tennessee, and had it not been for Derrick Henry’s resurgence, the Seahawks would have pulled out of this game with a zero in the loss column. The Seahawks are still a very legitimate contender, but losses like last weeks do bring concerns regarding the ability of the Seahawks to stay in games and close them out.

9. Green Bay Packers (1-1) +5

The Packers’ week one game was likely just a fluke. Aaron Rodgers did a more than adequate job of leading a resurgent Packers team to beat a dead on their feet Lions team. I don’t think the Packers are ready to beat teams like the Chiefs or Bucs yet, but they are one huge step closer than last week.

10. Baltimore Ravens (1-1) -3

Props and kudos to the Ravens for pulling out the impossible win, but the fact that they won does not erase that Lamar was much less efficient than normal on Sunday. Had it not been for some bad luck on the Chiefs end, Patrick Mahomes would have pulled this game out from under their feet. The Ravens had a great bounce back from their week one loss, but I don’t think it is a sign of a dominant season.

11. Tennessee Titans (1-1) +4

There is a difference between having a good running back on a team to complement a good passing game, and having a running back carry the entire offense. In the past two years I would have argued in favor of the former for the Titans, but Henry Tannehill’s  comeback from a quiet week one makes a strong case for the latter idea. Tannehill certainly had a better game than last week, but it remains to be seen whether his success relies on having Tannehill to lean on in the running game.

12. Dallas Cowboys (1-1) -9

The Cowboys’ offense looked sloppy after a good week one showing. Not bad, but sloppy. The Cowboys were led for more by their rushing attack with Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott than they were by Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, which was not the case last week. Prescott needs to show that he can be more consistent on a week to week basis if the Cowboys want to be a viable contender.

13. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) -1

The upper 10’s area is where the Chargers are destined to spend the season on the power rankings. They are just good enough to be considered a playoff team and their quarterback is strong enough to be considered borderline elite, but the team has not fully come together and it has not proven that it can beat good teams.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) -6

Ben Roethlisberger’s age and the Steelers’ offensive failures are starting to affect this team very negatively and until the offense can get younger and faster, the Steelers will be destined to be a team with a ten win ceiling.

15. San Francisco 49ers (2-0) +1

The 49ers are continually impressive in their ability to coach running back talent, but the loss of Eli Mitchell, JaMycal Hasty, and Trey Sermon is a little too much to overcome. If Kyle Shanahan can make Trenton Cannon a viable 100 yard rusher then Shanahan should be heralded as the best running backs coach of all time.

16. Carolina Panthers (2-0) +12

The Panthers’ opponents have been weak, but the Panthers have played extremely well in both of their wins and it looks like they can beat good opponents as well as bad ones. It will be revealing to see how they handle next week’s game against a strong Texans team.

17. Washington Football Team (1-1) +2

Taylor Heinicke continues to play well, but as one of his biggest skeptics I am doubling down on the claim that his fall to mediocrity is quickly approaching. We have seen what Heinicke can do in his career, and playing against the Bills defense should be enough to expose the issues that Heinicke has always had.

18. Denver Broncos (2-0) +4

Both of the Broncos opponents have yet to get a win and this will likely carry over as the Broncos move to face the Jets this week. I have little confidence that the Broncos will continue to excel once the Broncos start facing real opponents, so don’t be fooled by the Broncos’ undefeated record.

19. Minnesota Vikings (0-2) +5

If the Vikings and Broncos faced off, I think the Vikings would pull away with the win despite their record. The Vikings’ inability to close games is killing them. Most of their success is extremely apparent in the middle of games, but Cousins cannot end a game to save his life.

20. New England Patriots (1-1) +3

Mac Jones has done an excellent job of being an effective game manager, and the Patriots are doing a good job of establishing their running game with Damien Harris and James White. Unfortunately, they need to turn it up just a little bit if they want to be a contender.

21. Chicago Bears (1-1) -3

Justin Fields looked serviceable as a passer in his first appearance with Chicago, and a full week of first team reps in practice should iron out some of those issues. With that said, Fields will still be leading an incomplete offense in his first start and this will hurt the Bears as they play against a white hot Raiders team.

22. New Orleans Saints (1-1) -9

This Saints team looks more like the team we expected to see in week one. Jameis Winston was not good, throwing for two picks and no touchdowns, and their Sunday matchup against the Panthers was not even close.

23. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) -1

Joe Burrow was very rough around the edges against the Chicago Bears, throwing an uncharacteristic three picks against two touchdowns. That being said, this Bengals team is noticeably better than last year and the Bengals have proved that they are strong both through the air and on the ground.

24. Houston Texans (1-1) +1

The Texans are still an extremely aggressive team that had it not been for Tyrod Taylor’s untimely injury would be the definitive frontrunner in the AFC South which would have been a surprise for everyone. If Davis Mills can manage to play at a passable level then the Texans should be fine, but Mills’ success is a very big if.

25. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) -1

The Eagles don’t get to play the Falcons’ defense every week, and now we have seen what happens when facing a good defense. I am guessing that with time the final product will be somewhere in between the two performances.

26. Miami Dolphins (1-1) -9

Even with Tua Tagovailoa injured there is no excuse for how poorly the Dolphins played. The defense let Josh Allen’s Bills walk all over them and the offense was unable to move down the field with Jacoby Brissett. Imagine how much the Dolphins will struggle against the Raiders surging offense.

27. Indianapolis Colts (0-2) -7

The Colts have had a tough start to their season, and it looks like it is getting even worse now that their starter, Carson Wentz, has sprained both of his ankles. Hopefully Jacob Eason will be able to show something and the Colts will be able to keep it close against the Titans, but Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill are too strong of opponents for the defense to hold back, which will hurt the offense.

28. Detroit Lions (0-2) -1

The Lions were up for a few precious moments against the Packers on Monday Night Football, but in the end the offense and defense completely shut down and Detroit was exposed once again as a team with no depth and little promise for the future.

29. Atlanta Falcons (0-2) +3

The Falcons held their own for two quarters against the Buccaneers, but in the end the Buccaneers offense was able to fully subdue them and Matt Ryan’s offense collapsed. If the Falcons offense can be consistently good, if not great, for four quarters then they should do better than expected.

30. New York Giants (0-2) -1

The Giants kept it close against Washington, but I’m not sure either of the two teams is strong enough to hold their own against a real opponent, so I am taking Daniel Jones’s performance with a grain of salt.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) -1

Trevor Lawrence struggled again in his week two showing, and playing against the Cardinals is going to be a nightmare for the rookie in his third start under center.

32. New York Jets (0-2) -1

Everything went completely wrong for the Jets in week two. Zach Wilson threw a mind boggling four interceptions against the Patriots defense, and the Jets defense did little to stop the dominance of Damien Harris and James White on the ground. The Jets’ week three matchup against the Broncos will likely be a nightmare.

 

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