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NFL Power Rankings Week 3 | Bills on top, Chiefs closing in and Titans fading fast

The Buffalo Bills have shown they are the best team in the NFL over the first two weeks of the regular season. Six teams are 2-0 going into Week 3.

The Buffalo Bills have shown they are the best team in the NFL over the first two weeks of the regular season. Six teams are 2-0 going into Week 3.
Mark KoneznyUSA TODAY Sports

The second week of the NFL season was filled with impossible comebacks and last second finishes. The Dolphins, Jets and Cardinals all seemed on the verge of beat downs, but they fought back in the most improbable of fashions and ended up coming back in the final minute of the game. The week was full of surprises and so are our Week 3 Power Rankings.

1) BUFFALO BILLS 2-0, last week 1

There shouldn’t be a shadow of a doubt who should be in the top spot of the Week 3 Power Rankings. No team has looked better than the Buffalo Bills, who look to be living up to their billing as favorites in the AFC this season. Josh Allen continues to build his early season MVP resume while the defense continues to dominate. They picked off Ryan Tannehill twice on Monday night and the special teams unit forced two fumbles off of muffed punts. The offense is good enough to carry this team, but if the defense and the special teams are all chipping in the Bills are going to blow out a lot of teams this year, not just the Titans.

2) TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 2-0, last week 2

For the second straight week the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense looked underwhelming even with Tom Brady under center. Brady has some bad blood with the Saints, having lost his last four games against New Orleans, but broke that bad spell on Sunday. It took the offense a long time to get going, and it seemed like the second brawl was enough to turn things around for the Bucs. Tampa Bay didn’t score until midway through the third quarter but their defense held strong, just like they did in the Cowboys game last week. Brady will sort out the offense, but Todd Bowles looks like he has the defense in midseason form.

3) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 2-0, last week 3

For the second straight week the Kansas City Chiefs defense was just as important as their offense. Everyone knows Patrick Mahomes has the ability to change a game with a single snap of the wrist, but if the defense is going to have that same sort of decisive ability like they showed against the Chargers on Thursday Night Football then the rest of the league is in trouble. Rookie Jaylen Watson came up with the 99 yard pick six with the game tied up in the fourth quarter. KC put a premium on defense over the summer and it looks like their efforts are paying off.

4) LOS ANGELES RAMS 1-1, last week 4

You had to know the Rams were going to bounce back in a big way after dropping their season opener to the Buffalo Bills last week. For three quarters that’s exactly what it looked like they were doing, but then they dropped their guard and allowed 17 points in the final quarter. The Rams rushing game has to pick up in games like Sunday’s where they had a big lead but couldn’t keep the clock running and the chains moving with their running game and it almost cost them in the final minutes. Allen Robinson and Tyler Higbee showed up on Sunday and provided some support for Cooper Kupp in the passing game, but it’s evident that Stafford doesn’t have the depth at the receiver position that he had a year ago.

5) LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 1-1, last week 5

It was a game that could have gone either way. The Chargers played level with the Chiefs, and even outplayed them for most of the Thursday night game in Arrowhead, but it was one play that made the difference and turned out to be a 14 point swing in favor of the home side. Justin Herbert continues to impress, even without Keenan Allen, who was out last week. Austin Ekeler is a fantastic option both on the ground and through the air, and the LA defense is getting better as the season goes on. The Chargers had won two straight in KC, but a loss in Arrowhead shouldn’t drop them too far down the standings. It’s hard to win on the road, and it’s even harder to win in Kansas City during primetime.

6) MIAMI DOLPHINS 2-0, last week 10

We knew the Dolphins meant business when they brought Tyreek Hill to Miami to pair up with Jaylen Waddle. What we didn’t know is the Dolphins would be looking like one of the best offensive units in the league, capable of scoring 28 points in a quarter, by Week 2. For as bad as they looked in the first half, they looked like a team that can contend for the AFC in the second quarter. It may be too early to put them in the conversation of the conference’s elite teams, but Miami is 2-0 and people around the league are starting to believe in the Dolphins.

7) GREEN BAY PACKERS 1-1, last week 9

Fans in Green Bay can take their hand off the panic button after the Packers offense looked like the Packers offense of always Sunday night against the Bears. Aaron Rodgers led scoring drives on four of the first five series, as the running game became a focal point of the offense. Aaron Jones had 170 total yards including 132 on the ground and that allowed the rest of the offense to flow. Rodgers once again proved he owns the Bears, winning his 23rd game in 28 meetings against Chicago.

8) BALTIMORE RAVENS 1-1, last week 7

Talk about a collapse. The Baltimore Ravens lead 28-7 at halftime and looked like they were going to cruise to 2-0, but the secondary was shredded in the final quarters as they allowed big play after big play in a fourth quarter in which they conceded 28 points to blow a three touchdown lead. Neither Lamar Jackson nor the offense is the problem in Baltimore, but the defense has a lot to be concerned about after Week 2.

9) SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1-1, last week 12

Somehow, some way, the Niners kept hold of Jimmy Garoppolo even after he restructured his contract to make their QB seem more attractive in the trade market. San Fran saw their path to the future take a serious detour as Trey Lance was KOed from the game with a broken ankle that will keep him out for the rest of the season. That leaves the Niners in the same position they were in last year and in 2019 when they made deep runs into the playoffs with the former New England Patriot. The new Jimmy G era started how the old one ended. Jimmy didn’t amaze, but he did enough to lead the Niners to a comfortable win over the Seattle Seahawks. Garoppolo was 13/21 throwing for 154 yards and a touchdown while the defense forced three turnovers and held the Seahawks to just 216 yards of total offense.

10) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 2-0, last week 15

Are the Eagles for real? It would certainly appear so. It may be too early to get too eager, but Philly fans are feeling a sense of euphoria after starting the season 2-0, as Jalen Hurts looks to have taken the reins an run this season. He completed 83% of his passes against the Vikings while throwing for 333 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles had 347 yards of offense at halftime and cruised to a Week 2 victory.

11) CINCINNATI BENGALS 0-2, last week 6

The reigning AFC Champions have a serious problem. The magic of last season looks to have flamed out and the Bengals offense that was so hard to contain last year has looked lost in the first two games of the season. The good news for the Bengals was that Joe Burrow hung on to the ball against the Cowboys. But the bad news for the Bengals was Joe Burrow held on to the ball and they couldn’t beat a Cowboys team without Dak Prescott and that is extremely limited on the offensive end. For the second straight week Cincy gave themselves a chance to win after digging themselves in a hole early in the game, but couldn’t make the plays late in the game to make the difference, which is surprising for a team that made all the plays in their playoff push last year.

12) DENVER BRONCOS 1-1, last week 14

The Denver Broncos got their first win of the year, but Russell Wilson’s arrival in the Mile High City hasn’t cured many of their problems from last year. The Broncos offense are dreadful in the red zone, scoring 0 touchdowns in five trips, and the fans let Wilson and the rest of the offensive unit know on Sunday. The boo birds started to ring out at Mile High Stadium, and it’s not just because of the toothless offense. Denver have committed 25 penalties in the first two games of the season.

13) MINNESOTA VIKINGS 1-1, last week 8

All the hype that surrounded the Vikings after their opening week win over the Packers was quickly silenced with a reality check in Philly on Monday night. Minnesota was pounded by the Eagles on a night in which Kirk Cousins threw three interceptions. Cousins had a total of 7 in all of last season, but the Eagles had his number in FedEx Field.

14) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 1-1, last week 17

Going on the road in a hostile environment like Pittsburgh after losing your season opener is not an easy task. There were times when it didn’t look easy for the Patriots on Sunday, but they took advantage of the Steelers’ self imposed mistakes in a defensive battle from Acrisure Stadium. Mac Jones was much improved in Week 2, going 21/35 for 252 yards with a TD and an INT. Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Meyers combined for 200 receiving yards. It was the special teams that came up with the biggest play of the game when Greg Olszewski muffed a punt that turned into 7 points for the Pats just a minute later.

15) NEW YORK GIANTS 2-0, last week 24

Don’t look now but the New York Giants are 2-0 and leading the NFC East after a couple of ugly wins to start their season. It’s been so long since the Giants have had a winning record they won’t mind if their victories aren’t too aesthetically pleasing. Daniel Jones isn’t going to be in the MVP conversation any time soon, but he is managing games and not making mistakes to cost his team the game. Saquon Barkley is looking like the player that the Giants drafted out of Penn State but it’s been the defense that has won New York the opening games, allowing 18 points per game to start the season.

16) LAS VEGAS RAIDERS 0-2, last week 11

The Raiders seem to have everything they need to be a team that will not just be in the hunt towards the end of the regular season, but could make a run deep in the playoffs. While on paper they look great, the results haven’t been there for the first two weeks. They hung tight with the Chargers in LA in Week 1, but the debacle in front of their home fans on Sunday would suggest this team isn’t ready for the playoffs. It’s a long season and Josh McDaniels will see this team improve, but in a division where all four teams are vying for the playoffs these early mistakes can cost them a spot in the post season.

17) CLEVELAND BROWNS 1-1, last week 16

The Cleveland Browns made history on Sunday, unfortunately they ended the game on the wrong side of history after giving up a 13 point lead with 1:55 to go in the fourth quarter. For the first time in 2,229 games a team let slip a 13 point lead with under two minutes to go in the game. The Browns secondary seemed to turn off after Nick Chubb stretched the lead out to 13, and Joe Flacco punished them not once but twice for the dramatic comeback win in front of the Cleveland fans.

18) ARIZONA CARDINALS 1-1, last week 26

Arizona was ready to go into crisis mode after a scoreless first half in Las Vegas, but Kyler Murray looked like the Kyler Murray that was one of the favorites for the MVP for the first half of last season. There is still a lot of work to do in Arizona, but they stole one in Las Vegas and return home 1-1 just like everyone else in the NFC West.

19) DALLAS COWBOYS 1-1, last week 23

Let me be the first one to admit I had the Cowboys written off after watching their pitiful performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. Even before Dak Prescott got hurt, the Cowboys looked completely outclassed on the offensive end, and if their inexperienced receiving corps couldn’t help Prescott, what in the world would they look like with Cooper Rush? Rush went 19/31 for 235 yards and a touchdown in his first start of the season. For as much as the Dallas fans love their superstars they will always welcome an underdog, and Cooper Rush is a fan favorite in Big D at least until next week. While Rush deserves high praise, it was the defense who held on after the Cowboys built up a 17-3 halftime lead. Micah Parsons is a monster on the edge who doesn’t allow opposing quarterbacks a single moment of comfort in the backfield and you could tell that with Joe Burrow yesterday. The Cincy QB was sacked 5 times and allowed just 165 passing yards in their late win.

20) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 1-1, last week 19

It was a game to forget for Jameis Winston and the Saints. New Orleans had had Tom Brady’s number over the last few games coming into Sunday’s Week 2 contest. Tensions were already high, but an ugly game that turned into a slugfest led to emotions boiling over on more than one occasion. After a scrum between Mike Evans and Marshon Lattimore that led to both players’ ejection, Winston let his emotions get the best of him and tried to force a deep ball to the end zone. It was intercepted by Jamel Dean and the wheels fell off for the Saints shortly after. The Bucs went on to score a touchdown on the next drive and then picked off Winston on the next two possessions. New Orleans needs to show a bit more maturity than they have in the first two games, but that could be tough with Winston at QB and a first year coach on the sideline.

21) PITTSBURGH STEELERS 1-1, last week 21

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense didn’t miss a beat against the New England Patriots even after seeing the defending Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt tear his pec in the opening weekend of the year. The problem for the Steelers was getting the ball in the end zone against the Pats on Sunday. Mitch Trubisky passed for just 152 yards, and the three turnovers Pittsburgh committed helped hand the game to the Patriots. The Steelers did finally find the end zone, but it was too little to late and they dropped to 1-1 on the year.

22) CHICAGO BEARS 1-1, last week 20

The Baby Bears went three and out on four straight possessions from the first quarter to the third quarter. During that span they went down 24-7 by halftime. Despite that they still had a chance to make it tight in the fourth quarter, and if Justin Fields punches in a 4th and Goal QB sneak to make it a seven point game, who knows what the game would have looked like at the end of 60 minutes. There are a lot of missing pieces on this team, but this is a season where the Bears are going to mature game by game and Sunday night’s loss against the Packers can serve as a learning lesson going forward.

23) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 1-1, last week 18

The buzz of the Week 1 win over recently departed quarterback Russell Wilson has worn off and we saw more of the Seattle I think everyone expected to see this season against the Niners on Sunday. The Seahawks were the recipients of big breaks last week, but they were the ones who shot themselves in the foot time after time against San Fran. For instance, the decision to let Deejay Dallas take the half back pass inside the 10 yard line which resulted in the second Seattle interception of the afternoon. The Seahawks stopped the Niners on the ensuing drive, but Seattle coughed the ball up trying to field the punt and the Niners punished Pete Carroll’s side with a Kyle Juszczyk one yard TD that buried Seattle.

24) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 1-1, last week 31

At the beginning of the season I said the Jaguars were a young team that we would see grow up in front of our eyes this season. While their Week 2 demolition of the Colts proves that point to a tee, I would have never guessed they would have such a breeze of a game against a division rival and a team that was getting some love as a contender in the AFC. Trevor Lawrence had one of his most accurate days in his NFL career, going 25/30 for 245 yards and two touchdowns. It’s easy to say the defense was the most impressive part of the Jags’ Week 2 win since they put up a shutout, but defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell has them playing as a unit. From Trevon Walker and the D line to Devon Lloyd and the DBs, Jacksonville may be ready to compete in what is looking like a very weak AFC South sooner than we might have thought.

25) WASHINGTON COMMANDERS 1-1, last week 27

The Commanders may not have won the game in Detroit on Sunday, but they are playing a fascinating brand of football. They aren’t a team that will back away from a shootout, and they have proved that over the last two weeks. Their Week 1 win went down to the wire, and they had to battle back against the Lions on Sunday after going down 22-0 in the first half. Carson Wentz is providing Commanders fans with exactly what they were going for coming into the season. A high flying offense capable of hitting big plays, but the down side of their offense is they can go silent for long spans of the game like they did in the first half in Detroit.

26) DETROIT LIONS 1-1, last week 29

The Detroit Lions aren’t just looking like a competitive team over the first few weeks of the season. They are looking like a fun team to watch, which hasn’t happened in years at Ford Field. Jared Goff and the Lions have scored 71 points in the opening two games of the season. Goff had four touchdowns and the Lions totaled more than 180 yards on the ground. First round draft pick, and local legend from the University of Michigan, Aidan Hutchinson, had three sacks and six tackles in his breakout performance on Sunday afternoon.

27) NEW YORK JETS 1-1, last week 30

The Jets didn’t just win their first game of the season on Sunday. They did it in one of the most dramatic ways we have seen in the last 20 years. Joe Flacco didn’t just look like a version of his old self, he was bouncing around the locker room celebrating the win like a teenager at Burning Man. The comeback was historic, but the Jets hung with the Browns for most of the game, which speaks to Flacco’s consistency and Robert Saleh’s game planning. Saleh said he’s taking receipts of everyone who has been making fun of the the Jets, and they are looking to shut people up after their first win of the season.

28) TENNESSEE TITANS 0-2, last week 25

At the beginning of the season there were warnings of a potential drop off from last season’s one seed in the AFC. The Titans offense looks impotent as Tannehill’s options at receiver are a shade of what he had last year. Derrick Henry barely had any room to run against Buffalo as the offensive line continued to let Von Miller and the Bills into the back field, creating 3rd and longs on a night where the Titans would score just 7 points and were held to less than 200 yards of offense.

29) CAROLINA PANTHERS, 0-2, last week 22

For a second straight week the Carolina Panthers dug themselves a hole in the first quarter. They turned the ball over twice on their opening two possessions, but the Giants couldn’t capitalize on those Panthers mistakes. Mayfield still looks a bit lost in his new system in Charlotte. He went 14/29 for 145 yards and a touchdown, but when it comes to finishing drives the Panthers need to be more efficient when they get deep into opposition territory.

30) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 0-1-1, last week 13

The Colts followed up a tie against the Houston Texans in Week 1 with an even more embarrassing performance in Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon. Apparently having one of the best quarterbacks over the last decade and a preseason MVP candidate doesn’t guarantee that things are going to go smoothly on the offensive end. The Colts were shut out in Jacksonville. Ryan threw three interceptions on a day where Indy totaled 218 yards. There is still a lot of time to right the ship, but the Colts have done little to convince anyone that they are capable of that over the first two weeks of the regular season.

31) HOUSTON TEXANS 0-1-1, 28 last week

The Houston Texans forecast for this season doesn’t paint a promising picture, and the first two weeks of the regular season confirm those projections. They tied with the Colts in Week 1, which looked to be a decent result before we knew Indy had some serious problems on both ends of the ball. They locked horns with the Broncos in a defensive battle that was far from pretty. Houston didn’t score a single touchdown, and struggled to move the ball all day against the Broncos. Hopefully Texans fans have braced themselves for an ugly season filled with some ugly results like in Week 2.

32) ATLANTA FALCONS 0-2, last week 32

The Falcons may be 0-2, but they are surprising a lot of people with their ability to stay in games and compete. Atlanta had no business coming back and making their game against the Rams close after trailing 28-3 in the third quarter. In Week 1, the Falcons came out strong against the Saints but fell asleep in the final two quarters; this week they started flat and finished strong. Once Atlanta can put together a full 60 minutes of football they might start winning games that no one would have predicted before the season started.


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