Alex Smith Kansas City Chiefs

Jay Biggerstaff, USA Today Sports

NFL Power Rankings - Week 3

The Chiefs vault up the rankings, but do they claim the top spot?

Seth Dunlap
September 19, 2017 - 11:53 pm
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Doing a Power Rankings for any sport can be great fodder for conversation, but especially in the NFL.  There is no other major professional league in America that brings a true sense of parity to nearly every game on its calendar.  Case in point: The #1, #4, #6, teams in last week's rankings lost on Sunday.  I still think all three are good to great football teams.  

You won’t really get a good picture of how the league is going to shake out until a bit after the quarter pole of the season, so these early rankings can fluctuate quite a bit.  That said, I’d still lay money, a lot of it, that the eventual Super Bowl champion comes from one of the top eight teams in our rankings this week.   

Now, let’s get to the rankings for week 3! 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) Last week #2  -  How do you survive an injury to an All-Pro and your defense’s most important player? By developing the best rookie running back in the league, a dynamic playmaking force that has made your offense vastly more dangerous.  Do I think the Chiefs are the best team in the league?  No.  Do I think they deserve this spot after two weeks? Heck yes!  CURRENT REIGN: 1 week
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) LW #3 - The biggest overreaction from the opening week were those doubting the Steelers legitimacy after a closer than expected victory over the Browns.  They just dominated a very good Vikings team at home.  The Steelers are just fine, folks.
  3. New England Patriots (1-1) LW #5 – Nothing like facing the Saints defense to get your struggling offense in gear.  It’s really hard to judge the Patriots after last week’s breeze.  I want to see Brady against better defenses again before I make any overarching judgements on just how good, or pedestrian, this offense might be this season.
  4. Atlanta Falcons (2-0) LW #8 – The dirty birds make a huge leap in the rankings after a redux of last year’s NFC title game against the Packers.  Different year, same results.  Matt Ryan could be on his way to a second straight MVP with all those weapons at his disposal.
  5. Oakland Raiders (2-0) LW #7 – Can we please get more of Beast Mode dancing on the sidelines?  This is a fun team to watch, and their battles with the Chiefs this season is going to be appointment television.
  6. Green Bay Packers (1-1) LW #1 – This is probably the NFL’s best team. . .when they are playing at Lambeau Field.  On the road against top opponents? Not so much.
  7. Denver Bronocs (2-0) LW #12 – This seems low for the Broncos, right?  They absolutely clobbered the Cowboys last week and controlled the line of scrimmage like few, if any, teams have done to that vaunted offensive line.  
  8. Seattle Seahawks (1-1) LW #9 – I’m just not going to give them much credit for beating a bad 49ers team, and needing some Russell Wilson late game magic to do it.  If that offense is THIS bad (21 points combined in two games) then you can forget about them challenging Atlanta or Green Bay in the conference.
  9. Dallas Cowboys (1-1) LW #4 – Talk about an uninspiring performance. What the heck was that Zeke? There are plenty of championship caliber teams that have had a ugly performance like that on their resume, but they better fix things quickly as they are on the road again this week in Arizona.  
  10. Minnesota Vikings (1-1) LW #6 – They lost to one of the league’s best teams on the road.  Oh, and they were without their quarterback. The true Vikings are almost assuredly closer to their week 1 performance than this one. 
  11. Detroit Lions (2-0) LW #14 – It’s amazing how Jim Caldwell and Matt Stafford have been silencing their haters week after week for two seasons now.  I still think this is the third best team in their division, though, and therefore getting a berth into the playoffs will be tough.
  12. Baltimore Ravens (2-0) LW #11 – We’ve seen this movie before.  The Ravens get off to a fast start based on an extremely soft schedule.  Everybody gets excited.  Then we see them against the Steelers and other AFC contenders.  Stay tuned beyond this week’s tilt against the Jaguars.
  13. Tennessee Titans (1-1) LW #15 – Can this team win a massive game at home against a bonafide Super Bowl contender?  They failed in week 1 but they get a chance again this week against the Seahawks.    
  14. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) LW #10 – It’s really tough to win at Arrowhead.  Yet, they had an opportunity to make a statement and show everybody they can contend earlier than expected.  It looks like they aren’t quite ready for the bright lights.
  15. Carolina Panthers (2-0) LW #17 – Much like the Ravens the beginning to their season could prove a bit of a mirage.  Wins against the 49ers, Bills and now possibly against the Saints could have them sitting at 3-0.
  16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) LW #19 – The Bucs looked rested and dominant at home against the hapless Bears.  A very nice start to a season many people thought could see them as a surprising dark horse in the NFC.
  17. Miami Dolphins (1-0) LW #18 – That was a great win for the Dolphins in a hostile (ok, unfamiliar?) environment in L.A. against the Chargers.  Maybe Adam Gase really is Jay Cutler’s muse.
  18. New York Giants (0-2) LW #13 – I have to laugh at all the hype that was shown yet another New York market team in the preseason.  Giants as Super Bowl contenders?  Odell Beckham Jr. as the league’s best player?  With apologies to the Newman Greenies fans out there, get out of here with that noise! 
  19. Houston Texans (1-1) LW #24 – The Texans are going to win many games this year just because of how good that defense is.  They’ve already helped one coach get a pink slip.  How many more firings will they cause this season?  Too bad they have replacement level QB play.    
  20. Arizona Cardinals (0-1) LW #20 – You think I’m going to move them up the rankings after a near loss to the Colts?  The Colts!
  21. Los Angeles Rams (1-1) LW #16 – Just when we start believing in the Rams, they do this.  No seriously, it has happened at least once per season since they drafted Sam Bradford.
  22. Buffalo Bills (1-1) LW #25 – That defense is better than I expected, but they haven’t put anybody around Tyrod Taylor than makes you believe they can win many football games. Still, they seem like one of those “not as bad as we thought” type teams.
  23. New Orleans Saints (0-2) LW #21 – Oh look the Saints have the league’s worst defense and they are on pace to be historically bad.
  24. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) LW #22 – The Jaguars were so relatively impressive in their opening week win that they had people here picking them at home against the AFC South favorites.  Seriously, check it out. 
  25. Los Angeles Chargers (0-2) LW #23 – That was certainly a Chargers way to lose a football game.
  26. Washington (1-1) LW #28– They ran all over the Rams for 229 yards last week and won with their quarterback, Kirk Cousins, haven’t a relatively pedestrian game.  A truly rare feat in the Jay Gruden era.    
  27. Cleveland Browns (0-2) LW #26 – The Browns turned it over five times on the road and still only gave up 24 points.  That defense is going to be for real, and if they are successful with this rebuild that unit will be the reason why. 
  28. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) LW #27 – The Marvin Lewis era is going to come to an unceremonious end soon.  Will the Andy Dalton era follow?
  29. San Francisco 49ers (0-2) LW #30I’m really impressed with Rober Saleh’s defense after two weeks.  It hasn’t translated to wins, and likely won’t for a while.  But there are glimmers of hope in Santa Clara.
  30. Chicago Bears (0-2) LW #29 – ‘Da Bears got ‘da beat down from ‘da Bucs.  The ‘Suck for Sam’ sweepstakes is officially on!
  31. Indianapolis Colts (0-2) LW #31 – They managed to take the Cardinals to overtime.  Moral victories right?
  32. New York Jets (0-2) LW #32 – Lynch dancing on the grave of this Jets season is a fitting way to end these power rankings. 

 

 

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