Paul Ulane

NFL Power Rankings: Week 3

It’s only Week 3, but the guard seems to be changing in the NFL. Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Carolina continue to struggle, while teams like the Ravens, Broncos, and Niners are sitting atop their respective divisions. Hey – even the Lions managed to pull off a win! It’s becoming more and more apparent every year: last season’s results have nothing to do with this season. Keep reading to see how all of these developments shook out in this week’s Power Rankings…

1 Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 1
Joe Flacco’s passer rating is still in the triple digits, the running game is averaging the fifth most yards per game in the league and the defense is holding opponents under 52 rushing yards per week. Those are certainly number one credentials. Week 4 in New England will be a good measuring stick for the Flacc Pack. (What do you think, will that nickname catch on?)
2 New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 3
Who needs Drew Brees? The Saints golden boy QB failed to toss a touchdown pass for the first time since Week 7 of last season. Still, the Saints uncharacteristically ran the Bills out of Buffalo (222 team rushing yards) behind Pierre Thomas’ breakout performance (126 yards, 2 TDs). Now let’s see if their balanced offense can handle the Jets’ furious pressure in one of Week 4’s best matchups.
3 Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 4
The bend-but-don’t break defense has helped lead Indy through an undefeated September. The Colts have let teams run up and down the field on them (21st in rushing defense) but have only allowed about 15 points per game (3rd in the NFL).
4 New York Giants
Last Week: 2
Are the G-Men as good as they looked against the weak Bucs? Probably not, but they are still really good. Through three weeks, NY has a balanced offense (8th in rushing yards, 10th in passing yards) and a dominant defense (first in passing yards and second in total yards allowed).
5 New York Jets
Last Week: 5
Mark Sanchez is the first rookie QB to win his first three games since the NFL-AFL merger all the way back in 1970. But enough about him, let’s discuss those awesome Jets throwback uniforms and all the confusion they caused. In Week 3, the New York Jets wore throwback uniforms from when they were called the New York Titans…but they were playing the Tennessee Titans…who were wearing throwback uniforms from when they were the Houston Oilers. My head hurts, let’s move on.
6 New England Patriots
Last Week: 10
Fred Taylor helped balance out the New England offensive attack with 105 yards and a touchdown on the ground. It was a welcome site for the Pats, who only had three 100-yard rushers all of last season.
7 Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 6
Brett Favre worked a miracle for his 42nd career fourth quarter comeback, but the Vikes still drop a spot because without Favre’s last second heroics, they would’ve lost a crucial home game to a non-division opponent. With the Packers and the Ravens coming up in the next three weeks, we’ll see soon enough if the Vikings are legit or have just been feasting on an easy early season schedule.
8 Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 13
If Kevin Kolb’s Week 3 performance is to be trusted, all of the sudden the Eagles have three QBs on their roster who could potentially start for them. Donovan McNabb, Kolb, and Michael Vick are all options and will help Philly endure any injury problems this season at the most important position in football.
9 San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 8
I have faith in head coach Mike Singletary to help the Niners move on from that tough last-second loss to the Vikings. The bigger question mark in San Francisco is how the team will move on from the ankle and foot injury to Frank Gore, who was the team’s offensive focal point in the first two weeks.
10 Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 7
The running game on both sides of the ball is killing the Falcons. On offense, the Falcons have the 23rd best running game, while on defense, they’re 24th in rushing yards allowed. Until Atlanta straightens out their line play, they’re going to keep playing catch-up to the Saints in the NFC South.
11 Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 14
A sloppy win over the Rams isn’t going to make the Packers feared, but their defense has produced the most interceptions in the league. Look for the cornerbacks to be extra fired up when they face their former QB Brett Favre in the first of two mega-matchups this season between the Vikings and Packers.
12 Denver Broncos
Last Week: 12
You’ve got to hand it to the Broncos for overcoming such a sloppy off-season to start 3-0. Unfortunately, after beating up on three teams with a combined winning percentage of .333, the Broncos’ next five opponents are winning at a .667 clip. Week 4 could be the beginning of a mid-season slide.
13 Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 23
His stats aren’t spectacular, but you have to give Carson Palmer credit for engineering two fourth quarter scoring drives to knock off his hated rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Palmer stays healthy all year (that’s a big “if” - he missed 12 starts last year and sprained his ankle in the pre-season), the Bengals should be able to stay in contention in the AFC North.
14 Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 15
After not registering a sack or forcing a turnover in their first two games, the Cowboys defense broke out in a big way by sacking Jake Delhomme three times, forcing three turnovers and even returning an interception for a touchdown.
15 San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 16
Philip Rivers looks great leading the NFL’s second best passing offense, but the run defense is a major concern. With tackle Jamal Williams out for the rest of the season, the Chargers will be fighting an uphill battle all season to improve on their 26th ranked rushing defense.
16 Chicago Bears
Last Week: 20
In Week 2, the Steelers missed two field goals and lost to the Bears by three points. In Week 3 the Seahawks missed two field goals and lost to the Bears by six points. Then again, with linebacker Brian Urlacher out for the season and back-ups Pisa Tinoisamoa and Hunter Hillenmeyer both banged up, Chicago will take wins any way they can get them.
17 Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 9
The Steelers lost to the Bengals for the first time since 2006. That’s not necessarily the type of stat that signals a Super Bowl repeat in the Steel City.
18 Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 18
The Cards only have 182 yards rushing on the season, worst in the NFL. The Cowboys average more rushing yards…per game. I know the aerial attack of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin is what keeps this Cardinals offense ticking, but it’s awfully hard to win games with a nonexistent running game.
19 Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 11
Terrell Owens didn’t make a catch for the first time in 185 games. Not only does that mean we might all start hearing a whole lot more from the talkative Owens in the near future, it also means Trent Edwards wasn’t able to stretch the field, as the Bills had no pass plays of 25 or more yards in Week 3.
20 Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 28
Behind Maurice Jones-Drew they have the tenth ranked rushing offense in the league, so even at 1-2, they’re not out of it yet. If they can knock off Tennessee to get to .500 next week – and in the process send the Titans to an 0-4 start – they can get back in the playoff hunt with winnable games against Seattle and St. Louis after that.
21 Houston Texans
Last Week: 19
H-Town is giving up over 200 yards rushing per game. An offense with Drew Brees at quarterback, Randy Moss and Reggie Wayne at wideouts, and Adrian Peterson at running back would have a hard time winning with that type of defensive effort.
22 Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 17
These Titans bear little resemblance to last year’s 13-3 squad. They’re losing the time of possession battle by an average of seven minutes a game and they’re minus-three in turnover margin. Maybe that explains why they started last season 10-0 and this season 0-3.
23 Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 25
Thanks to another shoulder injury to Chad Pennington, the Chad Henne era has begun earlier than expected. Unfortunately, I don’t think it matters which Chad is under center, the Wildcat has failed to rack up points this season and the Dolphins are struggling because of it.
24 Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 22
Head coach Jim Mora called out Olindo Mare after he botched two field goals in a six point loss to the Bears. On the bright side of things…well, there’s not much. Speaking of bright, those Seahawks lime green uniforms from Week 3 were amazing. Did you see those things? I needed sunglasses to watch that game.
25 Detroit Lions
Last Week: 31
LIONS WIN! LIONS WIN! LIONS WIN! Congrats to the Lions for getting out of that ugly losing streak. They jumped out to a lead and held on to beat the Redskins. Now comes the even harder part, doing it again. The Bears have been locked in tight games all season, so don’t be surprised to see the Lions knocking on the door of another W this week.
26 Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 26
The broken record keeps on spinning. Jake Delhomme tossed another couple interceptions (including a game-breaking pick six) and the Panthers lose again. The strange thing is, with Jake Delhomme throwing so many passes to the other team, why did DeAngelo Williams only rush 11 times against the Cowboys in a close contest?
27 Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 24
Darren McFadden is trying to jumpstart the running game, but that’s nearly impossible with the JaMarcus Russell-led passing game accumulating a league-worst 119.7 passing yards per game.
28 Washington Redskins
Last Week: 21
Sorry Redskins fans, you lose to the Lions, you tumble in the Power Rankings. Jim Zorn needs to figure out a way to score more points (28th in the league) or this Redskins season will end right where last season ended: in last place in the NFC East.
29 Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 27
Forget the new QB in town, franchise running back Larry Johnson is averaging fewer than three yards per carry this season. If Johnson keeps that up, expect to see more of Jamaal Charles in the Chiefs offensive game plan.
30 St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 32
Without Steven Jackson, the Rams would be nothing. Jackson is second in the NFC in carries and is single-handedly helping St. Louis move the chains. Look for Jackson to get even more heavily involved if Marc Bulger has to sit out this week and back-up Kyle Boller stays under center.
31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 29
In Week 3, the Bucs didn’t even convert a first down until five minutes were left in the third quarter. If this keeps up, they may not need to load up the cannons in the end zone pirate ships at Raymond James Stadium at all this season.
32 Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 30
It’s never good when you bench your starting quarterback at halftime and the replacement throws three picks in the second half. Nothing seems to be working for Eric Mangini in Cleveland right now.


Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (21 votes)

More »


Saints will end up winning the super bowl. They beat the Colts 31-17

no no cowboys is number one

steeler are still major competitors

Proffesser Ulane rocks!

I predict a triple digit loss when the lions faceoff against the saints

Hey like the picture states the lions have won ONE game in nearly 20 starts. At least you can count on your young gun QB, oh, wait, he's injured because of a stupid decion by the head coach. All in all the lions stink. GO 49ERS

Hey HugeCheerleader the 49ers stink too!


this is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo not accurate. the Ravens number 1? Are you kidding me! Colts should be number 1! Colts rule!!!!!

How did the Browns get in LAST!!!!

i no! they are my second-fave team!


LeftyPitcher15 rocks! SO DO THE NINERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Bears are awsome with Cutler and Forte!

It's the year of the Cleveland Browns. Deal with it.

the ravens were my pick to win the superbowl!!!!!

You put my Browns in last for a getting killed and benching Brady Quinn?! Yeah they deserve it.

I completely agree with dropping the Niners and Vikes a spot each. Anyone else I know, would've dropped the Niners like 5 spots and brought the Vikings up 5 spots. The 49ers need some respect, I mean they lost Frank Gore and the game still came down to the lat 2 seconds. Imagine what would've happened if Gore played. Also imagine if the Niners didn't drop those half a dozen picks in the game. Now we'll see next weeks if the Vikings can beat a healthy Packers team next week.


San Diego is not number one they already lossed once and with the upcoming game at Pittsburgh the Chargers will need to score some more touchdowns than theynormally do because everyone knows its hard to kick field goals there. I appreciate the rank of the eagles with Kevin Kolb getting yards through the air when Andy Reid puts in Kolb to close down games he will have more passing plays planned for Kolb.

no no san diego is no 1

By Sport Blogs

By Date

BLOGS See all »