Paul Ulane

NFL Power Rankings: Week 3

There is no crazier month in the NFL season than September, when up is down, down is up and the Bills are undefeated. Are the Lions for real? How bad are the Colts? Are the Ravens AMAZING or TERRIBLE? Inconsistent performances early in the season often result in huge leaps up and down the power rankings, and this year is no different. Keep reading to see where your team landed after the first two crazy weeks of the season.

NFL Power Rankings

1New England Patriots
Last Week: 3
Few passers have the ability to combine huge gains with pinpoint accuracy like Tom Brady. Brady leads the league in yards per attempt and he’s only one-tenth of a percentage point behind Matt Schaub for the league lead in completion percentage. It’s a passing league and the Pats have the best passer, therefore, New England sits atop the rankings this week.
2Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 1
Safety Nick Collins is out for the rest of the season and last year’s breakout star, cornerback Tramon Williams, has a bruised shoulder. This is worrisome news for a Packers defense that has already given up 851 passing yards this season. For now, the Packers are 2-0 because of the arm of Aaron Rodgers (5 TDs, 0 INTs), but they’ll need to shore up the secondary if they want this season to end like last season.
3Houston Texans
Last Week: 5
This is only the Texans’ third 2-0 start in franchise history. Can they ride that momentum to their first ever playoff appearance? With three games against playoff teams from last year on the schedule in the next month (@NO, PIT, @BAL), we might know the answer to that question sooner rather than later.
4New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 6
The Saints hung with the defending Super Bowl champs (the Packers) on the road, then trounced last year’s other NFC Conference Championship Game participant (the Bears) at home. Drew Brees and the offense still seem capable of throwing up multiple touchdowns in the blink of an eye, so if they can get their running game going – the Saints are averaging fewer than 100 yards per game on the ground so far – lookout.
5New York Jets
Last Week: 8
The Jets are hitting turbulence early this season, as they head into a brutal three-game road trip with their center, Nick Mangold, nursing a high ankle sprain. Mangold might miss his first start in 82 games, further hampering a Jets running game that is only averaging 3 yards a carry right now.
6Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 2
What a complete 180 in Baltimore. A week after thrashing their long-time tormentors, the Ravens went out and laid an egg against the Titans. Joe Flacco is a huge guy with a huger arm, but he has to show some consistency before we can take Baltimore seriously. The Ravens’ field general went from a 117.6 QB rating in Week 1 to a 51.2 rating in Week 2. That won’t cut it if the Ravens have serious Super Bowl aspirations.
7Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 10
Speaking of a complete turnaround from Week 1, I hardly even recognized the Steelers team that whupped up on the Seahawks at home. The defense went from looking old to looking hungry, shutting out Seattle in a huge bounceback win. I’m guessing this is the Steelers team we’ll see more of as the season wears on.
8Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 13
HUGE win for the Falcons, especially Matt Ryan. Ryan was getting a reputation for bad starts in big games, but he outdueled Michael Vick and the best pass defense in the NFL in Week 2 to get the Falcons’ season back on track.
9Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 4
What a bad week for Philly. Atlanta exposed the Eagles defense as weak against the run, then Michael Vick goes down with a concussion. With three division opponents coming up in the next five games, the Eagles’ depth will be tested early this season.
10Detroit Lions
Last Week: 11
They’re young, they’re explosive and they have potential Pro Bowlers at a lot of key skills positions. In other words, this is like no other Lions team we’ve seen in the past decade. With winless Minnesota coming to town, Detroit has a real chance to start 3-0 for the first time since...1980. 1980!? The Professor didn’t even have green glasses back in 1980!
11Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 16
Week 3 has the quarterback battle we’ve all been dreaming of for years: Tom Brady vs…Ryan Fitzpatrick? Yep. Fitzpatrick and Brady are tied for the league lead in touchdown passes and are leading the league’s #1 and #3 ranked scoring offenses, respectively. Prepare for a fireworks show in Orchard Park this weekend.
12Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 12
Tony Romo won over a lot of critics with his tough-as-nails overtime victory, throwing the decisive pass in overtime with a broken rib and a punctured lung. Now he’s slated to start in Monday night’s huge division match-up against the Redskins. If a banged up Romo continues to perform at this high of a level, he can change how he’s perceived throughout the league.
13Chicago Bears
Last Week: 7
As a Bears fan, allow me to share with you my measured critique of the offensive line’s performance on Sunday against the Saints: “AAARRRGGGHHH!!!” The Bears continue to let quarterback Jay Cutler get run over by opposing defenses, and until they stop (the Bears have already allowed a league-high 11 sacks), Chicago will not be making a return trip to the playoffs this year.
14Washington Redskins
Last Week: 15
Rex Grossman can not be contained! At least, he can’t be contained by two of the league’s worst secondaries. Rex went crazy against the 2nd and 3rd worst passing defenses in the NFC in his first two starts of the season, so it will be interesting to see how he performs in Week 3 at Dallas against the sack-happy Cowboys.
15San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 9
If you listen to the NFL podcast, you know I am not a huge fan of the Chargers. They have all the talent in the world, yet they continue to make the worst mistakes at the worst possible times. Look no further than Week 2 for the perfect example of a typical Chargers game. San Diego had more first downs than the vaunted Patriots, had more time of possession and only punted once…yet they still lost because they had four killer turnovers.
16Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 20
Josh Freeman just keeps doing Josh Freeman type things in the fourth quarter of games. Freeman has eight come from behind wins in his three year career. I feel like if Freeman played as well as he does in the fourth quarter in the first three quarters of every game, he’d be putting up Hall of Fame numbers.
17New York Giants
Last Week: 21
After giving up consecutive 300-yard passing games to Rex Grossman and Sam Bradford, the Giants and their banged up secondary are miraculously 1-1. But things don’t get any easier. New York has the Eagles on the schedule next. Philly will almost certainly air it out in order to get an early-season advantage in the standings over their divisional competition.
18Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 14
The Raiders and their powerful running game (4.7 yards per carry) are being rendered useless by their mistakes. Oakland already has the most penalties and penalty yards in the league, and second place isn’t even close in either category.
19Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 31
Who needs Chris Johnson when you have Matt Hasselbeck? CJ is averaging less than 2.5 yards per carry so far this season, but Hasselbeck has over 600 yards passing and Kenny Britt is emerging as one of the league’s most dangerous deep threats. If Johnson regains his form, the Titans (DEN, @CLE) can take advantage of a soft schedule to vault right into the mix in the wide open AFC South.
20Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 17
The Kevin Kolb signing is paying off early for the passing offense, but the passing defense is heading in the wrong direction. The Cardinals have the second worst pass defense in the NFC, and that’s after playing a rookie in his first career start and Rex Grossman. As the Cards take on more accomplished QBs, we could see some record setting performances by opposing passers.
21St. Louis Rams
Last Week: 18
The Rams have been without workhorse back Steven Jackson since the first quarter of Week 1, and it shows. St. Louis went 1 for 4 in the red zone against the Giants in Week 2 and their lack of scoring punch has dropped them into an 0-2 hole to start the season. The only good news: the Rams play in the NFC West, where a losing record can still get you into the playoffs. Let’s not write this team off until we see them back closer to full strength.
22Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 29
Congrats to Cleveland, who beat Indy for the first time in 17 years. Can the Browns reverse history two weeks in a row? With a win at home against the Dolphins on Sunday, Cleveland could start 2-1 for the first time since 2002.
23Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 22
The Cam Newton Show continues to impress. Newton topped his rookie record debut by ten yards with his 432-yard passing day in Week 2. Now the hungry rookie wants a win. With the struggling Jaguars coming to town, Newton might finally get what he’s looking for.
24San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 24
The defense has kept both of their games close, but the offense just isn’t moving the ball. The Niners have the second fewest passing yards in the NFC while averaging only 2.8 yards per rush.
25Denver Broncos
Last Week: 30
Broncos fans finally got to see Tim Tebow on the field – too bad Tebow lined up at receiver because the Broncos are so depleted by injuries right now. Denver has lost 6 starters to injury already this year, but all of the boo-boos couldn’t get in the way of John Fox delivering his first win as Broncos coach. Tough team or lucky win? We’ll find out in the next three weeks as Denver heads to a rejuvenated Tennessee, then Green Bay before coming home to take on San Diego.
26Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 26
Rookie receivers usually have a tough time adjusting to the NFL, just don’t tell A.J. Green. Despite dealing with a shortened training camp and a rookie quarterback, Green has still made an impact for the Bengals, tallying 11 catches for 165 yards and two scores – including the game winner in Week 1 – in his first two weeks as a pro. Looks like that #4 overall pick was worth it.
27Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 19
Luke McCown put up a historic performance against the Jets on Sunday, registering a 1.8 passer rating that included completing almost as many passes to the Jets (4) as to his own team (6). If that’s not a sign that it’s time to start the Blaine Gabbert Era, I don’t know what is.
28Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 28
Seattle’s passing game is nothing to celebrate (they have the third worst passing offense in the NFC), but they’re running game STINKS like the raw fish they’re throwing around out there at Pike Place Fish Market. Seattle hasn’t cracked 100 yards yet on the season and starting tailback Marshawn Lynch is averaging 2.3 yards per carry.
29Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 27
If you’re a Dolphins fan, the upcoming stretch of five road games in the next seven weeks is a blessing in disguise. Miami has now lost 11 of its last 12 at Sun Life Stadium, so a road trip might be just what the doctor ordered to get things back on track for Miami.
30Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 25
And the lows just keep getting lower for Colts fans. Week 2 saw Indianapolis lose to Cleveland for the first time since 1994. If the Colts keep up these historically bad performances, I will continue my Peyton Manning for 2011 MVP campaign. Seriously, folks, this was a 10-win playoff team last year with Manning…now without him, they can’t even beat the Browns!
31Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 32
The Vikings have outscored opponents 34-7 in the first half of games this year…and been outscored 41-3 in the second half. How does a team with Adrian Peterson not know how to run out the clock with a second half lead? It’s probably because they barely average 4 yards per passing attempt, letting opposing defense stack the line against the run. Until Donovan McNabb improves his downfield accuracy, the Vikings are going to continue to struggle to move the ball and hold onto leads.
32Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 23
More scary stats for Chiefs fans, thanks to regular podcast guest The Wiz: since the calendar turned to 2011, the Chiefs have been outscored 150-27. And three of those games were at home. The Chiefs might need a nightlight down here in the cellar, because they’re going to be here for a while.
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Go Lions!!! They are going to the super bowl!!!!

I think the picture is funny. i think the ravens are....... well, i don't even know who they are so i can't put my opinion of them.


Reall funny

I was surprised too see the carolina panthers come so close too the previous games but hey you don't know what too expect from a number 1 pick do you

Go on nfl rush and play fantasy.It is as fun as watching.

Again, the Redskins are behind the Cowgirls... I'm hoping this week's game will clear this whole thing up once and for all. But even outside of the Cowboys, there are still six other 1-1 teams ahead of us. Why are we the last ranked undefeated team in the rankings? Don't give me that junk about us always getting teams at their worst. Look at the Bills and Lions. The Lions had the Chiefs, who are just terrible right now, and the Buccaneers, who haven't looked to super lately either. The Bills got the aforementioned just plain terrible Chiefs and the Raiders, who... well, running game or no running game, they're still the Raiders. Now take the Redskins. We won a divisional matchup with the Giants (who we hadn't beaten since 2007 before opening weekend), and then beat the Cardinals (who had just beaten the all-powerful Cam Newton). We're better than you, NFL Network, and everybody else thinks, and I can't wait until you all wake up and realize that.

Redskins haven't had a challenge. On Monday they will be 2-1 when they lose.


The Rams.

The Detroit Lions are the best!!
They may seemed a little crazy the first two weeks,but they improved their team's effort.

I don't want any body to think I'm a boy 'cause I'm a GIRL!!

If any body says the Detroit Lions stink at playing Football, you are going to get it!!!

Let's go steelers there zoo beasty

tampa bay and green bay are out.

steelers are the bomb.

I hope he steelers win the super owl

me to

I love the eagles


I actually think the BROWNS could make the playoffs

Then get a brain.

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS PATRIOTS #1!!!!! THAT HASNT HAPPENED IN FOREVER!!!!! YAYYYY!!!! and colts #30?!?! and lions in the top 10? am i DREAMING?!?! i am soooo happy!!!! :D

Tell me about it, Pats RULE!!!! I mean seriously, they're the best of the best. And the Colts #30!!!! Colts - Peyton Manning = 0-2, which means SAD Colts fans, which makes for a HAPPY me!!!! :)

Tell me about it,the Pats RULE!!!! It's about time the Patriots got a #1 power ranking, I mean seriously, they're the best of the best. And the Colts #30!!!! Colts - Peyton Manning = 0-2 Colts, which means SAD Colts fans, which makes for a HAPPY me !!!! :)

dang man


yeah man,you got it right. were goin' all the way again this year.

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