Three weeks into the NFL season, teams look like they’re starting to show their true selves.
As a result, the top 10 looks a lot different this week. Underachieving teams like San Francisco, Houston and Atlanta are out, while surprise teams like Kansas City and Miami are in. Denver and Seattle are still 1-2 in the rankings, and look to stay there for a while.
Tell us where you think your team should be ranked in the comments!
1. Denver Broncos (3-0, Last Week: 1)
Once again, the Broncos scored more than 30 points and Peyton Manning looked unstoppable. Denver now plays winnable games against Philadelphia, Dallas, and Jacksonville before Manning goes back to Indianapolis to play the Colts, his old team. That will definitely be one of the most hyped games of the season, and a good one, too.
2. Seattle Seahawks (3-0, Last Week: 2)
The Seahawks demolished the Jaguars 45-17 on Sunday. That win plus a 49ers loss makes them look more like the best team in the NFC. If they continue playing the way they have, the Seahawks will win the NFC West and force other teams to play them at home in the playoffs. Many people thought the Seahawks were Super Bowl favorites before the season started, and they’re proving everyone right.
3. New Orleans Saints (3-0, Last Week: 10)
The Saints are one of the scariest teams in the NFL. Their offense has always been dangerous, but now that they are also ranked fourth in the league in total defense, the Saints have become a complete team. If New Orleans can play well on both sides of the ball the rest of the season, it should get a high playoff seed.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1, Last Week: 8)
Like New Orleans, Cincinnati can now beat teams with its offense and defense. The Bengals were known for their tough defense, but rookie running back Giovani Bernard has led an offensive awakening. Quarterback Andy Dalton now has Bernard as an additional weapon to complement elite wide receiver A.J. Green. Coming off of a wild win over Green Bay, the Bengals should beat the rebuilding Browns in week four.
5. New England Patriots (3-0, Last Week: 4)
The Pats are 3-0, but it’s strange to see so much uncertainty around them. Quarterback Tom Brady’s stats aren’t as great as they usually are because he doesn’t have reliable receivers. His weapons looked better in New England’s win over Tampa Bay, but they still must figure out how to score more points this year.
6. Miami Dolphins (3-0, Last Week: 14)
The Dolphins are right behind the Patriots in the power rankings, and they could catch them in the AFC East too. Their win over the Falcons showed they are for real, and now they take on the undefeated Saints on the road on Monday night. If Miami wins that game, it should be considered the best team in its division.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0, Last Week: 13)
The Chiefs might be boring to watch, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to play. Quarterback Alex Smith is leading an efficient offense while the defense is pressuring quarterbacks. Because their week three game was last Thursday, the Chiefs have had plenty of time to prepare for a winless New York Giants team they should easily beat.
8. Indianapolis Colts (2-1, Last Week: 12)
The Colts made the San Francisco 49ers look like a mediocre team in their 27-7 win. Wins like those build a team’s confidence, and should have Indy feeling great. They’re tied with Houston and Tennessee for first place in the AFC North, but if they can continue playing smart football, don’t be surprised if they soon take the top spot in the division.
9. San Francisco 49ers (1-2, Last Week: 3)
Something is wrong in San Francisco. After looking great in a week one win, the 49ers have not been close in two straight losses. They now must play the Rams on Thursday and try to redeem themselves after two embarrassing weeks. They’ll have to win that game if they want to keep pace with the Seahawks for the NFC West lead.
10. Chicago Bears (3-0, Last Week: 13)
After three games, the Bears are looking strong. They’re 3-0 and look like they could challenge for the NFC North title, which Green Bay was favored to win. Chicago’s offense needs to get better, but new coach Marc Trestman has his team playing solid football so far. A few more explosive plays per game, and the Bears will be one of the most dangerous teams in the league.
11. Baltimore Ravens (2-1, Last Week: 9)
The Ravens finally played a strong game against the Texans. Was this a fluke or the real deal?
12. Atlanta Falcons (1-2, Last week: 5)
The Falcons were supposed to be one of the league’s best offenses this season. That hasn’t happened.
13. Green Bay Packers (1-2, Last week: 7)
The Packers almost made a great comeback against the Bengals on Sunday, but fell short. They must figure out what’s wrong before Chicago gains a bigger lead in the division.
14. Houston Texans (2-1, Last week: 6)
Their 30-9 loss to the Ravens was disappointing, especially since they’re playing the Seahawks on Sunday.
15. San Diego Chargers (1-2, Last week: 15)
San Diego isn’t bad, but will probably be left behind the AFC West by the Broncos and Chiefs.
16. Dallas Cowboys (2-1, Last week: 16)
The Cowboys beat a pretty good team in St. Louis, and are atop a weak NFC East.
17. Tennessee Titans (2-1, Last week: 22)
The Titans are 2-1 and tied with Houston and Indy for the AFC South lead. They’ll probably fall behind, but so far, so good.
18. St. Louis Rams (1-2, Last week: 17)
St. Louis must put up a better fight against average teams like Dallas. A 31-7 loss is disappointing.
19. Arizona Cardinals (1-2, Last week: 24)
The Cards lost to a great Saints squad. They’re a quality team, but they’ve got a ways to go before they can compete for a playoff spot.
20. Buffalo Bills (1-2, Last week: 20)
Buffalo’s 27-20 loss to the New York Jets was a setback for a promising team.
21. Detroit Lions (2-1, Last week: 27)
The Lions got an important win over the Washington Redskins to put them a game ahead of the Packers in the NFC North.
22. Cleveland Browns (1-2, Last week: 29)
Led by quarterback Brian Hoyer, who filled in for Brandon Weeden, the Browns finally got a win.
23. New York Jets (2-1, Last week: 30)
The win over the Bills was impressive, and quarterback Geno Smith looked great at times.
24. Carolina Panthers (1-2, Last week: 31)
The Panthers got a much-needed blowout win over the New York Giants.
25. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2, Last week: 21)
No one is talking about this fast-paced offense anymore.
26. Oakland Raiders (1-2, Last week: 26)
There’s no shame in losing to the Broncos, but the Raiders still can’t compete in the AFC West.
27. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3, Last week: 23)
The Steelers are 0-3 for the first time since 1986.
28. Minnesota Vikings (0-3, Last week: 18)
The Vikings need a win badly, and they could get it against a winless Steelers team on Sunday.
29. Washington Redskins (0-3, Last week: 25)
RGIII has to get back to his winning ways for this team to save its season.
30. New York Giants (0-3, Last week: 19)
Nothing is going right for the Giants so far this season. It can’t get much worse than a 38-0 loss to the Panthers, who aren’t great either.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3, Last week: 28)
Now that quarterback Josh Freeman is benched, it might be time to think about next season for the Bucs.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3, Last week: 32)
The Jags’ will probably go winless at least one more week: they play the Colts on Sunday.
Photo: Jim Rogash/Getty Images