Week 3 Power Rankings

Established Contenders

1. Seattle (3-0)

The Jaguars didn’t really pose much of a threat, but Seattle took care of them as expected and even beat the spread. No reason to drop them from the top of this list.

2. New Orleans (3-0)

The offense took a little longer to get going than you’d like, but they won this one easily. The Cards haven’t looked like pushovers either. They beat the Lions last week, and almost beat the Rams the week before. That Saints defense has been more the story than anything. Rob Ryan doesn’t seem to stay anywhere long, but he has had success in his first season at each stop. He seems to be having a similar impact in New Orleans.

3. Denver (3-0)

Well it didn’t take long for Denver to leapfrog the 49ers and Packers. Their offense has looked magnificent so far this season. They haven’t really been tested yet, but you can’t hold that against them. This team has looked impressive on both sides of the ball, and has started the season better than anyone could expect. Really impressive when you remember they are without Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller. Bravo John Fox and Jack Del Rio.

4. New England (3-0)

The first week we have second team from the AFC in the top 5. The Patriots are at the lowest point they will be at all season and are 3-0. Yes, they’ve played the Jets, Bills, and Bucs, but 3-0 is 3-0. Rob Gronkowski may be back this week, and Danny Amendola shouldn’t be too far behind him. In the meantime Brady gets to keep coaching up the young guys which should come in handy later on. They have a tough test this week in Atlanta, but they could make a huge statement if they advance to 4-0.

5. Green Bay (1-2)

This is probably too much from years past, but I truly do believe the Packers are still a top 5 team. Yes they lost, but look how they lost. A fumble on 4th and 1, and another fumble to secure the return for the touchdown. They showed a lot more in the way they were able to score on that Bengals defense. There is a lot of talent on this team, and while 1-2 is not a record indicative of a top team I expect them to be there at the end. Their next four games are against the Lions, Ravens, Browns, and Vikings. Would it really be a stretch to see them reel off 4 straight?

6. Kansas City (3-0)

Like the Broncos, they haven’t had the toughest schedule, but all they’ve done is win win win no matter what. This defense looks for real, and the offense should continue to improve each week. Dwayne Bowe hasn’t even made a big impact yet, and he is their best receiver by far. Dontari Poe looks as good as advertised from last year’s draft. Plenty of playmakers on both sides of the ball.

Wait and See

7. Chicago (3-0)

That was a strong offensive performance against a Steelers defense that hasn’t been the problem this year. Oh and it was on the road. Still, they haven’t proven they are any different than last year. They’re still the good bad team. Things won’t change in my mind till they beat Green Bay, or another true top team. But 3-0, and wins against the Steelers and Bengal make me feel comfortable enough putting them this high. It’s not like any other team has established themselves.

8. San Francisco (1-2)

I can’t put them too much further down than this. Too big an overreaction to so early in the season. The defense will look a lot better when the offense finds a way to stay on the field. Colin Kaepernick needs to be put in the read-option more often. His receivers aren’t getting open. They aren’t going to beat anyone in a straight up attack. Mix it up and make the defense fear the run. They’ll get Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree back. Like the Packers 1-2 isn’t ideal, but they will find a way to rebound.

9. Miami (3-0)

That Atlanta win was impressive. The defense has looked good all three weeks. Ryan Tannenhill hasn’t regressed, and the running game has been existent. This team is giving New England a legitimate threat within their division. The Dolphins haven’t done anything to make you feel differently about the preseason hype. Until they prove otherwise, a top 10 ranking seems in order.

10. Baltimore (2-1)

They stay the same after beating a Texans team that seems just on the outside of this race. I’ve been saying since week one that they will get better as time goes on. I still think that is the case. They were outclassed by the Broncos, but who hasn’t been? Outside of that they’ve had two strong wins. This team is a factor in the AFC race, especially in the AFC North.

11. Cincinnati (2-1)

Proving me wrong week after week. I’m still not entirely sold, because that win was awful lucky. My biggest problem with them is Andy Dalton, and he didn’t win that game for them. Bu this team has the makings of a playoff team. If not the division, they certainly have a shot at a wild card.

12. Indianapolis (2-1)

How is the view from up here? Obviously they have played way better than I gave them credit for. Their only loss comes from a team ranked three spots higher. Why aren’t they ahead of the 49ers? Because I think that win had more to do with catching the 49ers at the right time, than being the better team. Remember both the Giants and Vikings outclassed San Francisco last season, and who would argue either team was better in the long run? But both those teams were in the playoff hunt all season, and Indy hasn’t done much to make you think they can’t do the same.

13. Dallas (2-1)

The first big win of the season for the Cowboys. They look like they could run away with the division. The Eagles have Denver this week. If they lose, at best all three teams in the East will be 1-3. The Cowboys defensive line has been the most impressive part. Thank you Rod Marinelli. But they now know Anthony Spencer will be out all season. Their biggest question is can DeMarco Murray stay healthy. He gives the offense balance and that makes Dallas a dangerous team.

14. Atlanta (1-2)

Maybe too big of a fall. After all they were leading the Dolphins late in Miami. In fact, both their losses came on the road… Starting to regret this a little, but how about they show me more than a close win over a Rams team. They need Roddy White and Steven Jackson to get healthy. They’ve got plenty of talent, and could easily beat the Pats this week to get on everyone’s good side again.

Need to See More

15. Houston (2-1)

Two close wins and then that. It seems like they’re window is closing. The offense just isn’t the same unit it once was, and the defense is not longer dominant. Both units are good, but it might not be good enough. They seem very similar to the Bengals, but the Bengals might have the better defense this year. It’s not like their division is a complete throw away either. Luckily they do get two match-ups with the Jags. But look whose right behind them.

16. Tennessee (2-1)

Can the defensive turnaround really be attributed to Gregg Williams? It’s that or Bernard Pollard? Or both…wait a second. Bounty Gate…Pollard…let’s get back to real analysis. The Titans defense looks much better than a year ago. The offense looks efficient. As in no turnovers so far. Wow. If they can get Chris Johnson going, this team could be a real threat. At the very least this team seems to be trending up. But they are going to need a few better wins. They needed one hell of a completion from Locker to Hunter to beat the Chargers last week. The Jets shouldn’t be a walk in the park either.

17. Detroit (2-1)

Their two wins have come against winless teams. Their loss was to the 1-2 Cardinals. Getting Reggie Bush back would be big, and the Redskins are better than their 0-3 record indicate. That game was also in Washington. That defensive line is nasty, and they still have Calvin Johnson. They could get anywhere from 6-10 wins.

18. New York Jets (2-1)

They have the second best defense in the NFL. Only the Seahawks have an argument over them. But even that might change as the season goes on. So far no quarterback has completed even 50% of their passes. That list includes Tom Terrific. Geno Smith seems to be getting better each week, and the running game is coming back to life. Stephen Hill had a solid game, if he can turn into a reliable weapon for them they might even be able to sneak into the playoffs. We’ll need to see more from them, but so far so good for a team that was supposed to be an embarrassment.

You Can Pretty Much Pack it in

19. St. Louis (1-2)

That was ugly. The offense looked terrible. They need more weapons, but they also need better play out of Sam Bradford. It’s too bad. He showed a lot of promise his rookie year. The defense hasn’t lived up to expectations either. Their only good game came against the Cardinals. And they needed a comeback to take that one.

20. Buffalo (1-2)

Tough loss. The score made it seem closer than it was. No reason to get down on this offense. The Jets defense seems that good. They probably aren’t making the playoffs this year, but they have good young players. Having tons of injuries in the secondary hasn’t helped things. With enough growth, they could be a good sleeper team next year.

21. Carolina (1-2)

A modest climb for such a one-sided victory. But the Giants sure made them look good. There are still questions about them in a close game, and a team with a good offensive line will be able to take advantage of that weak secondary. They avoided a death sentence and luckily have a lot of winnable games coming up. Arizona, Minnesota, St. Louis, and Tampa. But I won’t be really convinced by this team till I see them against Atlanta in week 9.

22. Arizona (1-2)

Way to build on that win. Even an offensive appearance would’ve been nice. They shouldn’t be an easy win each week, but they shouldn’t be expected to get more than six wins this season. Then it’s just how they build on that going into next year.

23. San Diego (1-2)

It’s not over. They should’ve beaten the Titans, and they almost beat the Texans. But with the Broncos and Chiefs in their division 8-8 would be an accomplishment. But after years of futility under Norv Turner this team is moving in the right direction. At least Phillip Rivers isn’t still regressing.

24. Philadelphia (1-2)

That offense keeps making things interesting. But they are turnover prone, injury prone, and the defense isn’t that great. They’ll be exciting all year, and eventually Chip Kelly will turn this team into a winning one, but it doesn’t look like it’ll be this season, even if record-wise they seem like the greatest challenge to the Cowboys right now.

25. Cleveland (1-2)

It was against the Vikings, but it was on the road and they showed life on offense. The passing game came to life with Brian Hoyer under center, and Josh Gordon suited up again. But how much of that was a product of playing the Vikings. That team hasn’t found a way to rush the passer yet. They probably aren’t making much noise this season, and the front office has pretty much indicated as much. But it would be nice to see some progression this season. Cleveland fans certainly deserve it.

26. Washington (0-3)

They’re getting better each week. Wouldn’t be shocked in the slightest if they get their first win Sunday. With the state of the division the season isn’t over, but it’s a big hole to climb out of. The biggest win would be a healthy RG3 going into training camp next year. No more cap penalties will help, if only they had a first round pick too. But I’m sure there are no regrets on that trade.

27. Pittsburgh (0-3)

The offense looked better, but the defense did not. Getting LeVeon Bell back this week will help, but the offensive line isn’t adding anyone new. I wouldn’t be shocked to see this team get better as the season goes on, but the playoffs don’t seem likely.

28. New York Giants (0-3)

That game was ugly. The coaching is just as frustrating as the play on the field. The offensive line looks like a complete mess. But they still have a lot of talent at the positions that matter. The defense hasn’t been great, but the problems clearly lie with the offense. If they can figure out a way to score point despite the poor play of the offensive line they may be able to get back in it. But they’d need the Cowboys to collapse too. And a road game against the Chiefs certainly doesn’t help matters.

Pack it in Boys

29. Minnesota (0-3)

So many problems, yet they’ve been competitive in every game. They might even be able to sneak to 6-10. But that would be the worst thing for this team. It’s clear Christian Ponder isn’t the answer. They need a high draft pick to finally answer the question at quarterback. They are wasting Adrian Peterson.

30. Tampa Bay (0-3)

Well that was the worst loss yet. Oh and now Mike Glennon is going to be starting for them. A top 5 pick and a new head coach/quarterback seem pretty likely for 2014.

31. Oakland (1-2)

The Raiders haven’t looked pathetic in their losses. That’s something. Right? I mean half their cap is going to players who aren’t on the team. And they have a better record than six teams, each of which probably has more talent on their roster. Oh and this Terrelle Pryor kid doesn’t look bad. But when you’re reaching like this for compliments you probably aren’t a very good team.

32. Jacksonville (0-3)

This team could honestly go 0-16 and I wouldn’t be surprised. <—- I still agree with that.

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