It’s only Week 3, but the NFL has already started to work its way out. After an intriguing first week, teams like the Packers and Bills have regrouped, while teams like New Orleans and Philadelphia have fallen back to where preseason expectations expected them to be. With so few games and injuries galore, it’s hard to get a grip on where teams stand as of now. If there is one thing that we know, another wacky season is in store. With an already crazy first two weeks behind us, here are where everyone stacks up in the Week 3 NFL Power Rankings.
Week 3 NFL Power Rankings
1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0) (Previous: 2)
Tampa Bay had an easy matchup against Atlanta this week and looked like they were going to run away with it in the first half. With the blink of an eye, the Buccaneers found themselves only up three in the third quarter and Tampa Bay looked vulnerable. Two pick-sixes and another score later, the Buccaneers proved themselves to be the best team in the NFL. With Rob Gronkowski back in prime form with two touchdowns in each of his last three games, this team is clearly the favorite to win the Lombardi.
2) Los Angeles Rams (2-0) (4)
While it wasn’t always pretty, the Los Angeles Rams got the job done in Indianapolis. This offense has unlocked something that hasn’t been in Los Angeles for years. Cooper Kupp is looking to be Matthew Stafford’s favorite target, as he has 16 receptions for 271 yards and three touchdowns already. If Stafford can start to get others involved as well, this will be one of the most complete offenses in the NFL. It’s pretty clear that the Rams are the biggest threat to the Buccaneers in the NFC.
3) Arizona Cardinals (2-0) (5)
The Arizona Cardinals played another mediocre team, much like the Titans team they annihilated last week. Unfortunately, the Cardinals’ defense couldn’t replicate their success, as they were given fits all game by Minnesota’s offense. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good though. Thanks to a missed 37-yard field goal by Greg Joseph, Arizona is 2-0. While the defense needs to show some consistency, Kyler Murray has gone nuclear for the first two weeks of the season. Murray has amassed nine touchdowns and just under 700 yards in the air already against two average defenses.
4) Las Vegas Raiders (2-0) (18)
It’s time to admit that the Las Vegas Raiders are legit. Their overtime win over the Ravens looks even better this week after they took down the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Las Vegas, known for their horrid defense historically, has yet to give up 28 or more points. On top of that, they’ve played some solid offenses already too. With Miami on the schedule next and Tua’s status in the air, it’s likely this Raiders team finishes the month of September 3-0.
5) Baltimore Ravens (1-1) (13)
The Ravens looked to be in trouble, down 12 heading into the fourth against an absolute juggernaut of an offense. Thanks to some Lamar Jackson magic and Clyde Edwards-Helaire coming down with a bad case of fumbilitis in field goal range, and they were able to take a win from under Kansas City’s nose. Although questions can be asked of their defense, this offense is hard to stop when Lamar is making smart decisions and accurate passes. Unfortunately for Baltimore, his ability to do that consistently has been their kryptonite. For now, though, Ravens fans will enjoy this win.
6) Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) (1)
For as good as Patrick Mahomes is, and he is truly a generational talent, he still has a key lesson to learn. Mahomes needs to learn how to take a sack now. His attempt to make a play that wasn’t there ended in a turnover that got the Ravens some crucial points that ended up being the difference. While there were certainly more reasons the Chiefs lost than that one play, those plays will come back to bite him even harder in the playoffs. That hasn’t been a problem to this point, but it’s not to say it isn’t possible. They can’t make many mistakes with the way their defense plays at times. There is no consistency on the defensive side of the ball.
7) San Francisco 49ers (2-0) (10)
The 49ers found a way to survive again. While this seemed more like a game the Eagles managed to lose than one the 49ers won, there’s still something to be said about being 2-0. The offense is a big question mark for San Francisco, however, as they are struggling to get anything going in the passing game outside of George Kittle. With seemingly every running back falling victim to the injury bug, it seems unfair that San Francisco is again running out of bodies. They’ll need to somehow get healthy to truly compete in the dog days of the 2021 season and beyond.
8) Dallas Cowboys (1-1) (8)
The Cowboys offense looked horrible, the defense couldn’t get off the field and they still found a way to beat the Chargers on the road. While some of that was in large part to a questionable taunting and stopped forward progress call late in the game, it’s never just one thing that loses a team a game. With Dallas not playing a single 2020 playoff team until November 21st against Kansas City, Dallas should be able to go on a nice run and stake their claim as the top dog in the NFC East.
9) Cleveland Browns (1-1) (9)
The good news for Cleveland is that they got their first win of the year and Baker looked very good. The bad news is that they were being diced up on defense by Tyrod Taylor before he got hurt and lost Jarvis Landry to an MCL sprain. With the Bears and Vikings due up next for the Browns, this should be a great opportunity for their defense to get back to form. With Landry’s injury, the Browns need Odell Beckham Jr. back as soon as he’s ready.
10) Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) (12)
New coach, new season, same old Chargers. This team just finds a way to lose in heartbreaking fashion whenever they can. The fact that this team was able to go toe-to-toe with this elite Cowboys offense shows just how good this team can be. It’s no coincidence that their offense ran much more efficiently and smoothly as they reintroduced running back Austin Ekeler into the passing game again. If the Chargers need to clean one thing up, however, it has to be the penalties. Having 12 penalties for 99 yards is too much, especially seeing almost all of them killed drives throughout the game.
11) Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) (3)
12) Buffalo Bills (1-1) (11)
13) Carolina Panthers (2-0) (24)
14) Denver Broncos (2-0) (20)
15) Tennessee Titans (1-1) (17)
16) Seattle Seahawks (1-1) (6)
17) New Orleans Saints (1-1) (7)
18) Green Bay Packers (1-1) (16)
19) Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) (23)
20) Chicago Bears (1-1) (22)
21) Minnesota Vikings (0-2) (25)
22) Indianapolis Colts (0-2) (14)
23) Washington Football Team (1-1) (19)
24) Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) (15)
25) Detroit Lions (0-2) (28)
26) New England Patriots (1-1) (26)
27) Miami Dolphins (1-1) (21)
28) Houston Texans (1-1) (27)
29) Atlanta Falcons (0-2) (31)
30) New York Giants (0-2) (30)
31) New York Jets (0-2) (29)
32) Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) (32)
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