Another week of NFL football is in the books. Sadly, Week 2 is probably going to be most noted for the injuries sustained by several of the league’s biggest stars. Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams, Nick Bosa, Raheem Mostert, Bruce Irvin, Drew Lock, Courtland Sutton, Anthony Barr—the list of injuries goes on and on. Obviously, these injuries have a big impact on the Week 3 NFL Power Rankings.
With the goal of the Week 3 NFL power rankings being to assess the league from top to bottom as they stand in each given week of the season, it’s safe to say that injuries to key players impact how a team stacks up. There’s plenty of shuffling amongst the ranks again this week, despite the top two still remaining unchanged. Read on to see where your team landed.
Week 3 NFL Power Rankings
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Week 2 Ranking: 1
Despite needing fourth quarter heroics from Patrick Mahomes and two 58-yard field goals from Harrison Butker, including the overtime game-winner, the Chiefs prevailed and remain atop our NFL Power Rankings. The Chargers found substantial success in terms of pass rush throughout the game. The fact that Mahomes still had 300 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns is quite impressive. The run game was also a non-factor in this one. For Kansas City to remain ahead of other AFC contenders with strong defenses (think Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Tennessee, and New England), the offensive line will need to be better.
2. Baltimore Ravens
Week 2 Ranking: 2
It felt like the Ravens were on cruise control throughout their win over the Houston Texans on Sunday. Lamar Jackson barely had 200 passing yards and Baltimore still won by 17. There’s a reason this team finished with the best record in the regular season a year ago. They could soon find themselves perched atop these rankings.
3. Seattle Seahawks
Week 2 Ranking: 4
Despite losing Bruce Irvin and failing to generate a pass rush throughout, the Seahawks pulled out a thrilling win on Sunday night. There are no concerns whatsoever regarding Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense, but Pete Carroll certainly has adjustments to make defensively. With three games and a bye week ahead of their first divisional matchup, the Seahawks have time on their side.
4. Los Angeles Rams
Week 2 Ranking: 6
The Rams have looked every bit the top-10 team I thought they were through the first two weeks. So much so that they have graduated into the top-5. Jared Goff picked apart the Eagles secondary, Aaron Donald and the defense bottled up Philadelphia’s offense for much of the game, and Tyler Higbee had a touchdown hat trick. A win over the Bills this week will only strengthen public opinion.
5. Green Bay Packers
Week 2 Ranking: 7
It’s quite possible that the most over and underrated teams from the preseason edition of these rankings will both hail from the same division. I was wrong on the Packers. The offense looks great and had no trouble against the suspect Lions defense even with Davante Adams limited by a hamstring injury. The Saints figure to provide a more formidable test this coming week.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 2 Ranking: 5
Pittsburgh led throughout on their way to a 2-0 start to the season. The reason for the slight fall in the power rankings is that they failed to pick up any style points against a banged up Denver Broncos team. Despite my nitpicking, the steelers remain a legitimate AFC contender.
7. Buffalo Bills
Week 2 Ranking: 9
The Bills offense stole the spotlight away from the defense this week, as the Josh Allen-Stefon Diggs connection had a monster day. With a pair of inferior divisional opponents conquered, we will really find out how good this Bills team is the next few weeks as they take on the Rams, Raiders, Titans, and Chiefs.
8. New Orleans Saints
Week 2 Ranking: 3
Michael Thomas’ absence proved to be a bit more impactful than perhaps even the Saints anticipated in their Monday night loss. Drew Brees looked, well, old. The Saints’ defensive performance was also rather underwhelming. There is work to be done, but New Orleans will bounce back.
9. Tennessee Titans
Week 2 Ranking: 10
Sunday’s win over the Jaguars put the Titans in the driver’s seat of the AFC south. Even without top receiver A.J. Brown, Ryan Tannehill was still very effective. Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith are both interesting adds from a Fantasy Football point of view with the latter being a red zone target machine.
10. San Francisco 49ers
Week 2 Ranking: 8
The 49ers fall in the rankings even after blowing out the New York Jets on the road in Week 2. No team has more injuries than San Francisco, and they continued to mount this week. Nick Bosa is out for the year. Running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman are both likely to miss time. Jimmy Garoppolo may also miss a couple of games. The 49ers have plenty of depth, but it’s going to hard to win games without so many key contributors.
11. Dallas Cowboys
Week 2 Ranking: 11
It was a miraculous first win of the season for the Cowboys, to say the least. For all the splashy moves and big contracts this team made in the offseason, there are still some real concerns, particularly on defense. At least they are fortunate enough to still play in the NFC East.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 2 Ranking: 13
Despite being without Chris Godwin (concussion), Tom Brady was able to notch his first win as a Buccaneer. We also saw the inevitable changing of the guard in the Tampa backfield with Leonard Fournette supplanting Ronald Jones. It’s most certainly for the better.
13. New England Patriots
Week 2 Ranking: 12
The end result may have been a loss, but Week 2 was an encouraging one for Patriots fans. Cam Newton looks great, and N’Keal Harry showed why he was drafted in the first round a year ago. Assuming the defense will play better when it isn’t Russell Wilson on the opposing side, New England remains an AFC playoff contender.
14. Las Vegas Raiders
Week 2 Ranking: 18
The Las Vegas Raiders opened up their new Sin City palace the right way: with a victory. Darren Waller has firmly etched his name into the conversation amongst the league’s best tight ends. Jon Gruden continues to get more out of less. The Raiders are not a team to be slept on.
15. Arizona Cardinals
Week 2 Ranking: 16
The Washington Football Team may have a good defense, but even they couldn’t slow down Kyler Murray. The Cardinals’ own D has perhaps been one of the most pleasant surprises of the young season. With matchups against the Lions, Panthers, and Jets over the next three weeks, it’s worth asking wondering if this team could actually start 5-0.
16. Los Angeles Chargers
Week 2 Ranking: 14
All credit to the Chargers even in defeat. Anthony Lynn’s squad played their tails off and there is no shame in losing to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Justin Herbert impressed in his impromptu NFL debut, and this Bolts’ defense should be able to keep them in games no matter who is at QB.
17. Chicago Bears
Preseason Ranking: 17
Despite never trailing on their way to a 2-0 start to the season, the Bears remain at No. 17 in the power rankings. David Montgomery got it going with a big day, but Mitchell Trubisky’s second half play was far from inspiring.
18. Indianapolis Colts
Week 2 Ranking: 25
The Colts got a much-needed win after the Week 1 upset. Losing receiver Parris Campbell indefinitely to an injured PCL hurts, but T.Y. Hilton and Michael Pittman should be able to hold down the fort.
19. Philadelphia Eagles
Week 2 Ranking: 15
The Eagles simply got outplayed in their home loss to the Rams. While Los Angeles was certainly underrated by most coming into the year, Philly has real questions again this year in terms of receiving options. The defense has some things to clean up as well.
20. Cleveland Browns
Week 2 Ranking: 27
The Browns rising seven spots was less about their Thursday night victory and more about how bad some of the teams below them looked this week. With that said, the backfield duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt is the best RB tandem in football.
21. Atlanta Falcons
Week 2 Ranking: 20
I truly cannot believe what I witnessed on the Falcons’ onside kick gaffe. At the end of the day, Atlanta is 0-2 despite two brilliant offensive outings from Matt Ryan and Co. Dan Quinn’s seat just continues to get hotter.
22. Detroit Lions
Week 2 Ranking: 22
Injuries and an inexperienced secondary contributed mightily to the Lions starting the 2020 campaign 0-2. No one is more excited about Kenny Golladay’s return than Matthew Stafford.
23. Minnesota Vikings
Week 2 Ranking: 19
The Vikings may have been the most overrated team of all coming into the season. Kirk Cousins had negative fantasy points, and a bad defense became worse when it lost linebacker Anthony Barr for the season to a torn pectoral.
24. Washington Football Team
Week 2 Ranking: 23
It was back to reality for Washington this week. How Dwayne Haskins is an NFL starting quarterback is beyond me.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 2 Ranking: 26
Minshew Mania was oh so close to striking for the second week in a row. Ultimately, a narrow road defeat at Tennessee is enough to move the Jaguars up another spot. This offense sure is fun to watch.
26. Houston Texans
Week 2 Ranking: 21
Deshaun Watson clearly misses DeAndre Hopkins. Now de facto WR1 Will Fuller is dealing with a hamstring injury and the Texans’ defense (secondary in particular) doesn’t look like it can stop much of anything.
27. Denver Broncos
Week 2 Ranking: 24
The Broncos continue to be plagued by the injury bug. Most notably, it claimed quarterback Drew Lock (AC joint) and Courtland Sutton (knee) in Week 2. Jeff Driskel stepped in and played surprisingly well against the loaded Steelers D, but covering the spread was the only victory here.
28. Miami Dolphins
Week 2 Ranking: 29
Despite a losing result, the Dolphins creep up another spot courtesy of playing the Bills tough at home. Brian Flores is too good a coach for Miami to not snag some wins this year.
29. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 2 Ranking: 31
It was another loss, but the Bengals didn’t look bad Thursday night. Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow has shown a wealth of promise in his first two NFL games, and the defense has enough talent to lock in some wins this year.
30. New York Giants
Week 2 Ranking: 28
A bad situation just got worse when the Giants lost star running back Saquon Barkley for the season to a torn ACL. Even more pressure will be on Daniel Jones and the passing attack in the weeks to come.
31. Carolina Panthers
Week 2 Ranking: 30
To Carolina’s credit, they fought hard in the second half after falling behind big. Losing do-it-all back Christian McCaffrey for the next 4-6 weeks figures to put a damper on any flickering hope of contending this season.
32. New York Jets
Week 2 Ranking: 32
The injuries continue to pile up while Adam Gase continues to be, in the words of executive Christopher Johnson, “brilliant.” The Jets may be starting Chris Hogan and Braxton Berrios at wide receiver next week. Enough said.