NFL Power Rankings: Knee-Jerk Reaction for Each Team Heading into Week 3

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 17:  Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to throw the ball against outside linebacker Von Miller #58 and defensive end Elvis Dumervil #92 of the Denver Broncos during a game at the Georgia Dome on September 17, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Week 2 of the NFL season was certainly a wild and unpredictable ride. For all of you who picked the New England Patriots to steamroll the Arizona Cardinals in their Survivor League, my condolences. Just how far did that shocking win at Foxboro propel the Cardinals in my power rankings heading into Week 3? Perhaps more importantly, how far did the Patriots fall?

There's plenty of other major stories following week 2. The Lions looked awful against the 49ers, who sit at No. 1 on my standings. The Eagles managed to escape week 2 with a massive victory against the Ravens. 

The NFL landscape has already been thrown for a loop following week 2. Let's see how it translates in my rankings!

1. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are the best team in the NFL, devoid of any real weakness at this point.

2. Houston Texans

Arian Foster and Ben Tate can carry this offense to the very end.

3. Green Bay Packers

The Packers are still a one-trick pony, but Aaron Rodgers makes that one trick very, very good.

4. Atlanta Falcons

If Michael Turner gets going, this is the second best team in the NFL.

5. Philadelphia Eagles

Copious amounts of speed at the skill positions mean nothing, if you can't take care of the football.

6. Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco is still inconsistent in tightly contested games.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

Offensive line play is still a concern, but Ben Roethlisberger is still a magician in the pocket.

8. New England Patriots

Stevan Ridley is a pleasant surprise at running back, but their Week 2 loss to Arizona was simply stunning.

9. Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning is healthy, but his three first-quarter interceptions against Atlanta also showed that he's human.

10. San Diego Chargers

The Broncos will push this team for the AFC West title, but we won't get an accurate barometer until Ryan Mathews returns to the lineup.

11. Chicago Bears

Jay Cutler still likes to throw the ball to the other team.

12. New York Giants

You never know which Giants team you will see from week to week. Just as 0-2 seems certain, Eli Manning explodes for 510 passing yards.

13. Dallas Cowboys

*insert New York Giants statement here*, minus the Manning part, of course.

14. Detroit Lions

The Lions must find a run game to keep defenses from sitting on their dynamic passing attack.

15. New York Jets

The Jets can score! Wait, no they can't.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This team is talented, but still very young. Expecting somewhere between 2010 and 2011 record.

17. Washington Redskins

Robert Griffin III isn't bad, but the defense will miss Brian Orakpo more than words can say.

18. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals defense is ready to win, but a faulty quarterback situation still leaves concerns.

19. Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton still has the "it" factor, but the defense is still a long way away.

20. Seattle Seahawks

If they make you play their game (smash mouth defense, ball-control offense), this team is dangerous every week.

21. New Orleans Saints

The offense is on par, but this defense couldn't stop some college offenses.

22. Cincinnati Bengals

The offense is worse than last year. The defense is worse than last year. The Bengals are worse.

23. Tennessee Titans

Jake Locker looks like the right choice, but Chris Johnson is a non-factor.

24. St. Louis Rams

Sam Bradford's return is a hue, but Jeff Fisher's blue-collar approach has this team looking much better.

25. Buffalo Bills

C.J. Spiller could be this year's breakout player—finally.

26. Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill doesn't have much help, and the Dolphins won't win many games, but Reggie Bush seems to get better with age.

27. Cleveland Browns

Brandon Weeden still has a lot to prove. Trent Richardson is as advertised, and Joe Haden is the end-all-be-all for this defense.

28. Kansas City Chiefs

Honestly, they could be ranked lower. Talented enough to win, but Romeo Crennel struggles as a head coach.

29. Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck is asked to do a lot, but he's game for it. Still not a great team, but optimism is there.

30. Minnesota Vikings

If they win, it won't be pretty. Adrian Peterson must stay healthy if they want to win five games.

Maurice Jones-Drew is back, but the Jaguars aren't. Blaine Gabbert isn't ready to win, especially with the talent he has to work with.

32. Oakland Raiders

The Raiders are the Raiders, and it's going to be another long season.


    Warrant Issued for Michael Bennett's Arrest

    NFL logo

    Warrant Issued for Michael Bennett's Arrest

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Greedy NFL Is Killing the Draft

    NFL logo

    Greedy NFL Is Killing the Draft

    Mike Freeman
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Cowboys Sign Allen Hurns

    NFL logo

    Report: Cowboys Sign Allen Hurns

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Jets Closing in on Terrelle Pryor

    NFL logo

    Report: Jets Closing in on Terrelle Pryor

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report