NFL Power Rankings: Highlighting the NFL's Most Overrated Teams
The San Diego Chargers are one of six remaining undefeated NFL franchises in our power rankings, but this team isn't as good as its record indicates.
The Chargers aren't the only overrated team in the league, either. There are a couple others that are in the same boat, but it won't be much longer until they come crashing down to earth.
Here are my Week 3 power rankings, and I've highlighted three teams that won't stay undefeated for long.
1. San Francisco 49ers: 2-0
There isn't another team in the NFL as balanced and talented from top to bottom as the 49ers, and it's likely going to be a while before another team claims this top spot.
2. Atlanta Falcons: 2-0
Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense is flying high right now and Mike Nolan is working his magic on defense. This team will be tough to beat every week in 2012 unless it gets ravaged by injury.
3. Houston Texans: 2-0
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As good as the Houston Texans are on defense, I don't see things going well for them this week.
The Texans beat up on two inferior opponents to get to their 2-0 record, but this team is about to head into Denver and face a pissed off Peyton Manning.
It's not going to be pretty.
Manning and the Broncos will play inspired football after getting embarrassed on Monday Night Football by the aforementioned Falcons. The Broncos are excellent on defense at home, and I'm predicting an outcome that will serve as a wake-up call for the Texans.
4. Green Bay Packers: 1-1
As long as Aaron Rodgers is healthy, the Packers are going to be a top NFL team. Now that the defense seems to have awoken from its year-long slumber, this team is scary.
5. Baltimore Ravens: 1-1
The Ravens need to get things sewn up on their offensive line, and Cam Cameron needs to be slapped in the face for abandoning Ray Rice and the running game. But this team is still one of the NFL's elite.
6. New England Patriots: 1-1
Tom Brady needs to evolve once again after losing Aaron Hernandez, but his young defense is playing lights out. The way this team drafts never ceases to amaze me, and rookies Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower have proved tremendous additions.
7. Philadelphia Eagles: 2-0
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The Eagles could be and probably should be 0-2 right now, but this team has gotten off to a fortuitous start.
Michael Vick continues to prove that he is incapable of playing disciplined football, and his turnovers are going to cost his team at some point.
The Arizona Cardinals possess one of the league's top defenses. This unit will force Vick into a few key turnovers in Week 3, and I predict the Eagles will finally earn that loss they've been skirting for two weeks now.
8. New York Giants: 1-1
Super-Bowl hangovers are real. The Giants finally shook theirs off in the second half of their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2, and I expect to see this team to play better going forward.
9. Detroit Lions: 1-1
I was impressed by the Lions against the San Francisco 49ers. This team is solid all the way around, and as long as the offensive line protects Matthew Stafford and their secondary plays with discipline, we'll see the Lions in the playoffs in 2012.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers: 1-1
Ben Roethlisberger is brilliant, and the Steelers haven't been playing at full strength on defense. This team isn't going to go away any time soon.
11. Denver Broncos: 1-1
Peyton Manning's three interceptions against the Atlanta Falcons were inexcusable, and he won't have another game like that for a while. The Broncos will beat the Texans at home this week, proving their Week 2 performance was an aberration.
12. San Diego Chargers: 2-0
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I'm impressed by the defense of this team so far, but the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans aren't exactly challenging opponents.
The Chargers will face their first true test of the season in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons, and I expect to see the Falcons dominate.
Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez are much better than any of the talent the secondary of the Chargers has faced so far, and Matt Ryan will have a monster game.
Furthermore, I expect the Falcons to force Philip Rivers into a few turnovers, paving the way for a blowout.
13. Arizona Cardinals: 2-0
If Kevin Kolb can continue playing with poise and takes care of the football, the Cardinals could turn into this year's version of the 2011 49ers.
14. Dallas Cowboys: 1-1
Tony Romo and the Cowboys aren't consistent from week to week, but this team isn't going to tank like it did against the Seattle Seahawks for a long time. We'll see them go on a tear for the next couple of games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears.
15. Chicago Bears: 1-1
Jay Cutler and the Bears looked horrible against the Packers in Week 2, but this team will come back strong in Week 3 against the St. Louis Rams at home.
16. Carolina Panthers: 1-1
Cam Newton and his team will be competitive every week, and I expect we'll see them win eight games this year.
17. Seattle Seahawks: 1-1
The Seahawks are a decent team on both sides of the ball. Russell Wilson looked better in Week 2, but I predict we'll see inconsistency from him and his team all year long.
18. Cincinnati Bengals: 1-1
Andy Dalton is good, but his defense hasn't shown the ability to stop anyone so far this season. If that doesn't change, the Bengals will be on the outside looking in for the playoffs in 2012.
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19. Washington Redskins: 1-1
The losses of Adam Carriker and Brian Orakpo will have a profound impact on this team's ability to win games going forward, but Robert Griffin III will give the Redskins a chance every week.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1-1
If Josh Freeman can continue to progress, this team could make some noise in the NFC South by season's end.
21. New York Jets: 1-1
Mark Sanchez's 10-completion performance against the Steelers showed that Week 1 was not an indication of what we can expect from the Jets on offense in 2012—especially considering the evidence to the contrary during the preseason.
22. St. Louis Rams: 1-1
The Rams have the pieces in place to become a terrific team, but since Danny Amendola is Sam Bradford's No. 1 option at wide receiver, it's going to be tough to win many games.
23. New Orleans Saints: 0-2
The Saints are on the verge of plummeting into oblivion in 2012, but all is not lost...yet. Drew Brees is still the same quarterback that led the team to 13 wins in 2011, and until he's down and out, his team still has life.
24. Buffalo Bills: 1-1
C.J. Spiller has been a refreshing breath of air, but I'm not sold on this team yet. Ryan Fitzpatrick needs to step up in a major way, and the team's defense needs to start getting consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
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25. Indianapolis Colts: 1-1
If the Colts can play inspired defense like they did against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2, this team could surprise us with a respectable record at the end of the year.
Oh, and Andrew Luck is boss.
26. Miami Dolphins: 1-1
If Reggie Bush stays healthy and performs like he did in Week 2 the rest of the season, the Dolphins will be competitive in just about every game.
27. Tennessee Titans: 0-2
Jake Locker and Chris Johnson have both been less-than stellar so far, and if the offensive line doesn't start playing better this team won't win many games.
28. Kansas City Chiefs: 0-2
Heading into the 2012 season, I thought the strength of the Chiefs would be its defense. So far, the defense has been torched, and Matt Cassel isn't the kind of quarterback who is going to come back and win many games from behind.
29. Minnesota Vikings: 1-1
Blaine Gabbert and Andrew Luck combined for 484 yards and four touchdowns (zero interceptions, too) in their contests against the Vikings, and this team hasn't even begun to face the quarterback terrors within their own division...
30. Jacksonville Jaguars: 0-2
So far, no good for the Jaguars in 2012. Eben Britton is hurt once again, and once again the offensive line is in disarray.
31. Oakland Raiders: 0-2
The strengths of this team are supposed to be their running game and defense, but so far, neither has produced for the Raiders.
32. Cleveland Browns: 0-2
The Browns are the worst team in the NFL until proven otherwise. Brandon Weeden was awesome in Week 2, but when you consider his performance came against the Bengals' secondary, it's not much of an accomplishment.
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