NFL: Week 3 Power Rankings
First off let me apologize for the lateness of these rankings. Things come up and unfortunately I wasn't able to get them done before the Thursday night game, which won't be reflected here.
Many interesting things happened in Week 2, however, and I think we now know much more about each team. Let's take a look at where they all rank heading into week three.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars
I thought Week 2 might have been Jacksonville's best chance at a win. The Raiders aren't a strong team, and I think Chad Henne is better than Blaine Gabbert.
However, they still couldn't get anything going. They do play Cleveland this season, so they may be able to pull off at least one win in 2013.
31. Cleveland Browns
The Browns defense once again looked good, shutting the Ravens out for a half.
The offense is another story, however, and it appears the front office has put a priority on fixing that. The Browns traded 2012 first-round pick Trent Richardson to the Colts for a first-round pick in 2014, presumably to ensure they get a quarterback.
Brandon Weeden's days appear numbered.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
That Steelers offense is looking miserable. They better hope Le'Veon Bell gets healthy soon and that he is everything they expect. Even then, behind that offensive line they might not find much success this season.
29. Minnesota Vikings
Two losses to open the season for a 2012 playoff team. Hey, if they keep this up maybe they will get a quarterback to pair with superstar back Adrian Peterson? Christian Ponder just isn't getting it done.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs lost to the Saints, but they move up a spot this week. They kept it close against a team I consider playoff contenders, so you have to respect them for that.
Rumors seem to be swirling that quarterback Josh Freeman wants out. Regardless if it's true, that is a confidence killer for any team.
27. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders officially avoided a winless season, but sitting at .500 after two games has a tendency to bring about hope.
Sorry to ruin it for you, but a win against Jacksonville proves only one thing: That you're better than Jacksonville.
But hey, Darren McFadden had a nice day.
26. Tennessee Titans
The Titans certainly competed against Houston in Week 2, but they still have questions all over the field.
Chris Johnson hasn't been CJ2K in a long time, but he's been good enough to keep his job.
Jake Locker? He may be the quarterback the Titans need, he may not. I'm worried about the defense giving up 30 points.
25. New York Jets
Two weeks in and the Jets have done better than expected with a win and a close loss to a depleted Patriots team.
However, I still think Rex Ryan loses his job by 2014. There's just nothing impressive about this team.
24. Washington Redskins
I really don't like putting the Redskins this low because I think they are much, much better than this.
However, RGIII just doesn't look the same after returning from injury, and Aaron Rodgers abused their secondary. A return trip to the playoffs will require a quick turnaround.
23. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts pulled off the surprise trade of the season by acquiring running back Trent Richardson from the Browns this week. It was a win-now move, but with tough games coming up on the schedule, I don't think they do much winning in the near future.
But hey, as this team showed us last year, if you keep games close, anything can happen.
22. Carolina Panthers
This team is an interesting one. They stood strong against Seattle, but lost by a point to Buffalo.
Part of me wants to rank them in the bottom five, part of me thinks that would be a mistake this early. I'll give them another week, but that offensive line needs to play much better.
21. Arizona Cardinals
It's hard to believe the Cardinals won their first four games last year. After a fourth-quarter comeback against Detroit, this feels like a much better team getting much better quarterback play. It will be interesting to see if Carson Palmer translates into more wins.
20. Buffalo Bills
19. St. Louis Rams
For a while it looked like they would get blown out, but to their credit the Rams were able to compete until the end.
This may be one to chalk up as a "moral victory," feel good about the second half and try to put a full game together from there.
18. New York Giants
It has been a rough start for Eli Manning and the Giants—a nightmare, even.
Eli ran his season interception total to seven just two weeks into the season, throwing three against the Broncos.
Luckily, the rest of the division is struggling as well, so there is still hope. Eli obviously can't throw three or four interceptions per game, and he won't.
17. Detroit Lions
I (foolishly?) had the Lions pegged as a playoff team heading into the season.
It has only been two games and I'm already questioning that judgement. In 2012, they couldn't put away teams they should have beaten, and already it has happened again.
They had a 21-16 lead over the Cardinals heading into the fourth quarter and allowed nine unanswered points. Maybe this is an exception this year, but it already feels like 2012 all over again.
16. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles were the talk of the NFL in Week 1, but Chip Kelly's offense wasn't able to repeat in Week 2. Will they be able to handle his up-tempo style, or will Kelly need to find a new way in the NFL?
15. San Diego Chargers
In Week 2, the Chargers were able to do what they couldn't in Week 1 and hold a fourth-quarter lead. What is even more encouraging, though, is quarterback Phillip Rivers, who is once again looking like he could live up to his potential.
14. Miami Dolphins
Before I say I'm surprised with the Dolphins hot start, I'd like to point out how low their first two opponents are on this list.
Not that they don't deserve credit; they do.
Ryan Tannehill has far exceeded my expectations so far in year two. With the way the Patriots have looked, they may even challenge for the division.
I don't see them making much noise beyond that, but this is certainly a team on the rise.
13. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys lost to a Chiefs team that may be better than we expected, but they need to find a running game somewhere if they are going to compete this year. How do you expect to salt away a lead when your primary back barely averages two yards per carry?
12. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens offense didn't look good against the Browns in Week 2, and it showed up on the scoreboard as they failed to put up points in the first half.
They bounced back in the second half, however, and it has to be encouraging that the defense held a team to just six points after giving up seven touchdowns the week before.
11. Cincinnati Bengals
The entire AFC North looks awful this year, with the Bengals being the best of a bad bunch. They were able to beat Pittsburgh on Monday night, but no one—save maybe Giovani Bernard— looked good. Andy Dalton still hasn't made me a believer.
10. Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid, Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs have started off their new era well. Winning close games like they did in Dallas is important for any team who expects to compete in the playoffs, and the Chiefs seem to have those expectations. It's still early, but we may see them there.
9. Chicago Bears
For some reason, the Bears have been left out of the "surprise 2-0 teams" talk, but I didn't hear many people outside of Chicago giving this team much love in August. They've been impressive thus far under new coach Marc Trestman, but I'm still waiting to see if Jay Cutler has consistency issues.
8. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons jumped out to a big lead early against the Rams and were able to withstand a comeback late. Injuries have plagued this team since Week 1, so it's hard to judge them with stars such as Roddy White and Stephen Jackson either hobbled or out with injuries.
They were a half away from making the Super Bowl last season, so it will be interesting to see if they can play at that level this year once they get healthy.
7. Houston Texans
The Texans once again let a team they should have easily beaten hang around into the fourth quarter. I'm not sure what it is, I just don't see the killer instinct in this team that we see in the elite teams.
They have yet to lose, but they just don't feel as convincing as the teams above them on this list.
6. New Orleans Saints
The Saints are off to a hot start in 2013 considering it took them over twice this long to even win a game in 2012.
Obviously they have nothing to worry about in the passing game, but they have to find some kind of a rushing attack somewhere.
The defense has actually been decent thus far, ranking 11th overall under new coordinator Rob Ryan. If they can be in the top half of the league for the entire season, there is no reason this shouldn't be a playoff team.
5. Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers showed us why he is one of the best in the league, and the defense stepped up in a win that shows that the Packers are still a force in the NFC.
Just a week after being beaten by Colin Kaepernick and the Niners, the Packers were able to hold Robert Griffin III to just one rushing yard on the day. I hope this team gets a rematch with the Packers in the playoffs, because I have a feeling it would be a classic.
4. New England Patriots
Despite winning each of their first two games, the Patriots just haven't been the dominant team we've come to expect.
I get the feeling things will change when Rob Gronkowski returns, with the dominant tight end creating matchup problems against any team in the league.
Surely their rankings of 25th in points per game and 23rd in yards per game won't last long for an offense led by Tom Brady.
3. San Francisco 49ers
My questions for the Niners heading into the season surrounded Colin Kaepernick's ability to adjust to defenses that knew what to expect, and Anquan Boldin's ability to replace Michael Crabtree.
I thought they answered those questions with a resounding "yes" in Week 1, and then Week 2 came around.
The San Francisco quarterback turned the ball over four times against Seattle, and Boldin caught just one pass. Suddenly, the questions seem relevant again.
2. Seattle Seahawks
It seems to be trendy right now to put the Seahawks No. 1, but I don't see how you rank them ahead of Denver right now.
That doesn't mean Seattle isn't a very good team in their own right, and they proved that on Sunday Night by beating San Francisco. Russell Wilson struggled, though, completing just eight passes.
If Wilson plays to his skill level and the defense stays healthy, this team will be dangerous all season.
1. Denver Broncos
After their impressive win against Baltimore, the Broncos kept rolling in Week 2. The defense came up big in forcing turnovers, and offensively running back Knowshon Moreno joined the fun with 93 yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Peyton Manning continues to roll, and now has nine touchdowns and no interceptions on the season.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Is your team too low? Are your rivals too high?