NFL Power Rankings: Assessing Every Team's Stock Heading into Week 3

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IISeptember 21, 2013

Sep 15, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) puts his helmet on before a series against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into NFL Sunday for Week 3, there are teams rising and falling on the power rankings, and we're starting to get a look at what the rest of the season has in store for the entire league.

Week 3 got off to a fun start as Andy Reid took down his former team in the Philadelphia Eagles as the Kansas City Chiefs went 3-0.  Justin Houston was a monster on defense, putting up 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

So, which teams have their stocks rising and which are falling?  Let's take a look.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars

Stock: Falling

It's hard to have your stock falling when you're considered the worst team in the NFL, but the Jaguars have found a way.

The team is struggling to put up points, with just 11 in two games.  The offense is nearly non existent and currently on pace to set the record for fewest points scored in a single season.

At least they can't go any lower on the power rankings.

31. Cleveland Browns

Stock: Falling

There was some glimmer of hope this year for Browns fans, but those hopes were taken away when the team traded away Trent Richardson for a first-round pick in 2014.

Now, there is very little talent on this team, and Brandon Weeden's future does not look good in Cleveland, as the Browns will likely go in a different direction at quarterback after the 2014 NFL draft.

30.  Oakland Raiders

Stock: Rising

Our first riser on the list, the Raiders have a bit to be excited about.

After being uncertain all offseason about who would start at quarterback, Terrelle Pryor has come in and stepped up big time.  Meanwhile, Darren McFadden looks healthy after a great outing against the Jaguars, running for 129 yards on 19 carries.

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Stock: Falling

Make no mistake, this is a talented team.  Unfortunately, they seem to be extremely undisciplined, and there seems to be a real lack of leadership.

After an ugly 0-2 start that includes a loss to the New York Jets, things are bleak for Tampa Bay.  With 23 penalties for 220 yards in two games, something seems off with this team's chemistry and discipline.

28. Washington Redskins

Sep 15, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA;  Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) throws a pass during warmups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Stock: Falling

Robert Griffin III is not having fun so far after returning from a torn LCL and ACL.  He's put up nice numbers, but most of that production has come in garbage time in meaningless fourth quarters during an 0-2 start.

The defense is a real concern right now, as they've been torched two weeks in a row by Michael Vick and Aaron Rodgers.  They're currently the worst defense in the league in yards allowed, giving up 511.5 yards per game.

27. New York Jets

Stock: Rising

The expectations for the Jets were really low to start the year, but even with an ugly Week 2 performance from Geno Smith and a loss to the New England Patriots, there are some positives, mostly from the defense.

The defense for the Jets has looked good so far, ranking second in the NFL with 482 yards allowed, right behind the Seattle Seahawks.  They've held their opponents to just 30 total points, so there are some things to be happy about right now.

Their stock could easily start falling again at any moment, but that defense isn't half bad right now.

26. Pittsburgh Steelers

Stock: Falling

The Steelers no longer feel like that smash-mouth team that will run the ball down your throat and dominate on defense.

Instead, the Steelers have put up just 75 yards rushing in two games, and players are constantly getting hurt.  Things are getting so desperate, Felix Jones is tied for the team-high in carries with Isaac Redman.  If things don't turn around, this team could be 0-3 after Sunday Night Football against the Chicago Bears.

25. Carolina Panthers

Stock: Stagnant

There weren't high expectations for the Panthers heading into the season, and an 0-2 start hasn't taken anyone exactly by surprise.

To be fair though, they have been close in both of their games.  The running game has been productive, but the defense hasn't been able to hold off opposing offenses in the final minutes.

24. Buffalo Bills

Stock: Rising

It may be early in the season, but EJ Manuel looks like he has the potential to be the long-term option for the Bills at quarterback.

An incredible fourth-quarter comeback win in the closing seconds of the game puts the Bills at 1-1, and now they're looking for a possible 2-1 start after this week's game against the Jets.  If Manuel keeps it up, and the one-two punch of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson can be as productive as they normally are, this offense is going to be one of the more fun to watch.

23. Minnesota Vikings

Stock: Falling

Adrian Peterson may be the league MVP, but the rest of the team doesn't look nearly as good.

The defense has already given up 65 points in just two games and look like they can't stop anything right now.  At quarterback, Christian Ponder doesn't look like the answer as he's made some questionable decisions and even more questionable throws.

22. New York Giants

Stock: Falling

It's hard to win when you commit 10 turnovers in two games, and the Giants have learned that the hard way. 

Eli Manning currently leads the NFL with seven interceptions, and they keep putting their defense in really tough spots.  Until the turnovers stop, or at least decrease in frequency, this is not going to be a pretty team to watch.

21. Tennessee Titans

Stock: Rising

They may be 1-1, but this team was extremely close to upsetting the Houston Texans and starting the season with the lead in the AFC South.

The offensive line looks a lot better thanks to Chance Warmack and Andy Levitre, and that's going to be a big lift long-term for the offense as a whole.  This is likely the last year Jake Locker will get to prove himself, so he'll need all of the protection he can get this season.

20. Arizona Cardinals

Stock: Stagnant

I'm not quite sure what to think of this team, but I'm sure that Larry Fitzgerald is happy to have someone good enough to get him the ball at quarterback.

Patrick Peterson is looking like one of the most versatile players ever after catching a ball and throwing a beautiful spiral on offense, and he's also a pretty good cornerback.

If anything, this team is entertaining, but they are going to have some big tests throughout the year against the NFC West.

19. Detroit Lions

Stock: Falling

A tough loss against the Cardinals isn't the best sign in the world, but this is an incredibly talented team with some nice pieces on offense.

Reggie Bush is going to need to get more carries to make this offense more balanced, or balanced at all, compared to 2012.  The defense might be concerning, but the offense could be something special with the addition of Bush.

18. Philadelphia Eagles

Stock: Falling

That offense is entertaining, but the defense is going to be what hurts this team in 2013.  That, and a huge amount of turnovers.

Five turnovers in a game is not good.  After a strong first two games, Vick slipped up by throwing two interceptions.  Hopefully for the Eagles that was because Reid knew more about Vick than any other head coach, but now opponents have a blueprint for how to stop this offense. 

17. Dallas Cowboys

Stock: Stagnant

Does anyone ever know which Cowboys team we're going to see?  One week, they look great, and the next they just don't have it.

Next up are the St. Louis Rams, and it will be a good gauge on how this team can play against an evenly matched opponent.  Keep an eye on Tony Romo to see if he can have a big game and find his weapons down the field.

16. St. Louis Rams

Sep 15, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin (11) scores a touchdown in the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Stock: Rising

Sam Bradford has to be thanking the front office for finally bringing in some weapons this season.  

Jared Cook and Tavon Austin have looked good with the Rams so far, combining for 139 yards and four touchdowns.  Meanwhile, the defense has looked intimidating, as well, with Robert Quinn leading the way and racking up four sacks.

15. Indianapolis Colts

Stock: Falling

The Colts may have gotten Trent Richardson, but there are still a lot of questions about this team through two weeks of the season.

The defense hasn't stepped up yet, and the pass rush has been terrible.  They were able to get Ryan Tannehill down five times, but outside of that, he had way too much time in the pocket.  The secondary is good, but they can't cover guys for six or seven seconds.

Meanwhile, the offense has already had key guys go down.  Vick Ballard, Dwayne Allen and Donald Thomas are all out for the season, and there is a bit of concern around Indianapolis right now.

14. San Diego Chargers

Stock: Rising

They may have given up a big lead to the Houston Texans in Week 1, but this team looks better than it did in 2012.

Philip Rivers has been legit so far this year.  Other than the pick-six in Week 1, he's thrown for 614 yards and seven touchdowns.  He seems confident once again after a difficult 2012, so the offense could come back to life for the 2013 season.

13. Baltimore Ravens

Stock: Falling

They may be the defending Super Bowl champions, but this is a different team than we saw in 2012.

The defense has a lot of new faces, and they looked bad against the Broncos in Week 1.  They turned it around against Cleveland, but the Browns do not have the offensive talent that Denver has.

The offense is a big question mark now, especially if Ray Rice misses any time.  Marlon Brown has been the lone bright spot so far, as the 6'5'' undrafted rookie has been a nice red zone threat to replace Anquan Boldin and his old role in the offense.

12. Cincinnati Bengals

Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) high steps into the end zone for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY S
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Stock: Rising

The Bengals have the best chance to win the AFC North this season out of the four teams, and if Giovani Bernard is as good as he looked against the Steelers, this could be a fun offense to watch.

The defense has been very good, as well, allowing just about 300 yards of offense per game.  Based off of their next few games, that defense could look even better in the short term.

11. Kansas City Chiefs

Stock: Skyrocketing

Hey, remember that team that went 2-14 last season?  Yeah, those aren't the same Chiefs as the ones this season.

Andy Reid and Alex Smith have turned this team around so far, starting the year 3-0.  The defense has looked very solid so far, allowing just over 11 points per game.  

Just a side note, but Dontari Poe does not get enough credit for his role on that defense.

10. Miami Dolphins

Stock: Rising

I'm not sure if this Dolphins team is the real deal yet, but they certainly think so after pulling off the upset against the Indianapolis Colts.

All of the hype will be put to the test against the Atlanta Falcons this week.  The secondary has seemed good so far with Brent Grimes leading the way.  It probably doesn't hurt the defensive backs that the quarterbacks have to get the ball out faster with Cameron Wake and company putting the pressure on them often.

9. Atlanta Falcons

Stock: Stagnant

Even with hobbled receivers, Matt Ryan is continuing to make plays.  He already has 678 yards and four touchdowns to start the year, throwing just one interception.

The defense has lost a couple of key pieces, so it's going to be interesting to see how they respond.  The offense will keep them in games, however, especially once Roddy White and Julio Jones are at 100 percent.

8. Chicago Bears

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 15: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears passes against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on September 15, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Stock: Rising

Marc Trestman is starting to look like a pretty smart head coaching choice right about now.  The offense is looking consistent through two games, with Jay Cutler only being sacked once so far, as opposed to nine sacks through two weeks in 2012.

The Bears have had two really close games to start the season, but they won't be complaining with a 2-0 start.  There's a good chance they go 3-0 after playing the struggling Steelers, then they'll be in good shape to make a run at the NFC North title.

7. New Orleans Saints

Stock: Stagnant

Sean Payton is back, and the defense looks so much better.  An abysmal 2012 season defensively has been replaced with a decent one, and that's all that Drew Brees needs.

Speaking of Brees, he's as good as always, with 679 yards and three touchdowns to start the year.  He could have another 5,000 yard season, and the Saints could win the NFC South this year.

6. New England Patriots

Stock: Falling

Tom Brady was frustrated with his receivers last week, but you know he made sure that they understood their assignments heading into this week against the Buccaneers.

Things should get better once Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola return, but until then this offense seems to have some real questions in the passing game.

5. Houston Texans

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 17:  DeAndre Hopkins #10  of the Houston Texans works out on the field before the start of the preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at Reliant Stadium on August 17, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Stock: Stagnant

The Bears might have had two close games, but they don't compare to the Texans' start of the season.  A huge come from behind victory against the Chargers followed by a game-winning touchdown over the Titans have the Texans in the driver's seat in the AFC South.

The offense looks pretty balanced this season, in large part because of DeAndre Hopkins.  He's put up 183 yards and a touchdown through two games, and he's taking the pressure off of Andre Johnson and the running game.

4. Green Bay Packers

Stock: Stagnant

Aaron Rodgers just annihilated the Redskins last week, throwing for 480 yards and four touchdowns, and he's showing everyone why he's still the best quarterback in the NFL.

The offense still looks impressive, even without Greg Jennings.  The defense is slowly adding pieces, and if that secondary gets healthy this year, this could be a potential Super Bowl team.

3. San Francisco 49ers

Stock: Barely Falling

It's a nearly impossible task beating the Seahawks at home, so no one can blame the 49ers for having problems in Seattle.

Still, the secondary was exposed as a liability in the loss.  Nnamdi Asomugha has not been good up to this point, and teams will focus on exposing him throughout the year.

The offense is still good, but it could be so much better with more weapons than just Anquan Boldin at receiver.

2. Denver Broncos

Stock: Stagnant

Peyton Manning still looks like, well, Peyton Manning.

With nine touchdowns through two games, Peyton is looking to break the single season touchdown record he himself set back in 2004—which was then broken by Tom Brady.

With Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker, this is the best group of receivers in the NFL.  Once Von Miller returns from suspension, this could be the best team in the league.

1. Seattle Seahawks

Stock: Rising

It's hard to deny that the Seahawks are the most complete team in the NFL.

On defense, they easily have the best secondary in the league.  The defensive line got even better by bringing in Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett.  On offense, they have some great playmakers with Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, and the offense will get even better late in the year once Percy Harvin returns.

The Seahawks should be in good position to keep the No. 1 spot this week after beating down the Jacksonville Jaguars.


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