MC's Week Three NFL Power Rankings

Matt CullenAnalyst ISeptember 29, 2009

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 27: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions passes the football against the Washington Redskins at Ford Field on September 27, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Redskins 19-14. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)


After watching five of the top six teams in the rankings go down hard, all of the new top six survived this time.

As of now, there are still seven remaining NFL teams looking to knock on Mercury Morris' door, and there are seven others possibly looking at making the Lions feel better about their 0-16 season last year.

For the first time, the New York Jets did not make the biggest climb in the rankings. The Detroit Lions made the biggest jump, going from dead last to 27th after their first win in 75 years...feels like that long, at least.

The Pittsburgh Steelers once again took the hardest fall going from eighth to 15th.

And here's the rest.


1. New York Giants—There was concern after giving up 251 rushing yards to the Dallas Cowboys last week. Just 28 rushing yards allowed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Previous ranking: 1 

2. New York Jets—Finally, an offense was able to put up a couple scores on the New York Jets, but the defense also forced four turnovers and remains undefeated. Previous ranking: 2 

3. Minnesota Vikings—People get tired of the talk about Brett Favre and I'm included in this. However, the block he threw way down-field speaks volumes about the way he has played the game of football. And, of course, a nice game-winning drive was capped off by Greg Lewis doing an unbelievable job of keeping his feet in bounds on the game-winning catch. Previous ranking: 3 

4. Baltimore Ravens—This last one was against the Cleveland Browns, but it looks like Joe Flacco has taken another step forward this year, setting a new personal high for passing yards in a game on Sunday. He has nearly 900 yards on the season already, with six TDs to two INTs. Previous ranking: 4 

5. Indianapolis Colts—Peyton Manning has 983 passing yards and seven TDs already...on his way to a fourth MVP possibly? Previous ranking: 5 

6. New Orleans Saints—Drew Brees did the unthinkable and not throw a TD at Buffalo on Sunday, but it didn't matter as the Saints rushed for over 220 yards and won easily. The Saints winning with the running game like that would have been unthinkable in the past couple of years. Previous ranking: 6 

7. Philadelphia Eagles—Clobbering the Chiefs without Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook might say a lot about how bad Kansas City really is, but kudos to Kevin Kolb for solidifying a job as the primary backup QB when McNabb comes back. Previous ranking: 10 

8. San Diego Chargers—Less than three YPC for Darren Sproles on the season. I'm sure the Chargers are glad they finally did re-signed LaDanian Tomlinson this offseason and I'm sure they are hoping he is back soon. Previous ranking: 9 

9. New England Patriots—Have not lost consecutive games since 2006. Previous ranking: 11 

10. Atlanta Falcons—People talked about the potential curse of 370 carries for Michael Turner. So far, it doesn't look that ridiculous (just 3.5 YPC as well as two lost fumbles already). Previous ranking: 7 

11. Cincinnati Bengals—After a big comeback win to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, it's starting to appear that it could be a three-team race in the AFC North. The Bengals are extremely close to being 3-0. Previous ranking: 12 

12. Dallas Cowboys—No turnovers this time and the running game tore it up again with another 200+ yard effort. Quite frankly, they should have won by even more than two TDs. Previous ranking: 14

13. Green Bay Packers—Got some production out of the offense...nearly 100 rushing yards from Ryan Grant and over 250 passing yards for Aaron Rodgers with three total TDs. Previous ranking: 13 

14. Chicago Bears—Out-gained against the Seneca Wallace-led Seahawks, but they came out winners on the road as Jay Cutler continued to look comfortable in the new offense. Previous ranking: 18 

15. Pittsburgh Steelers—The loss in my mind said more about the Bengals than it did about the defending champs. We're looking at a three-team dogfight in the AFC North. Previous ranking: 8 

16. Houston Texans—Matt Schaub has lit it up in the passing game the last couple of weeks, but Steve Slaton is averaging less than 3.5 YPC and has no TDs while the short yardage back Chris Brown coughed up one that could have been the game-tying score on the one-yard line against Jacksonville. That and the defense leave a lot to be desired. Previous ranking: 16 

17. San Francisco 49ers—Nearly stole one on the road against a very talented Minnesota team with Frank Gore leaving the game early due to injury. 49ers fans should be proud despite the result. Previous ranking: 17 

18. Denver Broncos—Who needs Jay Cutler when you only give up 5.3 points per game? Previous ranking: 22 

19. Arizona Cardinals—A couple of bad turnovers in inconvenient places on the field kept this from being an intriguing game. The Cardinals cannot be encouraged by the showing on Sunday night with the whole nation watching. Previous ranking: 15 

20. Washington Redskins—New Rule (Apologies to Bill Maher): Washington Redskins fans no longer get to claim that their football team was being overlooked before the season. A loss to the Lions says a lot about their playoff chances. Previous ranking: 19

21. Tennessee Titans—You've gotta give the Tennessee Titans credit for being consistently competitive in defeat. They are 0-3 despite only being outscored by 13 points and even out-gaining the Jets and Texans in their last two defeats. Previous ranking: 20 

22. Seattle Seahawks—In maybe the most underrated storyline of the week, how about head coach Jim Mora throwing kicker Olindo Mare under the bus after missing two field goals against the Chicago Bears? Personally, I'd want to see more professionalism from my head coach. Previous ranking: 21 

23. Oakland Raiders—One of my friends proclaimed on Sunday night that it appears that all JaMarcus Russell ever will be is potential...I don't think I would even give him that much credit. Previous ranking: 23 

24. Buffalo Bills—A week after he blamed a drop ball on the dirty shield above his face-mask, T.O. seemed to suggest his displeasure in the play-calling after Sunday's loss to New Orleans. I start to wonder if the man is ever really at fault for anything. Previous ranking: 24 

25. Jacksonville Jaguars—Talks of Jack Del Rio being on the hot seat cooled off a little after a huge game from Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jaguars offense against the Houston Texans. Previous ranking: 26 

26. Miami Dolphins—It appears that Chad Pennington will be lost for the season after yet another shoulder injury. The Dolphins' 2009 season went with him. Previous ranking: 25 

27. Detroit Lions—The Lions won...The Lions won...What?! Previous ranking: 32 

28. Carolina Panthers—Outside of the two-minute drill in the first half, the Panthers offense was absolutely miserable against the Dallas Cowboys. Previous ranking: 27 

29. Kansas City Chiefs—New coach, new general manager, new QB, same Kansas City Chiefs. Previous ranking: 28 

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers—No third-down conversions, no first downs in the first half, about as abysmal a performance from the Buccaneers offense as you will see all year. Previous ranking: 29 

31. St. Louis Rams—Kyle Boller looked surprisingly competent against the Green Bay Packers. What a shame that the St. Louis Rams still suck. Previous ranking: 31 

32. Cleveland Browns—I couldn't live with myself putting St. Louis 32nd instead. Ok, I could have, but the Cleveland Browns really do deserve that spot. Minus seven turnover differential and getting outscored on average by more than 20 points will seal you with another high draft pick. Previous ranking: 30


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