NFL Week 3 Power Rankings: Saints Hold On to Top Spot, Vikings' Ship Sinking
After two weeks, the NFL power rankings are still not even close to being set. The top seven teams switched around spots with the exception of the Saints, who stay at No. 1. Teams who we thought were playoff teams are 0-2. Other squads are surprising us at 2-0. And then there are high-quality teams and some really bad teams at 1-1. Here we go with another edition of the power rankings.
1. New Orleans Saints (2-0) Last Week (1): The Saints came away from a windy game against the 49ers with a win. That's all that matters. Will the Reggie Bush injury affect Drew Brees and the Saints dynamic offense? We'll get back to you in a few weeks on that one.
2. Indianapolis Colts (1-1) Last Week (4): That was the Colts team everyone expects to see week-in and week-out. If the defense plays like that every week this will be a tough team to beat.
3. Green Bay Packers (2-0) Last Week (7): Maybe I doubted the Packers too early. Bad mistake. The two big stories will remain are the Packers going to trade for Marshawn Lynch or another running back and Clay Matthews sack attack so far. If he keeps up this pace he will total 48 sacks on the year.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) Last Week (5): This defense is astounding right now. Holding Chris Johnson under 50 yards rushing is not an easy feat. Charlie Batch came in and allowed the Steelers to go 2-0. They are patiently awaiting Ben Roethlisberger's return.
5. Baltimore Ravens (1-1) Last Week (2): Should the Ravens stick with Ray Rice? Joe Flacco looked pretty bad against the Bengals last week, and that's an understatement. Rice, on the other hand looked good, rushing 16 times for 87 yards. Maybe they are trying to establish the new wide-open offense too much.
6. New York Jets (1-1) Last Week (6): LaDainian Tomlinson looks amazing so far. The offense needs to play like that every week. Darrelle Revis' injury may hamper the secondary.
7. New England Patriots (1-1) Last Week (3): The Pats played a lackluster game against their division rival. That may hurt them down the road when playoff time rolls around.
8. Houston Texans (2-0) Last Week (12): Houston had to battle back and rely on a timely timeout in overtime to pull out the victory against Washington. Andre Johnson hurt his ankle, but came back to score the game winning touchdown on a fourth-and-ten. Matt Schaub threw for 497 yards in an offensive battle. This team can ball.
9. San Diego Chargers (1-1) Last Week (11): The Chargers looked much better against a bad Jacksonville team. Still don't know what to take away from this team and it will take a few weeks to get a real feel when they play New England.
10. Miami Dolphins (2-0) Last Week (13): Taking down the Vikings says one of two things. The Dolphins are going to be a contender in the AFC East or the Vikings are that bad. Either way, a 2-0 start and a victory over last years NFC runner-up was exactly what the Fins were looking for.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) Last Week (14): An impressive win over the Ravens after a poor performance against the Patriots. They are in a tough division, but this team has the weapons to be a factor down the road.
12. New York Giants (1-1) Last Week (9): The Giants have become the latest victim to Peyton Manning. Big brother showed up Eli in a no contest. I'm chalking this loss up to the fact that the Colts were playing at home in a must-win situation.
13. Atlanta Falcons (1-1) Last Week (15): It was the Jason Snelling show against the Cardinals in 41-7 trouncing. Michael Turner will be back next week in a big battle in the Big Easy.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) Last Week (17): Andy Reid has officially made Michael Vick the starter. They almost lost to the Detroit Lions without Matthew Stafford. Let's see how Vick does against another spotty defense in Jacksonsville.
15. Dallas Cowboys (0-2) Last Week (10): Dallas now has two heartbreaking loses in two games. One against a divisional opponent, another against the Chicago Bears who we are still debating on if they are for real or not. Is Dallas in a must-win mode already?
16. Chicago Bears (2-0) Last Week (23): The Bears are big movers this week, jumping seven spots. This is another team we are going to see if they are for real or not come Monday night when they play the Packers the NFC North division lead.
17. Washington Redskins (1-1) Last Week (16): Donovan McNabb has revitalized the Washington offense. They are a timeout away from being 2-0. Still, they need to hold onto the lead late in games.
18. Minnesota Vikings (0-2) Last Week (8): They have lost two close games to two undefeated teams. Still, the offense looks really bad with the exception of Adrian Peterson. Maybe Favre should have waited until halfway though the season to get into the action.
19. Denver Broncos (1-1) Last Week (22): Denver took care of business against a surprisingly tough Seattle team. Can they stop Peyton this week?
20. San Francisco 49ers (0-2) Last Week (20): They played their hearts out against the defending Super Bowl champs. It took the Saints a last second field goal to win the game. As long as Alex Smith stays proficient, this team should be able to take the NFC West.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0) Last Week (29): The Bucs can't complain with two wins and starting off 2-0 for the first time since 2005 when they won four straight. A test against the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers will set the record straight on whether the Bucs are contenders or pretenders.
22. Tennessee Titans (1-1) Last Week (19): It's never an encouraging sign when the head coach pulls the starting quarterback. Fisher said it was for a "spark." If you can't get the spark from Vince Young and Kerry Collins is the other choice, I'd rather stick with Young.
23. Jacksonsville Jaguars (1-1) Last Week (18): Here is another team that decided to pull their starting quarterback in favor of the back-up last week. David Garrard played bad last week against the Chargers. Flat out.
24. Carolina Panthers (0-2) Last Week (21): The Panthers still have arguably the best one-two punch at running back in the league. They will try to spark the offense with Jimmy Clausen at quarterback this week.
25. Detroit Lions (0-2) Last Week (26): The Lions put up a fight and almost came out with a victory over the Eagles. They did this without Matthew Stafford at the helm. Is Shaun Hill the answer? No. But this team will surprise a few teams this year.
26. Arizona Cardinals (1-1) Last Week (24): The Cards got torn up in the first half by Michael Turner. Turner got injured and then they were man-handled by Jason Snelling. A loss is never looked at as "okay" in the NFL. Especially when the loss is by 34 points.
27. Seattle Seahawks (1-1) Last Week (27): Seattle followed up their surprising opener with a dud against Denver. The defense has to play better in order for this team to make any type of noise.
28. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) Last Week (28): Two games and two wins for the Chiefs. So why are they not higher up? They beat the lowly Browns by a measly two points. Give them another week before we see any significant movement.
29. Oakland Raiders (1-1) Last Week (25): Raiders come out with a win, but left the game with a lot of questions. Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski may be in the middle of a quarterback controversy now. At least Run-DMC is looking good.
30. Cleveland Browns (0-2) Last Week (30): Cleveland has put together two formidable games in a row. They aren't far off from being 2-0. Still, they sit at 0-2 and things aren't looking up with games against Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh looming.
31. St. Louis Rams (0-2) Last Week (32): The Rams are only two close games away from being 2-0. This is a rebuilding team and they won't have too many chances to win games this year. Let's see what Sam Bradford can do with this team.
32. Buffalo Bills (0-2) Last Week (31): There is no passing game to speak of. The running game looks to be okay, but nothing spectacular. Defense is skeptical. Nothing much else to say.
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