Power Ranking NFL Teams Through Week 3
Game 3 of the preseason saw the intensity turned up for the starters to give coaches and coordinators a last look at position battles and scheme adjustments. Roster cuts have already been decided for most teams, regardless if those players have been cut yet.
Not much fine-tuning will take place Week 4 of the preseason, so here's how the league stacks up.
32. Kansas City Chiefs
The entire preseason for the Chiefs has been the same story. What Todd Haley takes out of this game is that he most likely found a good quarterback in the fifth round in Ricky Stanzi. The could-be backup went 8-of-14 with 121 yards and a score.
Other than that, Chiefs fans, close your eyes until the regular season.
31. San Francisco 49ers
The only positive thing for the team on offense is that Kendall Hunter is a keeper. The two quarterbacks combined went 8-of-22 with 67 yards and two interceptions.
The defense allowed 30 points as well.
30. Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton had a terrible game, with his powder toss celebration of scoring a touchdown summing up how bad it was. With that said, at least Newton has the ability to escape what he cannot handle in the pocket, unlike Jimmy Clausen.
Armanti Edwards whiffed on a punt catch while the defense made Cincinnati's offense look respectable for the first time during the entire season.
The only player who had multiple catches for the Panthers was Jeremy Shockey, which is not surprising because Newton seems to only be able to find tight ends.
29. Seattle Seahawks
Tarvaris Jackson has played so poorly that Pete Carroll kept him in until the fourth quarter. Marshawn Lynch will need to come back healthy so Seattle has a thumper in its backfield unlike what Leon Washington and Justin Forsett present.
Doug Baldwin had a 105-yard touchdown return in this near special teams-extinct world.
28. Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton had his first impressive game and Cedric Benson showed that he may be able to help the rookie quarterback out, rushing for 68 yards and a touchdown. A.J. Green caught a 40-yard score as he continues to look like he's the real deal. It's premature, but maybe Atlanta shouldn't have valued Julio Jones and his 40 time over the former Bulldog.
Mike Zimmer can take nothing away defensively as the opposing quarterbacks are and were terrible.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars
26. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders may have found a productive speedster in Taiwan Jones. He had lightning-quick cuts that resulted in yards that should have never been gained. Jason Campbell played alright and that seems to be his ceiling. Derek Hagan looks like the team's best receiver, but that is a week-by-week assumption deal, anyway.
Defensively, the Raiders can't get scorched for 40 points with that style of offense.
25. Indianapolis Colts
Curtis Painter showed life with two touchdowns, but it's too late. Kerry Collins will be starting if Peyton Manning isn't good to go, as said by general manager Bill Polian.
The defense was shredded by Aaron Rodgers, but Dwight Freeney recorded two sacks while playing just on passing downs. Their other edge rusher, Robert Mathis, went out with a hamstring injury. Indianapolis will need both men for a middle of the pack defense.
24. Chicago Bears
Roy Williams caught a 17-yard pass. More surprising than that is he didn't do his stupid first-down signal celebration—maybe it was because Jay Cutler's interception went right through his hands on the first play.
Earl Bennett continues to show that while the coaches may not want to trot him out in the starting lineup, he is their best receiver. Amobi Okoye, the castoff from Houston, had a sack.
Maybe one of Chicago's many questionable bust signings will pan out.
23. Tennessee Titans
The running game finally looked like it missed Chris Johnson. Third-down efficiency was poor at 27 percent, but it was against what is thought to be a good Bears' defense.
A great return of an interception by Michael Griffin.
22. Buffalo Bills
The Bills were taking part in the best game Saturday night, yet NFL Network barely updated the game on Around the League. Such is life for Buffalo, but Ryan Fitzpatrick had a 158 quarterback rating while no one was watching. Stevie Johnson caught a bomb from the Harvard product that went 52-yards deep for a score.
The defense did give up 32 points to the Jaguars, but seven of that was on a pick-six thrown by Tyler Thigpen.
21. Atlanta Falcons
There isn't much to make of Atlanta's offense seeing how they it is specifically working on the air attack, but the defense is another story. The secondary was burned multiple times.
20. New York Giants
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ten players for the Bucs had rushing attempts against the Dolphins. Da'Quan Bowers had a sack as well as camp standout Josh Johnson, who might start ahead of the rookie. Josh Freeman didn't have an interception but his completion percentage was poor.
Miami's rushing was completely shut down, a good sign for the Bucs, who were in the bottom five against the run last season.
18. Arizona Cardinals
Beanie Wells had a nice 6.3 yards-per-carry average against San Diego's defense. Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald continue to progress, connecting on an 80-yard bomb. The threat of Fitzgerald works for the offense as there was another significant chunk of yards gained from a pass interference call.
More pass targets need to emerge because the offense can't just be Fitzgerald, Wells or bust.
17. Minnesota Vikings
Donovan McNabb hooked up with Bernard Berrian for a deep touchdown. Believe it or not, that may be a better sign for Berrian. Minnesota will need wide receivers to step up. Adrian Peterson had nice, consistent runs against the Cowboys defense.
The backup quarterback job appears to be going to Christian Ponder seeing how he and Joe Webb have played similarly and the team has more invested in the former Florida State product.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Joe Flacco threw for two touchdowns, but his foot work isn't great with oncoming pressure. It'll have to be with how the offensive line looks to be. Ray Rice picked up the production, rushing for 72 yards. Lee Evans continued good play, but he showed up to practice afterwards in a walking boot.
Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano lit up into the unit after allowing an uncharacteristically long touchdown run.
15. Philadelphia Eagles
The offensive line was terrible against the Browns. Michael Vick was responsible for a sack, not drifting to the left on a boot leg, but the line takes the blame for the other sacks and quarterback hits allowed.
The best sight from the night was Mike Patterson getting a sack, as he still has some medical issues.
14. St. Louis Rams
Steven Jackson ran hard like always for a good game, while Sam Bradford spread the ball evenly to his receiver-by-committee group. Robert Quinn had a sack against a Kansas City team that continues to show nothing while barely playing their main guys.
Not too much to take out of the game other than solidifying what was already known from Steve Spagnuolo's squad.
13. Denver Broncos
Denver's starting quarterback played well, while the coaches continue to toy around with the quarterback lineup. This week they felt like playing Tim Tebow second string without Brady Quinn making an appearance.
John Fox looks to use Willis McGahee near the goal line and on critical short-yardage downs. Von Miller is heating up, although one of his two sacks was against a tight end. While he may not have learned all the tricks of the trade, he certainly appears to be coming along quite well at this point.
12. Miami Dolphins
Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne hooked up for a 60-yard catch-and-run by the receiver. The two also had a fumble apiece with Marshall losing his. No sacks or interceptions for the Dolphins' defense, but it still managed to keep the Bucs to 17 points.
Henne had a good showing despite no running game to aid him.
11. New York Jets
The defense was good against the pass, interception Eli Manning twice. Mark Sanchez continues to dip-and-dunk, having 64 yards on eight completions.
Brian Schottenheimer called for the Wildcat inside the 20, a move that won't work even if they still had Brad Smith. A condensed field is not the place to attempt it.
10. Dallas Cowboys
Dez Bryant had a phenomenal sideline catch while gathering in five balls for 67 yards. Tony Romo and the offense played well. Anthony Spencer showed production, getting a sack. Rob Ryan will need a dual threat at getting to the quarterback in his system.
9. San Diego Chargers
Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd look to be the most physically intimidating pair of receivers in the game, only if they can actually be on the field at the same time for once. Philip Rivers tossed well as usual.
The secondary was leaky, to say the least, but that shouldn't be a huge problem against the Raiders, Broncos or Chiefs.
8. New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees and his backup, Chase Daniel, played well against Oakland, with Jimmy Graham showing his potential in this offense out on the field.
The defense had its poor moments against the run and pass, but Gregg Williams could be counted on to clear that up.
7. Cleveland Browns
6. New England Patriots
Tom Brady said going into the game that he wanted to get hit, but he couldn't have meant like this. The first unimpressive showing for the Patriots this preseason saw the Lions' defense line dominate up front.
New England couldn't get the ground game working on Detroit either. The secondary was lit up by Matthew Stafford.
Unfortunately, there was injury added to insult with Wes Welker sustaining a neck injury on a tackle.
5. Washington Redskins
DeAngelo Hall returned an interception for a touchdown in style while the pass rush combination of Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan had a sack each. Tim Hightower continued his great preseason with a 37-yard touchdown run.
Zone blitzes from the Redskins were leaky in pass coverages, though, allowing Anquan Boldin to find the seam in the middle. Hall was burned by Lee Evans for a 35-yard, over-the-top touchdown.
John Beck might have thrown an interception, but it was a bootleg to the left and there was only one option. Donte' Stallworth could have fought harder as well.
Until next time, folks, the job is Beck's to blow.
4. Houston Texans
Arian Foster tweaked his hamstring, according to coach Gary Kubiak, but it's a huge deal when it happens twice in one preseason.
Ben Tate had another production game and the Texans may need him to follow up in the regular season.
Only one touchdown against the defense, but it was the 49ers.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
Is it time for Hines Ward to step aside for Antonio Brown? The receiver killed Atlanta's corners on his way to a two-touchdown, 137-yard game. Mike Wallace and Brown would be the fastest pair of receivers next to Philadelphia's.
Lawrence Timmons showed early returns on his new deal, picking off Matt Ryan. Byron Leftwich is likely out for the season with a broken arm, and Dennis Dixon is fragile to begin with.
Charlie Batch could be brought back.
2. Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers was his usual self, but the positive sign was Jermichael Finley bullying Colts' linebacker Pat Angerer for a touchdown grab. Ryan Grant is running with a bounce and he appears to start over playoff hero James Starks.
Clay Matthews got his early sack and didn't see the field much after doing so, but the defense hasn't been impressive. Chad Clifton was a weak spot for the Pack, but he was going against Dwight Freeney.
1. Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford continues to try and prove to the league he's the best quarterback in the 2008 draft. Two incompletions with two touchdowns on 200 yards passing sums it up. The backups to Stafford show they are the best group in the game.
Cliff Avril had two sacks while there were many more hits on Tom Brady.
The secondary still needs improvement. The defense made Wes Welker appear to be Randy Moss as he streaked down the field for an easy 44-yard touchdown.