NFL Power Rankings Week 3: 2018 Standings, Reaction for All Teams Post-MNF

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 18, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams runs to the endzone against the Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
John McCoy/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears closed Week 2 of the NFL season with a 24-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks. The Bears sacked Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson six times, and cornerback Prince Amukamara returned an interception for a touchdown. 

Here's a look at a fresh set of power rankings following the Bears victory, with the 32 NFL teams grouped in separate tiers below alongside some analysis.


NFL Power Rankings

1. Los Angeles Rams

2. Jacksonville Jaguars

3. Kansas City Chiefs

4. Minnesota Vikings

5. Green Bay Packers

6. New England Patriots

7. Philadelphia Eagles

8. Chicago Bears

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

10. Atlanta Falcons

11. Carolina Panthers

12. Cincinnati Bengals

13. Denver Broncos

14. Los Angeles Chargers

15. San Francisco 49ers

16. Miami Dolphins

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

18. Baltimore Ravens

19. New Orleans Saints

20. Indianapolis Colts

21. New York Jets

22. Dallas Cowboys

23. Washington Redskins

24. Tennessee Titans

25. Cleveland Browns

26. New York Giants

27. Houston Texans

28. Seattle Seahawks

29. Oakland Raiders

30. Detroit Lions

31. Arizona Cardinals

32. Buffalo Bills


Tier 1 (No. 1-No. 5): Best of the Best

All of these teams are undefeated and have impressive wins on their resumes. The Los Angeles Rams have outscored their first two opponents 67-13. The Jacksonville Jaguars took down the New England Patriots, and the Kansas City Chiefs have scored 80 points en route to beating a team with a winning 2017 record (the Los Angeles Chargers) and the 2017 AFC North champion (the Pittsburgh Steelers).

The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers played to a 29-all tie in Week 2 after they each scored Week 1 wins in their home openers. Minnesota took down the pesky San Francisco 49ers, while Green Bay came back from a 20-point deficit to beat the Chicago Bears, who have one of the best defenses in the league with edge-rusher Khalil Mack in the mix.


Tier 2 (No. 6-No. 7): Super Bowl Participants Battling Injuries and Suspensions

The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles have been unlucky with injuries this year. The Pats backfield was decimated, with Jeremy Hill suffering a torn ACL and Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead each battling ailments. New England is also without suspended wideout Julian Edelman for two more games.

The Philadelphia Eagles at various times have been without quarterback Carson Wentz, running back Jay Ajayi, wideouts Alshon Jeffery and Mike Wallace, left tackle Jason Peters, linebacker Nigel Bradham and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. They fared well in a season-opening win versus the Atlanta Falcons, but the team struggled in a 27-20 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who at one point were winning 27-7.      


Tier 3 (No. 8-No. 17): The Massive Upper-Middle Tier

It's hard to separate these 10 teams.

The Chicago Bears are the leader of this group right now thanks to a near-win at the Green Bay Packers and a strong defensive performance en route to a 24-17 victory against the Seattle Seahawks. The defense looks tremendous, but the offense has struggled a bit in the early going.

A trio of NFC South teams are next, with the undefeated Tampa Bay Buccaneers leading the way. They have to be after defeating two 2017 NFC playoff teams (the New Orleans Saints and Eagles) to start the year.

The Atlanta Falcons edge the Carolina Panthers thanks to their 31-24 win on Sunday, but both teams should be in contention for the division crown through the season.

The Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos have started strong at 2-0, with Cincinnati arguably having the most impressive win thanks to a 34-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

The Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco 49ers each lost some respectable games, with the Bolts losing to the high-flying Chiefs 38-28 and the 49ers dropping a tough 24-16 contest versus the Minnesota Vikings on the road.

The issue is that both have been hit hard with injuries. They have each suffered season-enders (notably Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett and 49ers running back Jerrick McKinnon) in addition to other ailments (a foot injury for edge-rusher Joey Bosa and a quad injury for No. 1 49ers wideout Marquise Goodwin).

That being said, L.A. and San Francisco should still contend for playoff spots well into December.

The Miami Dolphins and the Pittsburgh Steelers are the odd-ball teams of the group. The Fins have started strong at 2-0, but they have a brutal three-game stretch against the Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots starting in Week 4. The Steelers have looked like a shell of their former selves so far, as the defense has not fared well in giving up 63 total points to the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs en route to a 0-1-1 start.


Tier 4 (No. 18-No. 24): A Win But a Work in Progress

All of these teams got in the win column, but they each have to pick it up to contend for the playoffs.

The Baltimore Ravens defense just allowed 34 points to the Cincinnati Bengals, and their run game has been dormant.

The Saints' defense, which was on the wrong end of a 48-40 loss to the Buccaneers in Week 1, improved in a 21-18 victory over the Cleveland Browns, but how will they fare against high-flying offenses?

The Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets have a lot of youth and inexperience at key spots (the secondary for Indianapolis, the quarterback for New York). Both the Colts defensive backs and Jets signal-caller Sam Darnold have flashed this year, but they also may face some growing pains down the road.

The Dallas Cowboys are having trouble generating consistent offense outside running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Washington Redskins couldn't score a touchdown at home against the Colts Sunday. The Tennessee Titans' leading receiver was a safety (Dane Cruikshank), who caught a 66-yard fake-punt pass for a touchdown. Can they do enough on offense to contend?


Tier 5 (No. 25-No. 32): Winless and Flawed

All of these teams are sans victories after two weeks and have significant flaws.

The New York Giants' and Seattle Seahawks' offensive lines have struggled mightily. The Arizona Cardinals haven't scored a touchdown yet. The Bills may have the worst overall team in the league. The Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders defenses can't stop the run or pass right now. The Houston Texans pass rush is MIA.

The Browns may be the best of the bunch, but the Browns special teams have not fared well thus far.


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