NFL Power Rankings: Breaking Down Sunday's Action Ahead of Week 3

Theo SalaunContributor IIISeptember 16, 2019

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, left, celebrates with head coach John Harbaugh after an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Baltimore. Baltimore won 23-17. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

With a second week of 2019 NFL action rounding out, our sample size has doubled and we have twice as much data and drama to happily base our overreactions on.  

As teams like the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans proved in Week 2, things change quickly in the NFL, and ranking teams this early can be a futile practice. As teams like the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots showed, some patterns of play actually do bare truth when judging organizations. 

Following Sunday's action, here are our preliminary power rankings ahead of Week 3.


32. Miami Dolphins (0-2)

  • The Dolphins have 10 points through two weeks. Their opponents have 102. For fans of football, this is not fun.

31. New York Giants (0-2)

  • Eli Manning looks bad, and the Giants defense might, somehow, look worse.

30. New York Jets (0-1)

  • Sam Darnold has mono, and that means the Jets should stink for a while.

  • The Buccaneers beat the Carolina Panthers, but they could have fielded zero defenders and Cam Newton's hobbled self still wouldn't have been able to get the ball near his receivers. 

28. Denver Broncos (0-2)

  • Emmanuel Sanders looks great despite last season's Achilles injury, but the rest of the team is comprised of question marks.

  • They got stomped by the Patriots and then lost Big Ben to injury in Week 2.

26. Carolina Panthers (0-2)

  • Aside from Cam Newton, the Panthers have actually looked pretty good so far. But it might be time for rookie Will Grier to step into signal-calling duties if Newton can't get healthy.

  • Washington's passing attack has been putting up points, but their defense and running game are horrid.

24. Arizona Cardinals (0-1-1)

  • A tie with the Detroit Lions followed by a close loss to the surging Baltimore Ravens make ranking the Cardinals just as volatile an experience as the development of their Air Raid offense has proved to be.

  • The Bengals are the opposite of the Chicago Bears. Their defense and running game have looked abysmal while their passing attack has actually impressed.

  • Gardner Minshew is entertaining, but the Jaguars have struggled against two of the league's top teams and are on the verge of continuing to plummet down the rankings.

21. Chicago Bears (1-1)

  • The defense: magnificent. Rookie running back David Montgomery: impressive. Mitchell Trubisky's average depth per attempt this week: 4.4.

20. Oakland Raiders (1-1)

  • There was a moment when the Raiders were beating the Kansas City Chiefs by 10. That moment did not last, and getting ranked in the top 20 might not either.

19. Atlanta Falcons (1-1)

18. Tennessee Titans (1-1)

  • No Melvin Gordon, no problem. No Hunter Henry either? OK, maybe some problems. 

16. Detroit Lions (1-0-1)

  • Through two games, the Lions have 40 points, and their opponents have 37. They feel like an average team right now.

15. Cleveland Browns (0-1)

  • There is a chance that Cleveland's Week 1 performance against the Titans was a fluke and that they will still live up to their preseason hype.

14. Indianapolis Colts (1-1)

  • It is probably time for the Eagles to hand the reins over to Miles Sanders and stop trying to build up Jordan Howard's trade value.

  • Facing the Bengals and the Buccaneers helps, but the 49ers have showed some real signs of life so far.

11. Buffalo Bills (2-0)

  • Moving forward, Buffalo's ranking relies entirely upon how significantly Devin Singletary's promising rookie campaign is affected by his hamstring injury.

10. Houston Texans (1-1)

  • Houston's offensive line needs to start protecting its quarterback for us to protect their top-10 ranking.

9. Minnesota Vikings (1-1)

  • Dalvin Cook is incredible and the defense seems sturdy, but Kirk Cousins needs to be able to hit his receivers when called upon.

  • Despite being 2-0, the Seahawks have just three more points than their opponents through two weeks. We'll wait until Week 3 to decide if they're clutch or just slightly above average.

  • A legitimate Super Bowl contender when healthy, the Saints need Drew Brees' thumb injury to be insignificant. 

6. Green Bay Packers (2-0)

  • It turns out that paying to bolster your defense in free agency is good for your team.

  • The Cowboys have had a light schedule, and Dak Prescott has had ages to throw the ball. But wins are wins, and Dallas has a plus-28 point differential through two weeks.

4. Baltimore Ravens (2-0)

  • Lamar Jackson is the truth, his young pass-catchers are blossoming, and their defensive group is intimidating.

  • It helps that the Saints were robbed of a touchdown by the refs and of Drew Brees by an injury in their Week 2 loss to the Rams, but Sean McVay's offense is starting to click, and their defense still seems to have Aaron Donald.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)

  • The Chiefs put up 40 points on the Jacksonville defense before dropping 28, in one quarter, against the Raiders. They can score...a lot. (And their defense improved this summer.)

1. New England Patriots (2-0)

  • The Patriots have 76 points through two weeks. Their opponents have a grand total of three. For fans of other organizations, this is not fun.