NFL Power Rankings 2020: Team Records and Standings Predictions for Week 3

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2020

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) warms up before an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

While it's nonsensical to call a Week 3 contest a must-win game, several NFL teams are in a precarious position. Roughly a third of the league—11 teams to be exact—is sitting at 0-2 and in danger of falling into a very deep early hole.

At the same time, 11 teams sit at 2-0. It's highly unlikely that any of them go undefeated, just as an 0-2 team probably isn't going winless. Still, there's no arguing that a franchise would rather be 3-0 come Tuesday morning than 0-3.

Here's a look at the current power rankings heading into Week 3, along with each team's upcoming opponent and win-loss predictions for every game.

    

Power Ranking, Record, Next Opponent and Predictions

1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) at Baltimore: Loss (2-1)

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2. Baltimore Ravens (2-0) vs. Kansas City: Win (3-0)

3. Seattle Seahawks (2-0) vs. Dallas: Win (3-0)

4. Green Bay Packers (2-0) at New Orleans: Win (3-0)

5. Buffalo Bills (2-0) vs. L.A. Rams: Win (3-0)

6. Arizona Cardinals (2-0) vs. Detroit: Win (3-0)

7. New England Patriots (1-1) vs. Las Vegas: Win (2-1)

8. Tennessee Titans (2-0) at Minnesota: Win (3-0)

9. Las Vegas Raiders (2-0) at New England: Loss (2-1)

10. New Orleans Saints (1-1) vs. Green Bay: Loss (1-2)

11. San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at NY Giants: Win (2-1)

12. Los Angeles Rams (2-0) at Buffalo: Loss (2-1)

13. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) vs. Houston: Win (3-0)

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) at Denver: Win (2-1)

15. Chicago Bears (2-0) at Atlanta: Loss (2-1)

16. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) vs. Carolina: Win (2-1)

17. Indianapolis Colts (1-1) vs. NY Jets: Win (2-1)

18. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) vs. Miami: Win (2-1)

19. Washington Football Team (1-1) at Cleveland: Loss (1-2)

20. Dallas Cowboys (1-1) at Seattle: Loss (1-2)

21. Cleveland Browns (1-1) vs. Washington: Win (2-1)

22. Denver Broncos (0-2) vs. Tampa Bay: Loss (0-3)

23. Houston Texans (0-2) at Pittsburgh: Loss (0-3)

24. Miami Dolphins (0-2) at Jacksonville: Loss (0-3)

25. Philadelphia Eagles (0-2) vs. Cincinnati: Loss (0-3)

26. Minnesota Vikings (0-2) vs. Tennessee: Loss (0-3)

27. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) at Philadelphia: Win (1-2)

28. Atlanta Falcons (0-2) vs. Chicago: Win (1-2)

29. Carolina Panthers (0-2) at L.A. Chargers: Loss (0-3)

30. Detroit Lions (0-2) at Arizona: Loss (0-3)

31. New York Giants (0-2) vs. San Francisco: Loss (0-3)

32. New York Jets (0-2) at Indianapolis: Loss (0-3)

     

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The big game of the weekend is on Monday night, when the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens face off. These were arguably the two best teams in the league a year ago—Baltimore posted a 14-2 record, while Kansas City won the Super Bowl—and the same might be true this year. Only one of them can come out of Week 3 undefeated, though, unless there's a tie.

Given the dominance we've seen on both sides of the ball from Baltimore thus far—they've outscored opponents 71-22—expect the Ravens to win a close one over their biggest AFC rivals.

Expect most of the other undefeated teams to remain so entering Week 4, with the Las Vegas Raiders being one key exception. Las Vegas proved on Monday night that it is a legitimate contender by taking control in the second half against the New Orleans Saints.

However, Foxborough is still a tough place to play, even when the New England Patriots don't have Tom Brady. They have Cam Newton, who showed in Week 2 that he is at least close to the MVP-caliber passer he once was.

"Cam Newton is here, rolling and rejuvenated, doing all of his electrifying Cam Newton things," Chad Finn of the Boston Globe wrote.

The Patriots should get enough defense and "Cam Newton things" to give the Raiders their first taste of defeat.

The Saints, by the way, should be concerned. They have not looked like the 13-3 squad of the last two seasons, especially offensively, and the loss of wideout Michael Thomas loomed large in Week 2. There's a chance that Thomas will be able to play in Week 3, though ironically, he'll have to be signed off on by surgeon Robert Anderson—the Packers' team doctor.

With or without Thomas, it's hard to see New Orleans beating a Packers team that appears even more dangerous than last year's 13-3 squad.

As for the 0-2 teams, we're likely to see a lot of them remain winless, especially those experiencing significant injuries in Week 2. The New York Giants and Carolina Panthers, for example, lost running backs Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey, respectively.

Don't be surprised if the Cincinnati Bengals and rookie quarterback Joe Burrow pick up their first win of the season, however. Burrow put forth a valiant effort in last week's loss to the Cleveland Browns and now faces a Philadelphia Eagles team that could be at a crossroads.

The Eagles defense ranks just 26th in points allowed, while quarterback Carson Wentz (2 TDs, 4 INTS) has looked nothing like the MVP candidate he once was. Expect Burrow to out-duel Wentz in one of the most defense-optional games of the week.