Three of the top four teams in last week’s power rankings lost in another wild week of NFL action. This NFL season has been as crazy and explosive as ever, and through three weeks it’s still hard to tell the contenders from the pretenders. Here are where the teams stand through three weeks of NFL action.
1. Los Angeles Rams (3-0; won 35-23 vs LAC) (- No change from last week)
The Rams dominated the inaugural Battle for LA against the Chargers. Jared Goff played one of the best games of his career as the team was better in all three phases. The offense was rolling, the defense kept Philip Rivers from finding his stride and even the special teams unit added a touchdown off of a blocked punt. This is the best team in football.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0; won 38-27 vs SF) (+3)
Kansas City is a Big 12 team, and I say that in the most complimentary way possible. They have filled their offense with ridiculous athletes and quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the perfect guy to take advantage of their talent. The defense is still terrible but who cares when you’re scoring 100 points a game?
3. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1; won 20-16 vs IND) (+5)
Carson Wentz returned to action this week and it breathed life into a team that faltered in the early weeks of the season. While the quarterback didn’t look like his former self just yet you have to imagine he, and the Eagles, will only get better in the coming weeks.
4. New Orleans Saints (2-1; won 43-17 vs ATL) (+8)
The Saints defense is a shell of the amazing unit it was in 2017. Their secondary can’t stop anyone and the pass rush isn’t where it used to be. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas are good enough to win them games anyways, though. The Saints of the early 2010s is back.
5. Baltimore Ravens (2-1; won 27-14 vs DEN) (+5)
Joe Flacco is looking better than he has in years this season. The quarterback threw for 277 yards and had two total touchdowns in the Ravens’ win. Baltimore’s defense is as good as it has always been and this team looks like a real threat in the AFC North.
6. Minnesota Vikings (1-1-1; lost 27-6 vs BUF) (-4)
Minnesota entered the game against the Buffalo Bills as 17-point favorites. A few early turnovers put them in a 17-0 hole that they were never able to climb out from. The offense was terrible and Kirk Cousins never really looked like he set himself into the game. A huge Thursday night matchup against the Rams looms on Thursday night and this team will hope that their season doesn’t spiral out of control.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1; lost 9-6 vs TEN) (-3)
The Jaguars’ loss to the Titans this week could barely be classified as a football game. This team continues to handicap itself by playing a run-first offense and it’s terrible.
8. Green Bay Packers (1-1-1; lost 31-17 vs WAS) (-5)
Aaron Rodgers is still struggling with his knee injury and the Packers defense had no answer for a geriatric Adrian Peterson. This team is beatable as long as their quarterback does not have his full range of mobility.
9. Atlanta Falcons (1-2; lost 43-37 vs NO) (-)
The Falcons came up just short in a fast-paced shootout against their division rivals. While the offense, and rookie receiver Calvin Ridley, look better than ever, their defense is banged up and can’t stop anyone. Expect Atlanta to get in a lot of shootouts this season.
10. New England Patriots (1-2; lost 26-10 vs DET) (-4)
For the second straight week the Patriots were out gameplanned by their opponent. Tom Brady was kept off of the field for much of Sunday night’s game and the front seven had no answer for the Lions’ usually terrible run game. I still don’t want to bet against Brady and Belichick, but I am coming close.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1; lost 31-21 vs CAR) (-4)
The Bengals front four may be the most disappointing unit on any team in the NFL. They were supposed to be the strength of this team but so far they have been kept quiet. A.J. Green left the Bengals game against the Panthers early and the offense did not have enough firepower to keep up with Carolina’s romp of their front seven.
12. Los Angeles Chargers (1-2; lost 35-21 vs LAR) (-1)
The Chargers defense doesn’t look as good as we thought it would this season. They lost against the Rams this week but I don’t think anyone is going to stop their cross-town rivals so I’m not too worried.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1-1; won 30-27 vs TB) (-)
The Steelers finally got in the win column after winning a Monday night shootout against the Bucs. Their defense is still liable to get torched every week but it is hard to stop their offense once it gets going—even without Le’Veon Bell around.
14. Tennessee Titans (2-1; won 9-6 vs JAX) (-)
I don’t want to write about this game again. The defense is good. They own the Jaguars. I have no idea what’s going on with Marcus Mariota.
15. Washington (2-1; won 31-17 vs GB) (+4)
This team can’t decide if they want to be good or bad. Don’t be surprised if they follow this huge win against the Packers with a 100-point loss to the Saints next week.
16. Miami Dolphins (3-0; won 28-20 vs OAK) (+2)
It’s basically impossible for 3-0 to look any less impressive but it still is 3-0. Their offense is Chiefs-lite with a worse quarterback, and the old men on defense have stepped up big time this season. They can quiet all their doubters with a win against New England this week.
17. Carolina Panthers (2-1; won 31-21 vs CIN) (+3)
Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey ran all over the Bengals’ front seven. Carolina’s secondary has been surprisingly good this season and rookie corner Donte Jackson has been an absolute stud through three weeks. This team still has to fight their way through a tough NFC South but if they stay healthy they might have enough to win the division.
18. Chicago Bears (2-1; won 16-14 vs ARI) (-2)
The Bears front seven is the elite unit we thought they were, but the rest of this team is in trouble. Their secondary still needs to step up big time to give the front end of the defense the support it needs. Their offense is awful and will cost them this season. Mitch Trubisky is the worst starting quarterback in football at the moment and no flashy play calling can hide it.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1; lost 30-27 vs PIT) (-2)
The Fitzmagic ran out and the Bucs finally lost. The defense is terrible and an offense solely reliant on big plays was always doomed to fail.
20. Detroit Lions (1-2; won 26-10 vs NE) (+9)
The Lions played a near perfect game Sunday night. Matthew Stafford was back in his 2017 form. Kerryon Johnson ran for 101 yards. The defense shut down Brady and the Patriots offense. Detroit has finally found its footing and are only a game out of first place in the North.
21. Denver Broncos (2-1; lost 27-14 vs BAL) (-)
The juju that somehow gets the Broncos to 2-0 every year has run its course. Case Keenum is looking more like his 2016 self than his 2017 self, and the defense has taken a huge step back as well. This team is bad.
22. San Francisco 49ers (1-2; lost 38-27 vs KC) (-7)
San Francisco was just another victim of the Chiefs high flying offense this week. While a loss against one of the league’s top teams is nothing to worry about, potentially losing Jimmy Garoppolo to an ACL tear effectively ends their season.
23. Cleveland Browns (1-1-1; won 21-17 vs NYJ) (+2)
THEY FINALLY DID IT! Baker Mayfield entered the game near the end of the first half of the Browns Thursday night matchup, and the first overall pick put on a show. Mayfield is now the full-time starter in Cleveland, and this team could make some noise in a wide open AFC North.
24. Indianapolis Colts (1-2; lost 20-16 vs PHI) (-2)
Andrew Luck is clearly still dealing with a shoulder injury and he is a shell of his former self. He has no run game to support him—his 1 carry for 33 yards led the team—and the Colts offense has no way to move the ball. The defense looks a little better every week but they will never have enough to win them games when the offense struggles.
25. Seattle Seahawks (1-2; won 24-13 vs DAL) (+3)
Russell Wilson had an uncharacteristically quiet game, but another huge day for Chris Carson carried the offense. Earl Thomas, who is in the midst of an odd holdout where he plays in the games but doesn’t fully participate in practice, intercepted two passes against the team he wanted to trade for him. This team has problems but they still have enough stars on the roster to stick around with the best.
26. Buffalo Bills (1-2; won 27-6 vs MIN) (+6)
Josh Allen rolled into Minnesota (which isn’t in Wisconsin despite what the Bills social media team might think) and dropped a bomb on the Vikings. Jerry Hughes and Buffalo’s defense was near perfect as the Bills pulled off the biggest upset we will see all season.
27. New York Jets (1-2; lost 21-17 vs CLE) (-1)
Sam Darnold’s debut against the Lions is far in the rear view mirror now and the rookie is starting to look like the raw talent we thought he was. Darnold will get better as the season goes on, but right now this team is firmly rebuilding.
28. Dallas Cowboys (1-2; lost 24-13 vs SEA) (-4)
Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys offense still haven’t been a real threat to anyone three weeks into the season. Sean Lee is injured again, which will be a huge blow to the defense that is expected to carry the abysmal offense. Any Cowboys fans that have not already hit the panic button should be doing so shortly.
29. New York Giants (1-2; won 27-22 vs HOU) (+1)
The Giants finally got in the win column with a dominant victory over the Texans. New York’s abundance of talent at the skill positions ran all over Houston’s defense en route to the team’s first win of the season. Their terrible offensive line nearly let the Texans back into the game, though, and this team still has a lot to worry about.
30. Oakland Raiders (0-3; lost 28-20 vs MIA) (-3)
For the third straight week the Raiders came out looking like an inspired, passionate team ready to battle till the very end. Just like the previous weeks, though, the Raiders lack of talent on the roster led to them blowing a second half lead.
31. Houston Texans (0-3; lost 27-22 vs NYG) (-8)
There really is nothing positive about this team right now. Adding Will Fuller back to the lineup was not enough to take advantage of a terrible Giants secondary. Deshaun Watson looks lost in the pocket. Head coach Bill O’Brien may already be on the hot seat.
32. Arizona Cardinals (0-3; lost 16-14 vs CHI) (-1)
The 14 points the Cardinals scored in the first half of Week 3 are more than the two previous weeks combined, so they have improved. The offense promptly shut down after the team took a 14-0 lead, though. Sam Bradford was pulled for Josh Rosen late in the game and this may be the rookie’s team from here on out.