There are still 15 weeks left of the NFL season, but for some teams the year already feels like it is over. For some teams, they’re 0-2 and just look bad after two weeks, but for many teams this week, the injury bug struck and struck hard. A ton of players went down with very serious injuries on Sunday, and the carnage of the injury bug seems to have overshadowed every other story this week.
- Injuries galore
The hardest hit team of the week was the San Francisco 49ers. The defending NFC Champions have a strong roster that could see them playing in the Super Bowl once again, but the turf at MetLife stadium in Week 2 might be their undoing.
San Francisco was decimated in their game against the New York Jets. While they still won 31-13 and dominated every phase of the game, they leave the game feeling more worried than ever. Nick Bosa, a star pass rusher getting his second NFL season underway, will be out for the year after tearing his ACL. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo left the game early as well, and is now set to miss a few weeks with an ankle injury. Raheem Mostert, one of the breakout stars of their playoff run last season, is set to miss time with a knee injury as well. Three key pieces for San Francisco are already out going forward, and star receiver Deebo Samuel is already on injured reserve anyways.
One of the most heartbreaking injuries of the week was Saquon Barkley tearing his ACL. The New York Giants running back had been a point of excitement on a franchise stuck in this pit of despair, though now a knee injury has likely cost him his third NFL season. Injuries like this are also not particularly friendly to explosive running backs such as Barkley long term.
Other injuries include another star running back in Christian McCaffrey, as the Carolina Panthers back is set to miss time with an ankle injury. Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker is set to miss the season with an achilles injury, and he may never again feature in a Colts uniform. The Denver Broncos lost starlet quarterback Drew Lock for some time as well with a shoulder injury, and Jeff Driskel will now be taking over in the weeks to come. Anthony Barr of the Minnesota Vikings will miss the rest of the season as well with a shoulder injury.
A dark week for the NFL.
- Some shuffling at the top
There was a lot of movement at the top of this week's rankings. Some of it has to do with injuries, with the Broncos and 49ers slipping due to losing key pieces. But there were also some standout performances at the top.
The Baltimore Ravens crushed the Houston Texans for the second straight season and did it on with a modest day from reigning MVP Lamar Jackson. The quarterback had 204 passing yards and another 54 on the ground, but they still smoked Houston 33-16 in a game that never felt competitive. If they can continue to win by these margins—even when Jackson is not playing god-tier football—they will be a tough out. With the Kansas City Chiefs nearly falling to a Los Angeles Chargers team starting a rookie quarterback thrown into the fire at the last minute, Baltimore takes over the No. 1 spot.
Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys fell behind big time against the Atlanta Falcons this week. Dallas trailed 20-0 after only one quarter. Prescott roared his team back into the game, though, and with the dumbest onside kick you have ever seen, somehow won the game 40-39, avoiding the dreaded 0-2 start to the season. Prescott finished the game with 450 passing yards and a touchdown, along with three more rushing touchdowns. The Prescott MVP campaign may be up and running.
Speaking of MVP campaigns, Russell Wilson’s chances at earning the NFL’s biggest individual honor got a boost on Sunday night. The Seattle Seahawks topped the New England Patriots in a classic game. Wilson played well, throwing five touchdown passes to lead his team to a statement victory.
New England, despite losing, proved they are not a team to overlook either. Cam Newton got back to MVP form on Sunday night, throwing a touchdown pass and scoring two others on the ground. He was only a few yards away from scoring a third, game-winning, touchdown on the last play of the game. The Patriots are 1-1 and the rebuild isn’t happening. They are somehow still the clear favorites in the AFC East.
The Green Bay Packers made a statement as well, crushing a divisional opponent for the second straight week. Aaron Rodgers did not even play particularly well, but it was the running game, carried by Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, who got it done on the ground with 259 total yards.
Week 3 Power Rankings