NFL
September 22, 2020
BY Lance Cartelli

NFL Power Rankings: Week 3

Every week we’ll keep you up to date with our very own NFL Power Rankings. Which teams appear ready for a playoff run? Which teams are sinking to the bottom of the barrel? We’ve got your answers right here. 

1 (tied). Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) / Baltimore Ravens (2-0)

Last Week: 1, 2, respectively

Is this a cop-out? Possibly. But these two juggernauts will face off on Monday Night Football in what could be the best game of the year and a potential AFC Championship Game preview. The winner of this game will earn the coveted "best team in the league" slot from us for at least a week.

3. Seattle Seahawks (2-0)

Last Week: 3

You're probably tired of hearing people say "let Russ cook." And, guess what, so are we! But it's impressive what the Seahawks are doing on offense, and they need to because the defense — specifically the pass rush — could be a big problem.

4. Green Bay Packers (2-0)

Last Week: 4

The Packers — especially Aaron Rodgers — look back like their old selves. But let's not get carried away too quickly, they've beaten two of the worst teams in the NFL in the Vikings and Lions.

That being said, Green Bay has completely decimated them, which puts them right at the top of the NFC hierarchy.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)

Last Week: 6

The Steelers defense is simply amazing to watch. Even if the offense is struggling, the Steelers defense should keep them in every game. But that's the thing, the Steelers offense — including Big Ben — look pretty damn good. They're not quite on the Ravens or Chiefs level, but they're close.

6. Buffalo Bills (2-0)

Last Week: 7

Who would've thought that Josh Allen would emerge as the top quarterback between him, Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold? With Stefon Diggs in town, the Bills offense has taken a major step. And Allen's longshot MVP campaign continues to gain steam.

7. Tennessee Titans (2-0)

Last Week: 9

Even without A.J. Brown, the Titans offense looks nearly unstoppable. Jonnu Smith appears to be a tight end on the rise, and the defense should improve once they get healthier. It might be time to anoint Ryan Tannehill as a top-10 quarterback, too.  

8. Los Angeles Rams (2-0)

Last Week: 10

After a "down" year at 9-7, the Rams look like they're nearly back to their Super Bowl form. Jared Goff has looked great in the first two weeks, and the defense is playing better than expected. They easily handled the Eagles on Sunday.

9. Arizona Cardinals (2-0)

Last Week: 14

Kyler Murray's jaw-dropping playmaking ability has allowed him to enter the MVP discussion in just his second season in the league. Not only does he look like a top-five quarterback, but the Cardinals' defense is improved as well. The NFC West is a bloodbath. 

10. Las Vegas Raiders (2-0)

Last Week: 17

Are the Raiders the most surprising 2-0 team in the league? Las Vegas has talent on both sides of the ball, and some really interesting playmakers on offense including Josh Jacobs, Darren "The Baller" Waller and Henry Ruggs.

Watch out, the Raiders are looking like a playoff team in 2020.

11. New England Patriots (1-1)

Last Week: 12

The rest of the league should be embarrassed that they let the Patriots have Cam Newton for next to nothing. The former MVP looks like his old self in a Patriots uniform. Despite playing with lackluster weapons, Newton has elevated the players around him. The Pats putting up a fight against the Seahawks is a great sign for the future of this team.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)

Last Week: 13

This might be weird to say, but the Buccaneers are a defensive team. While Tom Brady and Mike Evans found their connection Sunday, it's the team's suffocating defense that makes them a playoff contender. 

13. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)

Last Week: 11

The Cowboys were one less Falcons mistake away from being winless, but thanks to an impressive comeback from Dak Prescott and Co., the 'Boys are at .500 and appear to still be the favorites for the NFC East.

14. New Orleans Saints (1-1)

Last Week: 5

Should the Saints be worried about Drew Brees' slow start to the season? The 13-time Pro Bowler has not only lost plenty of arm strength, but he's also losing his pinpoint accuracy. The Saints' defense doesn't inspire much confidence either after the Raiders picked on Malcolm Jenkins all night.

15. Indianapolis Colts (1-1)

Last Week: 20

The Colts looked like the Colts again. They should have a high-powered offense behind the best offensive line in the league and DeForest Buckner looks like a great pickup on the defensive line. 

16. San Francisco 49ers (1-1)

Last Week: 8

Has a team ever been more depressed after winning by 18? The Niners hopes of returning to a Super Bowl took a huge hit when the team lost Nick Bosa for the season and Jimmy Garoppolo for potentially multiple weeks. It says a lot about the 49ers' talent and depth that they were still able to blow out the floundering Jets.

17. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)

Last Week: 21

The Chargers seem to always play the Chiefs tough, but to take the defending Super Bowl champions to overtime with a rookie quarterback starting and Derwin James out for the season is impressive. What isn't impressive is Anthony Lynn's conservativeness that cost his team the game.

18. Chicago Bears (2-0)

Last Week: 27

The Bears might be 2-0, but those wins came against the Lions and Giants, two of the worst teams in the NFL. However, Mitch Trubisky hasn't been that bad and the defense has the look of a top-ten unit.

19. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)

Last Week: 30

The Jaguars are the surprise team of the year so far. Left for dead by the NFL experts as they appeared to Tank for Trevor, the Jags have emerged as a feisty and fun underdog led by Gardner Minshew and an offense with more talent than you'd expect.

20. Cleveland Browns (1-1)

Last Week: 23

Baker Mayfield bounced back after a truly terrible season-opening performance thanks to a beautiful touchdown pass to Odell Beckham against the Bengals. The Browns defense has really struggled to start the season, so expect the Browns to feed the best running back duo in the league in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to limit possessions for opposing teams.

21. Washington Football Team (1-1)

Last Week: 22

Washington has been a pleasant surprise this season, thanks to a strong defensive play in the first two weeks. The Washington Football Team has the highest-rated defensive efficiency in the league, per DVOA. Unfortunately, Dwayne Haskins has struggled behind Washington's poor offensive line.

22. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)

Last Week: 25

There's an alternate timeline where Joe Burrow and the Bengals are undefeated, but sadly we live in the Darkest Timeline so Cincy is winless to start the campaign. It's not all bad, though. Burrow looks the part of a franchise quarterback. The Bengals need to feature Joe Mixon on offense more.

23. Philadelphia Eagles (0-2)

Last Week: 15

According to Football Outsiders' DVOA, the Eagles are the worst team in the NFL. While the Eagles offensive line has been a massive problem, it's the Eagles defense that should be worrying Philly fans. Luckily they're in the NFC East which means there's still plenty of time to right the ship.

24. Houston Texans (0-2)

Last Week: 16

It's been a disastrous start to the season for the Texans, and it doesn't get easier in Week 3 with a matchup against the resurgent Steelers. On the bright side for Houston, they get to face the Vikings and Jaguars after that.

25. Atlanta Falcons (0-2)

Last Week: 24

The Falcons sure know how to score points. They're just bad at all the other stuff, such as playing defense and recovering onside kicks. It's turning into another long year for Atlanta, but at least the Falcons players are performing well in fantasy football, right?

26. Carolina Panthers (0-2)

Last Week: 26

The Panthers will dearly miss the best running back in the game, but it'll give the team a good chance to evaluate Bridgewater and his gaggle of speedy pass-catchers. The bend-and-break Panthers defense will make it so that Bridgewater will have to put up a lot of points.

27. Minnesota Vikings (0-2)

Last Week: 18

The Vikings are one of the most surprising bad teams in the league. They're clearly missing Stefon Diggs on offense, but the defense might be the bigger problem. The secondary is absolutely atrocious.

28. Denver Broncos (0-2)

Last Week: 19

Like the 49ers, the Broncos' season has been derailed by injuries. And they don't have the depth to overcome the loss of Drew Lock and Von Miller. Maybe Broncos general manager John Elway should've listened to us and signed Cam Newton.

29. Detroit Lions (0-2)

Last Week: 28

The Lions offense clearly misses Kenny Golladay. And the defense is an absolute mess, ranking second-to-last in DVOA through Week 2. The question is, how long will coach Matt Patricia last?

30. New York Giants (0-2)

Last Week: 29

The Giants are a lot less fun now that Saquon Barkley is out for the season. It'll put more pressure on Danny Dimes' shoulders as he tries to make the leap into an upper-echelon passer.

31. Miami Dolphins (0-2)

Last Week: 31

The Dolphins don't seem to have that same underdog energy that they had a year ago. Perhaps Tua Time will fix that because this year's 'Fins are missing some Fitzmagic. 

32. New York Jets (0-2)

Last Week: 32

The 49ers lost their starting QB, top two running backs, best receiver and tight end, starting center, two best pass rushers, All-Pro corner and they still destroyed the Jets on the road. New York is an embarrassment, and Gase should be fired immediately.

I mean, this is the first play of the game:

Photo: Getty Images/Lines Illustration