Sep 15, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop (6) celebrates after kicking a extra point against the Dallas Cowboys in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 17-16. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Week 3 Power Rankings


 

1.   Denver Broncos (2-0):  While it wasn’t a 7-TD performance, Peyton showed his brother who’s boss. Monte Ball still has a long way to go, but the Broncos won’t be in a hurry to take the ball away from Knowshon Moreno (13 carries, 93 yards, 2 TDs).  Previous Rank: 1

2.   Seattle Seahawks (2-0):  After brutally embarassing their division rival 49ers on the national stage, the Seahawks are ready to demolish any team in their path to a Super Bowl. Their defense is so good they can afford to blitz with linebackers every play because their secondary can match up against any receiver.  Previous Rank: 3

3.   Green Bay Packers (1-1):  The Packers/’Skins game was hard to watch. Aaron Rodgers had a career-high 480 yards with 4 TDs, but he’s always good. The real story is James Starks finishing the game with 20 carries and 132 yards with a TD. If this offense stays two-dimensional and the defense continues to improve, watch out NFC.  Previous Rank: 4

4.   Atlanta Falcons (1-1):  The entire Falcons backfield only combined for 36 rushing yards all game, but they faced a strong St. Louis defensive line. Hopefully Steven Jackson’s injury isn’t too serious. This offense will be explosive with him in the lineup.  Previous Rank: 5

5.   San Francisco 49ers (1-1):  Colin Kaepernick finished the night with 127 yards, 3 INTs, and no TDs for a passer rating of 20.1, his worst ever as a starter. To make matters worse, the ‘Niners lost to their toughest competition in a very competitive NFC West. This loss had playoff implications even though it was in week 2.  Previous Rank: 2

6.   New England Patriots (2-0):  The wins weren’t pretty, but at least they were wins. Fans and Tom Brady need to be patient with the rookie receivers; it’s unfair to expect consistent strong play from them in their first games in the NFL. Brady hasn’t been immaculate in the first two games either. Once the chemistry grows, this team will go back to looking like strong AFC competitors.  Previous Rank: 6

7.   New Orleans Saints (2-0):  It was a narrow win against the Buccaneers in a rainy Tampa Bay, but Brees executed the comeback perfectly. It’s like watching a completely different team with Sean Peyton on the sidelines.  Previous Rank: 8

8.   Chicago Bears (2-0):  Martellus Bennett emerged as Jay Cutler’s favorite target not named Brandon Marshall, but the Bears got lucky that the Vikings were unable to convert just outside the redzone when it counted. Cutler had some great plays, but also had three turnovers. He’s supposed to be proving that he belongs as the starter in Chicago this season and throwing a pick at the Viking 1-yard line isn’t the way to do that.  Previous Rank: 7

9.   Cincinnati Bengals (1 -1 ):  Reggie Nelson has a knack for ending games against the Steelers. He ended last season’s final showdown against the Steelers with a pick, and put away the game Monday night with another one. Andy Dalton’s accuracy is in need of serious improvement, though, after he overthrew the ball quite a few times. Previous Rank: 9

10.   Houston Texans (2-0):  Rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins led the team with 7 receptions, 117 yards and a game-winning TD in overtime. With him emerging as a legitimate receiving threat, this team could have the best offense in the NFL if it weren’t for Matt Schaub’s inconsistency.  Previous Rank: 10

11.   Kansas City Chiefs (2-0):  The Chiefs at #11? Andy Reid’s team is ready to show the league last year was a fluke. After two weeks, they are 2nd in the NFL in opposing rushing yards allowed, 8th in opposing pass yards allowed, and 8th in rushing. This week’s Thursday night match-up in Philly will be a fantastic game.  Previous Rank: 17

12.   Dallas Cowboys (1-1):  Although they lost this week, the Cowboys are still a very competitive team. Arrowhead Stadium is a very tough environment to play in and they faced Andy Reid who coached against them at least twice a year for 14 years. Dez Bryant is the man in Dallas, but DeMarco Murray needs to improve his game to take the pressure off of Tony Romo. Murray only has 111 yards in two games, much less than expected from a strong RB.  Previous Rank: 12

13.   St. Luis Rams (1-1):   Sure, the Rams lost this week and Miami is still undefeated, but the more impressive team in the first two weeks has been St. Luis. Tavon Austin became a big part of the offense this week tallying 6 catches for 47 yards and a pair of TDs. Sam Bradford played very well too, throwing for 350+ yards, 3 TDs, and a pick that was tipped. Sitting with the same record as the 49ers and after the games the pair had against each other last year, I can’t wait to see the rematch in two weeks.  Previous Rank: 16

14.   Miami Dolphins (2-0):  The Dolphins are 2-0 but I’m not sold yet. They beat the Browns in week 1 and only beat the Panthers last week because of a killer pass-interference penalty on Luke Kuechly that negated what would have been a game-losing interception. Ryan Tannehill connected with Mike Wallace for 9 yards, 115 yards, and TD, which should help stretch the field in the future.  Previous Rank: 22

15.   Indianapolis Colts (1-1):   The Colts were held to only 3 points in the second half by the Dolphins’ defense. One would expect better from Andrew Luck. New RB Ahmad Bradshaw played well in place of the injured Vick Ballard, but he needs to stay healthy in order to make an impact on this team.  Previous Rank: 11

16.   San Diego Chargers (1-1):  Thanks to Philip Rivers the Chargers got a huge win on the road against the super-fast Eagles. He went 36/47 for 419 yards, 3 TDs and no picks. Eddie Royal emerged as his favorite target and was on the receiving end of all 3 touchdowns.  Previous Rank: 20

17.   Baltimore Ravens (1-1):   After getting spanked by Peyton Manning in their season-opener, one would expect better of the Super Bowl champions playing the lowly Browns. Thank goodness for the Ravens that Ray Rice’s injury isn’t deemed serious and he shouldn’t miss a significant amount of time. Without him this offense would become stagnant very quickly, despite the flashes of skill from the backup RB Bernard Pierce.  Previous Rank: 13

18.   Philadelphia Eagles (1-1):  The flying high Eagles got hit down to earth this week when Phil Rivers tore up their secondary. Safety Nate Allen looked awful and the Eagles’ pass-rush as a unit was completely ineffective. The Chargers were able to convert 10-15 on 3rd down. As explosive as the offense may be, the defense will be this team’s Achilles heel.  Previous Rank: 18

19.   Arizona Cardinals (1-1):  Despite Carson Palmer spreading the ball around and not really connecting with Larry Fitzgerald (2 receptions, 33 yards), the Cards were still able to pull out a win. This actually bodes well for them since they can still compete against a defense that is able to take Fitz out of the picture.  Previous Rank: 21

20.   Tennessee Titans (1-1):  The Titans were a crazy DeAndre Hopkins catch away from possibly starting the season 2-0. Even though they lost, the confidence this team must have gained after taking one of the best AFC teams to OT could be enough to boost their play. Jake Locker needs to start closing out games more effectively. Oh, and Defensive Coordinator Greg Williams owns this locker room. Previous Rank: 26

21.   Detroit Lions (1-1):  If Reggie Bush is out for a significant amount of time, this offense will regress to it’s stagnant form. Luckily for them it seems like he will be able to play this Sunday against the Redskins. A healthy Bush along with the rest of the Lions’ offensive weapons should be able to wreak havoc on the ‘Skins secondary.  Previous Rank: 19

22.   Buffalo Bills (1-1):  Although the Bills got lucky, EJ Manuel rose to the occasion and put the win away with his TD pass to Steve Johnson as the clock ticked to zero. This team still has a long way to go, but there is hope in Buffalo for the first time in a while.  Previous Rank: 28

23.   Pittsburgh Steelers (0-2):  Big Ben has developed a skill out of throwing game-costing interceptions. He was 1-6 for 36 yards on throws of 15+ yards downfield. Not an encouraging stat for a quarterback that may have won his only two Super Bowls. The offensive line got tossed around all game and is missing Maurkice Pouncey badly.  Previous Rank: 23

24.   Washington Redskins (0-2):  The locker room of the Redskins must have been like hell on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers had a field day on their secondary while RGIII was unable to put points on the board until the end of the 3rd quarter. Although both weeks the ‘Skins have tried to come back from a large deficit, they’ve failed both times. This type of play cannot continue if this team wants to hold on to the NFC East crown.  Previous Rank: 14

25.   New York Giants (0-2):  The Giants lead the league with an abysmal 10 turnovers after only 2 weeks and a -8 differential. Although Eli Manning leads the league in average passing yards (390.5), the Giants are 31st in rushing yards. This team needs a huge turn around or else Tom Coughlin will be on the hot seat…and the Giants will win the Super Bowl again.  Previous Rank: 15

26.   Carolina Panthers (0-2):  The Panthers had a win sealed against the Bills if it weren’t for that pass-interference penalty. Two close games and two losses because of poor mistakes. This team is capable of better, although losing free safety Charles Godfrey will hurt an already weak Carolina secondary.   Previous Rank: 24

27.   Minnesota Vikings (0-2):  Only one of the three Vikings touchdowns against the Bears came from the offense. 7-16 efficiency on third down is weak for a team that beat out the Bears for a postseason berth last year. The addition of WR Greg Jennings was supposed to help the passing game and take pressure off Adrian Peterson. So far that has not been the case thanks to Christian Ponder.   Previous Rank: 25

28.   New York Jets (1-1):  Geno Smith easily could have put away the Patriots in an awful showdown on Thursday night. He overthrew wide open receivers; one play that stands out was a very overthrown ball to a wide open Bilal Powell after the covering LB Donte Hightower tripped. The play would have resulted in a TD, instead the Jets went three and out. Not all of Smith’s 3 interceptions in the 4th quarter were his fault, but still it doesn’t leave an air of confidence with Jet fans like last week’s dramatic win did.   Previous Rank: 27

29.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2):  Yet again, the Buccaneers committed way too many stupid and unnecessary penalties that ultimately led to their defeat. 10 penalties worth 118 yards is inexcusable.  Previous Rank: 30

30.   Cleveland Browns (0-2):  The injury to Brandon Weeden means that Jason Campbell will likely start against Minnesota next week. Despite some positive signs of growth from Weeden in the preseason, there were many times that he had receivers wide open and was unable to make the throw.  He may suffer the same fate as Colt McCoy.   Previous Rank: 31   

31.   Oakland Raiders (1-1):  The Raiders capitalized on their only easily winnable game this season by topping the Jaguars at home. Terrelle Pryor was unable to throw a touchdown against an abysmal Jacksonville secondary, but they won the game thanks to four Sebastian Janikowski field goals. Don’t be surprised if the Raiders fail to win another game this year.   Previous Rank: 29 

32.   Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2):  After losing to the Raiders, the Jaguars’ next best chance of winning comes in week 13 when they travel to Cleveland. If they can’t win then, there’s always the draft.   Previous Rank: 32

 

 

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