Week 3 NFL Power Rankings | Sharapova's Thigh

Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

Posted by Matt Clapp | 9/21/2011 01:18:00 AM | ,

Matt Stafford & the Lions are a legitimate NFC playoff contender.

1. Green Bay Packers(2-0; #1 last week)- The defense looks shaky so far, and terrific safety Nick Collins is out for the year. But, their offense is just ridiculously good.

2. New England Patriots(2-0; #2 last week)- Tom Brady has a nice little QB rating of 128.1 right now.

3. New York Jets(2-0; #8 last week)- Dominating win over the Jaguars, but at the same time, a good defense should give Luke McCown hell as they did. We all know that Mark Sanchez needs to improve, but the running game needs to big time as well. Shonn Greene is averaging 2.9 yards per carry(26 for 75).

4. New Orleans Saints(1-1; #7 last week) - Terrific defensive gameplan from Gregg Williams in their 17-point win over a Bears team that beat the Falcons by 18 in week one. Drew Brees looked great against one of the league's better defenses, even with Marques Colston out.

5. Houston Texans(2-0; #10 last week) The defense ranks first in the NFL, but how good is it really? They've faced the Colts and Dolphins... a lot of teams would have the #1 defense in that scenario. Regardless, it's better than last year, and with their offense, they can go far with just decent defense.

6. Philadelphia Eagles(1-1; #4 last week)- That was a very difficult environment to play in on Monday night. Obviously all of the Vick hoopla, but in a loud dome against a very good team on the road that didn't want to start 0-2. And they still almost pulled it out, even with Vick going down with a concussion.

7. Baltimore Ravens(1-1; #3 last week)- They're tough to figure out after blowing out the Steelers and getting blown out by the Titans. A perfect example of how crazy this league is.

8. Atlanta Falcons(1-1; #9 last week)- Good win that they needed at home, but their offensive line and defense need to improve a lot.

9. San Diego Chargers(1-1; #5 last week)- Eh, no teams go into New England and beat the Patriots(except in the playoffs apparently). You could make a very good argument that I shouldn't have dropped them in the rankings at all.

10. Detroit Lions(2-0; #12 last week)- Yeah, the Chiefs stink, but beating anybody by 45 points in today's NFL is eye-opening. And that was after an impressive win at Tampa Bay. If Matt Stafford stays healthy(a big if), their offense is going to be very good. But their defense is looking very good as well. This team is living up to the hype so far and will be in the NFC playoff chase.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers(1-1; #11 last week)- Now, THAT looked more like the Steelers we're used to... but it came against arguably the worst team in the NFL. Still, it was a great bounceback game after the embarrassing one in Baltimore.

12. Chicago Bears(1-1; #6 last week)- That was painful to watch as a Bears fan. Mike Martz got away from running the ball, and kept calling seven-step drops for Jay Cutler when the Saints brought the blitz constantly. The offensive line was the worst it's been since the Monday night game at the Giants last year when nine sacks were allowed, but Martz's play-calling didn't help the cause.

13. Dallas Cowboys(1-1; #13 last week)- Great bounceback game for Tony Romo, and he showed toughness playing through a broken rib.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers(1-1; #14 last week)- Nice comeback win on the road, but they have to get much better if they want to compete in a terrific division.

15. Buffalo Bills(2-0; #15 last week)- Two good wins for a team that's definitely on the rise. I'm still not completely sold on their defense, but it's better than last year's at least. I really like their offense though.

16. Washington Redskins(2-0; #17 last week)- Everybody is talking about how impressive their start's been, but those were two games the Redskins should win at home. Their Monday night game this week at Dallas will be a nice test. Win that and I'll definitely start to take them seriously.

17. New York Giants(1-1; #22 last week)- It's been such a rough last month+ for this team, that just getting a win has to a nice lift.

18. Oakland Raiders(1-1; #16 last week)- That would've been a great win on the road at Buffalo, but it slipped through their hands in the final seconds. Denarius Moore looks like a legitimate weapon on offense though. We know they're going to run with success, but if they can get more out of the passing game, it could be a very good offense.

19. Arizona Cardinals(1-1; #19 last week)- Their pass defense is just terrible.

20. Tennessee Titans(1-1; #25 last week)- Definitely the biggest "wow" win of the week. There's room for improvement too, as Chris Johnson's been a non-factor so far.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars(1-1; #19 last week)- Well the Luke McCown era was fun. I think Blaine Gabbert's going to do at least a decent job this year, and if he can, they can hang in there in a crappy division.

22. San Francisco 49ers(1-1; #20 last week)- Tough loss, but there's some things to like with this team. They need to beat the Bengals in week three.

23. St. Louis Rams(0-2; #21 last week)- 0-2 and now get the Ravens. They were my pick to surprise in the NFC and win the NFC West, but they need to get it together fast.

24. Denver Broncos(1-1; #28 last week)- Yeah it was against the Bengals and at home, but that was a great win for the Broncos. Champ Bailey, Elvis Dumervil, Knowshon Moreno, and Brandon Lloyd were out with injuries, so finding a way to win was impressive. Eric Decker looks like he could be a very good wide receiver.

25. Carolina Panthers(0-2; #23 last week)- There's not a fan base out there that is more impressed with their 0-2 team right now than the Panthers'. They have a lot to be excited about. I thought Cam Newton would struggle mightily against the Packers(and he still threw three interceptions), but he threw for even more yards than in week one. He looks like the real deal.

26. Minnesota Vikings(0-2; #24 last week) That loss is going to really sting. This team is well behind the other three in the NFC North right now.

27. Cincinnati Bengals(1-1; #26 last week)- Cam Newton is getting all of the rookie quarterback talk, but Andy Dalton is really impressing me. A.J. Green looks terrific as well, but we expected that.

28. Miami Dolphins(0-2; #27 last week)- It's hard to find much to be excited about with this team.

29. Cleveland Browns(1-1; last week #31)- Well, they're at least better than the Colts apparently. They need to keep feeding Peyton Hillis the ball.

30. Indianapolis Colts(0-2; last week #30)- Imagine if they finish with the worst record in the league and get to draft Andrew Luck after having Peyton Manning all these years. And what a perfect mentor Luck would have.

31. Seattle Seahawks(0-2; #29 last week)- Offense. Is. Pathetic.

32. Kansas City Chiefs(0-2; #32 last week)- Outscored 92-10 in the first two games, and now lost Jamaal Charles for the year after losing Eric Berry in week one. Yikes.

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