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NFL Power Rankings: Week 3

NFL Power Rankings: Kareem Hunt

NFL Power Rankings: Kareem Hunt

NFL Power Rankings: Tom Brady

The second weekend of NFL action was bookended by a couple of mediocre games but there was plenty of intriguing action on Sunday that gives us a lot better insight into teams from coast to coast. It’s still a tad early to freak out if your team is 0-2, 2-0 or right in the middle, but we’re already starting to see clear lines between the haves and the have nots around the league.

Factoring in everything from overall roster strength, to quarterback play, to the coaching staff, here is the latest edition of NFL power rankings and where every team stacks up from 1 to 32.

Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

1. Kansas City Chiefs

NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs

Last week: 1

Things got a little dicey against the Eagles but in the end, Kareem Hunt saved the day and Alex Smith was once again solid. The way things look so far, the Chiefs could have wins over two potential division champs in two weeks.

2. New England Patriots

NFL Power Rankings: Patriots

Last week: 2

Tom Brady returned to being Tom Brady in that first half but the bigger development for the Pats was the defensive resurgence. Keeping Drew Brees and company in check like that was impressive.

3. Oakland Raiders

NFL Power Rankings: Raiders

Last week: 3

Beast Mode’s return to Oakland was triumphant but it was Michael Crabtree that stole the show at the Black Hole. If the Raiders can cut down on the penalties and control their emotions better, this just might be the best team in the AFC.

4. Atlanta Falcons

Last week: 12

NFL Power Rankings: Falcons

Now that’s how you open a new stadium. While the offense found a nice rhythm, the fact that they never quite slammed the door shut on Green Bay until late probably made more than one Atlanta fan a little nervous. Still, that win could be a crucial tie-breaker down the road.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers

Last week: 7

NFL Power Rankings: Steelers

The offense didn’t exactly click in a way we’re accustomed to but Big Ben and Le”Veon Bell still managed some solid numbers against a good Vikings defense. If the defense can keep shutting down run games then things could be set to take off.

6. Detroit Lions

Last week: 11

NFL Power Rankings: Detroit Lions

A pair of touchdown passes from Matthew Stafford against New York and the Lions came close to having a 100-yard rusher against a good defensive line. Add in an all-around good defensive effort from Detroit and things have started off quite well in 2017.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Last week: 9

NFL Power Rankings: Buccaneers

An impressive debut for the Bucs as they dominated in just about every area against the lowly Bears. We’ll find out soon enough if the extra rest and preparation contributed to that or if this team is set to rise up these rankings further.

8. Green Bay Packers

Last week: 4

NFL Power Rankings: Packers

You can probably say that things could have been a lot different had Aaron Rodgers’ pass attempt not been taken back for a touchdown early in the game. Either way, this is a team that is already banged up two weeks into the season and facing some fires on several fronts.

9. Tennessee Titans

Last week: 10

NFL Power Rankings: Tennessee Titans

It took a full half for the Titans to get going against their division rival but perhaps we saw them turn the corner on offense. An ailing DeMarco Murray gave Derrick Henry a chance to shine. Will that continue once Murray is healthy?

10. Denver Broncos

Last week: 15

NFL Power Rankings: Broncos

Picture-perfect game plan by the Broncos – stop their opponent from running the football and make life miserable for the quarterback the rest of the way. Nobody wants to trust Trevor Siemian quite yet but if he’s as sharp as he was on Sunday, then the team will definitely contend for the division title.

11. Seattle Seahawks

Last week: 6

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks

Winning ugly is still winning but nobody around Seattle has to like the way the season has started. The offensive line remains atrocious and is only bailed out by Russell Wilson’s mobility.

12. Dallas Cowboys

Last week: 5

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys

If Dallas can’t run the ball, this offense really can’t do much and you saw that up in Denver in perhaps the worst loss in two years for the Cowboys. While a bad day never got better, it’s not the end of the world for Jason Garrett’s squad.

13. Baltimore Ravens

Last week: 20

NFL Power Rankings: Ravens

If they can continue to force turnovers like they have been, the Ravens will definitely be right in the mix in the division and for an AFC wild card spot. The offensive line woes and lack of consistent run game are still a bit concerning, especially with tougher games ahead.

14. Philadelphia Eagles

Last week: 21

NFL Power Rankings: Eagles

Doug Pederson couldn’t quite beat his old mentor on Sunday afternoon but did put up a heck of a fight. The defense in Philly looked pretty good too, except when trying to tackle Kareem Hunt.

15. Minnesota Vikings

Last week: 8

NFL Power Rankings: Vikings

The jury will be out on the Vikings the next few weeks if they don’t get their quarterback back under center. Things are certainly not “fine” in Minnesota until that happens.

16. Miami Dolphins

Last week: 16

NFL Power Rankings: Dolphins

It wasn’t quite as pretty as Adam Gase would have liked — including having to hold on and watch that final field goal miss — but the team has been through enough that you had to like their effort. Jay Cutler was fine but the Dolphins’ pass defense has to step up going forward.

17. Carolina Panthers

Last week: 14

NFL Power Rankings: Panthers

A 2-0 start is a 2-0 start but Cam Newton still doesn’t seem fully healthy and there’s not the grinding run game we’re used to seeing form this group.

18. Houston Texans

Last week: 19

NFL Power Rankings: Texans

Deshuan Watson’s first start resulted in a win but it’s pretty clear the offense will be a work in progress the rest of the year given how horrible the line has played through two weeks. At least the defense bounced back and looked better.

19. Washington Redskins

Last week: 22

NFL Power Rankings: Redskins

That final go-ahead drive by Kirk Cousins was a nice pick-me-up after such a mediocre outing in Los Angeles but it was definitely the defense that won that game.

20. Los Angeles Rams

Last week: 13

NFL Power Rankings: Rams

Aaron Donald’s return didn’t quite spark a shutdown effort but as always with this squad, wins and losses will come down to how well the offense moves the ball. Jared Goff looked much more like the rookie version at QB and there was all you needed to know about the outcome in this one.

21. New York Giants

Last week: 18

NFL Power Rankings: Giants

The Giants’ defense can only do so much and if Eli Manning and company don’t take care of the ball, things can quickly go from bad to worse. Starting off 0-2 is bad as it is in New York but the team is staring at being 0-3 with two losses in the division if they don’t snap out of things.

22. Los Angeles Chargers

Last week: 25

NFL Power Rankings: Chargers

Rough way to lose in your Los Angeles debut. Antonio Gates at least got that bit of history out of the way but there needs to be significant improvement across the board if they’re to notch that first win.