NFL Power Rankings: Week 3
The 2019 NFL season is only two weeks old, but we’re already starting to get a glimpse at which teams will compete in the chase for the Lombardi and which ones will fall by the wayside. In order to better help sort those teams, we rank them in the Week 3 edition of the NFL power rankings.
1. New England Patriots (2-0)
Tom Brady is the GOAT, and the Patriots look like their usual dominant selves. The New England defense is underrated and has gotten the job done, allowing only three points through two games. As long as no significant injuries happen, this team will be in the AFC championship game again, contending for a Super Bowl.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
Patrick Mahomes looks like he can win League MVP again, and the defense is looking better than in the past. The offense showed that it is just as flashy without Tyreek Hill. Kansas City will likely make a deep playoff run again.
3. Dallas Cowboys (2-0)
Dak Prescott needs to get paid because of how well he has played. If Ezekiel Elliott is himself and the defense remains as elite as it looks right now, then this team has a great shot at the Super Bowl.
4. Los Angeles Rams (2-0)
Jared Goff has played well, and this offense is near impossible to stop with Todd Gurley in the backfield. Aaron Donald and the defense look fearsome as ever. Los Angeles certainly has the potential to reach the Super Bowl once again.
5. Seattle Seahawks (2-0)
The Seahawks are the most tough-nosed team out there with their ground-and-pound style. If they can keep dominating time of possession, then they will contend with the Rams for the NFC West title.
6. Baltimore Ravens (2-0)
Lamar Jackson is a flashy quarterback, and he’s taken advantage of his speedy targets on the outside so far. If the defense remains as stout as it has been so far, then the Ravens will be the clear favorites to win the AFC North.
7. Green Bay Packers (2-0)
Aaron Rodgers looks excellent this season, and the much-improved defense has made the Packers a real contender. If this head coach and quarterback relationship works out, the Packers should have no problem contending for an entire season.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
Carson Wentz has been hot and cold this season, but when the consistency eventually comes, the wins will come too. This team is a Super Bowl contender. It’s just a matter of time until the Eagles get back into form.
9. Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
Dalvin Cook looks good for the Vikings, which is necessary for them to win. The defense struggled in Week 2, but if it can fix those errors down the stretch, the Vikings will be a tough out in the playoffs.
10. Houston Texans (1-1)
In Week 1, Deshaun Watson and the offense looked sharp in a close loss to the Saints. In Week 2, it was a different story, as JJ Watt and the defense were the standouts. If both units are firing on all cylinders at the same time, the Texans could be tough to beat.
11. Chicago Bears (1-1)
Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears offense are struggling mightily, which is why the Bears are not 2-0. Khalil Mack and the defense are good enough to get them far in the playoffs though, and the Bears should be ranked higher later in the season when the offense finally gets going.
12. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)
The Chargers were a common preseason Super Bowl pick, but a lot of players are hurt, and the defensive product on the field is not living up to expectations. The potential for the Chargers to kick it into second gear is what keeps them this high in the rankings.
13. Cleveland Browns (1-1)
There’s no doubt that the Browns had the most offseason hype, and they deserved it with all the electric players that they acquired. Yes, the first week did not go as planned, as the offense looked like it had no identity, but the Week 2 performance against the helpless Jets is more of what the Browns should look like in the future.
14. San Francisco 49ers (2-0)
Jimmy Garoppolo is benefiting more from the quick-strike passing game that head coach Kyle Shanahan dials than anyone else. The offense looks like what it is supposed to look like, and the defense looks great through two weeks of the season. The future is bright in San Francisco.
15. New Orleans Saints (1-1)
The Saints drop down far in the power rankings due to the injury of Drew Brees. This team is not a Super Bowl contender without him. You have to feel bad for Alvin Kamara, who had a real chance at a run for NFL MVP before the injury. Teddy Bridgewater is backing up Brees for now.
16. Indianapolis Colts (1-1)
With Andrew Luck’s retirement, Jacoby Brissett has stepped into the role of starting quarterback, and he’s doing surprisingly well. After a close Week 1 loss, the Colts and their workhouse back Marlon Mack beat a good Titans team in Week 2 to boost themselves up the rankings.
17. Tennessee Titans (1-1)
After a shocking dismantling of the Browns in Week 1, the Titans were a major letdown in Week 2, losing to the Colts for the umpteenth time. This team is solid all around though, and the defense will keep them in wild-card contention.
18. Atlanta Falcons (1-1)
Julio Jones is the engine that drives this team, and he kicked it up a notch in Week 2 after a dismal Week 1. If Matt Ryan continues to play like he did against the Eagles, then Atlanta will compete with the Drew Brees-less Saints for the NFC South title.
19. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-2)
After an entire offseason of controversy, it was on Big Ben Roethlisberger to prove that he was in the right, but he didn’t even get a chance to do it, earning a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2. Mason Rudolph will need to step up right away on offense, and the defense needs to fix its many faults as well, or Pittsburgh will be missing the postseason for a second straight year.
20. Detroit Lions (1-0-1)
The definition of consistent mediocrity is the Detroit Lions. That’s why head coach Matt Patricia was hired, hoping to instill the “Patriot way,” and in year two this might be finally coming to fruition. The defense is playing well through two weeks, and Kenny Golladay looks like he is going to step up as the top receiver for a team in the thick of a division race.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
The issue every year is Jameis Winston throwing too many picks, but after a solid Week 2 performance, there is hope in Tampa. The Buccaneers play the Giants this week and have a good chance to rise in the rankings behind the strengths of Mike Evans and the defense.
22. Carolina Panthers (0-2)
Cam Newton had an excuse for Carolina’s collapse last year, that being an injured shoulder. He still doesn’t look completely healthy, but at least the defense is rallying behind star linebacker Luke Kuechly. The cold start on offense is what has the Panthers low in the power rankings.
23. Buffalo Bills (2-0)
The Bills are tough-minded and have grinded their way to a 2-0 start. Josh Allen gets the offense going with his arm and his legs, and the defense is playing well. The Bills keeps dominating the bad teams that they play early in their schedule, but how long with that last?
24. Oakland Raiders (1-1)
Maybe the biggest surprise of Week 1 was the Oakland Raiders’ success against the Denver Broncos. This team is better than people think, and with new pieces on both sides of the ball, Jon Gruden may finally have something going in the Raiders’ last season in Oakland.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)
A solid Week 1 performance by Andy Dalton and the Bengals had people thinking 2019 might not be as bad as initially thought, but Week 2 brought those expectations back down to Earth. Joe Mixon is a bright spot, but the lack of talent on the defense combined with the absence of A.J. Green makes it difficult for this team to go anywhere.
26. Arizona Cardinals (0-1-1)
Kyler Murray makes the motor run for this team, and it seems like there is a future in Arizona for first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury. The air raid offense will keep the Cardinals alive in many games, and the defense is a little better than people thought.
27. Washington Redskins (0-2)
Injuries have decimated this team year after year, and the same thing is happening again in 2019 with Derrius Guice’s severe knee injury, sidelining the second-year back for most of the season. Case Keenum can only take this team so far.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)
This team destroys itself with bad character in the locker room, and Jalen Ramsey is already asking to be traded. With Nick Foles out for most of the season, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew is under the spotlight, and he may not be ready for it yet.
29. Denver Broncos (0-2)
Joe Flacco was supposed to be a veteran presence that could find sustained success at the quarterback position for the first time since Peyton Manning’s retirement, but it has not turned out like that. The offense has little talent, and the defense is under pressure to win games by itself, which is difficult, especially considering that it hasn’t recorded a sack or a turnover yet.
30. New York Jets (0-2)
The Jets are one of the teams that had high hopes in these rankings, but they were destroyed by injury and sickness immediately. Already down to their third quarterback, who they just signed from the practice squad, the Jets will be in for a rough season, even with Le’Veon Bell in the backfield.
31. New York Giants (0-2)
The only bright spot is Saquon Barkley. With Daniel Jones already taking over the QB job, the Giants are destined for another poor season. The lack of talent besides the second-year running back is just embarrassing. New York will likely be near the bottom of the rankings every week this year.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-2)
The Dolphins are tanking, and the front office is letting everyone know it by trading all the talent away. Miami could find itself stuck at No. 32 for the entire season.
Benjamin Geller is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.