To truly gauge the merits of an NFL team, it’s often best to wait until about halfway through the season. While it’s crucial not to overreact to the first two weeks, the NFL power rankings should still reflect what we’ve witnessed so far.
Last week, we divided teams into those with a 1-0 record and those with a 0-1 record, but this week, we return to ranking teams in a standard manner. We’ll also compare these rankings to where each team stood before the season began.
Week 3 Power Rankings: Rams and Cowboys Soar
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1) Arizona Cardinals (32) – The Cardinals displayed dominance against the New York Giants but couldn’t entirely shake off the thought of a comeback. Their lack of defensive prowess in the second half allowed the Giants to score consistently.
2) Chicago Bears (21) – The Chicago Bears have been one of the most disappointing teams so far this season. Their offensive improvements are yet to materialize, and their defense lacks energy and cohesion. Justin Fields’ development as a passer remains a concern.
3) Las Vegas Raiders (30) – The Raiders won a close battle in Week 1 but struggled against the Buffalo Bills. Their upcoming game against the Pittsburgh Steelers will help clarify their potential this season.
4) Houston Texans (28) – Despite being overmatched in their first two games, the Texans displayed fight against the Colts in Week 2. Their rookie quarterback, supported by a resilient group of wide receivers, has shown promise.
5) Denver Broncos (22) – The Broncos have Russell Wilson, but their defense is a cause for concern after performing poorly in 2023.
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6) Minnesota Vikings (20) – The Vikings’ high turnover rate has been a major setback. Kirk Cousins is making an effort to lead the team, but they need to play cleaner football.
7) Carolina Panthers (25) – Bryce Young showed promise but also made mistakes that need addressing. The Saints will likely capitalize on poor decisions if Young doesn’t improve quickly.
8) New York Jets (7) – The Jets struggled against the Cowboys, with their defense facing a formidable challenge. Despite the loss, Zach Wilson’s performance is a positive sign.
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9) Indianapolis Colts (26) – The Colts’ success may rely heavily on their athletic quarterback’s performance, but his health is a concern given the workload placed on him.
10) Green Bay Packers (23) – Jordan Love looks promising, but the Packers’ defense, led by Joe Barry, needs improvement to secure the NFC North.
11) Los Angeles Chargers (16) – The Chargers have had a rough start to the season, especially defensively. Their upcoming games will reveal more about their potential.
12) Tennessee Titans (27) – The Titans adjusted their game plan to focus on the run, which appears to be working. Their defense, featuring multifaceted defenders, could be a crucial factor.
13) New York Giants (15) – The Giants staged a comeback but lost Saquon Barkley to injury. Daniel Jones must step up to keep the offense moving.
14) Cincinnati Bengals (3) – The Bengals’ slow start resembles last year’s, but they have the potential to turn things around. Their upcoming game against the Rams won’t be easy.
15) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (29) – The Buccaneers are off to a 2-0 start, but they’ve faced teams with issues. Baker Mayfield has performed well, and if he continues, they could surprise.
16) Washington Commanders (19) – The Commanders’ game against the Broncos turned into a shootout, showcasing their offensive capabilities. However, they need to address defensive concerns.
17) New England Patriots (18) – The Patriots had a strong performance against the Eagles, and their offense looks improved. Their upcoming game against the Dolphins will be telling.
18) Cleveland Browns (17) – The Browns have faced challenging conditions but showed potential, especially in their defense and pass rush.
19) Atlanta Falcons (24) – The Falcons have made some interesting moves, but their success hinges on Desmond Ridder’s performance, which has been inconsistent.
20) New Orleans Saints (13) – The Saints’ offense showed promise but needs to improve its red-zone efficiency. Their defense relies on veteran talent and must maintain consistency.
21) Detroit Lions (14) – The Lions missed a chance to start 2-0 but demonstrated improvement. Their next games will help assess their readiness for contention.
22) Pittsburgh Steelers (12) – The Steelers had a rocky start but are determined to bounce back, although they face challenges, including Cameron Heyward’s absence.
23) Seattle Seahawks (11) – The Seahawks showed a more typical performance against the Lions, and their defense will be closely monitored.
24) Los Angeles Rams (31) – The Rams have exceeded expectations with a young roster, and they have the potential to continue impressing.
25) Jacksonville Jaguars (10) – The Jaguars and Chiefs played a close game, showcasing both teams’ strengths and weaknesses.
26) Baltimore Ravens (9) – The Ravens have been effective when Lamar Jackson has a clean pocket. Their defense, led by fast players, poses challenges for opponents.
27) Miami Dolphins (8) – The Dolphins’ offense showed explosiveness but faces a crucial test against the Patriots. Their defense must improve against the run.
28) Buffalo Bills (4) – The Bills regained their dominance in Week 2 but have room for improvement in defense.
29) Kansas City Chiefs (1) – The Chiefs haven’t been at their best, especially on the offensive line, but their defense has had some promising moments.
30) Philadelphia Eagles (2) – The Eagles have talented players but face challenges on defense and in their passing attack.
31) Dallas Cowboys (6) – The Cowboys have been dominant in their first two games, with a suffocating defense and a faster-paced offense.
32) San Francisco 49ers (5) – The 49ers have shown strength, with quarterback Brock Purdy providing more explosive potential and improved ball control.