NFL Power Rankings, Week 3 edition
1. Falcons (3-0): They aren’t just beating people, they are stomping them — and Matt Ryan looks like he has taken the next step in his development, elite QB status.
2. Texans (3-0): The 31-25 score was closer than it really was due to a second-half prevent defense. Houston and Atlanta are 1a, 1b in the NFL. It’s that close.
3. 49ers (2-1): Maybe the Niners were reading their own press clipping heading into Week 3. This defense is too nasty, too mean-spirited to stay down.
4. Ravens (2-1): The win over New England was the most inspirational game played — winning for Torrey Smith’s bro — since the Brett Favre tribute to his dad.
5. Cardinals (3-0): Don’t look now, Arizona is legit. With a swarming, attacking defense (Daryl Washington is a man-beast) they just need Kevin Kolb to manage the game.
6. NY Giants (2-1): Eli Manning is hitting mid-season form earlier than expected. More impressive, they are winning despite key injuries to starters. Dangerous.
7. Bengals (2-1): Some say the razzle dazzle plays mask weaknesses. We say, if you can execute it properly, it’s pure genius.
8. Seahawks (2-1): Controversy aside, Pete Carroll’s defense, led by the Legion of Boom, is a nightmare match-up for any team. And no one wants a road game in Seattle. No one.
9. Packers (1-2): As stifled as Aaron Rodgers and Co. looked at times Sunday, they still won the game. Yes, they won that game. End of story.
10. Eagles (2-1): After three weeks, we still don’t know what kind of team this is. They could be 0-3. Mike Vick could get benched. Still, they are right in the thick of everything.
11. Patriots (1-2): Yes, the officiating has been atrocious, but Bill Belichick has to control his emotions. The Pats aren’t winning anything without him on the sideline.
12. Vikings (2-1): First place in the NFC North. And a dominating win over the 49ers. It’s time to start taking notice of Minnesota.
13. NY Jets (2-1): The Jets were a very flawed team with Darrelle Revis. Without him, watch them slip lower and lower in these power rankings.
14. Bears (2-1): They survived another bad performance form everyone’s favorite whipping boy Jay Cutler. If the Bears can get it rolling, like in Week 1, they could be scary. Could be.
15. Cowboys (2-1): Sean Lee summed it up best: “Ugly is good if we win.” Dallas is still searching for its identity, yet tied for first atop NFC East standings.
16. Broncos (1-2): For the second straight week, Broncos got punched in the mouth and came up short in a second-half rally. The learning curve continues.
17. Steelers (1-2): You can’t play Steelers football, at least defensively, without Troy Polamalu and James Harrison. You just can’t.
18. Redskins (1-2): Robert Griffin III needs some help, especially on defense. The secondary is bleeding profusely, needs more than a band-aid.
19. Chargers (2-1): Yes, we put some 1-win teams ahead of San Diego. That’s because the jury is still out. Bolts haven’t beaten anybody decent.
20. Lions (1-2): The quiet secrecy surrounding Matthew Stafford’s injured leg speaks volumes. Detroit can’t win without him. Sorry, Shaun Hill.
21. Bills (2-1): Another week, another bad break as Bills lose CJ Spiller. Tough test against New England will show what they’re made of.
22. Buccaneers (1-2): Greg Schiano’s end-of-game routine is getting old real quick. Someone needs to take him to NFL coaches’ school.
23. Panthers (1-2): Someone wake Cam Newton up before the season ends.
24. Raiders (1-2): That was a heck of a comeback over Pittsburgh. Can they build on it?
25. Rams (1-2): Well, looks like Jeff Fisher is trapped in the NFL’s toughest division. Raise your hand if you saw that coming.
26. Dolphins (1-2): Great news on Reggie Bush. Bad news on that upcoming trip to the desert to face the powerhouse Cards.
27. Chiefs (1-2): Jamaal Charles’ fantasy owners should be sending gift baskets to the Saints headquarters.
28. Saints (0-3): We severely underestimated the loss of head coach Sean Payton. The Saints look absolutely lost, can’t get out of their own way right now.
29. Jaguars (1-2): Thank you Cecil Shorts for ruining my survivor pool. Jags aren’t good, but not as bad as Nos. 30-32.
30. Colts (1-2): No one was expecting the playoffs, so Colts are right where they should be. Andrew Luck looks like the right move so far.
31. Titans (1-2): Five touchdowns of 60 yards or longer won’t happen every week. Fluke win in crazy game.
32. Browns (0-3): That’s nine straight losses dating back to last season. Sucks to be Cleveland.