2020 NFL Power Rankings: Week 3

Hello football fans!

Power rankings our back!

I started this series last season going into Week 3, and I decided to keep that tradition going. The wonderful part of these early season rankings is you’ll see a ton of variety. Last year I had Dallas and the Rams in my top 5 around this time, and neither team made the playoffs; things change quickly.

Still, it’s been a good season so far.

COVID has not caused any major disruptions through 2 weeks, which is the first main accomplishment. The lack of preseason might be having an effect on the influx of injuries we saw last week, but otherwise the product has been good.

Here are my rankings through 2 weeks (plus last night):

1. Baltimore Ravens

Record: 2-0 | Week 3 opponent: Kansas City Chiefs (home), Monday

The Ravens continue to dominate in the regular season, having won 14 straight games dating back to 2019. Lamar Jackson is 21-3 as a starter. I’ve seen nothing that shows me they aren’t the best team in the NFL.

2. Kansas City Chiefs

Record: 2-0 | Week 3 opponent: Baltimore Ravens (away), Monday

The Chiefs had a close one in LA last week, but does any lead truly feel safe when you’re facing Patrick Mahomes? The point was made on NFL RedZone on Sunday and it’s worth repeating here: Patrick Mahomes has never started a game for the Chiefs when the team is not in first place. That streak continues.

3. Seattle Seahawks

Record: 2-0 | Week 3 opponent: Dallas Cowboys (home)

What a game on Sunday night. Seattle edged it out, but wow, Russell Wilson looked spectacular. The defense suffered some injuries during the game, but Jamal Adams was not one of them, as he continues to thrive with his new team. I like this group a lot.

4. Green Bay Packers

Record: 2-0 | Week 3 opponent: New Orleans Saints (away)

Aaron Rodgers is on a mission. We know what he can be when he’s playing at his best, and I think he’s making sure everyone remembers how good that is. This offense looks unstoppable. Need to see a little more from the defense, but it hasn’t mattered yet.

5. Arizona Cardinals

Record: 2-0 | Week 3 opponent: Detroit Lions (home)

I really like this Cardinals team. Kyler Murray is legit, DeAndre Hopkins is legit, the defense is legit… this team is legit. I might be getting ahead of myself on the hype train, but I truly believe the Cardinals are in a position to make some noise all season.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers

Record: 2-0 | Week 3 opponent: Houston Texans (home)

Big Ben was my pick for Comeback Player of the Year, with the thinking that if he can be what he was between 2014-2018, this team would win a lot of games; so far he’s been just that, and the Steelers are 2-0. It hasn’t been elite competition, but wins are wins, and with this defense, it should continue.

7. Buffalo Bills

Record: 2-0 | Week 3 opponent: Los Angeles Rams (home)

How about Josh Allen, huh!? Now remember, he did this against the Jets and Dolphins, but you can’t deny he’s looked really good. The Bills get a really good test on Sunday when they host the Los Angeles Rams.

8. Los Angeles Rams

Record: 2-0 | Week 3 opponent: Buffalo Bills (away)

Speaking of the Rams… so far, so good. They won 2 games against two decent teams. Jared Goff looks good, the running game is working, Kupp and Woods are doing their thing. If they beat the Bills on Sunday, honestly, with their schedule, they could get to 8-0.

9. Tennessee Titans

Record: 2-0 | Week 3 opponent: Minnesota Vikings (away)

If you read my rankings last year, you know of my infatuation with the Titans. They continue to win with Ryan Tannehill as their starter, as he’s gone 11-4 in that role for the organization (including last postseason). The wins have not been impressive this year, and the kicking woes have been extraordinary, but they find ways to get it done.

10. New England Patriots

Record: 1-1 | Week 3 opponent: Las Vegas Raiders (home)

Moral victories don’t count as wins, but if your a Patriots fan, you have to feel okay with life after Tom Brady based on how Cam Newton has done so far. I was not expecting this team to compete as well as they did against Seattle. The secondary needs to get back to where it was a year ago, but this team is still here, and they aren’t going away in 2020.

11. Las Vegas Raiders

Record: 2-0 | Week 3 opponent: New England Patriots (away)

Talk about the perfect way to open up your new home stadium, beating a team many consider to be championship contenders in the Saints. Remember, this group started 6-4 a year ago. The talent is there, they just have to be consistent and execute week-to-week.

12. New Orleans Saints

Record: 1-1 | Week 3 opponent: Green Bay Packers (home)

This team should be a Super Bowl contender, but through 2 weeks I’m not impressed. Drew Brees is showing his age. Is Emmanuel Sanders gonna be involved? Even the win against Tampa wasn’t that impressive to me. Far too much talent here, but the season is young.

13. San Francisco 49ers

Record: 1-1 | Week 3 opponent: New York Giants (away)

In Week 1 this group got upset by the Cardinals, then they beat what is probably the worst team in the NFL; I need to see more. The injury bug bit the 49ers really bad on Sunday. Combine that with the fact their division features three 2-0 teams… it won’t be easy moving forward.

14. Chicago Bears

Record: 2-0 | Week 3 opponent: Atlanta Falcons (away)

We always knew the defense was good enough to make this team decent, but competent QB play would be the difference between being a playoff team or not. So far, Mitch Trubisky is doing his job. We could be seeing shades of 2018.

15. Los Angeles Chargers

Record: 1-1 | Week 3 opponent: Carolina Panthers (home)

I was really impressed with Justin Herbert on Sunday, as he had a solid NFL debut against the defending champions. He’ll likely get more chances given the messed up Tyrod Taylor situation. Overall, if the group can execute in close games unlike 2019, there’s a chance they sneak into the playoffs.

16. Dallas Cowboys

Record: 1-1 | Week 3 opponent: Seattle Seahawks (away)

If not for a miracle win, this could be a very different discussion. Alas, Dallas is 1-1. I still like the talent here on both sides, but as always, will it all come together? For their sake, hopefully last week was a turning point.

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Record: 1-1 | Week 3 opponent: Denver Broncos (away)

Mina Kimes put it best recently when she said Tom Brady looks like he did last season. I think he’s gonna have a good season given all the players Tampa has on offense, and I’ll never doubt him until the day he retires, but it’s gonna take some time. Until then, this is a middle-of-the-pack team.

18. Indianapolis Colts

Record: 1-1 | Week 3 opponent: New York Jets (home)

The Colts bounced back from a Week 1 loss with a convincing win against the Vikings. Philip Rivers hasn’t looked great, but even with average QB play a year ago this team started 5-2. They’re talented, and if Rivers can be a middle-of-the-pack QB, the Colts can be good.

19. Houston Texans

Record: 0-2 | Week 3 opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers (away)

Houston has not had an easy start to their season, arguably facing the two best teams (and QBs) in the NFL thus far, so I won’t penalize them too badly. It doesn’t get easier on Sunday against Pittsburgh, but this team will turn around.

20. Denver Broncos

Record: 0-2 | Week 3 opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (home)

I truly feel for Denver. Since the beginning of last season, it always feels like they’re in close games, and always lose. They played Tennessee and Pittsburgh competitive, but couldn’t pull off a win in either game. Losing Drew Lock the next few games and Courtland Sutton for the season hurts too.

21. Miami Dolphins

Record: 1-2 | Week 3 opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars (away), Thursday; won

Miami had 2 tough games to start their season against two playoff-caliber teams, but came back with a win last night to get to 1-2. I trust Brian Flores with this group, and Ryan Fitzpatrick keeps giving teams reasons to let him start.

22. Cleveland Browns

Record: 1-1 | Week 3 opponent: Washington (home)

After a no show in Week 1, the Browns beat the Bengals on Thursday night to get to 1-1. As it was a year ago, we know how much talent is here, but until they start beating teams they’re not supposed to and living up to their expectations, it’s the same story.

23. Jacksonville Jaguars

Record: 1-2 | Week 3 opponent: Miami Dolphins (home), Thursday; lost

Jacksonville played competitive in their first 2 games this season, but did not look strong against Miami last night. They weren’t expected to do much this season, and maybe that still ends up being the case, but Gardner Minshew makes things interesting regardless.

24. Washington

Record: 1-1 | Week 3 opponent: Cleveland Browns (away)

Honestly, I expected Washington to look a lot worse than they have this year. They’re punching above their weight, which is a credit to Ron Rivera. Chase Young already has 2.5 sacks, anchoring a defense that looks okay so far. Dwayne Haskins still needs to improve, and this team won’t go far this year, but I like the effort thus far.

25. Minnesota Vikings

Record: 0-2 | Week 3 opponent: Tennessee Titans (home)

Disappointing, utterly disappointing through 2 games. I gave this group the benefit of the doubt and put them up a few spots, but they’ve done nothing to earn it. They need to wake up against the Titans on Sunday, or this might already be a lost season.

26. Philadelphia Eagles

Record: 0-2 | Week 3 opponent: Cincinnati Benagls (home)

Same as the Vikings, I am very disappointed with Philly. How many more excuses can you give Wentz and Pederson before 2017 was truly a miraculous outlier? It’s really early thus far, but it has simply not been a good enough showing for this team.

27. New York Giants

Record: 0-2 | Week 3 opponent: San Francisco 49ers (home)

Honestly, I’m not entirely disappointed with this team. They played okay against the Steelers, and were close to beating the Bears last Sunday. This was never supposed to be their year, and losing Saquon Barkley makes that even more apparent, but the performances have show progress in my opinion.

28. Cincinnati Bengals

Record: 0-2 | Week 3 opponent: Philadelphia Eagles (away)

Joe Burrow is going to be a good QB, but at the moment he’s suffering from a fate as old as time: being a Cincinnati Bengal. Still, I’ve been impressed with his first 2 games, and the team should be happy as well.

29. Detroit Lions

Record: 0-2 | Week 3 opponent: Arizona Cardinals (away)

I detailed it recently, but after starting last season 2-0-1, the Lions have proceeded to lose 14 of their last 15 games. Having Stafford back should be helping, but it’s not. They should have never fired Jim Caldwell, and certainly not for Matt Patricia.

30. Atlanta Falcons

Record: 0-2 | Week 3 opponent: Chicago Bears (home)

What else can you say other than this team just finds new and depressing ways to lose year-after-year. They started they past 2 seasons 1-4 (last year they reached 1-7), and this year could be heading that way too. How much longer can this go on?

31. Carolina Panthers

Record: 0-2 | Week 3 opponent: Los Angeles Chargers (away)

I’ll be honest, as much as it pains me to say this as a Tom Brady fan, Carolina really made him look good during the first half last week. They made it close, but this team just isn’t good… and they won’t be any better without Christian McCaffery the next few weeks.

32. New York Jets

Record: 0-2 | Week 3 opponent: Indianapolis Colts (away)

Worst team in the NFL, and it isn’t even close. Adam Gase needs to go.

Photo above from Raiders team website

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Author: Nick Collins

Boston sports fan sharing his love for sports and perspectives as a fan

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