Neil Reynold's Power Rankings Week 3

To save you all the bother of heading to my mentions on social media, I am well aware of the fact that these rankings are all over the map and have fluctuated massively from this time last week. Don't think too badly of me when I say this but, outside of the top three or four, I had very little idea where to put these teams !

1
1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2021 · 2-0-0

Tom Brady has thrown nine touchdown passes in two games and his skill position options run very deep. Mike Evans did not score in Week 1 so, of course, he found the endzone twice last Sunday night.


2
1
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
2021 · 1-1-0

I’m not hammering the Chiefs too badly for losing a heavyweight clash on the road by a point. How they weaved DeMarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle into the attack was interesting to me.

3
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams
2021 · 2-0-0

It took a late field goal to beat Indianapolis but the Rams are 2-0 for the fourth season in a row. Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp are developing a chemistry that is going to result in many touchdowns.

4
3
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
2021 · 1-1-0

That was more like it from Buffalo as they hammered the Dolphins by 35 in Miami. They could have played all night long and the home team were not going to score. A re-born pass rush is a great boost for Buffalo.

5
10
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
2021 · 2-0-0

It’s a big jump but I think the Silver and Black are worth it. They’ve beaten quality opponents in Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Derek Carr has the hot hand on offense and the defense is feistier than in recent years.

6
2
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
2021 · 1-1-0

The injury to Jarvis Landry could hurt the passing game but Cleveland are deep in offensive talent, have Odell Beckham Jr. coming back soon and can always lean on the running of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

7
2
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
2021 · 2-0-0

It was not pretty in Week 2 against Philadelphia but the Niners are now 2-0 after their road trip east. Defense is going to keep San Fran in a lot of games but I still have serious doubts about Jimmy G at QB.

8
8
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
2021 · 1-1-0

It could be time to just let Lamar Jackson play his own game. Maybe we don’t need to turn him into the perfect passer. He had some rough moments against KC but delivered the win in his own unique style.

9
4
Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
2021 · 1-1-0

Seattle have so much going for them in the passing game but I think their defense is a real concern and is the major reason they let a two-touchdown lead slip in last weekend’s home loss to Tennessee.

10
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
2021 · 2-0-0

The Cardinals are far from perfect, but they might be the most watchable team in all of football right now. Kyler Murray is just an absolute sensation who has already accounted for nine touchdowns in two games.

11
1
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
2021 · 1-1-0

That was more like it from the Packers in Week 2, but it was only the lowly Detroit Lions. Aaron Jones was a scoring machine and Aaron Rodgers made some big throws. A sterner test awaits in San Francisco.

12
1
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys
2021 · 1-1-0

Lots to unpack from the Cowboys’ big Week 2 win in LA, but this was my big takeaway. Tony Pollard carried 13 times for 109 yards and Ezekiel Elliott 16 for 71. Dallas rushed for 198 yards on the day. Is this a full-time job share?

13
2
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers
2021 · 1-1-0

Penalties and special teams miscues hurt the Chargers in what proved to be a close loss. Stop me if you’ve heard that before. But I do still think Justin Herbert makes this team a playoff contender. He is special.

14
8
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
2021 · 1-1-0

The Steelers have more than a home loss to Las Vegas to worry about. Big Ben is suffering from a pectoral injury and could miss time; and elite pass-rusher T.J. Watt is also a concern as he deals with a groin injury.


15
9
Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers
2021 · 2-0-0

It’s two out of two for Matt Rhule’s men and a couple of things stand out aside from the Sam Darnold story. Having Christian McCaffrey back makes the world of difference and the defense looks legit now.

16
3
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
2021 · 2-0-0

Teddy Bridgewater has been excellent for Denver, completing 77 percent of his passes for a quarterback rating of 120.7. Let’s see how this team fares with a stern test. It’s the Jets next so they’re good for a bit.

17
5
Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans
2021 · 1-1-0

Derrick Henry got things rolling and it was a more familiar-looking Titans team that dug out a come-from-behind 33-30 win over Seattle. This was a good answer after Mike Vrabel aired concerns over his team.

18
1
New England Patriots
New England Patriots
2021 · 1-1-0

The Patriots are going to win their share of games with a solid running game, sneaky defense and mistake-free play from Mac Jones at quarterback. But they’re not setting pulses racing nor climbing these rankings.

19
15
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
2021 · 1-1-0

This might be the biggest one-week slide in the history of these rankings. New Orleans gained just 128 total yards and picked up six first downs. That is unheard of for a Sean Payton team. I don’t know who these guys are right now.

20
Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team
2021 · 1-1-0

Taylor Heinicke insists he has done enough to be the season-long starter in Washington. Ryan Fitzpatrick must be wondering if he is going to spend more frustrating time on the sidelines when he returns from injury.

21
7
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
2021 · 1-1-0

Tua Tagovailoa has much to worry about. His own health and form, for a start. But then you can add in a leaky offensive line and an owner in Stephen Ross who might yet have an itchy finger and pull the trigger on a Deshaun Watson trade.

22
6
Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles
2021 · 1-1-0

The Eagles may have found their level in a home loss to tougher opposition in the San Francisco 49ers. We’ll know more about this team when they face Dallas. The loss of Brandon Graham is a painful one.

23
3
Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
2021 · 1-1-0

If the Bears are going to endure some growing pains with Justin Fields or just plain old, simple pains with Andy Dalton; they’re going to need the kind of day they got out of their defense at Soldier Field on Sunday.

24
1
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
2021 · 1-1-0

Joe Burrow is going to have his ups and downs as he knocks off the rust and gets up to full speed following last year’s torn ACL. That is not a concern. A bigger worry is that I don’t think Zac Taylor cuts it as head coach.

25
Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
2021 · 0-2-0

If the Vikings had a couple of breaks go their way, they would be 2-0 and not 0-2. It doesn’t work that way in the NFL. They’re not handing out bouquets and style points for almost winning games. Good teams find a way.

26
5
Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts
2021 · 0-2-0

It’s been a depressing start to the season for fans in Indianapolis with the Colts dropping two at home. It could be about to get worse with QB Carson Wentz sidelined and Jacob Eason looking shaky in relief.

27
1
New York Giants
New York Giants
2021 · 0-2-0

The Giants could have – and possibly should have – won in Week 2 in Washington. They have areas of weakness and big question marks, but I’m not quite ready to write this team off. There is something here.

28
1
Houston Texans
Houston Texans
2021 · 1-1-0

The loss of Tyrod Taylor for a month to a hamstring injury hurts a team that was arguably the biggest surprise of this young season through six quarters. Can they make any noise with Davis Mills under center?

29
1
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons
2021 · 0-2-0

The Falcons hung around for a while against Tampa Bay and Matt Ryan made some nice plays. But then the wheels came off in a big way with Matty Ice throwing back to back pick sixes. 

30
1
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
2021 · 0-2-0

To quote songs from The Beatles… the Lions face a Long and Winding Road before their fans can even think of yelling ‘Here comes the sun.’ And don’t even bother asking Jude… this lot have already let you down!

31
2
New York Jets
New York Jets
2021 · 0-2-0

They say that pressure makes diamonds. Well, it also makes quarterbacks do funny things from time to time and rookie passer Zach Wilson has five interceptions in two games behind a porous offensive line.

32
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
2021 · 0-2-0

Urban Meyer has told the good people of Jacksonville they can go to sleep knowing no one will work harder to turn things around. Unfortunately, everyone was already asleep halfway through another Jags loss.

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