What is the strongest division in the NFL?
According to the NFL dot com Power Rankings, it's the NFC North ... and it's not particularly close. For the second straight week, I have the Packers, Bears and Vikings all taking up real estate in the top 10. The one NFC Norris team not in the top 10? That would be the undefeated Detroit Lions, whose fan base will soon organize a "Fire Hanzus" rally that will make the "Millen Man March" look like the Catalina Wine Mixer.
I understand your rage ... but I cannot be manipulated or coerced by it. You have a wonderful city.
Let's get to it.
Previous rank:*No. 1*
The ill-conceived Antonio Brown experiment didn't work out, but everything else is going to plan for the Patriots. The story of New England's 3-0 start has been the defense, which hasn't allowed a touchdown since last season's AFC Championship Game. On Sunday, the Pats held a pathetic Jets offense to just 105 total yards on 2.2 yards per play; New York's two touchdowns came on a pick-six and a muffed punt. It's a good thing the D has dominated at a historic level, because the Patriots have some issues on offense. Julian Edelman exited Sunday's win with a rib injury, further thinning a wide receiver unit that trimmed Brown from its ranks on Friday. Depth is also a concern for the banged-up offensive line. Dante Scarnecchia's unit will be tested in a big way this week on the road against the 3-0 Bills.
Previous rank:*No. 2*
Patrick Mahomes continues to dominate all comers. The Chiefs quarterback was brilliant again on Sunday, lighting up the Ravens for 374 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-28 win. Mahomes needed just 10 quarters to go over 1,000 yards passing for the season, a feat accomplished on a day in which the Chiefs were missing No. 1 wide receiver Tyreek Hill, left tackle Eric Fisher and running back Damien Williams. Even with the injuries, Mahomes has plenty to work with. Demarcus Robinson (an emergent playmaker) made a beautiful, lunging touchdown grab, and Mecole Hardman reached 21.7 mph on his 83-yard touchdown catch, according to Next Gen Stats, the fastest a ball carrier has run on any touchdown this year. Mahomes' game-icing third-down conversion to Darrel Williams sent Arrowhead into a frenzy and wiped away any chance Lamar Jackson would steal Mahomes' spotlight.
Previous rank:*No. 3*
A great performance by the Rams' defense on Sunday night in Cleveland. The high moment came in the final minute, with L.A. leading by seven and the Browns set up with first-and-goal. Four plays, four passes, three incompletions and a game-icing interception by John Johnson. Browns superstar Odell Beckham Jr. didn't even have a target on that final set of downs, which is both a credit to the Rams' scheme and an indictment of Browns play-caller Freddie Kitchens. On the other side of the ball, Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp both went over 100 yards, but it was another mostly uneven performance by the Rams. Jared Goff, in particular, continues to look out of sorts. He had three turnovers in the game, including a killer fourth-quarter interception that gave the Browns life. The Rams aren't fully clicking ... but they're winning as they figure it out. It's the sign of a championship-caliber team.
Previous rank:*No. 4*
The Cowboys are 3-0 for the first time since 2008, but their 31-6 win over the Dolphins wasn't quite as easy as the final score seems to indicate. The feeble Dolphins played even with their heavily favored opponent for the game's first two quarters. It wasn't until Kenyan Drake fumbled inside the Dallas 10-yard line late in the second quarter that momentum swung toward Big D for good. Dak Prescott continues to cruise, throwing two touchdown passes (both to Amari Cooper) and running for another score. Prescott got hot in the third quarter, going 9 of 9 for 137 yards and a touchdown. A 10-6 lead at the half was 24-6 after three quarters. Turn out the lights. Here's a great stat, courtesy of The Athletic: Through three games, Prescott is a perfect 22 of 22 for 384 yards and three touchdowns in the third quarter. I want to know what he's eating in the locker room at halftime.
Previous rank:*No. 7*
You can imagine Brian Gutekunst throwing out the classic Michael Jordan "I can't believe I'm this good, either" shoulder shrug as he walked into team headquarters early Monday morning. Every move the Packers GM made to improve his team's defense has been genius through three weeks. On Sunday, Preston Smith and Za'Darius Smith combined for five sacks and a forced fumble in a 27-16 win over the Broncos. Money well spent on the pair of pass rushers who have been a huge upgrade over last year's combo of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. Despite a season high in points scored, the Packers' offense remains a work in progress. It's on head coach Matt LaFleur to make the necessary adjustments and keep Green Bay moving after working through the initial game script. The Packers have started fast and cooled off considerably in each of the past two weeks.
Previous rank:*No. 12*
Dawson Knox, have a day. With the Bills down three late in the fourth quarter, Buffalo's rookie tight end hauled in a Josh Allen pass and morphed into an evolutionary Gronk. His 49-yard catch-and-run sent New Era Stadium into a frenzy and set up the Bills' go-ahead touchdown. The seven-play, 78-yard drive was a minor masterpiece by the Bills, providing the latest evidence that Allen has taken the next step as a quarterback in Year 2. Buffalo had coughed up a 14-0 lead in this game, and a loss would have undone much of the progress of the season's first two weeks. But Allen -- with a huge helping hand from his Baby Gronk -- wouldn't allow that to happen. The Bills are 3-0 and welcome the 3-0 Patriots to their house on Sunday. This is the biggest Bills game in a long time. Circle them wagons!
Previous rank:*No. 13*
The 49ers are 3-0 for the first time since 1998. Sunday's win was a minor miracle; not many teams finish a game with five turnovers -- including three inside the opponent's 20-yard line -- and come out clean on the other side. Consider it a testament to the team's resolve, and the continued progress of Jimmy Garoppolo, who wiped away two Steelers second-half leads with touchdown drives. Jimmy G's final numbers were pedestrian, but both his interceptions came on passes that probably should have been caught by his intended targets. He delivered a solid performance -- and looks more comfortable with each passing week, a very good sign. The most important statistic from the win? The 49ers' defense held the Steelers to just six points off the 49ers' five turnovers. Early bye weeks are never preferred, but there's something to be said for staying undefeated for another 14 days without playing a snap.
Previous rank:*No. 9*
The Bears took all the drama out of Monday night, racing to a 28-0 lead in the first half before cruising to the finish line. It was another big day for Chicago's vaunted defense, which forced Redskins quarterback Case Keenum into five turnovers, including a pick-six by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Khalil Mack led the charge in the front seven, stuffing the stat sheet with two sacks and two forced fumbles. On offense, it was a game -- a half, really -- of progress for Mitchell Trubisky, who threw three touchdown passes and looked much more comfortable than what we saw against the Packers and Broncos. Taylor Gabriel caught all three of those Trubisky touchdown passes before leaving the game with a concussion. The next step for Trubisky is stacking some solid performances to bury the chatter of those who see him as the team's weak link.
Previous rank:*No. 10*
Three weeks into the season, the Vikings' offensive philosophy is apparent: This is Dalvin Cook's team. You see it on the field and even during the pregame introductions, where Cook has bumped Kirk Cousins for top billing. The third-year running back set a franchise record with his third consecutive 100-yard game to start the season in an easy 34-14 win over the Raiders. Minnesota is averaging 193.7 yards per game on the ground and has rolled up more yards rushing than passing during its 2-1 start. Cook is the unquestioned star of the attack, but he's not alone. Alexander Mattison has shown excellent burst when given the opportunity; a 10-yard touchdown run was an impressive feat of athleticism by the third-round rookie. The middling Raiders provided a perfect get-right opponent for Cousins, who bounced back with a solid effort after an alarming performance last week in Green Bay.
Previous rank:*No. 16*
My apologies to the Saints. Yes, they lost Drew Brees to a thumb injury in Week 2, but this team goes well beyond one star. That was apparent Sunday in Seattle, where Sean Payton's team delivered a complete effort in a 33-27 win that was not nearly as competitive as the final score indicates. New Orleans scored on a 53-yard punt return, and a fumble recovery -- kudos to the officials for not blowing the play dead prematurely, an error that killed the Saints*a week earlier.Teddy Bridgewater* tarted slowly but came on as the game progressed, and Alvin Kamara* loked like the best player on the field every time the ball was in his hands. The Saints](http://www.nfl.com/teams/neworleanssaints/profile?team=NO) needDew Brees to winthe Supr Bowl. But they can survive -- and possibly even thrive -- without their star quarterback if they continue to put together complete efforts like we saw against the Seahaks.
Previous rank:*No. 5*
John Harbaugh wasn't messing around on Sunday. The Ravens coach was in an ultra-aggressive mood against the high-octane Chiefs, going for it on fourth-down four times (with three successful conversions) and attempting a trio of two-point conversions (all failed). "We don't play scared," Harbaugh told reporters after the 33-28 loss. Fair enough, but it feels like an instance of Harbaugh putting both too much and not enough faith in his offense. The Ravens came down to Earth a little bit in their first loss of the season, looking like a team that wasn't quite ready to fight it out for four quarters against a conference superpower. Lamar Jackson -- despite the now requisite handful of highlight-reel plays -- struggled for the majority of this game, and the Baltimore defense was no match for Patrick Mahomes, who threw for 374 yards and three touchdowns.
Previous rank:*No. 14*
Deshaun Watson does at least one thing every week that truly amazes. On Sunday, it came in the fourth quarter, near midfield, with the Texans nursing a four-point lead against the Chargers. Watson got flushed out of the pocket, stepped up, looked for a moment like he was going to run, then flicked the ball to tight end Jordan Akins, who did the rest for a 53-yard touchdown. Most quarterbacks in that situation take a sack, scramble for a few yards or toss up an ill-advised prayer. Watson made magic. Speaking of magic, J.J. Watt has found his groove. The future Hall of Famer lived in the backfield and had two sacks. And once again, Watt received much-needed help from the revitalized Whitney Mercilus, who had a huge strip-sack of Philip Rivers and two tackles for loss. The Texans are a top-heavy team, but that top is as talented as anybody's.
Previous rank:*No. 17*
Jacoby Brissett is no hold-the-fort guy. The Colts quarterback might just be a legit player for the Colts to build around. We knew Indy believed in their Andrew Luck replacement when they ripped up his contract and doled out a generous new deal on the eve of Week 1, and Brissett has made his team look smart. The 26-year-old QB completed his first 16 passes against the Falcons on Sunday and finished with 310 yards and two touchdowns. The highlight came on third-and-4 with less than two minutes to play. Instead of running the ball to take time off the clock and attempt a field goal to go up six, coach Frank Reich put his faith in Brissett, who connected with Jack Doyle on a game-icing first down. Brissett will never be as dynamic a player as Luck, but he doesn't need to be on this well-coached, well-balanced team.
Previous rank:*No. 20*
Raise your hand if you predicted Detroit would be undefeated through three weeks. That's what I thought. The Lions don't have enough talent to dominate teams, but in each of the last two weeks, we've watched Detroit step up and close out an opponent that looked on the verge of stealing a victory. These are the type of games that separate an 8-8 also-ran from a 10-6 playoff participant. The Lions' defense undoubtedly benefitted from a slew of Eagles mistakes Sunday, but no caveats are necessary in describing the play of Matthew Stafford, who looks more at home on offense under new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell than he was in the difficult final season under Jim Bob Cooter. The Lions get a huge test this week when Patrick Mahomes brings the Chiefs' air show to Ford Field. Detroit will need to be much sharper to hang with an AFC powerhouse.
Previous rank:*No. 6*
It was a bad day all around for Pete Carroll, who had his nose jacked up by an errant football during pregame warmups, then watched his Seahawks come out flat against a Saints team playing without Drew Brees. Fun fact: Sunday marked the first September home loss for the Seahawks in the Carroll era (15-0 entering the day). Seattle was not sharp in any phase of the game, from special teams (giving up a 53-yard punt return for a score) to ball security (a Chris Carson fumble was scooped up by Vonn Bell for a touchdown) to clock management (Carroll mishandled the final minute of the first half). Russell Wilson missed a wide open Tyler Lockett on fourth down with the opportunity to trim the deficit to 27-14 midway through the third quarter. Throw in seven penalties, and you have a rare letdown game at The Clink.
Previous rank:*No. 11*
The Chargers continue to kill themselves with unforced errors. A week after a maddening loss to the Lions, Los Angeles again struggled with execution in a one-score loss to the Texans at home. The Chargers committed seven penalties, none bigger than the holding call on left tackle Trent Scott that wiped out a Philip Rivers-to-Mike Williams completion that would have put the Bolts inside the Texans' 10 with less than 20 seconds to play. The loss shouldn't obscure a career day by Keenan Allen, who had 13 catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns on a whopping 17 targets. Allen has at least eight catches in each of the Chargers' first three games and is on pace for 155 receptions and more than 2,000 yards. That will win some fantasy leagues. The Chargers, meanwhile, are a much better team than their record indicates. Gotta clean it up.
Previous rank:*No. 8*
The Eagles really need their starting wide receivers back in the lineup. Philadelphia had at least seven drops in Sunday's narrow loss to the Lions, none more damaging than J.J. Arcega-Whiteside's flub on fourth down in the final minute. If Arcega-Whiteside holds on, the Eagles likely win, or least tie the game. Instead, it's back-to-back losses for an injury-ravaged squad. To make matters worse, the Iggles are on a short week, with a very difficult Thursday night matchup against the undefeated Packers at Lambeau. There is optimism that at least Alshon Jeffery (out since Week 1 with a calf injury) will be back in action for that game, but Philadelphia will be facing an uphill challenge, given their injury situation on both sides of the ball. Give Carson Wentz credit: He hasn't gotten much help from his teammates, but he put the Eagles in position to win in each of the past two weeks. QB1 needs others to step up their game.
Previous rank:*No. 25*
"Sacksonville is back, baby!" Those were the celebratory words of Yannick Ngakoue at the end of Thursday night's resounding victory over the AFC South rival Titans. Calais Campbell had three of nine sacks for the Jags, who held Tennessee scoreless until the fourth quarter and generally looked the far superior team. The win quiets the noise around cornerback Jalen Ramsey's future with the team ... for one night, at least. The Jags' offense had an up-and-down outing, but the team has to be thrilled with the play of Gardner Minshew II. The rookie quarterback/living folk hero played smart, crisp football, and he would have ended his night with three touchdown passes, if not for a hideous end-zone drop by Dede Westbrook. The Ramsey saga will continue to hang over this team, but Minshewmania has the fanbase excited and the Jags in the hunt.
Previous rank:*No. 23*
Kyle Allen put some much-needed wind back in the Panthers' sails. The backup quarterback was brilliant against the Cardinals, throwing four touchdown passes with a passer rating north of 140 in a one-sided romp on the road. Carolina needed some good news after the struggling Cam Newton re-aggravated his foot injury in a dispiriting loss to the Bucs. On Monday, coach Ron Rivera wasted no time ruling Newton out for Week 4 and -- perhaps ominously -- attached no timetable to the former MVP's return. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday that Newton is dealing with a Lisfranc injury that could keep him on the shelf awhile. On the plus side, Allen's performance against the Cardinals has to give Carolina confidence that the former undrafted 23-year-old has some legit talent. Allen didn't do it alone on Sunday: Christian McCaffrey ripped off a 76-yard touchdown run, and the Panthers defense sacked Kyler Murray eight times. Next week will provide a stiffer challenge on the road in Houston.
Previous rank:*No. 21*
Another week, another slow start that doomed the Falcons. Atlanta has now been outscored 47-13 in the first half of its games, a major reason why Dan Quinn's team sits at 1-2. Discipline continues to be an issue, as well: The Falcons committed 16 penalties for 128 yards in Indianapolis. The defense, which was responsible for 10 of those penalties, will go the rest of the way without hard-luck defensive back Keanu Neal, who tore his Achilles after missing nearly the entire 2018 campaign with a torn ACL. On the positive end, Matt Ryan was a machine in the second half, completing 22 of 23 passes with three touchdowns in Atlanta's final three possessions. Incredibly, the Falcons only had six possessions on Sunday (not counting the one-play kneeldown at the end of the first half). The running game -- which ranks 27th in the NFL -- also showed some life, with Devonta Freeman looking a lot like the guy who drove defenses mad in 2015 and '16.
Previous rank:*No. 15*
We haven't reached panic mode in Cleveland, but we're not far off. Baker Mayfield looked confused and jittery in a prime-time home loss to the Rams, and it's on first-year coach Freddie Kitchens and the rest of the Browns staff to fix their young star. Unfortunately, there's no easy solution, with Mayfield working behind a shoddy offensive line that has left him in danger rather than "feeling dangerous." Kitchens mucked things up further on Sunday with some shaky play-calling, including a fourth-and-9 draw play in the fourth quarter that will live in infamy. Speaking of bad play-calling, how does Odell Beckham not get a target on any of the Browns' four cracks at the end zone on their final drive? Beckham was brought in to be a dynamic difference-maker -- throw the man the ball, and good things will probably happen. The Browns need a common-sense check.
Previous rank:*No. 18*
The Titans' offense in the Marcus Mariota era is like Sisyphus and his rock. You can do your best to push that boulder up the mountain, but it always rolls back down to where you started. Tennessee's doomed mission has never been more apparent than in the last two weeks -- a flat loss at home to the Colts*in Week 2,followed bya virtual no-show* o Thursday night against the Jaguars. Mariota isn't solely to blame for the *itans' struggles, but his inability to spark this team makes you wonder how much longer head coach Mike Vrabel can stand by his man, with the capable backup quarterback Ran Tannehill waitig in the wings. Then again, the way Tennessee's offensive line is performing, Tannehill will fare no better. Mariota was sacked nine times and pressured a career-high 18 times by the Jags. The absence of supended tackle Taylr Lewan* is huge, but it doesn't excuse a total collapse.
Previous rank:*No. 31*
The Danny Dimes era has arrived. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, the much-maligned (through no fault of his own) No. 6 overall pick, played lights out in his first career start, throwing two touchdowns passes and running for two more in rallying the Giants back from a 28-10 halftime deficit in Tampa. And just when it looked like the kid's effort would be wasted, the Bucs blew a chip-shot field-goal try at the gun to give Big Blue the win. Suddenly, Giants fans have a lot to be excited about in the post-Eli era. It wasn't all good for New York: Saquon Barkley suffered the dreaded high ankle sprain and will be on the shelf 4-6 weeks. Barkley's absence hurts the offense, but Jones' debut instills hope that the Giants will find a way to stay in the hunt, even without their star running back. What a difference a week makes.
Previous rank:*No. 22*
Sometimes, the kicker just has to make a damn kick. It's not an easy job, but Matt Gay's failure to knock through a 34-yard attempt as time expired cost the Bucs the game and could permanently alter the trajectory of their season. Gay's miss was especially crushing in light of the fact that the Bucs had fought to reclaim the game after blowing a 28-10 halftime lead. Jameis Winston delivered what should have been one of the signature passes of his career, a 44-yard strike to Mike Evans to put Tampa Bay in field-goal position in the final minute. But the Bucs couldn't close. Bruce Arians made headlines after the game by telling reporters he purposely took a 5-yard delay-of-game penalty because Gay was better from a further distance. It was a head-spinning comment for a Bucs fan base already passed out on the floor.
Previous rank:*No. 24*
There's no use roasting the Raiders for their showing against the Vikings on Sunday. This remains a team under construction, and Oakland simply isn't ready to hang against a quality opponent on the road. The goal is improvement, and there's plenty of room for that. Since jumping out to a 10-0 lead last week against the Chiefs, the Raiders have been outscored 62-14 by a pair of Super Bowl contenders. And now, a friendly reminder not to trust your box score implicitly: The stats (79.4 percent completion rate, 242 yards, two TDs, a 103.7 passer rating) tell you Derek Carr played a strong game on Sunday. In reality, Carr was a dink-and-dunk machine who got happy feet on a key second-quarter interception and did most of his compiling long after the game was decided. Again, this is a developmental year for the Raiders. We know Jon Gruden, in the second year of a 10-year deal, is staying put beyond 2019. Will Carr? Thirteen games remain on his audition.
Previous rank:*No. 19*
It sounds crazy to put a loss on a defense that created five turnovers, but the failure by the Steelers' D to step up in crunch time helps explain this team's 0-3 record. Twice against the 49ers on Sunday, Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph put Pittsburgh ahead with touchdown passes in the second half, and twice, a Steelers defense loaded with premium draft picks failed to keep Jimmy Garoppolo from leading the 49ers back to the end zone. Steelers brass showed they were still all in on 2019 by acquiring defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick in exchange for a first-round pick last week, but that selection -- now the property of the Miami Dolphins -- could turn into a top-10 premium slot if the Steelers keep losing. Rudolph was a mixed bag in his first NFL start, but as the rest of this Ben Roethlisberger-less season wears on, the second-year pro will need more help from running back James Conner, who had a killer fumble that led to San Fran's go-ahead score and is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry through three games.
Previous rank:*No. 26*
We'll give the Bengals some credit: They were badly outplayed in the first half against the Bills and were fortunate to be down just 14-0 at the break. But instead of packing it in, Cincinnati battled back in a tough road environment, reeling off 17 unanswered points to take the lead with five minutes to play. That's when Zac Taylor's defense needed to understand the gravity of the moment and lock down a vital first victory. Said gravity was not sensed. The unit allowed Bills QB Josh Allen to march down the field 78 yards on seven plays for the go-ahead touchdown. On the ensuing possession, Andy Dalton fired high with his team in striking distance, the deflected pass intercepted by Buffalo's Tre'Davious White to seal the loss. The Bengals didn't execute when it mattered most, and their season is slipping away because of it.
Previous rank:*No. 27*
Emmanuel Sanders summed it up nicely after the Broncos fell to 0-3. "We're trying to get it right, right now we're 0-3, living in a world of suck." Sanders had a quiet game against the Packers, which made him pretty much like everyone not named Phillip Lindsay on the Denver offense. Moving the ball downfield is hard work with 2019 Joe Flacco at the controls. Chunk plays are virtually non-existent, and every yard is earned during marathon marches that often lead nowhere. A flat offense is only part of the problem, however: Almost impossibly, a Broncos defense led by Von Miller and Bradley Chubb is still looking for its first sack through three weeks. The unit did a nice job to hold Aaron Rodgers and Co. to just 312 yards, but mere competence is not enough. This is a team built to win games by scores like 17-13, but right now, the D is simply not up to the challenge.
Previous rank:*No. 28*
Three games in, it's become apparent that Kyler Murray will not be taking the NFL by storm in 2019. That felt like a possibility, depending on who you listened to, in the weeks and months after Murray went No. 1 to the Cardinals in the 2019 NFL Draft. But the transition to the pro game has been bumpy for the former Oklahoma star. On Sunday against the Panthers, Murray threw for 173 yards on 30 completions. According to ESPN Stats & Information, that is the lowest yardage total in a game for a QB with at least 30 completions in the Super Bowl era. Only seven of Murray's 43 passes traveled beyond 10 air yards. Only one of those was completed. It's on rookie coach Kliff Kingsbury to find ways to open up the Arizona attack to help his young passer. Getting some better protection would be a start: Murray was sacked eight times on Sunday.
Previous rank:*No. 29*
The Dwayne Haskins Watch is on. Consider these facts as a case for turning to the first-round pick: 1) The Redskins fell to 0-3 with a lopsided Monday night home loss to the Bears. 2) Their veteran quarterback, Case Keenum, accounted for five turnovers in the defeat. 3) A large percentage of fans at FedExField were rooting for the visiting team. Yep, the Redskins badly need a shot in the arm, and Haskins represents the most logical source. Of course, there is the question of whether Haskins has shown enough to warrant such a promotion, but coach Jay Gruden has reached Hail Mary territory for both the 2019 season and his own job security. And, wouldn't you know it, on Sunday the Redskins meet the New York Giants, who just saw their season take a turn for the relevant by promoting Daniel Jones. I know what Gruden said postgame about the need for continuity at QB, but seriously: What do you have to lose, Jay?
Previous rank:*No. 30*
The Jets are comically inept on offense right now. Adam Gase's "attack" managed 105 total yards and nary a point against the Patriots, falling to 0-3 in the process. The offense has now scored a grand total of three points in the Jets' last nine quarters, outscored 14-11 by the defense this season. The continued absence of Sam Darnold (mono) is obviously the biggest factor, but it's unfair to put all this dysfunction at the feet of poor Luke Falk, the team's third starting quarterback in as many weeks. Falk hasn't looked like an NFL passer, but the Jets' offensive line as presently constituted is non-competitive in a way that would doom 1988 Joe Montana. Compounding matters has been Gase's stale and unimaginative play-calling. The only reason for optimism is the possibility that Darnold returns following the Week 4 bye. Perhaps then Gang Green can get back to the business of being a competitive football team.
Previous rank:*No. 32*
Week 3 brought modest progress. After a pair of humiliating home losses to open the season, the Dolphins actually hung tough against the Cowboys at Jerrah World, entering halftime trailing by just four points. Miami could have actually had the lead, had DeVante Parker not dropped a slant pass inside the 10-yard line that would have gone for a touchdown with less than a minute to play. After a defensive holding penalty on Dallas set the Dolphins up with a first-and-goal with 31 seconds left, Kenyan Drake coughed up the football for a back-breaking turnover. The Fish were cooked after that. Josh Rosen made his first start in Miami and provided an early spark, taking the offense inside Dallas territory on four different drives in the first half. Unfortunately, any signs of progress dried up in the second half, as the Dolphins managed just 65 yards of total offense and zero points. If your organization chooses to jump into the tank, just know that you're going to get wet.