Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

Two new teams in the top 10, and a new #1 takes control of the power rankings.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

The NFL prides itself on being a league full of parody.  But with a record 20 teams at 1-1 after two weeks, it's almost impossible to make a power rankings list.  Where do I put last week's big performers that fell flat on their face this week?  Where do the scrappy teams that are in every game but still lose go? (hint, the bottom) How much does a fluke outcome affect how much you shift the teams involved?  Check out my list below to find out.

Previous week's rank in parentheses.

1. (3) San Francisco 49ers – The offense looks explosive and the defense is easily the best in the league.  When they're clicking, nobody can beat this team.

2. (4) Green Bay Packers – The defense looked scary good against the Bears.  
 
3. (6) Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan looked great again, but he and the defense need to get better at closing out games.

4. (1) New England Patriots – Losing Hernandez will hurt the offense, but shouldn't cripple it.  Last week's game was a fluke.

5. (2) Baltimore Ravens – If Flacco wants to be considered elite, he needs to develop better consistency.  But when he's on, this team is a Super Bowl contender.

6. (5) Denver Broncos – Peyton Manning dragged this team out of the ditch he put them in and nearly pulled out the win against a good Atlanta team.

7. (8) Pittsburgh Steelers – This team could be scary if they ever get a real running game going.

8. (16) Philadelphia Eagles – An improved effort vs. the Ravens, but Vick needs to cut down on the turn overs.

9. (9) Detroit Lions – They struggled against the 49ers….but so does everyone.

10. (12) Houston Texans – Houston's had their way with poor competition, next week vs. Denver is their first real test.

11. (15) New York Giants – I hope Eli doesn't have to average 500+ yards passing just so the G-Men can get wins.  And a memo to Tom Coughlin: Lighten up.

12. (19) San Diego Chargers – 2-0 to start the year isn't shocking.  Next week's game vs. Atlanta will give us a good idea of where they really stand.

13. (13) Cincinnati Bengals – Bengals bounce back after week one to beat a feisty Cleveland team.  Cincy needs to play better against GOOD teams though.

14. (7) Chicago Bears – Chicago will be jumping all over this list this year.  When good, the Bears are great, but when bad, they're horrid.

15. (10) Dallas Cowboys – Typical Cowboys.  They started to believe their own hype and forgot to play the game.  

16. (11) New Orleans Saints – Saints are still good, I promise.  But anymore losses and they are going to plummet down this list.

17. (22) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tampa played well to the end against New York.  Schiano's got this team going in the right direction.

18. (23) St. Louis Rams – The Rams have played two good games and the passing offense came alive against the 'Skins.

19. (20) Washington Redskins – Moving up one spot despite the loss, RG3 and company look like they'll be in every game this year.

20. (24) Buffalo Bills – Good win by the bills after a nasty game one.  Now show us it's not a fluke.

21. (21) Indianapolis Colts – Luck gets his first career win thanks to late Vinatieri field goal.

22. (14) New York Jets – They got owned by Big Ben and the Steelers D.  Jets still have a ways to go.

23. (26) Arizona Cardinals – Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.  I'm not buying into this yet.

24. (28) Carolina Panthers – Jonathan Stewart's return could mean big things for the Panthers.   

25. (29) Seattle Seahawks – The Cowboys lost the last game more than Seattle won it.

26. (32) Miami Dolphins – A win is a win for this team, even if that win is against the new #32.  

27. (17) Kansas City Chiefs – The early season darkhorse falls flat on their face again.  The defense needs to turn this thing around.

28. (18) Tennessee Titans – CJ2K can't run more than 2 yards per rush, and Locker can't complete more than 50% of his passes.

29. (25) Minnesota Vikings – Talk to me when they play someone good.

30. (31) Cleveland Browns – Starting 0-2 keeps you to the bottom of this list….but at least the Browns are making things competitive.

31. (27) Jacksonville Jaguars – Completely dominated by the Texans running game, this team has a long way to go.

32. (30) Oakland Raiders – Losing to the previous #32 is a good way to make sure you're at the bottom of the food chain.

J. Lance Moose is a contributor and lead football writer for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JLanceMoose, and subscribe on Facebook facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports

Photo Credit: Icon Tony Medina/Icon SMI