NFL Power Rankings, Week 3: What team can best overcome injuries?

Our Week 3 NFL Power Rankings takes a look at all 32 teams and where they rank after a weekend that saw a bloodbath of injuries.

Here’s the deal with NFL Power Rankings. They are not predictions. If a team projects to have an easy or difficult schedule ahead of them, that matters not for this exercise. These are very simply a list of how good each team is right this minute. As for these Week 3 NFL Power Rankings, unfortunately, the massive wave of injuries across the league is the biggest news and could really have ramifications going forward.

Related | NFL Preseason Power Rankings: 2020 Season
Related | NFL Power Rankings, Week 2: A few new teams land in the top 10
Related | NFL Power Rankings, Week 3: What team can best overcome injuries?
Related | NFL Power Rankings, Week 4: Which teams are rising to the top?

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NFL Power Rankings: Week 3

Before we get started, be sure to check out Mike Tanier’s NFL Week 2 Recap after you take a look through these NFL Week 3 Power Rankings. This week, Mike talks about how the Russell Wilson MVP train should officially be on the move. He also discusses Kirk Cousins, the Atlanta Falcons, 2-0 contenders and pretenders, injury replacements, and more.

32) New York Jets (0-2)

To say that New York is short on skill position talent right now would be the understatement of the week. The only Jets to touch the ball more than twice in this game were Frank Gore, Lamical Perine, Chris Hogan, Braxton Berrios, and Josh Malone. This is the worst team in the league by a wide margin right now, which is why they are number 32 in this week’s NFL Power Rankings.

31) Carolina Panthers (0-2)

The Panthers were never in the game this week as Tampa Bay controlled it from start to finish. Although it wasn’t particularly impactful, the Panthers did have two receivers, DJ Moore and Robby Anderson, go over 100 yards on the day. But this defense could be the worst in football…and now Christian McCaffrey has an ankle injury that will force him to miss multiple weeks.

30) Miami Dolphins (0-2)

Ryan Fitzpatrick played much better than in Week 1, but when will it be time for Tua Tagovailoa? That conversation will dominate the week in Miami. It is certainly promising that tight end Mike Gesicki was able to catch eight passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. It is something to build on. The Miami Dolphins also lost Bryon Jones in this game, and the defense was quite poor overall.

29) Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)

The Cincinnati Bengals are now 0-2, but Joe Burrow looks the part and already has shown that he belongs in the NFL. By no means should the rookie quarterback be attempting 61 passes if Cincinnati is going to start playing winning football, but the Bengals have found their franchise quarterback.

28) New York Giants (0-2)

The Giants will now be without Saquon Barkley (knee) for the 2020 season. So, for the second week in a row, New York, who also lost Sterling Shepard, got very little from their ground game, and too much was asked of Daniel Jones against another top-notch defense. Jones had some down moments and made some big throws just as he did in Week 1.

27) Minnesota Vikings (0-2)

A ball-control team by nature, the Vikings possessed the ball for a measly 21:35 against the Colts in Week 2. Hey, at least that beats the 18:44 that Minnesota’s offense was on the field in Week 1. And the Vikings have allowed 71 points in the process.

26) Detroit Lions (0-2)

The Lions didn’t run the ball well and were without Kenny Golladay for a second straight week. Green Bay doubled the Lions point total, and Detroit now sits at 0-2. It feels like it is over before it got started for Detroit this year. Don’t forget – The Lions were winning 14-3 to begin this game.

25) Washington Football Team (1-1)

The Washington Football Team got down early in Arizona and aren’t yet equipped to come from behind from a large deficit. Or are they? Washington came back big in Week 1 and scored all of their 15 points in the second half against the Cardinals. Also, it looks like Antonio Gibson is taking control of this backfield, which is exactly what you want to see. Dwayne Haskins is improving, and the arrow here is pointing up.

24) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)

Eight Jaguars receivers caught at least three passes as Gardner Minshew threw for 339 yards on 45 attempts as Jacksonville made this game in Tennessee very interesting. This sure feels like Minshew’s team now, and they might have found something in James Robinson.

23) Denver Broncos (0-2)

Has any team been hit as hard with injuries as the Denver Broncos this year? Courtland Sutton returned this week and made a few big plays but couldn’t finish the contest in Pittsburgh, and Drew Lock left the game very early on. But give this team credit. While they did lose another close game, they kept fighting despite having inferior personnel, and Jeff Driskel didn’t play poorly.

22) Cleveland Browns (1-1)

The Cleveland Browns got their first win and played their style of game on Thursday night. While Baker Mayfield played well, Odell Beckham was an impact player, and Cleveland ran the ball exceptionally well, it was the Bengals defensive ineptitude that stood out most.

21) Philadelphia Eagles (0-2)

This game started very ugly for Philadelphia, and while they fought back to close the gap on the Rams, the game ended ugly again for the now 0-2 Eagles. And Carson Wentz has now thrown four interceptions in 2020, although he played better this week. The Eagles are not playing good football, but they are only one game back in the NFC East. Still, Philadelphia has a losing record since winning the Super Bowl.

20) Houston Texans (0-2)

What did the Texans do to infuriate the NFL schedule makers? The Chiefs in Week 1, then the Ravens in Week 2? Yikes! Then they travel to Pittsburgh next week! Houston is 0-2 and has many issues, but they are also the most difficult to rank on these NFL Week 3 Power Rankings out of all 32 teams.

19) Chicago Bears (2-0)

The Mitch Trubisky-led Bears are 2-0. They certainly don’t look like one of the league’s better teams, but you can’t argue with undefeated. It is also very encouraging that Chicago got David Montgomery on track to the tune of 127 total yards.

18) Las Vegas Raiders (2-0)

Derek Carr looks very comfortable this year and he has a fine group of weapons around him led by Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller. Jon Gruden used Waller, a gigantic talent, masterfully all over the formation and the Saints had no answer for him. Things are starting to come together for Las Vegas.

17) Atlanta Falcons (0-2)

The Falcons got up to a 20-0 lead early but lost a total heartbreaker in Dallas. This is a trend that has become far too common for this franchise. The lack of a consistent and reliable running game is part of the culprit, but it is tough to blame an offense that put up 39 points on the road for this loss.

The Falcons also won the turnover battle 3-0 and had a 15-point lead with just over five minutes left in the game. There is no excuse for leaving Dallas with a loss, and now the Falcons are 0-2. At least Calvin Ridley has reached star status.

16) Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)

Shockingly, Justin Herbert ended up starting this game because of a Tyrod Taylor chest injury. He made several excellent throws while bringing new energy to the entire team. Herbert was very poised, threw for 304 yards in regulation while completing two-thirds of his throws.

Another rookie, Joshua Kelley, looks like an exceptional complement to Austin Ekeler. The Chargers couldn’t quite christen their new building with a win over the Chiefs, but they did take the champs to overtime.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 3: Teams ranked 15-6

15) Arizona Cardinals (2-0)

Leading off the top 15 in the NFL Week 3 Power Rankings are the Arizona Cardinals. Kyler Murray’s dynamic traits jump off the screen. Even though Arizona was penalized 11 times, Murray’s offense still compiled 438 yards as the Cardinals advance to 2-0. This is a hot football team.

14) Dallas Cowboys (1-)

After just a miserable start to the game in which Atlanta dominated, the Cowboys miraculously came back, including recovering a late onside kick to get the win. The Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle play is worrisome, but Dak Prescott showed great resolve while running for three touchdowns and throwing for 450 yards.

13) New England Patriots (1-1)

Starting the night with a Pick 6 in the first minute and a half of play in Seattle, the Patriots battled hard but came up short. Meanwhile, Cam Newton, who dueled Russell Wilson valiantly, keeps producing touchdowns in a Patriots uniform.

12) Indianapolis Colts (1-1)

The Colts controlled their Week 2 contest against Minnesota, but they did lose Parris Campbell, who was having an extremely promising start to his second NFL season. Meanwhile, Jonathan Taylor will be a league-winner for his fantasy owners and helped control the clock for over 38 minutes.

11) Tennessee Titans (2-0)

Derrick Henry got a full workload on the ground for the second week in a row but didn’t break off big runs. But also, for the second week in a row, the Titans emerged victorious.

10) Los Angeles Rams (2-0)

Jared Goff played an excellent game on the road, and the Rams ran for 191 yards even after losing Cam Akers to a rib injury. They now sit at 2-0 and are playing great.

9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)

The Buccaneers dominated Carolina. The defense played great while Mike Evans and then Leonard Fournette carried the offense. Has Fournette now taken over as the Bucs’ lead back? Maybe, but Tom Brady still didn’t look like his old self, and this offense is yet to click.

8) San Francisco 49ers (1-1)

Already banged up at wide receiver and without George Kittle, not only were Jimmy Garoppolo and Raheem Mostert unable to finish this game, but Nick Bosa is now lost for the year with a torn ACL. Good thing San Francisco added Jordan Reed, but wow, is this team thin right now.

7) Buffalo Bills (2-0)

It sure looks like Josh Allen has taken a considerable step forward from last year. He has yet to throw an interception, has seven touchdowns (one rushing), and has thrown for over 700 yards, much of it in spectacular fashion.

The addition of Stefon Diggs has certainly helped that cause. Allen’s stock is rising faster than anyone’s in the league right now, but like Pittsburgh, the Bills had two very favorable opponents thus far.

6) Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)

The Pittsburgh Steelers got the victory but didn’t play a particularly clean game. The offense was very pass-happy, which didn’t help the defense late in the game. Pittsburgh squeaked this one out, and Diontae Johnson is on the verge of stardom. While the Steelers are 2-0, their degree of difficulty of opponents through two weeks is relatively low.

The top 5 NFL teams

5) New Orleans Saints (1-1)

We kick off the top five teams in the Week 3 NFL Power Rankings with the New Orleans Saints. Without Michael Thomas, the Saints looked out of sorts much of the night in Las Vegas and Drew Brees isn’t elevating the rest of the offense. It wasn’t just the offense either, as New Orleans defense wasn’t as good as their overall talent would indicate now for the second week in a row.

4) Green Bay Packers (2-0)

This is back to back very impressive performances by Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and the Packers. After beating two divisional foes handily, Green Bay once again is set up to dominate the NFC North. Keep an eye on Davante Adams’ hamstring injury and the Green Bay offensive line injuries, though.

3) Seattle Seahawks (2-0)

Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Donald are on their own plane as the very best players in the sport right now. Wilson has been pretty darn close to perfect through two weeks of play, and Jamal Adams has been a huge difference-maker to Seattle’s defense.

2) Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)

Under a ton of duress early in the game, it was tough sledding for Patrick Mahomes and the great Chiefs offense. But, of course, Mahomes couldn’t be held down, and Kansas City forced overtime. Mahomes also led his team in rushing. The Chiefs and Ravens flop spots this week at the top…and meet in Baltimore next Monday night.

1) Baltimore Ravens (2-0)

As they so often do with Lamar Jackson, the Ravens took care of business in Houston. Their defense was outstanding and tormented Deshaun Watson repeatedly while Baltimore just controlled the game on the ground (230 yards) in an overwhelming manner. That’s why the Ravens are the number one team in my Week 3 NFL Power Rankings.

Matt Williamson is a Senior NFL Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @WilliamsonNFL.

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