NFL Power Rankings: Week 3 Edition

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100% accurate assessment of all 32 teams.

Now that Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season is in the books, it’s time for everyone’s favorite meaningful exercise: NFL Power Rankings! What differentiates these rankings from others is that they’re the only truly accurate ones in the entire universe. Let’s take a look at how all 32 teams stack up heading in to Week 2. Even more power rankings discussion coming up on this week’s episode of The ODDcast on The SB Nation NFL Show.

BLG’S WEEK 3 NFL POWER RANKINGS

1 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week: 1) – There’s been talk that this might be Tom Brady’s best year ever. With nine touchdowns through his first two games, it’s not impossible. His 113.3 passer rating is currently only behind his career high of 117.2 from 2007. Just not fair.

2 – Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 2) – Not going to ding KC too much for losing to a Baltimore team that needed the win more. The Chiefs only lost by one point and they had a chance to win it at the end before a fumble cost them. They’ll be fine since they have Patrick Mahomes but the defense is an issue with 65 points allowed. Only four teams have surrendered more.

3 – Cleveland Browns (LW: 3) – Baker Mayfield failed to complete just two of his 21 attempts in Week 2. One was a pick, which caused him to unwisely put his body at risk. Will be worth monitoring if his shoulder injury impacts him moving forward.

4 – Los Angeles Rams (LW: 7) – Matthew Stafford was viewed as the missing piece with the Rams wanting to upgrade on Jared Goff. So far, so good with Stafford ranking third in the league in passer rating at 127.0. The clear second team in the NFC behind the Bucs.

5 – Arizona Cardinals (LW: 9) – The Cards could’ve lost if not for a missed 37-yard field goal. This much is acknowledged. But Kyler Murray is balling out right now. He’s helped the Cards reach 72 points in two games, which ranks only behind the Bucs. Murray is in the MVP conversation early on.

6 – Baltimore Ravens (LW: 13) – Gutty win by the Ravens in a tough spot. Coming off a road game on short rest, dealing with a bunch of injuries, playing the mighty Chiefs … conditions weren’t exactly ripe for victory. Especially after Lamar Jackson threw a pick-six on Baltimore’s first drive. But the Ravens hung tough and John Harbaugh’s aggressiveness gave his team an edge to squeak out a very big victory. Jackson finally got the “can’t beat Mahomes” monkey off his back. Well done.

7 – Seattle Seahawks (LW: 6) – The Seahawks are never not going to Seahawks. Disappointing that they couldn’t close it out after having a 14-point lead at home early in the fourth quarter.

8 – Buffalo Bills (LW: 10) – Buffalo stifled any “The Bills are frauds!” conversation with a huge shutout victory over a division rival. Just what the doctor ordered to get back on track.

9 – Green Bay Packers (LW: 12) – Things felt a little uneasy with the Packers trailing Detroit on Monday Night Football at the half. But then Aaron Rodgers turned it on to close it out. After putting up a 145.6 passer rating, I think it’s safe to say he’s put a disastrous Week 1 behind him.

10 – Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 20) – Don’t look now but Jon Gruden is 2-0. And it’s not like he’s had two cupcake wins. Beating Baltimore at home before going to get a two-possession win in Pittsburgh is pretty legit. With Miami up next, the Raiders have a real chance to make it three wins in a row to open up the season.

11 – San Francisco 49ers (LW: 11) – The 49ers are 2-0 but they didn’t look overly impressive in their Week 2 win over the Eagles. Jimmy Garoppolo left a lot of plays on the field and Philly suffered from self-inflicted wounds. It’s going to be time to go to Trey Lance at some point.

12 – Dallas Cowboys (LW: 15) – The Cowboys really needed a win to avoid dropping to 0-2 ahead of a Monday Night Football game against Philly. They got what they needed despite the fact that Mike McCarthy decided it was a good idea to play for a 56-yard field goal at the end instead of trying to make it a closer kick.

13 – Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 5) – Sunday’s game had the unfortunate vibe of another “Same old Chargers” loss. Tough for the Bolts to miss a 44-yard field goal and have an interception at 3rd-and-goal from the 9-yard line in a three-point loss. Justin Herbert can clearly make some pretty special throws but the Chargers might not be ready to dominate just yet.

14 – Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 8) – Of quarterbacks who’ve played at least 50% of possible dropbacks, Ben Roethlisberger ranks 27th out of 29 by PFF’s grading. Only rookies Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence are worse. The Steelers have enough going for them that they can be competent but it’s a bit puzzling why they didn’t invest in a better quarterback contingency plan. They’re not truly contending in their current form.

15 – Carolina Panthers (LW: 25) – The Panthers pulled off the biggest surprise of Week 2 by beating the team that pulled off the biggest surprise of Week 1. Sam Darnold needs to do more to earn the benefit of the doubt but there should be no question that Matt Rhule and Joe Brady are a good coaching duo to have around.

16 – New Orleans Saints (LW: 4) – Dr. Jameis and Mr. Winston. A week after throwing five touchdowns (albeit in a not sustainable way), the Saints’ starting quarterback completed just 50% of his attempts for 5.0 yards per attempt, zero touchdowns, two interceptions, and a friggin 26.9 passer rating. The Saints’ season might be filled with high highs and low lows while riding a high-variance quarterback. Could be a hard team to rank on a weekly basis.

17 – Tennessee Titans (LW: 21) – Derrick Henry: Still very much a beast. The Titans rode their big man to the tune of 35 carries for 182 yards (shoutout Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge, Travis Barker, Matt Skiba) and three scores. Not to mention six receptions for 55 receiving yards. He’s gonna slow down eventually … but, until then, he’s very much a big problem to deal with.

18 – New England Patriots (LW: 18) – Playing the Jets is basically a free win for a lot of teams. Holding steady.

19 – Denver Broncos (LW: 19) – Playing the Jags is basically a free win for a lot of teams. Holding steady.

20 – Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 14) – The Eagles drop here not because they looked awful as much as other teams deserved to move up. On the bright side, the Birds outplayed the 49ers for a good stretch and realistically could’ve had the win. In reality, the Eagles finished with too many missed opportunities. Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts needed to be better than they were.

21 – Washington Football Team (LW: 16) – Five-spot drop for a Washington team that currently owns the NFC East lead? The Football Team would’ve lost if not for a dumb Dexter Lawrence penalty at the end of Thursday night’s game. The defense doesn’t look as good as it was billed to be. Taylor Heinicke is a nice story but he’s not really scaring anyone.

22 – Miami Dolphins (LW: 17) – The Dolphins could be in trouble. They barely won in Week 1 before getting blown out in Week 2. With Tua Tagovailoa hurt, Jacoby Brissett didn’t do much to inspire confidence in relief duty. A road game against Las Vegas up next could drop Miami to 1-2.

23 – Indianapolis Colts (LW: 22) – Carson Wentz continues to put himself in harm’s way. The Colts’ starting quarterback is dealing with not one but TWO ankle injuries. With Jacob Eason potentially starting against Tennessee in Week 3, the Colts are staring 0-3 in the face.

24 – Chicago Bears (LW: 26) – Everyone might be getting what they’ve been clamoring for with Justin Fields potentially in line to start for an injured Andy Dalton. But will Fields actually live up to the hype? He didn’t look great in relief duty with a 46.2% completion rate for 4.6 yards per attempt, zero touchdowns, one interception, and a 27.7 passer rating. Plus a fumble.

25 – Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 23) – After an uninspiring training camp, Joe Burrow quieted his critics in Week 1. With three interceptions and a 66.2 passer rating in Week 2, however, the skepticism has been reignited. Typically not a good thing when you throw three picks on three straight passes.

26 – Minnesota Vikings (LW: 24) – For the first time in franchise history, the Vikings missed a makable kick to lose a game. Tough way to drop to 0-2. After struggling last year, it’s clear that Minny’s defense is still an issue.

27 – Houston Texans (LW: 27) – Heading into the season, the near-consensus was that the Texans were clearly the worst team in the league. Through two games, that doesn’t appear to be the case. They’re certainly not good by any means but they’re not a total joke. Well, at least they weren’t with Tyrod Taylor under center. Things might get uglier with Davis Mills taking over.

28 – Detroit Lions (LW: 28) – Things could’ve gone worse for the Lions, who actually held a halftime lead in Green Bay. They’re bad but, hey, they show some fight.

29 – New York Giants (LW: 31) – The Giants almost won in Week 2! Daniel Jones had one of the best games of his career! Those are the silver linings to a loss that dropped the G-Men to 18-48 since the start of the 2017 season. Very much a team that knows how to lose.

30 – New York Jets (LW: 29) – Zach Wilson owns the NFL’s worst passer rating at 56.1. The league’s youngest team doesn’t look ready to win any time soon.

31 – Atlanta Falcons (LW: 30) – The Falcons own the NFL’s worst point differential at -49. It’s going to be a long season for them.

32 – Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 32) – SB Nation’s own Ricky O’Donnell said it well: “The Jaguars’ ‘Hang In There’ post is even sadder than their record.” Well, maybe that’s not true. Urban Meyer staring at his shoes and mumbling about how he’s committed to building the Jags was also pretty sad.

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