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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Eagles move into top 5, Titans drop big time heading into Week 3

Who is the best team in the NFL? The return of our 2022 NFL power rankings takes a look at what teams will be competing for a Super Bowl this season and which clubs will be in the race for Bryce Young. From the start of the preseason to the final whistle, the 2022 NFL season should be fascinating.

Week 2 provided some unbelievable finishes with comebacks that dramatically shook up the outlook for the league and influenced perspectives on a variety of teams.

Related: NFL Sunday Ticket – Pricing, How to Buy, and it’s Future

Bookmark this page throughout the season for updates to our weekly NFL power rankings. Let’s look at how all 32 teams performed this weekend as we dive into our NFL power rankings for Week 3

32. Atlanta Falcons (30)

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Just watch Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota on the final play of the game in Week 2. Instead of attempting a hail mary, giving someone a shot at a miracle, he runs around in the pocket until he is sacked. There’s nothing else to explain, Atlanta belongs at the bottom of the Week 3 NFL power rankings.

31. Chicago Bears (29)

Syndication: Journal Sentinel
Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Chicago Bears seemingly don’t trust Justin Fields to drop back and throw. Whether that’s because the coaching staff lacks faith in the offensive line, one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL or in Fields’ abilities, it’s alarming. Of course, it also highlights how the new regime seems more than willing to sacrifice a crucial season of development for Fields to start fresh in 2023.

30. New York Jets (32)

NFL: New York Jets at Cleveland Browns
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff Joe Flacco came out of nowhere. The New York Jets snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, picking up their first win of the season and allowing head coach Robert Saleh to not look foolish after some wild comments a week ago. Unfortunately for Saleh, this team might be the very thing that fixes the Cincinnati Bengals.

29. Seattle Seahawks (27)

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Falling back to earth go the Seattle Seahawks. Sunday demonstrated why this is still one of the worst teams in the NFL, but young talent on the roster makes it fun to watch. More losses are coming, but the fan base should feel optimistic about the future and even happier it no longer has Russell Wilson.

28. Tennessee Titans (24)

Syndication: The Tennessean
George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

When the Tennessee Titans dumped A.J. Brown for draft picks and picked Malik Willis, that should have told you this was a team preparing for the future. Tennessee’s lack of competitiveness against the Buffalo Bills in Week 2 added another layer to this. Ryan Tannehill was benched after throwing a pick-six in the third quarter. The Titans’ defense was overmatched by Josh Allen and Co. in a 41-7 Bills win. It’s going to be a long season for Mike Vrabel and Co. in Nashville.

27. Houston Texans (28)

NFL: Houston Texans at Denver Broncos
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans defense has only allowed 36 points on the season, despite opening the year against the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. While there might not be a mark on the win column, Houston is proving that it knows how to evaluate talent and its coaching staff gets the most out of who is on the roster.

26. Carolina Panthers (25)

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New York Giants
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time to start the countdown. There will be a number of lucrative coaching jobs available in college football this winter and Matt Rhule deserves the best job on the market. Of course, that’s also to say a head coach with a 2-14 record in his last 16 games should probably be shown the door at some point this fall.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (27)

Syndication: Florida Times-Union
Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Unio / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Jacksonville Jaguars would be the best team in the NFL if they could only play the Indianapolis Colts in Florida. Trevor Lawrence (235 pass yards, 2 TDs) looked good on Sunday, but the real standout was Christian Kirk. He’s become everything Jacksonville hoped for and it’s fair to say he is earning that contract thus far.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (15)

NFL: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time for a change at quarterback. Mitchell Trubisky isn’t the answer, he’s another version of Ben Roethlisberger in terms of handcuffing this offense. That’s been magnified through three weeks. Pittsburgh has lost two consecutive games, scoring a combined 34 points in the process. Trubisky himself has all of one touchdown pass through three weeks. It’s all sorts of gross in the Steel City.

23. Washington Commanders (21)

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Washington Commanders
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time for the Washington Commanders to turn the page and move on from defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. While Carson Wentz was far from perfect on Sunday, Del Rio’s defense put Washington into a hole it could never climb out from. Of course, given the loyalty Ron Rivera shows to certain people, change likely isn’t happening.

22. New England Patriots (26)

NFL: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a slight climb up the NFL power rankings for the New England Patriots, but it is temporary. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense is one of the worst in the AFC and its defense lacked any viability without T.J. Watt. A win is still a win, but three losses in a row could be looming with the Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions on deck.

21. Cleveland Browns (24)

NFL: New York Jets at Cleveland Browns
Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland was able to overcome a disastrous Wee 2 loss to the New York Jets on a short week by disposing of the division-rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday. Nick Chubb dominated once again. The Browns’ defense stepped up against a bad offense. Even then, Cleveland won’t belong anywhere near the top of NFL power rankings until Deshaun Watson returns from suspension.

20. New York Giants (22)

Syndication: The Record
Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants are 2-0 for the first time since 2016 with credit on Sunday going to the defense and two fumbles by Carolina. Week 2 certainly reaffirmed that quarterback Daniel Jones has no future with the franchise and this 2-0 start feels like a fluke. But for a team that has been void of hope for so long, Brian Daboll is providing it.

19. New Orleans Saints (19)

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

People put far too much faith into the New Orleans Saints offense heading into the season. Jameis Winston was always a flawed quarterback and his issues are magnified when you are weak on the left side of the offensive line. New Orleans barely escaped Week 1 with a win and then its offense wasted a phenomenal effort by the defense. We expect a 2-1 record heading into Week 4, but defeating Carolina won’t change the evaluation of this team.

18. Indianapolis Colts (17)

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time to worry about the Indianapolis Colts and the issues are everywhere. In the instances when Matt Ryan isn’t under pressure, the Colts’ receivers often aren’t getting open. When Ryan leaves the field, Gus Bradley’s vanilla defense lets teams eat up the clock and finish scoring drives. Some want to blame Frank Reich, but this comes down to roster construction and that falls on Chris Ballard.

Related: Indianapolis Colts schedule

17. Detroit Lions (23)

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Lions have arrived. We’re certainly not ready to call this club a threat for the playoffs, even in an era of expansion, but it’s evident this team is rising quickly. In terms of the 2022 season, this is likely the ceiling for Detroit in the NFL power rankings based on the upcoming schedule. However, we expect the Lions to rise in the years to come.

Related: NFL Rookie of the Year race

16. Las Vegas Raiders (14)

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Las Vegas Raiders
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This can’t be what Davante Adams signed up for this offseason. The All-Pro wideout finished with 12 receiving yards on seven targets and could only watch as Hunter Renfrow coughed up the football that turned into a game-winning return touchdown for the Arizona Cardinals. Sitting at 0-2 already in the best division in the NFL, Las Vegas is in trouble. Tennessee will provide some short relief in Week 3, but the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs are right behind it.

15. Cincinnati Bengals (11)

Syndication: The Enquirer
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Joe Burrow was sacked 32 times in 10 games as a rookie and then suffered a league-high 51 sacks in 16 games last season. Through the first two weeks of the 2022 NFL season, he is already at 13 sacks and on pace for historic numbers that no quarterback wants to experience. Maybe things will improve when this new-look offensive line builds chemistry, but changes must come with the play-calling until that happens.

Related: Cincinnati Bengals schedule

14. Dallas Cowboys (16)

Syndication: The Enquirer
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Credit to the Dallas Cowboys defense for carrying this team to victory. Facing the reigning AFC champions, Dallas proved it can control the clock and allow its defense to dictate the game. There is still a tough road ahead without Dak Prescott and he’s going to be sidelined longer than Jerry Jones wants fans to believe, but the Cowboys could be 3-1 heading into the Oct. 16 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.

13. Minnesota Vikings (10)

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Jefferson is the best wide receiver in the NFL and the Kevin O’Connell offense is going to prove it. At least, that’s what we thought after a Week 1 win over the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, Minnesota came crashing back to earth in Week 2. Kirk Cousins was picked off three times by the Philadelphia Eagles. Minnesota’s defense yielded 390 total yards from Jalen Hurts in an embarrassing 24-7 road loss. This impacts Minnesota big time in our updated NFL power rankings.

12. Denver Broncos (13)

NFL: Houston Texans at Denver Broncos
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos won on Sunday, but it did nothing to convince anyone this is one of the best NFL teams. As Derrik Klassen of the New York Times wrote, this loss raises significant questions about the offense. Denver fell in love with Nathaniel Hackett’s offensive mind and it made Russell Wilson one of the highest-paid quarterbacks to “cook” up one of the most explosive passing attacks. At this point, everyone should be questioning both decisions.

11. Arizona Cardinals (18)

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Las Vegas Raiders
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kyler Murray played the hero on Sunday, overcoming more bad coaching to save the Arizona Cardinals from an 0-2 start. There were still plenty of moments on Sunday when this looked like one of the worst NFL teams in 2022. But this is why you pay Murray, to make unbelievable plays and carry the team to improbable victories.

10. Baltimore Ravens (5)

NFL power rankings, Baltimore Ravens
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson played like a $50 million AAV quarterback once again, overcoming injuries along the offensive line to deliver an MVP-caliber performance. Unfortunately for him, the Ravens’ secondary was gassed in the fourth quarter and it led to the improbable collapse. Baltimore will recover, especially with New England on the schedule, but a steep fall in the NFL power rankings was unavoidable.

Related: Winners, losers from NFL Week 2

9. Los Angeles Rams (7)

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams don’t look like a Super Bowl contender right now. While some gaffes that are unlikely to be repeated made it a close game against the Falcons, this team just seems to lack any standout ability right now. There are star players on the roster, but no one should feel especially confident that the Rams’ offense or defense could carry it to a win in a big game.

Related: NFL top 100 players

8. Miami Dolphins (12)

NFL power rankings
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There are wins that can turn a franchise around, becoming a moment fans remember as the game that everything changed. What Tua Tagovailoa did in that fourth-quarter comeback, stunning Baltimore with six touchdowns including four in the final 15 minutes. We could look back on this victory as the moment Miami went from the “What if?” team into a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

7. San Francisco 49ers (9)

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Trey Lance injury has a significant impact on the San Francisco 49ers. It wipes out a pivotal development year for a young quarterback with just five starts, four in the NFL, since 2020. There are now long-term questions San Francisco must face about its quarterback situation. As for the present, Jimmy Garoppolo raises the floor of this offense with more consistency. It’s enough to push the 49ers up the Week 3 NFL power rankings.

Related: NFL standings

6. Green Bay Packers (8)

Syndication: Journal Sentinel
Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Green Bay Packers offense recovered in Week 2, in large part thanks to the return of Elgton Jenkins and a commitment to the run game. It’s a small step forward, but the lack of standout receivers and the inability to stop the run are major concerns heading into a Week 3 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Related: Green Bay Packers schedule

5. Los Angeles Chargers (3)

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Power Rankings – Top 5 NFL teams: The Los Angeles Chargers proved on Thursday Night Football that they can compete with the Kansas City Chiefs in a hostile environment. It was the little things, like not subbing Gerald Everett when he made it clear he was gassed, leading to the pick-six, that swung this matchup. Los Angeles also really missed Keenan Allen and Corey Linsley (missed the second half). Now, the franchise must hope that Justin Herbert avoided broken ribs.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (6)

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Philadelphia Eagles look like they could be one of the best teams in the NFL. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was dynamic, A.J. Brown exploded in his first game and the three-headed backfield ate up yards on the ground. As for that defense we were so high on heading into Week 1, that unit took a step in the right direction in a blowout win over the Minnesota Vikings. This is among the most well-rounded teams in the NFL right now.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3)

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Things aren’t perfect right now for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While they have one of the best defenses in football, the offense scored just three touchdowns in its first two games. Tom Brady – who is now getting personal days every Wednesday – isn’t playing at an MVP-caliber right now and there are plenty of issues to work out. It’s especially important before the Week 3 matchup against Green Bay, with the No. 3 spot in the NFL power rankings at stake.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (4)

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes needed some good fortune in Week 2, with multiple interceptions being wiped out. Once those were behind him, the Kansas City Chiefs star went into MVP mode and led the comeback over Los Angeles. Just as important and what helps push Kansas City into the No. 2 spot for the Week 3 NFL power rankings, this defense looks better than it did last year.

Related: NFL MVP race

1. Buffalo Bills (1)

Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle
JAMIE GERMANO / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Buffalo Bills continue to prove they are the best team in the NFL. Through two weeks, Buffalo’s offense ranks first in points per game (36), second in points per play (0.585) and leads the NFL in third-down conversion rate (60.87%). On the other side of the ball, Buffalo is No.1 in the NFL defense rankings thanks to a unit that allows the fewest yards per play (4.6) with the lowest scoring rate allowed (28%) and highest pressure rate (30.8%). Buffalo checks every single box to be No. 1 in the NFL power rankings.

Feedback on Sportsnaut’s NFL power rankings can be sent on Twitter to @MattJ_Sports



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