2023 NFL Week 3 Power Rankings

Let’s say there’s an alternate universe where my 1-4 teams are flipped. I would accept that. Any of those 4 teams could be at the top of my week 3 power rankings, and they’re mainly not moving this week because they all performed.

Week 2 is really the point where any rust needs to be fully knocked off so we can start to see how the longer season will take shape. I’m looking at you, Cincinnati. They started 0-2 last season and obviously turned things around in week 3, so let’s see if they repeat that history.

As always, may all your teams win or your coaches be fired. Probably time to start a Brandon Staley watch.

1. Philadelphia Eagles

The scariest thing a talented team can do is beat you in different ways. Minnesota mostly locked down Jalen Hurts and the passing game, so instead the Eagles just went out and ran for 259 yards, largely behind D’Andre Swift’s 175 and a tud.

As the offense and defense get more comfortable with their new OC and DC, this will not get any easier for opponents. If there was a time to knock them off their pedestal, it was right at the start of this year. And yet, here they are, 2-0.

2. Kansas City Chiefs

Crazy how much better a defense looks with just the addition of one guy, right? Chris Jones just waltzed in like nothing happened and delivered a sack and a half after basically no physical contact since the Super Bowl. He makes everyone around him better by complementing strengths and covering up weaknesses.

Despite the low point total, the Chiefs offense looked much better than week 1. As expected, Travis Kelce’s presence in the lineup opened things up for everyone else. After a super shaky week 1 from Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore, the duo combined for 8 catches on 9 targets with no drops in week 2.

Speaking of Chiefs TEs, it’s Tony Talk About Dat Ass Day! Today is the 9 year anniversary of one of my favorite moments in NFL broadcast history.

There’s no official version, just a bunch of people who recorded their TVs with their phones. This is the best one, not for quality, but for the *chef’s kiss* commentary.

3. Baltimore Ravens

This Ravens team is determined to not let me down. And I appreciates that. Gus Edwards looks good, Lamar Jackson is getting comfortable in the new offense, Mark Andrews is healthy and still so good, and Zay Flowers looks to be everything the team hoped.

Defense continues to impress. Patrick Queen and Roquan Smith may be the best linebacker duo around. And there’s so much youth. Odafe Oweh is still looking for his first sack of the season, but he’s been doing the unselfish work everywhere else on the field. Bengals offense may be struggling, but it’s still packed with weapons and the Ravens held their own.

4. San Francisco 49ers

Yes, they could be number 1, or 2, or 3. The offense has been phenomenal, and I’m loving how they’re using Deebo Samuel. They’ll need more from him and George Kittle if Brandon Aiyuk can’t go.

Defense was a little shakier than normal, but it’s entirely possible the Rams offense is better than any of us expected. Plus 3 of those points came on what was apparently the most controversial field goal ever. More on that later, cause I got things to say about it.

5. Buffalo Bills ⇧1

I won’t lie, I’ve been under the weather this week and didn’t watch the replay on this one. Didn’t even skim it. So my box score analysis is Josh Allen only had 3 carries. I’m not sure if he slid on them, but the low number is at least a move in the right direction. Hopefully it wasn’t just because of the score. Though I feel like a 4-score lead wouldn’t normally stop him from trying to leapfrog a safety.

In any case, it seems like the offense is putting things together, and Gabriel Davis is starting to deliver as the 2. With Von Miller’s return on the horizon, Buffalo could go on a run.

6. Dallas Cowboys ⇧4

One of the bigger jumps of the week. Defense looked great and all, but we expected that against Zach Wilson. More impressive was the offense moving the ball against the Jets D. It helps to create 4 turnovers and have great field position all game, but still, 30 against the Jets seemed unheard of a week ago. Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb are in some kind of zone.

Micah Parsons Sack Watch: 3

Update before publish: Reports coming out from Ian Rapaport and Tom Pelissero that Trevon Diggs tore his ACL during practice. I’m leaving them in this spot for now, but that is a major blow to the defense. The only silver lining is it happened early enough in the season that he should be fully recovered by next year.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars ⇩2

They had to drop a bit, but it’s hard to go too far with it after losing by a single score against the champs. Not much to say here, just that I expect them to noticeably rebound against the Texans.

8. Miami Dolphins ⇧3

It’s exciting. It really is. So many weapons, and an evil genius coach who knows how to use them all. I was almost afraid to put them in the top 10 and risk the curse of being too high in my rankings. So I apologize to Dolphins fans, but I just can’t hold them down anymore.

I’ll let my friend and Dolphins fan Sorryless break down how those fans are feeling right now.

No Thanks! Because I do not believe a word of this story just yet. I’ve seen too many of these movies before. So many of them began in that same 5-star restaurant, followed by an enchanting walk in the park and a fiery roll in the sheets. Inevitably, the final act turns into a Shakespearean tragedy written by Darius Rucker. So I’m putting any hopes and dreams on notice: Stay away from me until you’re ready to put a ring on it.


9. Atlanta Falcons

I can’t get enough of this team, and last week I had to watch them do it in 1-point win-style against the Packers. It was both annoying and energizing. Still not sure when Kyle Pitts will show up, but the fact the offense can move sans his production means anything he can add down the stretch is gravy.

Also nice to see Desmond Ridder use his legs a bit. I know, I know, after all the harping on Josh Allen, this seems hypocritical. But Allen is everything to the Bills, while Ridder is currently competent enough to run an offense with a ton of weapons. He’s still growing into his role. In the meantime, he’s got 4.5 speed, might as well use it.

10. Cincinnati Bengals ⇩3

Offense looked better-ish, but obviously Joe Burrows and Ja’Marr Chase need to find a rhythm together. On the bright side, Joe Mixon looks good, and he was more of a wildcard than any part of the passing game.

It’s time to turn things around quickly, cause the schedule won’t get easier. They need at least 3 of the next 4 before they get the Niners and Bills back-to-back.

11. New Orleans Saints ⇧5

Am I starting to become a Derek Carr believer?? Eh, I would go that far. He was good in week 1, but just serviceable enough last week. Luckily they still have one of the better defenses in the league, and Alvin Kamara is only out for 1 more game. Him and Jamaal Williams together should give Carr a little more breathing room.

12. Detroit Lions

12-14 is a bit of a love triangle. I know Seattle just beat Detroit, but the Lions are only a week removed from beating the Chiefs, and the Seahawks are only a week removed from getting walloped by the Rams. So Packers get to ride bitch in this 1-1-fest.

Detroit needs to stop getting in shootouts. They rarely win them. With Atlanta coming up, they could be in line for another.

13. Green Bay Packers

Guys, football games are 4 quarters. if you’re planning on picking 3, make sure the last quarter is one of them.

So much promise on this team. Jordan Love looks fantastic, Jayden Reed is far better than I ever expected (my brother graciously reminded me that I compared him to Amari Rodgers when he was drafted), and holy Quay Walker! He’s been one of the best off-ball linebackers in the league this season. Long as he keeps his temper under control, he’ll be a force for a long time.

14. Seattle Seahawks ⇧3

Nice of the offense to show up. Jaxon Smith-Njigba got some work in; he should provide more openings for D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Not thrilled with Seattle’s defense, though. 61 points given up in the first 2 weeks isn’t sustainable for a playoff run.

15. Los Angeles Chargers ⇩7

There’s just no way Brandon Staley has a job if they don’t win their next 2 games. Because after that comes Cowboys and Chiefs in a row. They could realistically be looking at anywhere from 2-4 to 0-6 before the schedule lightens up. Staley needs to hand off play calling duties to his DC and start focusing on delegation. Or the team will make the change for him.

Kellen Moore wasn’t just brought in to run the offense. He was brought in to make sure Staley heard footsteps.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ⇧3

I’m excited for Monday night against Philly to see what this Bucs team can be.

Sidenote: How great are Monday Night Football doubleheaders? So underrated. I actually preferred previous years when an east coast game would start at like 5:30 and a west coast game would follow at 8:30. But I appreciate the hour split as well. Let’s me skip halftime shows for each, plus Louis Riddick is back in a MNF booth where he belongs.

I don’t have much to say about the Bucs. They snuck a win against the Vikings and then beat the imploding Bears. Preseason is over, now it’s time to show if you’re real.

17. Los Angeles Rams ⇧3

If you don’t mind, I’ll be using this entire space to defend Sean McVay’s decision to kick a field goal that happened to cover the spread.

Here’s the situation: You’re losing by 10, there’s 4 seconds left, and you’re in field goal range. You’re presented with 2 choices, neither of which, by themselves, could tie or win the game.

  • Presumably, a field goal would run out the clock
  • Definitely, a Hail Mary would run out the clock

Those first words are the key. By rule, a field goal is only required to take 3 seconds, meaning no matter what, at least 3 seconds has to come off the clock. Typically it will take 4-5 seconds, but that’s not a guarantee. Which means, by kicking the field goal, the Rams left open the potentiality of making it a 7 point game with 1 second left, during which they could kick an onside, recover it, and run it in.

I’m fully aware of how ridiculous that sounds, and that the chances of it actually happening are almost zero. But it’s not zero, and that’s my point. Heaving a final throw into the end zone makes their win probability zero, while the field goal leaves a tiny, miraculous opening.

Honestly, that’s just as likely as Mcvay getting a call from his bookie before the play and kicking the field goal to save his own knees.

18. New England Patriots ⇩3

Oof, that Rams thing made me tired. Here’s 10 minutes of Bill Belichick giving the history of the longsnapper.

He should be asked a question like this once a week.

19. Tennessee Titans ⇧4

Impressive win over the Bolts. Ryan Tannehill was efficient, and Derrick Henry and Tyjae Spears are such a tough combo. It’s just hard to put them much higher cause at some point, they’ll need to throw it a lot to win a game, and I don’t think they have the personnel to do it.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers ⇧3

This is more what I expected from the Steelers. Offense is still lacking a rhythm, but the defense was dominant. The young guys are starting to demand attention that so T.J. Watt can let loose a bit more. Especially Alex Highsmith off the other edge. With those 2 and Nick Herbig still developing, they’ll be rattling a lot of QBs this year.

21. New York Jets ⇩7

So maybe the Cowboys D wasn’t the best way for Zach Wilson to get his first start of the season. It’s good to see flashes, though, like when him and Garrett Wilson talked on the sidelines, then came out and connected for a 68 yard TD they likely planned out together mid game. But he still looks rattled, and the next 2 weeks against the Pats and Chiefs won’t help, especially if the Jets D starts showing cracks.

22. Minnesota Vikings ⇩4

Kirk Cousins has to be the most dominant losing QB of all time. I know it’s probably not true, but I bet if I looked deeper at his statistical history, he would average 300 yards, 3 TDs, a 75% completion percentage, and a losing record.

Anyone think the team will ever admit letting Dalvin Cook walk was a mistake? Probably not. But Alexander Mattison has had such a rough start that the team went out and got Cam Akers from the Rams. It’s not a bad move, and only cost a late round pick swap, but it definitely reeks of desperation.

Also, before anyone jumps on the “trade Cousins to the Jets” wagon, you would have to be prepared to get a 3rd round pick or worse in return. The stipulations of the Aaron Rodgers trade means the Jets 1st and 2nd picks are in limbo until it’s determined that Rodgers did or didn’t play 65% of the snaps. Now you may be thinking, obviously he won’t be playing those snaps, and you’d be right, but that determination isn’t locked in until after the season. So unless a Jets player is involved, or the Packers throw the Jets a completely unnecessary bone to lock in the 2nd rounder (which would likely cost the Jets another pick), Cousins won’t be aw-shucks-ing in Jersey anytime soon.

23. Cleveland Browns ⇩2

I have a feeling the Browns minus Nick Chubb will spend quite a bit of time in the 20s. I often like to reserve this area for teams in denial about their overpaid QB, especially when they have a better, cheaper one on the roster. They could find themselves holding the 25th Element if DeShaun Watson looks this bad with Chubb gone for the year, possibly longer.

Speaking of Chubb, I still haven’t seen his injury and I have no desire to see it. I’ve been watching football a long time, and I’ve seen enough wrong-facing hinge joints. When Joe Buck told me it was too gruesome to show the replay, I believed him.

In an effort to replace Chubb, the team brought in Kareem Hunt, which I found interesting after all the chatter that they let Hunt walk last offseason because he was too slow. Still, it’s a good option to pair with Jerome Ford, who looked explosive when spelling Chubb.


24. Washington Commanders ⇧5

DO NOT make me jump on the Sam Howell hype train.

Instead, I give you Chris Howell, who looks more like a LOOGY than a QB. But it’s fun to watch.

LOOGY is a Lefty One-Out GuY pitcher in baseball, in case you were wondering. And no, I didn’t make that up.

25. New York Giants ⇩1

Even when they’re exciting, they’re boring. This spot is a gift after the week 1 shutout and almost dropping one to the Cards. The Giants had been outscored 60-0 through the first 6 quarters of the season before the offense finally woke up.

Unfortunately, it also cost them Saquon Barkley for tonight’s game against the Niners. That’s not a defense you can face if you’re missing a dimension of your offense.

26. Denver Broncos ⇩1

Russell Wilson is a man-child. There, I said it. Honestly, the only reason this may work is because Sean Payton has enough weight behind him to push Russ in the right direction.

But I think a lot of people owe Nathaniel Hackett an apology. He was doomed to fail last year with a stubborn QB who refuses a wristband playbook but can’t seem to recite the plays quickly enough.

27. Indianapolis Colts ⇧3

Anthony Richardson has had 2 impressive weeks, and finished neither game. That’s concerning. But luckily Gardner Minshew Mania™ is his backup, and the Mississippi Mustache™ is the perfect pairing with Richardson to lead my 2-QB revolution.

It’s happening. I can feel it.

28. Houston Texans ⇧3

Weird, it’s almost like C.J. Stroud is familiar with throwing for 400 yards against an NFL-level defense.

Also, patting myself on the back for Nico Collins. If you followed my super sleeper advice, that 7/146/1 line was a pretty nice fantasy line.

29. Vegas Raiders ⇩2

I get that it’s the Bills, but my goodness, have some pride.

Josh McDaniels won’t be far behind Staley if Vegas doesn’t turn things around. Josh Jacobs, last season’s rushing champ, had 9 carries for -2 yards, giving him a 2-game total of 28 carries for 46 yards. Maybe should’ve paid him earlier.

30. Chicago Bears ⇩4

I think Carolina might be better, as the Bears seem to be imploding, but sheer talent keeps them a bit higher than the toilet. Offensively, it’s all there, but they need something or someone to put it together. Defensively, I think I’ve been clear about the lack of talent, and now they’ll be moving forward with a new DC after the last one resigned amid some controversy. I’ll let you look that up on your own, as the story you hear will depend greatly on your trust in various media sources.

31. Carolina Panthers ⇩3

This was a solid 2nd half performance from a really young team against a very good defense. I saw reasons for excitement for the Panthers. Just not too much excitement yet. The key is that Bryce Young seems to be mentally strong enough to withstand the growing pains. Last week he started leaning a bit on veteran Adam Theilen, which was a smart move.

32. Arizona Cardinals

How do you top a week 1 loss to the Commanders? You take a 20-0 halftime lead against the Giants and blow it.

Fire everyone, again.

10 thoughts on “2023 NFL Week 3 Power Rankings”

  1. Really enjoy your commentary on each team. I feel like I learn something new each time. I definitely didn’t know that a field goal must take at least 3 seconds off the clock.

    I had the same thought about the Chargers after their loss…how much longer does Brandon Staley have before they hand it over to Kellen Moore?

    Ha I am definitely on the Cousins to Jets train, mainly because 1) I don’t care what they’d have to give up for him and more importantly 2) I have Garrett Wilson on my fantasy team and I can’t afford him to have him go for 3 catches for 38 yards every week.

    1. I think Zach will connect with Garrett Wilson enough to make him fantasy relevant, just won’t be as good as it could’ve been. The problem with the Jets is they don’t have the draft capital to make it happen as long as the 1st and 2nd round picks are tied up. They can’t trade those unless they work something out with the Packers to lock in the round.

      I appreciate the kind words. I feel like we’re on the same publishing schedule. I’m always frantically trying to finish up before the Thursday game, but so much craziness happened in the last few days to take into account. Literally had my finger on the publish button when Trevon Diggs went down. I was like nope, I’ll mention it but I refuse to move rankings around.

      1. I hope you’re right. I’m just waiting for the Jets to get to the part of the schedule where they go up against easier defences, so I can feel a bit better about it.

        I’m with you – always a rush to get it out before the Thursday nighter. In an ideal world I’d like to have mine posted on Tuesdays since it’s technically a recap of the previous week but it’s tough.

  2. Eagles at one? I dunno man, they look off. All the talent in the world but just not quite clicking. Miami at eight makes sense. Too small a sample size and I am concerned with all the fumbled snaps Tua had in the last game.

    1. I know, and like I said, the top 4 are interchangeable. What I saw from Philly was the passing game was taken away, so they just shifted modes and ran for 250. There’s a ton of value in just being able to flip the switch like that.

      1. It’s true, and maybe they’ll figure out whatever it is they have to figure out. But I just have a feeling is all. Who knows?

        Denver is the kind of game Miami loses. Stay tuned.

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