Tier I – 4 Team Playoff
1. Baltimore Ravens
Spare me any “they’re not undefeated” talk. Power rankings aren’t about who has the best record. There’s not a better offense in the NFL than Baltimore, and there’s not a more dangerous player in the NFL than Lamar. Their defense is young and will get better, and the highest scoring offense still isn’t at full health.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
Slight edge to Eagles over the Dolphins. Very slight. Jalen Hurts looks phenomenal and I don’t think that chip will leave his shoulder for a few years. Not until he sees at least $200 million guaranteed. This is a team that’s undefeated even though it doesn’t feel like they’re at their peak.
3. Miami Dolphins
The absolute pageantry of last week’s game is hard to describe. Salty Tua blaming the birds floating around his head on a weird back injury that made him wobble. The Butt Punt. Mark “Butt Fumble” Sanchez’s tweet about the Butt Punt. Ken Dorsey just obliterating the coaches box. I wish I could’ve seen it live, but broadcast rules determined I would rather watch Bears and Texans. Dolphins pulled it off at home to put themselves just a hair better than Buffalo. The big thing was the play of their defense… Holding Josh Allen to 19 points is no small feat.
4. Buffalo Bills
So close. They’re like, a second and a half away from still being number 1 in these rankings. But alas, as with every other week this season, they fell victim to the curse of my power rankings. Not only did my top team lose, but my top FOUR teams lost. I’m here giving you all free entertainment. This season is wild.
Tier II – Likely to Win Their Weak Divisions
5. Los Angeles Rams
Still not sure who this team is. They’ve won two winnable games against middling teams, and lost a week one matchup against a Bills team that came in the ring throwing haymakers. There’s no doubt they’re still a top 10 team, but I would call this the top of the second tier. Stafford finally got Allen Robinson involved, and Tyler Higbee has been everywhere these last two weeks. I’m a little concerned about their backfield depth if Akers goes down, but I can’t hold that against them while he’s healthy.
6. Green Bay Packers
Finally starting to see this Packers defense thrive. De’Vondre Campbell earned every penny of the contract extension he signed in the offseason. He was making plays all over the field and capped it off by knocking down the conversion try that would’ve tied it. This isn’t an air-it-out team anymore, and for good reason. Rodgers can’t throw for 400 yards and win games in a Wisconsin January, so a ton of focus has been put on the running game and defense.
Tier III – Sit in the Corner and Think About What You Did
7. Kansas City Chiefs
In fairness, they went up against a talented Colts team desperately needing a win. I typically take that kind of context into consideration in losses. There’s nothing worse than running into a good team at the wrong time. KC has very few holes and will bounce back quickly.
8. Los Angeles Chargers
So much talent, but they’re kind of a mess. Herbert can’t be more than 75% healthy, and now Bosa is on IR. Perhaps they’re not as good as I thought. Or perhaps Jacksonville is just a lot better than anyone thought. These are the things that get sorted out as the season goes on, but LAC can’t wait too long. 1-2 can be overcome, but at some point it becomes 3-4, then 5-7, and next thing you know we’re talking about them on the outside of the playoff bubble. They’ve got a light schedule coming up, so they better win enough to get a few games over .500.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Does Tom Brady look bored? Maybe bored isn’t the word. Apathetic, maybe? Whatever it is, it’s becoming increasingly clear this will be his last year. Their defense still looks good enough to keep them in games, but that won’t be enough as long as Brady looks like he just got picked last in kickball. Maybe getting a few targets back will spark a fire.
10. Minnesota Vikings
Another team I can’t get a read on. And it’s getting tiring cause I’ve got a lot invested in Justin Jefferson in two different leagues and I need them to go back to the offense that embarrassed the Packers a few weeks ago. They barely snuck by Detroit, now they’ve got back to back winnable games against the Saints and Bears. They need both of those before the schedule gets harder.
11. Cincinnati Bengals
If ever there was a week for Cincy to turn it on, it’s week 4. Coming off a win over the not-terrible J-E-T-S, they can get back to .500 by taking down one of the two remaining undefeated teams. This is the kind of game that could see 800+ passing yards. I’m a little concerned Miami’s defense may be more up to the challenge, but the right game plan could flip that.
Tier IV – Maybe Not So Bad?
12. Jacksonville Jaguars
If ever we needed more evidence of just how toxic Urban Meyer was. This is a completely different team. I’m sure Urban tries to console himself by saying he helped the young players grow last year so they could be successful this year, but there are clear differences that go far beyond experience. They had a lot of talent last year, too, but they had a coach who wanted to treat grown men like teenagers. Doug Pederson was their single biggest upgrade. In the weak AFC South, the Jags are now a legitimate playoff contender.
13. Dallas Cowboys
I understood what Jerry Jones was saying when he said he would welcome a QB controversy. That would mean Cooper Rush played well and Dak would come back to a team with a winning record. As of this moment, this is still Dak’s team. But… okay hear me out, let’s say Cooper’s Cowboys are 3-1 when Dak comes back for road games against the Rams and Eagles. I’m not saying there’s a controversy… but if we hit week 7 with Cooper 3-0 and Dak 0-3, I don’t know how it can just be ignored.
14. San Francisco 49ers
Their defense is keeping them alive, but I’m not sure how long. Last week was a perfect example of why they were ready to move on from Jimmy G in the first place. Well, that’s one example… the other will be when he pulls a hamstring. If he can do enough to just get out of the way, they should be able to grind teams down with Deebo and Kittle.
15. Atlanta Falcons
I’m still a fan, and the NFC South may be up for grabs. Seriously, if Calvin Ridley didn’t get the dumbest suspension in the history of suspensions, they could be a real contender. At this point they’re still a playoff longshot, they’ve got the offensive firepower to run with most teams. Few drops go their way and they could knock on that door.
16. Indianapolis Colts
I suppose if there’s a team to put in the middle of the rankings after 3 weeks, it would be the team that’s 1-1-1. Curious to see which team shows up from week to week. The one thing that’s clear is you don’t wanna see this team in desperation mode.
Tier V – Something Not Quite Right
17. Denver Broncos
I’ve never been more convinced. Nathaniel Hackett went to Denver because when he took that job, he was assured Aaron Rodgers would be his QB. Instead he got Russ, and Denver’s offense has put up 43 points in 3 games. Is there a grosser NFL score than 11-10? I mean, can you imagine hanging out with Russell Wilson celebrating your 11-10 victory? That is some kind of fresh hell.
18. New Orleans Saints
Chris Olave was a great pick. That’s the good news. But Jameis needs to cut back the mistakes and start managing games. He’s got targets-galore now with Olave and Thomas and Kamara, plus he gets a Taysom Hill break every so often. Manage the drive, take what you’re given and let the playmakers play. Their defense will always keep it around 15-25, and they have the skill players to put up plenty more than that each week.
19. Cleveland Browns
I want to like them so much more than this. But I just have this feeling that the wheels will come off. Their running game might be the best in the NFL, but someone at some point should be able to pick them apart. Right? Speaking of managing the game, if Jameis needs to see someone do it well, watch Brissett from last week. Picture perfect.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Everyone needs to back off Mitch. He’s doing the job he was asked to do. He needs to get Freiermuth involved earlier in games, especially on 3rd downs where they struggled. I don’t know what everyone expects Kenny Pickett to do better. Their defense got absolutely bulldozed for 171 yards on the ground and Jacoby Brissett made zero mistakes. Not one. Which means a Steelers defense didn’t force him to make any. That’s unnacceptable.
21. Las Vegas Raiders
I do not envy the Broncos this week. Rivalry game, in Las Vegas, against a Raiders team that needs a win worse than anyone else in the league. This team was supposed to have all the pieces and compete for a division title, and now they sit with no wins and 3 losses by a combined margin of 13 points. Someone is gonna pay for that. Davante is gonna have 300 yards this week.
Tier VI – The Believers
22. Detroit Lions
I’ve never been too big on all the feelers on the football field and how just believing in yourself can overcome anything. But man does Dan Campbell make me wanna believe. I love watching the Lions. I’m a diehard Packers fan and I just love watching this Lions team. Maybe it won’t be this year, but they are gonna do some damage in this league very soon. If they don’t find themselves in the playoff race, you better believe they’ll spoil it for someone else late this season. Keep the faith, Lions fans.
And don’t you ever take Jamaal Williams for granted. He is a national treasure.
23. New York Giants
I’ve turned the corner on Daniel Jones. I was always hesitant, but it had been a while since I got to watch a full game of him. He could actually be above average if anyone could catch anything that hits them right in the chest. My goodness, his receivers were already terrible, now they lost the only decent one in Sterling Shepard. Daboll will work some miracles this year, but it won’t be enough to overcome a receiving corp with feet for hands.
24. Arizona Cardinals
Kyler was so excited about the big OT win over Las Vegas, he decided to cut his 4 hours of film study down to 2. And remember how they let Chase Edmonds walk because James Conner was gonna be so great? He’s got 30 carries for 90 yards on the year. He’s a goal line back, nothing more, and they should’ve known that and held onto Edmonds. Defense minus Chandler Jones looks bad. It’ll be tough to find a midseason stride with playoff hopes.
Tier XXV – Washington Commanders
25. Washington Commanders
I mean, 25th team in the league, right? Did they not look to everyone like the 25th team in the league? Somewhere between the worst and mediocre? That’s what they looked like, and there they will remain. Win, lose, or draw.
Tier VIII – Now or Never
26. New York Jets
Big week for Zach Wilson. Flacco did what was necessary to keep them in contention. Now Wilson needs to show the second-year jump we were all expecting. And I’m starting him in fantasy this week, so the sooner the better. I still like a lot of what the J-E-T-S bring, but injuries and youth make this a tough year for them.
27. Carolina Panthers
So far, Baker is managing games. It’s time for Baker to take the gloves off. Maybe it’s a matter of getting more comfortable in the offense, but whatever the case, it’s time to unleash. He’s got good receivers and one of the best backs in the league. Let it fly, bud.
28. Tennessee Titans
Yeah, I said it. They finally got their first win against a team with no wins. Tannehill will keep being up and down until the cries for Malik Willis grow to overwhelming. And then the season is in the tank. I’m sure I’ll regret all this when they win the division, but whatever. They’re bad and boring.
Tier IX – It’s Over
29. New England Patriots
Brian Hoyer. They’re lucky I put ’em this high.
30. Seattle Seahawks
So they won their week 1 Super Bowl over Denver and then just threw it in. Kinda what I figured. Geno actually looked decent, but there are just too many holes on defense.
Tier X – The Toilet
31. Chicago Bears
Congrats to the winners of the Toilet Bowl!
32. Houston Texans
Shame on the losers of the Toilet Bowl!