NFL Power Rankings: Week 3

By Teddy Covers - Covers Expert

The Carolina Panthers continue to be the top team in our NFL Power Rankings, now by a full point in the Power Rating column. Injuries were the major story coming out of Week 2 as several teams lost starting quarterbacks and other key players on offense.

NFL Power Rankings

Rank Last Week Change Team W-L-T (ATS) Power Rating Team Comments
1 1 same 1-1-0
-5.5 Carolina
The Panthers blowout over San Francisco was their 13th consecutive home victory. Five of the last six have come by 19 points or more; blowing teams off the field.
2 2 same 1-1-0
-4.5 Green Bay
Cause for concern? The Packers downfield passing game didn’t work particularly well last year and Aaron Rodgers had only one completion of longer than 16 yards vs. the Vikings.
3 4 up 1 2-0-0
-4.5 Pittsburgh
Who needs Le’Veon Bell? Pittsburgh’s DeAngelo Williams leads the NFL in rushing yards and carries through the Steelers first two games.
4 5 up 1 1-1-0
-4 Arizona
Carson Palmer and the offense are going to get the headlines, but the most impressive part of Arizona’s blowout over Tampa Bay was what the defense did to Jameis Winston.
5 9 up 4 2-0-0
-3.5 Denver
There’s been no offseason decline for Denver’s defense. The Broncos rank #2 in the NFL in sacks, and had two defensive scores to pull away vs Indy last week.
6 3 down 3 1-1-0
-3.5 Kansas City
Looking for excuses for why KC’s offense was stuck in the mud for the entire game at Houston? Both starting offensive guards were out….and they were missed!
7 7 same 1-1-0
-3 Seattle
Pete Carroll’s offense is a mess in early season play, but Seattle’s defense stands atop the rankings in both yardage and points allowed.
8 8 same 1-1-0
-2.5 Cincinnati
Against a defensive gameplan to shut down AJ Green, none of the Bengals rebuilt receiving corps were able to step up with game changing plays in the loss at Pittsburgh.
9 10 up 1 2-0-0
-2.5 Minnesota
Yes, Sam Bradford was rock solid and Minnesota’s defense was truly stout on Sunday Night. But 22 carries for 30 yards on the ground isn’t going to cut it, AP injury or not!
10 12 up 2 1-1-0
-2.5 N.Y. Jets
Todd Bowles’ squad got their offensive on track last week, but this ‘shutdown’ pass defense has allowed five receptions of 49 yards or longer in their first two games.
11 11 same 1-1-0
-1.5 Dallas
The mainstream narrative following the Cowboys win: ‘Dak Prescott was great’. It should be ‘This defense can’t stop anybody and the rookie running back has fumble problems’
12 15 up 3 2-0-0
-1 Houston
The Texans defense has been downright nasty at preventing long drives through two games, ranked #1 in the NFL in fewest first downs allowed.
13 6 down 7 2-0-0
-0.5 New England
My power rating adjustment between Jimmy Garappolo and third stringer Jacoby Brissett was three points. Based on the current pointspread, the betting markets made a bigger adjustment.
14 14 same 2-0-0
0 Baltimore
The Ravens are 2-0, but they were just outgained by 1.2 yards per play by the worst team in the NFL, and their running game is downright non-existent.
15 13 down 2 1-1-0
0 Tampa Bay
We saw the good Jameis Winston in Week 1, when he threw four TD’s and had a QB rating of 125.1. It was the bad Jameis last Sunday: four interceptions and a QB rating of 39.2.
16 18 up 2 2-0-0
0.5 N.Y. Giants
The Giants pulled off a rare feat on Sunday, going 0-3 in the red zone and finishing with a -3 turnover margin, yet still notching the SU win over the Saints.
17 16 down 1 1-1-0
0.5 Oakland
So much for the ‘improved’ Raiders defense! Oakland just became the first team since 1967 to allow 500+ yards in back-to-back games to open a season.
18 17 down 1 1-1-0
1 Detroit
The Lions blew a double digit lead at home in part due to the absence of two of their best defenders, with LB DeAndre Levy out and DE Ziggy Ansah limping off the field early.
19 23 up 4 1-1-0
2 Atlanta
The Falcons notched just 19 sacks last year and have only one in two games so far this year; still struggling to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
20 25 up 5 1-1-0
2 San Diego
The Chargers didn’t blow a 21 point lead for the second straight week, and travel to Indy riding a 19-8-1 ATS run as a road underdog since 2012.
21 21 same 0-2-0
2 Washington
Kirk Cousins has looked awful through two games, but the Redskins bigger issue is on the defensive side of the football, where they rank #27 against the run and #28 overall.
22 29 up 7 1-1-0
2.5 Los Angeles
The Rams have now gone two full games without scoring a touchdown, but their defensive pressure was good enough to earn a 1-1 split.
23 22 down 1 0-2-0
2.5 Miami
Talk about slow starts! Miami’s offense has produced a grand total of two field goals before halftime. Then again, at Seattle and at New England is a tough way to open a season!
24 19 down 5 0-2-0
3 Buffalo
Rex Ryan’s solution for solving the Bills problems? Dumping offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Ryan was 18:1 to be the first coach fired heading into the season.
25 20 down 5 0-2-0
3 Indianapolis
No team in the NFL has allowed more points through the first two weeks of the season. And that came against the Lions and Broncos – imagine when they face a good offense!
26 28 up 2 2-0-0
3 Philadelphia
Before we get carried away by the Eagles 2-0 start, let’s not forget that each of their final 14 opponents has a higher power rating than the two that they just beat.
27 24 down 3 0-2-0
3.5 Chicago
There’s precious little home field advantage for the Bears at Soldier Field, now 1-8 straight up in the John Fox era and 3-15 dating back to 2013.
28 26 down 2 0-2-0
4 Jacksonville
After last week’s ugly loss at San Diego, Gus Bradley’s record has dropped to 12-38 since taking the Jaguars job. He won’t be around much longer if the Jags keep losing.
29 27 down 2 0-2-0
4 New Orleans
Head coach Sean Payton cut kicker Kai Forbath and signed undrafted rookie free agent Wil Lutz. Lutz proceeded to get his field goal blocked & returned for a TD. That’s on you , coach!
30 31 up 1 1-1-0
4.5 Tennessee
Marcus Mariota threw an iffy pass, late and over the middle into double coverage on fourth down, but Andre Johnson came up with the ball and the Titans notched a rare win.
31 30 down 1 1-1-0
5 San Francisco
Through two games, Blaine Gabbert has more passing yards, just as many touchdowns and fewer sacks than Aaron Rodgers. Stats don’t tell everything!
32 32 same 0-2-0
8 Cleveland
Baltimore gave up a score on an end zone INT, dropped a sure TD pass and failed on fourth down. The Ravens still won and covered, rallying from 20 down. That’s Cleveland circa 2016.

Power Ratings compute offensive and defensive statistics into one number for each team, while accounting for factors like recent performances and strength of schedule. Power Ratings can be used as a baseline for relative spread index to compare current or future match-ups between two teams. The relative spread does not account for non-statistical factors like home-field advantage, recent injuries, game time decisions, rivalries, publicity, and weather.