Parity in the NFL is causing havoc with my NFL Power Rankings. Going into Week 3, it’s apparent that the very best teams are in the AFC. The best division in the AFC? That, without a doubt, is the AFC West.
The AFC West has been so good in the first 2 weeks of the NFL Season that 3 of the 4 teams in the division show up in the Top 5 on my power rankings. Check out my 2017 NFL week 3 power rankings!
2017 NFL Week 3 Power Rankings
1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
The Kansas City Chiefs have too many weapons for any defense in the NFL to deal with. In Week 2, KC beat Philadelphia 27 to 20.
Rookie RB Kareem Hunt scored 2 rushing TDs. QB Alex Smith completed 21 of 28 passes. Smith threw for 251 yards. He threw a TD. TE Travis Kelce caught 8 passes for 103 yards. He caught a TD pass. If defenses attempt to stop Kelce, Smith is just going to throw to WR Tyreek Hill.
2. Atlanta Falcons (2-0)
Atlanta doesn’t jump to 2 on my NFL Power Rankings because they beat the Green Bay Packers 34 to 23. It’s how the Falcons beat the Green Bay Packers. Atlanta pummeled Green Bay on the ground. The Falcons rushed for 141 yards from 27 carries. That 5.2 yards per carry. Devonta Freeman rushed for 84 yards and scored 2 rushing TDs.
3. Oakland Raiders (2-0)
The Raiders absolutely demolished the New York Jets 45 to 20 as a -14 home favorite. There’s a chance that Oakland is the best team in the NFL. I don’t have them higher than 3 at this point because the Raiders beat Tennessee and the Jets while KC beat New England and Philly. Atlanta took down Green Bay in Week 2.
Still, it’s hard to argue with anyone who has the LV Raiders at the top of their power rankings. Raider QB Derek Carr only threw for 230 yards. Who cares? Right now, Carr is completing 75% of his passes. He’s thrown 5 TDs to 0 interceptions. His QB rating is 126.5.
4. New England Patriots (1-1)
The Patriots move up to 4th on my NFL Power Rankings. I don’t believe they deserve to be any higher than that. First, the Pats did look like garbage in Week 1. Second, the Pats beat up a team with a terrible defense, the New Orleans Saints, in Week 2.
Tom Brady was en fuego. He completed 30 of 39 for 447 yards and 3 TDs. Rob Gronkowski caught 6 passes for 116 yards. 2 of his 6 catches went for touchdowns. Still, I don’t want to get carried away. The Patriots beat up the terrible Saints’ D in Week 2.
5. Denver Broncos (2-0)
The Broncos man-handled Dallas in a stunning 45 to 17 win as only a -2 home favorite. Denver QB Trevor Siemian has proven to be the best choice while the Broncos’ rush defense is much improved. Denver, like KC and Oakland in the AFC West, is for real.
6. Green Bay Packers (1-1)
All hope was lost for the Packers after WR Jordy Nelson went down in the first half with a quad injury. Without Nelson, QB Aaron Rodgers couldn’t get it going until the second half. The Packers’ loss to Atlanta in Week 2 was almost a mirror image of what happened in last season’s NFC Championship. Rodgers finally got it going in both games. In both games, it was also too late.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)
Pittsburgh’s defense didn’t play against Minnesota QB Sam Bradford in Week 2. That’s why the Steelers beat the Vikings 29 to 6. I’m still impressed. For the first time in a long time, QB Ben Roethlisberger didn’t have to rely on WR Antonio Brown. Martavis Bryant caught 3 passes for 91 yards and a TD. Brown caught 5 passes for 62 yards.
8. Carolina Panthers (2-0)
The 23 to 3 win over the San Francisco 49’ers in Week 1 didn’t impress me as much as a 9 to 3 win over Buffalo in Week 2. Buffalo is a much better team than San Francisco is. Carolina’s defense is already one of the best in the NFL again. The big issue for Carolina might be QB Cam Newton.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)
The Buccaneers get into the Top 10 on my NFL Power Rankings after dominating Chicago 29 to 7 in Week 2. The Bucs’ defense is the story of this game. Tampa’s D picked off Chicago QB Mike Glennon twice. Tampa’s D held Chicago RB Tarik Cohen to 13 yards on 7 carries. Tampa QB Jameis Winston completed 18 of 30 for only 204 yards and a TD. If Tampa can win with their defense, they really are a good football team.
10. Detroit Lions (2-0)
I’m not sure what to make of Detroit’s 24 to 10 win over the New York Giants. At first, I though that Detroit deserved to be in the Top 5 for beating a talented team like the Giants. Then, I remember watching Giant RB Shane Vereen not make sure he was past the sticks before turning around to catch the football on a 4th and 3.
Hey, maybe, the Lions deserve a higher-ranking than 10th. So far, they’ve beaten 2 football teams, Arizona and the New York Giants, that still think we’re in preseason.
11. Miami Dolphins (1-0)
The Dolphins were terrific in their first game of the season. They beat the L.A. Chargers 19 to 17 on the road as a +3.5 dog. QB Jay Cutler showed no signs of being the bad Jay in this game. He was the good Jay throughout most of it. Cutler didn’t throw a pick while he ran Adam Gase’s offense to perfection. The Fins were balanced on offense. Jay Ajayi rushed for 122 yards. Cutler threw for 230 yards.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
I believe Philadelphia is better than Carolina and Baltimore, but I can’t put them ahead of either one of those 2 teams just yet. Eagles’ QB Carson Wentz threw for 333 yards. He also threw 2 TDs. Philly’s biggest issue this season might be the lack of a rushing attack. Based on this game, RB Darren Sproles is now the lead back. Sproles rushed for 48 yards on 10 carries. Wentz scrambled for 55 yards on 4 carries.
13. Tennessee Titans (1-1)
Tennessee turned around their 16 to 26 loss in Week 1 by throttling Jacksonville 37 to 16. The Titans’ rushing attack was stellar in Week 2. Tennessee rushed for 179 yards on 36 carries. The Titans averaged 5 yards per rush.
14. Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
Minnesota looked good in Week 1 beating up a terrible Saints’ defense. Who knows? Perhaps, the Vikings would’ve looked good in NFL Week 2 if QB Sam Bradford had played. With Case Keenum at quarterback, the Vikings didn’t have a much of a shot on the road versus Pittsburgh.
15. Baltimore Ravens (2-0)
I’m still not sold on Baltimore. I believe they’re the worst 2 and 0 team in the NFL. Beating Cincinnati 20 to 0, and Cleveland 24 to 10 does nothing for me. Cincy hasn’t scored a TD in 8 straight quarters. Cleveland QB DeShone Kizer suffered migraines this past Sunday. If Baltimore dominates Jacksonville in London this Sunday, I’ll slightly move them up.
16. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
This perfectly sums up the problem with the Dallas Cowboys: Jerry Jones defends Ezekiel Elliott; Other Cowboys were loafing on interception too.
17. Los Angeles Rams (1-1)
The Rams lose to Washington 20 to 27 in NFL Week 2, but I’ve got LAR ahead of Washington on my power rankings? How does that figure? Washington had an edge because the team from D.C. knew exactly how to defend against Sean McVay’s offensive system. He built the offensive system in D.C. The Rams 46 to 9 beat down of Indianapolis in Week 1 is still one of the more impressive performances I’ve seen this season.
18. Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
The Seahawks let down against San Francisco. Allowing RB Carlos Hyde to rush for 124 yards is a huge sign of that. Sure, Seattle beat SF 12 to 9. We must be honest with ourselves. Seattle isn’t close to being as good as Atlanta, or even Green Bay, in the NFC.
19. Buffalo Bills (1-1)
Buffalo couldn’t get anything going on offense. The Bills are a tough out for any team this season based on what I saw. Not many teams in the NFL boast a defense as well-suited to stopping Buffalo’s offense as Carolina’s. After all, Bills’ coach Sean McDermott created Carolina’s D. The Bills did sack Cam Newton 6 times for 50 yards lost.
20. Washington Redskins (1-1)
The 27 to 20 win over the L.A. Rams was just okay to me. QB Kirk Cousins only completed 18 of 27. He only threw for 179 yards and 1 TD. Washington’s defense knew what Rams’ QB Jared Goff was going to do before he did it.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)
Jacksonville’s defense did nothing to stop Tennessee’s rushing attack. To me, that’s the big story. QB Blake Bortles isn’t the answer. I get that. In no world should Bortles throw 34 passes, though. Not when you’re Round 1 pick, Leonard Fournette, only gets 14 carries. Bortles had to push because the Jags’ D let him down.
22. Houston Texans (1-1)
The Texans beat Cincinnati straight up 13 to 9 as a +5.5 road dog. Texans’ QB DeShaun Watson played well. He rushed for 67 yards and a TD on 5 carries. He completed 15 of 24 passes for 125 yards. But, DeShaun was great versus the Cincinnati Bengals.
23. Los Angeles Chargers (0-2)
I’ve got the Bolts ahead of the Cardinals in my NFL Week 2 Power Rankings even though LAC is 0-2 while Zona is 1-1. Why? The Chargers 2 losses so far this season have been by 3 points or less. They’ve also lost to 2 teams that I’ve got in my Top 12, Denver and Miami.
24. Arizona Cardinals (1-1)
I’m not a fan of the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards needed overtime to beat Indianapolis 16 to 13. It feels like AZ has already thrown in the towel. If a savior comes to the desert, it might be in the form of RB Chris Johnson. Johnson rushed for 44 yards on 11 carries. Arizona should give CJ more opportunities in Week 3.
25. Chicago Bears (0-2)
Chicago came back to earth in a stunning 7 to 29 loss to Tampa Bay in Week 2. It’s hard to pummel the Bears with comments because they’re obviously still rebuilding. Then again, committing 4 turnovers in a game isn’t a good sign. Expect Chicago coach John Fox, one of the best in the NFL, to bring that up multiple times during practice this week.
26. New York Giants (0-2)
Giants, Bengals, Saints…does it matter? Should the Giants be ahead of the Bengals or Saints? I don’t know. All 3 teams are bad. What disturbs me about the New York Giants is how terrible the defense has suddenly become. But, that’s not all.
The Giants have no rushing attack. Erick Flowers is a liability at left tackle. QB Eli Manning’s skills have demonstrably gone south. NYG is just a bad football team.
27. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)
Bengals HC Marvin Lewis fired offensive coordinator Ken Zampese after the Bengals, again, failed to score a TD. It’s not all Zampese’s fault. QB Andy Dalton doesn’t appear to have much fire left. The Bengals are just a tired team. If Lewis wants his players to hit the gridiron with any fire, he must make a huge change…like benching Dalton.
28. New Orleans Saints (0-2)
The Saints’ defense is easily one of the worst in the NFL. My only hope as a Saints a fan is that the defense goes to a bend but don’t break philosophy. Winning games 38 to 35 again is better than losing games 20 to 36 every week.
29. Cleveland Browns (0-2)
Okay. So, the Browns lost straight up to Baltimore with their QB on the bench due to migraines. Cleveland could bounce back with a huge win over the Colts in Indianapolis in Week 3. To do so, Kizer must get onto the field.
30. San Francisco 49’ers (0-2)
San Francisco played well when holding Seattle to only 12 points in a 9 to 12 loss in Week 2. The 49’ers’ defense was great. The 49’ers offense showed more consistency by handing the ball off to Carlos Hyde 15 times. There are signs in the Bay Area that the other NFL team has some life.
31. Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
The Colts are the second worst team in the NFL. The only reason they’re ahead of the Jets is because Indianapolis managed to force overtime with the Arizona Cardinals. Indy is so bad that they’re a 1-point home dog versus the Cleveland Browns in Week 3.
32. New York Jets (0-2)
The Jets are the worst team in the NFL. There’s a reason. Neither the offense nor the defense has shown any fight whatsoever in 2 straight losses. What really disturbs me is that upper management is already blaming coach Todd Bowles. Typical Jets’ upper management. Bowles isn’t too blame. It’s the idiot front office guys who decided to gut the team.
The Jets have no offense. The defense plays like a college team in the MAC. Embarrassing isn’t even a strong enough word.