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NFL Power Rankings, Week 3: Eagles soar into top five; Bengals plummet

Welcome to the third addition of The Intermission's NFL Power Rankings. Here, our football editors rank where each team stands three weeks into the season.

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

1. Buffalo Bills (2-0)

Previous Rank: 1 (-)

It’s been two weeks and the Bills have somehow exceeded the extremely high expectations everyone set on them. This team is in a class of its own. WR Stefon Diggs torched the Titans secondary for three touchdowns… in just three quarters of work. Josh Allen looked excellent and the defense shut down Derrick Henry – who torched them for 143 yards and three touchdowns just last season – limiting him to just 25 yards on 1.92 yards per carry and a goal line touchdown. A division-defining matchup versus the red hot Dolphins awaits.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)

Previous Rank: 2 (-)

It wasn’t pretty, but the Chiefs pulled off the win against a rival Chargers team that was getting uncomfortably close to sending shockwaves through the AFC West. The hero, of course, was CB Jaylen Watson. He delivered a game changing pick-six that ultimately sealed the win for Kansas City. Just three years ago, Watson was working at Wendy’s just to earn enough money to continue playing football. Safe to say that it's paid off.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)

Previous Rank: 3 (-)

Sure, Tom Brady was stagnant during the first three quarters of action. But we do have to cut him some slack since he was playing his kryptonite: the regular season Saints. Fortunately for Brady and co., the Bucs defense came to play. They picked off Winston on three consecutive drives – including a pick-six – as the Bucs won 20-10 in the SuperDome. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, WR Mike Evans got suspended one game for his actions with CB Marshon Lattimore. This doesn’t help out a receiver core going into a Week 3 matchup versus Green Bay that is already decimated by injuries.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)

Previous Rank: 10 (+6)

After a dominating 24-7 win over the Vikings, the Eagles are showing they may be the real deal this season. This team has no obvious weaknesses. The defense – shoutout Darius Slay! – is a formidable unit that will continue to intercept and haunt Kirk Cousins in his dreams, and Jalen Hurts is starting to establish himself as a legitimate star at the quarterback position with his elite dual-threat ability. Upcoming matchups versus the Commanders and Jaguars is a recipe for more good times.

5. Green Bay Packers (1-1)

Previous Rank: 9 (+4)

Now there’s the Green Bay we all know! If Aaron Rodgers and co. couldn’t get it together against his eternal whipping boy – the Chicago Bears – there would’ve been some real concern for this Packers squad. The latest in this one-sided rivalry, a 27-10 victory at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers now moves to 23-5 in his career versus Chicago and HC Matt LaFleur remains undefeated after a loss (11-0). The ground game has proven its dominance, but the passing game still has some questions marks. Against an elite Tampa Bay defense in Week 3 that could very well neutralize this running attack, it’ll be interesting to see how Aaron Rodgers and co. react.

6. Los Angeles Rams (1-1)

Previous Rank: 4 (-2)

It wasn’t pretty, but Los Angeles pulled off the win after nearly blowing a 28-3 lead against, of course, the Atlanta Falcons. Fortunately for Los Angeles, they have Jalen Ramsey. The star cornerback made an exceptional one-handed interception on Atlanta’s final drive to seal the deal for the Rams. However, this title defense hasn’t gone exactly as planned for Los Angeles to start the year. They’ll need to be better if they truly want to still be considered a top contender for the Super Bowl.

7. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)

Previous Rank: 6 (-1)

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That saying holds no truer value after a heartbreaking 27-24 loss versus the Chiefs on TNF. This was Los Angeles’ chance to prove themselves as the top dog in the AFC West, but a Justin Herbert pick-six with the game tied in the third quarter pretty much neutralized any chance of that happening. This team has shown they have the talent to hang around with the big boys, but – just what feels like almost every season in Chargerland – they need to figure out a way to put it together.

8. Miami Dolphins (2-0)

Previous Rank: 15 (+7)

IT’S TUA TIME! It was a breakout game of the ages for Tua Tagovailoa. He tossed for a whopping 469 yards and SIX touchdowns in an epic comeback victory over the Ravens. Tua looked like a reincarnated left-handed Dan Marino in the final quarter, tossing for four of his scores – including the game-winner to Jaylen Waddle in the final minute – to seal the deal for Miami. The Mike McDaniel experience is paying off. This offense is loaded with weapons and has proven they can score at any moment. A true test for this high-flying offense awaits on Sunday versus the Bills.

9. Baltimore Ravens (1-1)

Previous Rank: 5 (-4)

The story coming out of this game for Baltimore was supposed to be about another great performance from Lamar Jackson that puts him in the driver’s seat for his second MVP award. Instead, it was about an epic defensive collapse versus the Dolphins that saw the Ravens blow a 35-14 late third quarter lead to lose in dramatic fashion 42-38. Baltimore surrendered touchdown drives of 75, 59, 64 and 68 yards in the final 15 minutes. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle will continue to haunt every Baltimore fan in their dreams for the foreseeable future.

10. San Francisco 49ers (1-1)

Previous Rank: 11 (+1)

San Francisco not trading QB Jimmy Garoppolo has now saved their season. After an ankle injury to Trey Lance that will sideline him for the rest of the season, Garoppolo came in to retake his starting job and did his usual thing. He led a steady offense for three quarters in a dominating 27-7 win over the Seahawks. While Garoppolo at the helm certainly does lower the ceiling for this offense, it also raises the floor and offers more security that an unpredictable Lance brings to the table.

11. Minnesota Vikings (1-1)

Previous Rank: 7 (-4)

Oh how the turn tables. Just eight days off of Minnesota crushing the Packers, they were then dominated by a Philadelphia team that outclassed them in every facet of the game. Jalen Hurts looked too comfortable out there, running and throwing the ball at will. Kirk Cousins had another meltdown performance under the primetime lights (what a shocker) as he was pressured constantly and routinely made bad throws – three interceptions on the day. Even Justin Jefferson had a bad night. It was just an ugly game all around.

12. New Orleans Saints (1-1)

Previous Rank: 12 (-)

The offense – other than Michael Thomas – is looking very questionable. Jameis Winston summoned the former demons of his past against Tampa Bay, throwing three interceptions on three consecutive second-half drives that led to 17 Bucs points in the 20-17 loss. While we can cut him some slack as it was reportedly announced that Winston was playing with four fractures in his back, it raises the question why he was put in the situation to start to begin with?

13. Arizona Cardinals (1-1)

Previous Rank: 20 (+7)

What a win for the Cardinals. Both sides of the ball contributed well to pull off the comeback victory versus the Raiders. Kyler Murray used his legs to extend plays and made countless great throws to pull the Cardinals out of the brink – none bigger than the 2-point conversion to A.J. Green with no time left to force overtime. Then, it was Byron Murphy Jr.’s scoop-and-score off of an Isiah Simmons forced fumble in OT to pull off the incredible comeback win.

14. Las Vegas Raiders (0-2)

Previous Rank: 13 (-1)

It was a collapse of the ages for Las Vegas. After being up 20-0 through one half of action, the offense could only muster 48 yards of offense in the second half and let Kyler Murray take command of the game to force overtime. Then, bad throws and errant fumbles – which led to a game-winning scoop-and-score touchdown by Arizona – haunted the Raiders in extra time. The Raiders need a win against Tennessee on Sunday to really keep their playoff aspirations alive in a cut-throat AFC West.

15. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)

Previous Rank: 8 (-7)

The offensive line is failing Joe Burrow. In his first two contests to open the season, he’s been pressured and sacked more than any other QB in the NFL. After an offseason of restructuring their offensive line to address these issues, this is more than disappointing for Cincinnati to say the least. But even with the struggles up front, Burrow still led a fourth-quarter comeback that pulled the Bengals even, and after a Dallas punt, the offense just couldn’t capitalize with minutes left going three-and-out and allowing Dallas to march down the field for the game-winning field goal.

16. Denver Broncos (1-1)

Previous Rank: 14 (-2)

Russell Wilson looks off in Denver right now. Whether the blame can be tossed on HC Nathanial Hackett for his poor scheming and game-management skills or Russell Wilson’s inability to move the ball well and score in the red-zone against a Texans team touted to be one of the worst teams in football, things are in disarray in Denver right now. Denver is lucky to sneak away with one win through the first two weeks of action, but this play won’t slide against the top dogs of the league.

17. Detroit Lions (1-1)

Previous Rank: 26 (+9)

Are the Lions an offensive juggernaut? It certainly seems like that after two weeks of action. The team became the first Lions squad to score back-to-back 35 point games since 1970! Jared Goff is playing some good football (never thought I’d be writing that), tossing for four scores on Sunday while Aman-Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift are developing into top tier players at their respective positions. Not to mention a three-sack game from No. 2 pick Aiden Hutchinson. These Lions are legit!

18. New York Giants (2-0)

Previous Rank: 22 (+4)

The Giants are 2-0 for the first time since 2016. You could say it’s the benefactor of a soft schedule to start the season, but pulling out two wins to start the season from a franchise that’s been perennially bad since 2016 deserves some merit. The defense, which was signified as a weak point heading into this season, has allowed just 36 points through two games. Saquon Barkley has also revitalized his play, giving opponents something to be scared about from this offense.

19. New England Patriots (1-1)

Previous Rank: 25 (+6)

This team is still offensively challenged. But Sunday showcased there might be an explosive play or two lurking somewhere in New England. Mac Jones’ 44-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholar was a thing of beauty that gives some hope for Patriots’ fans. This team will always be well-coached and defensively sound with legendary HC Bill Belicheck at the reins, but true success weighs if this offense, under Jones, can get it together.

20. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)

Previous Rank: 27 (+7)

Cooper Rush’s first start of the season against the defending AFC champion Bengals went… well? Rush was able to move the chains well and made several big-time throws – including a dart to CeeDee Lamb to set up the game-winning field goal – to get a big comeback 20-17 win over Cincinnati. Not to mention the defense, especially Micah Parsons, making Joe Burrow’s life a living hell every time the ball was snapped. Sunday showed us that as long as Rush can play somewhat well, this defense can do the heavy lifting to keep Dallas from falling out of the playoff race.

21. Tennessee Titans (0-2)

Previous Rank: 17 (-4)

What was that Tennessee? I get that the Bills are a freight train right now, but that was a terrible effort. Tannehill threw for two interceptions (including a pick-six) and Henry could muster just 1.9 yards per carry on the day. Not to mention the defense being shredded by Josh Allen, who tossed for four scores on the day – in THREE QUARTERS of action!! For a team that was the No. 1 seed in the AFC last season, this is more than disappointing to say the least.

22. Cleveland Browns (1-1)

Previous Rank: 21 (-1)

Picture this. Cleveland is leading New York by 13 points with less than two minutes of play left. They shank the PAT after the Nick Chubb score, but it’s okay. New York has no timeouts remaining and the Browns have a two-possession lead. At that point, Cleveland had a 99.7 percent chance of winning. But 99.7 is not 100 percent. Joe Flacco would toss for a long touchdown pass, followed by an onside-kick recovery to then another Joe Flacco score to go up by one. The cherry on top? A Jacoby Brissett interception to seal the deal. Browns gonna Brown I guess.

23. New York Jets (1-1)

Previous Rank: 32 (+9)

Joe Flacco made a deal with the devil to revive his 2013 form to pull off an insane comeback win in the final minutes over Cleveland. I see no other explanation. For a fanbase that’s experienced only misery for the past decade, this was a breath of fresh air to say the least. Joe Flacco now ranks third in the league for passing yards through two games. What is this world we’re living in?

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1)

Previous Rank: 19 (-5)

This offense, being led by Mitch Trubisky, has the tenacity of a 10-week old Cocker Spaniel. The offense has now been held to under 300 total yards for back-to-back weeks. And with T.J. Watt gone, it’s clear that without him this pass rush is extremely mid. This team is the epitome of average, but yet will still find a way to have a positive record and make the playoffs. Because it’s the Steeler way.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)

Previous Rank: 31 (+6)

History repeats itself? If it’s the Jaguars versus the Colts in a football game in Jacksonville, that’s certainly true. The latest, a 24-0 shellacking of the Colts. This extends the Jaguars home-winning streak versus Indianapolis now to eight games. The defense picked off Matt Ryan three times and Trevor Lawrence played arguably his best game as a pro. This is called optimism, Jacksonville fans. It’s something you’ve been deprived of for a while, so enjoy it while you can.

26. Seattle Seahawks (1-1)

Previous Rank: 18 (-8)

The Geno Smith for MVP train came to a revolting halt after a 27-7 loss versus the 49ers. Smith tossed for an interception and failed to move the chains at all with his ultra-conservative play behind the chains. It was a harsh reality check for a Seattle team that was high off a Russell Wilson ruined homecoming win.

27. Indianapolis Colts (0-1-1)

Previous Rank: 16 (-11)

Hell will freeze over before Indy can pull off a win in Jacksonville. The latest? A 24-0 shellacking that puts many question marks over QB Matt Ryan’s head. He tossed for three interceptions in the loss and looked very bad. Suddenly trading Wentz away doesn’t seem like that great of a move, eh Indy?

28. Washington Commanders (1-1)

Previous Rank: 23

As Indy fans cringe, Washington fans rejoice. Wentz is playing great football. He’s tossing for 325 yards per game alongside seven touchdowns through two weeks of action. And it makes sense why. He’s surrounded by a good offensive line, rushing attack and strong young receiving core. If only this defense wasn’t swiss cheese and this team might actually be good.

29. Atlanta Falcons (0-2)

Previous Rank: 30 (+1)

ATLANTA! You had the chance to reverse the curse set upon your franchise by coming back from a 27-3 deficit. It looked so promising. It then came down to the final drive. But Marcus Mariota reminded everyone why he’s on his third team in four years, throwing a questionable ball into double coverage as it was picked off by Jalen Ramsey to seal the deal in Atlanta.

30. Chicago Bears (1-1)

Previous Rank: 24 (-6)

Chicago and losing to Green Bay is like butter and toast; they are meant to be. The Bears were just completely outclassed. Green Bay piled over 200 rushing yards on their heads while Aaron Rodgers did his usual thing. David Montgomery had a great game, but what’s up with this passing attack? Justin Field attempted only 11 passes the entire game! Chicago needs to put the ball in their young playmakers hands if they ever want him to, you know, actually develop?

31. Houston Texans (0-1-1)

Previous Rank: 28 (-3)

Denver did nearly everything wrong against Houston and yet, they could not sneak out a win in a 16-9 loss. The offense currently looks lost under the guidance of Davis Mills, as he could lead them to just 235 total yards which also included an uninspiring fourth-and-out in the final minute. The positives? The defense repeatedly shut down Denver in the red-zone and limited Russell Wilson to just a passing touchdown.

32. Carolina Panthers (0-2)

Previous Rank: 29 (-3)

Dating back to last season, Carolina has now lost nine straight games. The offense, under Baker Mayfield, looks uninspiring to say the least. While CMC adds some oomph to this attack, they’re going to need more contributors if they want to stay competitive. The defense has done its part, keeping mediocre Giants and Browns offenses from going wild. But big changes may be coming to Carolina soon if they can’t get it together – specifically at the head coach position.


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