After a week hiatus, we are back and better than ever! The Rams overtake the Buccaneers for the No. 1 spot after a commanding win while the Packers and Bills reach top five after impressive wins in Week 3. Don’t like where your team is ranked? I don’t care. That’s not my problem. Call your favourite team’s headquarters and tell them to start playing some better football then, because The Intermission’s NFL Power Rankings are here!
1. Los Angeles Rams (3-0)
Previous Rank: 3
A statement win against the reigning champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be enough reason to move the Rams to No. 1, right? Matthew Stafford and co. ran through the Bucs in a 34-24 win. Stafford threw for four touchdowns and the defence clamped down on Tom Brady in the fourth quarter to stall any hopes of a comeback. The combination of this juggernaut offence, stellar defence and elite coaching makes the Rams undoubtedly No. 1 in our rankings.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
Previous Rank: 1
Is the defence an issue in Tampa Bay? They’ve been allowing a whopping 29.3 points per game through the first three games. The young secondary has been picked apart and while having top cover man Sean Murphy-Bunting on IR doesn’t help, it doesn’t excuse them for how bad they’ve been playing. Tampa Bay’s defence was what won them a Super Bowl last season and while it might be a slight hiccup, it could also be a sign of what to expect this season.
3. Green Bay Packers (2-1)
Previous Rank: 10
Cheeseheads unite! Any doubts about Aaron Rodgers were dissipated after a comeback victory against the 49ers. In a game where nothing was going Green Bay’s way, they still managed to fight through the adversity and let Aaron Rodgers do what Aaron Rodgers does best: setup game-winning field goals or touchdowns with less than a minute left on the clock. Rodgers carved through the 49ers defence with just 34 seconds left and no timeouts to set up a Mason Crosby game-winning field goal. Rodgers is back, baby!
4. Buffalo Bills (2-1)
Previous Rank: 7
Hop aboard for the Josh Allen train. It’s a quick train, weaving in and out of trouble and serving up fresh dots. The first stop, Washington! Josh Allen and co. utterly dominated the Washington Football Team (I still can’t believe they don’t have a name) in a 43-21 rout. Allen totalled five touchdowns and 358 passing yards in the win. The defence also came to play, securing two interceptions and a forced fumble. The Bills have at least one forced fumble and interception in every game so far this season. The Josh Allen train is going full-steam into a juicy matchup versus the Texans on Sunday.
5. Arizona Cardinals (3-0)
Previous Rank: 5
After Kliff Kingsbury for some reason decided to go for a 68-yard field goal to end the first half, his team was quickly rewarded for that stupid move with a 109-yard touchdown return. Fortunately for Kingsbury, he has a superstar quarterback named Kyler Murray who can bail him out for his sins. Baby Yoda threw for 316 yards in a 31-19 win over the Jaguars. While this team has been filled with a lot of questionable coaching decisions since Kingsbury took over, it’s hard to look away from all the talent this squad has.
6. Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
Previous Rank: 15
Justin Tucker. That’s it.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2)
Previous Rank: 2
The Chiefs don’t look invincible? That’s… weird. Turnovers have been the Achilles heel so far for Kansas City. After Clyde-Edwards Helaire fumbled in Week 2 against the Ravens, ultimately sealing their fate, the Chiefs followed up that performance with two fumbles and two interceptions in a 30-24 loss against the Chargers. Even worse news is coach Andy Ried was rushed to the hospital after the game with dehydration. Drink up big boy, we don’t want any more of those scares throughout the year.
8. Cleveland Browns (2-1)
Previous Rank: 8
Domination. Myles Garrett now has a share in ownership for the Chicago Bears (alongside Aaron Rodgers) after totalling 4.5 sacks in a 26-6 rout of the Bears. The Browns walked away with 9 sacks on the night, terrorizing Justin Fields in his first NFL start. The Browns offence only had to do the equivalent of nothing on offence and they still would’ve walked away with the win. Next stop, a matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.
9. San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
Previous Rank: 11
“They celebrating with 0:37 in the fourth quarter lmao”, pretty much sums up this game. The 49ers had chances to close this out for good. But they left too much time on the clock. That is a huge sin worthy of punishment by the hands of Aaron Rodgers. Next time, don’t pull a Cowboys and close it right when playing against Aaron Rodgers. ‘Nuff said.
10. Las Vegas Raiders (3-0)
Previous Rank: 14
For the first time since 2002, the Raiders are 3-0. The catalyst behind this strong start has been the steller play of Derek Carr. He’s thrown for a whopping 1203 yards to go along with six touchdowns through the team’s first three games. This team runs through Carr and how he plays. If the Raiders want to keep this pace up, Carr will have to maintain this elite level he’s showcased so far. Raiders fans are already going ballistic; this feels like 2016 all over again.
11. Los Angeles Chargers (2-1)
Previous Rank: 12
Justin Herbert did what many have failed to do; slay down the dragon that is the Kansas City Chiefs. Just like a knight in shining armor, Herbert led his squad through countless downs and powered his Bolts to a 30-24 win. It was a defining win for a Chargers team that, in the past, has never been able to “get it done” when it really matters. This could be the start of a new era in Los Angeles so buckle up; this might be a wild ride.
12. Denver Broncos (3-0)
Previous Rank: 16
While the Broncos undefeated streak does come from teams who are a combined 0-9 to start the season, let’s not take away any credit from Vic Fangio and his Broncos. Denver is playing well on both sides of the ball. Teddy Bridgewater brings some nice added stability to a quarterback position that’s been unfulfilled since the departure of Peyton Manning and the defence has been suffocating enemy teams’ offences to a shriveled corpse, rendering them unable to do anything with the ball. An upcoming game against the Ravens should tell us what we need to know about this Broncos squad.
13. Carolina Panthers (3-0)
Previous Rank: 24
Carolina took advantage of their weak schedule to jump ahead to a 3-0 start. Sam Darnold looks revitalized after being free from the hell that’s known as the ‘New York Jets’, and the front seven has been suffocating any thoughts of offence through three games. Unfortunately for the Panthers, superstar running back Christian McCaffrey is out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury and rookie Jaycee Horn, who’s been solid for this Panthers defence core, is out for two to three months after breaking several bones in his foot. Trading for C.J. Henderson is a good first step to address this, but it’s hard to say if that can patch up the holes in Carolina right now.
14. Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
Previous Rank: 19
If Skip Bayless were making these rankings, the Cowboys would probably be in the top three. Well I’m sorry Skip, but even though the Cowboys are playing good football, they still have a ways to go if they want to reach the top of these rankings. But, to be fair, they are making good progress. The offence is a well-oiled machine and the defence, which many thought would be the Achilles heel heading into this season, has been one of their biggest strengths. Trevon Diggs leads the NFL with three interceptions through the teams first three games (including a game-sealing pick-six against the Eagles). If this defence can keep up this stellar play, then the Cowboys may be a legitimate contender in the NFC.
15. Tennessee Titans (2-1)
Previous Rank: 20
In a game where the Titans lost A.J. Brown to a hamstring injury and Julio Jones later in the night, they still managed to pull through for a 25-16 win over the Colts. It wasn’t a perfect effort, as the team made many sloppy mistakes (three turnovers) in the game. But Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill made the big plays when the Titans needed them in the win. Henry and Tannehill are the heart-and-soul of this Titans squad. They will live and die by them.
16. Minnesota Vikings (1-2)
Previous Rank: 25
Don’t look now, but Kirk Cousins is playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the league through three weeks. He toyed with Seattle, scoring three touchdowns in the first half and then led several offensive drives resulting in field-goals while chewing up more than 20 minutes of clock.
17. Seattle Seahawks (1-2)
Previous Rank: 4
Seattle’s defence is like an all-you-can-eat buffet right now, serving up juicy yards and touchdowns to other teams with relative ease. They surrendered 532 in the overtime loss to the Titans, and 453 yards to a Kirk Cousins-led offence WITHOUT DALVIN COOK! Russell Wilson is good, but it’s a recipe for disaster if you’re depending on your offence to score 30-plus points every game to have a chance at winning.
18. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1)
Previous Rank: 23
The Bengals are 2-1. That’s encouraging. What’s not encouraging is that one team has surrendered more sacks than Cincinnati so far this season. That’s not really good news for a quarterback that’s coming off of a severe injury because of faulty blocking. And while surrendering no sacks against a Pittsburgh pass-rush was a nice step forward, it’s hard to say that this Bengals o-line will keep up this form for games to come. But looking at the positives, the Bengals destroyed the bullies that tormented them for decades and are looking to go 3-1 with a nice matchup against the Jaguars for TNF. While there’s still problems in Cincinnati, it’s looking a lot more encouraging than last season so far.
19. New Orleans Saints (2-1)
Previous Rank: 9
Other than that brutal loss to the Panthers in Week 2, the Saints have looked good. Their pass-rush in both wins was great at rattling quarterbacks and setting the tone and we saw plenty on that last week in a 28-13 win over the Patriots where Mac Jones threw for three interceptions. After an endless road trip courtesy of Hurricane Ida, the Saints are ready to return home for a matchup against the winless Giants.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)
Previous Rank: 6
Ben Roethlisberger looks finished. While it didn’t help that his favourite targets Dionte Johnson and Chase Claypool weren’t playing, Big Ben made many questionable throws and decisions throughout the game and just didn’t look great. The defence also managed to get no sacks against Cincinnati. I’m not joking. I don’t care if T.J. Watt wasn’t playing, that’s the equivalent of lighting striking me down when I’m taking my dog out on a walk; nothing short of a miracle. I guess it just shows you how important T.J. Watt is for this team.
21. Miami Dolphins (1-2)
Previous Rank: 13
The Dolphins fought hard but ultimately came up short in a 31-28 OT loss to the Raiders. They deserve some credit though for fighting back when everyone almost counted them out. Jacoby Brissett is no star, but he somewhat filled that hole at backup quarterback that Ryan Fitzpatrick left. He’s been solid and has helped the Dolphins stay away from disaster with Tua Tago-something sidelined with a rib injury. The schedule softens over the next month and a matchup against the winless Colts profiles close to a must-win.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)
Previous Rank: 18
“When you take a deuce, you don’t sit there and look at it. You flush it and move on. We gon’ flush it and move on.” Odell would disagree, but some interesting words from Jalen Hurts after a 41-22 loss to the Cowboys. The team was heavily outplayed on both sides of the ball and it’s not getting any easier for them either; matchups against the Chiefs, Bucs, Panthers and Broncos await them over the next four weeks. Buckle up.
23. Washington Football Team (1-2)
Previous Rank: 22
After getting dominated by the Bills in a 43-21 rout, it raised many questions about this Washington defence that was so elite last season. The front seven that was feared by many last season couldn’t manage a single sack and the secondary was toyed with the entire day. While they were playing a team with one of the most high-powered offences in the league, Washington shouldn’t have been this bad. They’re one gift-wrapped victory against the Giants away from starting off the season 0-3.
24. New England Patriots (1-2)
Previous Rank: 17
After watching the Patriots dominate for so many years, it’s hard to believe that they’re actually average now. It’s a weird feeling as a Bills fan, but I welcome it with tears of joy. Mac Jones had his first bad game as a rookie, throwing three interceptions in a 28-13 loss to the Saints. Darkness looms over the horizon in New England now, as Tom Brady returns home for the first time while also possibly being able to break the NFL’s all-time passing-yardage mark. Good luck.
25. Indianapolis Colts (0-3)
Previous Rank: 21
The Colts are bad. While Carson Wentz did show grit playing with two bad ankles, this offence just can’t move the football well at all. The running game hasn’t been great and the passing game is just not that good. Not to mention that the defence is getting carved up like a rotisserie chicken: it feels like it’s just not your year Indy.
26. Atlanta Falcons (1-2)
Previous Rank: 28
The Falcons finally got their first win of the season in a comeback 17-14 win over the Giants. Matt Ryan has regressed heavily this season, as he looks like a former shell of himself so far. While there has been moments where he and this offence have put it together (like the 72-yard touchdown drive to tie the game, then moving the offence in field-goal range to set up a Younghoe Koo game-winning field goal), it’s been very erratic and inconsistent for the most part. The Falcons offence had sky high expectations heading into the season, but their wings have stayed pinned down to the ground so far.
27. Detroit Lions (0-3)
Previous Rank: 31
The Lions have felt nothing but pain through their existence. However, Sunday’s loss to the Ravens may have been one of the worst losses in franchise history, and that’s saying something since this is the Lions. After the defence played so well to shut down Lamar Jackson in the fourth quarter, they managed to surrender a first-down on a fourth-and-18 that set up a game-winning 66-yard field goal from Justin Tucker. Not to mention that the play that set up the field goal was off of a missed delay of game penalty. Nothing but pain in Motown.
28. Houston Texans (1-2)
Previous Rank: 29
I miss Tyrod Taylor. He was the only reason I cared about this team. Now that he’s out, this team might be the most boring team in football. But hey Houston, at least you’re not New York!
29. Chicago Bears (1-2)
Previous Rank: 26
Justin Fields was fed to the wolves in Sunday’s brutal 26-6 loss to the Browns. Please retire Jason Peters. You’re a Hall of Famer but you’re so washed right now my disabled grandmother could honestly blitz past you. Please get Justin some protection Chicago; I don’t want him to die.
30. New York Giants (0-3)
Previous Rank: 27
The Giants let an Atlanta Falcons squad filled with problems and a heavily-regressing quarterback come in and beat them on Eli Manning day. C’mon Gmen, you’re better than this. I know it doesn’t help that Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton left the game with hamstring injuries and linebacker Blake Martinez tore his ACL, but Jesus Christ put some more effort in.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3)
Previous Rank: 32
The legendary kick-six. A rare feat that few have achieved. But against the Cardinals on Sunday, Jamal Agnew made history with a record-tying 109-yard kick return. But of course, the Jaguars couldn’t take advantage of this in a 31-19 loss. Trevor Lawrence threw a game-sealing pick six and looks more like the second coming of Nathan Peterman instead of Peyton Manning. I know it’s only been three games, but his brutal play has definitely been concerning to say the least.
32. New York Jets (0-3)
Previous Rank: 30
God this team is so trash. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: delete your franchise. That is all.