Analysis

Week 3 NFL Power Rankings: Dolphins Closing in on League’s Elite

Comebacks.

The Miami Dolphins overcame a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Baltimore Ravens and get off to their first 2-0 start since 2018.

The Arizona Cardinals, who slept through a 21-point Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, erased a 20-point halftime deficit against the Raiders Sunday and eked out a win in overtime on a 59-yard fumble return for a touchdown by cornerback Byron Murphy.

The New York Jets – the freaking Jets – scored two touchdowns in the final two minutes, the last one after recovering an onside kick, to beat the Cleveland Browns and avoid what would have been their fifth straight 0-2 start.

Just another crazy weekend in Parityville, where the New York Giants also are off to their first 2-0 start since 2016.

This is why I don’t gamble. This week’s power rankings:

1.  Buffalo Bills (2-0)

Previous: 1

Last week: W 41-7 vs. Titans | This week: vs. 1-1 Dolphins

Good news: Surviving members of the unbeaten ’72 Dolphins have been put on alert.

Bad news: Well, if you want to nitpick, there were those two red-zone opportunities they failed to cash in on.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)

Previous: 2

Last week: W 27-24 vs. Chargers | This week: at 0-1-1 Colts

Good news: Patrick Mahomes has 7 TDs, no interceptions and a 73.0 completion percentage.

Bad news: Defense has forced just one turnover in the first two games.

3. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)

Previous: 3

Last week: L 24-27 at Chiefs | This week: vs. 1-1 Jaguars

Good news: Chargers are hopeful Justin Herbert won’t miss much, if any, time because of his rib cartilage fracture.

Bad news: The Chargers are averaging just 2.7 yards per carry on the ground. I know they’re a pass-centric team (just a 39.6 run percentage), but they need to be better than that.           

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)

Previous: 4

Last week: W 20-10 at Saints | This week: vs. 1-1 Packers

Good news: The Bucs’ defense has given up a total of 13 points in their first two games. Opposing QBs have a 54.6 passer rating.

Bad news: Tom Brady is off to an un-Brady-like start. He’s got just 2 touchdown passes and is averaging a puny 6.6 yards per attempt.

5. Los Angeles Rams (1-1)

Previous: 5

Last week: W 31-27 vs. Falcons | This week: at 1-1 Cardinals

Good news: The Rams’ defense has forced 7 turnovers in the first two games.

Bad news: Matthew Stafford threw 2 more interceptions against the Falcons. That gives him five in two games. Then again, he had a league-high 17 last year, and the Rams still won the Super Bowl.

6. Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)

Previous: 6

Last week: W 24-7 vs. Vikings | This week: at 1-1 Commanders

Good news: Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon finally unleashed the blitz and it was a beautiful thing to see.

Bad news: Other than a blocked field goal, there wasn’t much.

 

7. Miami Dolphins (2-0)

Previous: 8

Last week: W 44-38 at Ravens| This week: vs. 2-0 Bills

Good news: Led by Tua Tagovailoa, who threw 6 touchdown passes, the Dolphins pulled off the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in franchise history against the Ravens.

Bad news: The Dolphins needed a comeback because their defense gave up 5 touchdowns to the Ravens on their first seven possessions.

 

8. Baltimore Ravens (1-1)

Previous: 9

Last week: L 38-44 vs. Dolphins | This week: at 1-1 Patriots

Good news: Lamar Jackson was unstoppable, throwing and running for 437 yards and four TDs.

Bad news: The 44 points by the Dolphins were the most given up by the Ravens since 2013.

9. Denver Broncos (1-1)

Previous: 10

Last week: W 16-9 vs. Texans | This week: vs. 1-1 49ers

Good news: Their defense has given up just 26 points in the first two games.

Bad news: Russell Wilson’s 45.1 completion percentage against the Texans was his lowest since 2015.

 

10. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)

Previous: 7

Last week: L 17-20 at Cowboys | This week: at 1-1 Jets

Good news: They’ve lost both of their first two games on walk-off field goals.

Bad news: Joe Burrow is on pace to be sacked 110 times and announce his retirement sometime in January or February.

11. Minnesota Vikings (1-1)

Previous: 11

Last week: L 7-24 at Eagles | This week: vs. 1-1 Lions

Good news: They’re one of 19 teams with a 1-1 record.

Bad news: The offense that looked so impressive against the Packers, couldn’t get out of its own way against the Eagles. Kirk Cousins threw three interceptions and Justin Jefferson had just 48 yards receiving, 136 fewer than in Week 1.

 

12. San Francisco 49ers (1-1)

Previous: 12

Last week: W 27-7 v Seahawks | This week: at 1-1 Broncos

Good news: The decision to hang on to Jimmy Garoppolo is looking pretty smart right now, in light of Trey Lance’s season-ending ankle injury.

Bad news: The Niners have scored just 10 second-half points in their first two games.

 

13. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)

Previous: 14

Last week: W 20-17 vs. Bengals | This week: at 2-0 Giants

Good news: So, it looks like maybe Cooper Rush isn’t as overmatched as everybody thought.

Bad news: The Cowboys have converted just 6-of-25 third-down tries in their first two games.

 

14. Green Bay Packers (1-1)

Previous: 15

Last week: W 27-10 vs. Bears | This week: at 2-0 Bucs

Good news: Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon combined for 193 rushing yards against the Bears.

Bad news: Yeah, that’s the Bucs coming up next.

 

15. Arizona Cardinals (1-1)

Previous: 19

Last week: W 29-23 at Raiders | This week: vs. 1-1 Rams

Good news: Kyler Murray had one of those Kyler Murray-type second halves as the Cardinals came back from a 20-0 halftime deficit.

Bad news: The defense has just one sack and no interceptions in the first two games. 

16. Las Vegas Raiders (0-2)

Previous: 13

Last week: L 23-29 vs. Cardinals | This week: at 0-2 Titans

Good news: The Raiders had a 20-0 halftime lead against the Cardinals and blew it.

Bad news: Davante Adams was targeted 7 times, but had just 2 catches for 12 yards, including a 1-yard TD. It equaled the second-fewest yards receiving or his career.  

17. New Orleans Saints (1-1)

Previous: 17

Last week: L 10-20 vs. Bucs | This week: at 0-2 Panthers

Good news: The Saints’ defense held Tom Brady and the Bucs to 13 first downs and 260 total yards.

Bad news: Jameis Winston reverted back to the old turnover-happy Jameis Winston in the fourth quarter, throwing 3 interceptions and allowing the Bucs to break the game open.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1)

Previous: 18

Last week: L 14-17 vs. Patriots | This week: at 1-1 Browns

Good news: They don’t have to play the Ravens until December.

Bad news: Najee Harris is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry in the first two games and is dealing with a foot injury.

19. Indianapolis Colts 0-1-1

Previous: 16

Last week: L 0-24 at Jaguars | This week: vs. 2-0 Chiefs

Good news: Jonathan Taylor led the NFL in rushing last year and has 215 in the Colts’ first two games.

Bad news: The Colts got rid of Carson Wentz and replaced him with Matt Ryan, who has just 1 touchdown pass and 4 interceptions in his first two starts for them.

 

20. Detroit Lions (1-1)

Previous: 22

Last week: W 36-27 vs. Commanders | This week: at 1-1 Vikings

Good news: The Lions sacked Carson Wentz 5 times, three of them by first-round rookie Aidan Hutchinson.

Bad news: Opposing QBs have a 129.6 third-down passer rating vs. Lions. Opponents have converted 53.1 percent of their third downs.

21. New York Giants (2-0)

Previous: 25

Last week: W 19-16 vs. Panthers | This week: vs. 1-1 Cowboys

Good news: Giants are 2-0 for the first time since 2016, which also is the last time they made the playoffs.

Bad news: Giants scored just 1 touchdown against the Panthers, relying on Graham Gano’s 4 field goals, including a game-winning 56-yarder.

22. Tennessee Titans (0-2)

Previous: 21

Last week: L 7-41 at Bills | This week: vs. 0-2 Raiders

Good news: Maybe some other time.

Bad news: Derrick Henry is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry this season.

23. New England Patriots (1-1)

Previous: 26

Last week: W 17-14 at Steelers | This week: vs. 1-1 Ravens

Good news: They’ve converted 50 percent of their third-down opportunities in the first two games.

Bad news: And have managed to score a total of 24 points in eight quarters.

 

24. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-1

Previous: 28

Last week: W 24-0 vs. Colts | This week: at 1-1 Chargers

Good news: Trevor Lawrence had a career-best 121.5 passer rating against the Colts. Completed 25 of 30 passes.

Bad news: They have to fly cross-country this week for a game against the well-rested Chargers. Put it in the L column.

25. Seattle Seahawks (1-1)

Previous: 20

Last week: L 7-27 at 49ers | This week: vs. 0-2 Falcons

Good news: Geno Smith has completed 81.0 percent of his passes in the first two games.

Bad news: D.K. Metcalf is averaging just 6.5 yards per catch. How is that even possible?

26. Washington Commanders (1-1)

Previous: 23

Last week: L 27-36 at Lions | This week: vs. 2-0 Eagles

Good news: Wentz has thrown 7 TD passes in his first two starts with Washington. That’s a 59-TD pace. He’s thrown more than 27 just once in his career (33 in 2017).

Bad news: The Commanders are giving up a hefty 7.5 yards per carry on the ground. Nearly a quarter of their opponents’ rushing attempts (9 of 42) have gained 10 yards or more, including four for 20-plus yards.

 

27. Cleveland Browns (1-1)

Previous: 24

Last week: L 30-31 vs. Jets | This week: vs. 1-1 Steelers

Good news: Browns are averaging 200.5 rushing yards per game.

Bad news: They blew a 30-17 lead in the final 1:55 against the Jets, giving up back-to-back TD passes to 37-year-old Joe Flacco and failing to recover an onside kick.

28. Carolina Panthers (0-2)

Previous: 29

Last week: L 16-19 at Giants | This week: vs. 1-1 Saints

Good news: Matt Rhule is one of the leading candidates for the University of Nebraska head coaching job.

Bad news: The Panthers are lousy at protecting a league. They’ve been ahead in 17 of their last 20 games, but are 5-12 in those 17 games.

29. Chicago Bears (1-1)

Previous: 27

Last week: L 10-27 at Packers | This week: vs. 0-1-1 Texans

Good news: David Montgomery rushed for 122 yards and had six runs of 10 or more yards.

Bad news: The defense couldn’t get off the field. The Packers controlled the ball for more than 37 minutes and ran 25 more plays than the Bears.

 

30. New York Jets (1-1)

Previous: 32

Last week: W 31-30 at Browns | This week: vs. 0-2 Bengals

Good news: Zach Wilson is close to returning from his knee injury, but there’s no urgency to throw him back in there after 37-year-old vet Joe Flacco’s impressive 307-yard, 4-TD performance vs. the Browns.

Bad news: the Browns rushed for 184 yards and had 12 rushing first downs against the Jets defense.

31. Atlanta Falcons (0-2)

Previous: 31

Last week: L 27-31 at Rams | This week: at 1-1 Seahawks

Good news: Cordarrelle Patterson is averaging 5.0 yards per carry.

Bad news: Kyle Pitts has just 4 catches for 38 yards in the first two games. He had 68 catches for 1,026 yards as a rookie last season.

32. Houston Texans (0-1-1)

Previous: 30

Last week: L 9-16 at Broncos | This week: at 1-1 Bears

Good news: The Texans have given up just 9 points in the first three quarters.

Bad news: They’ve given up 27 in the fourth quarter.

WATCH MORE: Greg Jennings Discusses If Keny Golladay Still Belongs with the Giants

In this article

NFLNFL Week 2Power Rankings
Scroll to the Top