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NFL Week 3 Power Rankings

Posted by in NFL Power Rankings on September 16th, 2008 | 1 Comment

This is something new that we’re doing here on The Pass Rush. After each week, we’ll compile our own NFL Power Rankings. We won’t look at your typical ESPN, CBS, or Fox Power Rankings. This will be solely based on my own opinion, which I think is better than your recycled ESPN/CBS/Fox garbage and it will help me evaluate NFL lines the following week.

1.) DALLAS COWBOYS

After a 28-10 win in Cleveland and a 41-37 win against the Eagles, which was one of the best football games that I’ve ever seen. In fact, I will rank it #1 behind USC vs. Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl for the NCAA Championship due to being a somewhat bias Eagles fan. There were 7 lead changes and some of the most ridiculous plays I’ve ever seen: Romo’s fumble in the end zone for an Eagles TD, Felix Jones’ kickoff return for a TD, DeSean Jackson throwing the ball away at the 1 when he thought he already had a touchdown. Every time you get an Eagles-Cowboys game it’s an instant classic, but this one topped them all, and I’ll have to hand it to the victor. In my opinion, we truly saw the best two NFL teams go at it on Monday Night Football.

2.) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

You can call me bias, but I call myself a realist. The Eagles are the 2nd best team in the NLF in week 2. Who in the AFC would you put at #2? The Patriots were out when Brady went down. The Colts looked awful against the Bears, but rebounded somewhat against the Vikings. They still have their ways to go. The Chargers, who could be 2-0, are 0-2 due to blowing their week 1 game on the last play of the game and a poor referee call in week 2. Still, the Chargers defense is not what it was in 2007 and their offense isn’t as explosive as the Eagles.

3.) NEW YORK GIANTS

The Giants are the Super Bowl champs and 2-0 in the best division in football. They dominated the Redskins and cruised past the Rams. They don’t have problems moving the ball and scoring points and despite the loss of Strahan/Umenyiora, Justin Tuck is carrying that defense line on his back and dominating games himself.

4.) GREEN BAY PACKERS

I love Aaron Rodgers. The Packers were 13-3 last season and I think they’re an even better team with Aaron Rodgers instead of Brett Favre. You may call it a bold statement, but I think Aaron Rodgers is a better QB than Brett Favre in this day and age because Rodgers’ arm is just as good as Brett’s, his pocket presence is right on par with Brett, and he brings mobility to the table, which Favre doesn’t have anymore. The Packers are the same team they were in 2007, but with a better quarterback. Mark them down for at least 12 wins again this season.

5.) DENVER BRONCOS

Putting the Broncos at #5 almost shocked me. I was thinking the Colts and Chargers, but so far, they’ve both been a huge disappointments. The Steelers were another option, but they only managed a 10-6 win against the Browns; but in their defense, it was a game played in the rain and Roethlisberger had a separated shoulder. Jay Cutler is poised for a breakout season. Brandon Marshall had 18 receptions, 166 yards, and 1 TD last week and WR Eddie Royal is going to be competing for rookie of the year this year. Their offense will undoubtedly put up points week after week, the only question is whether their defense will be good enough to take them deep into the playoffs.

6.) PITTSBURGH STEELERS

They always have a solid defense. They run the ball well. Mike Tomlin is a great coach. Ben Roethlisberger is a great quarterback. Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward as your WRs. Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall as your RBs. How can you go wrong? They’re in a weak division that they can possibly sweep all 6 games off of. I’ll say that they’ll be a top 2 seed in the AFC.

7.) SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

It’s tough to go with a 0-2 team at #7, but they should rightfully be 1-1, and could be 2-0 if they would have broken up 1 more play with 3 ticks left on the clock against the Panthers. They’ll rebound at home against the Jets on Monday night and then they have Oakland and Miami. There’s no need to worry as a Chargers fan, they’ll be 3-2 at the end of week 5 and then they’ll have the Brady-less Patriots.

8.) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

The Colts were awful in week 1. It was obvious that Peyton didn’t get any reps with his offense this preseason since he had to recover from knee surgery, but they picked up a huge win in Minnesota that will be a huge confidence booster. It was a tough win for them to pull off, but that makes the win even more encouraging because they know they can win the close battles. Now, they’re back home against the 0-2 Jaguars. This week we should really know just how good the Colts can be.

9.) BUFFALO BILLS

It’s starting to get tough who to put in the 9th spot. The teams competing for the spot are the Bills, Titans, Cardinals, Panthers, Vikings, and Bucs. Pretty much, 9-13 go to those teams, but in no particular order. I’m going to go with the Bills however. I never would have thought that I would go with the Bills as the 9th strongest team in the NFL at this point in time. Their defense is legit. Their defense is 7th in yards and 9th in points allowed. They also had a huge win on the road against a playoff team from last year, the Jacksonville Jaguars. In all seriousness, watch out for the Bills this season.

10.) TENNESSEE TITANS

Each week, you don’t expect them to win because you don’t think their offense can score points, but they’ve proved me wrong twice. In week 1, I thought the Jags would beet them, but they hung in their and got the win. I picked them to win in week 2 against the Bengals, but wasn’t too confident with them with Kerry Collins and a couple wide receivers that nobody has ever heard of. They run the ball well and play phenomenal defense. Jeff Fisher is one of the best coaches for getting the most out his players. This team keeps finding ways to win and it’s through running the ball and playing defense.

11.) ARIZONA CARDINALS

Kurt Warner is off to an amazing start and this offense is able to score with the best of them. They still have question to answer on defense. So far, they’ve only faced the 49ers and Dolphins and their offenses don’t necessarily strike fear into the hearts of defensive coordinators. They have Washington and then the Jets coming up, so I can easily see them starting the season 4-0. They’re my pick to win the AFC West and that’s looking quite likely after Seattle continues to struggle with injury problems. If they can win on the road against the Redskins next week, they are quite deserving of being ranked a top 10 team. I mostly want to see what their defense can do against the Skins.

12.) CAROLINA PANTHERS

Right now, it’s a toss up between the Pathers, Bucs, and Vikings. The Vikings have had 2 very tough opponents and are 0-2, but they’ve hung in there and played pretty good football. They still need to get into the endzone and top settling for field goal. Adrian Peterson can’t do it all, but their defense will give them a chance to win each week. Jake Delhomme is officially back and now he’ll have the pleasure of getting Steve Smith back. Watch out for the Panthers. They have a tough matchup against the Vikings in Minnesota this week, but they have they have the Falcons and Chiefs after that, so worse case scenario is that they’re 4-1 heading into week 6.

13.) NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Offense, no problem. Defense, huge problem. They almost lost their home opener to the Bucs and they blew a 4th quarter lead to the Redskins last week. I like the additions they’ve made to their defense in the offseason, but I have yet to see the benefits of that. They’ll need to get better play from their CBs. I think they’ll get it together eventually and creep back into the top 10, but for right now, they’re right on the bubble due to their poor defense.

14.) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

I’m just not a believer in the Patriots after they lost Tom Brady and struggling offensively against the Jets. They’re just not going to win ball games unless they play their best defensive football and are able to run the ball effectively. The Jets focused on containing Randy Moss and that enabled the Patriots to run the ball effectively. However, if teams start stuffing the box, that leaves Moss and Welker open. Teams are forced to pick their poison against the Pats: it’s either stop the run or stop the pass, and they should keep on managing to sneak by with wins by relying on whatever the other team can’t stop and playing defense.

15.) TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Tampa’s D is among the best, but they have offensive issues since Garcia has a sprained ankle. They have a tough schedule coming up and they’ll fall down the power rankings over the next 4 weeks. They’re @ Chicago next week, then Green Bay, @ Denver, and then Carolina. That could be 3-4 losses brewing for them, but right now, due their defense, they’re #15 on my chart.

16.) MINNESOTA VIKINGS

They have an outstanding defense, but they’ll have to play better against the pass. They also need to improve their redzone efficiency. They can’t keep settling for field goals. If they can find the end zone more often, they’re a team to reckon with.

17.) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

The Jaguars got off to a terrible start, but I think they’ll rebound. They have a great defense and once their offense starts to click, they’ll be dangerous. Too bad their schedule doesn’t get any easier. They’re @ Indianapolis next week, then they’ll host Houston and Pittsburgh, then @ Denver. They’ll be lucky to go 2-2 in that stretch and manage a 2-4 record.

18.) NEW YORK JETS

I liked the way the Jets looked in week 1, but it was against the Dolphins. In week 2, however, they struggled against the Patriots, but they have an outstanding defense. I think Brett Favre will be able to do more the more he gets comfortable with this offense. They have 2 tough games coming up: @ San Diego then Arizona, but their next two are against the Bengals and Raiders, so they should be looking at a 3-3 record going into week 7.

19.) CLEVELAND BROWNS

They don’t have the same offensive firepower that they had in 2007 and their defense remains a huge concern. Things aren’t looking too good for the Browns right now.

20.) WASHINGTON REDSKINS

After week 1, they wouldn’t even be in my top 25, but I was impressed by their performance against the Saints. That game definitely boosted their offensive morale after and awful performance against the Giants in week 1. I think it’s too soon to say that Jason Campbell is comfortable with his new offense, but it was certainly a step in the right direction.

21.) CHICAGO BEARS

Defensively, they’re in the top 10. Offensively, they’ll struggle, but at least Orton will be able to manage the game for them, their defense will keep them in it, Matt Forte will pound the rock, and they’ll continue to be able to get wins.

22.) SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Unfortunately, the injury bug hit the Seahawks big time by taking out their top 3 WRs, but eventually they’ll be back and they’ll get back to being the team that has won the NFC West something like 6 years in a row. Until then, they rank at the bottom of my power rankings.

23.) BALTIMORE RAVENS

The Ravens defense is back! They held Carson Palmer to under 100 yards, but Palmer doesn’t even have a defensive line. The Bengals are in really back shape. The Ravens will struggle offensively, but that defense will always keep them in the game.

24.) HOUSTON TEXANS

They lost pretty badly to the Steelers in week 1 and their week 2 game got canceled against the Ravens. Andre Johnson keeps moving the chains for that offense and they’re still pretty decent defensively with Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans heading that defense.

25.) DETROIT LIONS

They played horrendous in week 1. In week 2, they almost pulled off the comeback at home, but their defense let the Packers take back the lead, and Kitna wasn’t able to pull off the 4th-quarter comeback. Instead, he threw the ball to the other team 3 times for TDs. Despite having an awful defense, I like the Lions here because they almost pulled off a comeback win against the Packers. Defensively, they suck — big time, but with Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson, their offense is bound to keep them in games and the ability to take over a game offensively at any time.

26.) SAN FRANSISCO 49ERS

They managed to get a win in Seattle last week. Their offense is actually doing well with O’Sullivan, but their defense isn’t performing as well as it looks on paper.

27.) CINCINNATI BENGALS

What is up with Carson Palmer and the Bengal’s offense? Did their entire offensive line not practice the entire preseason because they shouldn’t be sucking this bad! We all know their defense sucks, but we all thought the Bengals could put up points with the best of them. Not the case this year. They’ve averaged 9.5 PPG so far this season.

28.) ATLANTA FALCONS

The Falcons shocked a lot of people week 2 and to no one’s surprise, they struggled against a tough Tampa D in week 1. Matt Ryan seems like he’ll be a solid guy for the Falcons and Michael Turner is shaping up to be a great acquisition by the Falcons.

29.) OAKLAND RAIDERS

Darren McFadden had a breakout performance in week 2, but after their humiliating week 1 loss, I have no confidence in their offense and if they can’t run the ball, they can’t win.

30.) MIAMI DOLPHINS

Still young. Still learning how to win. At least they’re not getting blown out like the Rams.

31.) KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

After losing a few QBs, the Chiefs are struggling big time.

32.) ST. LOUIS RAMS

They’ve scored 16 and allowed 79. Ouch!



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