NFL Power Rankings: Patriots #1 for Week 3

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NFL

We’re heading into Week 3 of the 2016 NFL season and already we have seen three different teams occupy the top spot in our power rankings.

After stumbles by Green Bay and Seattle and a major injury in Denver, it became clear that the team to beat right now is the New England Patriots, even with two of their best players out.

Here’s where each team stands after two games.

1. New England Patriots

They may be down to their QB3 but Bill Belichick has the Patriots undefeated despite Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski having not played a single snap. Just let that sink in.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers

Winning ugly games in the rain is a prerequisite for any championship team. The Steelers got a leg up over their main rivals even with bad games from Big Ben and Antonio Brown.

3. Denver Broncos

Is it possible that this Broncos team is even better than last year? Perhaps. Losing DeMarcus Ware for a month will put the best defense in the NFL to the test.

4. Green Bay Packers

It’s starting to look like Mike Zimmer’s remarkable Vikings defense has figured out Aaron Rodgers. If so, the Packers are in big trouble.

5. Carolina Panthers

The Panthers led the league in scoring last year and they’ve picked up right where they left off. Kelvin Benjamin’s return has made them nigh indefensible.

6. Seattle Seahawks

Their defense is still on point. Unfortunately, Seattle is averaging only 7.5 points per game and Russell Wilson is not healthy enough to carry their offensive line.

7. Arizona Cardinals

Now that’s more like it. Arizona’s 40-7 drubbing of Tampa Bay sent a message that they’re still a powerhouse in the NFL. Their next four games are all quite winnable too.

8. Cincinnati Bengals

Giovani Bernard goes off for 117 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown but Jeremy Hill will somehow still be ahead of him on the depth chart next week. They get what they deserve.

9. Houston Texans

Bill O’Brien’s club has scrapped out two imperfect wins. If they can keep it going in New England we’ll know that there’s something special going on here.

10. Minnesota Vikings

A huge win over Green Bay may be totally wiped out if Adrian Peterson (miniscus tear) misses significant time. The Vikings backfield is positively snake-bitten.

11. New York Giants

Don’t look now but the Giants are undefeated. Week 1 they won by scoring. This week their defense showed that they can contribute as well.

12. Kansas City Chiefs

Houston’s defense may be tough but 12 points is a disappointing total no matter how you slice it. The Chiefs need to protect Alex Smith (four sacks) better than they’re doing.

13. Baltimore Ravens

Sure, they’re undefeated. They’ve also played against the Browns and the Bills. Wait until they face a true contender to get really excited about this team.

14. Oakland Raiders

Reggie McKenzie spent a lot of money on defensive upgrades this past offseason. You would never have guessed it based on what we saw Sunday.

15. Philadelphia Eagles

It’s only been two games but the Eagles defense has allowed fewer yards than any other team and only Seattle has given up fewer points. Jim Schwartz is on fire.

16. Dallas Cowboys

A win’s a win. Even still, Dallas only averaging 101.5 rushing yards per game with that line and Ezekiel Elliot is a little underwhelming, no?

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17. Jacksonville Jaguars

These Jaguars were supposed to be the next big thing in the NFL and this season was going to be their coming out party. What a let-down. Gus Bradley’s days are numbered.

18. Indianapolis Colts

When Antonio Cromartie winds up leading your team in tackles, you’ve got defensive problems. Indy surrendered 34 points to Denver including 18 in the final stanza.

19. New York Jets

Buffalo is kind of a dumpster fire right now so don’t make too much of Thursday night’s win. That being said, their passing offense is legit.

20. Atlanta Falcons

The big upset this week was Atlanta stunning the Raiders in Oakland. It took a perfect game from Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, though. The Falcons still have too many defensive issues to be taken seriously.

21. Washington

A promising performance from Matt Jones is nice and all but you simply can’t afford to lose division games at home in the NFL. They may be the best 0-2 team but they’re still 0-2.

22. Detroit Lions

Losing to the Titans at home had to sting for the Lions, who had such great momentum going offensively. Golden Tate’s disappearing act was worrisome to say the least.

23. New Orleans Saints

Their defense was better this week but every year we seem to forget that Drew Brees is not quite so great away from the dome. That being the case, their ceiling remains relatively low.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Five turnovers by the Buccaneers this week against Arizona was a stark reminder that young teams are usually bad teams for a reason. Some home cooking will help.

25. Tennessee Titans

After Week 1’s embarrassing loss to Minnesota, this was a nice bounce-back win for a young Titans team. It’s hard not to like it when the exotic smash-mouth rushing attack is working.

26. Miami Dolphins

Miami made a game of it after Jimmy Garropolo went down but by then it was already too late. Adam Gase has a big hole to climb out of at 0-2.

27. San Diego Chargers

The win against Jacksonville was a great story but this team has too many holes to possibly be considered a real threat in the AFC West.

28. San Francisco 49ers

Things are a little bit different when you’re not playing the Rams, aren’t they? Chip Kelly, Blaine Gabbert and the Niners got blasted back down to earth this week by Carolina.

29. Buffalo Bills

So let’s get this straight. Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa and Brandon Marshall go off for over 300 yards and Rex Ryan’s solution is to can his offensive coordinator? Okay.

30. Los Angeles Rams

Jeff Fisher won his annual Super Bowl by beating the Seahawks at home. Now somebody get him a big shiny golden trophy and an enormous long-term contract extension.

31. Chicago Bears

The Bears lost at home again on Monday night 29-14, which suggests the game was much closer than it actually was. Also Jay Cutler, Willie Young and Lamarr Houston were hurt. Disaster.

32. Cleveland Browns

Another week, another Browns quarterback goes down. Charlie Whitehurst has been brought in but expect Cody Kessler to start against Miami. Yikes.

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