Article by: Justin Imler
Week 3 of the 2019-2020 NFL season is in the books, and it helped show us what teams are for real, and what teams might have been faking it the first two weeks of the season. We got to see the emergence of Daniel Jones, the Bears' defense continue their dominance, and Jacoby Brissett leading the way for the Colts in the post Andrew Luck era.
Which teams are on the rise, and which teams took a fall? Take a look below to see where I have your team ranked heading into week 4!
1. New England Patriots +-0 (3-0)
Yes, Antonio Brown is gone, but this New England defense is arguably the best defense in the Brady/Belichick era. New England isn't going anywhere, but I am curious to see how they'll perform in Buffalo as they take on the undefeated Bills on Sunday.
2. Kansas City Chiefs +-0 (3-0)
Mahomes and company came to play against the surging Baltimore Ravens last week. This was their first true test of the season and the team proved that they're a legitimate Super Bowl contender yet again this season. Mahomes is making do without starting RB Damien Williams and star WR Tyreek Hill, which just goes to show that as long as Mahomes is out there, the Chiefs will be just fine.
3. Los Angeles Rams +-0 (3-0)
The LA Rams got the win in Cleveland on SNF football last week, with Jarred Goff and Cooper Kupp connecting for 2 TDs. That defense, led by defensive POY Aaron Donald, looks even better than last year. If RB Todd Gurley can get back to his 2018-2019 self, this team is only going to get more dangerous.
4. Dallas Cowboys +-0 (3-0)
Yes, the top 4 teams remain the same as last week, but can you blame us? Dallas has dominated in their first three games of 2019. I'm aware, their wins were against the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins, but regardless, this team is legit. They'll get their first real test as they travel to New Orleans to take on the Teddy Bridgewater led Saints on SNF. Prescott and Cooper have thus far proven they deserve a pay day, and I expect this level of play to continue into Week 4.
5. Green Bay Packers +1 (3-0)
Green Bay moves up a spot this week with Baltimore losing their shootout with the Chiefs. This new Matt LeFleur led defense has everyone impressed. They have a nice TNF matchup with Philadelphia coming to town. Look for Rodgers and star WR Devante Adams to return to 2018-2019 form, as this Philly secondary has been struggling so far this season.
6. Houston Texans +5 (2-1)
This Houston team is one 58 yard game winning FG away from being undefeated. They're legit, Deshaun Watson is elite, and they have the best WR in football. My main concern is the offensive line. Watson will not make it though the season if this line can't protect him. Let's see if they can do a better job against Carolina this week.
7. Baltimore Ravens -2 (2-1)
The Ravens just simply couldn't hang with the Kansas City offense last week. QB Lamar Jackson still shined, but that defense might be cause for concern come playoff time. Right now it looks like the AFC North is theirs to lose, but i'm not so sure this team can compete with the AFC powerhouses in New England and Kansas City.
8. Chicago Bears +4 (2-1)
This Chicago defense has picked up right where they left off last season. If Mitch Trubisky can continue the level of play we saw in last Monday night's matchup against Washington, they'll be right back in the playoff mix come January.
9. Minnesota Vikings +-0 (2-1)
RB Dalvin Cook is looking like the best RB in football these last three weeks. We knew Minnesota's mentality going into this season was to rely on their run game and defense. So far, it's woking out quite nicely, but let's see if they can rely on QB Kirk Cousins if they get down early in a football game. The Vikings play in Chicago this Sunday, so this could be the perfect test to see which of these NFC North teams is legit.
10. New Orleans Saints +5 (2-1)
QB Teddy Bridgewater put the doubters to rest last Sunday as this Saints team went into Seattle and got the W. Bridgewater went 19 for 27 for 177 yards and 2 TDs. If this defense, and offensive supporting cast can continue to step up in Brees' absence, this Saints team won't miss a beat.
11. Seattle Seahawks -3 (2-1)
After losing to the above New Orleans Saints, the Seahawks fall a little in this week's rankings. Russel Wilson still did his thing, but his supporting cast has proven to be average at best. They take on the struggling Cardinals this week in Arizona, so expect a bounce back game from Wilson and company.
12. San Francisco 49ers +-0 (3-0)
The Niners are undefeated, led by an effective running committee and a surprisingly good defense. This team could be legit, COULD BE. I'm not sure if i'm buying into the hype just yet. This team was a James Connor fumble away from losing to a Mason Rudolph led Steelers team last week, while also giving up the football FIVE times... They have a bye this week, but their matchup in Week 5 in New Orleans will be very much a prove-it game for this 49ers team.
13. Philadelphia Eagles -6 (1-2)
Normally a 1-2 team wouldn't be this high up in my power rankings, but this Eagles team is an exception. With a very depleted O-Line and WR core, Philly is a few crucial dropped passes away from being 3-0. WR Alshon Jeffrey is slated to be back for their TNF matchup against Green Bay. Let's see if that'll put a spark back into this offense, and their struggling secondary can hold off Aaron Rodgers.
14. Buffalo Bills +2 (3-0)
And the last, and probably most surprising, undefeated team left in the NFL is the Buffalo Bills. This Buffalo squad is so fun to watch, and Bills Mafia is even more so. HOWEVER, this Bills team has faced an Eli Manning led Giants team, a struggling Jets team, and almost gave up a 14 point lead to Cincinnati. They haven't exactly had the toughest competition to start the year, but that'll change on Sunday when they have New England rolling into town. Not many, including myself, expect a Buffalo win, but let's see if they can keep it close, and keep the Bills hype alive.
15. Indianapolis Colts +3 (2-1)
Many people, including myself, counted out the Colts once Andrew Luck made his shocking announcement that he was retiring from the NFL. In comes Jacoby Brissett, long time backup, now starter for the forseeable future, and he's showing all of us that he deserves to be. 646 yards, 7 TDs, and just 1 INT with a completion percentage of 71.7% so far this season are numbers that we can't ignore. Star WR TY Hilton did suffer a quad injury and has not practiced yet this week. That's definitely a concern for this offense, but this Colts team is looking more and more legit as the season progresses.
16. Los Angeles Chargers -3 (2-1)
Not really sure what to make of this Chargers team just yet. All three of their games have been decided by one possession, including a dissapointing 13-10 loss to Detroit in Week 2. LA impressed everyone last season, but with a few injuries on defense, and a certain RB slated to return in a few weeks, only time will tell if the Chargers can get things going and stay consistent.
17. Atlanta Falcons -3 (1-2)
Here's another team I still can't figure out. On paper, this offense should be close to unstoppable, but Matt Ryan's decision making has had most Atlanta fans more than frustrated. Julio is looking like the best WR in football, and TE Austin Hooper has been making plays as well. If their defense can step it up, and Matt Ryan can actually make good decisions in the red zone, then this team could be a threat.
18. Detroit Lions +3 (2-0-1)
Detroit might be, so far, the most surprising team in football. Technically still undefeated (tied Arizona in Week 1), they pulled off back-to-back upsets in taking down both the LA Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles. It might be time to show them some respect, but my main concern is their division. Being in the NFC North, they still have to deal with Green Bay, Chicago, and Minnesota twice (who are all ranked inside my top 10). For now, I'm excited to see if this Lions team can keep it up, but I'm not ready to completely bet on them just yet.
19. Cleveland Browns -2 (1-2)
The offseason Super Bowl favorites are now 1-2 to start the season, with their one win coming against a Jets team with more problems than I can count on my two hands. Baker has been struggling, partially due to the O-Line not being able to protect him. The media is already tearing them apart, and it's only going to get worse unless they turn things around ASAP, a task easier said than done. They have a tough divisional matchup against Baltimore on Sunday, which would be a perfect way to silence the critics if they can come away with the upset.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars +4 (1-2)
Gardner Minshew II... that's all I have to say. This guy might not be the most talented, but he's taking the NFL world by storm in Nick Foles' absence. He led his team to victory last Thursday night against a struggling Tennessee team, and they have another winnable matchup against Denver this week. This defense had NINE sacks in that victory last week, and if they can keep that up, this team could be one to watch out for. That could be tough to do however with star CB Jalen Ramsey still requesting a trade, but we'll have to wait and see how that situation plays out.
21. Tennessee Titans -2 (1-2)
The Titans started the year on the highest of highs after blowing out the Browns in Week 1, and they've been on a downward spiral ever since... They lost a close matchup to the Chargers, then got beaten pretty easily by Gardner Minshew II and company last week. Marcus Mariota needs to step up sooner rather than later or it might be Ryan Tannehill time in Tennessee.
22. Carolina Panthers +6 (1-2)
The Panthers seemed to gain new life last Sunday with backup QB Kyle Allen getting the start for the injured, and struggling, Cam Newton. It's already confirmed that Allen will get the nod this week against a much tougher opponent in the Houston Texans. Let's see if last week's win against Arizona was a fluke, or if there really might be a QB controversy in Carolina.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 (1-2)
Tampa is stuck. I'm not a believer in Jameis Winston, even though he did have a pretty good performance last week against an awful Giants defense. Speaking of defense, Tampa's simply can't keep them in games. They did look impressive in Week 2 against Carolina, but I think most of that had to do with Cam playing horribly vs. the defense playing out of their mind. You simply can't give up 32 points at home to a rookie QB making his first career start and expect to win football games.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers -2 (0-3)
New Starting QB Mason Rudolph struggled big time in the 1st half in their loss to the 49ers last week. With that being said, the defense forced five turnovers, and Rudolph seemed to be more comfortable in the 2nd half, throwing 2 TDs. As a Steelers fan, I haven't lost all hope just yet, but this MNF matchup against the Bengals is about as close to a must-win game as you can get.
25. New York Giants +5 (1-2)
Speaking of new life, the Giants got all they could've hoped for, and then some, in #6 overall pick Daniel Jones' first start of the season. Jones rallied the team back from an 18 point deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Bucs, and shut up the all the doubters that emerged since draft night. The Giants now take on Washington this week, and all eyes will be on Jones to see if he can put the team on his back and get them a second straight win. With a struggling defense, and Saquon Barkley out 4-8 weeks, it'll be a tough task to say the least.
26. Oakland Raiders -3 (1-2)
The Oakland Raiders are struggling. The relationship between HC John Gruden and QB Derek Carr is up in the air, the O-Line is below average, and their defense simply can't stop anything. I like some of their young playmakers in RB Josh Jacobs and TE Darren Waller, but they clearly have some issues they need to address if they want to compete every week.
27. Denver Broncos -1 (0-3)
I had somewhat high hoped for this Denver team entering the season, but they really haven't shown much of anything. Joe Flacco is playing exactly like most would expect Joe Flacco to play, and as a result, the offense simply can't stay on the field. It's going to be be difficult winning football games if you can't score more than 16 points a game...
28. Arizona Cardinals -3 (0-2-1)
Another team that I had somewhat high hopes for is the Arizona Cardinals. I bought into the Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury hype, and thus far, it's been a rough start. For Arizona, their main issue is similar to other teams in this tier, and that's the offensive line. When you have a young QB in Murray, and a top tier RB in David Johnson, you need to be able to protect them, and give them room to work. This offense still has potential in my mind, but the O-Line needs to step up, and help keep this high tempo offense on the field for more sustainable drives.
29. Cincinnati Bengals -2 (0-3)
The Bengals put together one of the worst offensive performances I've seen in recent memory for the first three quarters of their game last Sunday against the Bills. They did almost pull it together enough in the end, but still fell short of their first victory of the season. This Bengals team is a mess, and without star WR AJ Green for at least the next few weeks, and a below average defense, don't expect much from Cinci this season.
30. Washington Redskins -1 (0-3)
Not much to say about this Redskins team right now. The injury bug has hit them yet again with starting TE Jordan Reed in the concussion protocol, and 2nd year RB Darrius Guice already on the IR after just one game. Case Keenum looked lost against the Bears defense on Monday night, which begs the question, how long until it becomes the Dwayne Haskins show in Washington?
31. New York Jets +-0 (0-3)
The New York Jets will remain towards the bottom of the power rankings until we see Sam Darnold back in the lineup. Many are expecting him to be back for their Week 5 matchup against the Eagles (Jets have a bye this week). Many are anxious to see what this new look Jets team will look like at full strength, but without Darnold running the offense, it looks like a complete mess. How much will Darnold improve things in New York? Only time will tell.
32. Miami Dolphins +-0 (0-3)
QB Josh Rosen got the start in the Dolphins' matchup against Dallas last week, but the result was same as usual, a beat down. With that being said, not much of the blame can be thrown at Rosen, this team is as close to tanking as you can get in the NFL. Time to start looking forward to that #1 overall pick Dolphins fans.