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Week 3 NFL Power Rankings: anointing a new “top dog” amid healthy risers

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NFL Power Rankings
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) rushes Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) but can’t get around James Daniels (78) during the first half of an NFL football game in Cleveland, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
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We are drawing closer to the close of the first quarter of the NFL season. There have been surprising teams playing well, teams that we thought would be good, but aren’t, and interesting early MVP candidates. 

There is still a long way to go in the NFL this year. Teams that are on quick starts can evaporate very quickly while poor starts can be erased by one play. 

Let’s get to AMNY’s latest power ranking edition:

32. Houston Texans (0-2-1)

Houston has lost each of their games this year by a touchdown or less. Lovie Smith has done an excellent job in getting the team prepared. There’s just such a clear talent deficiency. 

31. New York Jets (1-2)

The Jets are one miraculous comeback away from being 0-3 and the worst team in football. Still, if Zach Wilson looks good against a beaten-up Steelers defense, New York will be in the driver’s seat at .500 with a slightly easier schedule coming.  

30. Seattle Seahawks (1-2)

The Seahawks are a disaster. A loss to an Atlanta team that has struggled to close out wins, plus poor overall play on both sides of the ball makes for a terrible combination. At least Denver looks bad too across three NFL games!

29. Atlanta Falcons (1-2) 

Atlanta has been in every game they have played so far this year in the NFL and could easily be 2-1. However, Mariota just isn’t the quarterback you need to win games and it’s beyond evident. They’re still in the driver’s seat for the #1 pick. 

28. New England Patriots (1-2)

The Patriots played Baltimore tough. Now without Mac Jones (high ankle sprain), it’s going to be almost impossible to win football games. New England is in for a rough few weeks. 

27. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)

It’s quite simple: without TJ Watt and a competent quarterback, the Steelers look like one of the worst teams in the NFL. The only question left to answer will be if we end up seeing Kenny Pickett sooner rather than later. 

26. Indianapolis Colts (1-1-1)

What. The. Ever. Living. Hell. Was. That?! The Colts, a team who had looked like the worst in the NFL this year through two games beat the Kansas City Chiefs?! What?!

25. Carolina Panthers (1-2)

Carolina got a nice first win against rival New Orleans but a lot of that can be attributed to the ineptitude of the Saints’ offense. Baker still looks bad and DJ Moore has been completely non-existent. 

24. Las Vegas Raiders (0-3) 

The Raiders’ schedule has been brutal. They haven’t helped themselves with the way they’ve played though. The schedule is only going to get tougher though. McDaniels will need to make some big changes. 

23. Chicago Bears (2-1)

How in the world is this team 2-1? The Bears have clear deficiencies at quarterback that are hurting the growth of the offense, and yet the defense and running game is doing more than enough to make up for Fields’ issues. It’s hard for me to buy into this team though. 

22. New York Giants (2-1)

Even in defeat, the Giants look like a well-coached team. The loss at home to Dallas stings, and there are clear issues in talent compared to the rest of the NFL, but the Giants are playing solid football. 

21. Tennessee Titans (1-2)

The Titans got back to their winning ways with a beatdown against the Raiders. Are they capable of playing consistently? Only time will tell. 

20. New Orleans Saints (1-2)

The Saints may be 1-2, but they have played like an 0-3 unit. Winston has performed poorly and injuries are already taking a toll. The Saints aren’t going to be bad all year, but if things don’t improve soon, the Saints are looking at a top 10 pick that isn’t even theirs. 

19. Washington Commanders (1-2)

The Commanders and Carson Wentz came down to earth during week three. Wentz was sacked nine times (most due to holding the ball too long) and the defense was terrible against the pass. Ron Rivera is a good guy, but he hasn’t posted a winning season in the nation’s capital. 

18. Denver Broncos (2-1)

The Broncos have played like the worst 2-1 team in NFL history and yet…they are 2-1. Wilson and the offense look awful, but the defense is talented enough to carry them. 

17. Detroit Lions (1-2)

The Lions are a fun team to watch and root for. They have to start stringing wins together. Detroit blew a 10-point lead to Minnesota in the final quarter. If the Lions are to be taken seriously, they need to start winning these one-score games. 

16. Arizona Cardinals (1-2)

The Cardinals are lucky they are 1-2. They have played poorly throughout the early stretch of the NFL season and have been bailed out by Kyler Murray. Things need to change in Arizona…and fast. 

15. Cleveland Browns (2-1)

The Browns have shrugged off the controversy of the off-season to post a respectable 2-1 start. A 4th quarter collapse two weeks ago seems like a distant memory, and yet that’s the only reason they aren’t 3-0 and one of the top teams in the NFL. 

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) 

What a dominating performance from Jacksonville Sunday in LA. The Jaguars’ defense swarmed and harassed Justin Herbert, and Trevor Lawrence is looking like a number one overall pick. Things are looking up in Duval across the NFL. 

13. LA Chargers (1-2)

The Chargers have a massive amount of injuries and are 1-2. While they still have plenty of talent to right the ship, questions need to start being asked about Justin Herbert and Brandon Staley. Herbert’s numbers are great, but his win total is very disappointing when compared to other top NFL quarterbacks. 

12. Dallas Cowboys (2-1)

Dallas is a potential Super Bowl team that no one is talking about. The defense has carried them to two wins while the offense has played mistake-free football. They’ll need to decide the QB position when Dak is back, but this is one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL. 

11. San Francsisco 49ers (1-2)

Annnd that’s why the 49ers were looking for trade partners for Jimmy G. The 49ers lost an 11-10 game because their quarterback forgot where he was on the field. Embarrassing across every level of the NFL. 

10. Cincinnati Bengals (1-2)

The Bengals righted the ship against the Jets Sunday and showed they can protect Joe Burrow when they desperately need to. Cincinnati should be fine the rest of the way. 

9. Minnesota Vikings (2-1) 

The Vikings had an impressive comeback against a good Lions team Sunday and are tied for first in the division with a 2-1 mark. There’s a lot to like about the Vikings, even if they got killed two weeks ago. 

8. Baltimore Ravens (2-1)

Jalen Hurts has played well, but Lamar Jackson is running away with the early season MVP award. Jackson has accounted for over 70% of the Ravens’ offense and stunningly enough, it’s been enough to beat teams. The Ravens are what they always are in the NFL: a really good team. 

7. LA Rams (2-1) 

The Rams got a nice division win over Arizona but there are still questions surrounding the offense. They haven’t looked like the defending NFL champs at all, and have a big Monday night contest in San Fran next week. 

6. Green Bay Packers (2-1) 

The Packers may have gotten the best of Tampa Bay on Sunday, but they should be very concerned. The offense has looked poor, the defense is good, and they could easily be 1-2 on the season. Be very careful with Green Bay. 

5. Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) 

There isn’t a team playing better than the Philadelphia Eagles right now. A dominant offense, suffocating defense, and a quarterback playing MVP-like football. The team’s starting slate hasn’t been as tough as other top NFL teams here which is why they are only 5. 

4. Tampa Bay Bucs (2-1) 

The Bucs have been sleep-walking on offense and yet they are 2-1 and have reinforcements coming back in the future. Tampa’s defense is legit and should continue to be the reason the Bucs are the top team in the NFC. 

3. Buffalo (2-1)

Buffalo got the short end of the stick against the Dolphins on Sunday but had a boatload of injuries on their defense and offense. I would be surprised if the next outcome wasn’t different, but for now, they take a slight tumble in the rankings. 

2. Kansas City (2-1)

Well, that was weird. The Chiefs have issues with their OC arguing with players again, but this team is still the best in the AFC. I won’t hold much stock on an upset loss like that with wins against the Chargers and Cardinals. 

1. Miami Dolphins (3-0) 

People will argue why I have the 3-0 Dolphins over the 3-0 Eagles. It’s quite simple. The Dolphins have beaten the Patriots, Ravens, and Bills. Their strength of victory is far more impressive than Philly’s. Miami rules the NFL world for at least a week here after Sunday. 

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