Welcome back to the MikesPickz NFL Power Rankings. There was no ranking last week because I feel that after week 1 not much has changed from the pre-season rankings. A team can have a bad opening week (ie: Arizona) and come back strong in week 2 (ie: Arizona), but if a team plays very well or poorly for 2 consecutive weeks, it is time to re analyze the situation. So without further ado, here are the week 3 power rankings:
*Once again teams are ranked into tiers, teams within a tier are teams I expect to finish with similar records and thus may be interchangeable in my opinion.
1. Giants– They beat 2 division rivals so far, and seem to not miss a beat on offense with Burress and Ward (1,000 yard rusher last season) gone. Mario Manningham is filling in nicely as one of Eli’s main targets.
2. Ravens– The offense is clicking on all cylinders right now, and the defense is as you would expect it to be. I think they might have enough to win the division this year.
3. Saints– Wow, Drew Brees is that good (MVP). They laid a hurting on the Eagles (although McNabb was injured, but putting 40+ on a top defense is impressive). The only team in the league to have 40+ points in both weeks. Colston is fully healthy and Brees is finding him. Anyone that listened to my first podcast, knows that I am high on Mike Bell this season. The defense is not the best, but it doesn’t have to be with the amount of firepower that they have on offense.
4. Colts– Not missing a beat without Tony Dungy, keeping the head coach position within the organization was a smart move.
5. Vikings– Adrian Peterson is a beast, Percy Harvin is the offensive rookie of the year (TD in each game so far), and Farve brings the experience to the table. It will be interesting when they versus the 49ers this week.
6. Falcons– Matt Ryan loves having Tony Gonzalez on the team (12 catches for 144 yards and 2 TDs). Michael Turner is a top 5 back in the league and the defense is solid.
7. Patriots– Tough loss against the Jets, and a near miss against the Bills. The offense isn’t clicking so far, but I do expect it to get better as the season progresses. Big game against the Falcons this week, I am going to say it is a must win for the Patriots.
8. Jets– Rex Ryan knows how to coach. He has transformed the Jets into one of the best defenses in the league, and is literally powering his way to the top of these rankings- opposing quarterbacks are facing tremendous pressure. I am still not convinced that the offense will be good enough to carry the team, if the defense has a bad game.
9. Steelers– Where is the power running game that the Steelers are recognized by? Roethlisberger has played lights out so far, but Willie Parker averaging 2.4 yards per carry after two weeks is unacceptable.
10. Eagles– One thing is certain, they need McNabb to be healthy. It will be interesting this week as Michael Vick returns to action.
11. Packers– They need to protect the quarterback better to win games, and they need Greg Jennings to be healthy. It seems as if they lose a lot more at home in recent years, than they have in the past.
12. Chargers– Rivers is putting up good numbers, but they need Tomlinson back. He was averaging slightly over 4 yards per carry this season before the injury.
13. 49ers– Mike Singletary is getting exactly what he wants out of his team this season. Tough defense, hard nose running, and a quarterback that can get his job done. Shaun Hill may not be the flashiest quarterback in the league, but don’t overlook the fact that he is 9-3 since taking over the starting job.
–14. Bears– The Jay Cutler that showed up against the Steelers, is the one they need to remain competitive.
–15. Cowboys– Tony Romo has to take care of the ball better. The running game is amazing so far this season (Barber averages over 6 yards per carry and Jones averages over 9 yards per carry). Easy schedule coming up- Panthers, Broncos and Chiefs.
–16. Broncos– Nothing overly impressive so far this season. They blew out the Browns, but they should have blown out the Browns.
17. Titans– Seems like a completely different team from the one that finished 13-3 last season. Chris Johnson having a good season so far, but two tough losses hide that fact.
18. Texans– They didn’t show up in week one, and then showed up in week two. Andre Johnson is a beast at wide receiver, and I like the potential of the Texans.
–19. Redskins– Where is the offense? They barely beat the Rams last week and now they have the Lions this week. If they play like they did last week, I think the Lions get there first win since two seasons ago.
20. Bengals– Should be 2-0, but blew the game against the Broncos in week 1. I still like the Bengals as my sleeper team this year. Benson, Palmer, and Ochocinco are looking good so far.
21. Seahawks– They shut out the Rams, as they should have, and took a tough loss against the 49ers. Matt Hasselbeck’s injury is huge, as without him I don’t think the offense will be very effective.
22. Cardinals- They looked terrible against the 49ers in week 1, but rebounded nicely in week 2. Which team will show up against the Colts this week?
23. Dolphins– The “Wildcat” offense is becoming more of a common place in the NFL, as more and more teams begin using some sort of it at some point. That fact has hurt the Dolphins, as teams see it more and more, they become better at stopping it- as the Dolphins have found out. Last season is looking like a fluke to me.
24. Panthers– They made a nice late raly against the Falcons last week, but Delhomme threw a key interception at the end of the game (as usual). Delhomme needs to find a rhythm, and the running game needs to get back to where it was last season if the Panthers have any chance of recovering from an 0-2 start.
–25. Bills– They are looking pretty good this season, despite the late firing of the offensive coordinator. Will have a big dilemma when Lynch returns from suspension because Fred Jackson is doing a great job right now (over 5 yards per carry). I expect the Saints to blow them out this week though.
–26. Jaguars– Not a good start to the season so far. Poor offense hurts Jones-Drew’s value in fantasy leagues, but he is still worth a first round pick.
27. Raiders– I must say I am impressed with the Raiders so far this season. They held their own against the Chargers in week one, falling short in the final 2 minutes, and they beat a bad team in week 2 (Chiefs). Russell will need to play better if they are to continue playing as well as they are.
28. Bucs– All that needs to be said is that they allowed 900 yards in their first two games. The road doesn’t get any easier- Giants, Redskins, Eagles next in-line. I can see the Bucs being 0-5 to start the season.
29. Chiefs– Need to cut out the costly mistakes they have been making. Cassell returning soon will improve the offense, but they still need some work on defense.
30. Browns– Already blown out twice this season, and I see a third coming this week as they travel to Baltimore. Not a good way to start the season, especially with a young quarterback.
–31. Lions– They look better this year, although that doesn’t say much. They were beating the Vikings for a good part of the first half, but they still aren’t at the level of much of the NFL. They need a win badly in order to save the hope of the franchise. Possible win this week against the Redskins.
–32. Rams– The Rams are lacking a passing game and a defense, that is a bad combination. The only way to have a great rushing game and be effective is to have a great defense as well (see Vikings, 49ers, last year’s Panthers, etc.). If they don’t beat Detroit in week 8, they might not have a win this season (unless some team suffers a massive injury).
That will do it for this week’s power rankings, be sure to check back next week for another ranking. Any questions or comments? Post them in the comment section below or send me a tweet @MikesPickz.