Week 3 Power Rankings:
By Joseph Fafinski, contributor
1. New Orleans Saints, 2-0 (1)
Everything seems to be clicking on all cylinders for the defending champs, and I expect them to roll over the Falcons at home this week. Even a month-long injury to the dynamic Reggie Bush shouldn’t slow them down.
2. Green Bay Packers, 2-0 (2)
This team, in my opinion, is the only one in the league with both a top five offense and defense. Clay Matthews III continues to impress all with six sacks, twelve tackles, and one concussed quarterback in the first two games of the season. Aaron Rodgers and the Pack will have no problem rolling past the Bears this week.
3. Houston Texans, 2-0 (5)
Arian Foster rushes for 243 yards in a win over the Colts. Matt Schaub throws for 497 in a win in Washington DC against the Skins. These numbers and quality wins prove that the Texans are finally for real.
4. Indianapolis Colts, 1-1 (8)
Now that the Texans seem a legitimate contender Indy’s loss doesn’t seem as daunting. One thing that needs focus on this team is the defense, which has proved to have holes in it this season. The offense, however, is tremendous like usual. I would expect nothing less from a Peyton Manning-lead team.
5. Miami Dolphins, 2-0 (12)
A win at Buffalo does not turn many heads. A win in Minnesota does. A win against the Jets would solidify Miami as a playoff contender. You have to go back years to remember the last time Miami held sole possession of first in the AFC North. Enjoy it, ‘Fins fans.
6. Baltimore Ravens, 1-1 (3)
Ten points apiece in the first two clashes of the season proves that this team needs to get the passing game going. TJ Houshmandzadeh, thought of as a key signing at the time, has one catch in two games. Joe Flacco needs to limit turnovers and complete passes to the seemingly endless supply of receivers.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers, 2-0 (12)
An impressive defensive display, including forcing seven turnovers, lead to an unusual 19-11 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Charlie Batch will be at the helm this week in Tampa Bay, and in order to win the game he needs to play good football and spread the ball out.
8. New York Jets, 1-1 (11)
After a flat offensive performance in Week 1, the Jets came back and had a very impressive offensive affair against the Patriots. In summary of that game, the Patriots made Mark Sanchez look like Tom Brady and Tom Brady look like Mark Sanchez as the Pats sunk in the second half.
9. New England Patriots, 1-1 (4)
If you only remember the first six quarters of the Pats’ season, they are easily a top five team. Tom Brady threw for almost 500 yards and five touchdowns, three of them snagged by the versatile Wes Welker. Lo and behold the second half against the Jets happened, and this is where the team sits.
10. Cincinnati Bengals, 1-1 (15)
A very impressive win over the Ravens (with some controversial penalties on Baltimore) boosts the Bengals five spots in the rankings. TO and Ocho and the rest of the crew will roll through Carolina and probably rise even further.
11. Chicago Bears, 2-0 (16)
One of the surprising 2-0 teams in the league, the Bears are pretty much who we thought they were: a defensive team with a mixed offense. Jay Cutler and Matt Forte are performing at their best just as Green Bay rolls into town…and wins.
12. Tennessee Titans, 1-1 (6)
Quarterback controversy is brewing in Nashville after (how many times have we heard this?!?) a poor performance by Vince Young, and (how many times have we heard this?!?) Kerry Collins came in and nearly lead Tennessee to a victory. On a separate note to Chris Johnson: only 2,324 more yards!
13. Atlanta Falcons, 1-1 (14)
The Falcons proved to many that they actually have an offense after a 41-7 thrashing of the Arizona Cardinals. Watch for Jason Snelling to remain the rotation even after Michael Turner heals.
14. Washington Redskins, 1-1 (10)
Does Donovan McNabb still have fight in him? That question was easily answered when he threw for 426 yards…and lost. The defense needs to up themselves (ahem, DeAngelo Hall) in order to compete with the best. Expect a beatdown of the Rams.
15. Philadelphia Eagles, 1-1 (16)
Sure it was just the Lions, but did you see how good Michael Vick looked? It’s no wonder that Andy Reid made Vick the starter on Tuesday. Philly’s main newspaper had the headline “Top Dog”, referencing Vick’s past convictions of dogfighting.
16. San Diego Chargers, 1-1 (18)
I was nervous to see the Chargers lose to the Chiefs, and yet I still expect them to win the AFC West. Rivers and Co. don’t need Vincent Jackson to still have an efficient passing game.
17. Kansas City Chiefs, 2-0 (20)
The first-place Chiefs!! Has a nice ring, doesn’t it? Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones can’t do it all though.
18. Dallas Cowboys, 0-2 (7)
Why the eleven place drop? Other than Miles Austin, what is clicking here? Certainly not Wade Phillips’ job.
19. New York Giants, 1-1 (13)
Bro Bowl II did not meet expectations. Eli Manning looked like a lost cause in Indy.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2-0 (24)
Okay so beating Cleveland and Carolina isn’t that impressive, but beating Pittsburgh in Week 3? That would prove something, eh?
21. Minnesota Vikings, 0-2 (9)
Losing to the Dolphins at home? Really? Brett Favre needs help quickly as the season moves on.
22. San Francisco 49ers, 0-2 (18)
At least they were within 24 points of the Saints, which they couldn’t do against Seattle.
23. Denver Broncos, 1-1 (25)
The Broncos reminded Pete Carroll’s team. For now Orton is diminishing rumors of the Tebow Takeover.
24. Arizona Cardinals, 1-1 (21)
One ugly win over the Rams + one ugly loss to the Falcons = 2010 doom.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-1 (22)
I thought they looked good in a victory in Week 1, but this team has bad turnover issues.
26. Oakland Raiders, 1-1 (29)
Looked pretty solid in the second half vs. the Rams, especially after quarterback switch to Bruce Gradkowski.
27. Seattle Seahawks, 1-1 (19)
Was 19 like 8 spots too high last week? I think so. Back to reality, Pete.
28. Carolina Panthers, 0-2 (26)
Two games in, the Matt Moore era ends and the Jimmy Clausen one begins…wow, that was quick.
29. Detroit Lions, 0-2 (27)
Jahvid Best. Ndakomung Suh. Calvin Johnson. This team will be dymanic soon. 2010? No, more like 2014. Be patient, Lions fans (if there are any left).
30. St. Louis Rams, 0-2 (30)
At least Sam Bradford isn’t snapping like other young quarterbacks. I enjoy being at Mizzou because most of the people here are Rams fans and therefore cannot talk any football trash.
31. Cleveland Browns, 0-2 (31)
Two close games against two mediocre (at best) teams merit a 31 ranking.
32. Buffalo Bills, 0-2 (32)
Hmm, what to say about Buffalo? Nothing other than the fact that they suck (sorry Mom and Dad).
Week 3 Picks/Spreads:
Titans 3 over Giants
Buccaneers 2 over Steelers (upset #1!)
Bengals 10 over Panthers
Ravens 17 over Browns
Texans 8 over Cowboys
Chiefs 3 over 49ers
Vikings 12 over Lions (don’t let me down again, Minnesota)
Patriots 24 over Bills (Game of the Week?!? Nope)
Saints 6 over Falcons
Redskins 7 over Rams
Eagles 11 over Jaguars
Raiders 1 over Cardinals (upset #2!)
Chargers 10 over Seahawks
Colts 9 over Broncos
Dolphins 6 over Jets (Game of the Week)
Packers 10 over Bears
Week 2: 7-9 (ouch!)
Week 2 w/spread: 6-10
Total 2010: 18-14
Total w/spread: 16-15-1
Thanks everyone for reading this! Alex and I are anticipating a weekly preview with predictions, like this one.