2014 NFL Power Rankings - Week 3
Once again, I've posted these rankings a little later than anticipated as we are at halftime of the Falcons-Buccaneers game. Or with a 35-0 score, the game is over for all intents and purposes.
Either way, here are my Week 3 NFL power rankings:
1. Denver Broncos - Record: 2-0, Last Update: No. 2
Two weeks into the 2014 season, Peyton Manning has yet to throw for 300 yards in a game, but Manning has a perfect 6:0 TD-to-INT ratio with four of those scores going to Julius Thomas. The Broncos will get their biggest test of the regular season as they head to Seattle to take on the Seahawks in a Super Bowl rematch in one of the most anticipated regular-season games of the season.
2. Seattle Seahawks - Record: 1-1, Last Update: No. 1
Even though the Seahawks got their first loss of the season last week and move down a spot in our power rankings, they are still the favorite to win Super Bowl XLIX according to Vegas (sportsbook.ag). Counting the playoffs, the Seahawks are 18-1 at home since 2012 and could find themselves back on top of these rankings if they beat the Broncos at home on Sunday.
3. Cincinnati Bengals - Record: 2-0, Last Update: No. 4
The Bengals continue to suffer injuries to their pass-catchers, but the good news is that it looks like A.J. Green won't miss any time. If he does, the team has a Week 4 bye anyways. Aside from injuries to their top-three pass-catchers, they have a dynamic running game led by their 1-2 punch of Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill and an outstanding defense. You could easily argue that they should be higher than No. 3.
4. Philadelphia Eagles - Record: 2-0, Last Update: No. 7
The first half has not gone so well for the Eagles this season, but they are unstoppable in the second half. Through two weeks, the Eagles have overcome double-digit second-half deficits in back-to-back weeks.
5. Green Bay Packers - Record: 1-1, Last Update: No. 5
After a slow offensive start in Week 1 (and into Week 2), the Packers offense came to life as Jordy Nelson exploded for 209 yards against the Jets secondary. Nelson has 18/292/1 on 30 targets through two weeks and although Randall Cobb has just 11 catches for 97 yards, he has scored three touchdowns in two games.
6. San Francisco 49ers - Record: 1-1, Last Update: No. 3
The 49ers have looked great for seven quarters this season although they allowed three Jay Cutler-to-Brandon Marshall touchdowns in their most recent quarter. As they look to bounce back from their fourth quarter collapse, their next two matchups against a pair of 2-0 teams: Arizona and Philadelphia.
7. New England Patriots - Record: 1-1, Last Update: No. 6
The Patriots romped a Adrian Peterson-less Vikings team as their former quarterback Matt Cassel through four picks including a pick-six to Chandler Jones. While Tom Brady has been anything but "terrific" to start the season, he has struggled with deep accuracy (1-of-12 on passes 20+ yards downfield) and accuracy under pressure (ranked 31st of 35 QBs), according to PFF.
8. Carolina Panthers - Record: 2-0, Last Update: No. 10
While Cam Newton returned to the field and made his debut in Week 2, the Panthers are once again doing it with defense. Through two weeks, they rank second in scoring defense (10.5 points per game) and fifth in total defense (293.5 yards per game).
9. Arizona Cardinals - Record: 2-0, Last Update: No. 11
While the Cardinals are 2-0 may not be as big of a surprise as the fact that they are in first place in the NFC West, there are some concerns with Carson Palmer, who missed Week 2's game and is dealing with a nerve issue.
10. Chicago Bears - Record: 1-1, Last Update: No. 17
Helped by San Francisco's meltdown, the Bears scored 21 fourth-quarter points to mount their come-from-behind win on Sunday Night Football. Before that final quarter, however, they have had seven mediocre quarters of football.
11. Indianapolis Colts - Record: 0-2, Last Update: No. 9
With losses to two teams in the top-four of our power rankings to start the season, the Colts are perhaps in the best shape of any 0-2 team considering they play in the weak AFC South. While they plenty of talented offensive players led by one of the league's best young quarterbacks in Andrew Luck, their defense is going to be a concern all season especially with the loss of Robert Mathis.
12. San Diego Chargers - Record: 1-1, Last Update: No. 20
Nearly off to a 2-0 start, the Chargers knocked off the defending Super Bowl champions at home on Sunday and lost by only one point on the road to the Cardinals after leading for most of that game.
13. Houston Texans - Record: 2-0, Last Update: No. 22
The Texans are 2-0. Again. If you remember, they began last season with a 2-0 record as well before they lost a franchise-record 14 consecutive games. While they won't do so again, their two wins are against Washington and Oakland, two teams near the bottom of our power rankings. With the league's best defensive player (J.J. Watt) and a strong running game led by Arian Foster, however, the Texans are legitimate contenders for the AFC South again.
14. Atlanta Falcons - Record: 1-1, Last Update: No. 12
So much better at home, the Falcons and Matt Ryan struggled in Cincinnati last weekend. In his career, Matt Ryan has a record of 37-10 at home and 24-25 on the road.
15. New Orleans Saints - Record: 0-2, Last Update: No. 8
Despite their 0-2 start, the Saints are favored by double digits at home this week against the Vikings that could begin the process of getting them to get back on track. The biggest problem so far for the Saints has been the defense, or lack thereof, as they are allowing 31.0 PPG (31st in NFL) and 446.0 YPG (30th).
16. Baltimore Ravens - Record: 1-1, Last Update: No. 19
Coming off a convincing win against the Steelers, Baltimore will face their third consecutive AFC North rival in as many weeks. One of the bigger surprises of the season is how productive Steve Smith Sr. has been with 189 yards, sixth-most in the NFL through Week 2.
-> Continue to Teams 17-32
Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle