NFL Power Rankings: Saints tumble big time heading into Week 3

NFL Week 2 pretty much shook up the foundation of the 2020 season in a big way. Star players going down with torn ACLs. Others suffering serious injuries as the league was ravaged in a big way.

Through it all, the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens continued to do their thing. We were also thrown for a loop after the New Orleans Saints fell by double digits to the Las Vegas Raiders on “Monday Night Football.”

This will all act as a backdrop in providing you with our Week 3 NFL power rankings.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (1)

It took a wild comeback, with the help of Harrison Butker’s leg, but Kansas City escaped Week 2 with a win. Even on a day when Patrick Mahomes wasn’t at his best and the Chiefs’ offensive line struggled, they still found a way to win. There are some concerns in the secondary and regarding the ability to protect Mahomes, but this team keeps the No. 1 spot. Of course, that could change after an epic Week 3 clash against the Baltimore Ravens.

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2. Baltimore Ravens (2)

The Ravens make it look too easy sometimes. Baltimore didn’t need much from its offense in Week 2 with Lamar Jackson attempting just 24 passes for 204 passing yards and one touchdown. Instead, one of the league’s best defenses balled out and carried this team to victory. Things will be more challenging against Mahomes and Co. in Week 3, but this is the kind of potential AFC Championship Game preview everyone wants to see.

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3. Seattle Seahawks (4)

Russell Wilson might not be from this planet. Facing Bill Belichick and a stout New England Patriots defense, Wilson connected for one gorgeous touchdown strike after another. The NFL MVP candidate has thrown nine touchdowns with 610 passing yards through his first two games and has an absurd 140 quarterback rating. Seattle’s offense can win a Super Bowl, but its defense (55 points allowed) is an alarming Achilles’ heel through the first two games.

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4. Green Bay Packers (7)

Admittedly, we were concerned about Green Bay’s offense coming into the season. They didn’t do anything to lighten the load on Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones, but it turns out they didn’t need to. Jones (312 total yards, four touchdowns) looks like an All-Pro in 2020 and Rodgers (604 passing yards, 119.4 quarterback rating) looks better than anything we saw the past three seasons. Like the Seahawks, Green Bay’s defense is a problem and it could burn them in Week 3.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (5)

The Steelers escaped Week 2 with a slim 26-21 victory, just beating out the Denver Broncos and backup quarterback Jeff Driskel. Pittsburgh’s defense can create destruction in the backfield, already sitting at 10 sacks on the season. While Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will attack their secondary in Week 3, the Steelers should win by destroying Houston’s offensive line and likely recording five-plus sacks.

6. Arizona Cardinals (12)

Picking Kyler Murray to win NFL MVP isn’t looking quite as bold anymore. He tore apart a healthy San Francisco 49ers defense in Week 1, then humiliated Washington’s front seven in Week 2. Murray racked up 287 passing yards, 67 rushing yards and three total touchdowns on Sunday. Between his chemistry with DeAndre Hopkins and the ability to make eye-popping throws like this, the sky is the limit for the Cardinals in 2020.

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7. Buffalo Bills (8)

After two weeks of the NFL season, the Bills are 2-0 and Josh Allen is dominating with 729 passing yards, seven total touchdowns and a 122.9 quarterback rating. There’s reason for excitement, but this team feels like a massive gamble. Barely beating the Miami Dolphins is a concern, especially with much better competition looming. The Bills stay at No. 8 for now, but a big drop could be looming in the NFL power rankings.

8. San Francisco 49ers (6)

While the 49ers dismantled the Jets despite being ravaged by injuries, it says more about how bad Adam Gase is. San Francisco won easily in Week 2, but likely lost Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas for the season. To make matters worse, Jimmy Garoppolo and Raheem Mostert are in danger of missing time. A soft upcoming schedule (@ NYG, vs. PHI, vs. MIA) helps, but the injuries have dealt a staggering blow to a Super Bowl contender.

9. New Orleans Saints (3)

New Orleans is the only team in the NFL with 100-plus penalty yards in consecutive games. The lack of discipline and execution is a problem, but Drew Brees’ evident decline is even more concerning. If Michael Thomas isn’t available to play in Week 3 against the Packers, the Saints are in serious jeopardy of dropping to 1-2. One thing is for sure, Brees needs to retire when the season ends after what we’ve seen over the first two weeks.

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10. Los Angeles Rams (14)

It’s time to recognize the Rams and their return to contention. A team we thought may live in the cellar in the NFC West this season, instead is playing like a real threat in the conference. As a team, Los Angeles’ offense is averaging 4.4 yards per carry with 344 rushing yards through two games. Pair that with a defense allowing the third-fewest points per game (18) and you’ve got a contender. Keep an eye on the Week 3 matchup against the Bills, it’s an underrate battle.

11. Dallas Cowboys (10)

One of the most unbelievable comebacks in recent memory. Dallas only had a 2% chance to win midway through the fourth quarter, per NextGen Stats, but found a way to win at the last second. Given just 12% of teams in NFL history make the playoffs after starting 0-2, Sunday’s victory was even more crucial. Dallas can enjoy this one, but this defense is alarmingly bad and that’s especially problematic heading into a Week 3 matchup against Russell Wilson and Co.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11)

The Buccaneers rebounded in Week 2, finding more rhythm on offense in a 31-17 victory. After an ugly Week 1 performance, Tom Brady looked sharper on Sunday with 217 passing yards. His numbers would have been even better if not for three dropped touchdown passes. There’s a lot for Tampa Bay’s offense to clean up, but they should start climbing the power rankings once Leonard Fournette is the featured back and Brady is connecting with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

13. New England Patriots (13)

It’s utterly absurd that so many NFL teams just let the Patriots have Cam Newton. He impressed in his Week 1 debut with New England and then made that outing look like a small opener before Week 2. On Sunday Night Football against the Seahawks, Newton racked up 397 passing yards and he scored two rushing touchdowns for the second consecutive week. The Patriots are a playoff team and there’s a chance it’s evident this team is better with Newton than Brady.

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14. Las Vegas Raiders (18)

What an absolutely amazing first game in Las Vegas for these Raiders. Down 10-0 to the New Orleans Saints Monday night, the Raiders came storming back to win 34-24. Derek Carr is playing great football. He has an elite tight end in Darren Waller. Meanwhile, a vastly improved Raiders defense has this team at 2-0 heading into a Week 3 outing against the New England Patriots.

15. Tennessee Titans (9)

The Titans are in a similar boat as the Bills, except we have more concerns about Tennessee’s defense. This team barely escaped with a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, a week after sneaking away with a last-second win over the Broncos. With other 2-0 teams looking more impressive, paired with 1-1 teams with superior talent, Tennessee falls down the power rankings. We expect them to be 3-0 after facing the Minnesota Vikings next week, but even that victory wouldn’t say much.

16. Indianapolis Colts (17)

A week after losing Marlon Mack for the season, Indianapolis learned it will be in even better hands with Jonathan Taylor. The rookie running back carried this offense to victory in Week 2. The Colts will need similar performances from him moving forward, given Philip Rivers can no longer win games without massive help. Losing Parris Campbell is a big blow for this passing attack, but the run game should keep them in contention.

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17. Chicago Bears (19)

Yes, the Bears are one of the few remaining undefeated teams in the NFL. However, it doesn’t feel as impressive when this team came inches away from losing to the Detroit Lions and New York Giants. Fans will look for the positives with Mitchell Trubisky, but Allen Robinson knows that Chicago’s quarterback is still a problem. If the Bears had signed Cam Newton, we might be looking at a Super Bowl contender and a top-five NFL team.

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18. Jacksonville Jaguars (24)

Jacksonville’s narrow loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 2 painted this squad in a great light. Down 24-10, Gardner Minshew and Co. came roaring back to tie the game at 30 before losing via a field goal in the final 96 seconds of the game. A team most envisioned to be among the most talent stricken in the NFL, these Jaguars have looked darn good through two weeks.

19. Los Angeles Chargers (21)

The future might be right now for Los Angeles. After Tyrod Taylor was a surprise scratch in Week 2 due to an infection, rookie sixth overall pick Justin Herbert almost led the Chargers to a win over the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs in their first ever game at SoFi Stadium. In the process, Herbert threw for 311 yards with two total touchdowns. Despite the narrow loss, we move the Chargers up a couple spots heading into Week 3.

20. Philadelphia Eagles (16)

Ugly. There’s no other way to go about it. Philadelphia has struggled in pretty much every area since opening up a 17-0 Week 1 lead against Washington. The Eagles have been outscored 64-19 since then, including an ugly 37-19 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Meanwhile, Carson Wentz has thrown two touchdowns compared to four interceptions. That’s just brutal.

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21. Minnesota Vikings (13)

It’s unreasonable to believe that Kirk Cousins will magically turn things around after two brutal games to start the 2020 campaign. Here’s a dude that threw for less than 100 net passing yards with three interceptions in last week’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Through two games, Cousins has thrown for less than 350 net passing yards with two touchdowns and four picks. For good measure, Minnesota’s previously vaunted defense has given up 35.5 points per game. This team is in shambles.

22. Atlanta Falcons (20)

How do you blow a 15-points lead with just over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter without a single giveaway? The Falcons answered that question during a brutal late-game meltdown against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2. It’s pretty much been all about ineptitude on defense with the Falcons having given up 39 points per game and nearly 1,000 total yards of offense in two weeks.

Falcons fan pens resignation letter to the team

23. Houston Texans (22)

Bill O’Brien’s team-building philosophy is now in question after the first two weeks of the 2020 season. Quarterback Deshaun Watson has now been hit north of 20 times in two games. That comes after Houston made Laremy Tunsil the highest-paid left tackle in the NFL during the spring. This very same span has seen the Texans’ defense give up 33.5 points per game. The Texans are a complete mess heading into Week 3 against Pittsburgh.

24. Denver Broncos (23)

Injuries. Injuries. Injuries. Perhaps outside of the Bay Area, Denver has been hit the most by the injury bug. It’s been absolutely brutal for Vic Fangio’s squad. This past week alone, quarterback Drew Lock suffered an AC joint sprain in the shoulder and could miss up to six weeks. Meanwhile, Courtland Sutton is out for the remainder of the year with a torn ACL. Remember, Denver is already without Von Miller and A.J. Bouye. The only saving grace here is that these Broncos have lost their first two games by a combined seven points.

25. Cleveland Browns (29)

Are we really going to give Kevin Stefanski’s squad a lot of credit for a narrow home win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2? Making his first ever road start, Joe Burrow torched the Browns’ defense to the tune of 316 yards and three touchdowns. This comes after a disastrous Week 1 blowout loss to Baltimore. We’ll know more about Cleveland should it take care of business against a lesser Washington squad in Week 3.

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26. Carolina Panthers (25)

Carolina’s issues on defense under offensive-minded head coach Matt Rhule were already known heading into the season. Luke Kuechly’s retirement put this unit behind the proverbial eight-ball. A lack of experience in the secondary has been an issue, too. Despite this, what we’ve seen from the Panthers’ defense after two weeks is nothing short of disastrous. Five rushing touchdowns allowed to opposing backs. An average of 32.5 points per game given up by this unit. That has the Panthers at 0-2 with little light at the end of the tunnel.

27. Cincinnati Bengals (28)

We will say this for Zac Taylor’s squad. The team has been ultra competitive over the first two weeks of the season. That includes the Bengals losing their first two outings by a combined eight points. In reality, it’s been all about the tremendous performance from rookie No. 1 pick Joe Burrow. He’s put up 574 total yards with four touchdowns and one interception. If Burrow continues to play like this, he’s looking at a history-breaking initial NFL season.

28. New York Giants (26)

Saquon Barkley’s season-ending injury impacts the Giants’ ranking in a big way. Without the former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in the mix, these Giants are going to struggle staying close in games. They were hoping to see how the backfield of Barkley and Daniel Jones would look for a full season. That’s not happening. And it has New York as one of the least-talented teams in the NFL.

29. Miami Dolphins (30)

Miami put up a tremendous fight against the Buffalo Bills in Week 2, losing by the score of 31-28. Interestingly enough, it’s been the defense under Brian Flores that has let this team down during a 0-2 start to the season. Last week alone, Miami allowed Josh Allen to throw for 417 yards and four touchdowns. If this unit fails to step up, Miami has no chance at being more competitive than we saw last season. It’s that simple.

30. Washington Football Team (30)

Washington’s brilliant comeback win over Philadelphia in Week 1 game in to reality this past Sunday. Ron Rivera’s squad just isn’t talented enough to be competitive on a consistent basis. Washington was absolutely manhandled by the Arizona Cardinals, finding itself down 20-0 at the half. The one saving grace is that the team did not give up after halftime. That’s a testament to Mr. Rivera.

Washington vs Cleveland Week 3 preview

31. Detroit Lions (31)

Matt Patricia might very well be the first head coach to be given a pink slip this season. Last week’s 42-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers adds another layer to this. That came after Detroit allowed Mitchell Trubisky to throw three fourth-quarter touchdowns in an ugly Week 1 loss to the Chicago Bears. Through two weeks, the Lions are already toast.

32. New York Jets (32)

Adam Gase’s post-game comments following an ugly 31-13 loss to the injury-plagued 49ers on Sunday says it all. This team simply needs to play better. Regardless of the talent issues on the team, a lack of competitiveness paints Gase and his team in a bad light. He might be without a job here soon. It’s simply embarrassing in Jersey right now.



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