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NFL power rankings: Week 3

Each week members of The Game Haus will collaborate to determine our NFL Power Rankings. We rate teams from 1-32 and add the points received to give us our final answer.

Our voters: Zac Stone, Ben Hendricks, Joe DiTullio, Victoria Horsley, Michael Packard, Pranay Malempati, Savannah Dean, Jacob Gilbert.

Wow. What a week to be a football fan. Six teams that were underdogs managed to give that title no meaning. The Bills were an afterthought while the Vikings looked to be one of the league’s top teams, but that now has to be rethought.

The Saints have delivered two of the most exciting games of the season already with two shootouts, the latest coming at the expense of the Falcons. Fitzmagic was unable to keep the Buccaneers afloat against the Steelers, but provided football fans with an exciting comeback attempt on Monday night.

Carson Wentz may not have been in full force, but the defending Super Bowl champs finally have their quarterback back, who also led them to a win. The NFC South is a division that no one wants to be in right now with all four teams looking like playoff contenders.

Oh yeah, and the Browns won for the first time since 2016. All in all, an exciting week of football. Here is how each team fares after week 3.

1. Los Angeles Rams – 255 (High: 1. Low: 2)

Not much seems to be going wrong with the Rams. Their superstar stacked defense has dominated opposing offenses. Sean McVay and Todd Gurley are dominating opposing defenses. Then today, news came out that both Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters will be out for about four weeks. L.A. has enough talent to withstand the losses but it will still be a challenge.

-Pranay Malempati

2. Kansas City Chiefs – 248 (High: 1. Low 3)

It is unarguable that this team is one of the top teams so far through week three. Patrick Mahomes is shattering records left and right, and he has multiple weapons that help him do so. Their offense is on fire and they have too many people for an opposing defense to cover. Their downfall is on their defense. Losing Marcus Peters is showing a bit in the secondary. Play calls are also a little scary in the second half, but their first-half offense creates so much of a lead that teams are having a hard time catching back up.

-Victoria Horsley

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – 226 (High: 3. Low 8)

After coming out of the previous week with an emotional win against the New England Patriots,
the Jaguars came crashing down to earth in a 9-6 loss to their divisional foe the Titans. Quarterback Blake
Bortles, after passing for a career-high 376 yards and four touchdowns against the Pats, only
managed 187 total yards from scrimmage. The ground game, while respectable (19 attempts
for 87 yards), never produced any meaningful yards, and there were untimely penalties that
put the offense in long-down situations. The defense did its part, only allowing 233 total yards
of offense, but couldn’t stop the dual-threat offense of quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back Derrick
Henry when it needed to. Look for the Jaguars to get back on track at home against the 1-2 Jets
next week.

-Michael Packard

4. Philadelphia Eagles – 224 (High 3. Low 11)

After stumbling in week 2 against the Buccaneers and Fitzmagic, the Eagles were able to respond against a Colts team that is still finding their footing. Carson Wentz played well in his first game, but was not 100%. The healthier Wentz gets, the better the Eagles will be. Aside from the four touchdowns last week, the defense looks primed to put the Eagles back in the postseason.

-Zac Stone

5. New Orleans Saints – 212 (High 4. Low 12)

Drew Brees is amazing. That’s all I can say. He just took the record for career completions and is within reach of the career passing yards record. But after one season of solid play, the Saints defense turned back into the swiss cheese that it has typically been during the Brees era. They have talented players though, who have the potential to turn it up.

-Pranay Malempati

6. Carolina Panthers- 184 (High 5. Low 14)

Christian McCaffery is the truth. He proved in this week’s game, by running for 184 yards, that he can both catch and run in the NFL. Newton added 2 touchdowns in the run game and their defense picked off Andy Dalton four times. Newton has been up and down with his passing, but if he can get hot, this team could be a dark horse in the playoffs.

-Pranay Malempati

7. Miami Dolphins – 178 (High 2. Low 21)

If I would have told you before the season started that there would be one AFC East team sitting at 3-0, who would you have said it was? My guess is not Miami. Credit where credit is due, Miami keeps playing well, even if it’s going to take a lot more to convince the general public that they are a threat to the Patriots’ crown. They beat a Raiders team in Week 3 that looked all but lost. Tannehill is playing well, and the defense can hold their own. But let’s reserve the big conversations until after their next game in Foxboro.

-Ben Hendricks

8. Cincinnati Bengals – 177 (High 6. Low 17)

Andy Dalton, what a difference from week 2 to week 3. I believe he is moving more towards a stand out quarterback than throwing four interceptions. It makes it seem like it was all just a fluke. The loss of Mixon to injury hurts. The defense was unable to cause any turnovers and only sacked Newton once.

-Savannah Dean

T9. Baltimore Ravens – 171 (High 6. Low 18)

Flacco knows how to outplay young quarterbacks and can hit multiple receivers easily. But the Ravens defense is the star. An interception and three sacks set up a shocking win at home. It’s a clutch win for the Ravens when they were in fear of falling two games behind.

-Savannah Dean

T9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 171 (High 6. Low 21)

Well, it looked like Fitzmagic had turned into Fitztragic at halftime, throwing three picks in the first half. We still don’t know that he can play well for an entire season. But he did turn it around in the second half and had the ball down three points, almost leading a comeback. They have weapons for days, including number three receiver Chris Godwin who has scored a TD in each game.
-Pranay Malempati

11. Atlanta Falcons – 169 (High 5. Low 19)

The Falcons simply cannot catch a break. Not only did they lose a game in which Matt Ryan threw for 374 yards and five touchdowns, but they also lost another key defender in Ricardo Allen for the season. So that’s both their starting safeties and their best linebacker on IR. On a positive note, Calvin Ridley showed out, which might open things up for Julio in the future.

-Pranay Malempati

12. New England Patriots – 168 (High 8. Low 23)

Do not hit the panic button. Yes, the mighty Pats are 1-2, and, yes, their offense looks a bit anemic, and, yes, the defense is almost as bad as it was early last season. But September is notoriously bad to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. They’re playing without Edelman, and their new weapon Josh Gordon was not able to suit up this week. Rest assured, they will find their footing. And as long as they have the man in the hoodie is wearing the headset, and number 12 is under center, they should be a lock for a top 10 spot.

-Ben Hendricks

13. Minnesota Vikings – 167 (High 4. Lowest 21)

Ouch. This game should be viewed as a fluke. The Vikings have the talent on both sides of the ball to be viewed as one of the top teams in the league. Every year a team loses a game that they should clearly win. No team was favored more than the Vikings in week 3, they might have been looking ahead to week 4. The biggest concern is Kirk Cousins’ ball security. He fumbled twice and was unable to provide any offense. Lead back Dalvin Cook did not play, but with a team of this caliber, one player should not make the difference when they have a backup as good as Latavius Murray. The defense had a short field to work with all day and Josh Allen made them pay. This should not be a red flag to the Minnesota faithful. The team would have completed a huge comeback against the division rival Packers if they had a kicker. The Vikings should be fine, but hopefully, this was a wake up call.

-Zac Stone

14. Green Bay Packers – 162 (High 5. Lowest 19)

With the Vikings losing, the loss against the Washington Redskins is not as bad as it could have been. An injured Aaron Rodgers took the field in horrible weather on the road to try and beat Alex Smith, a revived Adrian Peterson and a Redskins defense that were determined to stop the former MVP. The Packers were never really in this contest, but like the Vikings, this should not be a red flag. While they had an impressive week one comeback, they have not played at an acceptable level for Green Bay fans. Rodgers not at 100% has been the key. When he is at his best, he improves the offense while alleviating the pressure from the defense. The Bears may be at the top of the division, but this should still be a two-team race at the end of the season.

-Zac Stone

15. Los Angeles Chargers – 159 (Highest 7. Low 24)

Phillip Rivers is a veteran quarterback that is still playing to the best of his ability. On defense, other than Joey Bosa, they aren’t relevant. They need to improve on defense but also in their run game. With only two rushing touchdowns so far in three weeks, this would be a good place to improve to diversify their offense.

-Victoria Horsley

16. Chicago Bears – 140 (High 4. Low 29)

First place is probably not where the Bears expected to be after three weeks. They knew they were close so they traded for one of the best defenders in the league in Khalil Mack. He has played better than basically the entire Raiders defense. The wins against the Cardinals and Seahawks are not proof they can win the division, but they control their destiny. The Bears defense has shown up outside of a collapse to an Aaron Rodgers led-team. Mitchell Trubisky still has adjustments to make in his second year, but if he can make those, the Bears may be a sleeper team to sneak into the playoffs.

-Zac Stone

17. Denver Broncos – 139 (High 8. Low 21)

Case Keenum had seven interceptions in 2017 with the Vikings. He now has five in the first three weeks of 2018. He has so many good weapons on offense including rookies Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman that if he can keep it in the hands of Broncos, they can be a fierce offense. On defense, the line is terrifying to any quarterback. Rookie Bradley Chubb is making his name heard alongside veteran Von Miller and teammate Shane Ray. The secondary has a weak spot due to the loss of Aqib Talib. If they can get back to “no fly zone” levels of play, this will be a rough team to go against.

-Victoria Horsley

18. Pittsburgh Steelers – 130 (High 12. Low 21)

The Bostic addition has vamped up this Steelers defense, as they forced three interceptions. Antonio Brown is back and it shows. Big Ben is back throwing incredible passes down field in tight corners. Bell is holding out but they didn’t seem to need him against the Bucs

-Savannah Dean

19. Tennessee Titans – 125 (High 13. Low 23)

Where there is a will, there is a way, and that is exactly how the Titans eeked out a 9-6 victory
over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, starting for the injured Marcus Mariota, was
out of the game by the first quarter because of a concussion, so Mariota was forced to come
in. Mariota, still dealing with numbness in his throwing hand from an elbow injury suffered in
Week 1, did more damage on the ground than the air because of his ability to extend plays and
gain crucial first downs in the fourth quarter when the Jags were trying to get the ball back. The
defense held the Jaguar offense in check all day, never letting the receivers get behind them
and limited big gain plays to a minimal amount. The Titans look to keep their two-game win
streak alive next week when they host the 2-1 Eagles at Nissan Stadium.

-Michael Packard

20. Washington Redskins – 120 (High 5. Low 21)

A disappointing home loss in week 2 to the Colts had people thinking this team was bound for another mediocre season. After pounding the Packers and Aaron Rodgers on a rainy day in the capital, that might not be the case. Alex Smith has a knack for sneaking into the postseason, and he might be able to do it in his new threads this season.

-Zac Stone

21. Detroit Lions – 91 (High 17. Low 28)

What a win. The Lions seemed like a team that was all but eliminated after dropping their first two games. New head coach Matt Patricia made sure his old team knew they were here to play. A shocking win in primetime may change the minds of people who counted the Lions out. For the second straight game, they made Tom Brady realize that he is not unstoppable despite his age, holding him to just 133 yards and one touchdown. Detroit still has a mountain to climb, but if they can play like they did Sunday, the mountain no longer looks like Everest.

-Zac Stone

22. Cleveland Browns – 89 (High 14. Low 26)

The Browns get their first win in 635 days. They are no longer a losing team. Baker Mayfield came to play and showed what he could do. The Browns as a whole stepped it up and showed what they can do. They move up in the rankings and their confidence builds going into Oakland.

-Savannah Dean

23. Indianapolis Colts – 81 (High 20. Low 28)

Give the Colts credit, they hung tough against the defending Super Bowl champions. But when
quarterback Andrew Luck attempts 40 passes and only manages 164 yards and a touchdown, that won’t
cut it against a top 10 defense like the Eagles. It also doesn’t help that Indianapolis’s run
defense gave up over 150 yards to a bunch of backup running backs. With all that being said,
the Colts should feel somewhat good about themselves, as they once held a three-point lead in
the third and fourth quarter before giving up the lead late to lose 20-16. The Colts should have
an easy match-up at home next week against the lowly 0-3 Texans.

-Michael Packard

24. Dallas Cowboys- 76 (High 17. Low 27)

This Cowboys team is confusing. They had a great defensive effort in their first two games, then they allow 24 points to a Seahawks team with almost no offense. in year three, Dak Prescott is building on his sophomore season, proving that his rookie year might not be who he really is. Ezekiel Elliott has had to carry the offense, which does not help when teams know what is coming. The offense needs a new game plan quick, or it will be a long season in Dallas.

-Zac Stone

25. New York Giants – 60 (High 20. Low 29)

The Giants have not had the easiest schedule to open the season. Starting 0-2 against the Jaguars and on the road against division rival Cowboys is nothing to dwell on, but with the stars they have on offense, a few more points were to be expected. They showed up on the road in Houston, but with the way the Texans are playing, it is hard to look too far into that. Their week four matchup against the Saints at home will be a true test of where this team is.

-Zac Stone

26. Seattle Seahawks – 59 (High 24. Low 29)

Russell Wilson did Russell Wilson things and finally, the Seahawks won a game. Defensively, Earl Thomas was all over the field, had two picks, and might’ve increased the Hawks’ potential haul if they trade him. This team still needs an offensive line and running before they turn back into contenders.

-Pranay Malempati

27. Buffalo Bills – 52 (High 20. Low 30)

Bills Mafia picked up a huge, massive, ridiculous, unexpected win this week behind their rookie quarterback, Josh Allen. Allen went 15-for-22 with one touchdown and no interceptions against the vaunted Minnesota defense. Add to that 39 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Oh, and he jumped clean over Vikings’ linebacker Anthony Barr. The Bills are not good. But if Allen can keep playing even half as well as he did against one of the top defenses in the league, they may not be quite the cellar-dwellers we all thought they were.

-Ben Hendricks

T28. New York Jets – 43 (High 26. Low 31)

Not to make excuses for anyone, but I’m not sure any team in the NFL could have denied the Browns their first win in 635 days last Thursday. The Jets’ defense played well, but they were unprepared for the possibility of a Baker Mayfield debut, and it showed. Under Sam Darnold, the offense is feast or famine right now. On Thursday, it was a bit of both. But the still-unproven Darnold looked like a rookie against a surprisingly excellent Cleveland defense. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just a few years away.

-Ben Hendricks

T28. San Francisco 49ers – 43 (High 24. Low 30)

The Niners looked like potential playoff contenders, but Jimmy G’s torn ACL postpones their rebuild another season. It probably drops them to the bottom of the pack in the NFC. On the bright side, Matt Breida is fine and looks like Kyle Shanahan’s running back of the future.

-Pranay Malempati

30. Oakland Raiders – 31 (High 23. 31)

The Raiders record doesn’t correctly reflect their skill level. They are 0-3 after three weeks, but those losses are to the Rams, Broncos and Dolphins. Derek Carr isn’t as consistent as he has been in past seasons, but adding Jordy Nelson has helped them compete. They obviously lost Khalil Mack and that is their hole on defense. They have yet to be able to fill the huge spot Mack left. They need to buckle down and get their quarterback pressure under control. Their offense is good enough to win them games, but their defense just needs to be good enough to win games as well.

-Victoria Horsley

31. Houston Texans – 22 (High 28. Low 32)

Talk about a disappointment. The return of quarterback Deshaun Watson, defensive end J.J. Watt and linebacker  Whitney Mercilus were supposed to help the Texans return to relevancy for the 2018 season. However, that has not been the case. The defense hasn’t been able to stop anyone through the first two
weeks, and a 27-22 loss to the Giants was no different. Eli Manning, who had struggled through
the first two games, looked about 10 years younger and tore up the Houston secondary while
the run game put up 114 yards. Watson has finally shaken some rust off since coming back from
a torn ACL, but he is padding his stats since the team is usually down by a sizable margin
through most of the game. It doesn’t help when the run game for the Texans doesn’t do anything and your quarterback is the leading rusher. Houston will look for its first win of 2018
when they travel to Indianapolis to take on the 1-2 Colts.

-Michael Packard

32. Arizona Cardinals – 10 (High 30. Low 32)

Nothing is going right for the Cardinals, who have scored a grand total of 20 points in three games. At least the fans now get to watch Josh Rosen, who should be a big upgrade over Sam Bradford.

-Pranay Malempati

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