NFL Power Rankings Week 3: The Injury Bug

Week 2 was a massacre unlike anything the football world has ever seen. Superstar players went down one after another, changing the whole narrative surrounding their respective teams for the rest of the year.

As will happen every Tuesday throughout the season, nine of our contributors — Zach Lyons, Mike HerndonJustin MeloJimmy MorrisRobert GreenlawWes WisleyAustin NelsonJosh Hong, and Justin Graver — have submitted their power rankings, 1 to 32. Below is the aggregate results of those rankings.

Biggest Risers: After falling nine spots last week, the Cleveland Browns jumped up eight spots. Both the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts jumped up six spots.

Biggest Fallers: The Minnesota Vikings were the biggest losers of Week 2 as they dropped seven spots this week.

It’s only been two weeks, so our rankers are a bit more reactionary than they will be as the season progresses. Here’s where we landed with our rankings as we head into Week 3 of the regular season…

To see the full list of everyone’s individual rankings click here.

Highest Rank:1stLowest Rank:3rdPreviously:2nd

Mike: I’m bumping the Ravens up to the top spot this week. It’s splitting hairs between Baltimore and Kansas City, but after two weeks the Ravens have looked like the better team. They absolutely pasted the Browns in Week 1 and then easily dispatched the Texans in Week 2. KC manhandled the Texans, but needed a last second field goal to force overtime with the Chargers and then a 58-yard field goal to sneak out the win.

I get it… division games can be unpredictable, but this is a Chargers team that barely escaped Cincinnati in Week 1 and had their rookie quarterback find out he was getting his first career start after the coin flip. The Chiefs offense isn’t totally in sync yet. The Ravens offense is and they boast the top defense in the league through two weeks.

Highest Rank:1stLowest Rank:2ndPreviously:1st
Highest Rank:3rdLowest Rank:4thPreviously:4th
Highest Rank:3rdLowest Rank:6thPreviously:3rd

Justin GraverAre the Saints too high here after their collapse on Monday Night Football? Perhaps, as I have them ranked the lowest amongst my cohorts. That said, it’s important to refrain from overreacting to an early season Monday night road game with the Saints missing their best offensive player (and in fact the best offense player in the league according to 2019 AP voters) in Michael Thomas. Their defense failed to get stops down the stretch against the Las Vegas Raiders after coming up big against Tom Brady a week ago. All tolled, we’ve seen the Saints bounce back from rougher starts than this in the Drew Brees-Sean Payton era, and despite Brees’ age and potentially noodled arm, I have faith the Saints will bounce back again.

They’re still the Saints, one of the most talented and well-coached teams on both sides of the ball, and it will take more than one road loss (Brees has never been great away from the Superdome anyway) for them to drop significantly in our rankings.

Highest Rank:3rdLowest Rank:6thPreviously:6th
Highest Rank:2nd7th6thPreviously:5th

Josh: I am not a hater. I am a realist. The Titans are 2-0. An ugly 2-0. Wins are wins, but the process is just as important as the results when projecting the future. They squeaked past a less than 100%, now 0-2 Broncos team and a talent-depleted Jaguars team.

With the way Arthur Smith is calling plays and how Ryan Tannehill is slinging the ball, the Titans are easily a playoff team. However, the defense has been pretty shaky. I’m not worried yet, as they have some key players coming back from injury soon. For now, I just need to see more on the field before I rank them as a top-five team in the NFL given the way the Seahawks and Packers look.

Highest Rank:7thLowest Rank:10thPreviously:9th
Highest Rank:7thLowest Rank:11thPreviously:7th
Highest Rank:7thLowest Rank:12thPreviously:11th
Highest Rank:7thLowest Rank:13thPreviously:15th

Austin: The Bucs are back, baby! Sort of. They looked a lot better on offense than they did in Week 1. Tom Brady threw 35 times for just 217 yards with a touchdown. He was without his No. 2 weapon in Chris Godwin who sat this one out with a concussion. Brady did throw another interception, but Tampa Bay was able to run the ball effectively. Leonard Fournette rushed for 103 yards and had a pair of touchdowns. The Brady/Arians experiment is still a work in progress, but if the Bucs can have that balance each week, watch out.

Highest Rank:6thLowest Rank:14thPreviously:12th
Highest Rank:10thLowest Rank:14thPreviously:10th
Highest Rank:7thLowest Rank:15thPreviously:8th
Highest Rank:8thLowest Rank:16thPreviously:13th

Wes: The Cowboys offense has racked up 950 total yards of offense which ranks 2nd in the league. They will need to keep that up because their defense has allowed 802 offensive yards with their pass rush and secondary looking subpar. If this continues, Dallas will likely be in more shootouts than they want to be. Even though they have that high powered offense, they fumbled four times against the Falcons, losing three of them. I’ll rank them higher when they become more efficient on offense and turn the ball over less. Despite ranking second in total yards, they’re 8th in points per game with 28.5. The defense is currently averaging 29.5 points allowed. By the way, if the Falcons had simply jumped on the onside kick, Dallas would be 0-2 and the national narrative would be singing a different tune.

Highest Rank:13thLowest Rank:17thPreviously:21st
Highest Rank:14thLowest Rank:21stPreviously:19th
Highest Rank:16thLowest Rank:20thPreviously:17th
Highest Rank:17thLowest Rank:20thPreviously:16th
Highest Rank:17thLowest Rank:28thPreviously:24th

Justin Melo: I’m not here to tell you that the Chargers are good, but they certainly earned some of my respect after Sunday’s performance. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert was thrown into the fire after Tyrod Taylor battled breathing issues prior to kickoff. Scary stuff. It’s good to hear that Taylor has been released from the hospital.

This was a tough spot for Herbert. Finding out that you’re starting your first NFL game just minutes before kickoff isn’t ideal, and having to do so against the defending champs is even worse. But Herbert handled himself impressively given the circumstances by throwing for 311 yards and accounting for 2 touchdowns.

On the other side of the ball, the defense was even more impressive. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley coached a heck of a game. He had Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense truly out of sync at times, a sight that’s been rare since Mahomes took the league by storm. Mahomes was just 9/22 for 80 yards at one point. You just don’t see that every day.

The Chargers looked like the better team at times, and were a few plays away from winning this game in overtime. Head coach Anthony Lynn should have been more aggressive. They ultimately failed to pull out the win, but an overtime loss to the world champs while dealing with adversity earns you some respect in my books.

Highest Rank:17thLowest Rank:31stPreviously:20th

Jimmy: Having the Bears at 31 is probably ridiculous, but once you get outside of the top 20 all of the teams feel pretty much the same. The Lions are terrible and it took a crazy 4th quarter and DeAndre Swift drop for Chicago to beat them. They also barely beat a terrible Giants team that lost Saquan Barkley in the game. They will end up with less that 5 wins.

Highest Rank:15thLowest Rank:25thPreviously:14th

Zach: I ranked the Minnesota Vikings at 15th. I’m quite a bit higher on them than my co-rankers are. People are going to say this team stinks and Kirk Cousins stinks, but this is a team that is built to rebound.

This is Vikings football. They stink for a few games, improve and people eventually forget all about their slow start. This is a super talented team that will eventually get Danielle Hunter back. The arrow is pointing up, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

My ranking is more of a projection about the immediate future of this team. This roster is a lot better than their current performance, and I believe we’ll start to see that on the field. Are we really honestly sitting here looking at this list and thinking the Minnesota Vikings are on the same level as the Cleveland Browns or Denver Broncos?

These other voters need to get a grip.

Highest Rank:17thLowest Rank:27thPreviously:30th
Highest Rank:19thLowest Rank:27thPreviously:18th
Highest Rank:19thLowest Rank:26thPreviously:29th
Highest Rank:21stLowest Rank:29thPreviously:31st
Highest Rank:23rdLowest Rank:31stPreviously:26th
Highest Rank:22ndLowest Rank:31stPreviously:22nd
Highest Rank:24thLowest Rank:29thPreviously:23rd
Highest Rank:26thLowest Rank:31stPreviously:27th
Highest Rank:25thLowest Rank:31stPreviously:25th

Robert: Going into the 2020 season, would you have guessed that the Panthers are top 10 in total yards per game, 6th in yards per attempt, and 5th in passing yards? Probably not. The Panthers are absolutely electric on offense, under new head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady.

Unfortunately, as good as the Panthers are on offense, they are equally terrible on defense, giving up the 6th most points per game. That is what the youngest defense in the league will do to you. There’s going to be growing pains.

The loss of Christian McCaffrey is going to hurt the team over the next few weeks. We’ll see if the downfield passing game opens up. For now, this is not a complete football team, but one where the arrow is pointing up, long term.

Highest Rank:30thLowest Rank:31stPreviously:28th
Highest Rank:32ndLowest Rank:32ndPreviously:32nd

Special Guest, Mister Lebowski: How many more examples do NFL teams need of Adam Gase and his unhinged terrible leadership before someone black-balls this guy from every NFL facility in the continental United States (and London, once the Jags uproot from the swamp *zing!!*). Against the 49ers, the Jets gave up an 80-yard TD run to Raheem Mostert on the very first play from scrimmage. Even with the 49ers dropping more men to injury than the opening battle of Starship Troopers, the Jets only managed to score one touchdown, in the final minute of the game.

Week 1, Jets-Bills. Halftime score? Bills 21, Jets 3. Week 2, Jets-49ers. Halftime score? 49ers 21, Jets 3. If the Gase master plan is to give up 3 touchdowns in the first half week-after-week while your offense can’t rip a single TD, then all is right as rain in Adamtown.

Let’s focus on Gase specifically now, as I have trouble throwing daggers at a team under this man’s magnificent tutelage. And by magnificent, I do, of course, mean horrid, moronic and sociopathic.

This is the same Adam Gase that led Jamal Adams to tell the New York Daily News, “If there’s a problem in the locker room, he lets another coach address the team. If we’re playing s—– and we’re losing, he doesn’t address the entire team as a group at halftime. He’ll walk out of the locker room and let another coach handle it.” Just oozing leadership, G Pain.

This is the same Adam Gase who was fired after three seasons as head coach of the Dolphins, and stalled the development of Ryan Tannehill so badly that Miami parted with the QB in a trade with Tennessee for a late round draft pick and agreed to pay $5 million of Tannehill’s $7 million guaranteed salary for the 2019 season in the form of a signing bonus. And what did Tannehill do with his newfound home? Threw for 2,742 yards, 22 TDs with a QB rating of 117.5 in ten games as a starter. Oh, and lead the Titans to their first AFC Championship appearance since 2002. Oh, and was awarded NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Good job, Adam!

And this is the same Adam Gase that left his wife immediately, and I do mean immediately, after the birth of his son to go meet with Peyton Manning. But don’t take my word for it, hear it straight from his wife, on record, as told by The Athletic’s Dan Pompei:

“So they pulled the baby out of me and said, ‘It’s a boy,'” Jennifer says. “They didn’t even put my organs back and sew me up before he’s like, ‘You good?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’m good.'” He said, ‘All right then, I’m out.’  They said, ‘You want to cut the umbilical cord?’ He said, ‘No, I’m good.'”

Open mouth stunned emoji.

Read it again! He asked his still-surgically opened wife “you good?”!!

I could keep going, but I won’t, ’cause this man makes me irrationally angry. The Jets should fire this man now, but they won’t, despite this man turning each head coaching job he’s offered into his own personal 3 Mile Island. So I’ll end with this: The Jets are bad, they may have an actual shot at 0-16, and it’s all the fault of one man:

Adam Eyeballs Gase.

Who is too high? Who is too low? Drop a comment down below!

Have your own power rankings? Click here to go to the forum and put up your own!

Comments

Leave a Reply