NFL Power Rankings Poll Week 3: Cowboys, Niners and Bills (!) on the Rise

This week’s voters:

Ben Baskin, Staff Writer
Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Albert Breer, Senior NFL Reporter/Lead Content Strategist
Mitch Goldich, Producer/Writer
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Kalyn Kahler, Writer/Producer
Robert Klemko, Senior Writer

Bette Marston, Associate Editor
Mark Mravic, Executive Editor
Conor Orr, Staff Writer

Jenny Vrentas, Senior Writer

1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2-0)

Previous rank: 1
Points in poll: 351
Highest-place vote: 1 (10 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 2 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Miami, 43-0
This week: vs. N.Y. Jets

Everyone’s talking about Antonio Brown, but what about that defense? The Pats have allowed three points through two games. And here come Luke Falk’s Jets.

2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (2-0)

Previous rank: 2
Points in poll: 342
Highest-place vote: 1 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 2 (10 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Oakland, 28-10
This week: vs. Baltimore

Tyreek Hill’s absence was hardly felt, as Damarcus Robinson had six catches for 172 yards. Tasty Mahomes-Jackson matchup on tap.

3. LOS ANGELES RAMS (2-0)

Previous rank: 3
Points in poll: 327
Highest-place vote: 3 (9 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 5 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat New Orleans, 27-9
This week: at Cleveland

NFL 100 fun fact for the day: The Rams franchise began in Cleveland in 1937. It returns to its roots on Sunday.

4. DALLAS COWBOYS (2-0)

Previous rank: 6
Points in poll: 314
Highest-place vote: 4 (7 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Washington, 31-21
This week: vs. Miami

Dak Prescott is making an early MVP push—completing 82.3% of his passes, with a rating of 142.9 over two games.

5. BALTIMORE RAVENS (2-0)

Previous rank: 11
Points in poll: 302
Highest-place vote: 1 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Arizona, 23-17
This week: at Kansas City

The Ravens offense is averaging 541.5 yards per game—about twice what their defense is giving up—and Lamar Jackson got his rush on against the Cards. Scary.

6. GREEN BAY PACKERS (2-0)

Previous rank: 9
Points in poll: 286
Highest-place vote: 4 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Minnesota, 21-16
This week: vs. Denver

No, things aren’t really clicking yet for Rodgers and LaFleur, but Green Bay has two wins over division opponents under its belt.

7. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (1-1)

Previous rank: 5
Points in poll: 283
Highest-place vote: 3 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Atlanta, 24-20
This week: vs. Detroit

Doug Pederson needs to do some savvy roster juggling given the slew of injuries coming out of the Atlanta loss, with a Thursday-nighter coming after this Sunday.

8. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (2-0)

Previous rank: 10
Points in poll: 276
Highest-place vote: 6 (4 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Pittsburgh, 28-26
This week: vs. New Orleans

Rookie D.K. Metcalf is averaging 21.4 yards per reception. Why did he slide in the draft, again?

9. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (1-1)

Previous rank: 8
Points in poll: 247
Highest-place vote: 8 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Detroit, 13-10
This week: vs. Houston

You use a punter to do your placekicking and miss two field goals in a 13-10 loss. An alternate plan might have been advisable.

10. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (1-1)

Previous rank: 7
Points in poll: 245
Highest-place vote: 6 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Green Bay, 21-16
This week: vs. Oakland

Kirk Cousins’s performance against the Packers, including that brain-cramp pick in the endzone late, may hint at why Mike Zimmer wants to run the ball.

11. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (2-0)

Previous rank: 18
Points in poll: 226
Highest-place vote: 9 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Cincinnati, 41-17
This week: vs. Pittsburgh

Nice climb up the rankings after a thorough beatdown of the Bengals in which Jimmy Garoppolo was efficient and the run game looked formidable.

12. ATLANTA FALCONS (1-1)

Previous rank: 22
Points in poll: 226
Highest-place vote: 9 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Philadelphia, 24-20
This week: at Indianapolis

Solid bounce-back win in Week 2 that affirmed (for some) the overall quality of this team. It’s amazing what can happen when you throw the ball to Julio Jones.

13. BUFFALO BILLS (2-0)

Previous rank: 20
Points in poll: 217
Highest-place vote: 7 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat N.Y. Giants, 28-14
This week: vs. Cincinnati

Josh Allen is winning games—and showing some swag. Our voters took note, and the Bills are in the top half of the poll for the first time in a long time.

14. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (1-1)

Previous rank: 14
Points in poll: 214
Highest-place vote: 9 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Tennessee, 19-17
This week: vs. Atlanta

Adam Vinatieri is sticking around, for now, but it might be wise for the Colts not to have to put games on his feet.

15. HOUSTON TEXANS (1-1)

Previous rank: 13
Points in poll: 208
Highest-place vote: 11 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Jacksonville, 13-12
This week: at L.A. Chargers

Newcomers Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde are shaping up into a productive running back combo. The Texans are fifth in the league in rushing.

16. CHICAGO BEARS (1-1)

Previous rank: 15
Points in poll: 187
Highest-place vote: 11 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Denver, 16-14
This week: at Washington (Monday)

The Bears celebrated Eddy Piñeiro’s 53-yard game-winner like it was the Super Bowl. Imagine what they’ll do if Trubisky throws a touchdown pass.

17. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (1-1)

Previous rank: 4
Points in poll: 181
Highest-place vote: 9 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to L.A. Rams, 27-9
This week: at Seattle

Saints plummet 13 places, as our voters express limited faith in Teddy Bridgewater (and Taysom Hill?) filling in for Drew Brees.

18. TENNESSEE TITANS (1-1)

Previous rank: 12
Points in poll: 178
Highest-place vote: 13 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Indianapolis, 19-17
This week: at Jacksonville (Thursday)

Important early divisional showdown with the Jags. Don’t do your laundry on Thursday!

19. DETROIT LIONS (1-0-1)

Previous rank: 24T
Points in poll: 168
Highest-place vote: 12 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat L.A. Chargers, 13-10
This week: at Philadelphia

Kerryon Johnson alone is reason to watch the Lions.

20. CLEVELAND BROWNS (1-1)

Previous rank: 19
Points in poll: 155
Highest-place vote: 12 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat N.Y. Jets, 23-3
This week: vs. L.A. Rams

Six catches for 161 yards and an 89-yard TDthat’s why OBJ-to-Cleveland was the talk of the early offseason. The Browns get stiffer competition this week.

21. CAROLINA PANTHERS (0-2)

Previous rank: 17
Points in poll: 132
Highest-place vote: 17 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Tampa Bay, 20-14
This week: at Arizona

Cam Newton is off to the worst start of his career and says he needs to do some “real soul-searching.” Not quite what you want to hear from your franchise QB.

22. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (0-2)

Previous rank: 16
Points in poll: 121
Highest-place vote: 21 (5 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 24 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Seattle, 28-26
This week: at San Francisco

Roethlisberger out for the year, Brown and Bell long gone. It’s feeling like transition time in Pittsburgh.

23. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (0-2)

Previous rank: 23
Points in poll: 116
Highest-place vote: 19 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Houston, 13-12
This week: vs. Tennessee (Thursday)

If they’d punched in that two-point conversion, we wouldn’t be talking so much about the Jalen Ramsey-Doug Marrone sideline spat. A game of inches!

24. OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-1)

Previous rank: 21
Points in poll: 87
Highest-place vote: 23 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Kansas City, 28-10
This week: at Minnesota

Look at it this way—in three out of the four quarters, the Raiders held Patrick Mahomes scoreless.

25. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (1-1)

Previous rank: 31
Points in poll: 84
Highest-place vote: 19 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Carolina, 20-14
This week: vs. N.Y. Giants

Todd Bowles’ defense is holding opponents to 2.7 yards per rushing attempt, third-best in the league. Let’s see what it can do against Saquon Barkley.

26. CINCINNATI BENGALS (0-2)

Previous rank: 24T
Points in poll: 73
Highest-place vote: 24 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to San Francisco, 41-17
This week: at Buffalo

Cincy has 59 rushing yards over two games. Not good.

27. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (0-2)

Previous rank: 30
Points in poll: 70
Highest-place vote: 22 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Dallas, 31-21
This week: vs. Chicago (Monday)

Case Keenum hasn’t thrown a pick and is completing 69 percent of his passes. That’s about the nicest thing we can say about the Redskins.

28. ARIZONA CARDINALS (0-1-1)

Previous rank: 26T
Points in poll: 64
Highest-place vote: 24 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Baltimore, 23-17
This week: at Carolina

Again, Kyler Murray showed some second-half flair, and Larry Fitzgerald went over 100 yards. They might not win much this year, but the Cards are interesting to watch.

29. DENVER BRONCOS (0-2)

Previous rank: 29
Points in poll: 55
Highest-place vote: 25 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Chicago, 16-14.
This week: at Green Bay

Yes, the roughing call on Bradley Chubb was bogus, but when you’ve scored just 30 points in two games, there are bigger concerns than the refs.

30. NEW YORK JETS (0-2)

Previous rank: 26T
Points in poll: 45
Highest-place vote: 27 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (4 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Cleveland, 23-3
This week: at New England

Sam Darnold out with mono, Trevor Siemian out with a nasty ankle injury, and Luke Falk taking charge headed into New England. It’s not pretty for the Jets right now.

31. NEW YORK GIANTS (0-2)

Previous rank: 28
Points in poll: 25
Highest-place vote: 29 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (9 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Buffalo, 28-14
This week: at Tampa Bay

End of an era, as Daniel Jones takes over. Pour one out for Eli.

32. MIAMI DOLPHINS (0-2)

Previous rank: 32
Points in poll: 11
Highest-place vote: 32 (11 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (11 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to New England, 43-0
This week: at Dallas

In 1961 the Raiders gave up a record 141 points over their first three games. The Dolphins have allowed 102 through two. Watch out, ’61 Raiders!

Question or comment? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.

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