2011 NFL Power Rankings – Week 3

NFL Power Rankings 2011 Pre 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Playoffs

In this week’s rankings, the top two spots remain the same but there’s a lot of movement beyond that. The Lions move into the top 10 (if we had been doing Power Rankings for 10 years, I’m sure this would have been the first time for them) and the Seahawks slip to #32. Enjoy:

Rank Team Comment
1 Green Bay Packers While their defense seems a bit suspect, the high powered GB offense has the Packers in great form and sitting at 2-0. Rodgers has spread the ball around well, finding at least 9 different receivers in each of the first two games.
2 New England Patriots New England’s defense may still be a work in progress after giving up ample yardage to Philip Rivers, but the end result was still a 14-point victory for the Patriots thanks to Tom Brady and an effective offense. Next up are the Bills in a divisional road game which may be tougher than expected.
3 New Orleans Saints The Saints bounced back from a week one loss in big fashion by beating up Jay Cutler and the Bears. The Saints are banged up in the receiving department too and once they get healthy they’ll only get better.
4 Philadelphia Eagles The Dream Team took a loss on Sunday night against the Falcons, in large part due to an injury to quarterback Mike Vick. It looks like his health is going to be an issue again.
5 New York Jets The Jets didn’t have to try very hard to take a 32-3 victory over the Jaguars; the win was not without controversy, however, as Rex Ryan has received criticism for leaving quarterback Mark Sanchez in the game so long in a blowout. The Jets’ first road test comes in Oakland next week.
6 Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh rebounded from a Week 1 loss to the Ravens by squashing the Seahawks. This week’s Sunday Night matchup against Indianapolis should be a gimme.
7 San Diego Chargers Philip Rivers had solid production on the road in New England, but the Chargers could not overcome four turnovers in their 35-21 loss to the Patriots. Thankfully, San Diego returns home to face a hapless Kansas City squad in Week 3.
8 Baltimore Ravens The Ravens suffered a minor letdown on Sunday and lost to the Titans. They’re still a good team, however, and they’ll hope to rebound against an 0-2 Rams team.
9 Detroit Lions Detroit got some good press in the pre-season and they are proving so far it was merited. Stafford had a huge week 2 and the Lions will look to start 3-0 for the first time in a long time.
10 Atlanta Falcons The Falcons bounced back from their rough week one loss and took down the highly touted Eagles. The ageless wonder Tony Gonzalez has put up big numbers so far and he’ll continue to be a safety valve for Matt Ryan who has looked shaky at times.
11 Houston Texans Houston had their way with Miami on the road, winning 23-13 and moving to 2-0 on the season; with the sad state of the AFC South, one really has to think that this is the year for Houston to make a playoff run. A tough road test awaits as the Texans travel to the Superdome next week.
12 Tampa Bay Bucs The Bucs had a big second half comeback against the Vikings to avoid going to 0-2. Josh Freeman continues to show a lot of poise, but the Bucs D needs to get some things figured out if they want to fight for the NFC South crown.
13 Buffalo Bills Kudos to Buffalo for not giving up after falling behind big early on at home against the Raiders. The Bills engineered an incredible come-from-behind victory 38-35; now the big test is to see whether or not they can keep winning when the Patriots come to town.
14 Chicago Bears Either the Bears weren’t as good as their week one performance indicated or the Saints were better than their week one showed. Probably a combination of the two, but the Bears had few answers for Drew Brees. Their next task of taking on Green Bay will be telling of this teams true potential.
15 Dallas Cowboys Dallas overcame Tony Romo’s chest injury and saved the season from becoming and early disaster. A Monday Night matchup with the Redskins might be difficult if they can’t get everyone healthy.
16 Washington Redskins The Redskins look impressive so far this season. Rex Grossman has been surprisingly solid. A win over Dallas on Monday would go a long way to ensure that they remain a division contender all year.
17 New York Giants The Giants didn’t look great against the Rams on Monday night, but they managed to make fewer mistakes than St. Louis and come away with a win. They’ll have to play better to compete with the better teams in the league.
18 Oakland Raiders Not a happy Sunday for Oakland; a 21-3 halftime lead turned into an agonizing last-second loss on the road instead of their second win of the season. The Raiders host the Jets in Week 3.
19 Tennessee Titans In one of the more surprising Week 2 results, the Titans relied on the arm of veteran Matt Hasselbeck to take a 26-13 win over Baltimore. The Titans will look to start a win streak as they host Denver next week.
20 Arizona Cardinals The rest of the NFC West is probably taking note that Kevin Kolb is off to a very good start in his first year with the Cardinals (currently the 5th highest QB rating). Their defense hasn’t looked all that great so far, but in this division that isn’t necessarily a death sentence.
21 St. Louis Rams Rough start for the playoff hopeful Rams. They are better than their record shows, however, and getting Steven Jackson back will help to open things up for Sam Bradford who is off to a rough start.
22 San Francisco 49ers The 49ers ended up just short in OT against the Cowboys, but are already off to a better start than last year. If Michael Crabtree can come back healthy that should help spark the offense which could use a jolt.
23 Miami Dolphins Miami’s crummy home field advantage streak continued with a 23-13 loss to the Texans which saw Chad Henne regress substantially after a promising Monday Night Football debut. Will a road game in Cleveland change their fortune next week?
24 Carolina Panthers Sure they’re 0-2, but Cam Newton has injected excitement to this Panthers team. It shouldn’t be overlooked that Carolina had a lead over the Packers at halftime, something that last year’s team didn’t accomplish often.
25 Cleveland Browns The Browns beat the lowly Colts, as any half decent team would at this point. They’ve yet to show much improvement over last year, and it looks like they might still be a few years away from contention.
26 Cincinnati Bengals Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have looked good for rookies. They won’t be making any noise this year, but they look to be headed in the right direction as an organization.
27 Jacksonville Jaguars The Blaine Gabbert era may begin sooner than expected after Luke McCown proved completely ineffective in a 32-3 loss to the Jets. It could be a rookie showdown as the Jaguars visit Cam Newton and the Panthers for Week 3.
28 Minnesota Vikings Another week, another horrible second half blowing a lead (this time a 17 point lead, no less). Why the Vikings O gets stagnant in the 3rd and 4th quarter and why the secondary gives up big play after big play needs to be addressed soon or there may be talk of a another coaching change in Minnesota.
29 Indianapolis Colts It’s going to be a long season in Indianapolis unless Kerry Collins starts to pick things up; a 27-19 loss at home to the Browns provides little hope for the rest of the year. It won’t get any easier for Colts fans, as Pittsburgh visits next week in primetime.
30 Denver Broncos A 24-22 win won’t completely silence the cries for Tim Tebow to take the reins in Denver, but the victory over Cincinnati is enough to keep the Broncos out of an 0-2 schneid. A visit to Tennessee next week may prove a tough task.
31 Kansas City Chiefs As if losing Eric Berry and Tony Moeaki wasn’t enough, the Chiefs lost Jamaal Charles as well in a no-show game losing 48-3 to the Lions. The season is looking bleak already, especially with a road test against the Chargers waiting in Week 3.
32 Seattle Seahawks It’s looking like it’s going to be a long year for Seattle fans. Tavaris Jackson is just not a QB that is going to lead a team to victories without tons of help and, unfortunately, Seattle does not have that help.

Commentary breakdown: Alex (AFC North, NFC East), Brian (AFC East/South/West), Pat (NFC North/South/West).

Alex Chalupka - Originally from the Baltimore-Washington area, Alex is a huge Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Terrapins fan who currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s also an Orioles fan and follows the NBA and other sports as objectively as possible. He enjoys writing about all sports and is the founder/editor of theSportsGeeks.com. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Brian Parker - Born in Maine, a state with no professional sports team, Brian Parker is nonetheless a huge statistics nerd and fan of the NFL and NHL, with some passing interest in the MLB. Regional ties see him as a Patriots and Red Sox fan, though a childhood of watching Patrick Roy tend the net as a Montreal Canadien puts him on the opposite side of his fellow New Englanders for that NHL rivalry. Brian has both an M.A. and a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Maine. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Pat Lussenhop - Pat was born and raised in rural Minnesota and is currently living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He graduated from St. John's University (MN) with a degree in psychology and went on to get his masters in school psychology at the University of Northern Iowa. He's a lifetime sports fan and follows basketball and football the most. His favorite teams include any team that has "Minnesota" in it's name and he enjoys sports statistics and any good sporting debates. - Follow him on Twitter here

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