Eagles join Bills, Chiefs atop Week 3 NFL power rankings
The Eagles look legit following their Monday dominance over the Vikings and now join the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs in the top three of this week’s power rankings.
NFL power rankings entering Week 3 of 2022 season (previous rank in parentheses):
1. Bills (1): Their newest weapon? Rarely utilized Sam Martin, who turns punts into turnover-creating misadventures for the opposition.
2. Chiefs (2): Does Andy Reid really get adequate appreciation? Last week, he joined George Halas, Don Shula and Bill Belichick as the only coaches with career win-loss records 100 games over .500. Reid now sits at 235-135-1.
3. Eagles (6): QB Jalen Hurts’ dark horse MVP candidacy is already fading … as he’s becoming an increasingly lighter horse.
4. Buccaneers (3): TBD who QB Tom Brady will be throwing to this week against Green Bay in light of WR Mike Evans’ suspension. TB12 should have all his guys back soon, but that’s apparently not dissuading him from recruiting Odell Beckham Jr. for a rainy day.
5. Dolphins (11): You’ve got to hand it to QB Tua Tagovailoa, who went deep Sunday – half of his six TD passes covering at least 20 air yards, which doubled his career total entering Week 2. But when you’ve got WRs Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle (11 catches, 170+ yards, 2 TDs apiece), the 21st century version of The Marks Brothers, that’s the way to go. No pair of Dolphins receivers had at least 150 receiving yards in a game since Clayton and Duper in 1986.
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6. Chargers (5): The Bolts should be comfortably favored in their next six games … presuming QB Justin Herbert stops absorbing hits that fold him like a lawn chair.
7. Ravens (4): Still think QB Lamar Jackson is too reliant on his tight ends? Five of his six TD passes have gone to wide receivers. Too bad he doesn’t get to face Baltimore’s defense, which has already surrendered seven TD passes.
8. Rams (8): All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey hasn’t played well in recent games, nor have the defending champs early this season. But he turned it around when it counted, stopping the bleeding Sunday with a game-sealing INT against Atlanta. The Rams can only hope that’s a microcosm for their 2022 season.
9. Vikings (9): It’s not all bad, Minnesota fans. QB Kirk Cousins only has one more scheduled prime-time game in 2022 and won’t see Philly CB Darius Slay any time soon.
10. Packers (10): Balanced offense not overly reliant on QB Aaron Rodgers and second-tier receivers and a defense that plays up to its talent level – this is the Pack’s best path back to the Super Bowl after their pass-heavy approach from recent years consistently came up short when it mattered.
11. 49ers (13): Hate to see a promising player like QB Trey Lance suffer such a catastrophic injury so early in his career. But good to see an established, older player like Jimmy Garoppolo get the opportunity to earn his money back after being such a good soldier coming off a run to the NFC title game.
12. Saints (12): Before we kill QB Jameis Winston for his first three-INT game since he was a member of the Bucs in 2019, let’s not forget he had four fractures in his back, didn’t have RB Alvin Kamara at his disposal and was facing one of the league’s most unforgiving defenses.
13. Patriots (17): The last time they started 0-2, Drew Bledsoe was still the starting quarterback. But if Baltimore drops New England to 1-2, that would be two in a row under QB Mac Jones and three in the past five seasons.
14. Lions (18): They’ve scored at least 35 points in three consecutive games for the first time since 1952, a year before owner Sheila Ford Hamp was born.
15. Steelers (15): One game with OLB T.J. Watt in the lineup – seven sacks. One game without the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year – zero sacks.
16. Cowboys (28): Cooper Rush is the first Dallas quarterback to win his first two starts since … Jason Garrett (1993-94). The Cowboys will likely be grateful if Rush doesn’t approach Garrett’s nine career starts with the team.
17. Cardinals (26): Has LB Isaiah Simmons finally woken up? He forced the decisive fumble against Las Vegas in overtime Sunday, the same day the eighth pick of the 2020 draft was benched and limited to 15 snaps.
18. Bengals (7): QB Joe Burrow was buried for a league-most 70 sacks in 20 games last season, an average of 3.5 per. That’s jumped to 13 in two 2022 games behind his supposedly improved offensive line.
19. Giants (20): If you thought 2021 was a disaster for big-money free agent WR Kenny Golladay, it’s apparently going much worse in 2022. He has two receptions this season and was in for two plays Sunday.
20. Raiders (16): Josh McDaniels is now riding a personal five-game losing streak as a head coach and has dropped nine of 10 going back to his abbreviated tour in Denver.
21. Commanders (19): Solid start for QB Carson Wentz, who leads the NFC in passing yards (650) and TDs (7).
22. Jaguars (25): Pitching the season’s first shutout notched Jacksonville the AFC South’s only victory to date, hence sole ownership of first place.
23. Jets (32): One vote for Braden Mann as the AFC special teams player of the week. The NYJ punter connected on a 17-yard pass (rather than punt) to extend a drive that resulted in the team’s first TD on Sunday, and his onside kick set up the game-winning score.
24. Browns (21): They’ve surrendered 48 points in the past five quarters and won’t have DE Jadeveon Clowney (ankle) on Thursday against Pittsburgh. Not a promising trend for a team trying to weather QB Deshaun Watson’s suspension.
25. Falcons (31): They almost overcame a 28-3 third-quarter deficit Sunday. (Sound familiar?) Alas, it always seems to be close but no cigars for Atlanta.
26. Seahawks (22): A team that wants to get back to establishing the run is currently the worst in the league at exactly that, averaging 56 yards per game.
27. Broncos (23): Six trips into the red zone this season, and nary a touchdown. However it must be noted Denver’s defense hasn’t allowed a RZ TD, either.
28. Panthers (27): If not for a pair of game-winning fields goals traveling at least 56 yards against them, they might be 2-0. Horseshoes and hand grenades.
29. Bears (29): They don’t have a wide receiver or tight end with more than three catches this season. You’re on your own, Justin Fields.
30. Titans (24): After beating Buffalo the previous two seasons, the Titans showed they didn’t belong on the same field with the Bills on Monday night. Tennessee might not belong on the same field with Vanderbilt.
31. Texans (30): If you combined their roster with Chicago’s, you might have a seven-win team. They’ll determine who’s better Sunday in Soldier Field in a can-miss affair.
32. Colts (14): Wentz looks pretty good right about now, no?
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.