This week, we got a clearer look at who the serious contenders are in 2021. Let’s take a look at my NFL power rankings for Week 3.
16. Las Vegas Raiders (+7)
The Raiders have now completed back-to-back upsets over AFC North opponents. While both teams were slightly shorthanded, the wins are noteworthy nonetheless. Perhaps they could contend in the AFC West this year.
15. Denver Broncos (+2)
Denver looks awesome. I know their wins have not been against quality opponents, but I just love the way their team is constructed. The temporary loss of Bradley Chubb will hurt for sure, but I think Denver has the squad to overcome it.
14. New Orleans Saints (-6)
What a letdown. One week after Famous Jameis convinced everyone he was playing the best ball of his life, he returned to Earth in a shocking way. You have to keep in mind how short-handed the Saints were this week though, missing multiple defensive starters and coaches.
13. Los Angeles Chargers (–)
So far, I am slightly disappointed in this Chargers squad. I expected the offense to be clicking much more effectively, but they have had some hiccups in each game. The defense looks improved, which should aid a playoff push.
12. Dallas Cowboys (+2)
The Cowboys followed up an impressive performance in Week 1 with a less than inspiring one last Sunday. However, their running game looked much improved against the Chargers. The duo of Pollard and Elliott is a confusing one, but certainly effective.
11. Tennessee Titans (+4)
Goodness Derrick Henry. He dragged Tennessee back into a seemingly lost game against Seattle, almost by himself. I still do not know how he gains so much steam late in games, but he is the sole reason the Titans will contend.
10. Seattle Seahawks (-1)
The Seahawks looked so good for three whole quarters of football on Sunday. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, Derrick Henry is not of this world. It is never good to be beaten by one player, but I have faith Seattle is a team that can always bounce back.
9. Green Bay Packers (+1)
I was starting to get very worried about Green Bay after their first half against Detroit. However, Aaron Rodgers did as Aaron Rodgers does, and along with Aaron Jones rained touchdowns on the Lions’ defense.
8. San Francisco 49ers (-1)
San Fran needs to look more impressive in the future than they did on Sunday. I know their running back room struggled with health issues the past two weeks, but as unfortunate as that is, they still need to play better against inferior opponents.
7. Buffalo Bills (+1)
The Bills are still a dangerous team… they just are not showing it all yet. Josh Allen and the offense had one of the least convincing 35-0 wins I have ever seen. However, the mere fact that they can pull off those kinds of blowouts without looking full strength is ridiculous.
6. Baltimore Ravens (+5)
Baltimore pulled off the impossible on Sunday night, coming back from behind in dramatic fashion against Mahomes and company. The last step to outright dominance is an ample pass game. Hopefully, the return of Bateman’s health in a few weeks will aid that effort.
5. Arizona Cardinals (–)
Kyler is absolutely absurd. His dynamic and improvisational play style makes the Cardinals one of the most dangerous teams in football. After a dominant first week, Arizona’s defense struggled immensely against the Vikings. They will need to be more consistent to aid their Super Bowl run.
4. Cleveland Browns (–)
The Browns played Houston too close on Sunday, but, in the end, found a way to win their first game of the year. Their roster is still ridiculous, but unless Odell Beckham comes back strong soon, their offense may become one-dimensional without Jarvis Landry.
3. Los Angeles Rams (–)
The Rams gave me a scare on Sunday, but ultimately their defense was able to overcome a strong Colts effort. If Cooper Kupp and Matt Stafford stay on their Pro Bowl track, they will continue to win those tight games.
2. Kansas Chiefs (-1)
The Chiefs faltered just enough to give Baltimore hope. Unfortunately for them, Clyde Edwards-Helaire put the ball on the ground and sealed their fate. That certainly will not help CEH expand his role in the offense and help the Chiefs become unstoppable on offense.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1)
Tampa Bay is just insane. Their offense has incredible playmakers at every level, their line is above formidable, and their quarterback is the greatest of all time. How do you beat a team like that? I do not really know the answer, but I am excited to see LA’s plan for it this week.