NFL Week 3 taught is a whole lot about some of the best teams in the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens are not on the same planet as the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs right now.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints were exposed for a second consecutive week. This time, it came against a darn good Green Bay Packers team. On the other hand, both the 49ers and Patriots ascend the NFL power rankings after blowout wins.
Here’s a look at NFL power rankings heading into Week 4 of the 2020 season.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (1)
There’s now no doubting it. The defending champion Chiefs are by far the best team in the NFL, and it’s not necessarily that close. What we saw from Patrick Mahomes and Co. Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens adds to this in a big way. Kansas City opened up a 27-10 halftime lead over Baltimore, putting up 333 yards against what was the best defense in the NFL heading in. Mahomes is playing at an otherworldly level. Kansas City’s defense is improved. Repeat, much?
2. Green Bay Packers (4)
Aaron Rodgers is back to playing like an NFL MVP, even without Davante Adams. The emergence of Allen Lazard as a legit No. 2 receiver is huge for Green Bay’s offense moving forward, especially if Marquez Valdes-Scantling can become a consistent deep threat to round out three-receiver sets. Meanwhile, Aaron Jones remains a touchdown machine. If there’s one concern here, it’s a defense allowing the fourth-highest yards per carry (5.5) and third-highest quarterback rating (113.4) entering Week 4.
3. Buffalo Bills (7)
We could look at the negative with the Bills. Ths team blew a 28-3 lead midway through the third quarter, which is an ugly mark on any team’s resume. On the other hand, Josh Allen continues to step up and make huge throws for this team when they need it most. We detailed why Allen is an NFL MVP candidate; there’s no other way around it. If this defense can turn things around, the Bills will be undefeated when they face the Chiefs on Oct. 15.
4. Baltimore Ravens (2)
One game won’t tell us the entire story about these Ravens. What we do know is that John Harbaugh’s squad is not in the same league as the defending champion Chiefs. Monday night’s blowout loss in Week 3 added to this. Lamar Jackson was vastly outplayed by Patrick Mahomes throughout the game. The Chiefs looked like they were on a different planet in a 34-20 win. The good news? Baltimore has get-right games coming up against Washington, Cincinnati and Philadelphia.
5. Seattle Seahawks (3)
We know two things about the Seahawks. First, Russell Wilson should be the front runner for the NFL MVP award and this offense can hang a 40-point night against anyone. Second, based on the first three games, Seattle’s defense might prevent it from reaching the Super Bowl. Expect the Seahawks to crush the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings, before an NFC West shootout on Oct. 25 against the Arizona Cardinals.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (5)
It’s never easy with the Steelers. Pittsburgh let the Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos hang around in their first two wins and that trend continued in Week 3. The defense didn’t blitz much against Deshaun Watson and he largely picked this defense apart in the first half. Everything finally clicked as Pittsburgh’s defense shut out the Texans in the second half, giving the offense time to recover and deliver a 28-21 win. The Steelers will be favored in Week 4 against the Tennessee Titans, but they won’t get away with the inconsistency.
7. San Francisco 49ers (8)
Even with practically half their team sidelined by injuries, San Francisco made the New York Giants look like a peewee team. Nick Mullens looked sharp, a credit to Kyle Shanahan’s brilliant mind and unstoppable scheme. As for the 49ers’ defense, it erased everything New York threw at it. The gap between the 49ers and Steelers in miniscule. San Francisco can cruise past the Miami Dolphins and Eagles in the next two weeks, but things get rough after that (vs. LR, @ NE, @ SEA, vs. GB).
8. New England Patriots (13)
The Patriots are one yard shy of an undefeated record and consensus belief that this is a top-five NFL team. After a rough showing against Russell Wilson, New England’s defense came roaring back in Week 3 with seven pass deflections, five quarterback hits, two sacks and a defensive touchdown. Now we get a Week 4 battle against the Chiefs, buckle up!
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12)
It’s starting to come together for Tom Brady and this offense. The future Hall of Famer threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, finding big plays with all of his weapons. On the other side of the ball, Tampa Bay’s defense keeps proving it is one of the most underrated in the NFL. If there’s one area of concern, it’s the Buccaneers’ offense consistently losing momentum in the second half. Next week’s clash with the Los Angeles Chargers will be a must-watch battle.
10. Los Angeles Rams (10)
The Rams are a very good football team; you don’t overcome a 28-3 deficit without having a lot of talent. This team’s first loss of the season might have only happened because of a controversial pass interference call, so we’ll give this team some respect. Besides, with the New York Giants and Washington Football Team on deck, the Rams should be 4-1 before facing the 49ers on Sunday Night Football on Oct. 18.
11. Tennessee Titans (15)
It’s fitting that the Titans face the Steelers in Week 4. Both teams have a penchant for requiring comebacks against inferior teams, with Tennessee specifically depending on game-winning field goals. Ryan Tannehill (105.8 quarterback rating) looks outstanding, but Derrick Henry is off to a bit of a slow start (3.9 ypc). Expect James Conner to run all over a defense allowing the highest yards per carry (5.8) in the NFL this season.
12. Arizona Cardinals (6)
It was fun while it lasted. Kyler Murray’s MVP campaign and Arizona’s hopes of establishing control in the NFC West evaporated in Week 3. Murray’s three interceptions were devastating in a 26-23 loss, given two of the picks led to scoring drives for Detroit. It’s critical for the Cardinals to put this loss behind them. Good teams don’t dwell on past mistakes and Murray can easily rebound in Week 4 against the Carolina Panthers.
13. New Orleans Saints (9)
There are multiple reasons to be concerned about the Saints. Drew Brees is entirely dependent on throws under 10 yards to be an effective quarterback. Even if he looks better upon Michael Thomas’s return, this secondary is alarmingly bad. New Orleans has allowed 567 passing yards and six touchdowns in the past two games. Of that, tight ends are responsible for 243 yards and four touchdowns. The Saints put everything on winning in 2020 and they’re showing no signs of greatness. It’s a bad sign for this season, but even worse news with the team projected to be $87 million over the cap next year.
14. Dallas Cowboys (11)
Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense is outstanding, even with backups playing on the offensive line. Unfortunately for Dallas, there’s a bigger problem when Prescott leaves the field. The Cowboys have allowed 77 total points in the last two weeks. On top of all of that, Dallas is missing kicks and making mistakes on special teams. The Cowboys will likely make the playoffs thanks to the laughable NFC East, but they can’t be trusted to beat great competition.
15. Indianapolis Colts (16)
The Colts are feeling good after consecutive blowout victories, quickly recovering from their season-opening loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Indianapolis looked sharp defensively on Sunday, even managing to outscore the Jets’ offense. We’re still not completely sold on this team, but a Week 4 battle against the undefeated Chicago Bears would help.
16. Chicago Bears (19)
Chicago finally gave up on Mitch Trubisky, it’s about time. Nick Foles isn’t a great quarterback, but his three-touchdown performance in a fourth-quarter comeback shows he can at least put the ball in playmakers’ hands. The Bears still feel like a fluky 3-0 team that is bound for regression. That said, every win is another step towards a playoff appearance for Matt Nagy and Co.
17. Las Vegas Raiders (14)
Sunday’s 36-20 loss to the New England Patriots sent the previously undefeated Raiders plummeting back to earth. It’s a game that saw Las Vegas yield a resounding 250 rushing yards. This could very well be an issue for Las Vegas moving forward with games coming up against the Bills, Chiefs, Buccaneers and Browns. One week removed from a stellar win over the Saints, this squad is now on a downward trajectory.
18. Cleveland Browns (25)
Cleveland now boasts a winning record through three games for the first time since 2011. To put that into perspective, new head coach Kevin Stefanski wasn’t even of legal age to drink adult beverages the last time this happen. However, we must note that Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins pretty much gifted the Browns three touchdowns in last week’s 34-20 win. Cleveland’s season will be defined by its next three games against the Cowboys, Colts and Steelers.
19. Los Angeles Chargers (19)
It’s getting pretty ugly in Southern California. We’re also now openly wondering whether head coach Anthony Lynn is long for the job. Following last week’s disaster late in the fourth quarter, the Chargers have now lost 11 games by one score since the start of the 2019 season. Despite the solid performance of Justin Herbert under center, the inability to close out games has been an issue for the 1-2 Chargers.
20. Carolina Panthers (26)
Speaking of the Chargers, they dropped a brutal home game to these Panthers last week. For Carolina, this represented the team’s first win in 11 tries. The Panthers did give up north of 300 passing yards to Justin Herbert, proving that their inexperienced secondary is still a problem. The good news? That same defense forced four turnovers in the win.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (20)
There’s no brotherly love in Philadelphia right now. Head coach Doug Pederson remains firmly on the hot seat after the Eagles’ shocking home tie against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3. At 0-2-1, Philadelphia will head into October without a win for the first time since Pederson himself was playing quarterback for the team back in 1999. A loss to the 49ers in Week 4 could expedite his departure from the Eagles.
22. Cincinnati Bengals (27)
Joe Burrow. Joe Burrow. Joe Burrow. This rookie No. 1 pick has Cincinnati playing some tremendously competitive football. That included a shocking tie against the Eagles in Philadelphia this past Sunday. The rook has accounted for 821 passing yards with six total touchdowns and one interception through three games. That seems good.
23. Minnesota Vikings (21)
Is Minnesota regretting signing Mike Zimmer to an extension ahead of the season? Here’s a squad that heads into Week 4 with an 0-3 record and no real light at the end of the tunnel. The Vikings’ previously stout defense is giving up 34 points per game. Embattled quarterback Kirk Cousins has thrown as many interceptions in three games (six) as he did all of last season. It’s just brutal in the Twin Cities right now.
24. Miami Dolphins (29)
Anyone who expected to see Tua Tagovailoa early in his rookie season is going to be disappointed. Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to lead his Dolphins in a competitive manner. That included a brilliant outing in Week 3’s blowout win over the Jaguars. Miami also barely fell to the Buffalo Bills back in Week 2. Brian Flores still has this team playing good football.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (18)
A year of transition has started in Duval. A false hope of contention following their Week 1 win over the Colts has given in to reality. Jacksonville is yielding an average of 32 points per game in its past two games — both losses. The one saving grace for Jags fans will be being able to watch second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew grow into that role. He’s put up nearly 850 total yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions in three games.
26. Detroit Lions (31)
Shocking. That’s the best way to describe Detroit’s upset road win over the previously undefeated Arizona Cardinals last week. It’s a game that saw one of the worst defenses in the NFL pick off MVP candidate Kyler Murray three times. Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford played a flawless game with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. In no way does this mean Matt Patricia’s squad is good. They’ll come crumbling back down to earth Week 4 against the Saints.
27. Houston Texans (23)
You simply can’t make this stuff up. Deshaun Watson has now been hit 35 times and sacked 13 times through three games. So much for head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien’s decision to extend Laremy Tunsil. Meanwhile, the Texans’ defense is giving up nearly 32 points per game. It has the team at 0-3 with no end in sight.
28. Atlanta Falcons (20)
Winless through three weeks for the first time since the disastrous Bobby Petrino era (2007), these Falcons have just been laughingstock under defensive-minded head coach Dan Quinn on that side of the ball. Here’s a unit that’s given up 36 points per game and has blown two 15-plus point leads late in games in each of the past two weeks. When is owner Arthur Blank going to pull the trigger and fire Mr. Quinn?
29. Denver Broncos (24)
Injuries on top of injuries. It’s safe to say that Denver would have a win or two if the team was at full strength. It’s hard to lose the likes of Drew Lock, Phillip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton, Von Miller and A.J. Bouye while expecting to remain competitive. That all came to a culmination during a 28-10 Week 3 loss to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
30. New York Giants (29)
Ugly. Disgusting. Brutal. Whatever term we want to use to describe the Giants through the first three weeks, it’s not enough. Last Sunday’s 36-9 home loss to an injury-plagued 49ers team that was without half of its starting lineup adds another layer to this. New head coach Joe Judge said it was going to be a process. We’re just wondering when that process is going to start.
31. Washington Football Team (30)
Week 1’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles seems like ancient history. Instead, Washington is back at its rightful place as one of the worst teams in the NFL. Second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins gifted the Browns three touchdowns last week. There’s now some thought that has to be given to the idea of starting Alex Smith. He has not suited up in a game since November of 2018.
32. New York Jets (32)
Adam Gase is not an NFL-caliber head coach. It’s looking more and more like Sam Darnond is not a starter-caliber quarterback in this league, either. Darnold threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns last week against the Colts. New York has lost its past two games by a combined score of 67-20. This is, by far, the worst team in the NFL. It’s not close.