The NFL Power Rankings are about identifying each team’s position on a weekly basis. But in doing so, there is often a conflict between where an NFL team is and the preconceived notions we had in the past. That’s what we’re exploring this week, as every NFL Nation writer will identify a pre-season prediction they had on the squad they cover that haven̵
How we rank on our power rankings: Our power panel – a group of more than 80 writers, editors, and TV personalities – evaluates how teams stack up over the season.
Previous rankings: 3 | 2 | Preseason
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | WHO | CIN
CLE | FROM | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LV | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH
Week 3 Standings: 1
What did we do wrong: The defense will pick up where it left off last season.
The Chiefs entered Monday night’s game 28th in allowed yards but sixth in defense of the score, so the results were mixed. In the first two games, the Chiefs weren’t as solid in defense as they were last season. They could still get there, and Monday night was a big step, but if it did eventually happen, it would take longer than initially thought. – Adam Teicher
Week 3 Standings: 2
What did we do wrong: The Marquise Brown would have had a successful season.
“Hollywood” didn’t exactly struggle, leading the Ravens with 156 yards in reception in three games. But it did not explode as expected after fully recovering from foot surgery. Take a 47-yard hold off and Brown averages 9.9 pedestrian yards per reception. He must take more steps before establishing himself as a valid receiver n. 1 in the NFL. – Jamison Hensley
Week 3 Standings: 3
What did we do wrong: The secondary would return to elite status after acquiring Jamal Adams and Quinton Dunbar.
The Seahawks are 3-0 despite having conceded 434 yards in Atlanta, 397 in New England and 461 in Dallas on Sunday. There have been some mitigating factors. They have faced many passes with opponents trying to come back from big deficits, have not received enough help from the rush to pass and have been hit with injuries, including one that ended Marquise Blair’s season and another that kept Dunbar out. from the Cowboys game. But there is still too much talent to be torn in the air as they have been. – Brady Henderson
Week 3 Standings: 4
• Fantasy fallout: buy WR from rookies?
• Pederson must ‘tidy up’ Wentz’s mind
• Now it’s the Foles show with Bears starting QB
• The Bengalis try to find a balance for Burrow
• Hot start for Hopkins, fall for Fitz
What did we do wrong: The Packers made a mistake by not writing a receiver.
Allen Lazard is not Jarrett Boykins. Remember Boykins? He was the catcher who came out of nowhere mid-season in 2013 and was Green Bay’s third catcher. The Packers brought him back hoping for a repeat in 2014 but he died. Lazard didn’t even make it to the 53-man starting roster in 2019, but at the end of the season he was the number 2 receiver. He confirmed this with his start to this season, evidenced by Sunday’s six-holds and 149-yard performance against the Saints – a match that # 1 receiver Davante Adams missed due to a hamstring injury. – Rob Demovsky
Week 3 Standings: 6
What did we do wrong: Buffalo’s defense would open the way again while his offense would be somewhere between the good and the competent.
The buzzer sounds; this shot is completely wrong. For three weeks, the Bills showcased the fourth best bout in the NFL and second best passing bout. Josh Allen looked like an MVP candidate in his first three games, wishing the Bills would win with fourth quarter comebacks in each of his last two. In contrast, Buffalo’s defense is currently in 20th place in allowed yards per game and 16th in points per game. It’s been a weird year in Orchard Park. – Marcel Louis-Jacques
Week 3 Standings: 8
What did we do wrong: The Titans would have a high level defense.
The Titans gave up a 480-yard attack on the Jaguars in Week 2. On Sunday, a struggling Vikings attack fell 464 yards on them. Opponents have scored 30 points over Tennessee in each of their last two games. There is a lot to correct, starting with a defense from the race that has been squashed in the past two weeks. Jacksonville gained 165 yards on the ground and Minnesota ran 226. The Titans are lucky to have a 3-0 record given their defensive shortcomings. – Turron Davenport
Week 3 Standings: 11
What did we do wrong: The Steelers receivers would flourish with Ben Roethlisberger returns as quarterback.
So, they’re not okay, but they’re not playing horribly either. In three games, JuJu Smith-Schuster has already matched his 2019 touchdown output with three scores, but has an average of 9.4 yards per trick, down from 13.1 a year ago. And even though Roethlisberger has made bonding with Diontae Johnson a priority, he’s performing poorly despite a huge number of goals. However, the slower startup isn’t entirely unexpected. Roethlisberger is still working at his own pace. A week ago, he praised his receivers for being in the right places and for hitting the right routes, blaming himself for not getting the ball. – Brooke Pryor
Week 3 Standings: 7
What did we do wrong: The racing game would have suffered without Todd Gurley II.
There was a lot of uncertainty about how the Rams’ offense, especially the backfield, would have performed without Gurley, who was the focal point of the unit for the previous five seasons. The Rams have turned to a committee approach with running backs Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson Jr. and Malcolm Brown, and for three weeks it should be considered a resounding success. After three games, the Rams finish in second place with 511 yards in the running and six touchdowns in the run. – Lindsey Thiry
Week 3 Standings: 10
What did we do wrong: Rookies Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene would increase the squad’s yielding production in a very close situation.
After finishing last in TE pass-catching production in 2019, the Patriots moved on to round three to select both Asiasi and Keene. But Asiasi was used sparingly behind third-year pro Ryan Izzo, while Keene was an inactive game day every week. – Mike Reiss
Dan Orlovsky says Drew Brees looks like the same player he’s been for the past few years, but the Saints offense doesn’t have enough firepower to withstand the NFL’s top offenses.
Week 3 Standings: 5
What did we do wrong: Emmanuel Sanders would have been an instant hit in the Saints offense.
Honestly, I could have picked around 15 different claims here after a disappointing 1-2 start, including one that focused on Drew Brees’ lack of downhill shots. But Sanders stands out because I was so convinced he would be a perfect go-to guy for Brees on short and intermediate routes, especially after Michael Thomas was sidelined with an ankle injury in week 1. Instead, Sanders only had four catches for 33 yards and a TD in the first two or more games before he and Brees finally began developing a pace Sunday night with a 10-yard TD just before half-time and three catches for 46 yards in the second half. – Mike Triplett
Week 3 Standings: 9
What did we do wrong: Nick Bosa would make the leap to 16 sack and finish in the top five of the Defender of the Year vote.
Unfortunately for Bosa and the Niners, his breakthrough season never got a chance to take off, as he suffered a torn left ACL early in the second game of the season. Bosa was very good in the first week and there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t have had a huge year before the injury. Sadly, Bosa’s injury means his season is over and his first season of double-digit layoffs will have to wait at least another year as the Niners look for new ways to generate pressure on the quarterback. – Nick Wagoner
Week 3 Standings: 15
What did we do wrong: Tom Brady could not perform Bruce Arians’ offense and was too rigid to make changes.
Both could not be further from the truth. The Bucs offense already has 10 touchdowns in three games, amounting to sixth in the league and four more than this point last year. Brady’s yards per attempt are not substantially lower (he averaged 6.91 yards per attempt versus Jameis Winston’s 7.98 yards last year), the Bucs completion rate has risen from 60.2% to 65.1% and their touchdown percentage in the red zone went from 27.3% in the first three games of 2019 to 80% in 2020. Brady also completed 50% of his 20+ yard passes against 45. % of Winston. – Jenna Laine
Week 3 Standings: 12
What did we do wrong: Kyler Murray will win the MVP.
Sure, it could still happen, but at this point it’s unlikely, especially after Sunday’s three interceptions performance – which contributed to a loss – and Murray’s 4 to 5 touchdown-interception ratio. But one of the main reasons Murray is unlikely to win the MVP, unless the Cardinals get in an absolute tear led by him, is that the likes of Seattle’s Russell Wilson and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes are having better seasons. – Josh Weinfuss
Jeff Saturday explains why it makes sense for Nick Foles to start for the Bears in week 4, saying the initial job is his to lose.
Week 3 Standings: 17
What did we do wrong: The Bears would have been quite patient with Mitchell Trubisky.
Many assumed – incorrectly – that Bears manager Matt Nagy would provide Trubisky with a longer-than-expected leash after Trubisky beat veteran Nick Foles in training camp. No. Nagy benched Trubisky after just 10 and more inconsistent quarters. The work now belongs to Foles, who threw three touchdown passes last Sunday and led Chicago to a comeback win over Atlanta in Trubisky’s relief. Trubisky could play again this season if Foles is injured or struggling, but the 26-year-old quarterback’s future in Chicago beyond 2020 is incredibly bleak. – Jeff Dickerson
Week 3 Standings: 13
What did we do wrong: Lynn Bowden Jr. would be an all-round Swiss Army knife for the attacking Raiders.
Not only were we wrong in our prediction for the most versatile player in college last year, the third round draft pick isn’t even on the Raiders roster. Rather, the Raiders surprisingly swapped Bowden for the Miami Dolphins on September 5th, with general manager Mike Mayock saying it was a “football decision”. The Raiders have tried to convert him into a running back, but he is a catcher with the Dolphins, having taken a pass for a 1 yard loss. – Paul Gutierrez
Week 3 Standings: 16
What did we do wrong: Philip Rivers would take the lead role in the Colts offense.
Rivers has demonstrated the ability to be effective without having to throw the ball more than 40 times per game. Rivers may have set off some warning signs about his prowess at the age of 38 when he attempted 46 passes and threw two interceptions in the Colts’ week 1 defeat in Jacksonville. Rivers has averaged just 23 attempts per game over the past two games. Instead, the Colts leaned on their running game and defense to carry things to lighten Rivers’ workload and help reduce his mistakes. This is an approach that the Colts will likely continue to pursue. – Mike Wells
Stephen A. Smith calls the Cowboys secondary after their third week defeat to the Seahawks, but says Dallas is still loaded with offensive.
Week 3 Standings: 14
What did we do wrong: Defense would be better.
Defense is a disaster. The Cowboys aren’t the only team to have a new defense without the benefit of an offseason schedule, full training camp, and preseason. That said, the Cowboys have conceded 97 points in three games, the most to open a season in franchise history. They conceded 77 points in their last two games. There have been injuries (Gerald McCoy, Leighton Vander Esch, Chidobe Awuzie, Sean Lee, Anthony Brown) but they are allowing too many great plays. In the first three weeks they faced quarterbacks from good (Jared Goff) to very good (Matt Ryan) to excellent (Russell Wilson). But it can’t be that bad. – Todd Archer
Week 3 Standings: 23
What did we do wrong: The offender would have struggled to get out of the gate.
To be sure, the Browns struggled in a 32-point loss to Baltimore in the opening. But despite having to make it through a virtual offseason, a shortened training camp and a new offensive pattern, the Browns are back to scoring 30 or more points in consecutive games for the first time since 2010. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, that drought without consecutive 30-point games were the longest active in the NFL. Fueled by its running game, Cleveland has surprisingly already discovered a clear offensive identity. And as players continue to settle into Coach Kevin Stefanski’s offensive system, the Browns only appear to improve from here. – Jake Trotter
Week 3 Standings: 18
What did we do wrong: Shippers would cause more turnover this season.
The Chargers are struggling with turnover – both provoking and not committing – again. Last year, they had 14 takeaways (the worst in the league) and 31 giveaways (the worst quarter-finals in the league) which resulted in a turnover differential minus 17 of the worst NFL. After forcing two turnovers in an opening win of the season, the Chargers haven’t had a take away in their last two games. They committed five turnovers, including four in Carolina last Sunday. – Shelley Smith
Week 3 Standings: 20
Relive the best NFL games, original series and more. Watch on ESPN +
What did we do wrong: Deshaun Watson would have been fired the fewest times in his career.
For the first time under the leadership of manager Bill O’Brien, the Texans brought back all five early attacking linemen. Between that consistency and the left tackle Laremy Tunsil who has a full season in Houston under his belt, the Texans anticipated that they would finally be able to protect their franchise quarterback. This was not the case in three games. Watson has been fired 13 times, the second highest number in the NFL. – Sarah Barshop
Week 3 Standings: 19
What did we do wrong: The interior of the Minnesota OL would improve in 2020.
Although the Vikings moved Pat Elflein to the right guard and had a competition between two former reinforcements for the initial job at the left guard, many anticipated that the continuity of this group (i.e. settling on an initial five at the start of the camp) would produced a better result than we have seen so far. Kirk Cousins recorded the third-highest pressure rate of his career (47%) against Tennessee, and Dakota Dozier and Dru Samia are among the worst-scoring guards (according to PFF) in the NFL. This unit has not improved because its staff has not improved. – Courtney Cronin
Dan Orvlosky criticizes Eagles manager Doug Pederson’s decision to aim for extra time against the Bengals; the game ended in a draw.
Week 3 Standings: 21
What did we do wrong: Carson Wentz’s success last season would have been a launching point in his career.
We are still waiting for take off. Wentz was statistically one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL in three games. He is on par for the most interceptions (6), died last in QB rating (63.9) and is 29th in percentage completion (59.8) for the 0-2-1 Eagles. Experts see problems in its mechanics and there is a lot of evidence that Wentz is pressing, leading to bad decisions. Coach Doug Pederson intends to simplify the game plan to “clear” Wentz’s mind moving forward. Maybe this helps, but so far it has been bad. – Tim McManus
Week 3 Standings: 27
What did we do wrong: Lions would be a successful team.
Yes, there is still time for this to happen and for the first time in 11 months, Detroit is achieving a win rather than a defeat. But the Lions defense is still largely inconsistent and the potential offense too often settles for field goals and has drives blocked by poorly timed penalties. Lions have something to build on after a comeback win against Arizona – only the second in Matt Patricia’s tenure – but this team is still making too many mistakes at this point to be a true playoff contender. – Michael Rothstein
Week 3 Standings: 28
Are you ready for some football? Play for FREE and answer questions during the Monday night game every week. Make your choices
What did we do wrong: The offense of the Dolphins would be more balanced.
Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said in mid-August that he wants the Dolphins “to be able to handle football and throw the ball effectively. It’s really great in the way I see offensive football.” But the Dolphins (1-2) threw the ball about twice as many yards as they took it (649 to 324). Miami, which faces an undefeated Seahawks team in week 4, is still looking for the right mix as it seeks to get more production from Myles Gaskin’s running back and improved play by tight end Mike Gesicki and receiver Preston Williams. – ESPN staff
Week 3 Standings: 25
What did we do wrong: Running backs would play an important role in the passing game.
In three games, running backs Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic combined for 10 holds for 54 yards; the total catch is OK but the damage done was not as expected, especially with their background as receivers. Part of that lack of production is circumstantial: against Arizona, they needed to help more in protection. Other times they haven’t taken advantage of matchups against linebackers, or quarterback Dwayne Haskins hasn’t looked their way enough. Or they were asked to do a lot of swing steps that didn’t lead to much. They have 17 goals combined, which is good, but the effectiveness needs to improve. – John Keim
Rex Ryan is baffled by the Falcons’ inability to win games when they are ahead and jokes that they should call Mariano Rivera to close games.
Week 3 Standings: 22
What did we do wrong: The Falcons would be a contender in the playoffs.
Well, the Falcons are 0-3, have lost more than a 15-point lead in straight losses to the Cowboys and Bears, face Aaron Rodgers next in Green Bay, and have yet to see Tom Brady and Drew Brees twice. Enough said. – Vaughn McClure
Week 3 Standings: 26
What did we do wrong: The jaguars would have fought to stop the race.
After losing NT Al Woods (opt out) and DE / DT Rodney Gunter (heart problems) it looked like the Jaguars were going to be worse off last season, when they gave up 139 yards per game. Over the course of three weeks, however, there was a marked improvement. They are allowing 116 yards per game (15th in the NFL) and the opponents are averaging 3.8 yards per carry (eighth best). In part this could be due to the success of the opponents in the air (the opposing QBs are completing 80% of their passes), but NT Abry Jones and LB Myles Jack have increased their level of play against running. – Mike DiRocco
Week 3 Standings: 24
What did we do wrong: After churning out one battered quarterback after another over the past three seasons, the Broncos had finally learned their lesson in protecting their quarterbacks.
Three games don’t make a season, but the Broncos are in second place in the league in allowed bags – with 13 – and have already used three quarterbacks (Drew Lock, Jeff Driskel and Brett Rypien), who could easily go to four if Blake Bortles plays . The Broncos invested a $ 44 million contract in guard Graham Glasgow and selected the Lloyd Cushenberry III center in the project. Left striker Garett Bolles looked ready to put his growing penalty roster behind him and second year guard Dalton Risner was becoming the alpha in the line. So right tackle Ja’Wuan James gave up on COVID-19 concerns and hasn’t gone much as planned since. – Jeff Legwold
Week 3 Standings: 30
What did we do wrong: The defense wouldn’t be good enough to win anytime soon.
Do not get me wrong. The defense still has problems, nothing more than bad tackles and yards allowed after the initial contact. But the Panthers are 1-2 after Sunday’s 21-16 win over the Chargers despite not having Pro Bowl DT Kawann Short in the middle for two games due to a foot injury and, at times, three to four defending beginners. However, they were able to win all three matches which is a result. As this group grows with experience along with an offense that can put points on the scoreboard, the Panthers won’t be an easy win going forward. – David Newton
Week 3 Standings: 31
What did we do wrong: Joe Mixon would pick up where he left off in 2019.
At the end of 2019, it seemed that the Bengalis had found the best way to use the running back. However, this has not been the case for three games this season. Cincinnati struggled to free Mixon, which was the same problem that occurred in early 2019. Mixon averages 54.7 yards of running per game. – Ben Baby
Week 3 Standings: 29
What did we do wrong: Saquon Barkley would approach 2,500 yards from the scrimmage.
Give me a little break? Barkley’s knee gave out as he was tackled in week 2. Instead of grabbing a ton of ball and playing in an attack that was built around him, he’s now out for the season. The Giants are without their best player and their attack is a disaster, which makes me predict that this would finally be another great Evan Engram year. – Jordan Raanan
Week 3 Standings: 32
What did we do wrong: The defense would have exaggerated.
Even without All-Pro safety’s Jamal Adams, traded before training camp, the expectation was that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams would still be able to devise ways to overcome a talent shortage. It didn’t happen, as the Jets are in 32nd place in passing defense. Good coaches also need good players, and the lack of rushing to pass, coupled with coverage issues, was too much to overcome. – Rich Cimini