NFL Power Rankings Week 3: Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks Make Huge Leaps

By Jeff Shull

Week 2 in the NFL has wrapped up, and we saw some huge surprises over the weekend to say the least. Multiple games came down to the wire and a few teams surprised us with shocking victories; in essence, the NFL proved once again why it is the most exciting sport in the world.

The Power Rankings from week 2 to week 3 have changed dramatically, partly due to my own failure to resist overreacting. I may have overreacted with a couple of these rankings as well, but it’s hard to get a read on teams after the first couple of weeks. Things will start to take shape towards the middle of the year.

The Arizona Cardinals made the biggest leap, jumping from 26 all the way to 12. That was my fault for rating them too low after last week, but they did just beat the New England Patriots on the road. The Seattle Seahawks jumped the second most with their win over the Dallas Cowboys. They moved up nine spots.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders tied for the biggest drop in the rankings, each falling eight spots.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week 32) – The Jaguars are awful and continue to prove why they are the worst team in the league. Matt Barkley could be in their future.

31. Minnesota Vikings (Last Week 30) – The Vikings lost another close one to one of the worse teams in the league. The only thing keeping them from being the worst is their win over the Jags

30. Cleveland Browns (Last Week 29) – The Browns showed signs of life and improved over their Week 1 heartbreaking loss, but still are finding ways to lose rather than win.

29. Oakland Raiders (Last Week 21) – The Raiders were overrated by many (including me) to start the season. These are the same old Raiders.

28. Miami Dolphins – (Last Week 31)  – The Dolphins likely feel good for getting a win, but don’t take too much stock into a home win over Oakland.

27. Tennessee Titans (Last Week 23) – The Titans were another team I trusted before the season to at least contend for the wild card. They are proving me dead wrong.

26. Indianapolis Colts (Last Week 28) – Andrew Luck got his first NFL win, but the Colts still have a ton of work to do to compete at a high level.

25. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week 17) – One columnist picked the Chiefs to make it to the Super Bowl. They certainly haven’t looked like they can contend for the division, let alone the conference.

24. Buffalo Bills (Last Week 25) – The Bills bounced back from their loss to the Jets by trouncing the Chiefs at home. C.J. Spiller looks to be the real deal.

23. New Orleans Saints (Last Week 16) – The Saints are every bit as bad as I thought they would be without Sean Payton. He makes this team go, not the other way around.

22. Carolina Panthers (Last Week 22) – The Panthers stay the course here with a home win over the Saints. I’m sorry, but a win over the Saints not as impressive as it once was.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week 19) – The Bucs lost in dramatic fashion, blowing a 14-point third quarter lead. Their defense was night and day in the first two weeks.

20. Washington Redskins (Last Week 14) – I admit I overrated the Redskins after last week. They came back down to Earth against the Rams.

19. St. Louis Rams (Last Week 24) – The Rams got a solid win over the Redskins and barely lost to the Lions on the road last week. Jeff Fisher has this team believing in itself.

18. Seattle Seahawks (Last Week 27) – The Seahawks thoroughly dominated the Cowboys 27-7, proving they may not be the pushover most thought they would be.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week 20) – The Bengals notched their first win, bouncing back nicely from their embarrassing Week 1 loss to the Ravens with a win over the Browns.

16. New York Jets (Last Week 13) – No shame in losing to the Steelers on the road when they were coming off a loss, but I know Rex Ryan expected a better showing than that.

15. Detroit Lions (Last Week 15) – The Lions lost to the best team in football on the road. I actually almost considered moving them up with the way they competed at the end.

14. Dallas Cowboys (Last Week 10) – The Cowboys were awful, but it’s not easy to win at Seattle. We knew they were inconsistent, so these type of losses are not surprising.

13. San Diego Chargers (Last Week 18) – The Chargers have yet to be tested, but dominated bad teams like they should have.

12. Arizona Cardinals (Last Week 26) – Don’t overreact to the huge jump for the Cardinals. Yes, it may look like I’m jumping the gun here, but I obviously severely underrated the Cardinals last week. Plus, winning at New England is about as tough as it gets. Big props to the 2-0 start for the Cardinals.

11. New York Giants (Last Week 12) – The Giants struggled but came away with the win in the end. They turn around and have a huge test this Thursday Night against Cam Newton and the Panthers.

10. Baltimore Ravens (Last Week 7) – I feel like I was the only one who didn’t crown the Ravens AFC champs after last week. The Eagles gave them a reality check.

9. Chicago Bears (Last Week 5) – Not a big deal losing to the Packers in Lambeau, but it was an ugly outing for Jay Cutler. The offensive line continues to be a huge issue.

8. Denver Broncos (Last Week 6) – The Broncos nearly came back on the Falcons, but looked very bad turning the ball over four times. Still, it is tough to win in Atlanta.

7. New England Patriots (Last Week 3) – The Pats inexplicably lost to the Cardinals in their home opener. They are still a great team, but losing Aaron Hernandez hurts.

6. Atlanta Falcons (Last Week 8) – Atlanta held on to beat the Denver Broncos and look like a top contender in the NFC.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week 9) – The Steelers bounced back from their opening loss to hammer the Jets 27-10. Mike Wallace looks like he is showing no lingering effects from his holdout.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week 11) – The Eagles got a great win against the Ravens at home this week, with Michael Vick leading yet another game winning touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. This defense looks like it could be one of the best all year.

3. Green Bay Packers (Last Week 4) – As expected, the Packers beat up on the Bears, but their defense, not the offense, stole the show. Clay Matthews had a monster game, collecting 3.5 sacks. He has six after two games already.

2. Houston Texans (Last Week 2) – The Texans have taken care of their first two cupcake opponents in dominating fashion. They have their first test when they travel to Denver next weekend.

1. San Francisco 49ers (Last Week 1) – The 49ers have easily been the most impressive team thus far, dispatching of the Packers and Lions fairly easily. Alex Smith has continued to improve and if the offense continues to have success in the red zone, that could alleviate their only weakness from last season.

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