As the 2018-19 NFL season is underway, certain franchises have stepped into the spotlight. As the weeks progress, here are the NFL Power Rankings, brought to you by The Athletes Hub:
1. Los Angeles Rams (3-0) (-)
With a 35-23 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, the Los Angeles Rams maintained their top spot in the power rankings. Both the offense and defense have stood out, as the Rams continue to be the early favorite in the NFC this year.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) (+2)
After a convincing victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Patrick Mahomes II continues to put himself among the elite. With a stretch that includes the Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots in the next three weeks, the Chiefs will be tested for their spot at #2.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) (+4)
With Carson Wentz back under center, the Philadelphia Eagles returned to their typical form we witnessed in 2017. There is a bit of rust, but that should be erased as the weeks go on.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) (-2)
The Jaguars stood their ground on the defensive end, but without Leonard Fournette, the offense could not find any rhythm. Hopefully the ground game can get back on its feet, as Jacksonville faces the New York Jets in week four.
5. Carolina Panthers (2-1) (+3)
Carolina took in a high-scoring victory over an impressive Cincinnati Bengals roster, as Christian McCaffrey saw 184 rushing yards. If this continues, the Panthers could be a consistent top five team in the power rankings.
6. New England Patriots (1-2) (-3)
With back-to-back losses, there is no concrete reasoning for New England’s lack of consistency. With Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon involved in later weeks, perhaps the Patriots can see themselves back into the top three eventually.
7. New Orleans Saints (2-1) (+2)
Drew Brees and company fought in overtime in a victory over the Atlanta Falcons, and this was much-needed on multiple levels. The Saints will get Mark Ingram back next week, who should evolve the run game, alongside Alvin Kamara.
8. Washington Redskins (2-1) (+6)
Perhaps the most underrated franchise in the NFC, the Washington Redskins pulled out a victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. If Alex Smith continues to manage the offense properly, the Redskins could be in the conversation as the favorite in the NFC East.
9. Green Bay Packers (1-1-1) (-3)
Based on the film itself, it’s apparent that Aaron Rodgers isn’t healthy enough to carry the Green Bay Packers by himself. Listed as the favorites against the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49rs in the next three weeks, momentum will be on the line.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1-1) (+2)
With a close victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night, the truth is that the Pittsburgh Steelers are a streaky franchise at best. The offense was outscored 17-0 in the second half, and James Connor saw only 61 yards on the ground.
11. Miami Dolphins (3-0) (+10)
Granted it’s still early in the season, the Miami Dolphins deserve some respect. Even with a potential loss in week four against the New England Patriots, the team would still hold a lead over the rest of the pact.
12. Minnesota Vikings (1-1-1) (-7)
I’m not sure week three was a fluke, as the Minnesota Vikings looked lost in their blowout defeat against the Buffalo Bills. Kirk Cousins was forced to drop back 55 times, and if that’s the story behind this season, Minnesota should be worried about their chances moving forward.
13. Baltimore Ravens (2-1) (+6)
With one of the more impressive defenses at hand, the Baltimore Ravens at least have potential to make an impact on the AFC. While I’m not sold on Joe Flacco quite yet, there is hope on the horizon.
14. Chicago Bears (2-1) (-3)
Although the Chicago Bears came away with a victory in week three, it was unimpressive to say the least. Against a team like the Arizona Cardinals, the Bears failed to make this a statement game and receive a source of momentum.
15. Atlanta Falcons (1-2) (-5)
The Falcons had an opportunity to toss the New Orleans Saints down the rankings, but let an overtime game slip out of their hands. With a matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals in week four, this could be a make or break setting.
16. Denver Broncos (2-1) (-1)
After suffering defeat to the Baltimore Ravens, I still think the Denver Broncos are exceeding expectations to start the season. With extra time to rest before a difficult matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, this could be a key game.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) (-)
Cincinnati failed to take out an above-average franchise in the Carolina Panthers, and remain in the middle of the field because of it. If AJ Green is healthy enough to compete in coming weeks, the ceiling for the Bengals remains as a playoff roster.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) (-2)
Ryan “FitzMagic” quickly turned into Ryan “FitzTragic” at some points on Monday night, but still passed for 400+ for the third consecutive game. As long as Tampa Bay remains competitive with Fitzpatrick under center, Jameis Winston may need to watch from the sidelines.
19. Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) (-6)
While the Chargers did face a competitive franchise in the Los Angeles Rams, there is rarely an excuse to let up 35 points in a game. The Chargers have now let up 20+ points in all three of their games to start the season, and have only defeated the Buffalo Bills.
20. Seattle Seahawks (1-2) (+6)
Desperate for a victory, the Seattle Seahawks found themselves with a victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. There is plenty of work to be done, but Earl Thomas looked elite against his former suitor.
21. Tennessee Titans (2-1) (+8)
With a quarterback change partway through, the Tennessee Titans pulled off a low-scoring upset against the Jacksonville Jaguars. I don’t like their chances against elite teams in the long stretch, but this was an interesting spectacle.
22. Dallas Cowboys (1-2) (-4)
The Dallas Cowboys failed to show up on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, and the expectations are plummeting. With Sean Lee sidelined for the time being, the offense needs to find a go-to option at the wide receiver position.
23. New York Giants (1-2) (+1)
New York quickly found some momentum against the Houston Texans, but the next task is to remain consistent. Their next five games are filled with potential playoff rosters, so this could be where the Giants rise or fall among the rest of the competition.
24. Detroit Lions (1-2) (+3)
Aside from the Buffalo Bills victory, the next greatest upset was the Detroit Lions defeating the New England Patriots on Sunday night. Matt Stafford looked like a different quarterback, as the Lions now have their momentum at hand.
25. Cleveland Browns (1-1-1) (+5)
With Baker Mayfield at quarterback, the Cleveland Browns finally showed promise and won their first game of the season. Named the starter for week four against the Oakland Raiders, I think there is a chance we see some sparks of life from the Browns.
26. Indianapolis Colts (1-2) (-6)
Even with Andrew Luck under center, the Indianapolis Colts look incapable of winning games in the home stretch. Perhaps the rebuild needs to continue, but changes are needed before the Colts are viewed as a competitive franchise in the AFC.
27. Houston Texans (0-3) (-4)
The Houston Texans continue to decline on the power rankings, as neither side of the ball can take control of their opponent. With potential victories to be grabbed against the Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills in the next three weeks, most of these games these are viewed as must-win situations.
28. New York Jets (1-2) (-3)
Sam Darnold has struggled at points this season, but there is no reason to pull him quite yet. The Jets are very much in the mix at this rate, but need to make quick adjustments on both sides of the ball. Perhaps give the Pittsburgh Steelers a call for Le’Veon Bell?
29. Oakland Raiders (0-3) (-2)
The Jon Gruden experiment is off to a slow start, but it’s early in the season. With three consecutive losses at hand, the media will likely harass the Raiders until results come in.
30. Buffalo Bills (1-2) (+2)
Josh Allen won his first career NFL game, which is great, but the Buffalo Bills will struggle to win games like this in the near future. With the Packers on deck, Buffalo should focus on taking games against Tennessee in week five, Houston in week six, and Indianapolis in week seven.
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-2) (-9)
After losing QB Jimmy Garoppolo for the season, the San Francisco 49ers have potentially lost out on any chance at success for 2018. Pending any quick spurts of development from CJ Beathard, the 49ers may fall to #32 in the next week or two.
32. Arizona Cardinals (0-3) (-1)
Listed at #32 for the first time this season, the Arizona Cardinals could not find success with either Sam Bradford or Josh Rosen in week three. While there is no need for an immediate rebuild, the lack of development at the quarterback position is holding this franchise back.
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