Week 3 NFL power rankings

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By SAM SPIEGELMAN
XN Sports

The second week of football is officially in the books, and all of a sudden the Week 2 edition of the XN Sports NFL Power Rankings really makes you re-consider what you thought you knew.

Every week, XN Sports will rank every NFL team. Here is the Week 3 edition based on the Week 2 results and the season-long potential of each team.

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Week 3 NFL Power Rankings
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Week 3 NFL power rankings

1. Denver Broncos (Last week: 2)

They haven’t dominated, but they remain the class of the AFC. This week against Seattle should give us our top team for the rest of the season.

What to know: The demise of DeMarcus Ware has been vastly overrated. Ware racked up three hits and three hurries, and beat tackle Eric Fisher four times in game’s final three minutes.

(Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

2. Seattle Seahawks (Last week: 1)

Yes, even the champs can be beat. They were never going to go undefeated, and they lost to a very talented Chargers team.

What to know: Seattle’s loss to San Diego on Sunday was the team’s first defeat by more than seven points since Week 9 of 2011, when they fell to Dallas.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

3. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 6)

The Bengals made the Falcons look weak, and this defense looks like it should vie to be one of the league’s best. They leapfrog New England.

What to know: Those Falcons wide receivers that burned the New Orleans secondary in Week 1 had no shot against Leon Hall. According to Pro Football Focus, anybody Hall covered faced skin-tight coverage, as the corner allowed only 31 yards and a 30.7 passer rating.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

4. New England Patriots (Last week: 5)

Tom Brady and Co. bounced back to hammer the Vikings. Where was Gronk, though? There are still a lot of lingering questions.

What to know: Tom Brady passed John Elway for most career wins by a quarterback in NFL history. He now owns sole possession of third place with 149, trailing Brett Favre(186) and Peyton Manning (169).

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

5. San Francisco 49ers (Last week: 3)

Let’s not overreact to the second-half collapse. This team is still playing without many of its key cogs.

What to know: The Niners had won 37 straight games while leading by 13 points or more entering the fourth quarter.

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

6. Green Bay Packers (Last week: 7)

A historical comeback over the Jets helped the Pack get back on track. That kind of win can go a long way.

What to know: How rare was the Packers’ comeback against the Jets? Rallying to overcome a 14-point deficit or greater has happened only once at Lambeau Field — back in 1989 when Don Majkowski completed 18 straight passes to lead Green Bay over New Orleans.

(AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

7. Philadelphia Eagles (Last week: 9)

The comeback birds need to work on starting as fast as they finish.These running backs can give any defense fits.

What to know: These comeback birds are the first NFL team to start 2-0 after trailing by two touchdowns at halftime in both of their games.

(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

8. Arizona Cardinals (Last week: 13)

The Cardinals could easily be 0-2, but thanks a late rally in Week 1 and some special teams sparks against the Giants, they remain contenders.

What to know: Arizona’s top defensive player, Patrick Peterson, has yet to even play up to his potential thus far. According to Pro Football Focus, Peterson has allowed two touchdowns and owns the fourth-lowest coverage grade of any NFL corner.

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

9. San Diego Chargers (Last week: 14)

This is what you can expect with San Diego: big-time victories over elite teams, then stinkers against teams they ought to beat.

What to know: Antonio Gates carved up the Seattle defense on Sunday. At age 34, Gates is older than any player on the entire Seahawks roster.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

10. Carolina Panthers (Last week: 20)

Despite all of the offseason losses, this defense remains very much a championship-level unit. So far they’ve stifled opposing offenses.

What to know: The Carolina defense nabbed three turnovers against Detroit without committing one. Since 2002, the Panthers have a 29-1 record in which they own a plus-3 mark or better in the turnover margin, according to Elias Sports.

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

11. Chicago Bears (Last week: 12)

Good Jay Cutler and bad Jay Cutler prove to be the catalyst. That, and a very opportunistic defense.

What to know: After San Francisco raced out to a 20-7 lead in the third quarter Sunday night, the Bears owned a 5.2-percent chance of winning.

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

12. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 8)

I think there’s a lot more we need to see out of Pittsburgh before we make any judgements. The biggest issue: why can’t this defense force turnovers?

What to know: The Steelers’ cornerback of the future, Cortez Allen, still has his work cut out for him. Allen whiffed on four tackles, three in run support, which was a career high.

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

13. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 10)

The Falcons’ offense was stifled by Cincinnati’s defense, and the defense looked very suspect. Did we overstate their win over the Saints?

What to know: The Falcons are the only NFL team that has yet to record a sack thus far.

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

14. Detroit Lions (Last week: 11)

I guess a beat-down of the Giants gave us false courage, because the Lions looked very average against Carolina.

What to know: Calvin Johnson matched the Lions franchise record for consecutive games played with a reception. Johnson recorded his 107th straight game played with a reception, according to Elias Sports.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

15. New Orleans Saints (Last week: 4)

The Saints’ much-hyped defense has been the NFL’s biggest disappointment thus far, and Week 2 it cost them their first win. They need to get back to the Superdome.

What to know: The Saints away from New Orleans are a completely different team. The proof: since 2011, they are the second-least reliable road team. In that span, they are 12-17.

(Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)

16. Baltimore Ravens (Last week: 18)

The Ravens owned their division rival on Thursday. Steve Smith remains an ageless wonder.

What to know: Joe Flacco loves his tight ends. When targeting Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels, Flacco was 8-for-9, including a pair of play-action touchdowns.

(AP Photo/Matt Strasen)

17. New York Jets  (Last week: 17)

The Jets should have beaten Green Bay at Lambeau. That’s a tough blow, but you see thatGeno Smith still has room to grow.

What to know: Geno Smith was hot and cold on Sunday against the Packers. Smith went 3-for-4 for 47 yards and a touchdown against the Packers’ blitz on the first 10 pass attempts. He followed that up by going 5-for-13 for 43 yards and a pick in the subsequent 13 attempts.

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

18. Houston Texans (Last week: 21)

Are we to believe these Texans are for real? Well, they started 2-0 last year, too.

What to know: J.J. Watt‘s touchdown catch was the first in his career.

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

20. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 16)

Knowshon Moreno added a nice spark to this offense, but he’ll be sidelined with an injury for a month now. Let’s see if Bill Lazor can get this offense going.

What to know: Miami has dropped three in a row to Buffalo, the team’s longest losing streak since going 0-4 against the Bills from 2006-07.

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

20. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 16)

Knowshon Moreno added a nice spark to this offense, but he’ll be sidelined with an injury for a month now. Let’s see if Bill Lazor can get this offense going.

What to know: Miami has dropped three in a row to Buffalo, the team’s longest losing streak since going 0-4 against the Bills from 2006-07.

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

21. Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 15)

The offense looked well-balanced against Philly, and the defense was equally as imposing. With the game on the line, Andrew Luck came up short. Were we too quick to anoint him elite?

What to know: Andrew Luck’s loss to Philly on Monday Night Football marked the first pair of back-to-back losses in his career. That 33-game streak was tied for the longest dating back to Dan Marino‘s from 1970.

(AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

22. Minnesota Vikings (Last week: 19)

This Adrian Peterson drama is sure to have a hangover effect.

What to know: Let the Teddy Bridgewater chants begin. In terms of downfield passing,Matt Cassel went 0-for-8 with three interceptions on passes thrown 10 yards downfield. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Cassel is the first quarterback since 2006 who hasn’t completed multiple attempts 10 yards downfield.

(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

23. Cleveland Browns (Last week: 25)

Week 1, the Browns’ rally fell short. They came through against New Orleans Sunday, and we’ll see if the Browns can build on it.

What to know: The Browns’ comeback win against the Saints marked the team’s first win in a home opener since 2004.

(AP Photo/David Richard)

24. Tennessee Titans (Last week: 22)

This offense couldn’t take advantage of a porous Cowboys defense. Come on.

What to know: With the loss, Tennessee is 9-7 in home-openers since 1999.

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

25. Washington Redskins (Last week: 29)

There should be a quarterback controversy in the nation’s capital. Kirk Cousins had the offense clicking for the first time in quite some time.

What to know: Kirk Cousins threw for 250 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.Robert Griffin III only matched those numbers twice before in his career.

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

26. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 30)

Well, we knew the Cowboys could put up points. They’re back on track for another .500 finish.

What to know: DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant each eclipsed 100 yards on Sunday. Not only did it make fantasy football owners happy, but it marked the second time in their four seasons as teammates they each recorded 100 yards or more in the same game, according to Elias Sports.

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

27. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 23)

The loss of Jamaal Charles is the loss of their offensive firepower.

What to know: There’s something about the Kansas City defense that brings out the best in Peyton Manning. As a member of Denver, Manning’s best two QBR games have come against these division rivals.

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

28. New York Giants (Last week: 25)

The Giants didn’t play too bad in their loss to the Cardinals. However, allowing late punt-return touchdowns and more Eli Manning picks is probably spelling a top-10 pick come May.

What to know: Eli Manning has thrown an interception in each of his last seven games. In those seven games, he has a touchdown to interception ratio of 5:13.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

29. St. Louis Rams (Last week: 32)

Given their stinker against Minnesota last week, it was a pleasant surprise to see the Rams notch their first win. How many more is in their future remains to be seen.

What to know: First-round pick Greg Robinson continues to ride the pine, but fill-in Joe Barksdale has thrived in his opportunity. Barksdale was perfect in pass protection and helped generate 5.0 yards per rush on the right side of the line, per Pro Football Focus.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last week: 24)

You cannot let Austin Davis beat you. I repeat: you cannot let Austin Davis beat you.

What to know: Josh McCown likes to show off the wheels against the Rams. This was McCown’s second career game with two rushing touchdowns. His last was Week 14 in 2004, also against the Rams.

(Photo by Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images)

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last week: 28)

The Redskins’ mediocre pass-rush gave Chad Henne fits all day. It might get ugly when J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney get their shots. 

What to know: Chad Henne was sacked on 10-of-40 dropbacks against Washington. He was under pressure or hit on another seven dropbacks.

(Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

32. Oakland Raiders (Last week: 31)

There are already whispers that Dennis Allen’s seat is on fire. Right about now, that seems right.

What to know: It’s not all that bad, Raiders fans. First-round pick Khalil Mack recorded a hit, quarterback hurry and a batted pass on 18 pass rushes. He also had four stops in the run game, tied for most in the NFL among 3-4 linebackers, per Pro Football Focus.

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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