With three weeks in the books, its time to take a step back and check on the latest power rankings in the NFL. Here I’ll give you my top five in each conference, along with the bottom three in the AFC and NFC as well. Feel free to write and debate me on any of these.
NFC Top 5
1. Seattle – No doubt they don’t appear to have a Super Bowl hangover. The Hawks have gotten after it the last three weeks, but now we’ll see how big and bad they are without the NFL MVP for a few weeks.
2. Chicago – How much fun will Sunday night in Chicago be vs the Seahawks? The Bears overcame a tough Vikings team in the Dome Sunday, and now look to make a statement vs Seattle. Rex Grossman has been solid so far, and the defense is still as good as any in the league.
3. Philadelphia – A big dropoff after Seattle and Chicago, but remember that the Eagles were just a fumble away from being 3-0. They played well following that disaster at home vs the Giants. Donovan McNabb looks like his old self, and the defense has done a nice job as well.
4. New Orleans – Why not? The Saints at 3-0 seem to have some serious weapons on offense, and the defense has played out of its mind for Sean Payton. The Drew Brees signing has already paid off. Next few weeks will show if the Saints are for real or just a nice early season story.
5. Atlanta – Despite the letdown in New Orleans on Monday night, I still think this team has what it takes to go 11-5 or 12-4. Michael Vick needs to make some more plays, and the defense has to rebound vs the Cardinals to get back on track
NFC Bottom 3
1. Tampa Bay – A gutsy effort from Chris Simms was not enough to eek out a win vs the Panthers at home on Sunday. Now with no quarterback and a broken down Cadallic, this team is headed for a very long season.
2. Detroit – I thought they were going to start playing defense in Detroit? I guess not, as the Lions are giving up points in bunches, including a loss to the Packers on Sunday. The offense is starting to come around, but the defense is doing no one any favors.
3. San Francisco – A win over the Rams two weeks ago stopped the bleeding, but last week the Eagles opened up another gashing wound. Alex Smith has been the bright spot, throwing for 814 yards and 3 TD’s in three games.
AFC Top 5
1. Indianapolis – The Colts look like they never missed a beat after last years playoff loss to the Steelers. Peyton Manning has played three solid games, and the team is still putting up a respectable 81 yards on the ground without a star RB. Last weeks win over the Jags was a statement maker.
2. Cincinnati – They were fortunate to get out of Pittsburgh with a win, but the team took advantage of the Steelers turnovers and turned them into points when it had the chance. Carson Palmer looks great, and the defense has done a nice job in the first three games. This week vs the Pats should be interesting.
3. San Diego – They have only played two games, but look to have that swagger of two years ago when they went 12-4. Philip Rivers has more tests ahead, and the defense will need to continue to play at a high level. This weeks game vs the Ravens should be a barnburner.
4. Baltimore – The Ravens escaped Cleveland with a hard fought 15-14 win, and that win may be bigger than it seems in the confidence department. Steve McNair looked old in that game, but was able to get the team down the field for Matt Stover’s 52-yard game winner. A win over the Chargers at home would make a big statement.
5. Denver – This was a toss-up between them and the Jags, but I think winning on the road, Sunday night vs the Pats is a bigger deal than a tough loss in Indy. They have only scored 36 points in three games, but at least for one week Jake Plummer is off the hook.
AFC Bottom 3
1. Tennessee – The Titans are simply not a good football team, and do not have the horses this year to get more than 3-4 wins. A 5-11 season would be good for them, but that will be tough. Now that Billy Volek is gone, time to sit Kerry Collins and give Vince Young a shot.
2. Cleveland – The Browns were thhhisssss close to a huge home win Sunday over the rival Ravens, but some questionable goal-line play calling had Charlie Frye throwing in the end zone up by two points with just over 3 mintues left. Of course he was hit, the ball intercepted, and the rest is history. At least the team played better.
3. Oakland – Maybe a bye week will help them? They have a shot at a win this week as they host the Browns, but nothing with this team is a for sure. You would think that with Randy Moss and Lamont Jordan this team would be a little better. A home loss to the Browns cements them in the bottom three the rest of the season.