NFL POWER RANKINGS WEEK 3

BY ADAM GREENE It always surprises me how quickly the NFL weeks start to jet by once the actual season kicks off. It doesn’t hurt that, counting college football, we have just two days a week (Tuesday and Wednesday) without games, sometimes multiple options, to watch. This week, there’s no real movement at the top of the rankings or at the very bottom, but those teams in the middle still seem to be sorting it out. So, hey, let’s offer an assist by arbitrarily ranking them. 1. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (2-0) Most teams look worse on Thursday night than they do on Sunday afternoon. After floundering a little in Week1, the Eagles looked every bit like the defending NFC Champions in Week 2, at least from the second quarter on against the Minnesota Vikings. Also, I want to say a word about the NFL coaches wanting the league to outlaw Philly’s short yardage QB sneak play. Suck it up, losers. Yes, they’ve devised an unstoppable play that can gain exactly 1-2 yards. Now it’s up to you to come up with a play to stop it. That’s how this whole thing works. Last week: No. 1 2. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (2-0) The two best rosters in the NFL populate the two top spots, but the Niners got all they could handle last week from a scrappy Los Angeles Rams team that no one expected to do much in 2023. I will say this, my bold prediction that Brock Purdy would get benched by Thanksgiving is looking way off right now. Last week: No. 2 3. MIAMI DOLPHINS (2-0) Not only have the Dolphins looked nearly unstoppable on offense over the first two weeks of the season, they made sure the New England Patriots would open the year 0-2, making their appearance on next summer’s HBO’s Hard Knocks that much more likely. Also, it’s great that Tua Tagovailoa is healthy and has apparently learned how to take a hit. If I was a quarterback, I’d be signing up for whatever Jujitsu thing Tua is doing today. Last week: No. 3 4. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (1-1) There was no way the Chiefs would start the year 0-2, but I didn’t see them completely dominating the Jacksonville Jaguars on defense and surrendering a single digit score. Last week: No. 4 5. DALLAS COWBOYS (2-0) Dallas has surrendered 10 points to two New York teams this season in total. Now, let’s not pretend the Jets have an elite offense (in spite of some elite offensive players) without Aaron Rodgers, but these have been two real NFL teams. And while the Giants probably won’t make the playoffs this year, Brian Daboll is a hell of a coach and Dan Quinn’s defense blanked him. Last week:  No. 5 6. BALTIMORE RAVENS (2-0) When the season began, it looked as if the Ravens were in the toughest division in the NFL. While I expected them to battle for the division and certainly land a Wild Card, I didn’t expect the rest of the AFC North to look, well, this bad. Baltimore may walk to a division title and could also be looking at home field advantage and a bye in the playoffs. Last week: No. 7 7. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-1) The loss to the Chiefs wasn’t a shocker. Jacksonville still has a ways to go before they can count on wins like that against a great squad with its back against the wall. What was surprising was the poor performance of the offense, scoring just nine points. Last week: No. 6 8. LOS ANGELES RAMS (1-1) We like to say there are no moral victories in the NFL and it’s probably true. But to stand toe-to-toe with the 49ers and be a play or three away from actually winning the game was a solid step forward for a Rams team that half of NFL punditry expected to tank this season. Puka Nacua has set new rookie records for receptions and yards in his first two games. Tutu Atwell has shed the bust label and now the Rams have the Bengals coming up on the schedule, which looks very winnable now, before a game against the Indianapolis Colts. Last week: No. 9 9. CINCINNATI BENGALS (0-2) Joe Burrow hobbling back to the sideline after another poor game just shows that the team rushed him back too fast after his preseason calf injury. Now, they’re talking about possibly sitting him for a game or more. With Aaron Donald and Jeffery Simmons on the other side of the field over the next two contests, that might not be the worst idea. If Burrow does hit the bench for the next four games and Cincy pulls out two wins, they come out of their bye 2-4 and absolutely could make a run if Burrow is 100 percent. It’s probably the smart move. Last week: No. 8 10. DETROIT LIONS (1-1) You know, I didn’t pick Detroit to win in Week 1, but did think they’d cover. Week 2? I figured they’d blow the Seattle Seahawks off the field. To drop that game, after such a masterful win nine days before over the Chiefs (with the extra prep time too) is a bad look for a team we all hope will play into late January. Last week:  No. 10 11. BUFFALO BILLS (1-1) So this is what it looks like when Josh Allen doesn’t hand the ball to the other team multiple times? Weird. Now they have the 2-0 Washington Commanders coming up on the schedule and the best thing Buffalo can do for a long suffering fanbase is beat the Commanders by 50. Yes, I was talking about Washington’s fanbase. Who did you think I meant? Last week: No. 14 12. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2-0) Three teams in the NFC South open the year 2-0, but with a visit to the Green Bay Packers coming up Sunday. Frankly, looking at every NFC South’s team schedule, I think they’re all taking losses