RADIO.COM NFL Week 3 Power Rankings: Falcons Rise After Statement Win

Tim Kelly
September 17, 2019 - 1:54 pm
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After two weeks of the NFL season, this much is clear; there seems to be definitive answers to who the best and the worst teams in the NFL are. In between No. 1 and No. 32 is where things get a bit trickier.

Ahead of Week 3 of the NFL season, here's RADIO.COM's latest NFL Power Rankings.

Tom Brady and Antonio Brown connected for a touchdown in their first game together.
Tom Brady and Antonio Brown connected for a touchdown in their first game together. Photo credit (Eric Espada/Getty Images)

1. New England Patriots (Last Week: No. 1)

Though Antonio Brown's investigation will now hang over the Patriots 2019 season, the four-time All-Pro wideout caught a touchdown pass in a 43-0 blowout victory over the Dolphins in his debut with the team. Whether the Patriots going 16-0 proves to be realistic or not, Tom Brady appears to have the most skill position talent around him since 2007, when the Patriots finished the regular season with a perfect record.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: No. 2)

The Chiefs and Patriots aren't scheduled to play until Week 14 in New England, leaving an outside chance that both teams will be undefeated until that point. In the meantime, Patrick Mahomes is off to another ridiculous start, as he has seven touchdowns and 821 yards in his first two games.

3. Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: No. 4)

Dak Prescott may not have as much skill position talent to work with as Tom Brady, but he looks extremely comfortable with Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb, Jason Witten and Blake Jarwin to throw to. And thus, the Cowboys have looked explosive early on in the 2019 season.

4. Los Angeles Rams (Last Week: No. 5)

Rightfully so, a lot was made of how much not having Todd Gurley at 100 percent for their run to the Super Bowl hurt the Rams a season ago. However, that overshadowed the fact that wide receiver Cooper Kupp was lost for the season with a torn ACL in Week 8. Through two games, the 26-year-old looks completely recovered from his ACL tear, as he's hauled in 12 passes for 166 yards. That's scary when you consider that quarterback Jared Goff also has Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods to throw to.

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are off to a hot start.
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are off to a hot start. Photo credit (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

5. Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: No. 8)

To recap, Lamar Jackson threw five touchdowns in a season-opening blowout of the Miami Dolphins, before rushing for 120 yards in a Week 2 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Have the Ravens benefited from a soft schedule early on? Absolutely, but they - and most important, their second-year quarterback - have taken care of what's in front of them.

6. Green Bay Packers (Last Week: No. 11)

The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings both have flaws offensively - namely, at the quarterback position - but it's still noteworthy that the Packers defense has held their two division rivals to just 19 points combined in their first two games.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: No. 3)

The Eagles lost on Sunday Night Football, but did so with Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson on the sideline for much of the contest. Even with that taken into account and brutal first-half for Carson Wentz, Nelson Agholor dropped what may have been the game-winning touchdown pass inside of two minutes. So while the Eagles did suffer their first loss of the 2019 season, they were very close to stealing a game on the road under very sub-optimal standards. It's hard to penalize them too much.

8. Los Angeles Chargers (Last Week: No. 7)

If we assume that the Chargers won't go into another game with punter Ty Long left to attempt to kick field goals for the injured Mike Badgley, it's easier to excuse an ugly loss on the road in Detroit. It's also good news that despite a goal-line fumble in Week 2, Austin Ekeler has rushed for 124 yards and has 163 receiving yards in the first two weeks of the season, which has helped to make up for the production of Melvin Gordon.

9. Houston Texans (Last Week: No. 9)

The Texans held on to defeat the Jaguars 13-12 in Week 2, though it was less impressive than their Week 1 30-28 loss to the Saints. Also not impressive: DeShaun Watson tied an NFL record by being sacked four or more times for the eighth straight game. Even with as much talent as the Texans have, that's not a sustainable formula in the short or long-term.

Dalvin Cook has been one of the NFL's best rushers early in the 2019 season.
Dalvin Cook has been one of the NFL's best rushers early in the 2019 season. Photo credit (Dan Powers/USA Today Images)

10. Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: No. 10)

Under Mike Zimmer, the Vikings have a potentially elite defensive unit. Offensively, they have two No. 1 wide receivers in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, along with running back Dalvin Cook, who has rushed for 265 yards in the first two weeks of the 2019 season. The Vikings seem just one piece away from being Super Bowl contenders. Unfortunately, as we were reminded in Week 2, that piece is the most important piece, the quarterback.

11. Seattle Seahawks (Last Week: No. 13)

The Seahawks are 2-0, thanks to two victories with a combined margin of three points. There's something to be said for winning two close games to open the season, although the first game came against the Cincinnati Bengals and the second against a Pittsburgh Steelers team that played much of the game without Ben Roethlisberger. Pete Carroll's squad has another interesting Week 3 matchup, as they'll host the Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints.

12. San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: No. 21)

In last week's power rankings, it was suggested that we've reached the "I'll believe it when I see it" stage with Jimmy Garoppolo. Well, he and the 49ers showed it in a 41-17 beatdown of the Bengals in Cincy, with "Jimmy G." throwing for 297 yards and three touchdowns. The 49ers are 2-0, and they have a potentially winnable Week 3 game, as they'll host *Mason Rudolph* and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

13. New Orleans Saints (Last Week: No. 6)

It's one thing to feel comfortable enough in your backup quarterback to think that they could tide you over for a couple games. It will be another thing to ask Teddy Bridgewater and/or Taysom Hill to step in for future Hall of Famer Drew Brees for nearly half of the 2019 season. The Saints have enough offensive talent to potentially still compete for the NFC South title, but it now feels unlikely they'll secure a first-round bye and possible home field advantage in the postseason.

14. Chicago Bears (Last Week: No. 12)

It's amazing how quickly the Bears have fallen into being viewed as a middle-of-the-pack team. But they play in a division where both the Packers and Vikings appear to be better than they were a season ago, and Mitchell Trubisky is 42/72 for 348 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in the Bears first two games. An elite defensive unit may not be enough to carry the Bears back to the postseason in 2019.

T.Y. Hilton has found the endzone in both of the Colts first two games of 2019.
T.Y. Hilton has found the endzone in both of the Colts first two games of 2019. Photo credit (Jim Brown/USA Today Images)

15. Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: No. 15)

In the first two games in the post-Andrew Luck era, the Colts have forced the Chargers to overtime and held a Titans team that put up over 40 points in Week 1 to just 17 points. Frank Reich's squad host the Falcons in their home opener this Sunday, which should be one of the more intriguing games of Week 3.

16. Atlanta Falcons (Last Week: No. 19)

Though they benefited from an inexplicable drop by Nelson Agholor, the Falcons made a statement in Week 2 by defeating the Eagles 24-20 on a Sunday Night Football game that turned into a bloodbath. With that win - and news that Drew Brees will miss an extended period of time - the NFC South is seemingly open for the taking for Matt Ryan and company.

17. Cleveland Browns (Last Week: No. 17)

Perhaps fittingly, Odell Beckham Jr. re-emerged in New York in Week 2, as he caught six passes for 161 yards in the Browns 23-3 win over the Jets. Defensively, former No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett added in three sacks. The biggest issue for the Browns is they'll are entering a brutal five-game stretch; they'll host the Rams on Sunday Night Football in Week 3, travel to Baltimore to face in Ravens in Week 4, square off with the 49ers in San Francisco in Week 5, return to Cleveland in Week 6 to host the Seahawks and then ship up to Boston for a Week 7 tilt with the Patriots.

18. Tennessee Titans (Last Week: No. 14)

After a surprise throttling of the Browns in Week 1, the Titans fell 19-17 to the division-rival Colts in Week 2. Mike Vrabel's team will have a quick turnaround, as they'll head to Jacksonville to face Garnder Minshew and the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football.

19. Buffalo Bills (Last Week: No. 20)

Though it may speak more to Jets and Giants being bad football teams, Josh Allen and the Bills went into Metlife Stadium in consecutive weeks and won. Before what's likely to be an uphill battle in Week 4 when they host the Patriots, the Bills have another seemingly winnable game in Week 3, when the Bengals will come to Orchard Park.

Jahlani Tavai (left) and Darius Slay (right) helped the Lions to upset the Chargers.
Jahlani Tavai (left) and Darius Slay (right) helped the Lions to upset the Chargers. Photo credit (Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

20. Detroit Lions (Last Week: No. 24)

Had they not blown a 24-6 lead to the Cardinals in Week 1, the Lions would be 2-0 right now. Then again, if the Chargers hadn't been forced to use a punter on field goal attempts, the Lions would very likely be 0-1-1 right now. In any event, their schedule is about to get very difficult, as they'll face the Eagles, Chiefs, Packers and Vikings in their next four games.

21. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: No. 16)

If this feels too high for an 0-2 team that's lost their future Hall of Fame quarterback for the season, perhaps it is. But the feeling here is that James Connor is a much better running back than he's shown in the first two weeks, when he's averaged just 2.6 yards-per-carry. The Steelers also added safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in a trade from the Dolphins this week.

22. Carolina Panthers (Last Week: No. 18)

Though Cam Newton's shoulder has drawn quite a bit of attention with his lackluster start, the foot injury that he suffered in the preseason (and re-aggravated in a Week 2 loss to the Buccaneers) is threatening to sideline him for the Panthers Week 3 matchup with the Cardinals. Even with Drew Brees' absence seemingly leaving the door open in the NFC South, you don't get a great feeling about where the 2019 Panthers are heading.

23. New York Jets (Last Week: No. 22)

The Jets have scored just 19 points through the first two games of the Adam Gase era. Their starting quarterback - Sam Darnold - is out for at least another game as he recovers from mono. Their backup quarterback - Trevor Siemian - suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the team's 23-3 loss to the Browns on Monday Night Football. While the Jets may still be the best team that plays their home games at MetLife Stadium, they haven't looked better than more than a handful of teams in the first two weeks of the season.

24. Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week: No. 23)

With an ankle injury forcing A.J. Green to the sideline for the first two games of the 2019 season, rookie head coach Zac Taylor has tapped into something with former first round pick John Ross III, who has 11 catches for 270 yards in 2019. That said, the Bengals took a 41-17 beating to the 49ers in Week 2, and have a surprisingly tough matchup in Buffalo in Week 3.

Kyler Murray has shown poise in his first two NFL starts.
Kyler Murray has shown poise in his first two NFL starts. Photo credit (Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Images)

25. Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: No. 27)

While they could stand to start games quicker, Kyler Murray and the Cardinals played the Lions to a tie after falling down 24-6 in Week 1, and lost by six points in Baltimore in Week 2. The poise that Murray has shown through his first two weeks make you think that the Cardinals could be a spoiler in 2019, especially if David Johnson heats up as the season goes along.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week: No. 26)

In the first two weeks of the season, the Jaguars have lost their starting quarterback with a broken collarbone and had star cornerback Jalen Ramsey request a trade. While there's a novelty to Gardner Minshew, the Jaguars are 0-2 and already facing a must-win game on Thursday Night Football against the Titans.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week: No. 31)

While the Bucs did pull out a surprise win over the Panthers in Carolina last Thursday, Jameis Winston has just 402 combined passing yards in the first two games of the 2019 season. Things could get ugly if Winston is outplayed Sunday by Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who will be starting for the first time in his career.

28. New York Giants (Last Week No. 28)

Just by naming Daniel Jones their starting quarterback, the Giants moved up a few spots. At least the No. 6 overall pick is something new. And for what it's worth, Jones earned the nickname "Danny Dimes" during a dominant preseason that saw him go 29/34 for 416 yards and two touchdowns. Jones will have two games to ease into the starting role against the Buccaneers and Redskins, before the Giants see the Vikings and Patriots to open up their October slate of games.

29. Oakland Raiders (Last Week: No. 25)

First round pick Josh Jacobs - who starred for Alabama at the collegiate level - has brought a bit of a nastiness to a Raiders offense that certainly lacked that in 2018. But while Jacobs has averaged 5.3 yards-per-carry in his first two NFL games, he's not surrounded with nearly enough talent for the Raiders to make any sort of noise in a division that also includes the Chiefs and Chargers.

Joe Flacco and the Broncos are 0-2.
Joe Flacco and the Broncos are 0-2. Photo credit (Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Images)

30. Denver Broncos (Last Week: No. 29)

When the Broncos acquired former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco, president of football operations John Elway said that he thought the 34-year-old was "just entering his prime." Well, after his first two games with the team, the Broncos are 0-2 and Flacco has thrown for 560 yards on 81 passing attempts, which probably sounds better than it actually is.

31. Washington Redskins (Last Week: No. 30)

Since taking a 17-0 lead over the Eagles in Week 1, the Redskins have been outscored 63-31. Unlike some other struggling teams, it doesn't feel like a ton is being accomplished in the way of development either; running back Derrius Guice is on injured reserve and Dwayne Haskins is still waiting behind Case Keenum at quarterback.

32. Miami Dolphins (Last Week: No. 30)

As noted in this week's NFL Takeaways, the Dolphins have been outscored 102-10 in their first two games and appear to have a legitimate chance to go down as the worst team in NFL history. What's more Minkah Fitzpatrick is likely the first of a few veterans that the team will trade, so Brian Flores' team could actually get even worse than they've been in the first two games of the 2019 season.