Though it's still early in the season, several teams have begun separating themselves as title contenders. The Broncos-Seahawks showcase on Sunday proved far more entertaining than last February's Super Bowl, but the end result was the same. Peyton Manning attacked the Seattle secondary, completing passes over Richard Sherman that perhaps no other quarterback in the league can, including the two-point conversion to send the game into overtime. The Seahawks' defense still held strong, with Kam Chancellor picking off Manning in the red zone and nearly intercepting another. Russell Wilson and the offense sealed the game in overtime with an impressive, methodical drive, allowing Marshawn Lynch to score the game-winning touchdown.
While they rank behind Seattle in the eyes of the experts, the Philadelphia Eagles have soared to a 3-0 start, tied for the best record in the NFC. Former teammate DeSean Jackson and his new Washington team quite literally fought Philadelphia throughout, but a 154-yard performance by Jeremy Maclin sealed the win for the Eagles.
SB Nation's Power Rankings
SB Nation's Power Rankings
In a blowout win over the Bucs, the Atlanta Falcons showed themselves to be closer to the team that knocked off the New Orleans Saints than the one that couldn't get off the ground in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals. With left tackle Jake Matthews back in the lineup, Matt Ryan enjoyed ample time in the pocket, slinging darts to receivers Julio Jones, Harry Douglas and Devin Hester through his three quarters of work. Hester registered his 20th return touchdown, pushing him ahead of Hall of Famer Deion Sanders. Tampa Bay had no answer, producing 14 points in garbage time behind backup quarterback Mike Glennon.
Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers tumble down the rankings following an uninspired 19-7 loss to the Detroit Lions. The Green Bay defense, largely responsible for the team's season-opening loss to Seattle and the slow start against the New York Jets, performed commendably in Detroit, allowing only 10 points. However, the offense sputtered throughout, producing only a touchdown and yielding nine points of its own through a safety and fumble return for a touchdown.
Speaking of the Jets, they fall in this week's rankings after another disappointing performance against an NFC foe. Chicago was able to jump out to a quick 14-0 lead on Monday Night Football thanks to Ryan Mundy's pick-six of Geno Smith on his first throw of the game, followed by a muffed punt only minutes later. The Jets had a chance to tie the game with under a minute remaining, but Smith could not find the mark from inside the 10-yard line on four tries.
Here's a full look at how the sports media outlets ranked the teams after Week 3:
|Rk.||Team||Record||SB Nation||ESPN||NFL.com||Football Outsiders||Average|
New England Patriots
San Francisco 49ers
|15||New Orleans Saints
|16||Green Bay Packers
|20||Kansas City Chiefs||1-2||20
|23||New York Jets
New York Giants
St. Louis Rams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The four polls we use:
We use four different rankings to compile our weekly average. The idea behind that is to try to get a wider sense of where all 32 teams are being valued with three weeks of play in the books. Our power rankings sources are from our in-house rankings, ESPN and NFL.com. We also factor in the DVOA rankings from Football Outsiders to add an objective statistical measurement to the formula.