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NFL Power Rankings 2018, Week 3: The Jaguars are for real

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Another tie and a big AFC matchup between the Patriots and Jaguars have shaken up the power rankings heading into Week 3 in the NFL.

New England Patriots v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

A fun Week 2 in the NFL paved way for a variety of changes in this week’s power rankings. That includes a new team at the top after the Vikings tied the Packers, making for the second tie game of the 2018 NFL season. STOP THE TIES!

On the rise

The Jaguars looked like a real contender in their win over the Patriots on Sunday. Even more impressive is that they did it without Leonard Fournette, who is dealing with a hamstring injury. There were questions left to be answered in regards to whether the Jaguars are as good this year as they were last year, and right now it seems like they are.

In Los Angeles, the Rams easily beat the Cardinals with a 34-0 shutout that saw Jared Goff throw for 354 yards while Sam Bradford threw for just 90. That’s not a mistake. The Cardinals produced a total of 138 yards on offense in the entire game.

The Chiefs have had some hot starts in recent seasons; they were 5-0 to start last season and 7-2 to start 2016. Once again, they’re off to a great start, thanks in large part to Patrick Mahomes, who has thrown 10 touchdown passes in the last two weeks and is perfectly using the Chiefs’ offensive weapons. Seven different Chiefs players caught passes on Sunday and three had 90-plus receiving yards.

One of the Bengals’ biggest issues in 2017 was an inability to force turnovers on defense. That problem has been eliminated (so far) as the Bengals rank third in the NFL in turnover differential (+3) with five takeaways through Week 2. Andy Dalton is playing some of his best football and Cincinnati is 2-0 because of it.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers and Dolphins are both 2-0, along with the Jaguars, making for three undefeated teams in Florida. Ryan Tannehill is impressing and Ryan Fitzpatrick is blowing everyone away, looking far better than expected while filling in for the suspended Jameis Winston.

The final undefeated team after Week 2 is the Case Keenum-led Broncos. They notched a win against the Raiders without Keenum throwing a touchdown pass. He did have a rushing touchdown, as did rookie Royce Freeman, to help fuel the Broncos’ come-from-behind victory.

On the decline

The Patriots and Eagles fell in this week’s rankings, though not too far. The Eagles can look forward to Carson Wentz’s return on Sunday, which should offer a big boost to the team. And, the Patriots can look forward to ... Josh Gordon? Bill Belichick will surely get his team back into the win column when facing off against the Lions and former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia on Sunday Night Football. At least, you’d have to think that’s the case after seeing Detroit go 0-2 to start the season with an ugly loss to the Jets and a close defeat at the hands of the 49ers.

After losing to the Bengals, the Ravens have been bumped down the rankings. After falling to the Dolphins, the Jets dropped, too. Was the Jets’ hot Week 1 start just an illusion or will they make the Browns look silly on Thursday Night Football with a dominant showing? We’re still waiting for the real Jets to prove who they are.

Also moving down is Washington, who lost to the Colts 21-9 in their home opener. No Washington player was able to score a touchdown in a disappointing showing.

Middle the pack

How about the Steelers? Ben Roethlisberger helped get the Steelers back into Sunday’s game against the Chiefs when trailing 21-0 in the first half, but Pittsburgh has yet to win a game and drama continues in the Steel City. While Le’Veon Bell remains away from the team, James Conner is shining as his replacement.

The 49ers got their first win on Sunday against the Lions, but it was more difficult than many expected. Richard Sherman isn’t satisfied as he said the win “feels like a loss.” The 49ers will need to put up a lot of points next week when facing the red-hot Chiefs.

The Colts climbed up the rankings, nearing the middle of the league after a nice win over Washington. Andrew Luck (21 of 31, 179 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions) didn’t have his best game, but he’s on his way to getting back to being the guy who can win his team games on a consistent basis.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 3

Ranking Team Last Week
Ranking Team Last Week
1 Jacksonville Jaguars 5
2 Los Angeles Rams 6
3 Kansas City Chiefs 7
4 Minnesota Vikings 1
5 Green Bay Packers 4
6 New England Patriots 2
7 Philadelphia Eagles 3
8 Cincinnati Bengals 14
9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19
10 Atlanta Falcons 15
11 Denver Broncos 12
12 Miami Dolphins 22
13 Los Angeles Chargers 13
14 New Orleans Saints 11
15 Baltimore Ravens 8
16 Carolina Panthers 9
17 Chicago Bears 17
18 Indianapolis Colts 25
19 Pittsburgh Steelers 10
20 San Francisco 49ers 18
21 Tennessee Titans 30
22 Dallas Cowboys 28
23 New York Jets 20
24 Washington 16
25 Seattle Seahawks 26
26 Oakland Raiders 23
27 Cleveland Browns 27
28 Detroit Lions 29
29 New York Giants 24
30 Houston Texans 21
31 Arizona Cardinals 31
32 Buffalo Bills 32


Read on for more from today’s edition of Rise ‘n Grind.

Featured stories

Highlights and analysis from Monday Night Football

The Bears’ defense looked as-advertised in Chicago’s 24-17 win over the Seahawks on Monday night.

Welcome to the Patrick Mahomes show

Vontae Davis retired at halftime, Ryan Fitzpatrick had his own Philly Special for the Eagles, and the Browns are still Brownsing in Week 2’s Pleighbook.

How to fix the NFL’s confusing roughing the passer rules

The league’s ever expanding rules for roughing the passer have now ruined two games in two weeks.

Ryan Tannehill is ... good and 6 things we’ve been wrong about this NFL season

The Falcons can, in fact, score in the red zone, and the Texans have been a big-time disappointment.

Ranking the 3 worst performances by kickers in a disastrous Week 2

NFL kickers turned into college kickers this weekend and two were cut as a result.

The Vikings-Packers tie will make the NFC North race real weird

Tiebreakers will look a little different if the Packers and Vikings are fighting for playoff spots late in the season.


NFL headlines

Khalil Mack’s strip sacks against the Seahawks and Packers were slightly different but equally impressive

The Steelers’ frustrations are starting to bubble over. Is this the end of an era?

How Mychal Kendricks is allowed to play for the Seahawks, despite facing jail time

The Jaguars didn’t play scared vs. the Patriots this time around

Michael Dickson — yes, a punter — might be the best reason to watch the Seahawks

This baseball coach got all the mean tweets because he shares a name with the Browns’ kicker

The NFL could improve overtime with these 6 options

Marquette King released a short film dissing Jon Gruden moments after beating the Raiders

The Vig: Winners and losers from Week 2


What fans are talking about

Patriots acquire Josh Gordon, release Corey Coleman

Washington signs WRs Breshad Perriman, Michael Floyd

Ravens place CB Maurice Canady on IR, re-sign LB Albert McClellan

This is the Kansas City scenario Andy Reid has dreamed about

Von Miller: “Good play by the Raiders” in trading Khalil Mack

Jerry Jones shares why the Cowboys cut new Vikings kicker Dan Bailey

NFL says Clay Matthews’ hit was perfect example of roughing the passer

Jon Gruden says he does not regret trading Khalil Mack

The Giants will have a new center in Week 3

DeSean Jackson weighs in on the Bucs’ quarterback decision

How the Jets almost scored before halftime vs. the Dolphins but then didn’t

Vance Joseph: ‘We gave Raiders’ offense too much respect’


Tweet of the Day

Oh, no.

Marc Sessler sent this tweet on Saturday after the news broke that the Browns would part ways with Josh Gordon. And now... well, it looks like he’ll be drinking bleach for the next 1,000 days as the Patriots traded for the former Browns receiver.


Video of the Day