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NFL Power Rankings: Week 3

Eli and the boys in blue are back where they spent a few weeks early last season, the top of the computerized power rankings. Despite #2 Minnesota’s last second win over #1 San Francisco, the formula was more impressed by the Giants shutout win over the Bucs, which caused them to leapfrog the Saints (who also won) and Vikings into the #1 spot. So far, I’d say the Giants deserve it, especially since the Vikings so far have beaten 3 times that combined to go 11-37 last year. The Vikings stay put at #2, while the Broncos, another team that hasn’t beaten anyone that was even close to being good last year, move up 4 spots to #3. The Saints stayed even at #4, and the surprising 3-0 Jets move up to #5 after knocking off the free-falling Titans.

Around this time of year, the rankings really follow the standings pretty strongly. The 7 3-0 teams are in the top 7, the 9 2-1 teams follow, then you have the 9 1-2 teams, and finally the 7 0-3 teams. There is a pretty decent gap between each group of teams too. This is because the recent success stat hasn’t kicked in yet since all games so far this season are recent, and the strength of schedule and divisional strength is not very well defined yet. There are also large gaps in winning percentage this early on that help split the teams more. As the season goes on, these gaps and the other stats will help the formula work its ranking magic…

The bad teams just keep getting worse. The formula must be pretty sure the Buccaneers are the 28th best team in the NFL, because that is exactly where they have been for the past 3 weeks. The Titans and Browns actually moved up this week because the Rams and Panthers were so awful that they dropped to #31 and #32, respectively.

This week’s big winner was Dallas, who jumped 10 spots for whupping Carolina, while the Lions jumped 7 spots all the way to #20 for getting their first win in almost 2 years. On the flip side, the Falcons fell from #3 all the way to #15 after losing to New England, the Cardinals dropped 10 spots after being dominated at home by the Colts, and the 49ers dropped 9 spots to #10 after their narrow loss to the Vikings. Yes, the Lions are ranked above the Steelers.

Here are the complete ranks:
1. Giants – 82.28 – +4
2. Vikings – 79.38 – Even
3. Broncos – 78.82 – +4
4. Saints – 78.61 – Even
5. Jets – 77.85 – +1
6. Ravens – 77.71 – +2
7. Colts – 73.78 – +2
8. Packers – 69.85 – +3
9. Patriots – 66.34 – +1
10. 49ers – 64.16 – -9
11. Bengals – 60.86 – +2
12. Eagles – 60.19 – Even
13. Cowboys – 59.54 – +10
14. Chargers – 57.83 – +2
15. Falcons – 55.90 – -12
16. Bears – 54.85 – +6
17. Raiders – 41.85 – -3
18. Redskins – 41.78 – -1
19. Texans – 41.33 – +2
20. Lions – 41.25 – +2
21. Steelers – 40.73 – -1
22. Jaguars – 40.02 – +4
23. Bills – 39.75 – -5
24. Seahawks – 35.63 – -5
25. Cardinals – 33.66 – -10
26. Chiefs – 21.02 – +3
27. Dolphins – 18.91 – -3
28. Buccaneers – 17.76 – Even
29. Titans – 17.60 – +1
30. Browns – 15.65 – +2
31. Rams – 13.21 – -6
32. Panthers – 12.28 – -1