September 23, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

NFL Week Three Power Rankings

I don’t even bother to do “power rankings” until week three of the regular season for a number of reasons. It’s sorta like the college top 25 in September, or a television set on a honeymoon – completely unnecessary!

There just aren’t any “invulnerable” teams in the NFL. “Parity” is here – whatever that’s supposed to mean. It has been a rumor for a long time as the rich (New England, Pittsburgh, New York Giants, Green Bay) have largely stayed rich while the poor (Buffalo, Miami, Kansas City, Arizona) have largely stayed poor.

Before the start of the season, I had San Francisco beating Baltimore in the Super Bowl, and I’m standing by that prediction. A Harbaugh Bowl. San Fran showed that yes, there is Kryptonite out there – losing to lowly Minnesota? Then again, Minnesota is 2-1 and Christian Ponder has had 3 very nice games to start the season. Matt Kalil appears to have been the correct draft pick for them.

There are about 3 weeks per NFL season where up is down, left is right, and few things work out as planned. Week three was one of those weeks. These power rankings don’t necessarily follow the records, but take into account the teams they’ve played against. Also take into account the scabs that are officiating…especially if you’re a Packers fan.

1) Atlanta Falcons

2) Houston Texans

3) San Francisco 49’ers

4) Baltimore Ravens

5) Arizona Cardinals

6) New York Giants

7) Dallas Cowboys

8) New York Jets

9) Green Bay Packers

10) San Diego Chargers

11) Denver Broncos

12) Washington Redskins

13) Chicago Bears

14) New England Patriots

15) Pittsburgh Steelers

16) Philadelphia Eagles

17) Seattle Seahawks

18) Cincinnati Bengals

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

20) St. Louis Rams

21) Buffalo Bills

22) Minnesota Vikings

23) Indianapolis Colts

24) Miami Dolphins

25) Carolina Panthers

26) Tennessee Titans

27) Detroit Lions

28) Kansas City Chiefs

29) New Orleans Saints

30) Jacksonville Jaguars

31) Oakland Raiders

32) Cleveland Browns

The way I see things panning out, Tampa Bay and Denver are the two teams that should be getting better and better as the season progresses. Whether or not that translates into wins remains to be seen, but the young Bucs should pull together and start making fewer mistakes as they get more used to playing as a unit, particularly on offense.

With Peyton Manning’s presence in Denver, I expected from the start that they would be a bit sluggish as the complex offense was installed and time is needed to learn the intricacies of it and of Manning’s adjustments on the fly at the line of scrimmage.

Lastly, I’ll say it again: the St. Louis Rams are a more dangerous team than many give them credit for. Sam Bradford is healthy again, he’s got some targets to throw to now, and he’s got a very seasoned, even-tempered head coach in Jeff Fisher. While their LBs as a group aren’t very good, Laurinitis is and they’ve got one of the better cornerback tandems in the league to go with a top-ten defensive line.

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