2021 NFL Power Rankings: Week 3

The Chiefs lost to the Ravens on Sunday night, which dropped them from the top spot. Tampa Bay is the new No. 1, although a premium matchup against the Rams awaits this week.

Here is a look at my power rankings heading into Week 3. Odds courtesy of DraftKings on Sept. 21.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)

Last Week: 2

Week 2 result: 48-25 win over the Falcons

Week 3: Buccaneers (-1) at Rams

Super Bowl odds: +550

The Bucs were dominant against the Falcons, as Tom Brady threw five touchdown passes in the win. Tampa Bay can cement itself as the team to beat in the NFC with a victory over Los Angeles in Week 3.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (1-1)

Last Week: 1

Week 2 result: 36-35 loss to the Ravens

Week 3: Chiefs (-6.5) vs. Chargers

Super Bowl odds: +500

Despite the close loss to Baltimore, Kansas City’s Super Bowl odds didn’t budge. The Chiefs were ahead the whole game until a pair of turnovers and a Lamar Jackson fourth-down conversion helped the Ravens steal the win. Patrick Mahomes still looks unstoppable, which means it will take more than one loss to drop Kansas City from the top two.

3. Los Angeles Rams (2-0)

Last Week: 4

Week 2 result: 27-24 win over the Colts

Week 3: Rams (+1) vs. Buccaneers

Super Bowl odds: +1100

The Rams went down to the wire against the pesky Colts, but still looked like the better team all afternoon. Matthew Stafford has looked good thus far, and gets a serious test in Week 3 against a ferocious Tampa Bay defense. The game will be a great barometer for both teams.

4. San Francisco 49ers (2-0)

Last Week: 3

Week 2 result: 17-11 win over the Eagles

Week 3: 49ers (-3.5) vs. Packers

Super Bowl odds: +1400

The 49ers faced some trouble against Philadelphia, needing some critical defensive stops near the goal-line to take control. The defense looked strong, but quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo struggled. San Francisco can only be a true Super Bowl contender if the quarterback play improves.

5. Baltimore Ravens (1-1)

Last Week: 7

Week 2 result: 36-35 win over the Chiefs

Week 3: Ravens (-9) at Lions

Super Bowl odds: +1500

Lamar Jackson played superstar football down the stretch as the Ravens rallied to beat the Chiefs. There were some issues in the game, but the upset win by Baltimore reminded people that the Ravens are still a force in the AFC.

6. Buffalo Bills (1-1)

Last Week: 5

Week 2 result: 35-0 win over the Dolphins

Week 3: Bills (-8) vs. Washington

Super Bowl odds: +1000

The Bills didn’t do anything wrong, blasting the Dolphins 35-0, but they still drop a spot because of the Ravens’ impressive victory. The defense was dominant against Miami, although quarterback Josh Allen has yet to look like the superstar of 2020 in the earlygoing.

7. Green Bay Packers (1-1)

Last Week: 9

Week 2 result: 35-17 win over the Lions

Week 3: Packers (+3.5) at 49ers

Super Bowl odds: +1400

It was a little dicey early, but Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones eventually helped Green Bay pull away from Detroit. The Packers’ defense has not looked great this season, and the Week 3 matchup in San Francisco against the 49ers could tell us a lot about both teams.

8. Arizona Cardinals (2-0)

Last Week: 10

Week 2 result: 34-33 win over the Vikings

Week 3: Cardinals (-7.5) at Jaguars

Super Bowl odds: +3500

The Cardinals should have lost to the Vikings on Sunday, as a missed 37-yard field goal allowed them to remain undefeated. Even so, it was another encouraging performance. Kyler Murray looks like an MVP candidate and the Cardinals are top-10 in offense, defense and special teams DVOA after two games.

9. Seattle Seahawks (1-1)

Last Week: 6

Week 2 result: 33-30 overtime loss to the Titans

Week 3: Seahawks (-2) at Vikings

Super Bowl odds: +2500

Seattle’s Super Bowl odds took a hit after the Week 2 loss, as the Seahawks are now a game behind everyone else in the division. While all four teams are talented, winning the NFC West is huge when it comes to playoff seeding and home field advantage. Seattle has plenty of time to surpass the others, but the overtime loss to Tennessee stings.

10. Cleveland Browns (1-1)

Last Week: 8

Week 2 result: 31-21 win over the Texans

Week 3: Browns (-7) vs. Bears

Super Bowl odds: +1700

Cleveland was much more impressive in its Week 1 loss to the Chiefs than the Week 2 win over the Texans. Houston was surprisingly competitive until quarterback Tyrod Taylor got hurt. The Browns have to figure out their defense in order to be true AFC contenders.

11. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)

Last Week: 13

Week 2 result: 20-17 win over the Chargers

Week 3: Cowboys (-4) vs. Eagles

Super Bowl odds: +3500

The Cowboys probably won’t be relying on the running game and defense to win a bunch of games this year, but they did the job against the Chargers. Dallas has dealt with severe personnel losses early on but has played pretty well despite those setbacks.

12. Denver Broncos (2-0)

Last Week: 18

Week 2 result: 23-13 win over the Jaguars

Week 3: Broncos (-10.5) vs. the Jets

Super Bowl odds: +2500

The Broncos’ Super Bowl odds took a nice jump this week from +3000. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been efficient in his first two games with the team and the defense looks strong. Denver is a heavy favorite to move to 3-0 with a victory over the Jets this week.

13. New England Patriots (1-1)

Last Week: 13

Week 2 result: 25-6 win over the Jets

Week 3: Patriots (-3) vs. the Saints

Super Bowl odds: +3500

The Patriots’ defense roughed up Zach Wilson last week, nabbing four interceptions off the Jets’ rookie signal-caller. Saints quarterback Jameis Winston is turnover prone, and New England will likely need to get a few more because the offense could have trouble against New Orleans.

14. Tennessee Titans (1-1)

Last Week: 17

Week 2 result: 33-30 overtime win over Seahawks

Week 3: Titans (-5.5) vs. Colts

Super Bowl odds: +3000

The Titans shook off an embarrassing opener against the Cardinals to rally past the Seahawks in overtime. Derrick Henry was back to superstar form and the defense was much better. Tennessee was the favorite to win the AFC South by default, but a few more games like that will get them back into the AFC contenders conversation.

15. Las Vegas Raiders (2-0)

Last Week: 20

Week 2 result: 26-17 win over the Steelers

Week 3: Raiders (-3.5) vs. Dolphins

Super Bowl odds: +5000

There is no denying the Raiders have a pair of impressive wins to begin the season. Is it sustainable? Las Vegas is still only No. 19 in Football Outsiders’ DVOA despite the hot start. The Raiders will need to prove this is more than a desert mirage before moving up higher in the power rankings.

16. New Orleans Saints (1-1)

Last Week: 11

Week 2 result: 26-7 loss to the Panthers

Week 3: Saints (+3) at Patriots

Super Bowl odds: +3500

The Saints have been Jekyll and Hyde in the first two games. They were phenomenal in a win over the Packers before getting smashed by an unheralded Carolina team in Week 2. We should know more about the Saints after an intriguing Sunday matchup against the Patriots.

17. Miami Dolphins (1-1)

Last Week: 12

Week 2 result: 35-0 loss to the Bills

Week 3: Dolphins (+3.5) at Raiders

Super Bowl odds: +5000

Miami was demolished by the Bills, and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was lost for the game with a ribs injury. The situation doesn’t look too serious, but the Dolphins need him back quickly because the offense was awful without him.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1)

Last Week: 14

Week 2 result: 26-17 loss to the Raiders

Week 3: Steelers (-4) vs. Bengals

Super Bowl odds: +5000

All the goodwill built up from the season-opening upset of the Bills disappeared in Week 2. The defense could not slow down Derek Carr while quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continued his concerning early-season struggles, finishing with a Total QBR of 29.6. 

19. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)

Last Week: 16

Week 2 result: 20-17 loss to the Cowboys

Week 3: Chargers (+6.5) at Chiefs

Super Bowl odds: +3500

The Chargers hope to be a playoff team in 2021 but can’t afford to lose too many toss-ups like they did on Sunday. Quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 338 yards against the Cowboys but had a couple of interceptions which contributed to the loss. Los Angeles has a tough one this week on the road against the Chiefs.

20. Carolina Panthers (2-0)

Last Week: 24

Week 2 result: 26-7 win over the Saints

Week 3: Panthers (-8) at Texans

Super Bowl odds: +5000

The Panthers’ defense has been dominant through two games, leading the team to an undefeated start. There are still myriad questions about this team’s ability to remain competitive, though. Carolina seems likely to move to 3-0 as it faces the Texans without Tyrod Taylor on Thursday night.

21. Minnesota Vikings (0-2)

Last Week: 19

Week 2 result: 34-33 loss to the Cardinals

Week 3: Vikings (+2) vs. Seahawks

Super Bowl odds: +5000

The Vikings went to overtime in their opener and then missed a 37-yard field goal that would have beaten the Cardinals at the end of regulation in Week 2. This team is better than its record, but it will be an uphill battle to make the postseason if the close losses continue to compound.

22. Indianapolis Colts (0-2)

Last Week: 21

Week 2 result: 27-24 loss to the Rams

Week 3: Colts (+5.5) at Titans

Super Bowl odds: +5000

Indianapolis had a nice showing against the Rams, but starting quarterback Carson Wentz was banged up in the loss. The Colts are underdogs in Week 3, and another defeat would put them in a big hole early in the year.

23. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)

Last Week: 22

Week 2 result: 17-11 loss to the 49ers

Week 3: Eagles (+4) at Cowboys

Super Bowl odds: +6500

Jalen Hurts could not duplicate his season-opening excellence in Week 2 against San Francisco. The defense played well against the 49ers but the test will be a stiffer one against Dak Prescott and the Cowboys. This is a big early-season game in the race for NFC East supremacy.

24. Washington Football Team (1-1)

Last Week: 23

Week 2 result: 30-29 win over the Giants

Week 3: Washington (+8) at Bills

Super Bowl odds: +6500

Washington won a wild game over the Giants on Thursday night, but it didn’t engender much confidence about long-term success. While backup quarterback Taylor Heinecke played well, Washington’s defense has not been as ferocious as hoped early on.

25. Chicago Bears (1-1)

Last Week: 24

Week 2 result: 20-17 win over the Bengals

Week 3: Bears (+7) at Browns

Super Bowl odds: +8000

Justin Fields did not play very well in relief of an injured Andy Dalton on Sunday. The rookie first-round pick could get his first start against Cleveland. In a season that seems to be going nowhere, at least that’s exciting.

26. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)

Last Week: 25

Week 2 result: 20-17 loss to the Bears

Week 3: Bengals (+4) at Steelers

Super Bowl odds: +20000

Joe Burrow threw three interceptions against Chicago, and if he isn’t leading the way, it’s going to be tough for Cincinnati to make in-roads this year. Give the defense credit, though. It has played much better than expected.

27. Atlanta Falcons (0-2)

Last Week: 26

Week 2 result: 48-25 loss to the Buccaneers

Week 3: Falcons (+3) at Giants

Super Bowl odds: +20000

Atlanta’s attempt at a rebuild with veteran quarterback Matt Ryan still at the helm does not seem to be working. The Falcons are in a bad spot, devoid of talent with no young quarterback waiting in the wings.

28. Houston Texans (1-1)

Last Week: 29

Week 2 result: 31-21 loss to the Browns

Week 2: Texans (+8) vs. Panthers

Super Bowl odds: +50000

It was a second straight encouraging showing for Houston to open the season, as it was competitive against the Browns on Sunday. However, quarterback Tyrod Taylor hurt his hamstring in the game and is not expected to play on Thursday against Carolina.

29. New York Giants (0-2)

Last Week: 29

Week 2 result: 30-29 loss to Washington

Week 3: Giants (-3) vs. Falcons

Super Bowl odds: +20000

The Giants lost the game to Washington because of a late offsides penalty on a field goal attempt, illustrating the issues going on in New York. Joe Judge may officially be on the hot seat if the Giants lose on Sunday to Atlanta.

30. Detroit Lions (0-2)

Last Week: 30

Week 2 result: 35-17 loss to the Packers

Week 3: Lions (+9) vs. Ravens

Super Bowl odds: +50000

For those looking for silver linings, the Lions have looked competitive at times against the 49ers and Packers, but they are still 0-2. Detroit is short on talent this season and will spend all season near the bottom of the power rankings.

31. New York Jets (0-2)

Last Week: 31

Week 2 result: 25-6 loss to the Patriots

Week 3: Jets (+7.5) vs. Titans

Super Bowl odds: +50000

This season is all about the future, and a four-interception game by Zach WIlson against New England does not elicit warm and fuzzies. The rookie quarterback will aim to turn things around in Week 3, and has a good matchup against a questionable Tennessee defense.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)

Last Week: 32

Week 2 result: 23-13 loss to the Broncos

Week 3: Jaguars (+7.5) vs. Cardinals

Super Bowl odds: +50000

Trevor Lawrence has talent, but is off to a slow start. He threw for only 118 yards against Denver with two interceptions. The Cardinals come to town on Sunday with a pretty good defense, so things aren’t likely to be much better.

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