• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

2022-23 NFL Power Rankings: Week 3

BySean Clark

Sep 21, 2022
Jalen Hurts throws a football

Photo courtesy of Drew Hallowell | NFL Media

Throughout Week 2 of the 2022-23 NFL season, double-digit leads felt as safe as eating sushi from a gas station. The Baltimore Ravens were outscored 28-3 (seriously) in the fourth quarter by the Miami Dolphins after leading 35-14 in what may be Tua Tagovailoa’s breakout game. Kyler Murray displayed pure magic and brilliance in rallying the Arizona Cardinals from a 20-0 deficit to win at Las Vegas in overtime and the New York Jets won at Cleveland 31-30 after trailing by 13 with 90 seconds remaining.

After another wild week in the NFL, here are my top 10 NFL teams entering Week 3.

10. San Francisco 49ers (1-1)

Previous Ranking: N/A

The 2022-23 San Francisco 49ers have taught us all a lesson, always have insurance for worst-case scenarios. This season was supposed to be one where Trey Lance gains valuable development in his long-term future with the team. Instead, Lance suffered a fractured ankle in the 49ers 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks and will miss the rest of the season. The 49ers could have traded Jimmy Garoppolo after years of being their starting quarterback for Lance’s development, but the team decided to keep him around.

Now, Garoppolo gets another shot to lead the 49ers to another deep playoff run. He is familiar with the system and if Sunday was any indication, Garoppolo will be serviceable. He completed eight of his first 10 passes with a touchdown as San Francisco led 20-0 at halftime. The 49ers defense shut out the Seahawks (one TD for Seattle was a blocked FG) and will attempt to continue their dominance as they will face the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football.

9. Green Bay Packers (1-1)

Previous Ranking: N/A

Per usual in the Aaron Rodgers era, facing the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field is a perfect tonic for the Packers’ woes. After an opening-week 23-7 loss at Minnesota where Rodgers and his young receivers failed to produce, the Packers took care of business against the Bears 27-10. Aaron Jones had a huge performance with 132 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, a huge part of 203 rushing yards for the Packers. Allen Lazard, who missed Week 1 with an ankle injury, caught a touchdown in his season debut. After a comfortable win, the Packers will be tested as they head to Tampa Bay for a showdown on Sunday against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

8. Baltimore Ravens (1-1)

Previous Ranking: 5

Lamar Jackson should be paid every penny that he is asking for and Sunday, he proved as such. Jackson threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 119 yards and a touchdown, gaining a total of 437 yards. Alas, it was not enough for the victory as despite leading the Dolphins 35-14 at the start of the fourth quarter, the defense could not stop Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, allowing 28 points and 469 passing yards. The Ravens lost 42-38 in a game they controlled for over three quarters. As John Harbaugh searches for answers, they will face their third-consecutive AFC East opponent on Sunday as they will face the New England Patriots in Foxborough.

7. Los Angeles Rams (1-1)

Previous Ranking: 6

During the first half, the Los Angeles Rams looked like the defending champions with an impressive bounceback performance against the Atlanta Falcons. They led 21-3 at halftime and 28-3 late in the third quarter, led by another dominant performance from Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson’s first touchdown as a Ram. In an ironic twist, the Falcons rallied from the 28-3 deficit and almost won with a blocked punt for a touchdown and forcing a Kupp fumble. Alas, Jalen Ramsey’s late interception slammed the door shut for the Falcons as the Rams held on to win 31-27. For the first time since their divisional win at Tampa Bay last season, the Rams will play away from SoFi Stadium as they will face the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale on Sunday.

6. Miami Dolphins (2-0)

Previous Ranking: 10

Few QBs in the NFL have been criticized as much as Tua Tagovailoa has since he took over the offense for the Miami Dolphins. His arm strength and playmaking abilities have been seen as mediocre compared to the elite QBs of the AFC. On Sunday, for the time being, all those critics have been shut up.

While leading a 35-14 comeback, he utilized the talents of Hill and Waddle to the maximum, throwing daggers into the hearts of the Ravens defense. Hill caught 11 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns while Waddle snagged 11 balls for 171 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner with 14 seconds to go. Tagovailoa finished with 469 yards and six touchdown passes, joining only Dan Marino on the list of Dolphins to accomplish that. As impressive as that was, they will be heavily tested on Sunday as they welcome the Buffalo Bills to town, a team they haven’t beaten since Dec. 2, 2018. The last time Buffalo was at Miami, they won 35-0 last season.

5. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)

Previous Ranking: 4

Justin Herbert, without Keenan Allen, was beat up all night long by the Kansas City Chiefs’ pass rush, so much so to the point he suffered a rib injury. He showed his toughness and resiliency by throwing incredible spirals in tight windows to keep his team in the game at Kansas City. In the end, the Chargers lost a tightly contested 27-24 game after a back-breaking pick six in the fourth quarter during a tied game. Luckily, Herbert is on track to play during Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)

Previous Ranking: 9

Jalen Hurts had a lot of pressure on him coming into this season. He had an embarrassing performance against the Buccaneers in the Wild Card round last year and needed to improve his passing after the Philadelphia Eagles traded for Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown. On Monday Night against the Minnesota Vikings, Hurts dazzled his talent in front of a national television audience with 333 yards passing on 26/31 completions and a touchdown. His ability to throw on the run and ignite the league’s best running game has made Philly a real contender in the NFC. Also, Darius Slay put on the best secondary performance of the young season, holding Justin Jefferson to one reception while picking off Kirk Cousins twice. The 24-7 win has given Philly momentum, something they hope to carry into Washington on Sunday, where they will face their old QB in Carson Wentz.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)

Previous Ranking: 3

For the first time, Tom Brady defeated the New Orleans Saints in the regular season as a member of the Buccaneers. While he wasn’t overly impressive in a mostly defensive slugfest, his 28-yard TD pass to Breshad Perriman gave Tampa Bay all the offense they needed as the defense continued their stellar start to the season. Mike Edwards had a pick-six and the rest of the unit took control of the game, allowing their first touchdown of the season after the game was already decided. Tampa Bay will return home after two road games to start the season as they will host the Packers on Sunday. They will be without Mike Evans, who was suspended for a hit on Marshon Lattimore. Tampa Bay signed Cole Beasley for reinforcements at a thin position. 

2. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)

Previous Ranking: 2

It was not always pretty for Kansas City last Thursday as Patrick Mahomes made some uncharacteristic mistakes, throwing for three interceptions (luckily they were all called back with Charger mistakes). Alas, Mahomes still threw for two scores and seventh-round rookie cornerback Jaylen Watson returned a Herbert interception 99 yards for a go-ahead touchdown. Things continue to be business as usual for the Chiefs as they will head to Indianapolis on Sunday and battle the struggling Colts.

1. Buffalo Bills (2-0)

Previous Ranking: 1

Until proven otherwise, I have a feeling my top team may not change the entire season as the Bills have had an incredible start to the season. After demolishing the Rams 31-10 on opening night, they returned home for a Monday Night Football showdown with the Tennessee Titans, who beat them the last two seasons. Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs and the Bills defense showed no mercy as they walloped Tennessee 41-7, causing both backup QBs to come in during the fourth quarter. Allen threw for 317 yards and four touchdowns while Diggs caught an astounding 12 passes for 148 yards and three touchdowns. Buffalo’s defense held Tennessee to 187 yards of total offense and Matt Milano sealed the game with a pick six in the fourth quarter. The Bills will attempt to show their AFC supremacy with a trip to Miami on Sunday.