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My 2022 NFL Power Index Week 3

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Rich has a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Penn State. WE ARE!!!


Every week I make these rankings. I like to think I know what I’m talking about. Well, my top three teams from last week all lost. Does that mean we have a new number one? Does that mean things should stay the same at the top? Will the lone 0-3 team fall to the bottom of the rankings? So. Much. Pressure.

1. Buffalo Bills (2-1) ~ I’m keeping the Bills here because I still believe they are the best team in the league. We didn’t expect them to go undefeated. They went on the road, in a divisional game, and came oh-so-close to coming out undefeated. All while being shorthanded as they were without six starters for the game, one of which is safety Micah Hyde who will miss the season. If they lose to Baltimore next week, which is more than plausible, they may have to drop down a bit. (Last Week’s Ranking 1)

2. Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) ~ Maybe I didn’t want to put the hex on my Eagles and put them into the number one spot. Maybe it’s still a bit too early for me to feel comfortable saying they are the best team in the league. Right now, they certainly look like the best team in the NFC. Philly got to face former quarterback Carson Wentz for the first time and they sacked him nine times. The defense has been lights out for two weeks and Jalen Hurts has looked the part of an MVP in every game. The Eagles are firing on all cylinders to start the 2022 season. (LWR 5)

3. Miami Dolphins (3-0) ~ There was so much to take away from this game. The Dolphins are the lone undefeated team in the AFC. They knocked out the Super Bowl favorite Bills. Tua Tagovailoa was knocked out of the game for a bit himself. Perhaps the biggest story, however, is the Butt Punt. What’s even better is Mark Sanchez making a crack about it. Was that a butt pun about the Butt Punt? Yes, indeed it was. I’ll be here all day folks. (LWR 6)

4. Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) ~ My favorite stat line from the weekend belongs to KC running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire: seven carries for zero yards and a touchdown. Simply amazing. The Chiefs dropping that game to an Indianapolis team that tied with Houston and got shut out by Jacksonville was the stunner of the weekend. (LWR 2)

5. Los Angeles Rams (2-1) ~ Make that nine straight games (including last year’s postseason) with a touchdown for Cooper Kupp who proved that he is more than just a receiving threat. Can he make it 10 straight Monday night against San Francisco? He has scored in each of his last two games against the 49ers. (LWR 4)

6. Baltimore Ravens (2-1) ~ The Ravens lead the league in scoring at 33 points per game and they just got their top running back (J.K. Dobbins) back from injury. He should help take some of the pressure off of Lamar Jackson who has been otherworldly to start the year. Jackson’s 10 touchdown passes lead the league and he is tied for fifth in rushing with 243 yards. Not fifth among quarterbacks, but fifth in the NFL. (LWR 8)

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) ~ No Chris Godwin. No Mike Evans. No Julio Jones. No way the Bucs were going to win that game, but they were just a two-point conversion away from forcing overtime. When Tom Brady has his weapons back at full strength this will be a team to reckon with. (LWR 3)

8. Green Bay Packers (2-1) ~ First Aaron Rodgers looked like he was going to be Nicholas Cage’s stunt double in Con Air. Now, he is ready to be in the Peaky Blinders movie. I don’t care about the games anymore. I just want to see the next Hollywood Rodgers haircut. (LWR 9)

9. Minnesota Vikings (2-1) ~ Dalvin Cook left Sunday’s game against Detroit with an injured shoulder and may miss some time. Lucky for the Vikings that they have Alexander Mattison on the team. He found the end zone against the Lions and, in games in which he saw at least 20 touches last year, Mattison had at least 124 total yards and scored twice. Minnesota should feel like he is a plug and play option if Cook is forced to miss some game action. (LWR 11)

10. Cincinnati Bengals (1-2) ~ After being sacked 13 times over the first two games, Joe Burrow was taken down just twice in Cincy’s victory over the New York Jets. He will need to stay upright if the Bengals have a chance at upsetting Miami Thursday night in Ohio. I still can’t get over the fact that these Thursday night games are streaming on Amazon Prime. (LWR 13)

11. Cleveland Browns (2-1) ~ We all know that Jacoby Brissett is a stopgap until Deshaun Watson returns from his suspension. So far, Brissett has played well and, really, the Browns should be 3-0 save for that epic collapse against the Jets. Can he continue to play well and keep the Browns in playoff contention before their starter returns? (LWR 16)

12. Dallas Cowboys (2-1) ~ Speaking of backup quarterbacks, Cooper Rush has filled in admirably for Dak Prescott. He is 2-0 this season and led Dallas to a win over the Vikings in his lone start of 2021. It was easy to think the season was over when Prescott went down in the opener, but Rush has done well to quiet all of those critics including yours truly. Man I hate the Cowboys. I really hoped they’d be winless before Prescott returns which could be in about a week. (LWR 21)

13. Denver Broncos (2-1) ~ How is this team 2-1? Russell Wilson has just two touchdown passes on the season. The team has yet to top 16 points in any of their three games. Is the defense that good? They’ve allowed just 12 points per game to open the season. Or is it that their competition (Seattle, Houston and San Francisco) hasn’t been all that great? It’s probably a bit of everything. Expect all of this to regress to the norm which still leaves the Broncos tied atop the AFC West. (LWR 14)

14. Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) ~ Justin Herbert is playing hurt. Keenan Allen hasn’t seen the field since the opener. Rashawn Slater is out for the year. Joey Bosa? He’s week-to-week with a “significant groin injury” which sounds probably about as bad as it feels. Every year the Chargers lose a game they have no business losing. Getting punked at home by 28 points to Jacksonville? I bet even the most devout Chargers fans are left scratching their heads after that one. (LWR 7)

15. San Francisco 49ers (1-2) ~ The Dan Orlovsky/Jimmy Garoppolo memes are everywhere. In case you are wondering why, here is what Jimmy G did and here is why he was immediately compared to Orlovsky. Maybe now Dan can get out of that shadow. More likely the two will now just be linked forever. (LWR 10)

16. New Orleans Saints (1-2) ~ The Saints are struggling, but it isn’t Chris Olave’s fault. The first round pick leads the team with 17 catches, 29 targets and 268 yards. He has yet to find the end zone, but it looks like New Orleans has themselves a stud at receiver. (LWR 12)

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17. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) ~ Doug Pederson is tied for fifth in franchise history with Urban Meyer for wins as a head coach with two. He has done this in three games. (LWR 25)

18. Arizona Cardinals (1-2) ~ The Cardinals are an furious rally against Las Vegas away from being 0-3. That said, they can still right this ship. Three of their next four seem to be winnable games against Carolina, the Seahawks and Saints. They will also host my Eagles during that time, but I did say winnable, didn’t I? Anyway, Arizona CAN get their season on track. In fact, they’ll get a boost for the Saints game as they will welcome back DeAndre Hopkins from suspension. (LWR 15)

19. Indianapolis Colts (1-1-1) ~ Last week I basically said the Colts were a lock to be winless through three weeks of the season. Does anyone have a good recipe for hat as it seems I will be eating mine. (LWR 23)

20. New York Giants (2-1) ~ Sterling Shepard, the Giants leading receiver, tore his ACL last night and will miss the rest of the season. Not to downplay the significance of this injury, but I just used up some of my FAAB to add Shepard this week. Clearly, this is all my fault. (LWR 20)

21. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) ~ It happened Thursday night, so you may have forgotten, about it. That’s why I’m here to remind you of this insane catch by rookie George Pickens who was doing his best OBJ impression. Really tough to pick my favorite here, but I think I still lean to OBJ. (LWR 18)

22. New England Patriots (1-2) ~ Mac Jones suffered a high ankle sprain that may require surgery. It looks like we are heading into the Brian Hoyer era in New England for the, um, third time? *Checks notes* Yes, this is Hoyer’s third stint with the Patriots. (LWR 17)

23. Tennessee Titans (1-2) ~ Robert Woods and Ryan Tannehill seem to be building a rapport. Woods’ targets have increased each week (2, 5 and 9) as have his yardage outputs (13, 39 and 85). He is the number one in Tennessee and the Titans will need to rely on his production to help open things up for Derrick Henry who should be the team’s focal point. (LWR 26)

24. Chicago Bears (2-1) ~ Khalil Herbert, the team’s number two running back, had more yards rushing (157) than Justin Fields, the team’s starting quarterback, had passing (106). In fact, Fields has yet to throw for even 125 yards in any of his first three games. He has also thrown four interceptions to just two touchdowns. The Bears are 2-1 in spite of Fields. Not because of him. (LWR 28)

25. Detroit Lions (1-2) ~ In keeping with the theme of the NFC North, let’s talk about a backup running back. Jamaal Williams appears poised to start for the Lions Sunday as starter D’Andre Swift is dealing with a shoulder injury. That’s three of the four starters in the division that might miss some time. Crazy. (LWR 22)

26. Washington Commanders (1-2) ~ I watched this entire game and not once did the Commanders appear like a team that can compete for the NFC East title. I look forward to Carson Wentz making the trip to Philly in November for the rematch. (LWR 24)

27. Las Vegas Raiders (0-3) ~ They are the only 0-3 team in the league and yet they do not occupy the bottom spot. Why? That’s because the Raiders have been outscored by just 13 points this season. They’ve been in every game. Lady luck just hasn’t been on their side yet. (LWR 19)

28. Seattle Seahawks (1-2) ~ Making the move from Russell Wilson to Geno Smith is a downgrade. There’s no way to sugarcoat this. I assumed the receivers in Seattle would be doomed with such a step backward at the quarterback position. That hasn’t exactly been the case as Tyler Lockett has 21 catches for 211 yards and DK Metcalf has added 16 catches for 135 yards and a score. It isn’t the same production as when Wilson was there, but it isn’t terrible. (LWR 27)

29. Atlanta Falcons (1-2) ~ Cordarrelle Patterson has been underappreciated in Atlanta. The converted wide receiver thrived last year when given a chance to handle the lead back carries and that has, well, carried over into this season. Patterson is averaging just over 100 yards per game on the ground and he is still a receiving threat even though he has just four catches thus far. (LWR 31)

30. Carolina Panthers (1-2) ~ The streak is over! Last week I mentioned that it had been more than a calendar year since the Panthers won a game at home. They ended that streak Sunday with a win over the Saints. (LWR 32)

31. New York Jets (1-2) ~ Have we seen the last of Joe Flacco? Zach Wilson may return to the lineup this week and hand the clipboard back to Flacco who threw for 901 yards and five touchdowns over the first three weeks of the season. He will be 38 at the end of the season which makes me sad because I assumed he was older than me. For those of you that don’t know, I will be 39 next week. Sigh. (LWR 29)

32. Houston Texans (0-2-1) ~ The bottom spot did not go to the only 0-3 team, but it did go to the other team without a win. (LWR 30)

And that is that. That's all I've got this week. You're now free to go about the rest of your day. Or night. Whatever it may be. If you want more of me, leave a comment below or follow me on social media via the link in my bio.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Rich

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