NFL Week 3 Power Rankings: Bears rise after win over Bengals
|Thursday, September 23, 2021, 9:10 AM- -|
Two weeks of the 2021 NFL season have come and gone, and it did not disappoint. This year may look slightly different, with 17 games in 18 weeks and seven teams in each league earning a playoff berth. Nonetheless, we won't have a week without football until February 2022, and we couldn't be more excited to cover another year of NFL football.
We at BearsHQ decided to give our power rankings ahead of the NFL's third week:
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-0
It's hard not to rank Tampa Bay number one in our rankings. First and foremost, the Bucs are our reigning Super Bowl Champion — and they did not lose a single starter over the offseason. The Bucs have a roster construction that could win another Super Bowl, and Tom Brady is never content. The Bucs opened up the season with a narrow win over Dallas.
2. Los Angeles Rams 2-0
The LA Rams may be the most improved team of the offseason just because of their upgrade at QB. Instead of Jared Goff, the Rams have Matthew Stafford leading their speedy offense — and of course, still have Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald on the defensive side of the ball. Stafford's debut was won in dominating fashion, leading the Rams to a week one victory and earning them a top-3 spot. The Rams maintained that spot after narrowly beating the Colts on the road.
3. Kansas City Chiefs 1-1
It would be hard to imagine the Chiefs falling out of the top 3 this season so long as Patrick Mahomes is healthy. This team easily boasts the best offense in the league — while also adding to an offensive line that was exposed in the Super Bowl last year. Keep an eye on a motivated Chiefs team this season, especially after losing week two to the Ravens on Sunday night.
4. Cleveland Browns 1-1
Yes, you read that right. After years of being the NFL's laughing stock, the Cleveland Browns have constructed a roster good enough to win a division and make a run in the playoffs. The Browns displayed dominance in their week two win, and this team has all the makings of a top-five team in the NFL.
5. Buffalo Bills 1-1
It may have surprised some people last year, but the Buffalo Bills being one of the league's best teams this season should come as no surprise. Buffalo is led by superstar QB Josh Allen and a brilliant coaching staff. The Steelers gave the Bills some trouble in week one, but after dominating the Dolphins, they are clearly a top-five team, I believe.
6. Arizona Cardinals 2-0
The Arizona Cardinals are one of the most exciting rosters in 2021 as they have added JJ Watt, AJ Green and will get top pass rusher Chandler Jones back from injury to a roster that was one game away from making the playoffs in 2020. This is the year for the Cardinals to make the jump into a playoff team, which may be hard to do in the NFL's best division — although they certainly looked it in weeks one and two, destroying the Titans and getting past the Vikings.
7. San Francisco 49ers 2-0
It is important to remember that this team represented the NFC in the Super Bowl just two seasons ago. Last season the 49ers were decimated with injuries — but with those players back, the 49ers are once again a force to be reckoned with in the NFC. While the NFC West is loaded, the 49ers should turn heads in 2021, like they did, putting up 41 points in week one and beating the Eagles in week two.
8. Baltimore Ravens 1-1
The Ravens quietly have one of the league's best rosters. Despite not winning the division in 2020 and being in one of the NFL's hardest divisions, the Ravens boast a legit chance to win a Super Bowl behind a star quarterback in Lamar Jackson and a defense that consists of the best secondary in the sport. The Ravens lost a stunner week one against the Vegas Raiders, and the schedule won't ease up for a while, but they are certainly a top 10 team despite their injuries. Beating the Chiefs in primetime lock that in without a doubt.
9. Green Bay Packers 1-1
For most of the offseason, the Packers were one of the most questionable teams — and it all depended on reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. Well, he's back… but the Packers were thumped by the Saints in Week one, dropping the Packers out of the top 5. A dominating win on Monday Night Football over the Lions should be enough to defend the Packers being in the top 10.
10. Tennessee Titans 1-1
The Titans are the reigning AFC South champion. They have made the playoffs in consecutive seasons — oh, and they've added Julio Jones to an offense that already had Ryan Tannehill, AJ Brown, and Derrick Henry, who just ran for over 2,000 yards. In 2021, no team is going to be looking forward to playing the Titans. The Titans 2021 season got off to a tough start, though, getting blown out by the Cardinals, but they rebounded nicely with a come-from-behind win over the Seahawks on the road.
11. Las Vegas Raiders 2-0
If you want to talk about the grittiest team in the NFL, the Raiders deserve to be in that conversation. The Raiders were touchdown underdogs in week one against the Raves and week two against the Steelers — two of the toughest teams in the sport. To everyone's surprise, the Raiders are 2-0. Keep an eye on Coach Gruden's team as the season rolls along.
12. Seattle Seahawks 1-1
As the reigning champions of the NFC West, the Seahawks come into the season as a borderline top ten team. What separates the Hawks from some of these other teams is Super Bowl Champion Russell Willson. The Seahawks can win a game whenever he is under center — just like they did in week one against the Colts. A week two loss at home against the Titans though will drop the Seahawks out of the top ten.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers 1-1
The Steelers boasted one of the league's best defenses in 2020 en route to an AFC North division win. While Ben Roethlisberger is one year older, this is still a team to look out for in the AFC. The Steelers rode their unbelievable front seven to a head-turning week one win over the Bills but were handled by the Raiders in week two.
14. Dallas Cowboys 1-1
NFC East team Dallas is flying under the radar this offseason. Still, a healthy offensive line plus Dak Prescott back from injury leaves Dallas with one of the best offenses in the NFL (including Ezekiel Elliot, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup.) The defense is still the clear weakness of this team, but the Cowboys could have enough to win the league's weakest division. The Cowboys gave the Bucs a tough fight in week one, and won a close game against the Chargers in week 2, and look like the favorite to win the NFC East.
15. Los Angeles Chargers 1-1
LA might have had the best offseason in the AFC. Justin Herbert is coming off of an impressive campaign in which he won Rookie of the Year, and the Chargers have added to his offensive line - while also making some key acquisitions to the defense, the team's weakness in 2020. That plus some opt-outs and injuries back leave stew Chargers with one of the most talented and intriguing rosters in 2021. It wasn't particularly pretty, but the Chargers gutted out an impressive week one win and took a hard-to-swallow week two loss — still a lot to like with this team, though.
16. New England Patriots 1-1
It's not Tom Brady's team anymore. It's Mac Jones'. While the Patriots' defense has always been solid, the offense has not looked good since Brady has left. The Patriots addressed that issue in the off-season, throwing money at weapons all over the offense. The Patriots could very easily be 2-0 right now but will settle for 1-1 after their week two win over the Jets.
17. Denver Broncos 2-0
18. New Orleans Saints 1-1
19. Miami Dolphins 1-1
20. Carolina Panthers 2-0
21. Chicago Bears 1-1 (up two spots from No. 23 last week)
The Bears rise a bit after their week two win over the Bengals. The Bears’ defense was dominant which helped lead the Bears to their first win of the season. As the season rolls on, this team will only be as good as their quarterback — whom we don’t know yet as Andy Dalton undergoes tests for his injury.
22. Washington Football Team 0-2
23. Indianapolis Colts 0-2
24. Minnesota Vikings 0-2
25. Philadelphia Eagles 1-1
26. Cincinnati Bengals 1-1
27. New York Giants 0-2
28. Houston Texans 0-2
29. New York Jets 0-2
30. Detroit Lions 0-2
31. Atlanta Falcons 0-2
32. Jacksonville Jaguars 0-2
*We decided to explain the top 16 and the Bears*