After looking at many Power Rankings online, I have seen a lot of inexplicable hype surrounding the Seattle Seahawks. Through the 1st three weeks of football, they struggled against the lowly Carolina Panthers in week 1. Both teams struggled to do anything offensively and the Seahawks pulled out a late game win in a low scoring snooze-fest. I honestly tried to watch this game thinking the Seahawks were going to be a force this year. They have yet to show it so far this season. Russel Wilson is statistically in the bottom of the barrel of NFL QBs but is being praised by NFL Network and NFL.com staff for who knows what reason. He hasn’t had any consistency. There has been nothing there to excite the average fan the way Peyton Manning has. The Seahawks are 3-0 and their 2 best offensive weapons have not delivered much. Marshawn Lynch has had one impressive game and it came against a 49ers team that has not been able to stop him ever. They don’t have any household name receivers. Their 3 wins came against teams that would have lost to most SEC teams if they played that way. They trounced the Jaguars. The Jaguars. Let me channel my inner Allen Iverson. We’re talking about the Jaguars? The Jaguars???? That impresses you? They could have scored 100 points. It’s the Jaguars. It might as well have been a bye week for them. Add to this that of the 3 teams that have beat the Jaguars, the Seahawks gave up the most points. And this is supposed to be the best defense. The Chiefs essentially shut them out. Where are they on the power rankings?
Alex Smith has thrown for more first downs than Russel Wilson. He has also thrown for more passing yards than Wilson, and has 0 interceptions to Wilson’s 2. Through the first 3 games of the season the Chiefs are the only team in the NFL that has yet to turn the ball over. They are +9 on turnover differential.
The Chiefs beats the Cowboys and Eagles to the Seahawks wins over the 49ers and Panthers. The 49ers cant beat anyone right now. The way they’ve been playing, they could have played the Raiders and Bills in weeks 2 and 3 and still would have lost. The Panthers struggled in weeks 1 and 2. The Seahawks victory over them is far from impressive and does not merit a boost in the power rankings. The Bills win over the Panthers was far more impressive and even that game was not particularly good.
I just don’t see how people are ranking the Seahawks #1 or #2 after 3 weeks. There are 7 undefeated teams and the Seahawks are definitely better beating teams with much more ease than the Patriots and both teams have had an easy schedule.
Another team that is sitting too high in the power rankings is New Orleans. They are 3-0 but Drew Brees hasn’t been the record setting Drew Brees that we expected and that we are used to. He finally had a big day with Jimmy Graham against the Cardinals. But again, it was the Cardinals! Who have they beat? He and Matt Ryan both had weak performances in week 1 in what everyone expected to be a shoot out. Both teams have played below par, But luckily the Saints got to play Tampa Bay and Arizona so they are 3-0. A win is a win so you have to give them that. But they are in the same boat as New England. You should be winning by much greater margins. These games against teams with lower level talent and expectations should not be as close as they have been. There’s something missing.
I’m going to give you my top 20 power rankings after 3 weeks of football based on schedule and performance:
1. Denver Broncos – There is no doubt that this is the scariest team in all of the land. They can drop 40 on anyone in the league on any given day. Peyton Manning has been unreal in his dissection of defenses and TD rate.
2. Chicago Bears – This defense continues to force turnovers and score points. Jay Cutler can make all of the throws, and Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall are big time play makers. This team is very well rounded and is poised to win their division.
3.Cincinnati Bengals – Their only loss this season came to the Bears in a very tightly contested matchup between 2 of the leagues top teams. Andy Dalton has a premier perimeter threat in AJ Green. He has a stable of tight ends. And they have a dynamite rookie running back in Giovanni Bernard. This team has the weapons to beat anyone and they look real good doing it. If they don’t win the AFC North, they’ll get into the playoffs as a wild card.
4. Kansas City Chiefs – This team had 2 wins last year. They didn’t have a lead until their 8th game of the season. This season they have been the only team in the NFL that has not turned the ball over. The defense has been stingy and has 9 takeaways including 2 touchdowns. They played an almost perfect game in week 1. They had no trouble disposing of the Cowboys and Eagles who have 2 of the leagues most explosive offenses. They have all the weapons, the coaching, and the formula to go undefeated at 9-0 heading into their bye week.
5. New Orleans Saints – They’ve had an easy schedule. Their toughest game came in week 1 against the Falcons who have yet to get it together this season. If the Drew Brees can’t get something going with his other receivers not named Jimmy, the Saints could find the Falcons coming up fast in the rear-view when Roddy White and Julio Jones get healthy.
6. Seattle Seahawks – This defense is the #1 defense in the league and they make it tough on anyone to score points or even get into their game plan. Russel Wilson and Marshawn Lynch have not been consistent, but there is no other threat in this division. They’ll make the playoffs.
7. Miami Dolphins – Colin Kaepernick wore a Dolphins hat over the summer and like out of something from a Freaky Friday movie their teams have had a reversal of fortunes. He must have known something because the Dolphins are looking like the team to get behind. They have had some impressive wins so far and look like they could challenge the slow starting Patriots for the AFC East.
8. New England Patriots – The way they have been playing they’re lucky they’re not 1-2. They need to get it together fast or they could miss the playoffs even after starting 3-0.
9. Baltimore Ravens – The defense can still get it done and Joe Flacco can still make all the throws. He doesn’t have a whole lot of places to throw the ball to, but when Ray Rice gets healthy they’ll have a nice 1-2 punch at RB to open up some passing lanes. If the Ravens don’t win AFC North, they’ll get into the playoffs as a wild card.
10. Green Bay Packers – They just can’t seem to be able to beat the 49ers. They’ve had some bad luck on defense against the Niners and Bengals. If this defense can tighten the screws, Aaron Rodgers and the offense have all the tools to torch any team in the league. Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing if the defense can get together fast enough or long enough to catch up to Chicago AND Detroit in the NFC North.
11. Houston Texans – Matt Schaub and Arian Foster need to put on their big boy pants and go out there and score some points. They’ve won a couple of tightly contested games against 2 good teams, but Schaub has looked lackluster. The AFC South is surprisingly very competitive with the Texans, Colts, and Titans all at 2-1. Of the 3 teams, the Titans have the poorest QB, the Colts almost lost to the Raiders and waited until the end of the 4th quarter to put the nail in the coffin of the 49ers who haven’t been able to ANYTHING the last 2 weeks. The Texans have an advantage at the skill positions and experience. This is their division to lose.
12. Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons have elite players at most of their skill positions. However, Matt Ryan has not played at an elite level as of yet, and it doesn’t help that his 1 and 2 receivers have been injured. When this team gets healthy they’re going to make a push to win the NFC South or grab a wild card.
13. Dallas Cowboys – They beat the Rams and the 0-3 Giants. They’re winning they’re division so I had to mention them. But the NFC East is the weakest division in football and 8 wins could probably make the playoffs here. There’s no guarantee they’ll win their division either. There’s always December.
14. Detroit Lions – They’re 2-1. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are gonna do their numbers. Reggie Bush adds an exciting dynamic to this team. Joique Bell has been a bell cow for them so far this season and it is working nicely for them. If Bush can stay healthy, this offensive has a lot of firepower to beat a lot of teams in shoot-outs.
15. Tennessee Titans – This team has had 2 very impressive wins against teams you wouldn’t have expected them to beat. They also hung in against the Texans and almost pulled that win out. They could easily be 3-0.
16. Indianapolis Colts – They just added a monster of a running back to the backfield in Trent Richardson. He and Ahmad Bradshaw are going to wear teams out. This is good because Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne haven’t lit it up so far as we may have been expecting. They struggled to beat the Raiders, they didn’t beat the 49ers decisively until late in the fourth quarter. These are 2 very poor teams right now and the Colts haven’t been much better. They are 2-1 and in the mix in their division. Their play so far won’t win their division and the AFC is so strong they will not get a wild card this year.
17. San Diego Chargers – Philip Rivers is a serious threat again. He’s making all the throws and their offense is running on high octane again. They’ve lost 2 very close games that they had chances at winning. They could easily be 3-0, but they’re in the toughest division in football and they did were unable to get it done. They may not make the playoffs, but their going to give it a valiant effort and spoil a lot of teams dreams along the way.
18. Philadelphia Eagles – They spoiled a late lead against the Chargers when they were looking like they were on their way to going 2-0. Instead they are now 1-2 after having no answers on offense against the Chiefs. It’s still early in the season and they have nothing worry about (except Michael Vick’s health, and that defense). Michael Vick is still a threat at all phases of his game. He can beat you with the long ball to DeSean Jackson, short and chunk yardage, as well as on the run with his legs. LeSean McCoy is the best back in football at making you miss and getting big gains after dancing around you. He is also a receiving threat. This offense has a lot of fire power and won’t stall very often like it did against the Chiefs. If the defense can play like it did against Kansas City, the offense will have no problem scoring 28 a game most weeks. In the weak NFC East, they are only a game behind the 2-1 division leading Cowboys and have plenty of time and talent to get back on track.
19. New York Jets – They’re 2-1 and could easily be 3-0. They had the Patriots in range but they just couldn’t close it out. This team didn’t have a lot of expectations. Their coach was on the hot seat coming into the season, but they’ve found new life. It would take a miracle, or a really fast learning curve for Geno Smith, to win their division and they won’t get a Wild Card in the AFC.
20. Oakland Raiders – They had the Colts beat in week 1. Then they gave up a late score to surrender the lead. Then Terrelel Pryor led them on a furious comeback drive to potentially win the game. Then he threw an interception in the waning seconds of a game he almost came back to win a second time. There are no moral victories in the NFL. The Raiders almost beat the Colts on the road with a young inexperienced QB. They had no chance against Denver, but they didn’t fold. They didn’t give up touchdowns on every drive the Ravens did. They forced a few punts and even sacked Peyton Manning and recovered his fumble. On the offensive side, Terrelle Pryor is becoming a legitimate QB in this league and it looks like he stole Colin Kaepernick’s mojo. He has no fear and is turning Denarius Moore into a household name. Darren McFadden hasn’t gone out for the season yet, and that’s a great sign! They aren’t going to challenge in their division, but they are getting better. They aren’t going to be the worst team in the NFL this season. It’s too early to tell where they’ll end up, but so far this season, I’ve seen a lot worse from a lot more teams.