Arizona Sports Week 3 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots still reign
If there is a team in the NFL that has had to deal with adversity so far in 2015, it’s the New England Patriots.
A lot of it, of course, is self-inflicted. Suspensions to quarterback Tom Brady and defensive end Rob Ninkovich have kept them off the field. Injuries to tight end Rob Gronkowski and tackle Nate Solder have kept those two stalwarts on the sideline. It hasn’t slowed them down yet.
The Patriots jumped out to a 31-3 lead over the Miami Dolphins in Week 2, and then hung on for a 31-24 win that dealt them even more adversity. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who has been outstanding in Brady’s absence, injured his shoulder after being driven to the ground by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso. It’s a very real possibility third-stringer (and rookie) Jacoby Brissett will start Thursday for the Pats as they host the Houston Texans Thursday night. But heading into the game, they’re still the top team in our Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings.
Their margin over the Pittsburgh Steelers is a scant one. The Steelers got past division-rival Cincinnati in Week 2 to push their record to 2-0 on the young season.
And the Arizona Cardinals jumped back into the top three with the season’s biggest blowout to date — a 40-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Two teams with stellar defenses and offensive concerns — the Minnesota Vikings and the Denver Broncos — round out this week’s Top 5.
Biggest Riser: Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers ▲ 8
Biggest faller: Jacksonville Jaguars ▼11
|1.||New England Patriots (2-0)||1 (Marotta, Morgan, Franz)||2 (Grialou, Green, Dimakos, Burns)||Belichick is the greatest coach of all-time. — Franz||—||vs. Houston|
|2.||Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)||1 (Grialou, Green, Dimakos, Burns)||4 (Morgan)||They have the largest point differential in AFC. — Grialou||▲ 1||at Philadelphia|
|3.||Arizona Cardinals (1-1)||3 (Grialou, Green, Dimakos, Burns)||5 (Marotta, Morgan, Franz)||Took their post-NE frustrations out on Bucs. — Marotta||▲ 2||at Buffalo|
|4.||Minnesota Vikings (2-0)||2 (Morgan)||6 (Dimakos, Burns)||AP’s injury a blow, but what if Bradford finally realizes his potential? — Morgan||▲ 8||at Carolina|
|5.||Denver Broncos (2-0)||3 (Marotta, Morgan, Franz)||8 (Green)||I still doubt their offense, but wow that defense is good. Is it enough to make a run? — Green||▲ 1||at Cincinnati|
|6.||Carolina Panthers (1-1)||4 (Grialou)||8 (Morgan)||Like the Cardinals, order restored. Now quit complaining about the Denver game. — Burns||—||vs. Minnesota|
|7.||Green Bay Packers (1-1)||7 (Green, Dimakos, Burns)||11 (Morgan)||Rodgers looked a lot like Cutler in that game. — Dimakos||▼ 5||vs. Detroit|
|8.||Houston Texans (2-0)||6 (Grialou)||12 (Franz)||Texans’ D is a monster and the offense is just good enough. Hopkins/Fuller combo is excellent. — Burns||▲ 3||at New England|
|9.||Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)||6 (Green)||12 (Grialou)||No shame in losing on the road at Pittsburgh. — Grialou||▼ 1||vs. Denver|
|10.||New York Giants (2-0)||8 (Grialou)||11 (Green, Burns)||If Cruz stays healthy, this might be the most dangerous WR group in the league. — Marotta||▲ 3||vs. Washington|
|11.||Baltimore Ravens (2-0)||6 (Morgan)||18 (Franz)||2-0 is good. Beating Bills and Browns is worthless. – Franz||▲ 4||at Jacksonville|
|12.||Seattle Seahawks (1-1)||10 (Dimakos, Burns)||17 (Franz)||No idea what they can do about the O-line. 15 points in two games is awful. — Morgan||▼ 8||vs. San Francisco|
|13.||Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)||11 (Grialou)||17 (Green)||How can I put a 2-0 team this low? Well, look at who they’ve beaten. — Green||▲ 6||vs. Pittsburgh|
|14.||Kansas City Chiefs (1-1)||12 (Dimakos, Burns)||20 (Morgan)||Offense was a hot mess against Houston. — Morgan||▼ 4||vs. NY Jets|
|15.||New York Jets (1-1)||10 (Franz)||18 (Marotta, Green)||Lost to a really good team and beat a really bad one. So, what are they? — Green||▲ 2||at Kansas City|
|16.||Dallas Cowboys (1-1)||13 (Green)||21 (Grialou)||Their spot here is tenuous at best. — Grialou||▲ 6||vs. Chicago|
|17.||Oakland Raiders (1-1)||14 (Marotta, Dimakos)||22 (Franz)||They will be in a lot of shootouts this year. They lost this one, but will win most. — Dimakos||▼ 8||at Tennessee|
|18.||San Diego Chargers (1-1)||14 (Morgan)||20 (Grialou, Dimakos, Franz)||Too many injuries; Rivers is running out of bodies. — Burns||▲ 8||at Indianapolis|
|19.||Atlanta Falcons (1-1)||17 (Morgan)||22 (Green)||Outgunned the Raiders on the road and — news flash — they got a sack! — Marotta||▲ 6||at New Orleans|
|20.||Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)||16 (Green, Franz)||24 (Dimakos)||Koetter did always struggle against “ranked” teams (2-19 at ASU). — Burns||▼ 6||vs. Los Angeles|
|21.||Detroit Lions (1-1)||19 (Grialou)||28 (Morgan)||A home loss to the Titans makes for a long week of practice. — Morgan||▼ 4||at Green Bay|
|22.||Indianapolis Colts (0-2)||17 (Dimakos)||28 (Franz)||Hard to watch such inept coaching. — Franz||▼ 3||vs. San Diego|
|23.||Tennessee Titans (1-1)||21 (Dimakos)||31 (Morgan)||Nice comeback win against the Lions, I guess. — Green||▲ 5||vs. Oakland|
|24.||San Francisco 49ers (1-1)||14 (Franz)||31 (Burns)||Blaine Gabbert is not the answer. — Burns||▲ 4||at Seattle|
|25.||Los Angeles Rams (1-1)||20 (Green)||29 (Morgan)||Huge jump in the poll, yes, but their win was against Seattle. ‘Nuff said. — Grialou||▲ 6||at Tampa Bay|
|26.||Miami Dolphins (0-2)||21 (Green)||29 (Marotta)||Every time Dolphins fans get angry about Tannehill, just think it could be worse. See Chicago.||▼ 2||vs. Cleveland|
|27.||Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)||24 (Franz)||27 (Marotta, Morgan)||We’ll believe the Jags are a sleeper team when they actually wake up. — Morgan||▼ 11||vs. Baltimore|
|28.||New Orleans Saints (0-2)||23 (Morgan)||29 (Dimakos)||It’s amazing how bad this defense has been since ‘Bountygate.’ — Franz||▼ 5||vs. Atlanta|
|29.||Washington Redskins (0-2)||22 (Morgan)||30 (Morgan)||No Kirk, they don’t like that — Marotta||▼ 8||at NY Giants|
|30.||Buffalo Bills (0-2)||25 (Morgan)||31 (Marotta, Grialou)||Kind of feel like this team should be better, but then I remember who the head coach is. — Green||▼ 3||vs. Arizona|
|31.||Chicago Bears (0-2)||29 (Grialou, Burns)||32 (Dimakos)||This team is a steaming pile of garbage. SO MUCH GARBAGE. — Dimakos||▼ 1||at Dallas|
|32.||Cleveland Browns (0-2)||31 (Dimakos)||32 (Everyone else)||Two down, 14 to go. — Grialou||—||at Miami|
How the panel voted in Week 3