Arizona Sports Week 3 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots still reign

Sep 21, 2016, 6:51 PM | Updated: Sep 27, 2016, 8:37 am
New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount runs against the Miami Dolphins during a NFL fo...
New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount runs against the Miami Dolphins during a NFL football game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. (Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)
(Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)

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

Rank Team High Low Comment Movement This Week
patriots75 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
steelers75 2. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) 1 (Grialou, Green, Dimakos, Burns) 4 (Morgan) They have the largest point differential in AFC. — Grialou ▲ 1 at Philadelphia
cardinals75 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
vikings75 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
broncos75 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
panthers75 6. Carolina Panthers (1-1) 4 (Grialou) 8 (Morgan) Like the Cardinals, order restored. Now quit complaining about the Denver game. — Burns vs. Minnesota
packers75 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
texans75 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
bengals75 9. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) 6 (Green) 12 (Grialou) No shame in losing on the road at Pittsburgh. — Grialou ▼ 1 vs. Denver
giants75 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
ravens75 11. Baltimore Ravens (2-0) 6 (Morgan) 18 (Franz) 2-0 is good. Beating Bills and Browns is worthless. – Franz ▲ 4 at Jacksonville
seahawks75 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
eagles75 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
chiefs75 14. Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) 12 (Dimakos, Burns) 20 (Morgan) Offense was a hot mess against Houston. — Morgan ▼ 4 vs. NY Jets
jets75 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
cowboys75 16. Dallas Cowboys (1-1) 13 (Green) 21 (Grialou) Their spot here is tenuous at best. — Grialou ▲ 6 vs. Chicago
raiders75 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
chargers75 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
falcons75 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
buccaneers75 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
lions75 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
colts75 22. Indianapolis Colts (0-2) 17 (Dimakos) 28 (Franz) Hard to watch such inept coaching. — Franz ▼ 3 vs. San Diego
titans75 23. Tennessee Titans (1-1) 21 (Dimakos) 31 (Morgan) Nice comeback win against the Lions, I guess. — Green ▲ 5 vs. Oakland
49ers75 24. San Francisco 49ers (1-1) 14 (Franz) 31 (Burns) Blaine Gabbert is not the answer. — Burns ▲ 4 at Seattle
rams75 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
dolphins75 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
jaguars75 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
saints75 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
redskins75 29. Washington Redskins (0-2) 22 (Morgan) 30 (Morgan) No Kirk, they don’t like that — Marotta ▼ 8 at NY Giants
bills75 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
bears75 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
browns75 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

Burns | Dimakos | Franz | Green | Grialou | Marotta | Morgan

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