2010 NFL Power Rankings: Week 3

PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 02: Troy Polamalu  of the Pittsburgh Steelers calls out signals during the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on September 2, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

I gave the Cowboys and Vikings a mulligan after their opening week performances, but I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror if I ranked them in the top 10 again this week.

So I dropped them sons of bitches like a Ryan Grant fantasy owner.

Let’s do this…

Check out Week 2’s Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers
Previous Week: 1
No letdown for the Pack last week at home against the Bills. Their defense held Buffalo scoreless in the second half and Aaron Rodgers rebounded from a shaky Week 1 performance to throw two touchdown passes. Although…Brandon Jackson only rushed for 2.6 yards per carry? Ayeeh.

2. Indianapolis Colts
Previous Week: 2
I didn’t want to drop the Colts too far down after their loss to the Texans in Week 1 and I’m glad I didn’t. That was child’s play for Peyton and the defense on Sunday night against the Giants.

3. New Orleans Saints
Previous Week: 4
The Saints’ offense seems to lack the explosiveness it had last season and now Reggie Bush is out for six weeks with a leg injury. Still, Drew Brees and company are 2-0 and did well not to dump that game last night in San Francisco.

4. Baltimore Ravens
Previous Week: 3
It’s a little jarring that Joe Flacco looked so bad against a defense that Tom Brady absolutely shredded in Week 1, but give credit to Cincinnati’s defense for stepping up. Flacco and the Ravens will get back on track this weekend against the Browns.

5. Houston Texans
Previous Week: 7
The Texans were about five minutes away from the media crucifying them for being their inconsistent selves. But what a performance by Matt Schaub, who put the game on his shoulders and willed Houston to a victory in Washington. If he plays even half as well as he did last weekend then the Texans are going to win a lot of ballgames.

6. New England Patriots
Previous Week: 5
How does a Bill Belichick defense make Mark Sanchez look like Joe Namath just six days after he looked like Trent Edwards? Genius my ass.

7. New York Jets
Previous Week: 10
The Jets move up three spots mainly because I had the Cowboys, Giants and Vikings listed ahead of them. Still, they earned it with the way they took it to the Pats last Sunday in New York. I give all the credit in the world to Mark Sanchez for bouncing back after one of the most lackluster performances you’ll ever see out of a quarterback in Week 1.

8. Miami Dolphins
Previous Week: 12
It looks like all the upgrades the Dolphins made to their defense are paying off in the early going. Mike Nolan was a brutal head coach but he’s one hell of a defensive coordinator.

9. Philadelphia Eagles
Previous Week: 11
With the way Michael Vick played the past two weeks, Kevin Kolb better produce now. Andy Reid has his back, but he won’t have it for very long if Kolb plays like he did in the first quarter against the Packers in Week 1.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers
Previous Week: 13
No quarterback? No problem. It’s pretty remarkable how inspired the Pittsburgh defense has played the first two weeks of the season. They know they’re not going to get much help from their offense and yet they’ve taken it upon themselves to win games on their own. What an effort the past two weeks from Troy Polamalu and the gang.

11. New York Giants
Previous week: 12
There’s no shame in getting your ass handed to you by Peyton Manning, but that game Sunday night was over before it started. Hey Kareem McKenzie and David Diehl – it’s called pass blocking. Might want to try it sometime.

12. Cincinnati Bengals
Previous Week: 14
Mike Zimmer deserves a ton of credit for not only taking the blame for how his defense performed in Week 1, but also for completely shutting down the Ravens last Sunday. It looked like a completely different defensive unit that lined up for the Bengals last week.

13. Atlanta Falcons
Previous Week: 15
After a lackluster preseason and a rough opening week in Pittsburgh, the Atlanta offense finally showed what its capable of in a rout over the Cards on Sunday. Big games all around for Jason Snelling, Matt Ryan and Michael Turner, who should be fine after missing the final three quarters due to a groin injury.

14. San Diego Chargers
Previous Week: 17
The Jaguars won’t be confused for the Colts anytime soon, but it was still good to see the Bolts take it to an inferior opponent after they got roshambo’ed in Week 1 by the Chiefs.

15. Chicago Bears
Previous Week: 21
After being a jerk to the Bears over the past two weekends, I’ve got nothing to say now. What an impressive showing by Jay Cutler and an inspired Chicago defense. This crow tastes delicious…

16. Dallas Cowboys
Previous Week: 6
I’ve come to the realization that this is the New York Mets of the NFL. Plenty of talent, but zero heart and emotion.

17. Tennessee Titans
Previous Week: 16
Vince Young better have a short memory, because we’ve seen him go downhill quickly after being benched before. Kerry Collins isn’t the answer – the Titans need VY to be solid week in and week out.

18. Minnesota Vikings
Previous Week: 9
If I were a defender for the Vikings, I’d walk straight up to Brett Favre and say, “Tarvaris Jackson could have done what you just did the past two games. Thanks for coming back, Brett.”

19. Washington Redskins
Previous Week: 19
I want to move the Skins up after nearly beating the Texans last week, but I try not to make a habit of rewarding teams (rewarding? Who am I, a camp counselor?) when they lose. Still, that was a great effort by a team that will continue to give opponents trouble on most Sundays.

20. San Francisco 49ers
Previous Week: 20
The 49ers will watch the tape of the Saints game and shake their heads at how many opportunities they had to win. Still, Alex Smith looked outstanding on the game-tying touchdown drive and if he plays like that every week, there’s no reason the Niners shouldn’t win the NFC West (i.e. the worst division in football).

21. Kansas City Chiefs
Previous Week: 24
If you think the Chiefs should be higher, I don’t disagree. I’m just worried about being the writer that gets all hopped up on piss and vinegar whenever a team comes out of the gates strong and then looks like a fool when someone waxes them the following week. So we’ll just take it slow, KC.

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Previous Week: 26
See Chiefs, Kansas City.

23. Denver Broncos
Previous Week: 27
What a sad day for the Broncos. R.I.P. Kenny McKinley.

24. Seattle Seahawks
Previous Rank: 18
That couldn’t have been the same team that played the 49ers in Week 1…right?

25. Jacksonville Jaguars
Previous Week: 22
That was ugly, David Garrard – real ugly.

26. Oakland Raiders
Previous Week: 28
It’s pretty amazing that it’s only Week 3 and already the Raiders have a quarterback controversy on their hands. What’s more amazing is that the Raiders are dealing with a potential quarterback controversy and JaMarcus Russell is nowhere near the team’s facilities.

27. Arizona Cardinals
Previous week: 23
I’m sure I have, but I can’t remember ever seeing a defensive line get blown back at the snap faster than the Cardinals’ front four was last week. I think Jason Snelling just scored again.

28. Carolina Panthers
Previous Rank: 25
I don’t know if Jimmy Clausen will be the answer for the Panthers but I do know one thing: Matt Moore wasn’t either.

29. Cleveland Browns
Previous Week: 29
Watching the Browns offense must be the equivalent of getting hit in the face with a bag of nickels. But the key is that the hits aren’t hard enough to knock you out because that way, you can continue to endure the weekly beatings.

30. Detroit Lions
Previous Week: 30
I’m tempted to move the Lions up after closing the gap late against the Eagles on Sunday, but the final score should have never been that close. Still, what a solid effort out of Shaun Hill, who will be overmatched 10 out of 10 times against Philadelphia’s defense and yet he still performed well outside of the two picks.

31. St. Louis Rams
Previous Week: 31
Like I wrote in the Redskins’ write up, I try not to make a habit of moving teams up after a loss. But while the young Rams are 0-2, they’ve had opportunities to win each of their first two games. Sam Bradford is already making strides…

32. Buffalo Bills
Previous Week: 31
Now there’s a shock – the Bills are already replacing Trent Edwards as the starter. How Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey thought they could win with Edwards after what he’s shown over the last two years is mind-boggling.

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