The NFL Power Rankings are out and there are some big movers and shakers. The only thing that remains consistent with most of the lists is the New England Patriots. The Patriots are at the top of the list on every major Power Ranking.
The Arizona Cardinals got love from the Power Rankings. In their first three games, the unblemished Cardinals have scored 126 points. They are tied for fourth-most points in NFL history through three games. Carson Palmer has thrown nine TDs and the Cardinals are rushing for 125 yards a game. NFL Power Rankings by the four letter guys at ESPN have the team at number 2. A healthy Palmer could push Arizona to the top spot.
One of the biggest surprise movers in the NFL Power Rankings was the Atlanta Falcons. They’ve come out of the gates fast and are a surprising 3-0. The undefeated Falcons hopscotched their way into the top 10. ESPN has them moving from 11th to sixth place. Sports Illustrated moved them up three spots. The Dirty Birds haven’t won their first three games in a row since 2012. That year they went 8-0 and wound up with 13 wins. They made it to the NFC title game. All of Atlanta’s wins have been come from behind efforts on the road.
Another team doing big things in the NFL Power Rankings is Oakland. The Raiders looked like a team in a rebuilding year in Week 1. They were totally overwhelmed by the Cincinnati Bengals. Derek Carr went out of the game with an injury and never came back. Since then, Carr has torched the Ravens for 351 yards and lit up the Browns for 314 yards. His deadliest weapon has been Amari Cooper. Cooper has gained 100 yards receiving in each of the last two games. The Raiders haven’t been this high in the NFL Power Rankings since ending the 2011 season at 8-8. They cracked the top 20 in all NFL Power Ranking polls.
Despite having a losing record at 1-2, the New York Giants found some love within the NFL Power Rankings. The Giants made a case for the top 20 by beating the Redskins on Thursday Night Football. Eli Manning hasn’t been spectacular. Rueben Randle had a monster night and added to a balanced attack for the Giants. The defense’s ability to bend but not break has kept them close and finally paid off. Sports Illustrated moved them up five spots to number 20. ESPN‘s Power Rankings gave them a whopping 10 spot leap from 26th to 16. The Bleacher Report has them at number 22 in their NFL Power Rankings.
The Jets may find a way to tumble out of the top 20. So far, the NFL Power Rankings have been gracious with them. Ryan Fitzpatrick is inconsistent. He threw over 50 passes in the Jets Week 3 loss to the Eagles. He tossed 58 passes for wins in Weeks 1 and 2. NFL Power Rankings by Sports Illustrated gave them their peak position of number 7.
The Dolphins also took a tumble. They are quickly being buried by the NFL Power Rankings. Ndamukong Suh isn’t pressuring the quarterback and the offense is stagnant. With the Jets surging in the rankings, they may tumble again. The staff at CBS Sports gave them the hardest fall. They land at number 25.
The Cincinnati Bengals continued to get top 5 love from the Power Rankings. Dalton and the Bengals managed to make the same ranking on all the lists. Dalton won a game against the Ravens that would’ve been a loss in the past. Playoff Andy seems to be gone. Each week another big play maker stands out for the team.
Week 4 should be one to remember.
[Photos by Joe Robbins, Jason Miller / Getty Images]