Ranking the NFL: Week 3

Some AFC teams took a surprising fall in this week's list. Check inside for complete rankings of all 32 teams...

After unexpected losses by the Steelers, Patriots, and Colts, the AFC picture is even more muddled. Meanwhile, the NFC East is a force to be reckoned with. The marathon that is the NFL Season has already taken some wild turns.

1 – Dallas Cowboys (3-0) They look like the most complete team in the NFL, especially with the apparent shuffling of the AFC.

2 - New York Giants (3-0) Almost suffered a huge scare, but the G-men continue to come through in super fashion. Everything Defensive coordinator Steve Spanuolo touches turns to gold.

3 - Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) They got out-uglied in Sunday's stinker in Philadelphia. The team goes as Ben Roethlisberger goes, and Big Ben spent most of the game on his back.

4 - Denver Broncos (3-0) Is there any doubt Jay Cutler was the best quarterback in his class (by far) in 2005? Their high-flying offense is way out in front in the AFC West.

5 – Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) Jim Johnson, you dog, you. The Iggles dialed up every blitz in the playbook and created a model for beating the one-time (or current) AFC favorites.

6 - Green Bay Packers (2-1) Aaron Rogers can't win them all, and Packers fans can take solace in the fact that their team wasn't awful in a losing effort against the crème de la crème.

7 - Buffalo Bills (3-0) They dug deep to overcome early mistakes. Isn't it great when a team learns how to win? Huge props to Coach Jauron.

8 - Tennessee Titans (3-0) Their defense stupefies opposing quarterbacks. They look a lot like the 2002 Buccaneers.

9 - New England Patriots (2-1) Ronnie Brown single-handedly knocks them off their AFC East high horse. The whole league wants to know what they'll come up with in the bye to salvage the offense.

10 - San Diego Chargers (1-2) Philip Rivers has come of age, and will need to continue to assert himself as the leader of the offense. They always start slow, but they look to have rebounded.

11 - Carolina Panthers (2-1) Steve Smith may need to pop someone in the face again to reinvigorate his squad – it worked for the first two games.

12 - Indianapolis Colts (1-2) How the mighty have fallen. Who'd have though that Peyton Manning would ever have trouble finding Marvin Harrison? Fans may call for a move back into the RCA Dome.

13 - New Orleans Saints (1-2) Reggie Bush has to be one of the most fun players in the league to watch, but they really need to shore up that defense. The NFC South looks like it'll be a dogfight.

14 - Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) They finally got the running game going, and David Garrard earned a small chunk of his new contract with a season-saving win over the rival Colts.

15 - Baltimore Ravens (2-0) No more surprising undefeated team than this one, with a rookie QB and a banged up offense. They did beat up on two divisional weaklings, but their defense is eating their Wheaties.

16 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) Brian Griese seems to have solidified his role as the starter, that is, as long as he doesn't have to ice his arm next week after throwing 67 balls Sunday.

17 - New York Jets (1-2) Doesn't the Favre saga seem a little overblown now? Shame he can't play defense, seeing as no one else on this team can.

18 - Arizona Cardinals (2-1) Offense is effective. Defense is offensive.

19 - Minnesota Vikings (1-2) Journeyman QB Gus Frerotte finally has the offense pointed in the right direction.

20 - Atlanta Falcons (2-1) One of many surprises this season, Mike Smith has a promising young team with a new outlook. Michael Turner, suffice it to say, has helped.

21 - Washington Redskins (2-1) The old signal-caller Zorn has his Skins playing tough in the toughest division in football.

22 - Chicago Bears (1-2) Kyle Orton looked like an NFL QB, but they had a high school defense in Sunday's OT loss to the Bucs.

23 - Seattle Seahawks (1-2) How to get off the winless shnide: 1) Find players that can catch the ball 2) Play the Rams

24 - Miami Dolphins (1-2) Fish fans hope Ronnie Brown's glass slippers are intact after 5 TDs in Foxborough. Can they come up with a wacky new formation every game?

25 - San Francisco 49ers (2-1) Mike Nolan would never have been on the hot seat if they could play bad teams every week. It'll be interesting to see if they can be this versatile (and effective) against a legitimate defense.

26 - Oakland Raiders (1-2) You have to feel for coach Kiffin, his team came out to play for him in Buffalo. Jamarcus Russell is improving, but has a long, long way to go to live up to his billing, and Kiffin likely won't be around to see it.

27 - Houston Texans (0-2) The Titans defense was almost as merciless as Hurricane Ike towards the Texans. Steve Slaton offered a glimmer of hope for the running game, though.

28 - Cleveland Browns (0-3) There is now no doubt that this team was a fluke last year. Sunday's showing against Baltimore was downright ugly.

29 – Kansas City Chiefs (0-3) "You play to win the game." Uhhh…

30 – Cincinnati Bengals (0-3) Marvin Lewis, why not go for the win at the end of that game? Did you really think you could slay the Giants in OT?

31 - St. Louis Rams (0-3) What can you say? They would kill for ANY show on turf.

32 - Detroit Lions (0-3) Hockey season is right around the corner.

ambeilma@syr.edu


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