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2008 Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

An Archived Record of Our Sports Handicapping Columnists' Week Three NFL Power Ratings After the Second Week of the 2008 NFL Season.

2008 Week 3 NFL Power Ratings
(Dated September 16-21, 2008)

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  1. Dallas Cowboys (2-0) - Remaining at #1. What a Monday Night Football game at home! The Cowboys and the Eagles participated in an instant classic that led to another Cowboy win. In the win, Tony Romo threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns. One of the touchdowns was a 42 yard bomb to star Terrell Owens. Owens finished the night with 110 yards on 7 catches. Running back Marion Barber was held down, gaining just 63 yards on 18 carries. The Cowboys will take on the Green Bay Packers on Saturday in Green Bay.


  2. New England Patriots (2-0) - Holding down the #2 position for the second straight week. Quarterback Matt Cassell was effective passing 16 of 25 for 165, but was not able to throw for a passing touchdown. His running back LaMont Jordan carried the ball 11 times for 62 yards. The key to the 19-10 over the Jets was the Patriots defense which just allowed 256 total yards, including just 106 on the ground. The Patriots will play host to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday


  3. New York Giants (2-0) - Staying pat at #3. The Giants used a 21 point fourth quarter to bury the Rams on Sunday. In the 41-13 win, Eli Manning threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns, while his top running back Brandon Jacobs carried the ball 15 times for 93 yards. The Giants have outscored their opponents 57-20 in their two wins. The Giants will host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.


  4. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) - The Steelers remain at #4. The Steelers management insist quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is healthy, we will see. A huge test for Pittsburgh on Sunday as they battle inter state rival, Philadelphia Eagles. Fast Willie Parker has ran for 243 yards on 53 carries, getting in the end zone three times. Receiver Hines Ward has caught 11 passes for 135 yards and three touchdowns early in the year. Pittsburgh has scored 48 points, while allowing just 23.


  5. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) - The Eagles move up 2 slots, from 6 to 4, despite the MNF loss. Despite the loss, the Eagles matched the NFC favorite Cowboys toe for toe. Donovan McNabb is healthy for the first time since 2004, and it has shown. He has completed 46 of 70 passes for 642 yards and four touchdowns in his first two games. Running back Brian Westbrook has carried the ball 37 times for 149 yards and three touchdowns. Rookie receiver DeSean Jackson has stepped up well for the Eagles catching 12 passes for 216 yards. Despite his heroics early in the season, he will probably be known for his blunder at the one yard line on Monday Night Football. The Eagles will host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.


  6. Carolina Panthers (2-0) - Climbing one spot from 7 after their second win in as many games to start the year. The Panthers will get their top receiver, Steve Smith back on Sunday in their game at Minnesota. In the first two games quarterback Jake Delhomme has felt healthy, and has thrown the ball effectively completing 35 of 62 passes for a touchdown and 375 yards. The Panthers have scored 46 points and allowed 41, the smallest margin of any undefeated team. The Panthers flawless mark will be put to the test Sunday as they travel to the Metrodome to battle with the 0-2 Minnesota Vikings.


  7. Green Bay Packers (2-0) - Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has left his mark in the 2008 season. Rodgers has completed 42 of 60 passes for 506 yards and four touchdowns in two wins. Running back Ryan Grant has yet to reach the endzone but has been a workforce carrying the ball a team high 27 times. The Packers climb one spot from #8 last week. Green Bay will put their perfect mark on the line in Sunday Night Football, as they take on the 2-0 Dallas Cowboys.


  8. Tennessee Titans (2-0) - The Titans, with another win were able to move up 2 spots from #10 last week. Vince Young will not start again on Sunday for the Titans with his injury. Coach Jeff Fisher has elected to stick with back-up Kerry Collins. Collins led the Titans to a 24-7 win in Cincinnati, as the winds in Ohio were steady anywhere from 20-25mph, and gusts were as high as 60mph. Collins completed 12 of 21 passes for 128 total yards in the air. The Titans will host Houston on Sunday in a key AFC South match up.


  9. Indianapolis Colts (1-1) - The Colts narrowly escaped starting the 2008 season in an 0-2 hole. Indianapolis hopes to get Peyton Manning healthy and back to his gun slinging ways soon. Manning has completed 56 of 91 passes for 568 yards and two touchdowns, but would be the first to admit his early season rating would be average. Joseph Addai has had trouble getting started on the ground, carrying the ball 27 times for just 64 yards and a touchdown. Indianapolis moved into the top ten from their #11 spot after week one. The Colts will take on Jacksonville at home on Sunday, attempting to move the Jaguars to 0-3 on the year.


  10. Buffalo Bills (2-0) - The Buffalo Bills round out our top ten after getting off to a 2-0 start. They move up from #13 last week. Buffalo has been led by running back Marshawn Lynch, who has ran for a touchdown in each of the first two games. The Bills have beaten Seattle and Jacksonville, both in impressive fashion. Buffalo has scored 54 points, while just allowing 26. The Bills will battle Oakland at home on Sunday.


  11. Denver Broncos (2-0) - If Sunday's result would have been reversed by just two points, Broncos fans would be lynching head coach Mike Shanahan. Shanahan called for a two point conversion with less than a minute to play, trailing the game to rival San Diego by a point. Jay Cutler connected with Eddie Royal for the second straight play, and the Broncos won 39-38. With the win, the Broncos climb 4 spots from 15 to 11. Denver looks to improve to 3-0 on Sunday, as they host New Orleans. The Saints come in 1-1.


  12. Arizona Cardinals (2-0) - The Cardinals are 2-0, and for that a jump of 4 spots from 16 to 12. The Cardinals have defeated San Francisco and Miami, by no means powerhouses, but for a team looking to climb into the playoff picture, the Cardinals must be pleased with their start. In the two wins, Arizona has scored 54 points, while allowing just 23. Quarterback Kurt Warner has been impressive completing 38 of 54 passes for 558 yards and four touchdowns. Arizona will look to move to 3-0 on Sunday as they travel to Washington to face the Redskins.


  13. New Orleans Saints (1-1) - The New Orleans Saints had a chance to improve to 2-0 on Sunday, but a fourth quarter collapse at Washington prevented that from happening. Drew Brees has completed 45 of 65 passes to start the year for 559 yards and four touchdowns. Reggie Bush has carried the ball 24 times, while catching 15 passes for the Saints.  New Orleans hopes to improve its defense that has allowed an average of 404 yards in their first two games. The loss dropped New Orleans 8 spots in the poll from 5 to 13. New Orleans will have a tough battle on Sunday traveling to Denver to face off with the Broncos.


  14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) - Tampa Bay moves up 9 spots after the 24-9 win over Atlanta on Sunday. After their week one loss at New Orleans, a game they could have won, the Buccaneers were sure to wrap Atlanta up early. Tampa Bay has only allowed 33 points in two games, to start the season. Running back Earnest Graham has been impressive in the early going running for 207 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown. His running mate Warrick Dunn has carried the ball 21 times for 103 yards, and a score. Tampa Bay will play in the battle of 1-1 teams on Sunday when they travel to Chicago to battle the Bears.


  15. Washington Redskins (1-1) - Redskins, with their impressive win move up 9 spots from 24. The win on Sunday gave head coach Jim Zorn his first win as a NFL head coach. In the win, 29-24 over New Orleans, quarterback Jason Campbell threw for 454 yards completing 39 of 63 passes for two touchdowns. Clinton Portis has been a workhorse carrying the ball 44 times for 180 yards and two touchdowns. In the passing game, Santana Moss has already caught 12 balls for over 200 yards, and two touchdowns. When Moss is covered the Redskins have the option of Antwaan Randle El, who has also caught 11 passes. Washington will look to place the first loss of the season on the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.


  16. Baltimore Ravens (1-0) - The Ravens, by not playing move up 3 positions from 19 to 16. The Ravens got their bye week a little earlier than expected when Hurricane Ike forced the NFL to postpone the Ravens trip to Houston to battle the Texans. The Ravens and Texans will now play November 9th, a stretch of three straight road games for Baltimore. Baltimore will battle AFC North rival Cleveland Sunday at home.


  17. San Diego Chargers (0-2) - The Chargers probably should be 1-1, but are 0-2, and drop 8 spots from 9 to 17. In the loss, the Chargers feel they were cheated of the victory, as a disputed call gave the Broncos the ball back, and ultimately the game winning touchdown, and two-point conversion. Phillip Rivers has thrown six touchdown passes in two games for San Diego. The Chargers will look to pick up their first win on Monday night, but it will not be easy, as the 'Bolts' will host Brett Favre and the New York Jets.


  18. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) - Jacksonville falls 6 spots from 12 to 18. The Jaguars have gotten off to a slow start, and things will not get easier on Sunday, as they make the trip to Indianapolis, to face off with the Colts. The Jaguars have only scored 26 points, while yielding 37. The offense has sputtered behind quarterback David Garrard, but not all the blame can be placed on him. The running game has only accumulated 65.5 yards per game in their first two games. Fred Taylor has carried the ball 23 times for 67 total yards.


  19. Chicago Bears (1-1) - The Bears had plenty of opportunities to get off to a 2-0 start, and win on the road at Carolina on Sunday. But failed opportunities forced the Bears to a 1-1 start. Rookie running back Matt Forte has sparkled thus far for Chicago, running 46 times for 215 yards and a touchdown. His quarterback Kyle Orton has yet to throw a touchdown pass, despite completing 32 of 53 passes. Due to the loss, Chicago drops from #14 to #19. The Bears look to snap their short losing streak at home on Sunday against Tampa Bay.


  20. New York Jets (1-1) - The Jets drop 4 spots from 24 to 20. The Jets had a prime opportunity to gain control of the AFC East Division early in 2008. With the New England Patriots coming to town, without the 2007 MVP Tom Brady, Brett Favre and his Jets were not able to capitalize. Farve has been solid thus far for the Jets, completing 33 of 48 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns. His running back Thomas Jones has been a workhorse early, carrying the ball 39 times for 171 yards and a score. The loss drops the Jets to 1-1, and will now have to find a way to come up with a huge road victory Monday Night at San Diego. The Chargers are 0-2 and hungry for a victory.


  21. Atlanta Falcons (1-1) - After the week one win over Detroit, the Falcons were not able to repeat that performance in week two falling to Tampa Bay 24-9. Rookie quarterback, whose very first pass of his career was a touchdown found life in the NFL a little more difficult. In the loss, Ryan completed just 13 of 33 passes, throwing two interceptions. The loss drops the Falcons from 17 to 21. Atlanta will host Kansas City on Sunday.


  22. Cleveland Browns (0-2) -  The Browns have not found their offense thus far in the 2008 season. A team that many picked to be a AFC playoff team is 0-2, and searching for answers. 28-10 loss to Dallas, and a 10-6 slop fest loss to Pittsburgh has seen the Browns score just one touchdown. Quarterback Derek Anderson has had difficulty finding open receivers, and when he does, a lot of times they are unable to make the play. Braylon Edwards has five dropped passes in his first two games. The loss for Cleveland drops them from 20 to 22 this week. The Browns hope to get in the win column on Sunday when they travel to Baltimore.


  23. San Francisco 49ers (1-1) - The 49ers raise 4 places in the rankings from 27 to 23 after their 33-30 win over Seattle. San Francisco is excited about their offensive possibilities behind quarterback J.T. O' Sullivan. Frank Gore, Issac Bruce and Bryant Johnson have all had a hand in the 49ers offense averaging 23.0 points a game in their first two games.  San Francisco will host Detroit on Sunday.


  24. Oakland Raiders (1-1) - Oakland had some head coaching controversy going on before last Sunday's game with Kansas City. Despite that, the Raiders were able to bounce back from an awful week one performance to beat the Chiefs, and move to second place in the AFC West. Quarterback JaMarcus Russell has been extremely ineffective, but the two headed monster of Darren McFadden and Justin Fargas, with an addition Michael Bush, the Raiders have had success running the football. The win moves Oakland up from #30 last week, to 24 this week. Oakland will take their 1-1 record on the road to Buffalo to take on the Bills Sunday.


  25. Seattle Seahawks (0-2) - Seattle, after another loss, this time in overtime to San Francisco continue to fall; this week 4 positions from 21 to 25. Seattle, who many thought would contend in the NFC is searching for answers. The Seahawks defense has been a cause for concern, giving up an average of 33.5 points per game. The offense has also stumbled a bit scoring just 20 points a game. Losing top receiver Nate Burleson along with the rest of their starting wide receivers, will not help out quarterback Matt Hasslebeck and his offense. Seattle will hope to get healthy, and back on track when St. Louis comes to town on Sunday.


  26. Houston Texans (0-1) - Houston drops 1 spot, while not even playing during week two. Hurricane Ike rumbled through Houston, including damage to their stadium- Reliant Stadium. The week two game was moved to week 10 on November 9th, against Baltimore. Matt Schaub hopes to have better results behind center on Sunday against Tennessee then he did in week one, a week in which Pittsburgh blasted the Texans 38-17, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble. A bright spot for the Texans was receiver Andre Johnson, who caught 10 passes for 112 yards on the day.


  27. Minnesota Vikings (0-2) - Minnesota drops 5 more spots, after another loss, this time to Indianapolis, 18-15. In week three the Vikings will start a new quarterback. 37-year-old Gus Frerotte will get the nod over youngster Tarvaris Jackson. Jackson has been ineffective in the early going for Minnesota completing just 30 of his first 59 passes on the year for just a single touchdown. Minnesota looks to get their first win this Sunday when they host Carolina.


  28. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) - The Bengals can't seem to get on track, and drop from 26 to 28. Carson Palmer has had a horrible time finding his talented receivers. Chad Ocho Cinco has caught just five passes for 59 yards, while Chad Houshmanzadeh has caught 6 passes for 70 yards. Neither team has caught a touchdown pass in the first two games. Running back Chris Perry has been a workhorse in the backfield, running 40 times for 106 yards and a touchdown. Life will not get easier for the Bengals, who in week three get a date with last years super bowl champion- New York Giants.


  29. Miami Dolphins (0-2) - Miami slides back one position after their loss. While things appear to be improved for the Dolphins in 2008, the 0-2 record does not lie. Miami hopes to get running back Ricki Williams going, as he has just compiled 52 yards on 21 carries. The run game in general has been a weakness for the Dolphins. They have averaged just 60.5 yards a game on the ground. The Dolphins 24 points must improve if they want to compete in the vaunted AFC East. Miami will look to win their first of the year on Sunday when they head to New England.


  30. Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) - Fall one spot after their 23-8 loss at home to the Raiders. The Chiefs have had quarterback problems from the beginning, and look to have settled with Tyler Thigpen, a 24 year old from Coastal Carolina for week three. The Chiefs are averaging just 9 points a game on offense, while allowing just 20. But the old adage says, you can't win if you don't score. The Chiefs will look to get their first win of the season on Sunday, as they travel to Atlanta to take on the 1-1 Falcons.


  31. Detroit Lions (0-2) - The Lions fans are frustrated. Head Coach Rod Marinelli is under fire after a 0-2 start. Two straight weeks, Detroit have dug a three touchdown hole. In week one to Atlanta, and in week two to Green Bay. The Lions actually came back and took the lead on Sunday, but Jon Kitna threw three interceptions, and the Packers ended up beating the Lions 48-25. Detroit will travel to San Francisco on Sunday to take on the 49ers. The Lions remain at #31.

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