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2009 Week 3 NFL Power Ratings

An Archived Record of Our Sports Handicapping Columnists' Week Three NFL Football Power Ratings After Week Two of the 2009 Season's Action.

2009 Week Three NFL Power Ratings
(Dated 9/22 to 9/27/2009)

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1. New York Giants (2-0) - The New York Giants move up to the top spot after their win at the new Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. The Giants made a three team jump from # 4 to # 1, jumping over Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New England. In the win for the Giants, Lawrence Tynes kicked a game winning field goal as the clock expired to take control of the NFC East. Eli Manning was solid for the Giants passing for 330 yards and 2 touchdowns. The negative part of the game for the Giants was their run defense. Marion Barber rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown against the defense. Defensive stud Justin Tuck is questionable for week three after being tripped by Dallas offensive tackle Flozell Adams that sidelined him for the remainder of the game. New York will play their second of three straight on the road on Sunday when they travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers.

2. Baltimore Ravens (2-0) - The Baltimore Ravens got a huge play from their best defensive player at the right time on Sunday. Ray Lewis got to Darren Sproles in the back field on a fourth and goal that would have put the Chargers ahead late in the game Sunday. The tackle sealed the deal on a 31-26 win on the road for the Ravens. Baltimore is now the lone AFC North team that remains unbeaten. Offensive for Baltimore Willis McGahee rumbled for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win. The Ravens defense allowed Phillip Rivers to throw for 436 yards and 2 touchdowns, but they were able to intercept 2 of his passes. Baltimore moves up three spots as well, from # 5 to # 2. The Ravens will host the winless Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

3. Atlanta Falcons (2-0) - The Atlanta Falcons upended the defending NFC South champion Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Atlanta is now tied atop the division wit with the New Orleans Saints. Matt Ryan has continued where he left off after his first season in the league, as he has led the offense to 47 points in 2 games. Ryan completed 21 of 27 passes for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns in the win over Carolina. Michael Turner has started the season relatively quiet for the Falcons, rushing for just 172 yards in 2 games. Tony Gonzalez, who came over from Kansas City has caught a touchdown in each of the first two games for the Falcons. Atlanta slides up three spots from # 6 to # 3. The Falcons will travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots on Sunday.

4. New Orleans Saints (2-0) - There is no offense hotter in the National Football League than the New Orleans Saints. For the second straight week, the Saints were able to put huge numbers, both wins. New Orleans downed the Philadelphia Eagles 48-22 in a statement game for the co-NFC South leaders. Drew Brees has thrown for 9 touchdowns in two games for New Orleans, and is on pace to throw for 72 on the season. Mike Bell has aided the offensive cause for the Saints, rushing for 229 yards, while Marquis Colston and Devery Henderson have done their share from the receiving corp. Darren Sharper has been solid defensively for New Orleans, picking off three passes in the first two games. The Saints will play their second straight road game on Sunday when they travel to Buffalo to take on the AFC East’s - Bills. New Orleans made a seven team jump from # 11 to # 4.

5. Minnesota Vikings (2-0) - Minnesota took advantage of a Green Bay loss, and took over the top of the NFC North. The Vikings trailed early to Detroit, but scored the next 24 points and won 27-13. The win for Minnesota was aided by veteran quarterback Brett Favre and his 155 passing yards, and 2 touchdowns. Adrian Peterson has ran for 272 yards in the two wins, while Percy Harvin leads the team in catches with 8. The Vikings will face a tough week three test, where they will play their home opener against the San Francisco 49ers. Minnesota slides up five spots from # 10 to # 5.

6. Indianapolis Colts (2-0) - The Indianapolis Colts offense spent less than 15:00 on the field Monday night, but came away with a 27-23 win over the Miami Dolphins. The Colts have now beat two Florida teams, by just a total of six points. The Colts with the win held the lead in the AFC South by themselves. The Colts are ahead of Houston, Tennessee and Jacksonville. Peyton Manning has started the season with 302 yards per game, while Dallas Clark has caught 111 yards per game. The Colts remain # 6 in the power rankings. Indianapolis will travel out west on Sunday to take on the Arizona Cardinals.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) - The Pittsburgh Steelers have been dethroned at the top of the power rankings. Pittsburgh was downed 17-14 by the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The Steelers had plenty of opportunities, as kicker Jeff Reed missed two key field goals, and the Bears received a Robbie Gould field goal to win the game. Ben Roethlisberger was once again strong for Pittsburgh, as he threw for 221 yards and a touchdown. The Steelers have been playing without top defender Troy Polamalu, who went to the locker room before half time of the first game against Tennessee. Pittsburgh dropped six spots from # 1 to # 7 with the loss. The Steelers will play at Cincinnati on Sunday.

8. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) - The Philadelphia Eagles were without their starting quarterback Donovan McNabb, but the defense was the issue in the 48-22 loss to the New Orleans Saints. In the loss, Kevin Kolb took over at quarterback, throwing 51 passes, completing 31 of them, for 391 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kolb did throw 3 interceptions in the loss. The Eagles lone 4th quarter points came on a safety. The Eagles now slide to tied for second place in the NFC East, with Dallas and New Orleans. The Eagles dropped six positions from # 2 to # 8. Philadelphia will host the winless Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

9. New England Patriots (1-1) – The New England Patriots are fortunate they are not 0-2 after the first two weeks of the season. After coming from behind over Buffalo in week one, the Patriots were downed by divisional rival Jets on Sunday. New England was only able to manage 9 points in the loss; all coming in the first half. Tom Brady has thrown for 594 yards in the first two games, but has had a difficult time leading his offense into the end zone. Randy Moss has caught 16 passes for 165 yards. New England drops six positions from # 3 to # 9. The Patriots will look to rebound on Sunday when they host the undefeated Atlanta Falcons.

10. San Diego Chargers (1-1) - The San Diego Chargers were one play away from climbing back and picking up a come from behind win on Sunday, but then Ray Lewis saved the day for the Ravens. Lewis hit Darren Sproles in the back field on a fourth down carry, and turn the ball over to the Ravens with under 1:00 to play. Phillip Rivers threw the ball 45 times in the loss, for 436 yards and 2 touchdowns. Rivers also turned the ball over twice in the loss. LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers top running back did not play due to an ankle injury. The Chargers remain # 10 in the power rankings, despite the loss. San Diego will meet up with the winless Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

11. San Francisco 49ers (2-0) - The San Francisco 49ers have been the NFL’s biggest surprise in the first two weeks of the season. After the 49ers surprising upset win on the road in week one at Arizona, the 49ers backed it up with another divisional win over Seattle on Sunday. Frank Gore ran wild for San Francisco on Sunday, as he rushed for 207 yards and 2 touchdowns. The amazing fact for Gore was that he only ran 16 times. The 49ers, despite not having top pick Michael Crabtree have seen their receivers catch 14 passes for 170 yards in two games. The 49ers made a five team jump from # 16 to # 11. The 49ers will face another big test when they play at 2-0 Minnesota on Sunday.

12. Dallas Cowboys (1-1) - The Dallas Cowboys were seconds away from picking up their first win in their new stadium Sunday night. Their long time rival New York Giants used a Jay Feely field goal to ruin those plans. Now Dallas could be without running back Marion Barber, who went down late in the game with an injured quad. Barber’s status for Monday night is questionable at this time. Many questions were asked of quarterback Tony Romo on Monday morning. Romo threw three interceptions in the loss. The Cowboys fall three spots from # 12 to # 9 with the loss. Dallas and the Carolina Panthers will square off Monday night in Dallas.

13. Chicago Bears (1-1) - The Chicago Bears had their backs against the wall, trailing the Pittsburgh Steelers and on the verge of falling to 0-2 to start the year. An 0-2 start would certainly not equal the end of Chicago’s season, but with the expectations of the Bears following the pick-up of Jay Cutler, a second straight loss would not settle well. The Bears were fortunate to see Jeff Reed miss two late field goals, and picked up a field goal of their own from Robbie Gould to seal the 17-14 win. The Bears out scored the Steelers 10-0 in the fourth quarter. Jay Cutler was much better in this one, after starting the season throwing three interceptions against Green Bay. Cutler threw for 236 yards and 2 touchdowns, and did not throw an interception in the win. The Bears move up one spot from # 14 to # 13 with the win. Chicago will travel to Seattle on Sunday to take on the Seahawks.

14. Arizona Cardinals (1-1) – The Cardinals were questioned on whether they could bounce back from a week one loss, and travel to the East Coast and win. The questions were put to bed quickly, as Arizona blasted the Jaguars for 24 first half points, and held on to win 31-17. Kurt Warner was solid for Arizona, throwing 26 times, completing 24 of them for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tim Hightower has been effective in the early going for the Cardinals, as he leads the team with 87 rushing yards, 15 catches, and 133 receiving yards. The Cardinals have out scored their opponents 47-37 in the early going of the season. Arizona rises three positions from # 17 to # 14 with the win. The Cardinals will host the Indianapolis Colts for the ESPN Sunday night game of the week.

15. New York Jets (2-0) – The New York Jets were the biggest winner of week three. Their 16-9 win over the New England Patriots was even more impressive due to the fact that the Jets have yet to allow a defensive touchdown. The win for the Jets place them alone at the top of the AFC East, ahead of New England, Buffalo and Miami. Rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez has led the Jets to two wins. Sanchez completed 14 of 22 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown in the win over New England. The Jets with their win, moved six spots up from # 21 to # 15. New York will host the winless Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon.

16. Denver Broncos (2-0) - The Denver Broncos are probably the most surprising unbeaten team to start the 2009 season. Denver has yet to face a huge challenge, as both their wins came over teams from Ohio - the Browns and Bengals. In those two wins, Denver has only allowed 16 points for new head coach Josh McDaniels. Denver leads the AFC West with their 2-0 mark, ahead of San Diego and Oakland at 1-1, and Kansas City 0-2. The Broncos move up six positions from # 22 to # 16 with he win. The Broncos will take to the road on Sunday when they play at Oakland.

17. Houston Texans (1-1) – After a lackluster performance in week one, the Texas were impressive in week three, knocking off the Tennessee Titans. The Texans were able to light the Titans defense up for 34 points, behind 357 passing yards from Matt Schaub. Andre Johnson was spectacular, as always for Houston catching two touchdown passes from Schaub in the win. Team owner Bob McNair was quoted on Monday calling the win on Sunday over Tennessee as the” biggest in franchise history”. With the win, Houston climbs the rankings eight spots from # 25 to # 17. Houston will look to get over the .500 mark on Sunday when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars.

18. Buffalo Bills (1-1) - The Buffalo Bills bounced back strong after their Monday Night disappointment in week one. The Bills just up to a 17-0 lead after one quarter on Sunday against the Buccaneers. Trent Edwards was strong, throwing for 230 yards and a touchdown. That was Edwards’ second straight solid start, as he threw for 212 in week one. Fred Jackson has been a solid surprise for the Bills. Jackson has ran for 220 yards, caught 11 passes for 108 yards in two weeks. The Bills will host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Buffalo remains # 18 from last week.

19. Tennessee Titans (0-2) – The Titans dropped to 0-2 on Sunday with a 34-31 loss to the Houston Texans. Despite the loss, Chris Johnson had a monster game for Tennessee, rushing 16 times for 197 yards, and also catching 9 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. With the loss, the Titans not only fall two games behind Indianapolis in the AFC South, but they also dropped seven positions in the power rankings. Tennessee was listed at # 12 last week, fell to # 19 this week with the loss. The Titans 2009 schedule will not get any easier for them, as they will play at undefeated New York Jets on Sunday. Lost to Houston. 12

20. Green Bay Packers (1-1) – The Green Bay Packers squandered a golden opportunity to keep pace with the Minnesota Vikings atop the NFC North. Green Bay played their second straight home game, after winning in week one over Chicago, with a week three date with Cincinnati. The Packers yielded 31 points to a Bengals offense that struggled in week one to Denver. The Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not as sharp as he was in week one, completing just 21 of 39 passes. Veteran left tackle Chad Clifton appears to be out for this weeks game after injuring his right ankle in the loss. Greg Jennings, Green Bay’s top receiver did not catch a pass for the Packers in the loss. Green Bay slips seven spots from # 13 to # 20 with the defeat. Green Bay will play their first road game on Sunday when they play at St. Louis.

21. Carolina Panthers (0-2) – The Carolina Panthers, the defending NFC South champions have been the biggest disappointment to start the 2009 season. Carolina, after getting blasted at Philadelphia, got beat by divisional foe Atlanta Sunday. The Panthers have been outscored 66-30 in the first two games this season. Jake Delhomme leads all NFL quarterbacks in interceptions with five. DeAngelo Williams has started this season hot, much like he ended last season. Williams has ran for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns thus far. Williams lost a fumble on Sunday for the first time in over a year. The Panthers are the lone winless team within the NFC South. The Panthers fall six more positions from # 15 to # 21. The Panthers will look for their first win of the season on Sunday when they play at Dallas.

22. Washington Redskins (1-1) – The Washington Redskins were booed on their home field on Sunday, but came away with a win. The ‘Skins fans were not happy with the play calling of Jim Zorn’s offense that was able to only put up nine points against the Rams. The defense for Washington was solid, allowing just one touchdown to St. Louis, but this is the same Rams team that was held scoreless in week one. Jason Campbell completed 23 of 35 passes for Washington, but none of them into the end zone. The Redskins are now tied with Dallas and Philadelphia for second place in the NFC East. Despite the win, Washington actually drops two spots from # 20 to # 22. Washington will look to win their second straight game at Detroit on Sunday.

23. Seattle Seahawks (1-1) - The Seattle Seahawks were hoping to get off to a 2-0 start, with another NFC West win. The San Francisco 49ers had other thoughts, and jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead, and held on to beat Seattle 23-10. The Seahawks allowed Frank Gore to run wild for 207 yards and 2 touchdowns. For the entire second half, quarterback Matt Hasslebeck sat with a rib injury. That injury does not seem serious enough to keep him out of week three action. Seattle remains # 23 despite the loss. The Seahawks will host the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

24. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) – The Cincinnati Bengals were able to bounce back from an ultra disappointing week one and knock off the Green Bay Packers Sunday. The most surprising part of the Bengals win was the fact that the game was played in Green Bay. After losing in the final seconds to Denver, many expected the Bengals to fall flat and succumb to the tough home field the Packers hold. That was not the case as Cincinnati scored 21 first half points, and 10 in the second half to win 31-24. Carson Palmer put the ball in the air 23 times, completing 15 passes for 185 yards and 3 touchdowns. Cedric Benson had his best game in awhile, as he rushed for 141 yards. The Bengals make a two team jump from # 26 to # 24. Cincinnati will host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in a tough AFC North battle.

25. Miami Dolphins (0-2) - The Miami Dolphins felt extremely empty after seeing Peyton Manning lead the Indianapolis Colts back late in the game on Monday night. Manning tossed a touchdown pass to put the Colts up four, and the Dolphins were not able to come back with a score, to lose. Ronnie Brown and the wildcat offense saw a great deal of success on Monday night, as Brown ran 24 time for 136 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Dolphins fall six positions from # 19 to # 25. Miami’s 2009 schedule will not get any easier when they head out west and take on the San Diego Chargers.

26. Oakland Raiders (1-1) – The Raiders erased their name from the winless ranks with a 13-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Darren McFadden ran for a touchdown late in the game to deal the deal. McFadden has ran for 103 yards thus far for Oakland. Zach Miller leads the Raiders in catches with 6, as quarterback JaMarcus Russell ahs thrown for 317 yards. The Raiders make a four team improvement from # 30 to # 26 with the win. Oakland will take on AFC West leading Denver on Sunday at home.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) – The Jacksonville Jaguars were hoping a west coast team on their home turn would turn up gold. After a 24-3 blitzing by halftime, the Jaguars knew the Cardinals were there to play. Now Jacksonville receiver Troy Williamson may miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. That is a blow for an offense that has struggled to start the year, scoring just 29 points in two games. Jacksonville will take on divisional foe Houston on Sunday on the road. Jacksonville dropped three spots after the loss from # 24 to # 27.

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) - The Buccaneers got off to a rough start on Sunday as they found themselves trailing 17-0 after one quarter. Tampa Bay was able to right the ship a bit, out scoring Buffalo 20-16 from that point on, but it was not enough, in a 33-20. Byron Leftwich struggled again for Tampa Bay, throwing two interceptions. Bad news for Tampa Bay came in the loss, safety Jermaine Phillips will be out for an extended period of time as he broke his thumb. Tampa Bay has allowed 67 points in two games to start the season. The Buccaneers fall one spot from # 27 to # 28. Tampa Bay will host the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon.

29. Cleveland Browns (0-2) - The Cleveland Browns were not able to stop the Denver Broncos clean sweep of the state of Ohio to start the 2009 season. Cleveland managed just 6 points in a 27-6 washing by Denver. Braylon Edwards caught six passes for Cleveland in the loss, for 92 yards. Head coach Eric Mangini has started new rules within the Browns clubhouse, as he already is feeling the heat. Mangini was brought in to replace Romeo Crennel and make the Browns tougher. The Browns schedule will now be kind to them as they will travel to Baltimore on Sunday. Cleveland dropped one spot from last week, # 28 to # 29.

30. Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) – The Kansas City Chiefs had a prime opportunity to come away with an AFC West win, but allowed a late Darren McFadden touchdown to fall 13-10 to the Raiders. The loss for Kansas City allowed them to fall one position from # 29 to # 30. A bright spot in the loss for Kansas City was Dwayne Bowe, who caught 5 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. The Chiefs have been outscored 34-51 in two games this season. The Chiefs will travel to Philadelphia in week three to take on the 1-1 Eagles.

31. St. Louis Rams (0-2) – The Rams looked better in week three than they did in week one, but nonetheless came away 9-7 losers to the Washington Redskins. The Rams managed to score their first offensive touchdown of the year when Marc Bulger threw a second quarter touchdown pass to Laurent Robinson. St. Louis was held scoreless in their week one loss to Seattle. The Rams picked up 265 total yards of offense in the loss. St. Louis head coach Steve Spagnuolo has stated his team has made progress, but not enough to win. The Rams will play their home opener on Sunday when they take on the Green Bay Packers.

32. Detroit Lions (0-2) – The Detroit Lions continue to hold the worst ranking in the NFL. Detroit fell again on Sunday, this time to the Minnesota Vikings. After jumping off to a quick 10-0 lead, the Lions were outscored 24-0, and finally fell 27-13. The Lions have allowed a league worst 72 points in the first two games of the season. Head coach Jim Schwartz has mentioned he will stick with rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford, even after throwing five interceptions in two games. The Lions will take on the Washington Redskins on Sunday at home. If Detroit loses, their 20 game losing streak will be the second longest in NFL history, only behind Tampa Bay’s 26 game losing streak in 1976-1977.

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