There was a lot more firepower on offense in Week 3 of the 2023 NFL Season, an improvement from how last week went. With the following Week 3 NFL Power Rankings, there might not be a lot of changes at the top, but plenty of changes in the middle of the list.
Puka Nacua set an NFL record, Justin Jefferson and DeVonta Smith had superb TNF showings, and Christian McCaffrey reeled off another 100-yard rushing performance. On the opposite side of the coin, the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, and Green Bay Packers all struggled, showing that their seasons so far have been a bit rockier than they hoped for.
All that, and more, is organized below – enjoy the Week 3 NFL Power Rankings!
32. Arizona Cardinals (no change)
Having at one point held a 21-point lead, the Arizona Cardinals managed to lose their second-consecutive game of the year, this time to the New York Giants.
Joshua Dobbs connected with Marquise Brown for his lone TD throw of the game, but this was yet another uninspired performance by a team many are picking to finish last in the league this season.
31. Houston Texans (no change)
Sunday’s 31-20 loss marked another step in the development of C.J. Stroud, and it was another turnover-free game. 384 yards and 2 TDs is impressive for Stroud, who connected often with Nico Collins (7/146/1) and Tank Dell (7/72/1).
The growth of the Texans is coming, even if it doesn’t look like it. Stroud looks like a fantastic fit for this team moving forward, and DeMeco Ryans will do a solid job of keeping this team on the right track.
30. Carolina Panthers (no change)
It was a pretty dreadful Week 2 for the Carolina Panthers, as they lost to the Saints on the first game of the Monday night doubleheader. Bryce Young struggled to really get anything going, but his rapport with Adam Thielen was the lone bright spot (1 TD and 1 2-point conversion). The schedule for Carolina doesn't get any easier, as they now face the Seahawks in Week 3.
29. Indianapolis Colts
It had the makings of another strong performance from Anthony Richardson, and unfortunately, the rookie’s day ended early due to a concussion. Having rushed for two early scores, Richardson was unable to finish Sunday’s contest, giving way to Gardner Minshew.
Minshew was sharp in relief (19/23, 171 yards, 1 TD), but all eyes will be on the health of Richardson to see if he can suit up for Week 3 or if he will need to miss some time.
28. Chicago Bears (-3)
Dominated in all aspects of their Week 2 game on Sunday, the Chicago Bears and their ship is taking on a lot of water to start the season. Justin Fields was rattled all day, sacked six times, and ran for only three yards.
DJ Moore actually looked like the WR1 he is supposed to be for this team, but allowing Baker Mayfield to throw for 317 yards is not something anyone on this team should be proud of. A lot of work needs to be put in at the Chicago headquarters before Week 3 – otherwise their season is in danger of being lost already.
27. Minnesota Vikings (-5)
Quite the dreadful performance to start their Thursday Night Football game against the Eagles, but Kirk Cousins willed this team back into it. Minnesota did ultimately fall on the road to end up with two early losses, and their lack of a rushing attack was a big part of that.
As is the case with the Bears, there needs to be a lot of decisions made for this team, and with the NFC North seemingly wide open, blowing this opportunity could lead to this team needing to be blown up.
26. Los Angeles Rams (+1)
Their Week 1 win over the Seahawks was impressive, especially with it being on the road. And while the Los Angeles Rams did fall to the 49ers in Week 2, moving up this list shows that maybe we were too low on Matthew Stafford’s return.
Rookie receiver Puka Nacua broke an impressive NFL record for most receptions in his first two games, so who needs Cooper Kupp? The Rams do, even amidst Nacua's breakout.
25. New England Patriots (+1)
It was another disappointing finish for the New England Patriots, who now drop to 0-2 after their Sunday night loss to the Dolphins. The offense was dreadful for the first three quarters, and even a miraculous offensive lineman lateral couldn't save this team. Mac Jones looks better than he did last year, but there are still some fatal flaws this franchise needs to fix.
24. Las Vegas Raiders (-1)
Last week’s uninspiring win over the Broncos should have painted a picture for how Las Vegas' Week 2 game against the Bills was going to go. Being boat-raced by a team far better than them in the Bills is not surprising, and there is a lot of work that still needs to happen for this team.
Josh Jacobs ran for -2 yards in this game – and no, that is not a mis-print. It’s safe to say Josh McDaniels needs to help correct quite a few issues with their gameplan.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+5)
One of the biggest surprises of the NFL this year has been the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have beaten two members of the NFC North division to start the year.
Baker Mayfield looks quite comfortable leading this offense, both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are earning healthy target shares, and as a whole, this team looks like they are out to show that they are still good – even without Tom Brady.
22. Denver Broncos (-3)
The Denver Broncos are broken, regardless of who their head coach is. Even with Sean Payton doing his best to improve what happened in Nathaniel Hackett’s lone season, this roster is failing to meet its ceiling.
While a last-second Hail Mary was answered for the Broncos, a missed pass-interference call on the two-point conversion kept the Broncos winless across the first two weeks. A free fall is in the realm of possibilities for Denver in the NFL Power Rankings, especially if Russell Wilson can’t help figure things out.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers (+3)
It wasn't pretty, but the Pittsburgh Steelers relied on their defense to earn their first win of the 2023 NFL season. Kenny Pickett was very mediocre at best, but his TD connection with George Pickens helped salvage his performance. The defense rocked Deshaun Watson to the tune of six sacks, 2 lost fumbles, and 1 interception, and they really only let Amari Cooper have a solid game.
20. Green Bay Packers (-2)
Jordan Love has now made two starts, both on the road, this season, and he is still turnover-free. While a loss on Sunday to the Falcons was an avoidable one, this team still did show some promise.
Playing without running back Aaron Jones and wide receiver Christian Watson, as well as offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins in the second half, the Packers kept it close all day before bowing out late. Lots of good things to write home about for Green Bay, but there is no defined identity for this team quite yet.
19. Tennessee Titans (+1)
An impressive win over the Los Angeles Chargers helped many forget about their struggle of a loss in Week 1. While it did take an overtime Nick Folk field goal to earn their first win of the season, it was a big-time bounce-back performance for Ryan Tannehill after last week’s three-interception debacle.
18. Cleveland Browns (-5)
The offense is in a rut in Cleveland, and with the team likely having lost Nick Chubb to a season-ending (if not a career-ending) injury, things only got worse. Amari Cooper suited up even with his groin injury and Jerome Ford stepped in admirably for Chubb and looks like he could fill the starting role for the rest of the season, but Deshaun Watson looked pretty putrid, a potential sign that this Browns roster is yet again going to struggle this season.
Only 80 yards on the ground (on 25 carries) for Derrick Henry feels low, but he at least found the end zone on Sunday.
17. Washington Commanders (+4)
An undefeated start to their 2023 season was likely not on a lot of people’s bingo cards for the Washington Commanders, but their climb up the NFL Power Rankings reflects a little bit of faith for this team. Sam Howell has looked the part so far this year, and the defense has kept opponents rattled, a combination that will help keep this team in games, at least to start the season.
16. New York Giants (+1)
It took a herculean second-half effort from Daniel Jones to make sure the New York Giants didn’t lose to the Cardinals on Sunday, and we finally saw the dominant version of Jones come out.
Saquon Barkley left with an ankle injury, putting a sad tone on a solid result for New York. Their western U.S. tour continues in Week 3, as they face San Francisco on a short week.
15. New Orleans Saints (+1)
A slugfest went in favor of the New Orleans Saints on MNF, as they were able to hold off Bryce Young and the Panthers. Derek Carr peppered Michael Thomas with targets all night and was able to put the game away on a deep shot to speedster Rashid Shaheed. With Jamaal Williams' status up the air, it looks like Tony Jones Jr. will be the starting RB for Week 3, the final week before Alvin Kamara returns from his suspension.
14. Atlanta Falcons (+1)
Who needs a consistent passing attack when you can have three players earn double-digit carries and win a game? Lucky for the Atlanta Falcons, they had both show up in Sunday’s win over the Packers.
A 237-yard passing performance from Desmond Ridder was buoyed by Bijan Robinson’s 124 rushing yards and Drake London’s 6/67/1 performance.
13. Jacksonville Jaguars (-1)
Gross is a pretty effective word to use when describing how the Jacksonville Jaguars performed Sunday in their loss to the Chiefs. Only putting up nine points made KC’s defense look pretty strong, which it really shouldn’t be considered to be.
Christian Kirk was Trevor Lawrence’s favorite target on Sunday (11/110), but a scoreless performance from Lawrence and the offense showed that maybe this offense needs a wake-up call.
12. New York Jets (-1)
With Aaron Rodgers now out for the season, it feels odd to have the New York Jets still ranked this high on the list. And if Sunday’s performance against the Cowboys is any sign of things to come, they will quickly be finding themselves lower in the NFL Power Rankings.
A three-interception performance by Zach Wilson looks like he may have reverted to his rookie year issues, and only four touches for Breece Hall spells trouble for an offense that used to have so much promise.
11. Los Angeles Chargers (no change)
It was not a great performance by the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, and their overtime loss to the Titans was less than uninspiring. The offensive game plan relied on Justin Herbert first and foremost, especially with Austin Ekeler out with a lower-body injury.
This offense has so much firepower on it, but unlocking it correctly has been a long-standing issue plaguing them.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (no change)
It wasn’t pretty for the Bengals on Sunday, and their fall to the edges of the top-10 of the NFL Power Rankings is a bit surprising. But an 0-2 start, coupled with concerns about Joe Burrow’s health, certainly have merit.
Tee Higgins thankfully made up for his goose egg last week, leading all Bengals receivers this week with two scores.
9. Detroit Lions (+1)
A tough home loss has derailed an off-season full of hype for the Detroit Lions. Amon-Ra St. Brown produced a 100-yard affair, Josh Reynolds hauled in two TDs, and we got one step closer to seeing a bigger workload for Jahmyr Gibbs, who may even earn more if David Montgomery’s injury is of the long-term variety.
8. Seattle Seahawks (+6)
Welcome into the top 10 of the NFL Power Rankings, Seattle! A strong performance on the road against Detroit did wonders for forgetting about their Week 1 debacle against the Rams.
Geno Smith threw for two scores, Kenneth Walker III ran for two more, and the trio of DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba combined for 19 receptions on Sunday.
7. Baltimore Ravens (-1)
A well-structured plan of attack on offense was a huge area of growth for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2, especially with three players (Lamar Jackson, Justice Hill, and Gus Edwards) all earning double-digit carries.
Jackson specifically was quite efficient in both areas of the game, finding Nelson Agholor and Mark Andrews (welcome back) for TDs.
6. Miami Dolphins (+1)
It now is five wins in a row for Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins over the Patriots, a feat not many expected the southpaw to accomplish. Helping close Sunday's slate of games, the Dolphins showed that the AFC East race should just be a two-team race, and that they are here to stay. Jaylen Waddle may have suffered a concussion in their win, which would put a big dent in their receiver core heading into Week 3 if he misses time, so something to track this week.
5. Dallas Cowboys (no change)
Quite the drubbing of the Jets took place at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Outside of a 10-point second quarter, the Dallas defense wrecked havoc all day, picking off Zach Wilson three times and sacking him thrice more, and forcing a Dalvin Cook fumble.
On offense, Dak Prescott was lights out, and his connection with CeeDee Lamb was on full display. An 11-catch outing (on 13 targets) was what you feel is the ceiling for Lamb in this offense, and it was a much-needed performance with Brandin Cooks out.
4. Buffalo Bills (no change)
A dismantling of the Raiders was exactly what the doctor ordered for the Buffalo Bills to help get over their Week 1 cold. Josh Allen looked like himself finally (even if he still isn’t running the ball a lot), connecting with Gabe Davis, Khalil Shakir, and Dawson Knox for scores.
But the real star on offense was James Cook, who produced 139 total yards on 21 touches (4 receptions).
3. Kansas City Chiefs (-1)
While a 17-9 win over the Jaguars should be considered impressive, the offense for the Kansas City Chiefs still looks to be out of sorts. While this was the first week that we saw Travis Kelce take the field, Patrick Mahomes spread the ball around to 11 different receivers.
Maybe this Chiefs offense isn’t the typical dominant unit that we have seen in past years – but it's hard to argue with the results from Week 2.
2. San Francisco 49ers (+1)
A TD-less performance from Brock Purdy is not a great way to demonstrate how effective this offense was on Sunday, but the San Francisco 49ers jumped over the Chiefs in the NFL Power Rankings because of their consistency to start the year.
Christian McCaffrey was the star of the show this week, turning in 116 yards and a score on the ground, while hauling in all three passes for another 19 yards. Deebo Samuel led the team in receiving yards (63) this week, showing that this offense has a ton of depth that will be hard to stop.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (no change)
This makes the second NFL Power Rankings in a row with the Philadelphia Eagles at the top, and for good reason. A strong TNF win over the Vikings helped right the ship on offense, a ship that slogged its way to a win in Week 1 over New England.
Jalen Hurts was impressive, DeVonta Smith was the leading receiver, and D’Andre Swift, thrust into the starter’s role with Kenneth Gainwell out with a rib injury, was awesome, actually looking the part of star RB that the Detroit Lions had originally drafted him to be a few years back.