NFL Power Rankings

My current NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 3 of the 2016 season.

I’m going to use these rankings as the order for my 2017 NFL Mock Draft. Follow @walterfootball.

I’ve gone from WORST to FIRST, so if you don’t see reverse numbering (via Javascript), don’t worry; the Browns and 49ers aren’t my top teams.

Updated: Sept. 20

  1. Cleveland Browns (0-2) – Previously: 31.
    Poor Josh McCown. He was having the game of his life, leading the Browns to what appeared to be a huge upset over the Ravens, when he sustained a separated shoulder, up 20-2, and he never scored again. Typical Browns. Now, Cody Kessler will start, and Cleveland fans will be able to enjoy his nifty 2-yard passes.

    Let’s do an update for Terrelle Pryor, who, according to Charles Woodson, will accumulate 1,800 receiving yards this year:

    Terrelle Pryor’s Race for 1,800:

    Current Receiving Yards: 100
    Currently on Pace for: 800
    Yards Per Game Needed for 1,800: 121.4

  2. Buffalo Bills (0-2) – Previously: 27.
    The Bills are a mess, and thanks to their injuries and dysfunction, they appear to be one of the worst teams in the NFL.

    Speaking of dysfunction, I think you know what it’s time for…

    The Adventures of Derek Anderson’s Magic Flask!

    Derek Anderson: Heyeyy oodlldd dudududee canana yoyouuu bubyyy memee allcocochiloll I forogott myy ID attt hooemme hic!

    Terry Pegula: That is illegal, sonny boy. But you look older than 21, anyway. Why do you need me to buy you alcohol?

    Derek Anderson: Ooopspsps I foororogott I alslsoso oforogoottt I haavvev thisiss mmagigigicc flflasskk hic! Wannana takakeke a siippp wiitthth memmee???

    Terry Pegula: I am a smart businessman who has achieved success by not making foolish decisions, but your offer seems completely legitimate, so I will trust you for no reason and take a sip from your flask.

    *** Ten minutes later ***

    Terry Pegula: Whhooaoaa I cananan baarrelely seeee ririirghht niooww, loookekk Deerrekk theherre’s aann ooldld dududue heheye dududude willl yoouu buyyy mememe allooccholl I foorgotot mmmyu ID attt hommeme???

    Derek Anderson: Duudude thhaats yotouurr oownwn refflelcctition innn thhee miirirororr.

    Terry Pegula: Oohhh mamaann I’mmm olldld anndnd I gogoottta mamakee sommeme channggesss myyy ofofenneisisvve cooroididnatoor scococoreded onnlly 31 poiinttss agaiinsnt thheh Jeettss soo I’mm goonanan fifiriee hhimmm hahahahaha hhic!

    Derek Anderson: Iisisnn’t Reexx YRYyanan thhehe biiggiier prpoboblelmms??

    Terry Pegula: I dudnnnn carreee Greeegg Rooommamann ppisisissss mmeme ofofff bebeccauuse hiisis nnaammem iisis Roommaan whhooo doeoes he thtinknk he ssiiisss, Juullusus Ceewaasserrr!??? Hic!

    Finally, a logical explanation for Buffalo firing Greg Roman.

  3. San Francisco 49ers (1-1) – Previously: 32.
    Some delusional 49er fans believe that their team has a good chance to not finish with the worst record in the NFL. I know this because I received complaints about putting San Francisco atop my 2017 NFL Mock Draft. The 49ers are horrible, and it’s a shame that some of their fans don’t recognize this because they’re in for a rude awakening the rest of the year. They’re just… awful.

    The 49ers especially won’t have a chance to win any games with kickoffs like this:

    A kickoff of minus-999 yards? How the hell does that happen? I’ve seen a punt of minus-15 yards when our high school punter popped the ball straight up into the air and the strong wind blew it backward (sad times), but minus-999 yards is just insane. That’s almost 10 entire football fields!

  4. Chicago Bears (0-2) – Previously: 19.
    I liked the Bears a bit heading into this season, and I even named them an underrated team last week. Unfortunately, they’ve sustained far too many injuries to be competitive, including Jay Cutler’s hand issue that had him throwing ducks into the dirt in the second half against the Eagles. Cutler didn’t seem the same without Adam Gase anyway, so it’s time to start over. Chicago fans can check out our 2017 NFL Draft Quarterback Prospect Rankings to see whom their team will draft this upcoming April.

  5. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) – Previously: 21.
    It was nice to see Blake Bortles be Blake Bortles again, doing nothing early and then posting solid stats in garbage time. It’s comforting to know that a team with a swimming pool in its stadium won’t be competing for a playoff spot. Not that I’m dissing the pool – as I’ve said before, it’s one of my life-long goals to take a swim in it! I’m aware I’ll probably catch five diseases in the process, but it might be worth it.

    By the way, how much less-impressive does Jacksonville’s Week 1 showing look after seeing the Packers struggle in Minnesota? It just goes to show that you can’t believe nearly everything you see in Week 1.

  6. Indianapolis Colts (0-2) – Previously: 25.

    Sorry, I’m still pissed about that Broncos’ fumble return for a touchdown that prevented the Colts from covering. Ugh. All the Broncos needed to do was fall on it, and it was over! IT WAS OVERRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

    The Colts really suck, by the way. They can’t block, and their defense made Trevor Siemian look like the second coming of Jake Plummer. Sorry, that was the most middling Denver quarterback I could come up with.

  7. New Orleans Saints (0-2) – Previously: 26.
    The Saints are 0-2, but they could easily be 2-0; they lost because of a bulls*** pass interference against the Raiders, and they nearly took down the Giants this past Sunday. Then again, the Giants made a ton of mistakes and probably should have prevailed by at least a couple of touchdowns, so I don’t know if my first sentence has any relevance. All I know is that this hate mailer I’ll feature on my NFL Picks page this week looks like a complete fool after bashing me for trashing the Saints’ offensive line. New Orleans failed to block for Drew Brees at New York.

  8. Atlanta Falcons (1-1) – Previously: 29.
    Did the Falcons finally solve their red-zone issues, or were they just battling one of the worst defenses in the NFL? My money is on the latter. Atlanta helped save its season by winning in Oakland, but in doing so, it ruined the value we were getting with them this upcoming Monday night, as the Falcons were +4 on the advanced line and +3 now. This has upset me so greatly that I had trouble sleeping last night.

  9. Los Angeles Rams (1-1) – Previously: 30.
    I love Week 1 overreactions. Rams +6 felt like free money, though I’m disappointed in myself for not making that a five-unit pick, settling for just four units. Oh well. Still wouldn’t have reversed that stupid play at the end of the Broncos-Colts game though, ugh.

    It feels like nice to have football in Los Angeles again… or, at least it did, before ESPN began gushing about it in typical ESPN fashion. During the week, I heard Trey Wingo yell, “LET’S LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF FOOTBALL IN L.A.!!!” Why do I get the feeling that ESPN cares more about football in L.A. than the actual people in L.A.? Sure, they had a big crowd, but once the fake people in that city decide that the Rams are old hat, the stadium will be empty again.

    It was a big event, though. Said Shelley Smith before kickoff: “This is a big day for football in L.A. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are playing before the game.”

    See, this is what I hate. What do the Red Hot Chili Peppers have to do with football? This pretty much seals the fact that the Rams will have one of the worst homefield advantages in the NFL in a few years. People there actually care about the Red Hot Chili Peppers rather than actual football, which is not a good sign. I bet that more than half the people in that stadium couldn’t even name five players on the Rams. They were just there because it was an event.

  10. Washington Redskins (0-2) – Previously: 18.

    That’s what I wrote last week. This week?


    Washington’s defensive coordinator is brain-dead. The offense, meanwhile, features a quarterback under fire. The skeleton with hair on NBC’s pre-game show mentioned that the players were already pining for Colt McCoy, criticizing Kirk Cousins behind his back. This could be another made-up story – who in their right mind wants McCoy to be the quarterback? – but if it’s true, the players should reconsider, given that Cousins has a new catch phrase that will spark the team:

  11. Dallas Cowboys (1-1) – Previously: 24.
    The question is already being asked: Do the Cowboys stick with Dak Prescott once Tony Romo is ready to play? As long as the Cowboys have a winning record, and Prescott is playing well, I believe he’ll remain the quarterback. If Dallas is .500 or worse, Romo will start… unless he keeps performing anti-American antics like this:

    Hey, he’s just trying to start a dialogue, lay off him!

  12. Miami Dolphins (0-2) – Previously: 20.
    Someone brought up a good point to me: Perhaps the Dolphins struggled so much in the first half because they had just been on the West Coast and had to play in an East Coast road game during a 1 p.m. start. Like many West Coast teams playing early East Coast games, the Dolphins were half-asleep until the second half. That makes sense to me, but it still doesn’t explain why Ndamukong Suh and company couldn’t stop a fourth-quarter rushing attack by LeGarrette Blount, running behind three rookie interior linemen. Absolutely pathetic!

    By the way, is anyone on the planet surprised by Arian Foster’s injury? If one person is, he probably wakes up every morning exclaiming, “Holy s***, the sun just rose in the East wowowowowowoww!!!”

  13. Tennessee Titans (1-1) – Previously: 22.
    Got a great text from Matvei during the middle of the Detroit-Tennessee game:

    “The Titans can’t run block, can’t pass protect, can’t get to the quarterback, has the worst coach in the league, and relies entirely on holds and hands to the face to stop the pass. Other than that, smooth sailing.”

    I watched he entire Titans-Lions game, and I still have no idea how Tennessee won.

  14. San Diego Chargers (1-1) – Previously: 28.
    I’ll admit that I was dumb for ranking the Chargers 28th last week. I always say that I love betting against Week 1 overreactions, but I overreacted myself. Derp dee doo!

    Unfortunately for the Chargers, they lost yet another offensive weapon in Danny Woodhead. The good news, however, is that they have the Colts, Saints and Raiders coming up, so a 4-1 start isn’t completely out of the question.

  15. Baltimore Ravens (2-0) – Previously: 15.
    The Ravens might be the most underwhelming 2-0 team of all time. They barely beat the woeful Bills in Week 1 – they don’t even cover if Buffalo doesn’t whiff on a field goal – and then they trailed 20-2 at Cleveland before Josh McCown got hurt. That said, Baltimore could be undervalued if Elvis Dumervil returns soon, as Dumervil will provide a much-needed boost for that defense.

  16. Oakland Raiders (1-1) – Previously: 13.
    I can’t believe how bad Oakland’s defense is. Khalil Mack can’t rush the passer anymore, the linebacking corps stinks, and the secondary is even worse. Mark Davis might as well light $40 million on fire because that sum of money he paid for Sean Smith has been a complete waste thus far. Then again, I’m sure Davis would use some of that $40 million on his Captain Kangaroo haircuts, so I’m not sure he’d be content to torch $40 million just like that.

  17. Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) – Previously: 23.
    The Eagles looked impressive at Chicago, and I have full analysis here on my NFL Game Recaps page.

  18. New York Jets (1-1) – Previously: 17.
    The Jets had a nice victory at Buffalo, but it doesn’t matter. Once again, according to Trent Dilfer, the Jets’ Week 1 contest against the Bengals was a must-win. They apparently had to win, and they didn’t, so they’re done. Even if they rip off nine straight victories and improve to 10-1, their season is still over because they lost that must-win. Hey, you can’t argue with Dilfer’s logic.

  19. New York Giants (2-0) – Previously: 16.
    Overrated Team: All I heard on TV after Week 1 was how the Giants were overwhelming favorites to win the NFC East. Why is that? Because they beat the Cowboys and their rookie backfield and skeleton-crew front seven? Dallas dropped so many passes in the sunlight during the opener, and it could have won the game. New York’s offensive line is still a mess. It gave Eli Manning plenty of protection against Dallas, but all of the Cowboys’ top pass-rushers weren’t available because of drug suspensions. This past week, the Giants had issues putting away the Saints, who couldn’t block at all for Drew Brees. They made numerous mistakes – the same type of blunders they were guilty of under Tom Coughlin. They’re 2-0, but could easily be 0-2 right now.

  20. Detroit Lions (1-1) – Previously: 14.
    Underrated NFL Team: Since Jim Bob Cooter has taken over as the offensive coordinator, the Lions are 7-3 straight up and against the spread (would be 8-2 if Aaron Rodgers didn’t hit that Hail Mary). They lost to the Titans in Week 2, but they were the better team for all four quarters. They held the lead throughout – they were up 12 heading into the fourth quarter – and had numerous touchdowns wiped out by penalties. They also didn’t have DeAndre Levy, Ziggy Ansah and Ameer Abdullah on the field (the latter two lost during that particular contest), so they’ll be better once they return to action. Detroit is a solid team, as Matthew Stafford appears to be playing at the top of his game right now.

  21. Seattle Seahawks (1-1) – Previously: 12.
    Overrated NFL Team: More people are realizing this now, but the Seahawks have some major offensive line issues. In fact, they might just possess the worst blocking unit in the league. This is a major problem, and it’s something barely anyone is talking about. They were double-digit favorites against the Dolphins, for crying out loud. How can a team that can’t block whatsoever be favored by 10 over any competent opponent? Now, Russell Wilson is banged up and no longer has his mobility. This was apparent in the loss to the Rams, a team that was blown out, 28-0, at San Francisco! The defense will still put the Seahawks in position to win some games, but they’re going to struggle.

  22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) – Previously: 8.
    Underrated NFL Team: The Buccaneers were just blown out, but that won’t change my opinion that they happened to be underrated. The score was 40-7, but there’s definitely not a difference of 33 points between the two teams. Jameis Winston played horribly, but the Buccaneers moved the ball well on numerous drives before he self-destructed. I think the game would be a lot different if they played again. Anyway, I gushed about the Buccaneers prior to Week 1, citing that they had outgained 13 of their 16 opponents last year in terms of yards per play. I was confident they’d win in Atlanta, but I did not expect them to lead 31-13 prior to garbage time. With Winston now having experience, and Mike Evans being more focused, the sky is the limit for the Buccaneers, whom I will actually project to possibly win the NFC South.

  23. Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) – Previously: 10.
    I’ve gotten a lot of flak from Chiefs fans over the years who claim that I hate their team. I don’t understand why I would, given that I live outside of Philly and have no affiliation with any team in the AFC West. Facebook friend Luke T. cited that I’ve now gone against Kansas City in nine straight games, dating back to last year. However, I’m 6-3 ATS in those contests, so I feel as though I’ve read them pretty well.

    I don’t hate the Chiefs at all. In fact, I admire that organization and fan base (save for the hate-mailers). I just don’t think they’re that good. Alex Smith is overrated, the offensive line is shaky, and the defense isn’t the same without Justin Houston.

  24. Denver Broncos (2-0) – Previously: 11.
    Hey, Shane Ray, if the opposition has no timeouts, and there’s less than two minutes left in regulation, all you have to do is fall on the ball! Ugh. It’s going to take me a while to get over this. And yeah, this is the real reason I couldn’t sleep last night. WRGOIWRGIWJRW EW NRPG RPIEGNERPG RPG -ERIJGPIERGPI ERBIETPB ERB R3G PIRENORE OIERN

  25. Houston Texans (2-0) – Previously: 9.
    Nice job by the Texans to avenge their playoff loss, especially after how the Chiefs absolutely trashed them in two meetings last year.

    By the way, I love how they kept bringing up that Will Fuller became the first rookie to have back-to-back 100-yard receiving games in Texans history. The Texans haven’t even been around for 15 years!

    Fuller is good, but he looks oddly familiar. Then, it hit me…

  26. Arizona Cardinals (1-1) – Previously: 7.
    Overrated NFL Team: I was down on the Cardinals entering the season, so this is not an overreaction to their Week 1 loss to the Patriots. They crushed Tampa, but that score was misleading, thanks to Jameis Winston’s shockingly sloppy play. Something wasn’t quite right about Carson Palmer in the preseason, and so I wasn’t surprised that he struggled at times Sunday night. Palmer’s stat line wasn’t bad, but he could’ve easily thrown four interceptions; three were dropped, while another was just barely out of bounds. Against the Buccaneers, a big chunk of Palmer’s yardage came on a short toss to David Johnson, and he was lucky not to throw an interception in the end zone. That said, Arizona’s defense looked better with Marcus Cooper replacing the incompetent Brandon Williams.

  27. Carolina Panthers (1-1) – Previously: 5.
    Overrated NFL Team: So, the Panthers demolished the 49ers, and everything is OK now? That’s what the public is saying, as Carolina is favored by more than a touchdown over the Vikings. The Panthers still have some problems, as their tackles aren’t very good and will continue to struggle against teams with strong edge rushers. Their secondary, which wasn’t tested at all versus San Francisco, isn’t nearly as good as it was last year. I also didn’t appreciate how Carolina struggled in the early going versus the 49ers. The Panthers are still a top-10 team, but they’re no longer the squad that went 15-1 last year.

  28. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) – Previously: 3.
    The Bengals had a legitimate chance to cover at Pittsburgh, but some red-zone screw-ups and a bogus Tyler Boyd fumble ruined that. Still, the fact remains that the Bengals will be much stronger once Vontaze Burfict returns in two weeks. They’ll finish the year with a great record, and then they’ll once again be able to break their fans’ hearts as Andy Dalton struggles in poor-weather conditions.

  29. Green Bay Packers (1-1) – Previously: 1.
    The Packers looked like last year’s version at Minnesota. That’s not good. Jordy Nelson is back, Aaron Rodgers is healthy, Randall Cobb is fine, and the offensive line, save for Josh Sitton, is intact. And yet, Green Bay couldn’t sustain consistent drives. I realize the Vikings arguably have the best defense in the NFL, but it was still a discouraging result, nonetheless.

  30. Minnesota Vikings (2-0) – Previously: 6.
    Underrated NFL Team: Can you have an underrated, undefeated NFL team? Apparently, as the Vikings opened as 7.5-point underdogs at Carolina this week. What is it going to take for the public to respect Minnesota? The Vikings arguably have the best defense in the league, while Stefon Diggs is blossoming into becoming one of the top receivers in the NFL. Sam Bradford has proven to be competent, so if he stays healthy – a big if, obviously – the Vikings will continue to be ranked among the best teams in the NFL, regardless of whether Adrian Peterson plays or not.

  31. New England Patriots (2-0) – Previously: 4.
    I find it funny that the Patriots are 2.5-point home underdogs against the Texans. Doesn’t the public realize that Bill Belichick could win with an 85-year-old grandma playing quarterback? Jacoby Brissett will be fine. I actually graded Brissett favorably in my NFL Rookie Quarterback Grades page from the preseason.

    Besides, it’s not a given that Brissett will even play. The Patriots have another option (thanks, David W.):

  32. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) – Previously: 2.
    The Steelers did not play their best game versus the Bengals, yet they still won and covered against one of the best teams in the NFL. They deserve to be No. 1 this week.

    By the way, was anyone else hungry for a slab of meat when Xavier Grimble scored a touchdown? GRIMBLE, GRIMBLE…

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