Every week during the NFL season, Colin puts out his Herd Hierarchy NFL power rankings, and he’s made some adjustments to his Top 10 after Week 3.
Dallas climbs back up the rankings after responding to their Week 2 bomb in Denver; Pittsburgh is hanging on for dear life, and the Ravens and Raiders drop out.
Here are his Top 10 teams after Week 3:
10. Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers lost on the road to the lowly Bears, and continue to struggle away from Heinz Field, but Colin still thinks they’re good enough to sneak into the Top 10.
Offensively, Antonio Brown leads NFL in receptions (26) and receiving yards (354), and on defense, they’re allowing the 2nd fewest yards per play (4.23), tied for 2nd in sacks (11), and 2nd in pass defense (136.7 net ypg).
9. L.A. Rams – No NFL team looks more improved than the Rams under rookie head coach Sean McVay. And no individual player has more drastically changed their perception than second year quarterback Jared Goff, who is 3rd in passer rating (118.2), 3rd in comp percentage (70.4%), 1st in pass yards per attempt (10.1) and 8th in passing yards per game (272.3). Todd Gurley has been a beast, and is tied for 1st in touchdowns (6), and 2nd in the league in yards from scrimmage (381).
L.A. has also been strong on defense. Their 10 sacks is 2nd in the NFC, and 20 tackles for loss is 3rd in the NFL. Colin predicted the Rams would be one of the most improved teams in the league before the season, and so far, he’s right.
8. Green Bay Packers – The Packers beat the Bengals, but they lack offensive balance, don’t have a running back, and don’t match up with the best teams in the league defensively. That being said,, Aaron Rodgers is going to carry them to a lot of wins like he did last week.
He’s thrown for 300+ yards in a career-best 5 straight games, is the only QB in the NFL this season with three 300-yd passing games on the season, and Green Bay’s 6 receivers with over 100 yards is the best in the NFL. The bad news is that Rodgers has been sacked a league high 13 times and has been hit 23 times (3rd most in the NFL). They’ll need Rodgers upright if they plan on making a playoff run.
7. Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons are one of two undefeated teams left (Chiefs), and are the first team since the 2006 Seahawks to start 3-0 after a Super Bowl loss. They’ve been dominant offensively, ranking 2nd in yards per play (6.5), 4th in total offense (388.0 ypg), and 5th in scoring (29.0 ppg). Defensively, their tied for 3rd in the NFC with 9 sacks. Colin likes the Falcons, he just doesn’t love them as much as some.
6. Philadelphia Eagles – Philly leads the NFL in time of possession (34:12), and is tied for 3rd in the league in 3rd-down conversion percentage (48.8%), both stats that Colin heavily values. They also lead the league with 53 plays of 10+ yards. Colin thinks they have one of the best offensive/defensive line combos in the NFL, and likes what he sees in Carson Wentz, so they come in at 6.
5. Tennessee Titans – The Titans just physically manhandled the Seahawks and have looked dominant offensively. They’re 2nd in the NFL in rushing yards per game (156.3 ypg), 5th in total offense (386.7 net ypg), 6th in points per game (28.7) and only have one giveaway on the year.
Marcus Mariota has only been sacked twice on the year behind one of the best o-lines in the NFL, and that’s after facing Seattle’s defense. In a passing league, the Titans are a contrarian power team, and it’s working.
4. Dallas Cowboys – Dallas bounced back from a dud against Denver with a win on the road in Arizona, and Colin loves their offensive balance, but their defense has been unexpectedly great. Their 11 sacks leads NFC, and Demarcus Lawrence leads the NFL with 6.5 sacks.
Dak Prescott hasn’t thrown a pick in 2 of 3 games, and Ezekiel Elliott looks like he’s getting going. The Cowboys are going to be a tough out in the playoffs if their clicking.
3. Denver Broncos – Even though they lost on the road to the Bills, Colin puts Denver at 3 because he believes in their dominant defense. The Broncos rank 1st in the NFL in rush defense (59.7 ypg), 4th in total defense (263.0 ypg), are tied for 3rd in 3rd down defense (28.6% conversion rate), and have allowed just one 5-minute drive all year.
Offensively, quarterback Trevor Siemian has been better than Colin expected, and they lead the NFL in 3rd-down percentage (52.3%), rank 3rd in rush offense (143.0 ypg), and have 8 touchdowns in 12 red zone drives.
2. New England Patriots – The Patriots are firing on all cylinders offensively, and Tom Brady looks better than ever. Brady leads the NFL 1092 pass yards and touchdowns (8). As a team, New England ranks 1st in total offense (440.7 net ypg), 1st in pass offense (340.0 pass ypg), and 2nd in scoring (33.0 ppg).
Their 20 plays of 20+ yards is tied for 1st in the NFL, and they only have one giveaway on the year. Their most glaring weakness is a lack of a pass rush, which was exposed in their Week 1 loss to the Chiefs. But, Belichick and Brady are still Belichick and Brady. Pats at 2.
- Kansas City Chiefs – The 3-0 Chiefs grab the top spot for the second week in a row because they have the best overall roster in the league and do everything well. They rank 1st in rushing offense (162.0 ypg), 1st in yards per play (7.1), 3rd in scoring (31.0 ppg).
Superstar rookie Kareem Hunt leads NFL in rushing (401) and tied for 1st in touchdowns (6), and Alex Smith leads NFL in passer rating (132.7), is tied for 2nd with 7 pass touchdowns, and is completing 77.4% of his passes. And Reid has the Chiefs rolling. They stay on top of the Hierarchy through Week 3.