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Matt Tabeek's Wildly Important NFL Power Rankings: Rams, Chiefs soar while Jags, Falcons tumble


Just when you thought the 2018 NFL season couldn't get any stranger, along comes Week 3. And I'll be the first to admit that I didn't see some of these scores coming.

The Vikings dominated at home by a rookie quarterback and the previously winless Bills? Bill Belichick and the Patriots roll into Motown and lose to a Lions team (and their first-year coach) looking for their first win? And while the Jaguars losing to the Titans didn't really shock me, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers dropping one to the Redskins admittedly did.

Heck, even the Browns won.


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So what does it all mean for this week's Wildly Important NFL Power Rankings? A shakeup, for sure. But keep in mind that we're still just heading into Week 4 and I expect things will continue to remain a little wonky as the contenders separate themselves from the pretenders. Speaking of contenders, the Rams (3-0) and Chiefs (3-0) continue to win — and assume the top spots in this week's rankings. At this point, everything below the fifth spot feels wide open. You can check out the rest of my rankings below:

Table inside Article
1 Rams (3-0) Remember 1999? Those Rams also started 3-0 (and went 13-3). Won the Super Bowl, too. 2
2 Chiefs (3-0) I’m not sure what exactly we’re witnessing here with Patrick Mahomes, but it feels special. 3
3 Eagles (2-1) Carson Wentz is back and the Eagles look different. They look better, too. Watch out. 6
4 Jaguars (2-1) The Jags lost twice to the Titans last season. Didn’t seem to bother them too much in the end, did it? 1
5 Buccaneers (2-1) Too high? They shut the Steelers out in the second half and Fitzpatrick threw for 411. There's some magic left! 8
6 Saints (2-1) Drew Brees is darn near impossible to stop when that offense is clicking. Defense is suspect. 11
7 Vikings (1-1-1) Did the real Vikings show up in Wisconsin? Weird game to lose at home. Could cost them later on. 4
8 Packers (1-1-1) Their defense gave surrendered drives of 74, 75, 79 and 98 yards vs. AP and the Redskins. Ouch. 5
9 Panthers (2-1) Just a scat back? Hardly. Christian McCaffrey ran for almost 200 yards as they knocked off the Bengals. 12
10 Dolphins (3-0) I still can’t believe they’re 3-0. They move up three spots, but I’m still not buying this team. 13
11 Bengals (2-1) They played the Panthers tough without Mixon and then losing Green. Dalton’s 4 INTs hurt ’em. 9
12 Bears (2-1) They fell behind 14-0 and then the defense pitched three shutout quarters. The D will have to carry this team. 15
13 Patriots (1-2) Weird road loss. It happens a lot in the NFL. Something tells me this team will be just fine in the end. 7
14 Ravens (2-1) I keep saying not to sleep on any of the AFC North teams this year. The Ravens will surprise some teams. 19
15 Steelers (1-1-1) They had to win on Monday and got it done. Picking off Fitzpatrick three times was the difference. 18
16 Falcons (1-2) A gutsy performance against their rivals, but a loss in the end. Injuries continue to mount for this team. 10
17 Seahawks (1-2) Did you really think they were going to lose at Century Link Field and fall to 0-3? Uh, no. 17
18 Broncos (2-1) Dropped their first one. Joe Flacco torched their defense and their offense is, well, average. 21
19 Titans (2-1) Wow, back-to-back wins for the Titans – and against the Jags, no less. Nice job by Vrabel so far. 22
20 Chargers (1-2) I thought they’d give the Rams a tougher time. They need to get back on track vs. Jimmy G-less 49ers. 14
21 Cowboys (1-2) The Cowboys failed to pass for 200 yards for the ninth time in the past 11 games. Says it all. 16
22 Browns (1-1-1) Browns win! Browns win! Browns win! The Baker Mayfield era is underway. 25
23 Redskins (2-1) Adrian Peterson still has something left on those tires. Nice win, but I’m still skeptical of this team. 26
24 Jets (1-2) They hung tough with the Browns but stumbled. Still like what I’m seeing from the rookie Sam Darnold. 20
25 Colts (1-2) You can’t expect to win on the road against Philly when Andrew Luck is your leading rusher. 24
26 Giants (1-2) This team desperately needed a win and got one – albeit against a winless Texans team. Still counts. 27
27 Lions (1-2) They got it done at home against the Patriots and Matt Patricia gets win No. 1. Something to build on. 30
28 Bills (1-2) Keep the keys away from Nathan Peterman; this is Josh Allen’s team. And how about that Bills defense? Wow. 32
29 49ers (1-2) They lost Jimmy G for the season and it’s a devastating blow for this team. 23
30 Raiders (0-3) Jon Gruden is still looking for his first win since returning to the sidelines. No gimme this week vs. the Browns, either. 29
31 Texans (0-3) I’m not sure what’s going on in Houston. There’s talent, but it hasn’t come together for them. 28
32 Cardinals (0-3) They hung tough with the Bears but dropped their third straight. Time for the Josh Rosen era to begin? 31

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