49ers, Raiders at wrong end of power rankings for local fans

Cameron McKeon, Sports Editor

A big thank you to the Bills for absolutely negating the claims I made about them last week. I suppose they won’t be sitting at the bottom of the rankings all year.

Three weeks into NFL action and who expected the Patriots to be 1-2? The Dolphins to be 3-0? It seems as if the only team that has performed to their expectations are the 0-3 Raiders.

Speaking of Bay Area teams, the 49ers can kiss their season goodbye with Jimmy Garoppolo done for the year (torn ACL). Here are your jumbled up rankings heading into Week 4 tonight.


  1. Arizona Cardinals (-1) Imagine if the Bills, Browns, and Cardinals all won in the same week. Thank goodness the Cardinals lost, or else I’d be convinced I had traveled to some alternate universe. An early lead on the Bears made a win look promising, but the offense completely stalemated in the latter portions of the game, leading to a 16-14 loss.


  1. Oakland Raiders (-2) The resurgence of the Gruden Era in Oakland is off to a very slow start. Yet another painful Raider game to watch as they fell to the Dolphins 28-20. The Raiders have led coming out of half in each of the three games thus far, winning none of them. The lone bright spot was Jordy Nelson’s 6-reception, 173-yard night.


  1. Buffalo Bills (+2) I don’t know how it happened. Nobody really knows how it happened, but the Bills beat the Vikings on the road by a sizeable margin, 27-6. We got to see Josh Allen hurdle a defender, the highlight of his solid day. And now we have to suffer from Bills fans trying to convince the world they’re legit.


  1. New York Jets (-1) A team had to lose to the Browns at some point, and the Jets get the honors. New York seemed destined for their second win with a double-digit lead relatively late. Enter Baker Mayfield. After stifling Tyrod Taylor, the defense looked like a different unit facing Mayfield. Sam Darnold had another rough week with a completion percentage below 50 percent.


  1. San Francisco 49ers (-13) Sorry Niners fans, but it had to be done. Losing a franchise QB like Garoppolo for the whole year completely alters the outlook of the season. Add an injury scare from RB Matt Breida and a 38-27 loss to the Chiefs, and the result is a huge drop in this week’s rankings.


  1. Indianapolis Colts (-4) Indy nearly spoiled Carson Wentz’s return to the Eagles, but couldn’t overcome the champs, faltering 20-16. It was almost sad watching Andrew Luck get sacked in the final minutes of the game, doing his best flailing, baby giraffe impression before slamming the football into the turf in disgust.


  1. Houston Texans (-9) J.J. Watt finally got off the schneid in a big way, wrapping up Eli Manning three times and forcing a fumble. Nevertheless, Houston drops to 0-3 after a 27-22 loss to the Giants. This week’s game at Indy is a must-win for this Texans squad.


  1. New York Giants (-1) A promising offensive performance Sunday in Houston puts the Eli Manning questions on hold for the moment. The offensive line for New York didn’t really improve, an area that will need to be addressed heading into a matchup against the Saints and beyond.


  1. Detroit Lions (+6) A huge win against the Patriots temporarily takes Detroit out of the bottom of the NFL. Just last week I pointed out that the Lions hadn’t had a 100-yard rusher since Reggie Bush in 2013. I suppose RB Kerryon Johnson took exception to this, surpassing the mark on his way to a 101-yard performance on the ground.


  1. Seattle Seahawks (+3) Seattle put the Cowboys away early in their 24-13 win on Sunday. Chris Carson has emerged as the feature back in this offense as opposed to rookie Rashaad Penny, racking up 102 yards on 32 carries. The heavy workload indicates a ground-relying offense as Doug Baldwin sits injured on the sideline.


  1. Cleveland Browns (+5) Somebody unfamiliar to the sport might guess that the Browns have just won the Super Bowl, but no, it’s just their first win in ages. You hate to see a player go down to injury, but in this case, Tyrod Taylor’s injury paved the way for Mayfield to be the hero in his first appearance. He didn’t throw any touchdowns, but he led a much more productive offense and guided Cleveland to a W. It feels weird to say that.


  1. Dallas Cowboys (-5) Ezekiel Elliot is in mid-season form, but apparently the rest of the team is not. Eliot had 127 yards on 16 rushes, but that was the only bright spot in a dire performance from Dallas. Dak Prescott only managed 168 yards and threw a couple picks against a mediocre Seattle defense.


  1. Denver Broncos (-8) Case Keenum leads the league in interceptions (5) and the Broncos were handed their first loss of the season. Rookie standout RB Philip Lindsay was ejected midway through the game. We’ll see if Denver can slow down the Chiefs under the Monday Night spotlight this week.


  1. Cincinnati Bengals (+2) Despite a ten point loss to the Panthers, the Bengals move up a couple spots. They allowed Christian McCaffrey to rush for an absurd 184 yards, while holding Newton to 150 pass yards. Andy Dalton threw 4 picks, and the injury of Joe Mixon factored into the loss as well.


  1. Washington Redskins (+7) The ‘Skins pulled off an unexpected 31-17 win over the Packers, and Adrian Peterson has crept into the top five in rushing yards. Washington is impossible to get a read on, with two impressive wins but a loss to the subpar Colts.  


  1. Tennessee Titans (+1) A banged-up Marcus Mariota returned during the Titans-Jaguars game and somehow led Tennessee to the 9-6 upset. The Titans’ defense gave up just 155 yards in the air. Kicker Ryan Succop was the most productive offense player, supplying all of the offense for the Titans.


  1. Los Angeles Chargers (-7) The Chargers were forced to play possibly the two best teams in the NFL in the first three weeks. Their 1-2 record isn’t indicative of their skill, and a week 4 matchup against the ‘Niners should showcase the Chargers talent.


  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1) The legend of Ryan Fitzpatrick looked as if it was nearing its inevitable end after a half where he tossed three picks. The second half of the game reminded us that he isn’t going anywhere, evening out his 3 INTs with a trio of TDs in the 30-27 loss to the Steelers.


  1. Miami Dolphins (+8) With the easiest path to a 3-0 record, the Dolphins accomplished the feat with a 28-20 win over the Raiders. As surprising it may be to see a 3-0 team this low on the list, they most likely are not a top-15 squad. The weak schedule and clutch special teams play has carried Miami to the impressive record.


  1. Atlanta Falcons (-5) The Falcons came out on the wrong end of a 43-37 shootout against the division rival Saints. Matt Ryan tossed 5 TDs in the losing effort in a passing dominated game. Calvin Ridley had a breakout game, catching 7 passes fo 146 yards and 3 TDs. The depleted defense played as expected with all the injuries.


  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (+8) Pittsburgh absolutely needed a win on Monday Night and got it, but not without a struggle. Off-the-field news seems to be the storyline for the Steelers every week, and it is once again with Pittsburgh announcing they’re hearing offers for RB Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers offense took the conservative route after heading into half with a 30-10 lead, and managed to just hold off “Fitz-Magic” for the 30-27 win.


  1. Green Bay Packers (-4) It was a rough week for NFC North powerhouses. Green Bay’s defense gave us memorable glimpses of their 2017 unit, allowing an aged Peterson to consistently pick up chunks of yardage. The Packers lack a viable running game, so we’ll see if that affects them in the long run.


  1. Chicago Bears (+3) Another game won by the defense for the Bears. I’d be curious to see how the Bears would have fared without Khalil Mack to this point. The rest of the defense does deserve a ton of credit though, especially DB Sherrick McManis, who had a career game. The offense is a whole other story.


  1. Baltimore Ravens (+10) A game in which they thoroughly outplayed the Broncos, the Ravens improve to 2-1 and sit atop the AFC North with the Bengals. Joe Flacco torched the Broncos defense, and Baltimore was able to cruise to a win. They have a vital game in Pittsburgh this week.


  1. Minnesota Vikings (-2) The Vikings really don’t deserve to be this high, but the poor performance of other highly ranked teams helped them out. Kirk Cousins had a ton of trouble handling the ball in the embarrassing loss to the Bills. It seemed like Minnesota checked out once they got down and it’s going to take a big turnaround to defeat the Rams in tonight’s game.


  1. New England Patriots (-3) The Patriots are notorious for their slow starts, but the Sunday Night loss to the Lions was a bad one. Similar to other teams that weren’t expected to lose, there didn’t seem to be much resilience in the team once falling behind. Josh Gordon will most likely make his debut this week against the Dolphins.


  1. Carolina Panthers (+5) McCaffrey ran for 184 yards in what was a huge day for both the second year RB and the Panthers line. Cam Newton had 4 totals TDs on the day. With such a dynamic offense, Carolina is one of the most fun teams to watch this year.


  1. New Orleans Saints (+5) Drew Brees became the all-time NFL completion leader during the game in Atlanta last week. The OT win gave New Orleans a 2-1 record in an eventful start to the season. We expected the Saints to have a top-10 defense, but have discovered it really belongs at the bottom.


  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (-4) Just a week after a surprisingly dominant showing, the Jags offense decided to sit this one out against the Titans. Defense was impressive yet again for Jacksonville and when you give up just 9 points, you should expect to win. Dez Bryant remains unsigned and with the AFC rival Patriots acquiring Josh Gordon, the Jags need to counter with a move themselves.  


  1. Philadelphia Eagles (-) Wentz had a successful return to the gridiron, completing 25-of-37 passes for 255 yards. Coach Doug Pederson eased him in perfectly and they came out with a 20-16 win against the Colts. The Eagles head into Tennessee to play Mariota and the Titans this week.


  1. Kansas City Chiefs (+3) The Chiefs have decided to solve their defensive issues by promptly scoring 35+ points in every game. Remember when Chiefs’ WRs went 659 days without a TD catch between 2013 and 2015? Well, we’re three weeks into the season, and five different wideouts have managed at least one TD. Patrick Mahomes is continuing his insane campaign, setting records left and right.

1. Los Angeles Rams (+1) The Rams kept rolling with a 35-23 win over the Chargers. Jared Goff continues to get better year after year, inching closer to elite status at the QB position. The Rams have three No. 1 receivers, Todd Gurley is in his prime, and the defense is premiere. Los Angeles looks to remain undefeated in Thursday Night Football tonight at home against the Vikings.