NFL Power Rankings: Nos. 32-26
L, 31-6 @ Cowboys
Josh Rosen got the start at quarterback for the Dolphins, and he wasn’t terrible, throwing for 200 yards. But Miami can’t score points, and its defense can’t stop anyone.
At this point, it might be wise for the Dolphins to start perusing other teams’ practice squads to see if it can find some long-term, developmental cogs for the rebuild.
L, 30-14 @ Patriots
In fairness, the Jets had zero business beating the Patriots in Foxborough. And quarterback Luke Falk sure didn’t look like someone fans would line up to see on Sundays, either, tossing for less than 100 yards. Running back Le’Veon Bell is trying, but other teams know that, too.
Let’s just say his addition, and that of head coach Adam Gase, haven’t been impressive at all.
L, 21-17 @ Bills
Perhaps the Bengals’ opening-day near-win over the Seahawks was just an anomaly, as Cincinnati has looked terrible the past two weeks. The Bengals keep turning the ball over, and what was supposed to be something of an explosive offense hasn’t shown up yet. Netting just over 300 yards, even if on the road, is an indictment against quarterback Andy Dalton and Co.
L, 27-16 @ Packers
The Broncos started off the year in the middle of the pack in our NFL power rankings. Now, they’re looking to be one of the more boring teams to watch this season.
Like the Jets, Denver had no business going on the road and beating the Packers. And while the Broncos defense did a good job to limit quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Co., head coach Vic Fangio’s offense continues to unimpress and turn the ball over.
L, 38-20 vs. Panthers
Yes, the Cardinals climb our NFL power rankings a bit. But that’s mostly because they’re at least somewhat fun to watch.
Especially rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, when he’s asked to rush a bunch and throw the ball well over 40 times.
The results weren’t exactly great, and Arizona’s defense looked paltry against a backup Carolina quarterback. But you’d rather watch a Cardinals game instead of, let’s say, the Jets or Dolphins right now, too.
L, 31-15 vs. Bears
Let’s face it, the Redskins are an absolute trainwreck right now. As much as they’ve dealt with setbacks and injuries, head coach Jay Gruden’s job is in total danger.
Gruden’s offense was completely outmatched by Chicago’s defense, and the Washington running game is still seeking answers in the wake of running back Derrius Guice’s meniscus injury. Veteran running back Adrian Peterson’s days look to be coming to a close, too.
And if you’re asking quarterback Case Keenum to shoulder the load, well…
L, 24-20 @ 49ers
Quarterback Mason Rudolph got his first NFL-level start in the wake of Ben Roethlisberger’s season-ending injury, and it went about as well as one might expect from a second-year player who never started before.
Rudolph was cool when he had time, but the 49ers pressured him a lot and forced some errant throws. One of those, intercepted by Niners cornerback K’Waun Williams, set up San Francisco’s game-winning touchdown.
The Steelers did force five 49ers takeaways, which is a positive. But when you still lose despite taking the ball away so many times, it’s only natural to fall heavily in NFL power rankings.
Being 0-3 doesn’t help matters, either.