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NFL power rankings: Chargers and Bengals lead Fancy Stats rankings after Week 3

(AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Each week, Neil Greenberg will give his NFL Power Rankings based on myriad metrics, including traditional stats that reflect recent performance such as margin of victory and strength of schedule to more advanced metrics you would find at Football Outsiders, Pro Football Focus and Advanced NFL Analytics.

Things are starting to settle in. We have just three undefeated teams, with varying degrees of strength, and the future is now in Minnesota and Jacksonville. Rookie quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater (Vikings) and Blake Bortles (Jaguars) are set to guide their respective offenses to NFL adequacy. Over in Miami, meanwhile, the future is still up in the air.

Here are this weeks power ratings. Agree or disagree with the rankings? Let him know on twitter @ngreenberg.

1. San Diego Chargers (2-1), Last week’s ranking: 16

A close loss to Arizona (3-0) and a big win over Seattle (2-1) have the Chargers on top, but they will need to get more from their running game — which is averaging just 2.4 yards per attempt on the ground — to stay there.

2. Cincinnati Bengals (3-0), Last week’s ranking: 2

The Bengals are the strongest of the three undefeated teams and have outscored their opponents 80-33, giving them the highest point differential in the league.

3. Seattle Seahawks (2-1), Last week’s ranking: 17

Seattle’s victory over Denver helped it keep pace with Arizona in the NFC West. The Seahawks’ running game has been strong, posting the second highest success rate on running plays (57.0 percent).

4. Chicago Bears (2-1), Last week’s ranking: 5

Kyle Fuller has been a beast on defense. The rookie cornerback from Virginia Tech has three interceptions, three run stops and has held opposing quarterbacks to a 43.6 passer rating when the target him in coverage.

5. Arizona Cardinals (3-0), Last week’s ranking: 7

Drew Stanton had a passer rating of 66.3 in Week 2 (his first start this season) and 98.5 in Week 3 against the 49ers.

6. Atlanta Falcons (2-1), Last week’s ranking: 21

The Falcons were up 35-0 on the Bucs at the half, and by the end of the third quarter enjoyed a 56-0 lead. Matt Ryan has 35.3 expected points added, which estimates the net point advantage an offense can expect for any football situation – second best among quarterbacks (Andrew Luck 36.3).

7. Denver Broncos (2-1), Last week’s ranking: 9

Here are Peyton Manning’s passer ratings for the first three weeks of the season, with Week 3 coming against Seattle: 111.9, 143.9, 85.7. Denver is going to have to figure out how to solve the Seahawks’ defense if they want another another championship ring.

8. Baltimore Ravens (2-1), Last week’s ranking: 12

Lorenzo Taliaferro and Justin Forsett combined for 154 rushing yards, which helps keep Baltimore’s rushing attack close to the top 10.

9. San Francisco 49ers (1-2), Last week’s ranking: 8

Part of the problem is defending third downs: only Green bay has allowed opponents to convert at a higher rate.

10. Buffalo Bills (2-1), Last week’s ranking: 3

Sammy Watkins has been solid in his rookie season, but took a slight step back against San Diego’s secondary, catching just two of eight targets for 19 yards.

11. Indianapolis Colts (1-2), Last week’s ranking: 28

Andrew Luck is back, and so is Indianapolis. The Colts quarterback passed for 370 yards and four touchdowns to start the team’s first winning streak of the season.

12. Cleveland Browns (1-2), Last week’s ranking: 19

Quarterback Brian Hoyer is making sure Johnny Manziel stays on the bench. he has a 97.7 passer rating and has completed 66.7 percent of his throws for 308 yards and a touchdown when faced with a blitz this season.

13. New Orleans Saints (1-2), Last week’s ranking: 25

With Mark Ingram out, this is a running back by committee. Khiry Robinson (30 of 72 snaps) and Pierre Thomas (35 of 72 snaps) combined for 99 yards and one rushing touchdown against Minnesota.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (3-0), Last week’s ranking: 10

Philadelphia is 3-0 for the first time since 2004, the last time the Eagles appeared in the Super Bowl.

15. New York Giants (1-2), Last week’s ranking: 31

The offense appears to be clicking: Eli Manning completed 75 percent of his passes, Victor Cruz had 107 receiving yards, and Rashad Jennings ran for 174 yards in a victory over Houston in Week 3.

16. Washington Redskins (1-2), Last week’s ranking: 14

Kirk Cousins is making people doubt Robert Griffin III’s future with the team, but an injury to Deangelo Hall could cloud their future. Hall made three stops against the run (50 plays) while the rest of Washington’s cornerbacks (David Amerson, Bashaud Breeland and E.J. Biggers) have zero over 91 plays.

17. Dallas Cowboys (2-1), Last week’s ranking: 13

The Cowboys defense is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Their passing coverage is ranked 27th by Pro Football Focus but their ability to rush the passer is fourth strongest in the league. They are dead last in terms of stopping the run.

18. Houston Texans (2-1), Last week’s ranking: 4

Oh, hey Ryan Fitzpatrick and your 56.7 passer rating. His performance in Week 3 is closer what to expect going forward: 59 percent completion for 289 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions.

19. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2), Last week’s ranking: 30

As expected, Kniles Davis is fitting in for Jamaal Charles just fine, racking up 132 yards and a touchdown this past Sunday.

20. Tennessee Titans (1-2), Last week’s ranking: 18

The Titans can’t seem to get their offense started, averaging just 1.2 points per offensive drive (tied for third fewest in league).

21. New England Patriots (2-1), Last week’s ranking: 6

It isn’t often you see a 6-foot-2 325-pound defensive lineman make an interception, but welcome to Wilfork Island.

22. Miami Dolphins (1-2), Last week’s ranking: 11

Ryan Tannehill admitted he hadn’t been putting the ball in the right spot, and then finished Week 3 completing just 48.8 percent of his passes for 205 yards plus a touchdown.

You’ve got to do better than that on offense,” Dolphins Coach Joe Philbin said. “You can’t expect to win a lot of games if your longest touchdown drive is 19 yards.”

23. Detroit Lions (2-1), Last week’s ranking: 20

Rookie Nate Freese went 3 for 7 on field goal attempts, including 0 for 4 on kicks longer than 40 yards out, and was cut. Now it is up to ex-Eagles K Alex Henery, who made 1-of-3 attempts during the preseason this year and was released at the end of training camp.

24. Green Bay Packers (1-2), Last week’s ranking: 23

The Packers are now 0-2 on the road thanks to an offense that has averaged 4.45 yards per play and just 27.8 percent of plays resulting in a first down (league average is 29.6 percent).

25. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1), Last week’s ranking: 24

The Steelers defense sprung to life with three sacks and six quarterback hits in Sunday’s victory over Carolina.

26. Minnesota Vikings (1-2), Last week’s ranking: 15

When frustration leads to a “straight Hulk Hogan, 1985-style suplex” of the opposing quarterback, things are headed in the wrong direction.

27. Carolina Panthers (2-1), Last week’s ranking: 1

Cam Newton has a 73.1 passer rating under pressure and still doesn’t seem like he is 100 percent. Maybe it is because tackles Byron Bell and Nate Chandler have allowed three sacks, one hit and 10 hurries so far this season.

28. New York Jets (1-2), Last week’s ranking: 22

The Jets yielded the quickest pick-six in “Monday Night Football” history in a game in which Geno Smith regressed despite throwing for 316 yards and a touchdown.

29. Oakland Raiders (0-3), Last week’s ranking: 29

New England had no answer for Oakland’s pass rush, which registered two sacks for a loss of 13 yards plus another six hits. The Raiders still couldn’t muster enough offense to secure their first win of the season.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3), Last week’s ranking: 32

Blake Bortles is the man under center for the Jaguars, but until they fix that offensive line, they will still struggle to get wins.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3), Last week’s ranking: 27

The Buccaneers have significant injuries on defense — defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, defensive end Adrian Clayborn and cornerback Mike Jenkins — and are missing a key cog on offense in running back Doug Martin.

32. St. Louis Rams (1-1), Last week’s ranking: 26

There is a silver lining: Austin Davis threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns Sunday and leads the league in accuracy on deep throws (targets of 20 yards or more), going 7 for 12 for 219 yards.

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