Two weeks of NFL action are officially in the book, which means NFL Power Rankings are all over the internet. While just about every major outlet publishes rankings of their own, Vegas is the only one that puts their money where their mouth is. While they never officially release a ranked list of top teams, we are able to infer who they believe to be the best of the best based on released betting odds. Data analyst and former Athletic writer Ben Baldwin has crunched those numbers and come up with the following Vegas-based team rankings.
The Most Objective NFL Power Rankings Around:
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— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) September 20, 2023
NFL Week 3 Power Rankings, According to Vegas
The Obvious Choices
While you can criticize the order, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t believe the top-five teams in the NFL are the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers, and Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys and 49ers have steamrolled their relatively weak competition thus far and should remain Super Bowl contenders throughout the season.
The Kansas City Chiefs don’t look like themselves, as the offense has faltered through the first two weeks. However, Vegas believes that this team will figure it out, and it’s hard to question that line of thinking. Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are the two best in the league at what they do, so it’s far too early to panic about their relatively slow start. The same logic applies to the Eagles, although Jalen Hurts doesn’t have the same track record as Mahomes.
Josh Allen is arguably the best quarterback in the league when he’s not playing the New York Jets, and while the rest of the roster is aging, it’s clear this team still has one more run in its tank. Sticking in the AFC East, the Miami Dolphins deserve their spot on the doorstep of the top five. Tua Tagovailoa is playing in the perfect environment for his skills and is once again leading the NFL in yards per pass attempt. Even with a defense that isn’t playing up to its ability, Miami remains a great team.
The Baltimore Ravens will always have something of a question mark surrounding them thanks to Lamar Jackson’s consecutive streak of season-ending injuries. However, as long as he’s on the field, the Ravens will remain a top-10 team in the NFL Power Rankings. Jackson is flourishing in Todd Monken’s offense, the defense is as reliable as ever, and rookie Zay Flowers has hit the ground running. With Cincinnati off to a slow start, the Ravens are now the favorites to win the division.
You never expect to see two 0-2 teams in the top 10 of the NFL Power Rankings, but that’s what we have here. The Los Angeles Chargers have a fantastic quarterback in Justin Herbert and a strong supporting cast, but they also have Brandon Staley and one of the worst defenses in football. Staley is on the hot seat, but as long as he’s the Chargers coach, it’s hard to justify this ranking.
Similarly, the Mac Jones-led New England Patriots check in at 10 on the NFL Power Rankings. The Patriots have one of the best defenses in football and Jones looks better than he did in 2022, but he’s not good enough to compensate for an atrocious offensive line and unremarkable playmakers. Vegas appears to be giving the Patriots credit for near-comebacks against strong teams, but there is a reason the team was down multiple scores in the first place. They’re better than their 0-2 record, but they’re not a top-10 team.
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