Week 3 NFL Power Rankings: The Freefall

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

How do the Panthers stand in this week's power rankings? Let's take a look and find out...

So in this week's installment of Cat Scratch Reader's official Power Rankings, the Panthers take an expected tumble, after last weekend's epic meltdown in Buffalo. Some of you may find my ranking harsh, others apt, but one thing is very clear: we are not very good right now, and losing at least two starters in an already bad secondary does not make anything easier going forward. The Panthers fall 9 spots from 20th to 29th in the league.

The Chiefs and Dolphins were the big risers this week, jumping 8 and 6 spots, respectively, and the Eagles join the Panthers in free-fall mode, dropping 5 spots after their own fourth-quarter heartbreaker in San Diego. Take a look at the full rankings below!

RANK TEAM COMMENT PREV TREND
1 Denver Broncos Peyton and Company have put up ninety points in two weeks. Let that sink in a minute. The loss of Ryan Clady will be tough, but in that division, and with a home tilt against Oakland looming, they get the number 1 spot. 2 UP
2-0
2 Seattle Seahawks After the thorough trouncing the 'Hawks gave the Niners Monday night, two things are clear: "The 12th Man" exists, and the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC appears to run through Seattle. 3 UP
2-0
3 Houston Texans Two weeks, two gritty comebacks. This team is loaded with talent, and looks like they hit the jackpot with DeAndre Hopkins. Add in their "never give up" mentality, and they are going to be tough to beat. 5 UP
2-0
4 New Orleans Saints Yeah, so the win was ugly. That's why they aren't moving. NFC South battles are always tough, no matter how bad the opponent may be. The rain didn't exactly play to this team's strengths either, and a win is a win. 4 SAME
2-0
5 Green Bay Packers Green Bay is a flawed team, but unless Aaron Rodgers goes down, they are always going to be in the hunt. And let's not forget that the cold winds haven't started blowing out of the north yet… 6 UP
1-1
6 San Francisco 49ers I found it really hard to drop the 49ers this low, but man that loss was ugly. Now is when we get to see if Colin Kaepernick is made of brittle iron, or the cold, hard steel of legends that some believe he's destined to be. 1 DOWN
1-1
7 Chicago Bears I HATE PUTTING THE BEARS HERE!!! I HATE IT!!! I really hope Pittburgh rebounds and beats them into the ground this week, so I can drop them into the low teens where they belong. (If you can't tell, I loathe Jay Cutler.) 8 UP
2-0
8 Atlanta Falcons It's hard to justify dropping a team after a win, but the injury to Steven Jackson is big. Jacquizz Rodgers is not a feature back, and this is a team that needs the play action to open that formidable passing attack up. 7 DOWN
1-1
9 New England Patriots They just keep grinding out wins against bad teams, but the easy streak continues this week as they face the Buccaneers in Foxborough. Then Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola should be back. You think Tom Brady's got the week four matchup against Atlanta circled on his calendar? 9 SAME
2-0
10 Cincinnati Bengals Well, I gave them a mulligan and kept them in the top ten. They responded with a not-so-dominant win against the Steelers at home. They should have won, and did. I'm not going to reward them for it. 10 SAME
1-1
11 Miami Dolphins Could the Dolphins be for real? They've won two back-to-back on the road, including a nice showdown in Indianapolis where Tannehil out-slung the Golden Boy, Andrew Luck. That defense is nasty, too. 17 UP
2-0
12 Baltimore Ravens Squeaking out a win against the Browns at home is not going to move you up in my power ranking. Especially if your "elite" quarterback and "superstar" running back can only muster 14 points. 11 DOWN
1-1
13 Kansas City Chiefs Alex Smith is doing what he does best: managing games and being efficient. With the talent around him, it's hard to imagine a big let-down coming. This week will be the litmus test, as Andy Reid walks into Philly for the first time in red and white. 21 UP
2-0
14 Dallas Cowboys That hard-fought win against the Giants doesn't look as impressive in light of the collapse against the Chiefs this weekend. Especially with the G-Men reeling. 13 DOWN
1-1
15 Indianapolis Colts Lose at home to the Dolphins and you're going to drop a few spots. The injury to Dwayne Allen is big, too. We'll see how Luck rebounds this week against what is sure to be a fired-up Harbaugh and the Niners in Candlestick. 12 DOWN
1-1
16 St. Louis Rams It's hard to go into the Superdome and win, and the Rams handles themselves pretty well, considering. Take away two huge plays (the Julio Jones bomb and the Umenyiora pick-six), and this game looks VERY different. 14 DOWN
1-1
17 Tennessee Titans How do you lose and move up two spots? By taking a stacked Texans team to overtime, and being in the center of a power ranking surrounded by teams with razor-thin differences in talent level. It's that simple. 19 UP
1-1
18 Detroit Lions The Lions never fail to disappoint. I said last week I had no idea where to rank them, as they are so unpredictable, and they answered by putting up 49 yards rushing and squandering a fourth quarter lead against the Cardinals in Arizona. 16 DOWN
1-1
19 San Diego Chargers Remember when I said "Never trust Philip Rivers"? This is why. Because as soon as I said it he puts up 419 yards and 3 TDs, leading the Bolts to a last-minute win against the frenetic Eagles. He's the football version of bi-polar syndrome. 24 UP
1-1
20 Philadelphia Eagles This offense is going to put up points, but I am thoroughly convinced Chip Kelly is going to run his players into the ground by week 6. Asking your defense to spend over 40 minutes on the field is just plain sadistic. 15 DOWN
1-1
21 Buffalo Bills The Bills are looking surprisingly poised for a young team under a new coach, but it is hard to reward them too much just yet. Especially considering we gift-wrapped that game for them with some of the worst coaching I have ever seen. 25 UP
1-1
22 New York Giants They're 0-2 and their running game is terrible, but after a tough opening stretch in Dallas and against the ridiculous Broncos, they get a week off as they come to town to face the free-falling Panthers. 18 DOWN
0-2
23 Arizona Cardinals Nice win at home against the Lions. Not too much else to say about them at this point. But it is troubling to see Fitzgerald still not dominating after what was supposed to be just a "down year" in 2012. 27 UP
1-1
24 Minnesota Vikings Hard to drop them too far after a one-point loss to Chicago in Chi-town. Therefore, they get the honor of being the second-best 0-2 team in the league. 23 DOWN
0-2
25 Washington Redskins I mean, they weren't expected to beat the Pack and didn't, but RGIII still doesn't look quite right, and their secondary is a whole new level of bad. 22 DOWN
0-2
26 Pittsburgh Steelers A loss in Pittsburgh to the Titans got them here, but a loss in Cincinatti to the Bengals is just maintaining the status quo. If they lose to Chicago this week, the sky will officially be falling. Anyone else hoping that spoiled fanbase will run Tomlin out of town on a rail and we can steal him away to fill our inevitable coaching vacancy? 26 SAME
0-2
27 New York Jets If there was an award given for team in the most horrifically ugly games in a season, the Jets would be leading the pack. Nothing this team does is pretty. 28 UP
1-1
28 Oakland Raiders Hey, you can't expect to get much love from beating up an epically bad Jaguars team, especially when you can't even break 20 on them. 30 UP
1-1
29 Carolina Panthers Hate me all you want. This is where we belong until we show that we can play 60 minutes of football, and until Ron Rivera is sitting at home eating Cheetos on Sunday afternoons. 20 DOWN
0-2
30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers If things are ugly in Carolina, they've fallen out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down in Tampa. Schiano is running that team into the ground. 29 DOWN
0-2
31 Cleveland Browns Well, at least Chud didn't leave and go set the world on fire in Cleveland. I may be well on my way to an alcohol-induced coma right now if that had happened… 30 DOWN
0-2
32 Jacksonville Jaguars At least we're not the worst cats in the league… yet. 32 SAME
0-2
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