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NFL Power Rankings By Adrian Hasenmayer

Updated: September 29, 2009, 10:43 am ET 73 comments

BIGGEST MOVERS

+9

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Three weeks in is really the first milestone in an NFL season where there is enough film available to finally make more accurate assessments of every team. But, with just three opponents upon which to base results, win-loss records aren't quite the most telling barometer of a team's ability.

Translation: With apologies to Bill Parcells, after Week 3 you are NOT necessarily what your record is. With that in mind, this week's rankings will tell you which teams' W-L marks are completely inflated, underrated or just right.

FOX SPORTS NFL POWER RANKINGS RK Team REC CHG High/Low Comment

1 Giants 3-0-0 - 1/7 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: The most complete team in the league has shown it, winning two tough division games before stifling the Bucs without Kenny Phillips (IR), Justin Tuck and Chris Canty.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: The most complete team in the league has shown it, winning two tough division games before stifling the Bucs without Kenny Phillips (IR), Justin Tuck and Chris Canty. Through three games, the big offseason WR question has been answered by Steve Smith (23 catches, 2nd in NFL) and Mario Manningham (17 catches, T-12th in NFL).

THIS WEEK: at Chiefs (0-3)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

2 Saints 3-0-0 2 2/16 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Make room on the bandwagon, because I'm jumping aboard. Roughing up the Lions in Week 1 was no biggie, but blasting two tough teams on the road like Philly and Buffalo to the tune of 75-29 was impressive.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Make room on the bandwagon, because I'm jumping aboard. Roughing up the Lions in Week 1 was no biggie, but blasting two tough teams on the road like Philly and Buffalo to the tune of 75-29 was impressive. Especially impressive is how they won against the Bills, more with running and defense instead of an aerial assault.

THIS WEEK: vs. Jets (3-0)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

3 Colts 3-0-0 6 3/10 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Watch out for Peyton Manning this season. He only needed 15 minutes with the ball to beat the defending AFC East champion Dolphins in Week 2 before carving up the reigning NFC champion Cardinals in Week 3.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Watch out for Peyton Manning this season. He only needed 15 minutes with the ball to beat the defending AFC East champion Dolphins in Week 2 before carving up the reigning NFC champion Cardinals in Week Granted, he may need to keep firing four TDs each game with Dwight Freeney hurt, but Manning is coming off an MVP season when he carried his team and seems poised to do it again.

THIS WEEK: vs. Seahawks (1-2)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

4 Eagles 2-1-0 3 3/7 BETTER THAN RECORD: The Eagles have a look of a team that could rest up and get healthy during the bye week, then start putting all of their juicy pieces together and reel off a string of wins in a hurry.

BETTER THAN RECORD: The Eagles have a look of a team that could rest up and get healthy during the bye week, then start putting all of their juicy pieces together and reel off a string of wins in a hurry. Coming off last week's win over K.C. and this week's bye, Philly faces Tampa, Oakland and Washington (combined 2-7) before hitting the meat of their schedule — giving Andy Reid some games to start tinkering with new toy Mike Vick.

THIS WEEK: Bye

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

5 Jets 3-0-0 - 5/21 WORSE THAN RECORD: Are the Jets a big tease, overrated and destined for a major fade? No. They will challenge for a playoff spot and the AFC East title. But Mark Sanchez will have a few rookie moments before he's through this season and the Jets still haven't faced any major road test ...

WORSE THAN RECORD: Are the Jets a big tease, overrated and destined for a major fade? No. They will challenge for a playoff spot and the AFC East title. But Mark Sanchez will have a few rookie moments before he's through this season and the Jets still haven't faced any major road test ... until Week 4, that is. Tune in next week.

THIS WEEK: at Saints (3-0)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

6 Patriots 2-1-0 - 2/6 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: It turns out there was no reason to freak out after all over the Pats' sluggish first couple games. Instead, Bill Belichick had to realize that the 2009 Patriots were not the "bombs away" 2007 version, at least not yet as Tom Brady shakes his cobwebs from missing most of 2008.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: It turns out there was no reason to freak out after all over the Pats' sluggish first couple games. Instead, Bill Belichick had to realize that the 2009 Patriots were not the "bombs away" 2007 version, at least not yet as Tom Brady shakes his cobwebs from missing most of 2008. After 100 passes in Brady's first two games back, Emperor Bill dialed up the running game perfectly last week vs. Atlanta.

THIS WEEK: vs. Ravens (3-0)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

7 Ravens 3-0-0 3 7/12 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: The Ravens were one of my favorite teams heading into this season. So why were they ranked 10th in last week's rankings with Joe Flacco's AFC-best scoring offense so improved? This defense giving up 50 points in the first two games without Rex Ryan calling plays was unnerving, so it was nice to see the normal Ravens defense back last week.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: The Ravens were one of my favorite teams heading into this season. So why were they ranked 10th in last week's rankings with Joe Flacco's AFC-best scoring offense so improved? This defense giving up 50 points in the first two games without Rex Ryan calling plays was unnerving, so it was nice to see the normal Ravens defense back last week. Of course, it was against the Browns, too. Baltimore's next three games will be the true test (at NE, vs. CIN, at MIN).

THIS WEEK: at Patriots (2-1)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

8 Steelers 1-2-0 6 1/8 BETTER THAN RECORD: Chalk up the 1-2 mark to a slight case of Super Bowl hangover, but more to the loss of defensive leader Troy Polamalu. There's no way the Steelers blow back-to-back fourth quarter leads if the hairy All-Pro safety is doing his thing.

BETTER THAN RECORD: Chalk up the 1-2 mark to a slight case of Super Bowl hangover, but more to the loss of defensive leader Troy Polamalu. There's no way the Steelers blow back-to-back fourth quarter leads if the hairy All-Pro safety is doing his thing. But even when they won the Super Bowl last season, Pittsburgh's margin of error was never too vast. Which means they're not far away from getting back on top.

THIS WEEK: vs. Chargers (2-1)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

9 Vikings 3-0-0 1 5/11 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: The thinking all offseason was that the Vikings were a QB away from being a legitimate Super Bowl contender. One Brett Favre miracle heave against the 49ers shows that thinking may be right on target.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: The thinking all offseason was that the Vikings were a QB away from being a legitimate Super Bowl contender. One Brett Favre miracle heave against the 49ers shows that thinking may be right on target. While Favre still needs to show his aging bones can last the whole season at the same level, games like this week's Packers reunion should keep his juices flowing. Still, two cupcake wins and one last-second TD toss means this team also might not be fully clicking yet.

THIS WEEK: vs. Packers (2-1)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

10 Falcons 2-1-0 7 3/10 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Matt Ryan's team got a wake-up call on where they stand by the Patriots. Translation: The Falcons are on the right path, but not quite ready to take over the NFC just yet.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Matt Ryan's team got a wake-up call on where they stand by the Patriots. Translation: The Falcons are on the right path, but not quite ready to take over the NFC just yet. They first have to tighten up the defense and show they can win road games against the NFL's elite.

THIS WEEK: Bye

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

11 Chargers 2-1-0 - 9/12 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: There's no doubt that the AFC West should still be considered the Chargers' division (Broncos fans, settle down and look at who you guys have played so far), especially with Philip Rivers racking up big real estate every week.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: There's no doubt that the AFC West should still be considered the Chargers' division (Broncos fans, settle down and look at who you guys have played so far), especially with Philip Rivers racking up big real estate every week. Still, the silent concern in San Diego is over the strange red-zone issues lately. Yes, a healthy LT will make a difference when he's back.

THIS WEEK: at Steelers (1-2)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

12 49ers 2-1-0 1 12/22 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: **** you, Brett Favre. If he would have just stayed retired, Mike Singletary's Niners would be 3-0 and the talk of the NFL this week. Still, this swarming defense will keep the 49ers in the playoff hunt all year long, as long as Frank Gore misses only 2-3 games with his ankle injury.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: **** you, Brett Favre. If he would have just stayed retired, Mike Singletary's Niners would be 3-0 and the talk of the NFL this week. Still, this swarming defense will keep the 49ers in the playoff hunt all year long, as long as Frank Gore misses only 2-3 games with his ankle injury. If it's any longer, then the Niners are a .500 team at best.

THIS WEEK: vs. Rams (0-3)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

13 Bengals 2-1-0 9 13/28 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: That Ochocinco dude may have flown over the cuckoo's nest several years ago, but give the hombre props for being right after he yelled all summer about his team being a contender once again.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: That Ochocinco dude may have flown over the cuckoo's nest several years ago, but give the hombre props for being right after he yelled all summer about his team being a contender once again. Carson Palmer is arguably the NFL's best QB not to win a playoff game, and his return to health along with Cincy's improving defense will keep the Trojans (err, Bengals) in playoff contention all year long.

THIS WEEK: at Browns (0-3)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

14 Packers 2-1-0 1 7/15 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: The Packers are definitely back after an injury-riddled off year in 2008. And peeking at the upcoming games Green Bay should sit at 5-3 or 6-2 at the season's midway point, thanks to three cupcakes (Lions, Browns, Bucs) packaged with two games against arch nemesis Brett Favre in Weeks 4 and 8.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: The Packers are definitely back after an injury-riddled off year in 2008. And peeking at the upcoming games Green Bay should sit at 5-3 or 6-2 at the season's midway point, thanks to three cupcakes (Lions, Browns, Bucs) packaged with two games against arch nemesis Brett Favre in Weeks 4 and 8.

THIS WEEK: at Vikings (3-0)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

15 Cowboys 2-1-0 1 13/16 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Tony Romo concerns aside, the Cowboys should be in the playoff hunt thanks to their renewed focus on the running game. But really, all answers about the Cowboys will have to wait until Romo's allergic month of December as Dallas will face the Chargers, Saints and Eagles down the stretch.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Tony Romo concerns aside, the Cowboys should be in the playoff hunt thanks to their renewed focus on the running game. But really, all answers about the Cowboys will have to wait until Romo's allergic month of December as Dallas will face the Chargers, Saints and Eagles down the stretch.

THIS WEEK: at Broncos (3-0)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

16 Bears 2-1-0 1 16/20 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Who'd have thunk it, the Bears being 0-1 in games started by Brian Urlacher and 2-0 without their defensive leader? Thank new shiny ride Jay Cutler, who has more than made up for yakking all over the season opener by leading the Bears to two straight fourth-quarter comeback wins against tough teams Pittsburgh and Seattle.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Who'd have thunk it, the Bears being 0-1 in games started by Brian Urlacher and 2-0 without their defensive leader? Thank new shiny ride Jay Cutler, who has more than made up for yakking all over the season opener by leading the Bears to two straight fourth-quarter comeback wins against tough teams Pittsburgh and Seattle. There's officially a three-team race in the NFC North.

THIS WEEK: vs. Lions (1-2)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

17 Broncos 3-0-0 4 17/27 WORSE THAN RECORD: I'm very skeptical of Denver's 3-0 mark posted against Cincy, Cleveland and Oakland, but the Broncos' revamped defense has still given up just 16 points in three games.

WORSE THAN RECORD: I'm very skeptical of Denver's 3-0 mark posted against Cincy, Cleveland and Oakland, but the Broncos' revamped defense has still given up just 16 points in three games. That's impressive, even if two were against Brady Quinn and JaMarcus Russell. Still, get ready for the next three games for a more accurate depiction of Josh McDaniels' squad — vs. Cowboys, vs. Patriots, at Chargers.

THIS WEEK: vs. Cowboys (2-1)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

18 Titans 0-3-0 6 6/18 BETTER THAN RECORD: The Titans are definitely not a doormat — they're way too talented not to put some wins together. But they seem to have perfected the art of playing just well enough to lose (like rookie Ryan Mouton costing the Titans a win over the Jets by fumbling twice on special teams).

BETTER THAN RECORD: The Titans are definitely not a doormat — they're way too talented not to put some wins together. But they seem to have perfected the art of playing just well enough to lose (like rookie Ryan Mouton costing the Titans a win over the Jets by fumbling twice on special teams). The schedule gives them no breaks, with the Jags, Colts and Patriots up next before Tennessee's Week 7 bye. Can they go from 10-0 start in '08 to 0-6 start in '09? Not likely, but not unlikely either.

THIS WEEK: at Jaguars (1-2)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

19 Cardinals 1-2-0 5 5/19 BETTER THAN RECORD: Welcome to your reality check, Super Bowl losers. Arizona players and coaches have a long bye week to think about their ugly 0-2 start at home, including the free passing clinic conducted by Indy's Peyton Manning in Week 3.

BETTER THAN RECORD: Welcome to your reality check, Super Bowl losers. Arizona players and coaches have a long bye week to think about their ugly 0-2 start at home, including the free passing clinic conducted by Indy's Peyton Manning in Week 3. They should use the time to work on their defense and running game if they want to make the playoffs again.

THIS WEEK: Bye

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

20 Jaguars 1-2-0 7 20/27 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Maurice Jones-Drew may be the best running back in the "Reggie Bush Draft", but the Jags need him to score three times a game (as he did in their Week 3 win at Houston) to have any chance of winning.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Maurice Jones-Drew may be the best running back in the "Reggie Bush Draft", but the Jags need him to score three times a game (as he did in their Week 3 win at Houston) to have any chance of winning. Sadly, Jacksonville's defense is toast and will keep this team .500 or below all year.

THIS WEEK: vs. Titans (0-3)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

21 Seahawks 1-2-0 2 18/27 BETTER THAN RECORD: Seattle coulda/shoulda been sitting at 2-1 this week if either its kicker had not been "unacceptable" (Jim Mora's word, not mine ... after all, Olindo Mare did make four FGs vs.

BETTER THAN RECORD: Seattle coulda/shoulda been sitting at 2-1 this week if either its kicker had not been "unacceptable" (Jim Mora's word, not mine ... after all, Olindo Mare did make four FGs vs. Chicago, including a go-ahead 46-yarder in the fourth quarter), if the defense hadn't lost track of Devin Hester with two minutes left or if Seneca Wallace hadn't thrown one of the ugliest INTs in NFL history. Now they've gotta go to Indy. Still, Matt Hasselbeck should be back soon to help right the ship and rally the Seahawks into the wild-card race.

THIS WEEK: at Colts (3-0)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

22 Texans 1-2-0 4 16/24 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: So much for that preseason "sleeper" label, right? That's because all the offseason hopes for a new and improved defense have been false hopes so far after giving up 30+ points in two of three games.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: So much for that preseason "sleeper" label, right? That's because all the offseason hopes for a new and improved defense have been false hopes so far after giving up 30+ points in two of three games. As good as Matt Schaub and the offense has been this season, the Saints proved last year that you can have a 5,000-yard passer and miss the playoffs without a decent defense.

THIS WEEK: vs. Raiders (1-2)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

23 Bills 1-2-0 4 15/24 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Originally I tagged the Bills as better than their record, but that was until Monday's news that two more defensive starters are out with injuries — including safety Donte Whitner and the notorious CB Leodis McKelvin (see: fumble, Week 1, Patriots) in the secondary.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Originally I tagged the Bills as better than their record, but that was until Monday's news that two more defensive starters are out with injuries — including safety Donte Whitner and the notorious CB Leodis McKelvin (see: fumble, Week 1, Patriots) in the secondary. Coupling this with the Bills getting Marshawn Lynch back from suspension this week and T.O.'s first no-catch game since his rookie year, methinks it time for **** Jauron to open up the playbook ASAP.

THIS WEEK: at Dolphins (0-3)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

24 Panthers 0-3-0 2 8/26 BETTER THAN RECORD: The good news is Carolina played much better in tough road games the past two weeks after their season-opening nightmare loss against Philly at home. The bad news is the defense is still shaky and QB Jake Delhomme has lost it, and a game-clinching INT for touchdown before a Monday night audience won't help matters.

BETTER THAN RECORD: The good news is Carolina played much better in tough road games the past two weeks after their season-opening nightmare loss against Philly at home. The bad news is the defense is still shaky and QB Jake Delhomme has lost it, and a game-clinching INT for touchdown before a Monday night audience won't help matters.

THIS WEEK: Bye

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

25 Dolphins 0-3-0 5 17/25 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Uh oh. Could the Dolphins actually go from worst to first, then back to worst again in the AFC East in successive seasons? If Miami loses Chad Pennington for the season, yes they could.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Uh oh. Could the Dolphins actually go from worst to first, then back to worst again in the AFC East in successive seasons? If Miami loses Chad Pennington for the season, yes they could. Despite any more magic tricks the coaches could pull out of their headsets (is there a "leopard" or "cheetah" formation out there somewhere?), Miami will not be able to save their season with Chad Henne at QB.

THIS WEEK: vs. Bills (1-2)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

26 Lions 1-2-0 4 26/32 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: HAIL TO THE REDSKINS! HAIL TO THE VICTORS! Give it up for Matt Stafford, Jim Schwartz and the Motown revival. Now let's return to reality, as the Lions will be 1-5 heading into their Week 7 bye after losing to Chicago, Pittsburgh and Green Bay the next three weeks.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: HAIL TO THE REDSKINS! HAIL TO THE VICTORS! Give it up for Matt Stafford, Jim Schwartz and the Motown revival. Now let's return to reality, as the Lions will be 1-5 heading into their Week 7 bye after losing to Chicago, Pittsburgh and Green Bay the next three weeks. But at least they took their first steps back into the NFL.

THIS WEEK: at Bears (2-1)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

27 Redskins 1-2-0 3 16/27 RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Boy, we couldn't have seen this coming a mile away, right? Jim Zorn makes all the wrong calls at all the wrong times, racking up yards but no points on offense. Albert Haynesworth gets carted off with an injury in Week 3 as the Redskins lose to the freaking Lions.

RECORD IS JUST RIGHT: Boy, we couldn't have seen this coming a mile away, right? Jim Zorn makes all the wrong calls at all the wrong times, racking up yards but no points on offense. Albert Haynesworth gets carted off with an injury in Week 3 as the Redskins lose to the freaking Lions. Daniel Snyder schmoozes with Tom Cruise, but refuses to part with his guy Zorny until it's too late. Hey, at least Chris Cooley has kept his "wildcat package" covered up so far.

THIS WEEK: vs. Bucs (0-3)

Team: Home | Stats | Fantasy | Schedule | Apps

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