ESPN NFL Power Rankings – Week 3

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Sep 14, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) looks to pass in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

18. Indianapolis Colts

This ranking might seem harsh, given the fact that Indy has fallen to two top teams in the Broncosand Eagles. Yet, unlike the similarly 0-2 Saints — whose two losses came on the road — the Colts were defeated Monday night at home. Also, their best defensive player — Robert Mathis — is out for the year. And as long as Trent Richardson, who gave up a crucial third-quarter fumble that set up the Eagles for a game-tying touchdown, continues to get carries …

17. New York Jets 

Somehow you just knew that when Eric Decker was jumping up and down on your TV and the Jetswere going up 21-3 in Green Bay, things were going to go south. Geno Smith had some moments for Gang Green, but the production (176 yards and a passer rating of 64.1) wasn’t enough to offset his second-quarter interception deep in Packers territory. That hurt, as it ultimately caused New York to miss out on what would have likely been a makeable Nick Folk field-goal attempt.

16. New Orleans Saints

At some point, the Saints‘ defense is going to have to make plays when it matters, or this team will have little chance to compete for another Super Bowl. Was the unit terrible in Cleveland on Sunday?No. But could Browns receiver Andrew Hawkins have gotten any more open on the crucial last-minute reception that set up the clinching field goal?

15. Atlanta Falcons 

There was much banter about who would be running the football for the Falcons — Steven Jackson,Jacquizz RodgersDevonta Freeman or even Week 1 hero Antone Smith — and it didn’t matter. Not withMatt Ryan throwing three picks while averaging just 5 yards per attempt against the Bengals.Meanwhile, Andy Dalton made mincemeat of the Atlanta defense, even while he was overthrowing some wide-open receivers.

14. Baltimore Ravens

Got much grief for keeping Baltimore one spot above Pittsburgh in the Power Rankings last week, despite the fact that the Ravens lost to the Bengals and the Steelers won their game. Then, of course,Baltimore topped Pittsburgh.