A number of 2020 playoff teams are off to sluggish starts this year. Hence some shakeups in the latest edition of the NFL Power Rankings.
Entering Week 3, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams were the only two playoff teams from a year ago to win their first two contests. And more than a few of those clubs that reached the postseason in 2020 continued to have their issues. Meanwhile, there was a league record tied in Jacksonville and an NFL record set in the Motor City.
New York Jets 0-3
Last week: L, 26-0 at DEN
Last rank: 32nd
The Jets’ offense has been miserable in the early stages of 2021. And things got somewhat worse when Robert Saleh’s club took on the unbeaten Broncos in Denver. New York managed only 43 yards on the ground and a total of 162 yards on 53 plays (3.1 average).
Quarterback Zach Wilson served up a pair of interceptions and was sacked five times. The Jets have totaled 20 points in their three games and haven’t scored a TD in two straight contests.
New York Giants 0-3
Last week: L, 17-14 vs ATL
Last rank: 30th
Big Blue had dropped its first two games for the fifth straight year and looked to avoid a third consecutive loss when they hosted the equally-winless Atlanta Falcons. Joe Judge’s team owned a seven-point advantage with less than a quarter to play.
Saquon Barkley scored the Giants’ only touchdown and Daniel Jones had his good and bad moments. But for the second straight game, Joe Judge’s club fell thanks to a field goal on the game’s final play.
Jacksonville Jaguars 0-3
Last week: L, 31-19 vs ARI
Last rank: 29th
The Jaguars took their 17-game losing streak into a clash with the visiting Cardinals. And when running back James Robinson ran four yards for a score late in the third quarter, there was hope for Urban Meyer’s squad. . But the Cards responded with 21 unanswered points.
Trevor Lawrence had one of his two picks returned for a score and he turned over the ball four times. But Jamal Agnew’s 109-yard TD return of a missed field goal was impressive.
Atlanta Falcons 1-2
Last week: W, 17-14 at NYG
Last rank: 31st
The Falcons and Giants were both looking for their first win of the season when the teams clashed at MetLife Stadium. Arthur Smith’s club allowed a combined 80 points in their first two contests. And things didn’t look good when they were down, 14-7, early in fourth quarter.
But Matt Ryan culminated a long drive with a short TD pass to tight end Lee Smith. And Younghoe Koo connected on a 40-yard field goal at the gun to give Smith his first victory.