April 19, 2024

Welcome to Week 4 of the NFL regular season. This past weekend we learned that the Miami Dolphins‘ offense can (and will) put up 70 points, the Kansas City Chiefs‘ offense has awakened and the Chicago Bears‘ offense needs … help.

With a big win against the Dallas Cowboys, the Arizona Cardinals have risen from the bottom of this week’s Power Rankings. Also of note, the once top-10 Jacksonville Jaguars took a tumble after suffering defeat to division rival Houston Texans, and the middle of the rankings played musical chairs yet again.

We’ve updated the rankings and are taking a look at every team’s offensive efficiency rating (per ESPN Analytics’ Football Power Index). Our 32 NFL Nation reporters also identified the biggest issue on every offense. From poor quarterback play, mounting injuries and lack of red zone execution, every team has something to work on — even the Dolphins! Here’s the updated rankings, starting with the San Francisco 49ers for the third week in a row:

Our power panel of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities evaluate how NFL teams stack up against each other, then rank them from 1 to 32.

Previous rankings: Preseason | Week 2 | Week 3

Jump to a team:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LAC | LAR | LV | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

Week 3 ranking: 1

Offensive efficiency: 81.6 (ranked 2nd in NFL)

Biggest issue on offense: Pass protection

The Niners have mostly kept quarterback Brock Purdy upright, ranking right in the middle of the pack in sacks allowed per dropback (6.1%). But, in part because they’ve faced the highest blitz percentage (43.4%) in the league, the Niners have also allowed one of the highest pressure percentages (33.3%) in the NFL. Teams are likely to continue trying to heat up Purdy with the blitz even though he’s had success against it, but it would also help if the Niners, especially on the right side of the line, continue to improve. — Nick Wagoner


Week 3 ranking: 4

Offensive efficiency: 93.4 (1st)

Biggest issue on offense: Dividing the backfield workload

It’s hard to find an issue on a team that just scored 70 points with 726 yards of offense in a single game. The Dolphins lead the NFL in total yards per game (550.3), passing yards (362), rushing yards (188.3), offensive expected points added (66.97), yards per play (8.4) and scoring per game (43.3). They have four capable running backs in the NFL’s leader in rushing touchdowns, Raheem Mostert, Salvon Ahmed, Jeff Wilson Jr. — who’s set to return from IR in two weeks — and now De’Von Achane — who exploded for 233 total yards and four touchdowns against the Broncos. How will they divide the workload going forward? It’s likely a problem Miami isn’t complaining about, but that speaks to how ironclad this offense has been through three weeks. — Marcel Louis-Jacques


Week 3 ranking: 3

Offensive efficiency: 51.2 (9th)

Biggest issue on offense: Passing game

The Eagles entered their Week 3 matchup against the Bucs ranked 27th in passing yards per game (162.5). Defenses have often been dropping eight players into coverage while keeping safeties back to force Jalen Hurts into mostly short passes. While Hurts has been pretty efficient, he and the coaches need to figure out how to get a talented group of skill position players into more advantageous situations. — Tim McManus


Week 3 ranking: 5

Offensive efficiency: 53.9 (8th)

Biggest issue on offense: Dropped passes

The Chiefs have dropped 5.3% of their passes, which is tied for the sixth-worst rate in the league. Many of their drops came in the season opener against the Lions and were a major reason for the Chiefs’ only defeat of the season. Most harmful was the easily catchable pass that Kadarius Toney deflected to Lions safety Brian Branch, who returned it for a touchdown. Had Toney caught that pass, the Chiefs would most likely be undefeated today. — Adam Teicher


Week 3 ranking: 7

Offensive efficiency: 59.5 (7th)

Biggest issue on offense: First-down production

The Bills’ offense has looked solid over the last two games, but a theme has emerged early — Buffalo makes things harder on early downs. Currently ranked 28th (4.3) in yards per play on first down, the average per play jumps significantly on second (6.7) and on third downs (6.6). The Bills have completed back-to-back lopsided wins, so it hasn’t been a game-altering issue, but minimizing long situations on later downs would help the efficiency of the offense. — Alaina Getzenberg


Week 3 ranking: 2

Offensive efficiency: 63.6 (5th)

Biggest issue on offense: Red zone offense

The Cowboys converted on 3 of 4 chances inside the New York Giants‘ 20 in the opener but have scored a touchdown on 3 of 11 red zone drives in the last two games. Last season, they did not score a touchdown on just 16 of 56 red zone trips. They are already halfway to last year’s total misses in just three games. The best red zone teams run the ball into the end zone but against the Cardinals, the Cowboys were without three starting offensive linemen. They need their receivers to win on their routes more. They need Dak Prescott to be more accurate in tight quarters. And Mike McCarthy needs to scheme it better when that close. — Todd Archer


Week 3 ranking: 6

Offensive efficiency: 49.1 (12th)

Biggest issue on offense: Injuries

Of the 11 projected offensive starters entering the season, five have missed at least one game: wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., tight end Mark Andrews, left tackle Ronnie Stanley, center Tyler Linderbaum and running back J.K. Dobbins. Through Week 3, they have combined to miss a total of eight games. Baltimore has been hardest hit at running back. In addition to the season-ending Achilles injury to Dobbins, two other backs have suffered injuries: Gus Edwards (concussion) and Justice Hill (toe). There’s a chance that the Ravens will start a different running back in each of their first four games. This explains why QB Lamar Jackson nearly has as many rushing yards (193) as all of Baltimore’s running backs combined (249). — Jamison Hensley


Week 3 ranking: 8

Offensive efficiency: 42.7 (15th)

Biggest issue on offense: Rushing efficiency

The Lions’ offense is off to yet another strong start, scoring 20 or more points in 12 straight games dating back to last season. However, the ground attack could be more efficient. Yes, the Lions are averaging the 11th-most rushing yards per game (111.7) through Week 3, but it has taken them a lot of carries with just 3.6 yards per rush attempt (ranked 25th in NFL). Veteran David Montgomery (thigh) was sidelined for Sunday’s victory over the Atlanta Falcons, while rookie Jahmyr Gibbs is still trying to find a groove. “He’ll only get better with time, and with reps he just will,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said of Gibbs. — Eric Woodyard


Week 3 ranking: 16

Offensive efficiency: 27.5 (24th)

Biggest issue on offense: Passing consistency

The Browns are coming off a dominant win over the Tennessee Titans, and QB Deshaun Watson delivered his best performance in a Browns uniform, completing 82% of his passes — the second-best mark of his career. Before Sunday, Watson ranked last in the NFL in off-target rate (27%). Did Watson turn a corner and rediscover his accuracy? Or did he and Cleveland just manhandle a porous Tennessee pass defense? These next two games — against the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers — should reveal whether Watson and the Browns’ passing attack can actually carry Cleveland to the playoffs minus All-Pro running back Nick Chubb. — Jake Trotter


Week 3 ranking: 14

Offensive efficiency: 67.7 (4th)

Biggest issue on offense: Third down

Seattle scored 37 points and racked up 425 yards of offense Sunday despite going just 3-of-13 on third down (including a kneel-down in the closing seconds). The Seahawks haven’t finished better than 16th in third-down conversion rate since 2015, a long-standing issue that has continued so far this season. They rank 28th through three games at 30.3%, though they have converted twice on fourth-down. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the chain-moving slot receiver Seattle drafted No. 20 overall, should make more of a difference on third down as he gains experience and as Seattle’s offensive line gets healthier. — Brady Henderson


Week 3 ranking: 15

Offensive efficiency: 19.1 (30th)

Biggest issue on offense: Consistency in the run game

The Steelers finally gained 300 yards of offense against the Raiders, but now they have to keep the ball rolling. Prior to the win in Las Vegas, the lack of ground game was the biggest issue with the Steelers averaging just 48 yards per carry. But against the Raiders, the Steelers gained 105 rushing yards — including 65 from Najee Harris — allowing the offense to set up the play action and move the ball more effectively. — Brooke Pryor


Week 3 ranking: 19

Offensive efficiency: 63.4 (6th)

Biggest issue on offense: Completion percentage

Jordan Love‘s seven touchdown passes to only one interception is Rodgers-esque. But his completion percentage is not. It’s at 53.1%, which was well below the league average of 65.4% through Sunday’s Week 3 games. Love ranked 33rd out of 34 qualifying quarterbacks in completion percentage, ahead of only the Jets’ Zach Wilson (52.4%). Not having Aaron Jones, the Packers’ best receiver out of the backfield, for the last two games hasn’t helped. — Rob Demovsky

play

2:06

Why Jordan Love is a solid backup fantasy QB

The Fantasy Focus crew discuss why Jordan Love would be a solid back-up quarterback on fantasy rosters.


Week 3 ranking: 13

Offensive efficiency: 44.2 (13th)

Biggest issue on offense: Red zone scoring

The Buccaneers have managed to move the ball well, even with a ground game that’s still trying to shake last year’s league-worst ranking. But scoring in the red zone is their biggest problem right now; they scored only one touchdown on four red zone tries in Week 2 against the Bears. Through Weeks 1 and 2, their 33.33% red zone touchdown percentage is second to last in the league. — Jenna Laine


Week 3 ranking: 17

Offensive efficiency: 72.0 (3rd)

Biggest issue on offense: Running the ball

After gaining 233 yards in the season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Chargers’ rushing offense has turned nonexistent. They have gained 91 yards on 36 carries over the last two games. In Sunday’s win over the Vikings, they averaged two yards per carry against a team allowing the third most rushing yards in the NFL coming into the game. The caveat is that the Chargers have been without starting running back Austin Ekeler, who has missed the last two weeks with an ankle injury. His return could turn this unit around. — Kris Rhim


Week 3 ranking: 10

Offensive efficiency: 42.5 (16th)

Biggest issue on offense: Offensive line

Saints coach Dennis Allen admitted after the Packers loss that the offensive line needs to protect better, but the unit might have to protect someone else besides quarterback Derek Carr, who is week-to-week after spraining the AC joint in his right shoulder Sunday. The Saints have allowed 12 sacks this season, and while they’re not all on the offensive line, it’s a problem that needs to be addressed moving forward. — Katherine Terrell


Week 3 ranking: 11

Offensive efficiency: 36.7 (19th)

Biggest issue on offense: Finding early rhythm

After every game, quarterback Desmond Ridder (and others) have lamented how Atlanta hasn’t been able to find an offensive flow early in games. The Falcons have two first-half touchdowns in their first three games and the struggles have led Atlanta to have more pressure put on it in the second halves. Twice, the Falcons have found second-half rhythm, but that’s not a sustainable way to play — and it starts with more consistency from Ridder and better protection from the offensive line. — Michael Rothstein


Week 3 ranking: 12

Offensive efficiency: 31.3 (20th)

Biggest issue on offense: Pass protection

Sam Howell has been sacked an NFL-high 19 times — six more than any other quarterback. He’s been pressured on 36.6% of his passes, fifth highest — this despite being blitzed only 20.3% of the time, second lowest. After a nine-sack game, Bills defenders said they noticed he holds the ball too long at times. But it extends beyond that: The line has not protected him well enough; he’s getting hit after he throws too often. Other times it’s a slower developing play that leads to trouble with no receiver open or looking back before he’s sacked. — John Keim


Week 3 ranking: 18

Offensive efficiency: 28.2 (22nd)

Biggest issue on offense: Early down offense

A very small sample size and two major factors (bad weather, QB Joe Burrow‘s bad right calf) should be considered when discussing the Cincinnati offense. But the lack of production on first and second downs are something that could be a long-term issue. Through the first two weeks of the season, the Bengals were last in several categories in early downs: yards gained, first downs, QBR, yards per passing attempt. In Week 2, Cincinnati relied on third-down success to extend drives. Being better on early downs could help flip the Bengals’ fortunes the rest of the season. — Ben Baby


Week 3 ranking: 9

Offensive efficiency: 19.2 (29th)

Biggest issue on offense: Third-down production

It’s hard to pick one area because so much has gone wrong offensively the last two weeks, but the Jaguars are 29th in the NFL in third-down conversion rate. They’re at 29.7%, which is actually an improvement from where it was after two weeks because they went 5-for-13 against the Texans on Sunday. This was a strength last season (42%, ranked ninth) and nine of 11 starters are back, plus they added WR Calvin Ridley. — Michael DiRocco


Week 3 ranking: 27

Offensive efficiency: 22.7 (28th)

Biggest issue on offense: Too few big plays

The Colts have sputtered a bit on offense when you view the unit from the perspective of yards per play. They ranked 25th through Sunday with 4.6 yards per play, making it difficult to finish drives because they are moving the ball in small chunks. Some of that is the product of QB Anthony Richardson being out of the lineup for the past six quarters with a concussion. The Colts are starting to show some promise on offense, but to progress to the next step, they’ll need to be much more explosive. — Stephen Holder


Week 3 ranking: 24

Offensive efficiency: 25.5 (26th)

Biggest issue on offense: Lack of explosive plays

Tight end Pharaoh Brown‘s 58-yard catch-and-run touchdown in Sunday’s win over the Jets was one of the plays of the game and easily the team’s longest of the season. The Patriots have just three passing plays over 20 yards (58, 32, 23). “Those are statistically the hardest passes to hit, but we’ve got to hit them, we’ve got to throw them and we need more production out of the deep balls,” coach Bill Belichick said. — Mike Reiss


Week 3 ranking: 20

Offensive efficiency: 50.2 (11th)

Biggest issue on offense: Consistency

After two strong weeks to start the season behind quarterback Matthew Stafford, rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua and second-year running back Kyren Williams, the Rams’ offense stalled against the Bengals on Monday night, failing to score a touchdown until there was less than two minutes to go in the game. After allowing just one sack through two weeks, Stafford was hit 10 times and sacked six times. The Rams’ passing game had kept up without an injured Cooper Kupp through two weeks but showed they missed their star wide receiver in Week 3. — Sarah Barshop


Week 3 ranking: 23

Offensive efficiency: 26.4 (25th)

Biggest issue on offense: Offensive line

So much to pick from but it starts with the always-changing offensive line, which is yielding pressure on 39.4% of Daniel Jones‘ dropbacks. It’s hard for the Giants and Jones to produce consistent offense if they’re using extra bodies to pass protect and still allowing pressure. This isn’t to say that Jones has played well — he didn’t against San Francisco, completing 22 of 32 passes for 137 yards and an interception. It’s also impossible not to factor in the absence of left tackle Andrew Thomas (hamstring) and running back Saquon Barkley (ankle). They are the two best players on this offense. — Jordan Raanan


Week 3 ranking: 21

Offensive efficiency: 14.8 (32nd)

Biggest issue on offense: QB Zach Wilson

Aaron Rodgers‘ replacement has led the offense to only three touchdowns in 35 drives over three games, showing no ability to raise the level of those around him. Wilson is poor when facing pressure, but he’s also poor when the offensive line does its job. On plays where the defense fails to record a pass rush win, Wilson’s QBR is a league-low 7.6. Coach Robert Saleh said he’s sticking with Wilson, but the season is slipping away and he might have to turn to quarterback Tim Boyle at some point or risk losing the locker room. — Rich Cimini


Week 3 ranking: 32

Offensive efficiency: 43.3 (14th)

Biggest issue on offense: Second-half production

The Cardinals have scored just 18 points in six second-half quarters this season, leading to a minus-29 second-half point margin. Just two touchdowns in the second half, compared to four in the first, have cost them wins in their first two games. Arizona can’t seem to move to the ball after halftime, either. It’s averaging 3.6 yards per carry in the second half against 7.1 in the first. Should Arizona figure out a way to recreate its first-half productivity after the break, it’ll defy expectations this season and continue to win games. — Josh Weinfuss


Week 3 ranking: 25

Offensive efficiency: 41.0 (17th)

Biggest issue on offense: Turnovers

The Vikings lead the NFL with nine turnovers. Their seven lost fumbles are tied for the second most through three NFL weeks since at least 2000, and Kirk Cousins‘ two interceptions have both been costly. One occurred at the goal line a Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers, and the other happened in the end zone to seal their Week 3 defeat against the Chargers. Coach Kevin O’Connell added new practice drills to address the fumble problems after Week 2, but tight end T.J. Hockenson fumbled to end their first possession in the ensuing game. It’s hard to overstate the significance of these turnovers to a team that has lost its three games by a mere 13 points. — Kevin Seifert


Week 3 ranking: 26

Offensive efficiency: 38.9 (18th)

Biggest issue on offense: Chemistry

Returning All-Pros at receiver (Davante Adams) and running back (Josh Jacobs), four of five starters on the offensive line and a quarterback better versed in coach Josh McDaniels’ scheme (Jimmy Garoppolo) were supposed to take the offense to a higher level. Instead, the unit looks discombobulated. Garoppolo leads the NFL in interceptions (6) while Jacobs is averaging just 2.4 yards per carry. “It’s [only] Week 3, but I don’t got time to wait around,” said Adams, who is carrying his weight with 25 catches for 322 yards and 3 TDs. “You use these early games like this to establish the identity and we are not doing things the right way to establish a winning culture early in the season. So, we’ve got to do something to turn that around.” — Paul Gutierrez


Week 3 ranking: 31

Offensive efficiency: 30.1 (21st)

Biggest issue on offense: Run game

The Texans’ rush attack is among the worst in the NFL. They rank last in yards per carry (2.8) and average 70 yards per game, which ranks 29th. The Texans’ offensive line has had four starters missing for two out of the three weeks of the season, including their expansive tackle duo in Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard. That helps explain why the rushing attack has struggled, but it should still be better. — DJ Bien-Aime


Week 3 ranking: 22

Offensive efficiency: 27.7 (23rd)

Biggest issue on offense: Pass protection

The Titans have allowed an average of 4.3 sacks per game. Whether it’s penalties or giving up a sack, the Titans are finding themselves behind the chains far too often. Tennessee is not built for success if it isn’t efficient early in the series to avoid third and long. The protection is not good enough to hold up for longer developing routes and oftentimes requires help from the tight ends or running backs. That’s a big reason why the Titans only average 3.3 third-down conversions per game, 24th in the league. And there are times when Ryan Tannehill has held onto the ball too long, as well. — Turron Davenport


Week 3 ranking: 29

Offensive efficiency: 23.6 (27th)

Biggest issue on offense: Offensive line

The real question here is what isn’t wrong? The run game was non-existent Sunday (14 carries for 44 yards), pass protection has been suspect since Week 1 and now this group had eight false starts at Seattle. Six of them came from their tackles, Ikem Ekwonu (4) and Taylor Moton (2). As coach Frank Reich said, they’ve got to figure it out. — David Newton


play

1:50

Aikman on McAfee: Russ, Broncos have a lot of soul searching to do

Troy Aikman joins “The Pat McAfee Show” to discuss the Broncos’ blowout loss to the Dolphins and what it means for Russell Wilson moving forward.

Week 3 ranking: 28

Offensive efficiency: 51.0 (10th)

Biggest issue on offense: Turnovers and timing

The Broncos are tied for 27th in the league with a minus-5 turnover margin in just three games. Some of that is because they don’t take the ball away from the opposition often enough (another story for another day), but they’ve lost three fumbles — two by Courtland Sutton in the disastrous 70-20 loss Sunday — to go with two interceptions by quarterback Russell Wilson. But Wilson is not the problem right now. This team is often running substitutions late in the play clock and has had more than their share of drive-stalling penalties on offense, including the pre-snap variety coach Sean Payton had promised to curtail. — Jeff Legwold


Week 3 ranking: 20

Offensive efficiency: 16.3 (31st)

Biggest issue on offense: The entire operation

There is plenty of blame to go around with the Bears’ offense, which is performing worse than it did a year ago. Some receivers aren’t running routes the correct way, which has led to spacing issues that affect the timing of when throws should be delivered. Chicago’s playcalling has put Justin Fields in situations to make plays from the pocket often, and the quarterback’s struggles there are magnified during a stretch when the Bears have been outscored 106-47 in their first three losses. Since the start of the 2022 season, Fields has the worst QBR (25) and yards per dropback (4.6) from inside the pocket among QBs with at least 200 passes in that time. — Courtney Cronin

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