NFL power rankings: Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams looking tough to beat

Detroit Free Press

In Detroit, he couldn’t win the big game. In Los Angeles, he’s quarterback of the best team in football.

Three weeks into the 2021 season, Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams are atop the NFL power rankings, and it’s hard to argue there’s a more deserving team.

Stafford threw for 373 yards and four touchdowns last week as the Rams beat the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Along with the Bucs, the Rams have early-season wins over the Chicago Bears (handily, at home) and Indianapolis Colts (in a tight one, on the road).

[ Lions GM on his ‘intention’ of keeping Matthew Stafford, new-look Jared Goff ]

That’s not a murderous schedule, by any means, but there are just five undefeated teams left in the NFL and the Rams have looked better than the rest.

This week, L.A. plays the No. 2 team in my power rankings, the Arizona Cardinals, in a battle of NFC West powers and MVP candidates. Stafford ranks fifth in the NFL in passing yards (942) and is tied for second in passing touchdowns (nine) through three weeks, while Murray is third in yards (1,005) and has three rushing TDs.

Looking ahead, the Rams schedule sets up nicely the rest of the way. They have games remaining against three of the NFL’s five winless teams, plus the hapless Houston Texans, and have a favorable midseason bye.

The Rams won’t run the table, and they need to keep their big three — Stafford, Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey — healthy. But Stafford is tracking easily toward the most successful season of his career.

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1: Stafford takes Los Angeles Rams into top 3

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2: A lesson on what to do — and what not to do — as head coach

This week’s power rankings

1. Los Angeles Rams (3-0)

2. Arizona Cardinals (3-0)

3. Las Vegas Raiders (3-0)

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)

5. San Francisco 49ers (2-1)

6. Buffalo Bills (2-1)

7. Cleveland Browns (2-1)

8. Los Angeles Chargers (2-1)

9. Green Bay Packers (2-1)

10. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2)

11. Carolina Panthers (3-0)

12. Baltimore Ravens (2-1)

13. Dallas Cowboys (2-1)

14. Denver Broncos (3-0)

15. Tennessee Titans (2-1)

16. New Orleans Saints (2-1)

17. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1)

18. Seattle Seahawks (1-2)

19. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)

20. Washington Football Team (1-2)

21. Minnesota Vikings (1-2)

22. Miami Dolphins (1-2)

23. New England Patriots (1-2)

24. Indianapolis Colts (0-3)

25. Chicago Bears (1-2)

26. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)

27. Atlanta Falcons (1-2)

28. Detroit Lions (0-3)

29. Houston Texans (1-2)

30. New York Jets (0-3)

31. New York Giants (0-3)

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3)

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

Articles You May Like

Lions camp preview: Defensive line additions create some tough battles and decisions
49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk requests trade amid contract dispute
Dan Campbell calls Lions playoff win over Rams ‘most electric’ game he’s ever seen
Lions RB Zonovan Knight reveals he’s fully cleared for training camp
Ranking every 2024 Lions player: Roster bubble, Part 2 (60-51)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *