2021 NFL Divisional Power Rankings Chargers bolt AFC West to new territory NFC East back to familiar place
The are in last place in the AFC West, while the and are undefeated and in first place in the same division. Who could have predicted that outcome after the first three weeks of the season?The NFL truly is a week-to-week league, which is why the divisional power rankings shuffled quite a bit after Week 3. A few interdivisional showdowns set the stage for the how the rankings sorted out after Week 3, while some intra-divisional contests played a major factor.While it's still tough to determine which division is truly the best in the NFL, we have a good indicator of the contenders as September comes to a close. Let's just say there's some really good football being played out west.Last week's ranking: 6Welcome back to the basement of the NFL, thanks to three poor performances by the , , and Washington Football Team. The Giants could only muster 14 points against an team that allowed 80 points over the first two games of the season -- on 10 days rest. New York is in competition for the worst team in the NFL, not exactly ideal for a team that had hopes of winning this poor division. Washington gave up 43 points in a blowout lo s to the and Philadelphia allowed 41 to the on "Monday Night Football." Neither team was competitive in their contests. Washington, a team that was in competition for the league's best defense entering the season, has given up the fourth most points in the league. Philadelphia's lone win was against Atlanta and the Eagles have regre sed ever since, looking Christian Djoos Jersey like one of the worst teams in the NFL.Dallas is the cla s of this division, a very bad one. The NFC East is just 2-6 outside the division, showcasing why the division hasn't exactly improved from last year.Last week's ranking: 8For one week at least, the AFC South managed to stay out of being ranked as the worst division in the NFL. Was it because the NFC East was that poor in Week 3 the AFC South moved up a spot? The were dominated by the on "Thursday Night Football" and the were outscored by 18 points in the second half to the , committing four turnovers in the lo s. Both teams started rookie quarterbacks, even though continues to turn the football over at an alarming rate (leads the league with seven interceptions). on two sprained ankles was no match for the defense, as the scored just 16 points and finished 1 of 3 in the red zone. Tenne see's interdivisional win over Indianapolis was the only victory the AFC South had in Week 3, which was expected as the only win the division would have this week.The Nathan Walker Jersey AFC South is 1-7 in games outside the division, worse than the NFC East. Jacksonville and Houston didn't get embarra sed like the NFC East did in Week 3.Last week's ranking: 7Give this division a lot of credit. The NFC North took the "worst division in football" ranking to heart and had an impre sive week. The had a huge win over the on "Sunday Night Football" and the shocked the at home. That's two huge wins over the NFC West, which ranked No. 1 in these rankings the first two weeks. The were a 66-yard field goal that bounced off the cro sbar from upsetting the , a kick that probably should have been longer thanks to a controversial non-call. The were embarra sed by the and Matt Nagy doesn't know who his quarterback is. Chicago poorly represented the division this week with just 47 yards of offense, including one net pa sing yard.The NFC North is just 2-8 outside the division, but the huge wins from the Vikings and Packers over the NFC West moved them up. They are the only two out-of-division wins -- statement ones against one of the best divisions in football.Last week's ranking: 4Thank the Buffalo Bills for salvaging the division from having a miserable week. Buffalo blew out Washington at home, as the Bills established themselves as the clear front-runner in this division. The Bills may have also reemerged as the contender for home-field advantage in the AFC with the Chiefs off to two conference lo ses this early in the year. As for the rest of the division? The were beaten badly at home by the and the couldn't score a point in a blowout lo s to the Denver Broncos. Despite drafting , the Jets are last in the NFL in points scored -- in that competition for the worst team in the league.The lost a tough matchup to the Las Vegas Raiders on the road in overtime, with a backup quarterback at the helm. It's hard to get a read on New England and Miami through three weeks.Outside the division, the AFC East is only 1-5. That record should improve over the next few weeks. Last week's ranking: 5This division looked to be between the and New Orleans Saints. The Carolina Panthers have entered the chat.Carolina is off to its first 3-0 start since the 2015 season, when the Panthers went to the Super Bowl. Wins over the Jets and Texans aren't convincing, but the Panthers did beat a Saints team that dominated the Packers and Patriots. Carolina makes this division more formidable, especially since they lead the South with Tampa Bay losing to the .The Saints had an impre sive win over the Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons upset the New York Giants to earn their first win. It wasn't that long ago the Falcons were in the conversation for the worst team in the NFL. If Tampa Bay didn't fall to Los Angeles, this division had a case to crack the top three. The NFC South is an impre sive 6-2 in out of division games.Last week's ranking: 3The Cleveland Browns look to be the cla s of this division through three weeks, but the Baltimore Ravens and -- yes the Cincinnati Bengals -- are tied with them atop the division at 2-1. Cincinnati had an impre sive win over the , as is making a major difference in a division that's dominated by strong defenses. Pittsburgh's offense is not in sync after three weeks, making the Steelers' win over the Bills all the more perplexing. The schedule doesn't get easier with the Packers on deck.Baltimore needed a controversial non-call just for Justin Tucker to hit a 66-yard field goal that hit and bounced over the cro sbar to beat Detroit -- the last place team in the NFC North. Not an impre sive win, but it's a win for the Madison Bowey Jersey division. Cleveland dominated Chicago to win its second straight, making life miserable for a Bears offense that had just six first downs. The Browns had seven sacks and held to 6 of 20 pa sing, showcasing the strength of their defense. The AFC North has two good teams -- and may have three. They're 6-4 in out of division games.Last week's ranking: 1The NFC West was dethroned from the No. 1 spot, a tough decision to make given how the division fared last week. The deciding factor was the Seattle Seahawks losing by 13 points to a previously winle s Vikings team -- not exactly flexing their muscle outside the division. The San Francisco 49ers lost an interdivisional matchup to the Packers with no time remaining, holding the lead with 32 seconds left before allowing to drive down the field and lead Green Bay to victory on a walk-off field goal by .This division still houses two of the five unbeaten teams left in the NFL. The Los Angeles Rams had an impre sive win over the defending Super Bowl champions while the Arizona Cardinals survived a halftime deficit to beat the Jaguars. Arizona and Los Angeles square off this week in what should be a shootout for sole po se sion for first place in this talented division. San Francisco faces Seattle this week as well. Through three weeks, the NFC West is 9-3 in out of division games. The first intra-divisional games begin this week.Last week's ranking: 2When the Kansas City Chiefs sit in last place in a division, that's an excellent indicator Kody Clark Jersey how good the division is. The upset Kansas City in Arrowhead Stadium for a statement victory, showcasing they'll be a contender for the division crown. The Chargers snapped a seven-game home winning streak by the Chiefs when starts, making the win even more impre sive.The Chargers are only third in this division, behind the undefeated Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders. Vegas won its second overtime game in three weeks, holding off a late charge by the Dolphins to stay unbeaten. Denver throttled the New York Jets, finishing September 3-0 after failing to win a game in the month in each of the last two seasons. The Chiefs are still one of the most talented teams in the NFL, but this division has significantly improved. All four teams have the look of playoff contender in a loaded AFC, which is why the AFC West overtook the NFC West for the No. 1 spot.The AFC West is 8-2 outside the division, as that .800 win percentage is the best in the NFL. Another case why the division is now the best in football.
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