NFL Week 3 Power Rankings 2023: How all 32 teams stack up

NFL NationESPNSep 19, 2023, 08:30 AM ET26 Minute Read

Which teams took the biggest fall in the Power Rankings after Week 2?

Booger McFarland and Herm Edwards make their picks for which teams took the biggest fall after Week 2 of the NFL season.

Week 2 of the NFL regular season was a rebound week for several teams, most notably the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants, while others are still struggling to find their footing (the Cincinnati Bengals).

Heading into Week 3, the Power Rankings are still trying to figure out who is real and who is not. The top 10 shuffled a bit while the middle of the order is … well, interesting. Time will tell if teams like the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Commanders will continue their hot streaks.

In addition to the updated power rankings, our 32 NFL Nation reporters identified a player with a current contract situation to monitor on every team. Some are playing this season on the last year of their deal, while others are expecting a contract extension in the near future. Let’s check out the new 1-32 rankings below, starting with the San Francisco 49ers.

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

Previous rankings: Preseason | Week 2

Jump to a team:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF

Week 2 ranking: 1

Player: WR Brandon Aiyuk
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2024 season

The Niners picked up Aiyuk’s fifth-year option in May. The only first-round pick the Niners have signed to a second contract in the Kyle Shanahan/John Lynch era (since 2017) is defensive end Nick Bosa, waiting until after his fourth season to do it. The Niners would like to make Aiyuk the second. The question is whether they can afford to keep both Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel long term. Much of that will depend on whether Aiyuk can build off last year’s breakthrough season, in which he surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the first time and led the team in receptions (78) while finishing second in touchdowns (eight). If he can, the cost to retain him will only increase. — Nick Wagoner

Week 2 ranking: 4

Player: WR CeeDee Lamb
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2024 season

The Cowboys picked up his fifth-year option for 2024 but would like to sign him to an extension sooner rather than later. The price to do so is only going to go up, and they will have Micah Parsons, Dak Prescott and some others to consider signing to extensions as well, which will stress their cap. Lamb has 15 catches for 220 yards in two games this season and is clearly Prescott’s go-to guy. There are six receivers currently making at least $24 million a year, and for the Cowboys to get a deal done now, Lamb’s yearly average will have to be more than that. Maybe a lot more. — Todd Archer

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Week 2 ranking: 2

Player: OLB Haason Reddick
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2024 season

Reddick has quickly outplayed his three-year, $45 million contract, racking up 19.5 sacks in 2022, including the playoffs. His $15 million average salary per year is 15th among edge rushers, according to Roster Management Systems. “Y’all see it, y’all know what’s going on,” said Reddick, when asked this offseason if he is underpaid. “I’m worried about being the best version of myself, and then everything will sort itself out, truly.” — Tim McManus

Week 2 ranking: 5

Player: QB Tua Tagovailoa
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2024 season

There might not be a bigger contract situation to monitor in the NFL — literally. After Joe Burrow reset the market on Day 1 of the 2023 season, Tagovailoa could do the same next spring. He will play on the fifth year of his rookie contract in 2024, but he’s a betting favorite for NFL MVP through the first two weeks of this season, according to Caesars Sportsbook. If he keeps this up, expect the Dolphins to shell out more money than they’ve ever given a player in team history. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Week 2 ranking: 3

Player: DT Chris Jones
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Jones could be in his final season with the Chiefs. After holding out of training camp looking for a raise, Jones received incentives in a new contract that would allow him to earn more than the $19.5 million he was scheduled to make this season under his old contract, sources told ESPN. The sides were never close to an agreement on a long-term extension. Unless Jones is willing to accept less from the Chiefs to remain in Kansas City next year, it’s difficult to picture them coming to an agreement. The franchise tag is a possibility but would probably be too pricey for the Chiefs. — Adam Teicher

Week 2 ranking: 6

Player: LB Patrick Queen
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Queen is in the final year of his rookie deal ($2.268 million) and is scheduled to become a free agent in March after Baltimore declined his fifth-year option. He knows this season is essentially an audition for the other 31 teams in the league. His long-term future in Baltimore likely ended last year, when the Ravens traded for Roquan Smith and then made him the highest-paid middle linebacker. Early in his career, Queen struggled in coverage and missed tackles. Now, playing alongside Smith, Queen has become an all-around playmaker. Since 2020, Queen is one of three players to record more than 300 tackles, double-digit sacks and multiple interceptions. The others: Smith and Bobby Wagner. — Jamison Hensley

Week 2 ranking: 9

Player: WR Gabe Davis
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Davis is playing on the final year of his rookie deal after the Bills drafted him in the fourth round of the 2020 draft. Davis suffered a high ankle sprain prior to Week 2 last season and finished with 48 catches for 836 yards and seven touchdowns but was often targeted on throws downfield and had nine drops. Davis is a strong run-blocker, was named a team captain for the first time in 2023 and has eight catches for 124 yards and a score so far this season. His future in Buffalo will depend on what he wants in a contract and if the Bills think he is the best option to pair with Stefon Diggs going forward. — Alaina Getzenberg

Should fantasy managers consider trading Gabe Davis?

Despite a good game vs. the Raiders, Eric Moody is concerned by Gabe Davis’ inconsistency and suggests trading him.

Week 2 ranking: 7

Player: QB Jared Goff
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2024 season

Goff is playing out the four-year, $134 million contract extension he signed with the Rams in 2019. He is scheduled to make $26.975 million in 2024. But Goff could position himself for a long-term extension if the Lions have a big year. Once considered a bridge quarterback, the soon-to-be 29-year-old is playing some of the best football of his career. Goff has multiple touchdown passes in six straight home games going back to Week 9 of last season, which is the longest active streak in the NFL, and he threw 383 consecutive passes before throwing an interception on Sunday, which is the third-longest streak in league history. — Eric Woodyard

Week 2 ranking: 8

Player: LB Josh Allen
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Allen, in the final year of his rookie contract, is not the elite pass-rusher the Jaguars hoped he’d become when they took him No. 7 overall in the 2019 draft. However, he’s a solid rusher who averages seven sacks per season and is very good against the run. That might not be good enough for the Jaguars to sign him to an extension or use the franchise tag on him, especially if the team uses the franchise tag on receiver Calvin Ridley, but there’s no question he’d be a highly sought-after free agent in March. — Michael DiRocco

Brian Burns, Tua Tagovailoa & Tee HigginsESPN

Week 2 ranking: 15

Player: WR Michael Thomas
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Thomas’ contract automatically voids in 2025, but he’s essentially playing on a one-year deal with the way his contract is structured. Thomas and the Saints reworked his contract in March due to massive roster bonuses that would have gone into effect this year, and they’ll face a similar situation in 2024. This makes it an important season for Thomas, who played in only 10 regular-season games from 2020 to 2022 due to injuries. — Katherine Terrell

Week 2 ranking: 23

Player: CB A.J. Terrell
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2024 season

The fourth-year cornerback still has his fifth-year option to play on in 2024, but how Atlanta handles his contract will be worth watching. At this point there’s little reason to believe Terrell would not get extended — he’s a team leader, one of the best young corners in the league and a franchise staple — it’s just a matter of when. That “when” could be close to the new league year as there’s precedent from Atlanta here. That’s when Falcons right guard Chris Lindstrom received his deal in March. — Michael Rothstein

Week 2 ranking: 21

Player: DE Montez Sweat
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Sweat and fellow end Chase Young will be free agents after the season. But Washington has made it clear the Commanders would like to extend Sweat, playing on his fifth-year option, at some point. Any movement toward an extension, though, was slowed by the ownership change with the group having more urgent matters to focus on. Sweat has been a terrific edge run defender, but his highest sack total is nine. However, through two games this season, Sweat has two sacks and two forced fumbles. He’s learning from assistant line coach Ryan Kerrigan, the franchise’s all-time sack leader. “RK has been helping him to finish at the top of the rush,” said defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina. “He’s doing a hell of a job doing it.” — John Keim

Week 2 ranking: 24

Player: WR Mike Evans
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Evans, the franchise-record holder in almost every receiving category, is currently in the final year of his contract. Evans and his agent gave the Buccaneers a Sept. 9 deadline on getting an extension done before the season, but no deal with reached, nor was one even offered in the final hours. There’s a real chance Evans plays somewhere else next season. At 30, he’s still producing at a high level, as evidenced by his 171 receiving yards and a touchdown in Week 2. — Jenna Laine

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Week 2 ranking: 18

Player: ILB Jordyn Brooks
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

The Seahawks declined to pick up Brooks’ fifth-year option in May, making this a contract year for the 2020 first-round pick. Exercising the option would have meant a fully guaranteed $12.7 million salary for 2024 and established that as the per-year baseline in negotiations on a long-term deal. The Seahawks didn’t want to do that with Brooks coming off a torn ACL in his right knee. He has made a quick recovery from that injury and is back to tackling, ranking seventh in the NFL through two weeks with 23. A big payday awaits — likely from Seattle — if he keeps that up. — Brady Henderson

Week 2 ranking: 16

Player: OT Chukwuma Okorafor
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2024 season

After the Steelers traded up in the first round to pick tackle Broderick Jones, it stands to reason that at some point either Okorafor or left tackle Dan Moore Jr. will be the odd man out. Both are set to hit free agency after the 2024 season, though Okorafor’s 2024 cap hit is significantly larger than Moore’s in the final year of his rookie deal. Depending on how the offensive line shakes out throughout the season, the Steelers could extend Okorafor in the spring to decrease his 2024 cap hit ($11.8 million), or they could part ways with him because he carries a dead cap hit of $3 million. — Brooke Pryor

Week 2 ranking: 11

Player: RB Nick Chubb
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2024 season

The Browns’ All-Pro running back suffered a serious left knee injury Monday night against the Steelers and is likely done for the season. Chubb still has one more season left on the contract extension he signed in 2021 but has no guaranteed money left on his deal after this year. Running backs, even elite ones, no longer carry the value they once did in the modern NFL. Chubb has been the heart and soul of Cleveland’s offense for several years. What the Browns do now, in light of Chubb’s injury, will be one of the next big storylines regarding star rushers. — Jake Trotter

Week 2 ranking: 10

Player: RB Austin Ekeler
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

In an offseason laden with running back contract drama, Ekeler was briefly at the center of it all. He requested a trade in March after the two sides couldn’t agree to a multiyear contract extension. In May, Ekeler eventually agreed to a revised contract that added $1.75 million in incentives. In the Chargers’ opening game of 2023, he led the backfield with 117 yards and a touchdown. With Ekeler out in Week 2 with an ankle injury, the running game stalled, as Chargers rushers totaled just 61 yards on the ground. — Kris Rhim

Week 2 ranking: 13

Player: WR Tee Higgins
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Higgins did not receive a long-term deal this offseason, and one seems to be unlikely. Cincinnati could be looking at giving Higgins a one-year franchise tag for 2024 and exploring its options. The tag is projected at $23 million according to The Bengals could pay that amount to keep Higgins for one more year or see if they can find a team willing to trade for a top receiver. Higgins has amassed more than 3,000 receiving yards in his first three seasons combined. — Ben Baby

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Week 2 ranking: 14

Player: RB AJ Dillon
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Dillon is in the final season of his rookie contract and is playing for his future this season — whether it’s in Green Bay or elsewhere — but it’s not off to the greatest start. He had a chance to make a statement last Sunday with Aaron Jones out, and Dillon managed just 3.7 yards per carry. He could have changed the game with 1 yard, but he was stuffed on a third-and-1 run in the fourth quarter. — Rob Demovsky

Week 2 ranking: 22

Player: RB Cam Akers
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Akers was a healthy scratch on Sunday, a move Rams head coach Sean McVay called a “coach’s decision.” Akers, a 2020 second-round pick, is playing on the final year of his rookie contract and will be a free agent after the season. The question will be whether he finishes this contract with the Rams. This seems unlikely after McVay told reporters Monday that general manager Les Snead has spoken with “a handful of teams” about a trade for Akers and “that’s the direction that we’re headed.” Kyren Williams has now emerged as the team’s lead back. Akers, who had three games with at least 100 rushing yards to end the 2022 season, had 29 yards on 22 carries in Week 1. — Sarah Barshop

Week 2 ranking: 12

Player: DE Bryce Huff
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Huff is an excellent pass-rushing specialist, but he probably will walk after the season because the Jets already have invested heavily at the position. They used first-round picks on Will McDonald IV (2023) and Jermaine Johnson (2022). Huff recorded the highest pressure percentage (25.6%) in 2022 among edge rushers with at least 100 pass-rushing snaps. Huff has drawn trade interest in the past; the question is whether the Jets would part with him before the trading deadline if they fall out of contention. — Rich Cimini

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Week 2 ranking: 27

Player: QB Ryan Tannehill
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2025 season (with two voidable years)

The veteran quarterback is in the final year of his contract and it might be his last with the Titans. Tennessee traded up in the third round of the 2022 draft to select Malik Willis and moved up to the top of the second round in 2023 to select Will Levis. Tannehill said he wants to continue playing beyond this season. But for now, he’s focused on being the best quarterback he can be for the Titans. Whatever production Tannehill puts on film will be for any teams in need of a quarterback next season, not just for the Titans. — Turron Davenport

Week 2 ranking: 25

Player: RB Saquon Barkley
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

The Giants and Barkley failed to agree on a long-term deal this offseason. He is currently playing on a revised franchise tag that provides him the opportunity to make up to $11 million. And now after Week 2, Barkley is dealing with a right ankle sprain that is expected to sideline him for three weeks, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Giants also have another franchise tag to potentially use at their disposal again next year. Barkley’s admittedly in a tough spot. — Jordan Raanan

Week 2 ranking: 17

Player: OLB Matthew Judon
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2024 season

Judon signed a four-year, $56 million deal in March of 2021. After an adjustment this year that boosted his 2023 pay by borrowing from his 2024 salary, Judon is likely to be back at the negotiating table in the offseason for another adjustment because his 2024 base salary is just $6.5 million. The Patriots had a similar situation with CB Stephon Gilmore in 2020. Judon totaled 15.5 sacks last season and 12.5 in 2021, becoming just the fourth player in Patriots history to post back-to-back seasons with double-digit sacks. — Mike Reiss

Week 2 ranking: 20

Player: QB Kirk Cousins
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Cousins will turn 36 next summer, but barring significant signs of a physical decline, he stands to be a top free agent target next spring if the Vikings don’t re-sign him first. And to this point, there are no indications that he is approaching a drop-off. Through two games, Cousins is second in the NFL in passing yards (708), is tied for first with six touchdown passes and ranks No. 6 in QBR (71.6). He has committed four turnovers, including three lost fumbles, but from an overall business perspective, he has started the season well. — Kevin Seifert

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Week 2 ranking: 19

Player: RB Josh Jacobs
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Having sat out the entirety of the Raiders’ offseason program and training camp in a contract stalemate — Jacobs did not sign his $10.091 million franchise tag by the July 17 deadline; rather, he agreed to a reworked one-year deal worth up to $12 million with bonuses — the All-Pro running back acknowledged he had to knock some of the “rust” off. But after averaging 2.5 yards per carry in rushing for 48 yards in the season opener at Denver, Jacobs had minus-2 yards on nine carries at Buffalo. Per Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time since the 1970 merger a reigning league rushing champ finished a game with negative rushing yardage. — Paul Gutierrez

Week 2 ranking: 30

Player: WR Michael Pittman Jr.
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Running back Jonathan Taylor’s contract situation has dominated the headlines, but Pittman is also at the end of his rookie contract and is doing his best to drive up his value as a free agent. Pittman has 16 receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown through two games. He has been highly productive, averaging 93.5 receptions over the past two seasons, and it’s possible he’ll wind up as one of the higher-paid receivers in the NFL given his age (25) and consistency. The Colts have the second-lowest wide receiver payroll in the NFL by average salary. Could that finally be changing? — Stephen Holder

Week 2 ranking: 26

Player: LB Josey Jewell
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Jewell has consistently been one of the team’s most productive, most prepared and most reliable players in his time with the Broncos. He signed a two-year deal before the 2022 season and is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. Jewel is a mainstay in all of the personnel groupings on defense — he played 56 of 59 defensive snaps in the opener and 65 of 73 defensive snaps in Sunday’s loss to the Commanders. The new coaching regime has big plans for rookie Drew Sanders at linebacker at some point, so the Broncos will face a decision down the road if those snaps come at Jewell’s expense or not. — Jeff Legwold

Week 2 ranking: 28

Player: OLB Brian Burns
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Burns is playing under the fifth-year option of his rookie deal for $16 million. But he wants to be among the highest-paid edge rushers in the NFL, earning somewhere between $25 million and $30 million a year. The sides aren’t close, and Burns said on Saturday as far as he’s concerned negotiations are “on hold” even though the team is willing to negotiate, according to a league source. With each sack Burns collects, the sides won’t get closer, and he had two just in Week 1. — David Newton

Week 2 ranking: 29

Player: CB Jaylon Johnson
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Bears general manager Ryan Poles expressed a desire to keep the 2020 second-round pick “long term,” and it’s evident for a defense predicated on takeaways that Chicago’s brass wants to see the cornerback increase the number of interceptions and turnovers he generates before agreeing to an extension. Johnson has one career interception, which propelled him this offseason to focus his efforts on different ways to create more takeaways so he can show his impact beyond being a physical lockdown outside cornerback. — Courtney Cronin

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Week 2 ranking: 31

Player: CB Steven Nelson
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

The Texans gave Nelson a small raise in August but no long-term extension. Through two games, he has an interception and another pass breakup. If he maintains this level of play for the rest of the season, will the Texans extend him before the end of the season or let him test free agency? Allowing him to test free agency could leave the Texans with a void or questions at cornerback going into 2024. — DJ Bien-Aime

Week 2 ranking: 32

Player: WR Marquise Brown
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Brown is playing on his fifth-year rookie option season that the Cardinals picked up last spring, but he didn’t receive the extension he had hoped for leading into this season. It might come next offseason after the Cardinals have a better look at their financial situation, which new general manager Monti Ossenfort has been addressing since he was hired earlier this year. Brown leads the team in receiving yards, is second in receptions and has the offense’s lone receiving touchdown in his new role as a WR1. — Josh Weinfuss


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