NFL Power Rankings Week 3: Way-too-early playoff odds edition

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Two weeks may not seem like a lot of time to delineate NFL haves and have-nots, but history tells us it is. Teams that start 2-0 make the post-season 61.3 per cent of the time; 0-2 teams do it only 12.3 per cent of the time.

Football Outsiders breaks it down even further, offering team-by-team post-season odds. For this week’s NFL power rankings, our expert panel pored over those to get a look at the way-too-early playoff picture.

This week, the panel includes editors Geoff Lowe and Craig Battle, as well as staff writers Mike Johnston and Emily Sadler.

1. New England Patriots

2019 record: 2-0
Last week: 1
Way-too-early playoff odds: 96.6%

Yeah, it’s just two weeks. But that number is still too low. They could swap offensive and defensive personnel and still get a win in their next game with the Dolphins. (CB)

2. Kansas City Chiefs

2019 record: 2-0
Last week: 2
Way-too-early playoff odds: 84.2%

Patrick Mahomes needed just one quarter to defeat the Raiders — he tossed four touchdown passes in the second frame alone — in an all-around dominant effort that saw him tally 443 yards through the air. He’ll need a little more time to pick apart the Ravens’ defence in what will be a must-watch matchup between two undefeated teams who could very well meet again in January. (ES)

3. Dallas Cowboys

2019 record: 2-0
Last week: 4
Way-too-early playoff odds: 77.0%

Thanks to their high-flying offence led by Kellen Moore and Dak Prescott, Dallas has two dominant division wins. Coupled with Sunday night’s Eagles loss, the Cowboys’ way-too-early playoff chances make a 14.7 per cent leap this week and they have to be considered way-too-early NFC East favourites as well. (GL)

4. Los Angeles Rams

2019 record: 2-0
Last week: 5
Way-too-early playoff odds: 72.7%

With Jared Goff looking comfortable in this healthy offence, this might just be the lowest their playoff odds will be this season if they can keep up the pace we saw against the Saints in Week 2. (ES)

5. Baltimore Ravens

2019 record: 2-0
Last week: 8
Way-too-early playoff odds: 79.4%

Break up the Ravens! They have the third-best odds in the league of getting to the playoffs. After a quiet day on the ground in Week 1, Lamar Jackson racked up 120 rushing yards in Week 2, showing the versatility that the team was dreaming of when they made him QB1 and sent out Joe Flacco. (CB)

6. Green Bay Packers

2019 record: 2-0
Last week: 11
Way-too-early playoff odds: 58.6%

Two weeks, two divisional wins. This is the Packers’ first 2-0 start since 2015, when they went 10-6 and lost in OT of the divisional round. (CB)

7. Seattle Seahawks

2019 record: 2-0
Last week: 12
Way-too-early playoff odds: 57.4%

The Seahawks’ first big test doesn’t come until Week 5 against the Rams (they play a Drew Brees-less Saints squad this Sunday) so expect their playoff odds to keep rising — for now, anyway. (ES)

8. Philadelphia Eagles

2019 record: 1-1
Last week: 6
Way-too-early playoff odds: 49.2%

The injury bug hit the Eagles hard Sunday night and now they play a pair of games in the next 10 days. Thankfully Carson Wentz is healthy. (GL)

9. New Orleans Saints

2019 record: 1-1
Last week: 3
Way-too-early playoff odds: 58.8%

Not sure how heavily injuries are factored into this playoff-odds algorithm, but 58.8 per cent might be a generous number after the news that Drew Brees could miss the next six weeks with torn ligaments in his throwing hand. Backup Teddy Bridgewater has the tools to thrive, but he’s made just one start in the past three and a half years. (MJ)

10. Houston Texans

2019 record: 1-1
Last week: 10
Way-too-early playoff odds: 42.9%

A better odds-related question: what’s the likelihoods Deshaun Watson makes it through this season unscathed? The Texans’ o-line isn’t giving him good enough protection and it’ll be this team’s downfall. They were lucky to escape with a win over the Jags. (MJ)

11. Minnesota Vikings

2019 record: 1-1
Last week: 9
Way-too-early playoff odds: 24.9%

Wait … really? The Vikings have the lowest playoff odds of all four teams in the NFC North. The lesson: Don’t narrowly lose to a divisional rival in their building, I guess. (CB)

12. Los Angeles Chargers

2019 record: 1-1
Last week: 7
Way-too-early playoff odds: 57.1%

As injuries pile up, so do the odds against the Chargers, who entered the season eying a wild-card spot at best. An improved run defence gave this injured club hope in Week 2, but too many mistakes ultimately cost L.A. a game they should’ve won. (ES)

13. Buffalo Bills

2019 record: 2-0
Last week: 16
Way-too-early playoff odds: 45.1%

Two road wins to start the season and now Josh Allen and co. get five of their next six games at home, where the Bills have been dominant recently thanks in large part to Bills Mafia. (GL)

14. San Francisco 49ers

2019 record: 2-0
Last week: 21
Way-too-early playoff odds: 59.3%

With back-to-back wins to start the season, this feels like the team fans expected to see last year before injuries struck. But considering their opponents so far — Tampa Bay and Cincinnati — and the strength of this division, we’re not buying all the way in just yet. These odds feel fair so far. (ES)

15. Indianapolis Colts

2019 record: 1-1
Last week: 15
Way-too-early playoff odds: 37.0%

Jacoby Brissett is giving the Colts a chance to win, despite some ball-security issues, and for now that’s enough to stay afloat in the AFC South. Injuries to linebacker Darius Leonard and cornerback Pierre Desir could hurt them in the short term. (MJ)

16. Tennessee Titans

2019 record: 1-1
Last week: 13
Way-too-early playoff odds: 52.2%

Odds hovering around 50 per cent make sense for a Titans team that is among the more frustrating to watch in the league. They either play up or down to their competition, showing promise one week then inconsistencies the next. (MJ)

17. Chicago Bears

2019 record: 1-1
Last week: 14
Way-too-early playoff odds: 26.7%

The playoff odds don’t seem to be making much of the Bears’ squeaker win over the Broncos. Maybe that has something to do with their offence, which is tied for second-worst in the NFL with 19 points. (CB)

18. Atlanta Falcons

2019 record: 1-1
Last week: 23
Way-too-early playoff odds: 24.3%

Matt Ryan is throwing as many interceptions as he is touchdowns. However, as it currently stands, he’s by far the most reliable QB in the NFC South with Brees out. This is now the Falcons’ division to lose so long as they can stay healthy. (MJ)

19. Cleveland Browns

2019 record: 1-1
Last week: 19
Way-too-early playoff odds: 38.1%

Odell Beckham Jr. one-handed grabs must be worth at least 25 per cent. (CB)

20. Detroit Lions

2019 record: 1-0-1
Last week: 24
Way-too-early playoff odds: 41.3%

The NFC North might just be the toughest division in the league, but the undefeated Lions have the second-best odds within it of making the post-season. And, really, who among those four teams needs it more? The last time the Lions won a playoff game, George H. W. Bush was U.S. President. (CB)

21. Oakland Raiders

2019 record: 1-1
Last week: 20
Way-too-early playoff odds: 17.3%

After a morale-boosting win in Week 1, the Raiders came back down to earth against the Chiefs. Things won’t be getting easier anytime soon with matchups against the Vikings, Colts, Bears and Packers lined up. (ES)

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2019 record: 1-1
Last week: 30
Way-too-early playoff odds: 17.8%

The defence can be credited with the win over the Panthers, but we can’t offer a full evaluation of the Bucs just yet after a flu went through the locker room right at the start of the regular season. Week 3 at home against the Giants will show us what this offence is capable of. (MJ)

23. Pittsburgh Steelers

2019 record: 0-2
Last week: 18
Way-too-early playoff odds: 14.5%

Losing Ben Roethlisberger is a killer. This team still has talent, but at this point they’ll be extremely hard-pressed to extend their current playoff streak to five years. (CB)

24. Carolina Panthers

2019 record: 0-2
Last week: 17
Way-too-early playoff odds: 15.5%

Cam Newton is playing hurt and it’s obvious. The Panthers’ play calling is puzzling and ineffective and it’s obvious. The defence isn’t good enough to support a subpar offence and it’s obvious. These playoff odds are spot on. (MJ)

25. Jacksonville Jaguars

2019 record: 0-2
Last week: 25
Way-too-early playoff odds: 14.9%

Week 1 the Jags lost their starting QB. Week 2 their star corner was fighting with the coach on the sidelines. The 2019 campaign unravelled rather quickly for the folks down in Duval County. (MJ)

26. Cincinnati Bengals

2019 record: 0-2
Last week: 22
Way-too-early playoff odds: 5.5%

If a narrow loss to Seattle was cause for hope, it all dissipated after a home drubbing at the hands of the 49ers. (CB)

27. Arizona Cardinals

2019 record: 0-1-1
Last week: 29
Way-too-early playoff odds: 7.5%

Kyler Murray racked up the passing yards with another 300-plus yard game, but couldn’t capitalize in the red zone, which might just be indicative of what this season will hold in Arizona — and that’s OK. This year is about improvement, not playoffs. (ES)

28. Washington Redskins

2019 record: 0-2
Last week: 26
Way-too-early playoff odds: 6.0%

A pair of opening losses to NFC East opponents makes a normally tough-to-swallow 0-2 even wore for Washington. (GL)

29. Denver Broncos

2019 record: 0-2
Last week: 27
Way-too-early playoff odds: 6.9%

Just two games into the season, the Broncos already look stuck. Considering their division foes, Denver’s low playoff odds feel accurate and unlikely to change much. (ES)

30. New York Jets

2019 record: 0-2
Last week: 28
Way-too-early playoff odds: 8.2%

Given the Jets’ current injury situation, 8.2 per cent feels like it’s a bit too high, doesn’t it? No Sam Darnold or Trevir Siemian for the foreseeable future and the defence is without its best player in C.J. Mosley. I predict this percentage to halve by next week. (GL)

31. New York Giants

2019 record: 0-2
Last week: 31
Way-too-early playoff odds: 3.2%

The change has been made: Daniel Jones is taking the reins from Eli Manning. Will it improve their playoff chances? We’re not hopeful. (GL)

32. Miami Dolphins

2019 record: 0-2
Last week: 32
Way-too-early playoff odds: 0.2%

Already one of the worst teams the NFL has ever seen, the Dolphins enter Week 3 as 22.5-point underdogs in Dallas … and we have no doubt the Cowboys are going cover. (GL)

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