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2021 NFL power rankings heading into Week 3 based on point spread differential

We use point differential against the spread to see where the value lies in our Week 3 NFL power rankings.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) bows after a touchdown run against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter in Glendale, Ariz. Sept. 19, 2021. Michael Chow via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Week 2 of the NFL season is officially a wrap as the Green Bay Packers hope they got back on track with a big win over the Detroit Lions. We have seven teams that remain undefeated and the NFC West is leading the way with three of them. The Seattle Seahawks had a chance to make it an undefeated first two weeks out west, but it didn’t quite pan out.

We’re back with Week 3 NFL power rankings, and we’re continue our ranking of teams based on point spread differential. We took the pre-game point spread at DraftKings Sportsbook and added in the point differential from the game. For example, the Bills closed as 3.5-point favorites against the Dolphins and won the game by 35 points. For the Bills spread differential, we added 35 to -3.5, which gave us 31.5. For the Dolphins spread differential, we subtracted 35 from +3.5 to give us -31.5.

Point spread offers a little more context about each team, and how a team is performing against the number can provide some insight. It’s more art than science, but it’s one more piece of information to figure out the best, middle of the pack, and worst around the NFL.

This isn’t a great reference for how teams are right now, but come November, we should have a good handle on the teams that are performing best. Seeing the Eagles and Panthers up top could prove to be a relic before too long. Regardless, seeing as it’s only Week 2, we’re seeing a lot of movement on the board.

NFL Power Rankings ahead of Week 3

2021 NFL power rankings, Week 3

Rk Team Record Spread differential Point differential LW
Rk Team Record Spread differential Point differential LW
1 Philadelphia Eagles 1-1 +26.0 +20 2
2 Carolina Panthers 2-0 +24.0 +24 14
3 Arizona Cardinals 2-0 +22.5 +26 3
4 Houston Texans 1-1 +22.5 +6 4
5 Las Vegas Raiders 2-0 +21.5 +15 10
6 Buffalo Bills 1-1 +18.5 +28 28
7 New Orleans Saints 1-1 +16.0 +16 1
8 Denver Broncos 2-0 +15.5 +24 7
9 Dallas Cowboys 1-1 +13.0 +1 9
10 Los Angeles Rams 2-0 +11.5 +23 6
11 New England Patriots 1-1 +8.5 +18 20
12 Cincinnati Bengals 1-1 +4.5 0 11
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-0 +3.5 +25 24
14 San Francisco 49ers 2-0 +2.0 +14 17
15 Los Angeles Chargers 1-1 0.0 +1 12
16 Seattle Seahawks 1-1 0.0 +9 8
17 Minnesota Vikings 0-2 -1.0 -4 21
18 Baltimore Ravens 1-1 -2.0 -5 23
19 Pittsburgh Steelers 1-1 -2.0 -2 5
20 Cleveland Browns 1-1 -2.5 +6 16
21 Detroit Lions 0-2 -5.0 -26 15
22 Kansas City Chiefs 1-1 -5.5 +3 18
23 Washington 1-1 -8.5 -3 22
24 Indianapolis Colts 0-2 -9.0 -15 25
25 New York Giants 0-2 -9.0 -15 26
26 Chicago Bears 1-1 -10.5 -17 27
27 New York Jets 0-2 -14.5 -24 19
28 Tennessee Titans 1-1 -18.0 -22 30
29 Jacksonville Jaguars 0-2 -23.0 -26 29
30 Miami Dolphins 1-1 -27.0 -34 13
31 Green Bay Packers 1-1 -32.5 -17 32
32 Atlanta Falcons 0-2 -39.5 -49 31