Football season is officially back! While there has not been too much NFL action yet, it’s never too early to rank teams. For this blog, I will be ranking my top five teams so far this season.
Honorable Mention: New Orleans Saints
While the Saints aren’t in my top five, I couldn’t exclude how great they’ve been to start the season. Their offense looks vastly improved under new quarterback Derek Carr, and their defense has played like one of the best units in all of football. In their first two games of the season, they beat the Tennessee Titans 16–15 at home, and the Carolina Panthers 20–17 in a Monday Night Football atmosphere on the road.
Team Number Five: Philadelphia Eagles
The reigning NFC champions are 2–0 to start the season, but they haven’t looked as dominant as they were last season. Their two wins are also close ones, as they defeated the New England Patriots on the road 25–20 and the Minnesota Vikings on a Thursday night at home 34–28. Their quarterback Jalen Hurts has looked good but not great like NFL fans thought he’d be. With that being said, there’s still lots of time for the Eagles to set themselves apart from the rest of the league.
Team Number Four: Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens’ hot start to 2023 is centered around a common theme: lots of key injuries, but they’re still getting the job done and playing well. “Next man up” has been a key phrase in the Ravens’ fanbase over the last few seasons, and the fans can always count on them to step up to the challenge. They blew out the Houston Texans 25–9 at home in week one but lost their running back J.K. Dobbins for the season to a torn Achilles. They got a key win against their division rival Cincinnati Bengals 27–24 on the road last week. Through all the injuries, they found their next great wide receiver in Zay Flowers, and quarterback Lamar Jackson has been off to a good start.
Team Number Three: Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have been destroying anyone in their path to start the season. In week one, they shut down the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football 40–0 in New York. Last week, they hosted the New York Jets and won 30–10, with their defense forcing three interceptions. You may be wondering why they aren’t higher on this list, and that’s mainly because they’re meeting our expectations. We may not have expected two double-digit victories in a row, but we expected the Cowboys to be 2–0 at this point. Although they lost star cornerback Trevon Diggs for the season to a torn ACL, that shouldn’t hold them back from a playoff spot, and maybe even a division title.
Team Number Two: Miami Dolphins
There was tons of hype surrounding the Dolphins going into the season, specifically around quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, and their great defense. Thus far, Miami has turned all that hype into reality and proved that they’re for real. Both of their wins have been close, exciting, and on the road. They beat the Los Angeles Chargers 36–34 in week one, and the New England Patriots 24–17 on Sunday Night Football last week. Miami will play their first home game of the year this week against the Denver Broncos. Despite losing wide receiver Jaylen Waddle to the concussion protocol, NFL fans are expecting the Dolphins to advance to a 3–0 mark on the year.
Team Number One: San Francisco 49ers
The top team on my list may be the only 3–0 team to this point, but they have played like the best team in football during that time. Ironically, they have scored thirty points against all three of their opponents: the Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Rams, and New York Giants. The 49ers’ quarterback and the 2022 NFL Draft’s final pick Brock Purdy hasn’t missed a beat, picking up right where he left off last season. On top of all that, running back Christian McCaffrey made it twelve consecutive games with a touchdown in the 49ers’ win against the Giants on Thursday night. If the 49ers can keep everyone healthy, this could finally be the year they win their sixth Super Bowl title, which would tie the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots for most by a franchise in league history.
So, there we have it! While there have been many good teams starting the season, those five (along with the New Orleans Saints) are the group that I think is the very best so far. Follow along with me this semester as I continue to write sports blogs. I can guarantee I’ll have more NFL-related topics to talk about very soon!
Here is an article from ESPN that inspired me to write this blog: https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/38432345/nfl-week-3-power-rankings-poll-2023-plus-contract-situations-watch