NFL Week 3 Power Rankings: Tua Tagovailoa's Dolphins may be for real; 49ers crack top 10 with Jimmy Garoppolo

Tue, Sep 20, 2022
NFL News (AP)

NFL Week 3 Power Rankings: Tua Tagovailoa's Dolphins may be for real; 49ers crack top 10 with Jimmy Garoppolo

There are those who can't ever admit they are wrong, some of whom I work with here at AP Sports. (See: tall quarterback who played at Notre Dame.)

I am not one of those who can't admit being wrong.

So here it goes: I think I might have been wrong about Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Notice the word might. The reason it's there is because even after his Sunday to rally the Dolphins from 21 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Baltimore Ravens 42-38, it's just one game.

It certainly was a special performance, throwing for 469 yards and those six scores, but doing it against a Ravens defense that was abysmal helped. Having said all that, Tagovailoa was impressive. He picked out the open guys, made timely throws, seemed calm and cool in doing so and had the look of a passer who might just have had his moment that will allow his career to take off.

Tua Tagovailoa MIA - QB - 1 View Profile

But here's the other side of it: let's see him do it again this week against the Buffalo Bills. That doesn't mean throwing for 400 and six scores, but if he can go for 300 and two and win the game, now we're on to something.

One game won't change a narrative. But it helps. In a big way.

Tagovailoa did that Sunday. In doing so, he has his team at 2-0 as the Dolphins ready for that monster game this week with Josh Allen and the Bills. The Dolphins are up to No. 8 in my Power Rankings, seven spots behind the top-rated Bills.

Allen was once like Tua, trying to prove his worth. There were many who doubted whether Allen could become a legitimate NFL starter, let alone a star. A lot of those skeptics have never admitted they were wrong.

If Tagovailoa beats the Bills and puts up another eye-opening stat line, it could be time for me to do just that.

Saying the word wrong isn't that hard.

It's just that now, based on one game, isn't the time -- although it could be coming.

Biggest Movers
RkTeams ' ChgRcrd
They left no doubt Monday night against the Titans as to who the best team is right now. But now they face a tough road test at Miami on a short week. That won't be easy. -- 2-0-0
They weren't as crisp on offense against the Chargers, but they still found a way. The defense made some huge plays in that game to win it. -- 2-0-0
The good news is the defense has been dominant. The bad news is the offense, without some key pieces, has just one touchdown in two games. -- 2-0-0
As long as Jalen Hurts continues to play at a high level, they are a legit Super Bowl contender. The defense was better against Minnesota as well. -- 2-0-0
They got the offense going against the Bears, which is a good sign. They will be just fine on that side of the ball. 4 1-1-0
They had their chances against the Chiefs, but need to do a better job of closing out games when they have a lead. Justin Herbert's rib injury bears watching, especially facing a good Jaguars defense. 1 1-1-0
They impressed early against the Falcons, but they made it interesting with some bad special-teams play. The defense has to be better. 3 1-1-0
They are 2-0 and one of the early-season stories of this season. It becomes a much bigger story if they beat the Bills this week. 4 2-0-0
With Trey Lance out for the year with a broken ankle, it's Jimmy Garoppolo time. He's won a lot of games for this team, so the move to keep him was a wise one. 4 1-1-0
The offense was good against Miami, but the defense was a disaster. They couldn't cover or rush, which is a bad combination. 2 1-1-0
They didn't do anything on offense against the Eagles. Then again, it was a Monday night. We know how Kirk Cousins plays on Monday night. 4 1-1-0
Give them credit for battling back against the Raiders, as they were staring an 0-2 start in the face. Kyler Murray came up big, which he had to do. 9 1-1-0
They are struggling on offense, but the defense bailed them out against the Texans. Russell Wilson needs to pick it up starting this week against the 49ers. 7 1-1-0
The offense still isn't clicking, but it did enough against the Steelers thanks to a good defensive showing. There was progress from Week 1. 8 1-1-0
They are 1-1 and need so much more from Jameis Winston. His turnovers wasted a good showing by the Saints defense against Tampa Bay. 9 1-1-0
They blew a big lead in losing to the Cardinals to fall to 0-2. This is not the start Josh McDaniels expected. 1 0-2-0
Losing the way they did to the Jets is a bad look. If they take a knee late, they win. It's that simple. 1 1-1-0
How much longer can the team go with Mitch Trubisky? Not that he's being helped much by his offensive line or his coordinator. 1 1-1-0
Cooper Rush played a solid game against the Bengals, but it was a game won by the defense. Now let's see what Rush does on the road against the Giants. 5 1-1-0
At 2-0, the main question about them is whether they are any good. Maybe not, but the record is what it is. 3 2-0-0
At 0-2, is the Super hangover happening in front of our eyes? Or is it just a slow start? The good news is the division is struggling as a whole. 10 0-2-0
The defense really impressed in shutting out the Colts. This team is going to be a problem for a lot of teams, but they do face a tough test this week at the Chargers. 6 1-1-0
Give them credit for rallying to beat the Browns. Maybe Robert Saleh was on to something when he said he would keep receipts. 8 1-1-0
They were awful against the Bills. The offense didn't do a thing and Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry were just off. They need a victory in the worst way. 8 0-2-0
At 0-1-1, they don't have the look of a playoff contender. They were missing guys against the Jaguars, but they got dominated. 11 0-1-1
They have rolled up a bunch of points on offense so far this season. They do have to get better on defense, but at least Aidan Hutchinson showed up against Washington in a big way. 4 1-1-0
The defense was awful against the Lions, which is not what you'd expect from this team. The Lions did what they wanted to do against them. 10 1-1-0
It was back to reality for the Bears in losing to the Packers. They did little on offense, which you can expect at times for this young group. 3 1-1-0
Geno Smith and the offense didn't do much of anything against San Francisco. That puts a big damper on what they did in the opener. 3 1-1-0
The defense played well against the Broncos, but they didn't score a touchdown. You won't win many games doing that, and Davis Mills has to be better. 1 0-1-1
How long does coach Matt Rhule have before this team will make a change? At 0-2, they have issues. 4 0-2-0
They showed well at Los Angeles against the Rams by coming back from a big deficit. They are competing, which is a good sign. -- 0-2-0
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