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Commanders on the rise in Week 3 power rankings


The Washington Commanders are one of nine undefeated teams in the NFL heading into Week 3. Here's how the national analysts are ranking them among the rest of the league.


Ranking: 12

Previous week: 21

John Keim: 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.

CBS Sports

Ranking: 8

Previous week: 14

Pete Prisco: They are 2-0 after rallying to beat the Broncos. Sam Howell came up big to bring his team back, which is a good sign.

Sporting News

Ranking: 16

Previous week: 18

Vinnie Iyer: The Commanders are also 2-0 and have seemed to close the QB talent gap the division with Sam Howell joining Hurts, Prescott and Daniel Jones. The defense is up and down but Ron Rivera made the right call with Eric Bieniemy.

Bleacher Report

Ranking: 15

Previous week: 25

Analysis: There were some encouraging signs for Washington. Young running back Brian Robinson amassed 129 total yards and scored twice. In his first game action of 2023, edge-rusher Chase Young logged 1.5 sacks.

The question for these Commanders now is whether they can get a victory against a good team—their first two opponents this year are a combined 0-4. We're about to find out the answer to that question—Washington hosts the Buffalo Bills next week before traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles.

Pro Football Network

Ranking: 14

Previous week: 19

Dalton Miller: Who had the Commanders' matchup against the Broncos being a shootout? Who thought that the Commanders were capable of scoring 35 points?

The Commanders' defense leaked in the first half and allowed some massive completions downfield, but the unit settled in in the second half.

Sports Illustrated

Ranking: 17

Previous week: 28

Conor Orr: This should be a victory lap week for the Commanders. Like the Buccaneers, we have no idea where this is going. Teams start 2-0 all the time. But this staff and roster deserve a little bit of time in the sun. Playing under a new ownership group can be a nightmare, even for the most tenured and secure of head coaches. For Eric Bieniemy, venturing out on his own and betting his career on Sam Howell was also an incredible risk. And yet, the Commanders are fifth in first downs picked up and fifth in rushing touchdowns. They're also in the top 10 in passing touchdowns and fewest interceptions thrown. I would happily be wrong to see the rebooted Washington Football Team somehow scale the NFC East.

Check out the best photos of the Washington Commanders from their Week 2 matchup against the Denver Broncos. (Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)

Yahoo Sports

Ranking: 17

Previous week: 21

Frank Schwab: Sam Howell has a long way to go as a quarterback. For starters, he holds the ball way too long. But he also has an innate playmaking ability. He brought the Commanders back from a 21-3 deficit with 299 yards passing. This 2-0 start hasn't been pretty for the Commanders but there are some positive signs.

FOX Sports

Ranking: 17

Previous week: 23

David Helman: This pass rush is going to keep the Commanders in a lot of games. If Sam Howell can step up and be an active part of the offense, as he was in Denver, then the ceiling for this team becomes appreciably higher. There's a huge opportunity to show exactly how legit they are on deck, as the Bills come to town for Week 3.

NBC Sports

Ranking: 15

Previous week: 20

Mike Florio: Eric Bieniemy's star is rising.

Ranking: 19

Previous week: 21

Eric Edholm: The Commanders are 2-0 for the first time in a dozen years. Coming back from down 18 on the road and going on a 32-6 scoring run are pretty positive signs; Sunday's win over Denver was far more impressive than the smaller comeback against the lesser Cardinals at home in Week 1. Washington has played better in the second halves of games than in the first. That pattern might work against Arizona and Denver, but will it stand up against the Bills in Week 3? What gives the Commanders a chance is the play of Sam Howell. Kid has some guts, doesn't he? After some empty series early, he was battered around, but Howell was dialed in down the stretch, confidently leading five scoring drives in the final 32 minutes.

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