NFC South Power Rankings analysis

The ESPN.com Power Rankings for Week 3 are out and the New Orleans Saints remain at No. 1.

However, we’ve got one newsworthy development. John “The Anchor’’ Clayton didn’t weigh the Saints down this time. He finally joined the other voters and put them at No. 1, where they belong.

It’s actually a good week for the rest of the NFC South because the gap between the Saints and everyone else isn’t quite as wide as it was a week ago. Atlanta came in at No. 10. With a big game at New Orleans on Sunday, the Falcons probably have a chance to jump close to the top five, maybe even crack it, with a victory.

The undefeated Buccaneers are No. 21. I actually thought the Bucs might crack the top 20 and I’m surprised to see them sitting a little below some winless teams like Dallas and Minnesota. But I understand the skepticism because this winning thing is so new for the Bucs and it’s not like they’ve knocked off any heavyweights yet.

But they’ll have a chance to do that Sunday, when they host the Steelers, who are No. 5 this week.

Carolina has fallen to No. 28, which seems about right. But the Panthers should give thanks that the Lions, Browns, Rams and Bills still are in the league.