NFL Week 4 Power Rankings

Sep 22, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates a touchdown as Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu (32) looks on during the second half of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Cardinals 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

1.   Denver Broncos (3-0) –  Peyton put on a passing clinic against a weak Oakland defense, completing 32/37 for 374 yards and 3 TD’s. His one lost fumble and the one by rookie RB Montee Ball led to two of Oakland’s three touchdowns, but even then they were never in danger of losing this game.  Previous Rank: 1

2.   Seattle Seahawks (3-0) –  The Seahawks defense has only allowed an average of 9 points scored in their first three games. That number was even lower, but the defense clearly stopped trying against the Jaguars towards the end of that game. Their test in Houston next week is a potential Super Bowl match-up.  Previous Rank: 2

3.   New England Patriots (3-0) –  Why the Patriots at #3? They’ve proved they can win with their best receivers on the sideline. The defense has allowed only an average 11.3 points scored in their first three games, second only to Seattle and tied with Kansas City. They face their first real test on Sunday night in Atlanta and head into a rough stretch after, playing the Bengals and Saints.  Previous Rank: 6

4.   Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) –  Their comeback victory against the Packers on Sunday made for easily the best game of the season so far. If there was ever a year for the Bengals to beat out the Steelers and Ravens to win the division, it’s now.  Previous Rank: 9

5.   New Orleans Saints (3-0) –  If defenses don’t neutralize Jimmy Graham, there’s a slim chance they can win. The Cardinals let him tally 9 receptions for 134 yards and 2 TD’s as the Saints blew them out of the water. The Saints will have a tough match-up next weekend against the momentum fueled Miami Dolphins.  Previous Rank: 7

6.   Chicago Bears (3-0) -  New coach, no Urlacher, but still the same dominant defense. The Bears defense forced 5 turnovers and the offensive line held together, allowing Cutler to perform well. If the offensive line continues to play well, Cutler may play his way to a big new contract as the Bears could go deep in the playoffs.  Previous Rank: 8

7.   Green Bay Packers (1-2) –  The defense that looked much improved so far blew the the game by allowing the Bengals to come back after the Packers offense scored 30 unanswered points. As much as everyone can blame the defense, though, Rodgers had an opportunity to win the game and couldn’t. They desperately need a bye week to recover from injuries to Clay Matthews, James Starks, and Jonathan Franklin.  Previous Rank: 3

8.   Miami Dolphins (3-0) –  Miami loves Ryan Tannehill. Even with an interception and two fumbles, he finds ways to win games and motivate the team around him. They have a tough road game next week in the Superdome, but they feel very confident.  Previous Rank: 14

9.   Atlanta Falcons (1-2) –  Matty Ice usually excels in the clutch but couldn’t get it done in Miami. If they don’t bounce back this week at home against the Patriots, it’ll be a tough road to the playoffs building from 1-4 in a competitive NFC.  Previous Rank: 4

10.   Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) - Alex Smith isn’t going to win games on his own and he won’t lead the league in yards or TD’s, but he does his job of keeping the Chiefs in games and making the necessary throws to sustain drives. And as for the defense, who would have thought they would be #2 in the league in fewest total points allowed?  Previous Rank: 11

11.   Dallas Cowboys (2-1) –  Tony Romo was an absolute stud against a young but maturing St. Louis defense, throwing 17/24 for 210 yards and 3 TD’s with no picks. If DeMarco Murray uses this game as a bounce-back and continues to perform well, this team will be the favorite to win the NFC East.  Previous Rank: 12

12.   Indianapolis Colts (2-1) - The one-two punch of Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson, the #1 and #3 overall picks in the 2012 draft will be lethal if Richardson stays healthy. Luck handed his former college coach Jim Harbaugh his first back-to-back loss in his tenure as head coach of the ‘Niners.  Previous Rank: 15

13.   San Francisco 49ers (1-2) - Should ‘Niners fans be worried? Colin Kaepernick was 13/27 for only 150 yards and 1 pick at home on Sunday against an average Colt’s defense. While the first three games were against tough opponents, their performances don’t bode well for playoff match-ups, if they even return this year.  Previous Rank: 5

14.   Baltimore Ravens (2-1) –  Without Ray Rice in the backfield many expected the Ravens to struggle against the Texans defense. Despite the victory, the Ravens only had one offensive TD, their other two coming from a punt return and a pick-6.  Previous Rank: 17

15.   Tenneessee Titans (2-1) –  Are the Titans for real? The final drive of 10 plays and 94 yards with under 2 minutes to play in the 4th quarter, capped by a perfect TD pass from Jake Locker to win the game is huge. Locker may start to earn the trust of cautiously optimistic Titans fans. Chris Johnson needs to start playing like he used to, though, in order to give Locker a more balanced offense to work with.  Previous Rank: 20

16.   Houston Texans (2-1) - The Ravens spoiled Ed Reed’s return to Baltimore and his season debut, pounding the Texans in a 30-9 game. Matt Schaub was incredibly average and Arian Foster only rushed for 54 yards on 12 carries. It is interesting to note that rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins led the team in receptions and receiving yards this weak, beating Andre Johnson.  Previous Rank: 10

17.   Detroit Lions (2-1) –  A victory in FedEx Field on Sunday marked the end of a 74 year losing streak in Washington. Matt Stafford threw for 385 yards and 2 TDs against a very weak Redskins defense, and he did it without his new weapon Reggie Bush.  Previous Rank: 21

18.   San Diego Chargers (1-2) –  The Chargers lead the league in passing yards allowed with 1022. When each of the Chargers’ games were decided by 3 points, this is clearly a difference maker.  Previous Rank: 16

19.   St. Luis Rams (1-2) –  It’s tough to win games when you only rush for 35 yards. The Rams have a short week to recuperate before they take on the 49ers, who they were 1-0-1 against last season.  Previous Rank: 13

20.   Arizona Cardinals (1-2) –  The Cardinals scored on the opening drive of the game, then completely tanked and failed to score again. Carson Palmer was 18/35 for 187 and 2 picks.  Previous Rank: 19

21.   Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) –  It was nice to see Philly cheer for Andy Reid in his return, but the cheers quickly stopped as the Eagles shot themselves in the foot committing 5 turnovers. On the bright side, LeSean McCoy had 158 yards on 20 carries with a TD.  Previous Rank: 18

22.   Carolina Panthers (1-2) –  After losing two games by a combined 6 points, the Panthers bounced back with an absolute rout of the Giants. Sure, the Giants imploded and made the job easy for the Panthers, but give them some credit. Cam Newton finished with a passer rating of 104.4, his first over 100 in six games.  Previous Rank: 26

23.   New York Jets (2-1) –  Rex Ryan’s defense highlighted Sunday’s game along with some huge plays from Gino Smith. There’s no way the Jets can continue to win every week, though, if they commit 20 penalties worth 168 yards along with 2 turnovers. They escaped the key divisional game with a win.  Previous Rank: 28

24.   Buffalo Bills (1-2) –  The Bills offensive line got absolutely tossed around by the Jets defense, giving up 8 sacks for a loss of 35 yards. It’s hard to expect a rookie QB in his third game to perform well on the road with a line that bad.  Previous Rank: 22

25.   Cleveland Browns (1-2) –  Many Patriots beat reporters were openly rooting for Brian Hoyer in his first start for the Browns, which speaks to the player and person he is. He gave this Browns team life only days after their best offensive player was traded away and the organization all but said, “we’re waiting for the draft already.”  TE Jordan Cameron is a stud, look for Hoyer to connect with him as his favorite weapon.  Previous Rank: 30

26.   Minnesota Vikings (0-3) –  Christian Ponder rushed five times for 46 yards and 2 TD’s but just could not throw the ball to his receivers. Adrian Peterson was the team’s leading rusher and receiver this week. Vikings fans are waiting for the Greg Jennings signing to pay off, but can it with Ponder under center?  Previous Rank: 27

27.   Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3) –  Ben Roethlisberger was the cause of 5 turnovers (2 picks and 3 fumbles with only one recovered) and Jonathan Dwyer and Felix Jones only were able to rush for a combined 73 yards. Without Maurkice Pouncey this offense is in trouble.  Previous Rank: 23

28.   New York Giants (0-3) –  The Giants completely imploded this weekend and Eli, who had been the team’s lone sign of optimism, posted a passer rating of 49 behind a line that allowed him to be sacked 7 times for a loss of 45 yards, 6 of those sacks coming in the first half. Not only is the offensive line preventing Eli and the struggling run-game from finding consistency, but the defensive line has lost it’s ability to pressure the quarterback. The pieces are there but the wins and performances are not.  Previous Rank: 25

29.   Washington Redskins (0-3) –  The league’s worst defense and a struggling RG3 are going to make for a rough season until the ‘Skins can snap out of it. Fortunately for them, in the NFC East there’s always a chance to win the division and make the playoffs, even with an awful start.  Previous Rank: 24

30.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3) –  The Buccaneers could be sitting at 3-0 right now if it wasn’t for blown opportunities. In the first two games it was the massive amounts of penalties, and Sunday it was the amount of dropped balls. Doug Martin couldn’t run well against the Patriots defense, and although Josh Freeman made some good throws, the receivers gave him no help. Vincent Jackson, the recipient of over 50% of Freeman’s completions, left the game.  Previous Rank: 29

31.   Oakland Raiders (1-2) –  Terrelle Pryor saved the team from complete embarrassment on Monday night against the Broncos. Hopefully his concussion isn’t serious or the Raiders are in even more trouble.  Previous Rank: 31

32.   Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) –  No one seriously thought the Jaguars had a chance against the league’s best defense. The only reason the Jags got 17 points is because the Seahawks stopped trying.  Previous Rank: 32

Topics: Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks

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