NFL Power Rankings, Week Four
Wow. What a crazy week. Let’s just get to the rankings.
1. Atlanta Falcons (3-0) - Atlanta is tied for the best point differential in the league (+46) despite playing two potential playoff teams in Denver and San Diego. Matt Ryan (eight touchdowns, 72 percent completion) could be an MVP contender this season.
2. Houston Texans (3-0) - The other team with a +46 point differential. With the teams in their division, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Texans wrapped up a playoff spot by Week 11 or 12.
3. Baltimore Ravens (2-1) - Joe Flacco is averaging over 300 yards passing per game and Ray Rice is averaging nearly six yards per carry. Is it possible the Ravens offense is better than their defense?
4. San Francisco 49ers (2-1) - I was a little surprised with how well Christian Ponder played against the stout San Fran defense. Could the 49ers be a team that struggles to play from behind?
5. New England Patriots (1-2) - A loss and they go up in my rankings. The offense looked much better against Baltimore than it did against Arizona, and a loss to the Ravens as time expires isn’t something to worry about.
6. Green Bay Packers (
2-1 1-2) - The Packers should be 2-1, but man has the offense struggled. Aaron Rodgers has only thrown for three touchdowns all season.
7. New York Giants (2-1) – Even with all the injuries, the Giants offense looked unstoppable against the Panthers.
8. Chicago Bears (2-1) – Matt Forte is expected to return this week against Dallas, which is a good sign for an offense that needs a jolt.
9. Arizona Cardinals (3-0) – The Cardinals have allowed the fewest points through the first three games (40), but it’s difficult for me to put too much stock in a team whose biggest question mark is at the most important position.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) – The Eagles rank in the top ten in rushing and passing yards, but have only scored 47 points this season. The reason? Turnovers.
11. Dallas Cowboys (2-1) – After dropping a respectable 24 points in the season opener, the Cowboys have only combined for 23 points in the last two weeks.
12. San Diego Chargers (2-1) – Despite getting blown out by Atlanta this past week, the Chargers have a +12 point differential. I don’t expect San Diego to turn the ball over four times again this week against Kansas City.
13. Denver Broncos (1-2) – Their two losses come to two teams I have ranked atop this list, so it’s not time to panic…yet. Sunday’s game against Oakland is a must win, with a matchup against Tom Brady and the Patriots following.
14. Seattle Seahawks (2-1) – Depending on how you look at it, the Seahawks could be as good as 3-0 or as bad as 1-2. The defense held the Dallas and Green Bay to a combined 19 points, but how far can a team that ranks last in passing yards really go?
15. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) – Cincinnati’s next three opponents: The Jaguars, Dolphins, and Browns. The Bengals should start 5-1.
16. Detroit Lions (1-2) – The passing attack is currently the best in the league (334 yards per game), but you can’t expect to win many games when you give up that many big plays.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) – The defense looked nonexistent against Oakland and the rushing game is among the worst in the league.
18. Buffalo Bills (2-1) – The Bills need either Fred Jackson or C.J. Spiller to be healthy in order to continue to put up big points.
19. New York Jets (2-1) – The offense couldn’t get anything going against Miami, and with Darrelle Revis out for the season, the defense doesn’t look so promising anymore either.
20. Minnesota Vikings (2-1) – Through three games, Christian Ponder has a quarterback rating of 104.9 and is yet to throw an interception.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2) – In a passing league, the Bucs rank 30th in passing yards and dead last in passing yards allowed.
22. Washington Redskins (1-2) – This week made it clear: the injuries to the defense make things very difficult for Washington to stay in games.
23. Carolina Panthers (1-2) – I mentioned this last week, but the Panthers are better when Cam Newton throws less. In his 19 career games, Carolina is 0-8 when Newton throws 35 times or more and 7-4 when he throws 34 times or less. He’s throwing less so far this year, but he’s not running as well as he did last year either.
24. New Orleans Saints (0-3) – Now 0-3, the Saints have to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Yikes.
25. St. Louis Rams (1-2) – After two strong games, Sam Bradford put up a QBR of 3.9 after facing an actual defense in Chicago.
26. Oakland Raiders (1-2) – After being blown out by Miami the Raiders steal a win from Pittsburgh. Color me confused.
27. Miami Dolphins (1-2) – If Reggie Bush doesn’t play this Sunday, the Dolphins will have serious trouble trying to pick up yards. The run defense is still quietly among the league’s best.
28. Tennessee Titans (1-2) – Chalk this game up to a lucky win (although it was almost a very unlucky loss). Too many big plays that won’t be replicated throughout the season.
29. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) – A win again this Sunday at home against San Diego would put Kansas City in a tie for first in the division.
30. Indianapolis Colts (1-2) – I know they just lost to the Jaguars, but the Colts are the better team. Andrew Luck has now thrown for over 300 yards twice in his first three games.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) – Cecil Shorts continues to do the impossible at the end of games.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-3) – I don’t think a nationally televised game against the Ravens is where Cleveland will get its first win.