Only the Seahawks, Chiefs, Bears, Dolphins, Saints, Patriots and Broncos remain as the leagues undefeated teams at this stage of the season, nearly double that of the amount of teams still unbeaten at this time last season. We have seen some real surprises already this year with some of the win-less teams in the league, but where do they rank? The NFL Week 4 power rankings are as follows:
1: Seattle Seahawks (3-0) Last Week's Ranking: 2
The Seahawks cruised home to beat the hapless Jaguars in Week 3, leaving them the undisputed top dogs in the NFC. Their placement really cemented by the statement win against the 49ers in Week 2. Russell Wilson is beginning to create a strong relationship between him and his receivers, especially Sidney Rice who has been ineffective early on. Chris Clemens has come back from injury, and with Percy Harvin still to return, the Seahawks look poised for a deep play-off run.
2: Denver Broncos (3-0) Last Week's Ranking: 1
It;s really a toss up between the two best teams in football right now for who you have at one or two. Peyton Manning looks as good as ever, and is on pace for a near 6,000 yard passing season. I know he won't keep that up, but it's pretty remarkable. Knowshon Moreno has stamped his authority over the running back situation in Denver, this is the most balanced team in the NFL.
3: Chicago Bears (3-0) Last Week's Ranking: 9
We can no longer overlook the Bears. Marc Trestman has got Jay Cutler and the Bears offense moving the chains regularly, getting chunk yardage, and the key has been utilising Matt Forte in all facets of the offense. Impressive wins against the Steelers and the Bengals have got them the recognition they deserve, but it's time we see Cutler secure a clutch win against a team of note.
4: New Orleans Saints (3-0) Last Week's Ranking: 4
We knew what the New Orleans offense was all about. Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham is up there as one of the best quarterback/receiver tandems in the league following another monstrous day against the Cardinals. However, it's the defense that is stealing the show, holding out the Cardinals to 0 points after their opening drive of the game. Impressive stuff from the high-pressure Rob Ryan defense.
5: New England Patriots (3-0) Last Week's Ranking: 8
The Patriots are yet to really get going on offense like we're used to seeing them do, but I suppose it takes a while to develop that link between quarterback and receiver. In the absence of Rob Gronkowski, who is due back in the next fortnight, Brady has found a new redzone target in Kenbrell Thompkins who caught two touchdowns on the Buccs defense. This team, although not firing on all cylinders, is undefeated. Says something about their character.
6: Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) Last Week's Ranking: 10
Bouncing back from an opening day loss against the Bears with two big wins against Pittsburgh and Green Bay give me the belief that Andy Dalton can be 'the guy' for Cincinnati. He has now prove he can win shoot-outs, something he had a problem doing in the past, against the best the league has to offer in terms of offensive weapons, not to mention the guy throwing them the ball. They are very close to being dangerous, just need all phases of the game to be clicking at once.
7: San Francisco 49ers (1-2) Last Week's Ranking: 5
We all wrote off the loss at Seattle as a blip, because, Seattle, but a disappointing loss at home to the Indianapolis Colts was a major upset. The offense being held to only 7 points was a huge surprise; it must be noted that they were without Vernon Davis, and of course their number one and two receivers Crabtree and Manningham, but still, this was not anticipated. We must remember this team are still the 49ers, but there are serious doubts about whether they can go one further, especially now they are two games behind the Seahawks already.
8: Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) Last Week's Ranking: 12
Much was made of what the Chiefs gave up for Alex Smith, so called 'game manager', but Smith is winning games for the Chiefs right now. They have played two very poor defenses in Jacksonville and Philadelphia, but have prevailed, which cannot be overlooked. A team that went 2-14 last year are now 3-0. They have the most underrated defensive unit in the league which can play the run well, stop the pass and create turnovers. The Chiefs have gone from 'dark horses' to contenders.
9: Atlanta Falcons (1-2) Last Week's Ranking: 6
The opening day loss to the New Orleans Saints was unexpected, but we now know the Saints are for real. The Falcons offense badly needs a healthy Roddy White to make them more potent, especially in the redzone. They need to get Tony Gonzalez into the game more, who has been under-utilized so far. Their defense has not been great, but are creating turnovers which is key to their success.
10: Green Bay Packers (1-2) Last Week's Ranking: 7
A disappointing loss to the Bengals in Week 3 was their own making. Key offensive turnovers cost them the game which need to be addressed. Even though they had another impressive rushing performance, if they can't hold onto the football, then the safest way for the Packers to move the ball is through the air, that way they know it's not turning over. With key defensive players still to return from injury, the Packers should be a much improved team going forward.
11: Miami Dolphins (3-0) Last Week's Ranking: 17
Who would've thought that the Miami Dolphins would be undefeated at this stage? Impressive wins against high-powered offenses in Indianapolis and Atlanta proved that their defense is legit, but the temporary loss of Cameron Wake to a sprained MCL will hurt their pass rush. Ryan Tannehill has taken that next step and is beginning to look real good. Not talked about as much, but he has a high ceiling, especially if the organization keep giving him what he needs to succeed.
12: Indianapolis Colts (2-1) Last Week's Ranking: 16
A statement win in Candlestick against the 49ers on Sunday gave me the inclination that this team have taken that next step. The addition of Trent Richardson, which I love by the way, will help to make them a more balanced offensive team, not to mention the impact of Ahmad Bradshaw, who went for nearly 100 yards against a stout defensive front. They also held the 49ers to seven points total. We need to see more performances like that from their defense before they can be considered a contender.
13: Houston Texans (2-1) Last Week's Ranking: 3
A poor performance against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3 really hurt the Texans. If they perceive themselves as title contenders, then they need to win these games against fellow contenders, but they folded. This 2-1 record could easily be 0-3 if it weren't for late heroics both weeks. This team needs to buck up and become more consistent on both sides of the ball.
14: Baltimore Ravens (2-1) Last Week's Ranking: 11
They didn't look great against the Texans, but we saw that Torrey Smith is a true No.1 receiver in the NFL. They need Ray Rice fit and healthy to give a more balanced look, but it's the inconsistencies of the defense which will cost this team last in the year. A stout performance against the Texans, in contrast to the beat down at the hands of the Broncos, doesn't look great on them.
15: Dallas Cowboys (2-1) Last Week's Ranking: 14
This team will be up and down all year long, but as long as Tony Romo is consistently hitting Dez Bryant, then they will always have a shot. They are the best of a questionable bunch in the NFC East, but should comfortable win their division, mainly due to how bad the rest of the teams are.
16: Tennessee Titans (2-1) Last Week's Ranking: 19
A surprise 2-1 team, with a surprise guy leading the charge. Jake Locker is showing signs that he can be the guy the Titans can rely upon to make plays, whether it be with his arm or his legs. Beating the Chargers who look much improved this year was big, as the Titans look to keep this young offensive group together to see them grow as a unit. They will continue to surprise teams this year.
17: Detroit Lions (2-1) Last Week's Ranking: 21
The Lions are looking as if they can compete in the NFC North this year. By all means, they will go as far as Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson can take them, but by all indication, that's a pretty long way. The defensive front of the Lions is one of the more underrated units in the league, and are proving their worth early on making that secondary look better than it is.
18: Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) Last Week's Ranking: 15
A lot was made of this Chip Kelly offense coming into the season, and they have been a great watch, but they are being let down on the other side of the ball. Their defense can't stop a thing right now. You and I could run right over them. The problem with playing fast, is that you defense doesn't get much recover time, and get gassed way to early. It works both ways, guys, but they are still a dangerous team.
19: St. Louis Rams (1-2) Last Week's Ranking: 13
A tough start to the season results in a 1-2 start, but there is a lot of hope for the Rams right now. Their offense goes hot and cold, personified by Jared Cook, but they need to get the ball in the hands of Tavon Austin more. The dude's a baller. They have trouble stopping offenses in key situations, however, that can be put down to the weapons they have been up against in Larry Fitzgerald, Dez Bryant and Julio Jones, arguably three of the top four wide-outs in the league.
20: Carolina Panthers (1-2) Last Week's Ranking: 28
What was startling to me about their win over the New York Giants this weekend, not their rejuvenated offense, but their terrific defense. Shutting out the Giants is no easy feat, restricting someone of the caliber of Hakeem Nicks to 0 catches, that's tough. Their front seven is as good as anyone's in the league. Cam has found his mojo, and we can only hope they let him run it more.
21: Arizona Cardinals (1-2) Last Week's Ranking: 20
Although the majority of us expected a loss to the Saints, it was the utter capitulation of the offense which was the biggest let down for me. Looking promising early on but again were poor on third down. Better blocking up front is needed for this offense to produce. They also miss Daryl Washington on defense, big time. Not to mention their two starting outside linebackers are now done for the year. Tough schedule awaits.
22: San Diego Chargers (1-2) Last Week's Ranking: 18
The Chargers are not as bad as their record suggests, in fact, they should have beaten the Texans if not for a miraculous play from Brian Cushing. Philip Rivers looks much better, and the offense are moving the ball effectively. A tough schedule has hurt the Chargers, but they will compete in most games.
23: New York Jets (2-1) Last Week's Ranking: 29
Geno Smith is turning heads league-wide with his impressive play and leadership skills for the Jets. Much was made about their receivers this offseason, but Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley look like a half-decent tandem, and their running game with Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory is productive enough. But at the end of the day, they will go as far as the defense will take them, and so far, they have been outstanding.
24: Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3) Last Week's Ranking: 27
The Steelers have looked off their best so far this season, and have not been helped with a tough schedule against some of the better teams in the league right now, but they are showing some signs on offense of getting back on track. With Le'Veon Bell to return soon, the offense will be mote balance and they should score more points. They still have a tough defense, and will be around .500.
25: Washington Redskins (0-3) Last Week's Ranking: 26
The Redskins gave up a lot for RG3, which has resulted in reduced reinvestment in their current roster, so the short term has been sacrificed for long term gain, essentially. Coming off a severe knee injury will be tough, but RG3 is beginning to find his legs, he is running more, he is quicker, and their play action game is looking strong again because they must respect the run. Washington will comeback from this, but 2014 ain't there year.
26: Buffalo Bills (1-2) Last Week's Ranking: 23
E.J. Manuel looks very good early on despite two tough losses, and the Buffalo offense looks productive. The young receivers are adapting well, and Stevie Johnson is a perennial threat. There are a lot of positives, including on defense where they look like they have potential to be very good. C.J. Spiller needs to be more productive however, not at his best so far.
27: New York Giants (0-3) Last Week's Ranking: 25
Man, the Giants look real bad early on. They cannot stop turning the ball over on offense so far this season. A shut-out against the Carolina Panthers was poor to say the least, and Eli Manning will take the blame. His decision making has been worse than 2012 Michael Vick, and David Wilson is running scared. This team needs a re-shuffle because they can't do much right.
28: Cleveland Browns (1-2) Last Week's Ranking: 31
Having traded Trent Richardson to the Colts earlier in the week, we all though the Browns had conceded this season, we were wrong. An impressive win against the Minnesota Vikings with Brian Hoyer under center gives them something to cheer about. Jordan Cameron is emerging as a Top 5 tight end in the NFL with another massive day, and we all forgot just how good Josh Gordon is. He is one they really shouldn't trade away.
29: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3) Last Week's Ranking: 30
The Bucs have been unable to get much going on offense early on this season. Josh Freeman has been erratic passing the ball and has the body language of someone who knows he doesn't have the full backing of the organization. Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams have all been hit and miss early on for the Buccs, who lack leadership and direction.
30: Minnesota Vikings (0-3) Last Week's Ranking: 22
When you lose to second-time starter in the NFL Brian Hoyer, it doesn't make you look good. Christian Ponder doesn't look like a guy to me who can take this talented Vikings team deep into the play-offs. He is not their guy of the future. Adrian Peterson is receiving little help from his offensive line who have taken a downward spiral, and the defense can't stop the pass. Could the Vikings be in Bridgewater contention?
31: Oakland Raiders (1-2) Last Week's Ranking: 24
Terrelle Pryor is just a guy who can run fast. He cannot throw it well, worse than Tebow in fact, and the Raiders need a QB next offseason. A team in transition that are meeting every expectation of them so far, and there isn't much else to say than: they aren't that good.
32: Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) Last Week's Ranking: 32
An embarrassing first half against the Seahawks was semi-salvaged to not look as bad on the Jags, but the combination of Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert is not a good one. If they can find a quarterback for next season, this team isn't that bad, they have some nice pieces in MJD, Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon, Marcedes Lewis. This team can't really get much worse, so the only way is up!
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