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NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

Steve Shoup

1. Houston Texans:

-The Texans remain undefeated and are clicking on all cylinders. They can beat you in a variety of ways and remain a very dangerous team that no one wants to see on their schedule right now.

2. Atlanta Falcons:

-The Falcons are playing excellent football right now and have one of the deadliest passing attacks in the league. Trying to cover Roddy White, Juilio Jones and Tony Gonzalez is next to impossible.

3. San Francisco 49ers:

-The 49ers dropped a tough one on the road to the Minnesota Vikings, but I’m not going to drop them too far in my rankings, because overlooking a weaker opponent happens. Their wins the first two weeks were still very impressive. .

4. Baltimore Ravens:

-The Ravens won a close game Sunday Night versus the Patriots to go to 2-1. Joe Flacco had another great game, and if he keeps playing like this they will be tough to beat this year.

5. Philadelphia Eagles:

-The Eagles are 2-1, and haven’t played that great in terms of turnovers, their talent is still readily apparent.

6. Arizona Cardinals:

-The Cardinals are the NFL’s surprise undefeated team, especially given that they beat the Patriots and the Eagles . They have a talented defense and a great wide receiver, but other questions remain for this team. They are off to a good start though and can stay in the playoff mix.

7. Green Bay Packers:

-The Packers should be 2-1, but they also managed to score just 12 points against the Seattle Seahawks. Their high powered offense just hasn’t been there this season and is a growing concern.

8. New York Giants:

-The Giants have beaten up on the Buccaneers (though the game was close) and the Panthers, but face a tough test this week against the Philadelphia Eagles.This will be a good test for them, and it will be interesting to see if they can rise to the occasion..

9. San Diego Chargers:

-The Chargers are playing pretty solid ball so far, and very much should win the AFC West (though mainly by default)..

10. New England Patriots:

-The Patriots could easily be 2-1, but they have some questions after that Ravens game. After really shutting down Baltimore’s offense the first couple of drives, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice lit up the Patriots defense..

11. Chicago Bears:

-The Bears rebounded in a big way against the Rams, but their offense still doesn’t seem to be clicking on all levels. They face a tough Dallas team this week, that would be a big win for them.

12. Pittsburgh Steelers:

-The Steelers all but had that Raiders game locked up and completely sputtered at the end of the game. That is a tough loss, since it was one of the easier games on the Steelers schedule this year.

13. Denver Broncos:

-The Broncos had probably the toughest schedule to start the season, and it showed with a 1-2 start. They have the talent to turn things around but they have to get going soon if they don’t want to miss out on a playoff chance.

14. Detroit Lions:

-The Lions get one more week in the top 15 here, but they probably don’t deserve it after their pathetic performance of trying to stop Jake Locker last week. The good news is they may have finally found a running game to balance out their passing attack.

15. Dallas Cowboys:

-The Cowboys may be 2-1, but that wasn’t a great showing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their home opener. Dallas needs to close out drives better as they go up against better teams.

16. Cincinnati Bengals:

-The Bengals won a high scoring game on the road against the Redskins, but some questions still persist. Their running game was completely stopped by a Skins defense that got rolled over on the week before on the ground. The Bengals also couldn’t stop the run, which is never a good thing when you play in the AFC North.

17. Seattle Seahawks:

-The Seahawks are 2-1, and even if they should have lost that game, they did play a heck of a game. Their home field advantage is huge if it can make both the Packers and Cowboys struggle that much. Seattle still needs to show that they can be a balanced team, but they should be fun to watch this year.

18. Buffalo Bills:

-They may be 2-1, but the Bills suffered another running back injury to C.J. Spiller. While Fred Jackson may be ready to return it is safe to say their ground game is a little off. That could spell trouble for a Bills team that relies so much on the running game.

19. Carolina Panthers:

-The Panthers had a dud week against the Giants, and need to show that their impressive week 2 win over the Saints wasn’t a fluke. Their defense needs to start to find ways to stop teams, and their running game needs to be more effective.

20. New York Jets:

-The Jets squeaked out an overtime win against the Dolphins, but the bigger story is the loss of Darrelle Revis for the season. With the way their defense has struggled so far, this could spell some major issues going forward.

21. Tennessee Titans:

-The Titans looked very impressive against the Lions, though their running game is still non-existent, which doesn’t bode well going forward.

22. St. Louis Rams:

-The Rams struggled versus a tough Bears defense, but hung in the game for a while due to their own emerging defense.

23. Minnesota Vikings:

-The Vikings had a very impressive win at home versus the 49ers, and don’t look now but Christian Ponder is among the league leaders in passer rating. It is still too early to tell if they are legit though, but the Vikings are playing better football that is for sure.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

-The Bucs played the Cowboys very tough on the road and could have stolen that game. Their offense just isn’t fully clicking though and that seems to be a problem. They have to try to contain Robert Griffin III this week which is no easy task.

25. Washington Redskins:

-The Redskins rushing offense looks to be a very effective unit so far, unfortunately that has been the only area of the team that has played with any consistency. Struggles along the offensive line are making the passing offense come back to earth and the defense has been pretty pathetic with the exception of a few big plays that has helped keep them in games. The Redskins will head out on the road for the third time this week, as they go to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in what is turning into a must win game for the Redskins.

26. Miami Dolphins:

-The Dolphins are playing everyone close, and probably should be 2-1 after blowing a close one to the Jets. Ryan Tannehill does look like a rookie sometimes, but overall he’s playing well. The real issue is if Reggie Bush is seriously injured as he’s been the majority of their offense.

27. Kansas City Chiefs:

-The Chiefs are off the winless list, but just barely. They need to find a way to play up to their talent level.

28. New Orleans Saints:

-The Saints fall to 0-3 with losses to the Chiefs, Panthers, and Redskins. Things don’t get any easier as they have the Packers this week.

29. Indianapolis Colts:

-The Colts lost a tough one to the Jaguars on Sunday, but overall are still the better team due mainly to their quarterback Andrew Luck. That defense will keep the Colts at the bottom of this list, but their offense could be a force next year.

30. Cleveland Browns:

-The Browns are 0-3 and having a rough year, especially with Joe Haden out due to suspension (2 more weeks). Both Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson have been okay, but neither has been able to carry this team (esp. when the other is struggling).

31. Jacksonville Jaguars:

Blaine Gabbert may have grown a little as a quarterback, but that was a lucky play to beat the Colts and doesn’t seem to be anything more than that. MJD does seem to be back in mid-season form though.

32. Oakland Raiders:

-It was a great come from behind victory for the Raiders, but essentially through three games they’ve gotten beat for 15 of the 16 quarters, that isn’t a good sign going forward.

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