Week 4 NFL Power Rankings: Great teams continue to win; others falter

Doug Pensinger


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Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos continue to dominate the opposition and our weekly NFL power rankings. Even against a much heralded Oakland Raiders defense, the offense could only be stopped by their own hand. Meanwhile, the unheralded Orange Crush put up some serious numbers against Oakland's formerly top ranked rushing offense.

As for the rest of the league? Week 3 turned out to be one of the wackiest weeks I've seen in recent memory from a straight up pick'em kind of way. I have been picking games straight up since I was in grammar school back in the late 80's and even back then I can't recall having a worst week picking games. Thanks to the Broncos, I nabbed an impressive sixth win for the week.

However, just because I think a bunch of 1-2 teams are better than their record and better than some 3-0 teams, doesn't mean I can justify keeping them in the mix. Therefore, this week you will see a wholesale changing of the guard in favor of teams that, you know, win football games. Hope some of you other fans out there enjoy the love!

Let's see how things got blown up this week in my NFL Rankings. Check out last week's power rankings here.

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1

Denver Broncos

Ladies and Gentlemen. The best team in the football.

42 PPG on offense is something that deserves respect.

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2

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks and Broncos are the only two teams in the NFL putting teams down for the count early and often. The Broncos have proven they can do it on the road, so for that reason (and because I'm a Broncos homer) they get the nod at the number one spot. I really assumed Russell Wilson would regress this year, but he's only come back better and with Marshawn Lynch running the ball they will put up some points.

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3

New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees and the Saints rolled again this week, taking his team to a 3-0 start and a full two games against of the rest of the NFC South pack. The NFC really is shaping up to be a three horse race between the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and these New Orleans Saints. Each owns a two game lead already to last years division champion.

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4

Chicago Bears

When did Jay Cutler grow a pair? This Bears team impressed me and they could be the Seahawks main rival for the chase to the NFC Title. The key for them will be health, which is something that always seems to ruin their season in December.

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5

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals look like a legitimate contender this year. The defense is good enough and their offense can be explosive. The problem I think will come from their inferiority complex coming from a division that has been dominated by the Steelers or Ravens for a while now. This team, if they win a game in the playoffs, will probably suffer from over excitement and end up losing in the next round. We've seen this in other teams in past years, where winning a playoff game seemed more important than winning a Championship. Last year's Falcons come to mind.

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6

New England Patriots

Tom Brady and the Patriots finally figured out how to score points throwing the ball to a bunch of third string nobodies. It kills me that they can go deep into the playoffs every year with such junk fodder starting for their team on both side of the ball. I look forward to the day Tom Brady hangs up the ole cleats and the New England Patriots enter a decade of obscurity.

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7

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are for real. Well, maybe. It depends on your definition of "for real". For me, its playoffs. With their offense though, this team will be very limited once they get into the tournament. It'll be one and done for sure. Even so, they are playing excellent ball early in the season and it will be interesting to see if they can keep it up over the course of thirteen more games.

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8

Miami Dolphins

Whoa, hello Chiefs of the Southeast. The Dolphins are playing hard and winning football games. It's that second part that truly matters. A 3-0 football teams deserves some respect, but I have not yet been able to see these guys play other than on the highlight reels, so if they seem low that would be the reason for it.

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9

Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco and the Ravens finally found their legs after getting humiliated in Week 1 by the Denver Broncos, then barely coming away with a win against the Browns in Week 2. This is the kind of a win a team can build on moving forward, but the AFC North is certainly looking like the Bengals to lose at this point in the season.

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10

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys suddenly look like the cream of the NFC East crop. In fact, they get the join the Top 10 this week by virtue of three solid weeks of football. Their only loss came to another Top 10 team in the Chiefs and that game was on the road. Their domination of the a stout Rams defense was surprising as I fully expect Tony Romo to through interceptions against any solid defense.

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11

Indianapolis Colts

For Andrew Luck and the Colts to go into San Francisco and dominate the reigning NFC Champions really changed my opinion of this football team. They could post some serious problems in the playoffs as Luck as proven he can win on the road or at home. The AFC South is really starting to look like theirs to lose even with two other 2-1 football teams right there with him after three weeks.

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12

Green Bay Packers

Defense, or lack thereof, is what will keep the Packers from getting another Super Bowl title any time soon. Aaron Rodgers is good, but he isn't Superman. I still expect the Packers to make the playoffs, but I am doubtful they will be in position to capture the NFC North this season. The Bears have a good offense AND a good defense.

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13

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are starting to look like frauds in 2013. 10 points in two games? TEN? One of those games was at home even. I cannot justify keeping a 1-2 team among the elite, hence the big drop this week. The biggest concern for this team is their defense. Once elite, they are getting gashed in the run and against the pass. Perhaps they are just experience an early season sluggish start, much like the Broncos last year before ripping off 11 straight wins to close out the regular season.

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14

Detroit Lions

I hate this football team. First, they had the win last week and a win would have handed me $85 for getting the best record in my pick'em league. Instead, they choked and lost, where I promptly lost the tiebreaker for getting second place by 2 points on the Monday Night Football score. Boo. So what did I do this week? I go Redskins thinking they'd be desperate for a win and then the Lions promptly screw me over again. In summation, I'm still angry at them.

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Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons are supposed to be good right? Well, 1-2 isn't that good and its not what Super Bowl contenders do. The Saints have firm control of the division now and the Falcons will be lucky if they can claw their way to a home playoff game this season, which means their chances of contending for a Super Bowl is practically zilch. Like the Seahawks, they are a different football team on the road.

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16

Houston Texans

I have been giving the Texans the benefit of the doubt in the first two weeks, but I'm not beginning to become concerned there is something wrong in Houston. They barely come away with victories against supposedly inferior teams, then get shellacked against the Baltimore Ravens - a team with concerns of their own. Needless to say, they suffered a big drop this week ... had to make way for the Colts baby!

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Tennessee Titans

Jake Locker pulled off a remarkable game winning drive, going 95 yards in two minutes with zero timeouts, albiet against the Chargers who fold like a piece of wet paper. The Titans look like a potential playoff team here early in the season and if the Texans don't get their act together they could find themselves third best in their own division.

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18

San Diego Chargers

The Chargers are frauds, but they're still hilarious to watch in action.

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Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton had fun on Sunday in a 38-0 romp over the New York Giants. They played the Seahawks tough too in Week 1, but the Panthers are known for being woefully inconsistent and immature. I'll give them a respectable bump this week, but they will need to show me much more in the coming weeks to keep justifying their rise up my board.

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20

New York Jets

Geno Smith looked like he had a bone to pick with Buffalo for passing him up in the first round, leaving him embarrassed to walk up to the podium halfway through day 2 of the 2013 NFL Draft. The Jets are still bad, but they one-upped the even worse Bills.

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21

Philadelphia Eagles

Looks like Chip Kelly can't scheme his way out of crappy talent. The Eagles need a few good drafts to repair the damage Andy Reid left in his wake. In the NFC East though, they should be able to scrape together enough wins to finish outside of the worst five teams in football.

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St. Louis Rams

I had the Rams marked as an up and coming team, but after two solid weeks of hard fought football they were blown out by the Cowboys. It's tough to stay positive when you keep losing, but if this team can keep pushing through and continue acquiring talent, they will turn the corner at some point.

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Buffalo Bills

The two-headed monster of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller just doesn't seem to be working for the Bills. With the trade deadline coming up, why not stock up for the 2014 draft? Instead, the management staff of this franchise just doesn't get it. The Bills are looking like the new bottom feeders of the AFC East, with the Jets streaking past them.

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24

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals finally face a quality opponent and promptly get blasted. They certainly look destined for the cellar in the NFC West, but the Rams could give them a run for their money. Talent doesn't necessarily equate to wins in the NFL and that is why the Saints got so much ranking love from me in the preseason rankings, while the Cardinals did not.

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25

Cleveland Browns

What the heck are the Browns doing? They traded away their top draft pick in Trent Richardson and pretty much announced a fire sale was in progress. Time to tank the season right? Apparently not and the Minnesota Vikings suffered for that. It would be hilariously funny if the Browns goal is to suck for Johnny Football and then promptly go on a winning streak to hurt their chances of getting what they want. One can dream anyway.

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Oakland Raiders

Terrelle Pryor actually looked like a competent quarterback at times last night, so maybe the Raiders finally found something at the position after a decade of searching. Darren McFadden was completely dominated whenever he attempted to run the ball, but he too had success throwing it, so maybe we'll need to give Pryor a few more looks.

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Washington Redskins

Robert Griffin III is trying to do it all on his own and failing. The magic the Redskins had last year has evaporated and Mike Shanahan's mediocre coaching isn't helping their situation. Fortunately, I think they are still the second best team in the NFC East right now, so not all is lost.

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Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are a fraud and now that Adrian Peterson is no longer beasting like its 2012, they are a sub-.500 football team. Maybe the will start stringing together some wins, but so far they look like a team struggling to keep things from falling apart. Who loses at home to the Browns, anyway?

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Pittsburgh Steelers

At least we saw an offensive spark for a minute from the Steelers this week, followed promptly by a fumble return for a touchdown to lose the game. Their offensive line is garbage and we are seriously looking at a four win team here, which is hard to say given the pride and staying power this franchise has held for so long. When the 2014 NFL Draft rolls around, I would advise them to look for the next Ryan Clady.

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New York Giants

Wow. This team is in big trouble. The Panthers are not even that good, so to get shut out and lose by 38 points is a very bad sign. Eli Manning looks like Phillip Rivers of last year and is becoming a turnover machine. We might have the worst team in the NFC East here.

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31

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Well, so much for "the Buccaneers are talented" talk. The team from a mental standpoint is a wreck and the effort simply isn't there. Normally when this happens its time to make a mid-season coaching change. One thing a coach can never recover from is losing the faith of the players in his program and that looks exactly like what has happened.

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32

Jacksonville Jaguars

How can Tim Tebow not make this football team more interesting? Hell, you already are the laughingstock of the league... Meanwhile, if you play Survivor picks, take Denver over the Jaguars. It's the easiest play. In fact, take the team playing the Jaguars every single week to victory.

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