NFL Power Rankings Week 4: Overachieving Teams That Will Come Back to Earth

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2012

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 23:  Quarterback Matt Schaub #8 of the Houston Texans delivers a pass against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 23, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Texans defeated the Broncos 35-28.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Week 3 of NFL football was filled with overtime, exciting comebacks and capped with an excellent Sunday night contest.

It also showed us a few overachieving squads. Some of those teams will continue their success into next week; others will be given a harsh reality check.

Let's take a look at this week's power rankings, highlighting the overachieving teams heading for a hard fall.


1.  Houston Texans

Houston nearly gave the game away to Peyton Manning. Instead, they're 3-0 and looking great heading into a Week 4 tilt with Tennessee.

Don't expect any letdown for at least another week.


2. Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons made a statement against Denver in Week 2, but their 27-3 whooping of San Diego on Sunday was even bigger. Watch Matt Ryan beat up on Carolina's weak defense next week.


3. Baltimore Ravens

If Joe Flacco plays every game like he did against New England Sunday night, look out. He will have at least one more game like that with the Browns coming up on Thursday.


4. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers dropped a shocker to Minnesota, knocking them from the top spot in the rankings. The Jets will feel every inch of San Francisco's loss next week when the two teams meet.


5. Arizona Cardinals

Arizona is 3-0. Wow, that's still hard to say. The Cardinals are the league's biggest overachiever so far, and that won't stop anytime soon. Games against Miami, St. Louis and Buffalo could put them at 6-0.


6. New York Giants

Eli Manning has been throwing touchdowns left and right for the past two weeks. That stops against Philadelphia this week.

Not only do the Eagles have the pass rush necessary to pressure Manning, but they can hurt the Giants' defense. Michael Vick has had trouble holding onto the ball, though.

Week 4's rivalry matchup will be exciting to watch. The Giants are winning, despite being inconsistent. The Eagles have been the same way, but I don't think they lose two games in a row.


7. Green Bay Packers

It's tough to drop Green Bay after Monday night's loss, but a loss is a loss. The defense is improved, and that's the most encouraging sign.


8. New England Patriots

New England did everything but beat the Ravens Sunday night, so they don't drop far despite their two consecutive losses. They will take all of their frustrations out on Buffalo next week.


9. Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys righted the ship with their 16-10 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday, but who can figure this team out? Chicago will provide a stiff challenge Monday night.


10. Philadelphia Eagles

I wouldn't want to play the Giants right now, and the Eagles are a mess. Yes, they are 2-1, but no game has been pretty so far.

Arizona thrashed them in Week 3. New York could do the same, but I think the Eagles get it done.


11. Chicago Bears

Chicago's defense dominated the Rams' attack on Sunday. They're not overachievers, not against St. Louis at least. The Cowboys will present a much-bigger challenge next Monday night.


12. San Diego Chargers

San Diego allowed nearly 400 yards and turned the ball over four times against Atlanta. They're underachieving; it's a trend that could continue in Arrowhead Stadium next week.


13. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle escaped with a lucky win on Monday, but that doesn't mean this team has nothing on which to hang their hat. Marshawn Lynch is pounding the rock on the ground, and this defense is absolutely ferocious.


14. Denver Broncos

Denver definitely isn't overachieving. Peyton Manning tried to bring them back late in the game, but he couldn't quite do it. They will bounce back against Oakland next week.


15. Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger is the lone bright spot on a team limping into their Week 4 bye week.


16. New York Jets

The Jets retain a respectable position despite a shaky win against Miami. The 49ers won't be nearly as forgiving in Week 4.

This is a tough call, but I think this team is overachieving. Most of their anticipated success was based on hope, not taking into account the jumbled mess that this team really is.

Mark Sanchez is struggling. The run game is nonexistent, and Tim Tebow hasn't helped at all. New York's defense is still an in-your-face unit, but Darrelle Revis left Sunday's game. If he's out for any length of time, that changes everything.

Look for the 49ers to derail the Jets in every way next week. This team is going nowhere fast.


17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs face a stiff challenge with Washington next week. If they don't clear the 200-yard barrier, like they failed to against Dallas in Week 3, they will lose again.


18. Detroit Lions

Detroit does play Minnesota next week, but this team is hard to gauge. Their dynamic offense can't stop scoring if they want to win most games.


19. Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton and A.J, Green finally showed some of last year's magic. Expect that to continue against Jacksonville in Week 4.


20. Tennessee Titans

The Titans endured a furious comeback by the Lions. They won't translate that momentum into a win over Houston in Week 4.


21. Washington Redskins

Robert Griffin III racked up over 300 total yards in the team's loss to Cincinnati. He put his team in position to win, but the Bengals were too much.


22. Carolina Panthers

Their loss to the Giants was partially because of their flaws, but the Giants would have beaten anyone. Cam Newton's three interceptions point to his growing pains as a second-year player


23. Buffalo Bills

Buffalo beat Cleveland by 10, but lost C.J. Spiller in the first quarter. Beating the worst team in the NFL isn't a big deal; adding another win is.

It's hard to see Buffalo repeating this success against New England next week. Bill Belichick's bunch is a far cry from Cleveland, and the Bills will struggle.

Buffalo isn't without talent, but New England isn't going to be happy. Two consecutive losses won't sit well with them, putting Buffalo in their line of fire net week.


24. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have two wins, and Sunday's win over San Francisco gives Christian Ponder a signature victory to hang his hat on. The sophomore signal-caller was good, throwing for 198 yards and two scores.


25. Miami Dolphins

If Dan Carpenter makes a field goal on Miami's first overtime possession, they beat the Jets and sit a few spots higher. Throw a Reggie Bush injury on top of that disappointing loss, and Miami didn't have a fun Sunday.


26. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs walked into New Orleans and sent the Saints packing. If the Saints weren't so bad, that would be "overachieving."


27. Oakland Raiders

The Pittsburgh Steelers gift-wrapped a win for Oakland on Sunday. The Raiders did play well though, led by Carson Palmer's three-touchdown day.


28. New Orleans Saints

The Saints lost their third straight game to start the season, and this year's defense won't allow them to improve.


29. St. Louis Rams

The Rams allowed six sacks, committed two turnovers and only picked up 166 yards of offense against Chicago in Week 3.


30. Jacksonville Jaguars

Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 177 yards in the Jaguars Week 3 win over the Colts, but 1-2 still isn't anything to write home about.


31. Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck is developing game by game, but this team is still young. Don't expect many wins this year.


32. Cleveland Browns

Brandon Weeden could have been worse, but consistency was nowhere to be found for Cleveland in their loss to Buffalo.


    Martellus Bennett Announces Retirement

    NFL logo

    Martellus Bennett Announces Retirement

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report

    Warrant Issued for Michael Bennett's Arrest

    NFL logo

    Warrant Issued for Michael Bennett's Arrest

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Police: Bennett Assaulted Woman, Told Cops 'F--k Off'

    NFL logo

    Police: Bennett Assaulted Woman, Told Cops 'F--k Off'

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Greedy NFL Is Killing the Draft

    NFL logo

    Greedy NFL Is Killing the Draft

    Mike Freeman
    via Bleacher Report