NFL Power Rankings Week 4: Highlighting Most Surprising Teams of Young Season

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent ISeptember 26, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23:  Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals high fives teammates during the NFL game against the Philadelphia Eagles at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Carindals defeated the Eagles 27-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

What a wild NFL season we have already. Let's just put aside the atrocity of refereeing for a minute and focus on the fact that power rankings all over look radically different than they did prior to Week 1. 

Parity rules the day in the NFL, and that means anything can happen in any game. Consider that just five teams have either not lost or not won a game this season, and you get a good feel for the balanced nature of the league. 

Here are three teams that highlight how unpredictable the NFL has been. 


No. 1: Arizona Cardinals

No one in the league has a more legitimate claim to being on top of power rankings than the Arizona Cardinals. 

It's just a hard reality to swallow. It's the Cardinals. They are Larry Fitzgerald and a bunch of scrubs, and a quarterback tandem of John Skelton and Kevin Kolb.

Think about it, though. Arizona has already beaten the Seahawks, Patriots and Eagles. These are three teams that all figure to be battling for postseason play. 

Going back to Week 9 of last year, this team has won 10 of their last 12 games. They have not allowed more than 20 points in any of those games. 

This defense is fifth in Football Outsiders' DVOA ranking, and they are seventh in both pass and rush defense in terms of yards allowed. 

This is a consistent defense that can play against any style of team. 

And through this crazy ride the offense has learned to come through when it matters. The Cardinals are not going away. 


No. 9: Seattle Seahawks

Yes, the Seahawks should be 1-2, but this ranking, which is behind Green Bay, is about more than record. Seattle's defense is a monster, and it will allow them to be a factor against any team they play. 

In three games they have only allowed 641 yards passing, 176 yards rushing and 39 points. This is the kind of defense that will win games in December and January. 

Their offense is certainly not flashy, and they are hurt by their lack of weapons at wide receiver, but  they have a beastly running game, and Russell Wilson will improve as this season rolls along, and he is building nice chemistry with tight end Zach Miller and Anthony McCoy. 


No. 32: New Orleans Saints

New Orleans' defense is in shambles. Everyone wants to talk about the impact of Sean Payton's suspension on the offense, but this team isn't going to win with any offense the way the D is playing.

New Orleans has allowed 215 rushing yards per game. That is more than five teams have allowed all season.

It does not matter what this team does. As long as they are allowing teams that kind of success on the ground, they are going to lose. 

The Saints will be fixtures at the bottom of power rankings all year. 


Langford's Week 4 NFL Power Rankings 

1. Arizona Cardinals

2. Houston Texans

3. Baltimore Ravens

4. Atlanta Falcons

5. New York Giants

6. San Francisco 49ers

7. Green Bay Packers 

8. Philadelphia Eagles

9. Seattle Seahawks

10. New England Patriots

11. Cincinnati Bengals

12. Dallas Cowboys

13. Denver Broncos

14. Pittsburgh Steelers 

15. San Diego Chargers

16. Chicago Bears

17. Minnesota Vikings

18. New York Jets

19. Washington Redskins

20. Detroit Lions

21. Buffalo Bills 

22. Tennessee Titans

23. Miami Dolphins

24. Carolina Panthers

25.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

26. Oakland Raiders

27. Kansas City Chiefs

28.  Jacksonville Jaguars

29. Indianapolis Colts

30. St. Louis Rams

31. Cleveland Browns

32. New Orleans Saints  


    2018 NFL Schedule Is Here 🙌

    NFL logo

    2018 NFL Schedule Is Here 🙌

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report

    Win-Loss Predictions for Every Team

    NFL logo

    Win-Loss Predictions for Every Team

    Brent Sobleski
    via Bleacher Report

    Giants Release Brandon Marshall

    NFL logo

    Giants Release Brandon Marshall

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report

    Full 2018 NFL Prime-Time Schedule

    NFL logo

    Full 2018 NFL Prime-Time Schedule

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report