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