NFL Power Rankings: Where Each Team Stands Heading into Sunday's Week 4 Matchups
The NFL regular season is already entering Week 4, and the power rankings heading into Sunday’s games continue to shift as the contenders separate themselves from the pretenders.
Before the majority of the Week 4 matchups kick off, this is where every team in the league stands.
All stats and information via NFL.com and ESPN.
1. Seattle Seahawks (3-0)
The Seattle Seahawks are unstoppable at home (they won each of their last 10 games at CenturyLink Field), but the team will be on the road in Week 4 against a tough Houston Texans squad. If Seattle walks away with another victory, the spot at No. 1 will be safe for another week.
2. Denver Broncos (3-0)
The Denver Broncos have one of the most dangerous offensive units in the NFL right now and a defense that will continue to get better. While the Philadelphia Eagles will give Denver a test, the Broncos will pass with flying colors.
3. New Orleans Saints (3-0)
There was no telling how much of an impact head coach Sean Payton's return would have on the New Orleans Saints, but the elite play of the offensive unit led by Drew Brees will have the Miami Dolphins on the ropes during Monday Night Football. Add in the improved defense led by coordinator Rob Ryan, and Week 4 should produce another win for New Orleans.
4. Chicago Bears (3-0)
The Chicago Bears lost star linebacker Brian Urlacher on defense this offseason and changed offensive schemes with new head coach Marc Trestman, but the changes have been nothing but positive. If the Bears steal a win over the rival Detroit Lions on the road, Chicago will be a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
5. New England Patriots (3-0)
While Week 4 has several marquee matchups, the best will be the New England Patriots vs. the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome on Sunday night. This potential Super Bowl preview will be the perfect gauge of where New England’s offensive unit is and how well its defense can play against stiff competition.
6. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1)
The biggest criticism of the Cincinnati Bengals was the lack of a consistent running game coming into this season. Rookie Giovani Bernard has played great when given the chance and will open the door for a more consistent air attack. The Cleveland Browns are in trouble this week against Cincinnati.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the biggest surprises in the NFL thus far in 2013. With the chance to shock two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning and the New York Giants in Week 4, Kansas City’s legitimacy will be pushed to its limit.
8. Miami Dolphins (3-0)
The Miami Dolphins have surprised the league with how well both the offensive and defensive units have played to start the season, but a matchup against the New Orleans Saints posses the biggest threat of the year. Expect a huge jump up the rankings if Miami stops New Orleans.
9. Indianapolis Colts (2-1)
Led by the promising tandem of quarterback Andrew Luck and running back Trent Richardson, the Indianapolis Colts have gone from a serious playoff contender to a Super Bowl threat with one trade. With veteran Ahmad Bradshaw out, the matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars will be Richardson’s coming out party.
10. Green Bay Packers (1-2)
The Green Bay Packers are on bye in Week 4 and need this week to get everyone back on the same page and avenge the two early losses this season. Green Bay has too much talent to lose the way the team did to start 2013.
11. Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
After winning the Super Bowl, the Baltimore Ravens looked to be dealing with the championship hangover through the first two weeks. A convincing win in Week 3 and favorable matchup with the Buffalo Bills Sunday will be the perfect remedy, though.
12. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)
The San Francisco 49ers took the opportunity to play on Thursday Night Football and regained the Super Bowl contending form the team had in 2012. The convincing win over the St. Louis Rams will help build momentum for the rest of the season.
13. Houston Texans (2-1)
The Houston Texans face a serious test against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4. If Houston doesn’t pull out the win at home, there will be serious questions about whether the Texans even belong in the Super Bowl contender conversation.
14. Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
While the Dallas Cowboys are playing with a more balanced style of offense in 2013, a tricky matchup against a talented Chargers team at San Diego could be the ultimate trap game. The Cowboys’ season will be gauged by how they respond Sunday.
15. Atlanta Falcons (1-2)
The Atlanta Falcons were heralded as a Super Bowl favorite coming into this season. Instead of living up to the expectations, Atlanta has the potential to go 1-3 if the team loses its Sunday night matchup against the undefeated New England Patriots. This is a make-or-break game for the Falcons.
16. Detroit Lions (2-1)
The Detroit Lions have a roster full of talented players, but they lack the consistency to be considered one of the best teams in the league. With a tough Chicago Bears team traveling to Detroit, the Lions are facing another early loss.
17. Tennessee Titans (2-1)
The Tennessee Titans have struggled mightily through the air, but a strong rushing attack will give the New York Jets everything they can handle. This matchup is built to separate the contenders from the pretenders.
18. Carolina Panthers (2-1)
The Carolina Panthers are on a much-needed bye week already. The hope is that Cam Newton and the offensive unit will come out in Week 5 and regain the elite form that made them playoff contenders.
19. New York Jets (2-1)
It’s still very hard to determine if the New York Jets are legitimate contenders, but how the team plays against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday will be a good gauge of how the Jets will perform for the rest of the season.
20. St. Louis Rams (1-3)
The St. Louis Rams were handed a tough loss on Thursday night against the San Francisco 49ers, and it was clear that the lack of a rushing attack was the team’s biggest issue. If St. Louis doesn’t find a way to have a more balanced offense, the Rams will be in store for a long season.
21. San Diego Chargers (1-2)
The San Diego Chargers face a huge test in Week 4 against the Dallas Cowboys at home. If the Chargers can walk away victorious, expect San Diego to steadily climb up the rankings.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)
The Philadelphia Eagles were defeated by Kansas City in Week 3, and the losses will continue to pile up. While there is enough talent on the Eagles roster to beat the Broncos in Denver, the change of altitude will limit Philadelphia’s effectiveness.
23. Buffalo Bills (1-2)
The Buffalo Bills are dealing with an injury to star running back C. J. Spiller’s quad, but with E. J. Manuel using his dual-threat abilities to keep plays alive, Buffalo should give the Baltimore Ravens everything the defending Super Bowl champs can handle.
24. Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
The Arizona Cardinals have the chance to show the NFL how good they really are against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is in serious trouble, and if Arizona can take advantage on Sunday, the team will climb up the rankings.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3)
The Pittsburgh Steelers have yet to win a game this season. While traveling to London in Week 4 to play the Minnesota Vikings won’t be an easy task, the Steelers have the chance to win this game and turn the season around.
26. Cleveland Browns (1-2)
The Cleveland Browns played well against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3, but with a tougher matchup against the divisional rival Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland’s lack of depth on both sides of the ball will be exposed.
27. Washington Redskins (0-3)
The Washington Redskins should flat-out win against the less-talented Oakland Raiders this week, but this is a shell of the Washington squad on full display in 2012. Oakland is dealing with issues of its own at quarterback, so this will be QB Robert Griffin III’s chance to find a rhythm and regain his elite form.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3)
As if starting the season winless wasn’t a big enough slap in the face to Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans, the coaching staff has made the choice to start rookie Mike Glennon over Josh Freeman against the tough defense of the Arizona Cardinals. That matchup doesn’t bode well for Glennon’s introduction to the NFL.
29. Oakland Raiders (1-2)
Led by quarterback Terrelle Pryor and running back Darren McFadden, the Oakland Raiders have been playing well to start the season. While the franchise is moving in the right direction, a tough matchup against a Washington Redskins team desperate for a win will result in a loss.
30. Minnesota Vikings (0-3)
The Minnesota Vikings are the unfortunate home team that is forced to play in London this week. Add in a Pittsburgh Steelers opponent starting to find its identity, and the Vikings will leave England without a victory.
31. New York Giants (0-3)
The New York Giants were touted as a Super Bowl caliber team entering the season, but with three-straight convincing losses and a tough matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, QB Eli Manning and the boys are looking at the possibility of going 0-4.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3)
The Jacksonville Jaguars are the worst team in the NFL. The offense is ranked 29th in passing and rushing yards per game and dead last in the league against the run. It’s starting to look like Jadeveon Clowney will be wearing teal.
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