NFL Power Rankings: Complete Outlook Following Sunday's Action
The San Francisco 49ers started Week 4 off with a bang, and a Monday night battle between two undefeated teams will close out the first quarter of the 2013 NFL season.
In between those two games was another wild week across the league. As usual, some teams excelled (Broncos, Chiefs), some crumbled (Giants, Jaguars), and others were simply average.
These rankings will likely shift after Monday night's game between the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins, but here is how all 32 teams stack up after Sunday's action.
1. Denver Broncos (4-0)
Peyton Manning and the Broncos will remain atop this list until somebody can finally beat them.
Manning and Co. were dominant again on Sunday, blowing out the Philadelphia Eagles 52-20. Manning was nearly perfect (28-of-34, 327 yards, four touchdowns, no picks), and the Broncos scored touchdowns on six of their first eight drives.
Right now, the Broncos are miles ahead of every other AFC team.
2. Seattle Seahawks (4-0)
They needed a late Richard Sherman pick-six and some poor decision-making by the Houston Texans, but the Seahawks will take a win any way they can get it.
After the Texans D stifled Russell Wilson and Seattle for most of the day, the Seahawks were able to score the last 17 points of the game to win 23-20 in overtime.
3. New England Patriots (4-0)
The New England Patriots have been very impressive through the first four weeks of the season, fighting past injuries and inexperience on their way to a 4-0 record.
They've been getting great production from rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, and cornerback Aqib Talib has been one of the most important additions in the NFL this season.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)
The NFL's most surprising team remained undefeated after crushing the New York Giants 31-7. Alex Smith threw three touchdown passes, their defense forced three turnovers, and Dexter McCluster delivered one of the sickest punt returns in recent memory.
With a relatively soft upcoming schedule (at Tennessee, vs. Oakland, vs. Houston, vs. Cleveland, at Buffalo), the Chiefs could conceivably head into their Week 10 bye with a 9-0 record.
5. New Orleans Saints (3-0)
The Saints face a tough challenge Monday night, but I'm expecting Drew Brees to dominate at home. Even if it loses to Miami, New Orleans will most likely remain in the top 10.
6. Miami Dolphins (3-0)
The Dolphins have been great thus far, holding on for tight victories over the Atlanta Falcons and Indianapolis Colts in the last two weeks. If they can pull off the upset Monday night in New Orleans, they will put themselves in prime position for a playoff spot.
7. Indianapolis Colts (3-1)
Andrew Luck and the Colts won their second consecutive game by at least 20 points on Sunday, destroying the Jaguars 37-3. Newcomer Trent Richardson averaged just 3.0 yards per carry, but his second-quarter touchdown should be encouraging for Colts fans.
8. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)
Colin Kaepernick mostly silenced the critics on Thursday night, leading the 49ers to a 35-11 victory over the Rams. Kaepernick started off slowly, but he found his rhythm midway through the second quarter. I'm expecting a big game from him next Sunday against Houston.
9. Detroit Lions (3-1)
Things are looking up in Detroit after the Lions earned an important win over their NFC North rival Chicago Bears. Reggie Bush was exceptional (18 carries for 139 yards and one touchdown), and Detroit was able to fend off a late Bears rally to win 40-32.
With the victory, the Lions are now in first place in their division. If they can beat Green Bay at Lambeau next week, they will have a great shot at making the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
10. Chicago Bears (3-1)
Chicago dropped its first game of the season, but give Jay Cutler and the Bears some credit. They shook off some early knockout punches from the Lions and scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes to make the game interesting.
11. Tennessee Titans (3-1)
The Titans won their second consecutive game in emphatic fashion, beating the Jets 38-13. Unfortunately for Tennessee, starting quarterback Jake Locker suffered a gruesome hip injury in the third quarter. Locker tossed a career-high three TDs before his injury sent him to the hospital.
12. Houston Texans (2-2)
The Texans jumped out to a 20-3 lead over Seattle, but they were unable to sustain their strong play. They slowly crumbled as the game progressed, eventually falling 23-20 in OT.
Houston will have to rebound quickly, as Matt Schaub's crew travels to San Fran in Week 5.
13. Atlanta Falcons (1-3)
The Falcons' record is disappointing, but I can't drop them any lower than this. Their three losses have come by a total of just 17 points, and the three teams they have fallen to boast a combined record of 10-0.
14. Green Bay Packers (1-2)
The Packers had a bye in Week 4. Look for them to be healthy and focused next Sunday as they try to improve to .500 against Detroit.
15. San Diego Chargers (2-2)
Phillip Rivers torched the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4, completing 35 of 42 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns. He did throw an interception in the second quarter, but he rebounded well, leading the Chargers to 20 unanswered points to close out the game.
16. Buffalo Bills (2-2)
EJ Manuel and the Bills impressed again, holding off the Ravens for a 23-20 win. The Bills intercepted Joe Flacco five times on their way to victory over the defending Super Bowl champs.
17. Baltimore Ravens (2-2)
It's still too early to panic in Baltimore, but the early results haven't been encouraging. Ray Rice carried the ball just five times on Sunday, and he has yet to surpass 36 rushing yards in a game this season.
18. Arizona Cardinals (2-2)
The Cardinals scored all 13 of their points in the final 11 minutes to steal a win from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Larry Fitzgerald (six catches for 68 yards and a touchdown) and Michael Floyd (five catches for 87 yards) carried Arizona's offense.
19. Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
The Cowboys missed a great opportunity on Sunday. Instead of improving to 3-1 and taking a commanding lead in the NFC East, they choked in the second half of their 30-21 loss to San Diego. Now, they only have a one-game lead in their division.
20. Cleveland Browns (2-2)
After seemingly raising the white flag by trading Trent Richardson, the Browns have somehow won consecutive games. Brian Hoyer (25-of-38, 269 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions) has provided the Browns with some much-needed stability at quarterback.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)
Like Dallas, the Bengals should have improved to 3-1 on Sunday. Instead, they rushed for just 69 total yards on their way to a 17-6 loss in the Battle for Ohio. With upcoming games against the Patriots, Bills and Lions, Cincinnati needs to find some solutions quickly.
22. Carolina Panthers (1-2)
Cam Newton and the Panthers enjoyed a bye in Week 4. Look for them to come out strong next week in Arizona.
23. St. Louis Rams (1-3)
The Rams were predictably crushed on Thursday night, falling to Colin Kaepernick and the Niners 35-11. St. Louis will continue to struggle if it keeps getting such dismal production from its running game. In Week 4, the Rams racked up just 18 total rushing yards.
24. Washington Redskins (1-3)
The Redskins got their first win of the season on Sunday, and thanks to the Cowboys' loss, they are just one game out of first place in the NFC East. As Robert Griffin III continues to get healthy, look for Washington to seize control of their division and quickly move up these rankings.
25. New York Jets (2-2)
The 2-2 Jets are better than most people expected, but Sunday's loss hurts. In the strong AFC East, the Jets have no room for error if they want to make the playoffs. Four turnovers (two interceptions, two lost fumbles) won't get the job done.
26. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3)
After an impressive Week 1, the Eagles have come crashing back down to earth. There's no shame in losing to the 4-0 Broncos. However, there is shame in losing 52-20. Luckily for Philly, its next two opponents (Giants, Bucs) have a combined record of 0-8.
27. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
The Vikings got their first win of the season by holding on for a 34-27 victory over the Steelers. It wasn't pretty, and they almost blew it in the fourth quarter, but it's not a bad way for Leslie Frazier's team to head into the bye week.
28. Oakland Raiders (1-3)
The Raiders jumped out to a 14-0 lead against the Redskins, but they failed to score a point after the first quarter. With tough games against San Diego and Kansas City coming up, look for Oakland to drop to 1-5 before its bye week.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4)
The Steelers had a solid comeback attempt against Minnesota, but Big Ben and Co. came up short again. Mike Tomlin will likely find himself on the hot seat in the coming weeks, but there's only so much a coach can do with the talent—or lack thereof—that Pittsburgh is putting on the field.
30. New York Giants (0-4)
There's simply no reason for the Giants to be as bad as they are. They have lost their last three games by an average of 26.6 points per game, and Eli Manning has thrown nine interceptions through four games.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4)
The undisciplined Bucs lost in heartbreaking fashion again on Sunday, giving up 13 unanswered points to the Cardinals in the fourth quarter. Don't be surprised if Greg Schiano is looking for a new job within the next few weeks.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4)
Despite serious threats from the Steelers, Giants and Bucs, the Jaguars remain the worst team in the NFL. Jacksonville has lost its four games by an average of 24.5 points, and it has lost 16 of its last 17 games dating back to 2012.
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