NFL Power Rankings: Updated Outlook for All 32 Teams Heading into Week 5
Yet another week of the 2013 NFL regular season is in the books, and the power rankings have been shaken once again heading into Week 5.
This is where every team in the league stands after the first quarter of the season.
All stats and information via NFL.com and ESPN.
1. Denver Broncos (4-0)
The Denver Broncos dismantled the Philadelphia Eagles 52-20 in Week 4 and proved to be the best team in the NFL once again. A tough matchup with the Cowboys in Dallas will be a good test of how well this year’s group of players handles a hostile road environment.
2. Seattle Seahawks (4-0)
Seattle has one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. After beating San Francisco in Week 2 and taking down the host Houston Texans last week in overtime, the Seahawks will be on the road playing the Indianapolis Colts. This will be yet another test for the Super Bowl contenders.
3. New Orleans Saints (4-0)
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints used the Monday Night Football stage to prove they were Super Bowl contenders, but a Week 5 matchup against the Bears in Chicago will push the team to its limit. If New Orleans stays unbeaten, it will have earned it.
4. New England Patriots (4-0)
After beating the underperforming Atlanta Falcons Sunday night, the New England Patriots must turn their attention to the Cincinnati Bengals. While the Bengals may be coming off a loss to the Cleveland Browns, this is the same team that beat the Green Bay Packers earlier this season. Tom Brady and the Patriots will be ready though.
5. Indianapolis Colts (3-1)
Two straight victories—including a 27-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers—make the Indianapolis Colts one of the best teams in the league right now, but the celebration will be short-lived. With a home matchup against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5, this battle will determine if Indianapolis is a Super Bowl contender or pretender.
6. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)
The San Francisco 49ers have faced a tough schedule to open the season and have failed to live up to the expectations. The 49ers dominated St. Louis last week, but they will face a serious test against the Houston Texans in San Francisco Sunday.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)
The Kansas City Chiefs had a talented group of players before new head coach Andy Reid took over, but most didn’t think the franchise would start the season off with a 4-0 record. While dismantling the New York Giants was great, traveling to Tennessee to beat the Titans and stay perfect would be even better.
8. Miami Dolphins (3-1)
Despite losing on Monday Night Football, the Miami Dolphins are still a very talented team trying to develop a rapport on the fly. With several huge offseason acquisitions still working into the system—most notably wide receiver Mike Wallace—a home matchup with the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens will be a great gauge of where Miami is as a legitimate playoff contender.
9. Houston Texans (2-2)
The Houston Texans have a very impressive defense and are extremely talented on offense, but quarterback Matt Schaub is making far too many costly mistakes. With a brutal matchup against the stout San Francisco 49ers defense, Schaub’s play will be under the microscope.
10. Detroit Lions (3-1)
A loss at the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2 raised serious questions about the trajectory of the Detroit Lions, but wins against the Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears over the last two weeks has many doubters believing. With a matchup at the Green Bay Packers in Week 5, where the Lions stand next week will determine whether the team makes this postseason or not.
11. Green Bay Packers (1-2)
The Green Bay Packers used the bye week to get the team on the same page after starting the season with two losses in three games. Green Bay faces a divisional opponent in the Detroit Lions that has the firepower to stand toe to toe with the Packers, and the eventual winner will be considered serious Super Bowl contenders and the cream of the NFC North crop.
12. Chicago Bears (3-1)
The Chicago Bears were thoroughly outplayed by the host Detroit Lions in Week 4, but the team has a chance to redeem itself immediately. With New Orleans and Drew Brees traveling to Chicago, the Bears would jump back into the top 10 of the rankings with a win Sunday.
13. Atlanta Falcons (1-3)
The Atlanta Falcons had three losses all of last season, but have already reached that total through four games in 2013. Atlanta will be featured on Monday Night Football this week against the New York Jets and must win to remain relevant in the NFC playoff picture.
14. Baltimore Ravens (2-2)
The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens have been utterly disappointing over the first four weeks of the season, and a road matchup against the stiff defense of the Miami Dolphins won’t help matters. QB Joe Flacco threw for five interceptions in his team's loss to the Buffalo Bills, and he must correct that issue if the Ravens want a chance to make the postseason.
15. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)
The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Cleveland Browns and the road doesn’t get any easier this week. With a home matchup against the New England Patriots on the horizon, the Bengals are in serious trouble.
16. Tennessee Titans (3-1)
As well as Tennessee has played this season, the Titans were handed a serious blow when quarterback Jake Locker went down with an injury in Week 4. Add in a tough home matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, and the team’s momentum will be stifled.
17. San Diego Chargers (2-2)
It’s hard to decipher exactly what kind of team San Diego is right now, but a Sunday night matchup at the Oakland Raiders will help the Chargers get everyone on the team moving forward and playing well.
18. Buffalo Bills (2-2)
Led by rookie quarterback EJ Manuel, the Buffalo Bills have been one of the biggest surprises of the season thus far. If the team can beat the Cleveland Browns under the bright lights of Thursday Night Football, there is no doubt the Bills will continue to rise up the power rankings.
19. Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
The Dallas Cowboys have a very talented roster, but have yet to fulfill the high expectations placed on them by owner Jerry Jones. With a tough home matchup against the Denver Broncos in Week 5, this will be the ultimate test of the credibility of Dallas’ playoff aspirations.
20. Cleveland Browns (2-2)
The Cleveland Browns continue to climb the rankings despite a shocking trade that sent former first-round pick Trent Richardson to Indianapolis. As if beating Cincinnati wasn’t enough, the Browns will square off with the Buffalo Bills in a Thursday night home matchup Cleveland has a chance to win.
21. St. Louis Rams (1-3)
The St. Louis Rams are the fortunate team that gets to play the league-worst Jacksonville Jaguars this week. With plenty of weakness to address and work on, Sunday’s home game will be a much-needed tune up for St. Louis.
22. Washington Redskins (1-3)
After finally notching the first win of the season, the Washington Redskins will be on bye this week. The hope is that the time off will afford quarterback Robert Griffin III and the other injured Redskins the chance needed to continue healing properly.
23. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3)
Head coach Chip Kelly had his high-paced offense working well to start the season, but three straight losses have forced the team into a must-win situation against the New York Giants. New York is winless, but this home divisional matchup will be bitter.
24. Carolina Panthers (1-2)
After spending Week 4 on the bye, the Carolina Panthers now have to take the game plan they have been working on and implement it starting in Arizona. Carolina has serious potential, but how it is applied on Sunday will be the true test.
25. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
Beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in London was a big victory for the Minnesota Vikings, and now the team has the bye week to recharge their batteries and get ready for a tough rest of the season in the NFC North.
26. Arizona Cardinals (2-2)
The Arizona Cardinals continue to be one of the more enigmatic teams in the league. If Arizona can beat the Carolina Panthers at home this week, the Cardinals will once again climb the power rankings.
27. New York Giants (0-4)
The most shocking realization of the first quarter of the season is that two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning and the New York Giants are winless. If the Giants lose to the Philadelphia Eagles in a home divisional matchup that could go either way, heads will roll in New York.
28. New York Jets (1-3)
The New York Jets have one of the most impressive defensive units in the league (eighth against the pass and fifth against the run), but the team will be playing the ultratalented Atlanta Falcons. While Atlanta’s recent lackluster play will give visiting New York hope, Geno Smith and the Jets offense don’t stand a chance.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4)
Led by the chaos around former starting quarterback Josh Freeman, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization is winless and trying to find any semblance of order. With a bye week to clear everyone’s head (or make the situation worse), it’s clear the Buccaneers aren’t going anywhere.
30. Oakland Raiders (1-3)
After falling to Washington in Week 4 and losing starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Darren McFadden to injuries, the Oakland Raiders are a shell of the team that played Denver tough earlier this season. Add in a late Sunday night game against the San Diego Chargers this week, and things have gone from bad to worse for the silver and black.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4)
After traveling to London to play the Minnesota Vikings, the Pittsburgh Steelers will spend the next week on the bye. That should allow the team time to heal up and continue to build a rapport for the next portion of the season.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4)
Another week, another loss. While the St. Louis Rams are struggling to find their own identity, they will look like stars against the hosts this week.
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