NFC Power Rankings: Week 4

Richard ReschCorrespondent IOctober 7, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 04:  A pad protecting the field goal posts has a pink ribbon supporting Breast Cancer Awareness on the field before the New Orleans Saints play the New York Jets at the Louisana Superdome on October 4, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Many players and officials in the NFL wore pink as part of breast cancer awareness month. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

1. Giants (4-0) Still number one, but the injuries may begin to take their toll. An already banged up defense lost the emerging star Michael Boley for a few weeks and now Kevin Boss and Eli Manning are hurt. They’re good at everything except staying healthy. (Last Week: 1)

2. Saints (4-0) They beat a very good Jets team at home, and they made it look relatively easy. If this defense is for real, the Saints are scary. (2)

3. Vikings (4-0) Brett Favre looks more like Brett Favre from 2007 than the Brett Favre from 2008, which is a good thing for the Vikings and a bad thing for the rest of the NFL. Although Adrian Peterson has cooled off, the Vikings offense seems to get better and better. Once he starts to get more running room, watch out. (3)

4. Eagles (2-1) The bye week came at the perfect time for the Eagles. With Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook returning from injuries, the Eagles should have no problem moving to 5-1 before a huge week eight matchup with the rival Giants. (4)

5. 49ers (3-1) The Niners took out their anger from their awful loss to the Vikings by destroying the Rams 35-0. It was an impressive display of offense and defense. But then again, it was against the awful Rams… (8)

6. Falcons (2-1) The Falcons had to sit and stew for a week after their first loss, and now they have a key game with the 49ers in San Francisco. They need to get Michael Turner and Roddy White going. (6)

7. Bears (3-1) Like the 49ers, they had an impressive showing against a weak team. Jay Cutler and the Bears offense scored five touchdowns on the Lions defense, and Johnny Knox had a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown (that he actually fumbled at the one-inch line in a premature celebration that no one cared to mention). (9)

8. Cowboys (2-2) Maybe Denver is for real, but it’s still a disappointing loss for a team that many thought would be competing for the NFC crown. Tony Romo threw no touchdowns, had two turnovers, and was sacked five times. Even more concerning was the play calling: Two plays from inside the ten to tie the game, and Romo targeted Sam Hurd over Jason Witten both times? (5)

9. Packers (2-2) On the one hand, I’d say they shouldn’t panic, as they lost to a very good Vikings team. On the other hand, I see a team that allowed eight sacks and recorded none of their own. In addition to the sacks, Aaron Rodgers was hit nine times.  The fact is, they are now two games behind a Vikings team they could not beat. (7)

10. Cardinals (1-2) After a long bye week, Arizona will look to get their act together against the Texans in what promises to be a barn burner. Former Iowa Barnstormer Kurt Warner needs to limit his mistakes if the Cards want to even think about catching the 49ers. (10)

11. Panthers (0-3) After facing three very good NFC opponents to start the season, the Panthers come out of their bye with three must-win games over the lowly Redskins, Buccaneers, and Bills. If they are not 3-3 heading into week eight’s matchup with the Cardinals, they can pretty much kiss their chances of making the playoffs goodbye. (11)

12. Lions (1-3) They got destroyed by the Bears.  So what?  The season is already a success. Everything else is icing on the cake. (13)

13. Seahawks (1-3) Seneca Wallace looks alright, but that’s not much of a silver lining in what is becoming another lost year for the once proud Seahawks. At least all of their losses have come against good teams. (12)

14. Redskins (2-2) The sad truth is that their six-point week one loss to the Giants has been their most impressive game. They need to win their next two games against the winless Panthers and Chiefs, because after that, the combined record of their opponents is 25-12. (15)

15. Bucs (0-4) It’ll take a miracle for them to win more than three games. (14)

16. Rams (0-4) See above. (16)