Carter's NFL Power Rankings Entering Week 4: Steelers Jump to No. 1

David CarterCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2010

PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 12:  Rashard Mendenhall #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates with teammates Stevenson Sylvester #55 and James Harrison #92 after scoring the game winning touchdown on a 50-yard run against the Atlanta Falcons during the NFL season opener game on September 12, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0)
In his first start since 2007, Charlie Batch threw for 186 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions on Sunday. Rashard Mendenhall had his fifth 100-yard rushing day against the Buccaneers, going for 143 yards and a touchdown for Pittsburgh.  If the Steelers can play this good without Ben Roethlisberger, just imagine how they could possibly do WITH him on the field. Just saying…

2. Tennessee Titans (2-1)
The Titans have won 10 straight interconference games, good for the longest active streak.

3. Green Bay Packers (2-1)
I think I just heard the Packers get called for another penalty…

4. Atlanta Falcons (2-1)
Quarterback Matt Ryan was at his best when the Falcons trailed Sunday. Ryan carved up the Saints secondary in obvious passing situations. When the Falcons were behind in their game against the Saints, Ryan went 15 for 18 and threw two TD passes, but when the Falcons were tied with the Saints, Ryan only went 4 for 12 and no scores.

5. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
Kansas City, which won six games over the last two seasons, is 3-0 for the first time since 2003 when it started 9-0. The Chiefs have won their last three meetings at home against the 49ers by a combined score of 116-19.

6. Indianapolis Colts (2-1)
Peyton Manning (1,013 passing yards, nine touchdown passes) and Austin Collie (359 receiving yards, four touchdowns) are ripping defenses apart through the first three games. Both should be legit contenders for the MVP award so far.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1)
Sunday's game against the Jaguars marked the fourth time Michael Vick has thrown for three TDs but the first time he's added a running TD.

8. New York Jets (2-1)
Mark Sanchez (256 passing yards, three TDs) threw multiple TD passes in consecutive games for the first time in his career. He now has six TD passes on the season (didn't get sixth TD pass until Week 7 last season). He hasn't thrown an interception in five straight regular-season games (114 pass attempts).

9. Chicago Bears (3-0)
I wonder where the Bears would be if they didn’t have Jay Cutler? Only two other quarterbacks have been more impressive than him this season in my opinion (Rivers and P. Manning). I now dub “Da Bears” as true contenders for the NFC North Division.

10. Seattle Seahawks (2-1)
Leon Washington is now the Jets and Seahawks all-time leader in kicks returned for TDs, and is the first to hold the record for two teams. He is now one of only three players in NFL history to have two touchdowns of 99 or more yards in one game.

11. San Diego Chargers (1-2)
Despite the team being only 1-2 to this point, Philip Rivers (1,087 passing yards, seven touchdown passes) is my current favorite to win the NFL’s MVP award.

12. New England Patriots (2-1)
The Patriots have allowed 82 points through the first three games. That's the most points they've allowed through the first three games of a season under Bill Belichick and their most since 1994 when they gave up 105.

13. St. Louis Rams (1-2)
The 30 points is the most in a game for the Rams since a 34-14 win against the Cowboys in Week 7 of the 2008 season. The win over the Redskins snaps the Rams' 13-game home losing streak.

14. New Orleans Saints (2-1)
Garrett Hartley's 29-yard missed field goal against the Falcons is the fourth-shortest overtime miscue since 2001.

15. Minnesota Vikings (1-2)
Including the playoffs, Brett Favre is now 28-9 as a starter in his career against the Lions and an astounding 19-0 at home. Adrian Peterson ripped off his seventh career game with at least 100 rush yards (160 on 23 carries) and at least two rushing touchdowns.

16. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1)
The Bengals have won five of their last six games against the NFC. Cedric Benson's TD in the first quarter against the Panthers was the Bengals first TD in the opening quarter since Week 11 of last season. Benson is the first Bengals running back with a receiving and rushing TD in the same game since Corey Dillon in 2001.

17. Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
Anquan Boldin caught three TDs in a game for the second time in his career. He was one shy of Marcus Robinson's single-game Ravens record set in 2003. Joe Flacco threw for 262 yards and three TDs, his third career game with at least three TD passes. The Ravens are 3-0 in home openers under coach Jim Harbaugh.

18. Miami Dolphins (2-1)
Brandon Marshall caught his first TD pass as a Dolphin and went over 100 yards receiving for the first time since Week 14 of last season (200 yards). He is the third straight receiver to go for 100-plus receiving yards vs. the Jets this season.

19. Dallas Cowboys (1-2)
Roy Williams had his best game as a Cowboy, scoring two TDs and recording his third 100-yard receiving game with Dallas. Tony Romo capitalized in the passing game against a young and inexperienced Texans secondary. He threw for 207 of his 284 passing yards in throws 10 plus yards downfield, much of which went to Roy Williams.

20. Houston Texans (2-1)
The Dallas defense did not throw anything fancy at Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, sticking to its base defense on 19 of his 32 pass attempts. Schaub struggled more against the four-man rush than any other pressure. He was sacked twice and threw two interceptions while facing four rushers.

21. Denver Broncos (1-2)
Quarterback Kyle Orton and the offense slipped over the banana peel Sunday in five trips to the red zone. During the first two games of the season, Kyle Orton went 7 for 13 and threw two touchdown passes in the red zone. However on Sunday against the Colts, he only went 4 for 14 and didn’t throw a touchdown pass at all.

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
The Buccaneers have given up 424 total rushing yards this season, which is tied for fourth-worst in the NFL.

23. Washington Redskins (1-2)
Washington went 1-for-10 on third downs and 0-for-3 in the red zone against the Rams.

24. Cleveland Browns (0-3)
The Browns have had a fourth-quarter lead in all three games this season, but are 0-3 for the third straight season and the fourth time in five years. Peyton Hillis had 180 yards from scrimmage and his 144 rushing yards set a career high.

25. Detroit Lions (0-3)
The Lions (0-3) lost their 22nd straight road game, tied for the third-longest streak in NFL history and are just two losses away from tying their own league record for road futility that went from 2001 to 2004. They suffered their 17th straight divisional loss, matching the Raiders for the most consecutive divisional losses since 1970.

26. Oakland Raiders (1-2)
The Raiders have scored 20 points in the first half at Arizona. They scored 13 and 16 points, respectively, in the first two games of the season. The last time the Raiders scored 20 points in the first half of a game was in Week 4 of 2006 (October 1st), when they led 21-10 at the half at home vs the Browns. The Raiders—of course—were then shut out in the second half and lost 24-21.

27. Arizona Cardinals (2-1)
The Cardinals have given up 439 total rushing yards this season. Only the Detroit Lions have given up more.

28. New York Giants (1-2)
The Giants had 471 yards of total offense against the Titans but scored just 10 points. Sad, isn’t it?? That is the second-most total yards gained while scoring 10 points or fewer in a game since the NFL first started recording statistics in 1933.

29. Carolina Panthers (0-3)
Jimmy Clausen threw for 188 yards with an interception in his first career start. The Panthers started the season 0-3 in consecutive years for the first time in team history and were held to single digits in points in two straight games for the first time since 2007. Carolina had the ball for only 23:38 and was 2 of 11 on third-down conversions.

30. Buffalo Bills (0-3)
The mobile Fitzpatrick provided a spark after starting in place of Trent Edwards, who led the Bills to the NFL's least productive offense in the first two weeks of the season. Fitzpatrick completed 20 of 28 passes for 247 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)
The Jaguars are 2-7 in their last nine games dating back to last season. They are now 0-4 all time against the Philadelphia Eagles.

32. San Francisco 49ers (0-3)
The 49ers are 0-3 for the first time since starting 0-4 in 2004. They've been outscored 62-16 in their two road games this season.

Top 10 Quarterbacks
1. Philip Rivers (Chargers)
2. Peyton Manning (Colts)
3. Jay Cutler (Bears)
4. Kyle Orton (Broncos)
5. Drew Brees (Saints)
6. Matt Schaub (Texans)
7. Tony Romo (Cowboys)
8. Eli Manning (Giants)
9. Aaron Rodgers (Packers)
10. Donovan McNabb (Redskins)

Top 10 Running Backs:
1. Arian Foster (Texans)
2. Adrian Peterson (Vikings)
3. Chris Johnson (Titans)
4. Rashard Mendenhall (Steelers)
5. Darren McFadden (Raiders)
6. Ahmad Bradshaw (Giants)
7. Peyton Hillis (Browns)
8. Jamaal Charles (Chiefs)
9. Michael Turner (Falcons)
10. Thomas Jones (Chiefs)

Top 10 Wide Receivers
1. Austin Collie (Colts)
2. DeSean Jackson (Eagles)
3. Brandon Lloyd (Broncos)
4. Anquan Boldin (Ravens)
5. Miles Austin (Cowboys)
6. Santana Moss (Redskins)
7. Reggie Wayne (Colts)
8. Brandon Marshall (Dolphins)
9. Roddy White (Falcons)
10. Andre Johnson (Texans)

Top 10 Defensive Players
1. Clay Matthews (Packers)
2. Mario Williams (Texans)
3. Mathias Kiwanuka (Giants)
4. Juqua Parker (Eagles)
5. LaRon Landry (Redskins)
6. Lawrence Timmons (Steelers)
7. Rocky McIntosh (Redskins)
8. Charles Godfrey (Panthers)
9. Ronde Barber (Buccaneers)
10. Antonio Cromartie (Jets)


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