J.J. McDermott, NFL Columnist at Fantasy Football Maniaxs
There were some major disappointments and a huge upset in the making this past weekend. The Patriots finally fall from grace while a few teams earned some important victories and first wins of the season.
We will cover all this and more in Week Four’s NFL Power Rankings!
1. Giants 3-0-0
The Giants won in overtime against a Bengal team still searching for their first win of 2008, putting the Giants at 3 and 0 to begin the season. The Giants win a thriller as good Eli looks to be here, here to stay.
2. Cowboys 3-0-0
Three weeks into the season and two big wins against NFC rivals, the Cowboys are looking to solidify their spot at the top of the Power Rankings but for now they will have to settle for being second best for the time being.
3. Broncos 3-0-0
The new mirror image of the 2007 Patriots, Jay Cutler and the Broncos don’t seem to be letting up on the competition. In similar fashion as the Cowboys, they have been on a tear by beginning the season by beating two of their AFC rivals and starting the season undefeated. Next up, the Broncos look to continue their new trend as they head to Kansas City in hopes of stampeding over the weak Chiefs in week four.
4. Eagles 2-1-0
Injuries to key play makers, Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook couldn’t stop an Eagles team who pulled off a close but important win in week three. The Eagles defense was relentless in the pursuit of Ben Roethlisberger as they kept him on his back with eight sacks on the day. We will keep a watchful eye on injuries to McNabb and Westbrook to see how the Eagles respond in week five.
5. Bills 3-0-0
Somehow they fell behind on a struggling Raider team but for the second week in a row, the Bills came back to win the game in the fourth quarter. The Bills are now 3 and 0 for the first time since the Jim Kelly years of 1992. Things will only get sweeter for this young Bills team as they travel to St. Louis to face a dinged up winless Rams team who will be starting second string quarterback, Trent Green on Sunday.
6. Titans 3-0-0
No Vince Young? No problem! Kerry Collins passed the 35,000 yard mark for passing yards in his career to keep the Titans undefeated on the season. Their defense has been overpowering and keeping them in games; their next big test is to keep Adrian Peterson on a leash this week.
7. Steelers 2-1-0
How much longer can Ben Roethlisberger take the abuse? Already limited on his throws due to his separated shoulder, Big Ben was beaten to a bloody pulp Sunday by the Eagles defense. With injuries to Roethlisberger and defensive tackle, Casey Hampton, the offense and defensive lines will have to step it up this week against a tough Ravens team coming off back to back wins.
8. Packers 2-1-0
Romo and the Boys’ were too much for the Packers to handle in week three. The Packers fought the good fight but let us hope that Al Harris and his ruptured spleen are ok after a scary collision in Sunday’s loss.
9. Panthers 2-1-0
The miracle magic came up short in week three losing to a playoff caliber team, Vikings. The Panthers take on a young Falcons team at home this week; Steve Smith was quiet in his first week back since his suspension but look for the Carolina offense to heat up.
10. Chargers 1-2-0
Mr. Tomlinson, welcome to 2008! The Chargers finally earned their first win, pulverizing a Jet’s team for 48 points including two LT touchdowns, his first two of the season. After two gut wrenching defeats in a row, the sleeping giant has awakened; now let’s hope the defense plays to its full potential.
11. Patriots 2-1-0
Going from Brady to bad is the only way of describing the play of the Patriots in week three. Run for the hills! After rushing for 216 yards on the ground, the Dolphins exposed the Patriots weak run defense for what it really is and showed other teams around the NFL what Tom Brady helped cover up for the Patriots last season. That brings us to the question of how will Bill Belichick and the Patriots respond?
12. Redskins 2-1-0
By beating playoff quality teams like the Saints and Cardinals in recent weeks, the Redskins showed the NFL that they are tougher than people think. But with every positive there is a negative, the Redskins will be without stud, Jason Taylor for the next two games which include games against the Cowboys and Eagles. Taylor’s minor surgery could not come at a worst time for an up and coming Redskins team.
13. Buccaneers 2-1-0
Jon Gruden’s collection of quarterbacks pays off as Brian Griese wins against his former team in week three. Griese may have thrown 67 passes in Sunday’s contest but what is more impressive is that the Tampa Bay offensive line did not allow a sack against a tough Bears defense on Sunday.
14. Cardinals 2-1-0
Drinking from the fountain of youth still couldn’t help thirty seven year old Kurt Warner get a win in week three. Warner surrendered his first turnover of the season in last week’s loss but the main issue for the Cardinals is they must find a way to convert in the red zone.
15. Jaguars 1-2-0
Taking advantage of a laughable Colts defensive line, the Jaguars ran the ball all day long in week three. They may have won on a pass interference call that allowed them to kick a game winning field goal for their first win but can they continue to right their sinking ship?
16. Colts 1-2-0
The Colts porous run defensive is a major cause for concern in Indianapolis. Missing defensive player of the year, Bob Sanders, the Colts need to get it together fast. Luckily for them, they get a bye week in week four to find some well needed answers.
17. 49ers 2-1-0
Mike Martz and J.T. O’Sullivan stick it to their former Lions team in week three. A healthy Frank Gore and new offensive scheme have things looking up in San Francisco.
18. Saints 1-2-0
From preseason favorite to regular season folly, the Saints are struggling to stay afloat in 2008. There are injuries already on defense but with Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey out for at least another three weeks, the Saints offense is looking stale.
19. Ravens 2-0-0
The Ravens stampeded the Browns in week three to begin the season with a 2 and 0 record. Sure, they may have a rookie quarterback and coach but like the Ravens of old, their defense deserves the credit by keeping them in games.
20. Vikings 1-2-0
From bench warmer to miracle man? Gus Frerotte was a quick improvement that helped the Vikings finally earn their first win of 2008. But the question is can the thirty seven year old Frerotte energize the passing game to open up holes for the Vikings running game?
21. Bears 1-2-0
The Bears fought for a 2 and 1 record but came up short in overtime to record their second loss in a row. The Bears lost a 24 to 14 lead in the fourth quarter and didn’t record a single sack against the Buccaneers in week three. Dear Bears defense, it’s time to wake up! Things won’t get easier as they face a red hot Eagles team this week.
22. Jets 1-2-0
Different green, same Favre, but now with new frustrations. For the second game in a row, Brett Favre has not looked comfortable in his new offense or in the passing pocket. He has continued to throw from his back foot on occasion. With a banged up ankle, I’m sure Favre and the Jets can’t wait for a bye week in week five.
23. Seahawks 1-2-0
Who needs receivers? The Seahawks earn their first win of the season by steam rolling a weak Rams defense in week three. Thankfully for the Seahawks, this week they have a bye week and they should have back receivers, Bobby Engram and Deion Branch for week five. After several weeks of frustration, the Seahawks look to salvage their season.
24. Falcons 2-1-0
We all know the Falcons have a tight offensive nucleus in Michael Turner and Matt Ryan. They have gone out and beat two of the worst teams to begin the season but can they work their magic against a 2 and 1 Panthers team?
25. Browns 0-3-0
Is it back to the dog house for the Browns in 2008? After a miraculous 2007, the Browns are left where they started at the beginning of last season. Is it time for another quarterback change now for this season?
26. Texans 0-3-0
Is it now time for the Sage Rosenfelds show in Houston? Matt Shaub of 2007 has yet to show up in 2008, giving growing impatient Texan fans a reason to complain.
27. Dolphins 1-2-0
After humiliating the Patriots, are the Dolphins not the league doormat of old? It was a sweet win for Joey Porter, Ronnie Brown, and a down Dolphins team. Critics were wondering if Brown was still the same player that led the NFL in rushing through week seven of last year but after last week’s performance, Brown can only hope that he has silenced those critics. Most of all, Bill Parcells must be one happy man after Sunday’s biggest upset.
28. Bengals 0-3-0
Carson Palmer and the Bengals fell short of a chance for their first win in week three. Palmer and the Bengals offense finally awakened after facing three difficult defenses to begin the season. Now on to face another 0 and 3 team for a must win game for the Bengals.
29. Raiders 1-2-0
The Raiders almost began their season 2 and 1 but lost a heart breaker to the Bills on the last play of regulation in week three. Rumors have been out that head coach; Lane Kiffin may be on the firing block, how delusional can Al Davis be?
30. Lions 0-3-0
Thank you all for coming, the Millen era has now commenced. The hole left by Matt Millen in Detroit could not be deeper, what will be next for the Lions organization?
31. Chiefs 0-3-0
All that can be said is here’s to next year! They struggled once again and have yet to lead a game once this season. The only plus to note is that Larry Johnson finally came alive in week three running for 121 yards and a touchdown. The quarterback situation is a game of musical chairs in Kansas City, I feel bad for Tony Gonzalez right about now.
32. Rams 0-3-0
Scott Linehan is now on the hot seat after another loss for the Rams. Once the best show on turf and now the most laughable show on turf in St. Louis, the Rams are giving up an average of over forty points per game to begin the 2008 season. Things will not get easier for the Rams as they face the undefeated Bills in week four.
This is the way the rankings look for right now; tune in next week once again to see how your team fairs!