Detroit News NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

1. Seattle Seahawks (2-1): Bouncing back from a surprising loss to San Diego, the Super Bowl champs dispatched the Broncos, 26-20, in OT. QB Russell Wilson has been solid, minimizing mistakes late in games. Last week: 2

2. Cincinnati Bengals (3-0): The opening win at Baltimore was surprising, but beating Atlanta last week was an eye-opener. The Bengals handled the Titans easily and look like the favorite again in the AFC North. Last week: 7

3. Philadelphia Eagles (3-0): With 101 points in three games, the Eagles have shown a potent offense and have staged comebacks in each contest. A big test comes this week at the 49ers. Last week: 6

4. Arizona Cardinals (3-0): The Cardinals are atop the NFC West and ahead of the Seahawks and 49ers, just like everyone predicted. Wait, what? Michigan State product Drew Stanton was solid in the second half, with two TD passes against San Francisco. Last week: 19

5. Denver Broncos (2-1): The Seahawks look to be their Kryptonite, but the offensive struggles in the first three weeks are an issue. The defense couldn't get a stop in overtime and all the free-agent additions have yet to pay off. Last week: 1

6. San Diego Chargers (2-1): If not for a late field goal in the opener at Arizona, the Chargers would be unbeaten. Impressive wins vs. the Seahawks and at Buffalo have them tied for the lead in the AFC West. Last week: 12

7. Chicago Bears (2-1): The Bears defense took advantage of the Jets' errors in a 27-19 win on Monday and won their second straight on the road. A home showdown against Green Bay will solidify their North Division standing. Last week: 11

8. Atlanta Falcons (2-1): The Falcons won in a laugher over the Bucs, 56-14, in which QB Matt Ryan looked masterful, going 21-of-24 for 286 yards and 3 TDs. They'll be favored in the next two games as well. Last week: 14

9. New England Patriots (2-1): The Patriots managed just two field goals in the second half and had to hold off the Raiders late for a 16-9 win. QB Tom Brady has been less than stellar. Last week: 8

10. Carolina Panthers (2-1): After an impressive win over the Lions last week, the Panthers had an inexplicable dud in a 37-19 loss at home to the Steelers. With DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart possibly out, the running game has question marks. Last week: 5

11. Lions (2-1): The defense looks dominant, holding the Packers to seven points, but there are legitimate questions about QB Matthew Stafford and the offense and their ability to score. A road test awaits this week at the Jets. Last week: 13

12. San Francisco 49ers (1-2): After a 23-14 loss at Arizona, there has to be some concern in the Bay area, with back-to-back losses — and the streaking Eagles visiting this week. It's not a must-win, but a win wouldn't hurt. Last week: 3

13. Indianapolis Colts (1-2): Playing the Jaguars can be an elixir for any struggling team, but it was a nice get-well week for the Colts. Andrew Luck (370 yards, 4 TDs) played well, as did the running combo of Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson. Last week: 15

14. Green Bay Packers (1-2): Aaron Rodgers was held to 162 passing yards, the lowest he's had in a full game since his first season as a starter. RB Eddie Lacy, last year's rookie star, hasn't gotten going yet, which is a concern. Last week: 4

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1): They got an impressive road win at Carolina and controlled the ground game, with Le'Veon Bell (147 yards) and LeGarrette Blount (118 yards, TD). James Harrison is back on a thin LB group. Last week: 20

16. New Orleans Saints (1-2): The Saints couldn't go winless for much longer, could they? They controlled the game against the Vikings and Drew Brees looked more like himself (293 passing yards, 2 TDs). Last week: 16

17. Houston Texans (2-1): Receiver Andre Johnson has 16 catches for 191 yards and no touchdowns. In three games. That's inexcusable. Things are harder without Arian Foster, but they can't just rely on their defense. Last week: 9

18. Baltimore Ravens (2-1): Justin Tucker's last-second field goal sealed a game in which they trailed the Browns. The next two games (vs. Panthers, at Colts) will tell where they stand in the AFC pecking order. Last week: 18

19. Dallas Cowboys (2-1): After falling into a 21-0 deficit, they were able to come back and beat the improving Rams. QB Tony Romo had a pair of touchdowns and DeMarco Murray added 100 yards and a score. Last week: 23

20. Buffalo Bills (2-1): After two good wins to start the season, they found their level in a 22-10 loss to the Chargers. With the next two on the road (at Texans, at Lions), they'll need a split to keep up with other top teams. Last week: 10

21. Washington (1-2): QB Kirk Cousins has been more than solid (427 yards, 3 TDs) in taking over the starting role. The defense couldn't hold up in the fourth quarter against the Eagles, but at least they're competitive. Last week: 22

22. Miami Dolphins (1-2): They followed a good win over the Patriots with losses at Buffalo and to the Chiefs. Some of the luster is coming off that opener. Lamar Miller (108 yards rushing) is helping the offense. Last week: 17

23. Cleveland Browns (1-2): The defense couldn't come up with a stop in the final minutes and the Ravens won on a last-second field goal. Brian Hoyer (290 yards, TD) is doing it without a running game to speak of. Last week: 21

24. Tennessee Titans (1-2): The offense kept pace with the Bengals in yardage, but the defense didn't get stops in a lopsided 33-7 loss. Bishop Sankey and Shonn Greene are improving in the run game. Last week: 24

25. New York Jets (1-2): Following a timeout gaffe against the Packers last week, another series of mistakes led to a loss to the Bears. QB Geno Smith's outlook isn't getting much better, leaving some to call for Michael Vick to take the reins. Last week: 25

26. St. Louis Rams (1-2): They gave up a 21-point lead at home to the Cowboys and have a daunting next three weeks after the bye: Eagles, 49ers, Seahawks. It's never too early to start prepping for the draft. Last week: 26

27. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2): They're looking better after dispatching the Dolphins, with Knile Davis (132 yards, TD) helping QB Alex Smith (186 yards, 3 TDs) keeping the offense humming. Last week: 28

28. New York Giants (1-2): Running back Rashad Jennings broke through for 176 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-17 win over the Texans. The Giants had struggled previously on the ground and Eli Manning had no interceptions. Last week: 30

29. Minnesota Vikings (1-2): QB Matt Cassel has a broken foot, so the Vikings had to break the protective bubble wrap on rookie Teddy Bridgewater, who went 12-of-20 for 150 yards. Last week: 27

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3): Now that rookie QB Blake Bortles has found his way on the field, the Jaguars might even be a better team. Bortles had two touchdowns and two interceptions in the second half — and that's an improvement. Last week: 31

31. Oakland Raiders (0-3): Normally, the Raiders don't play well on the East Coast, but they stayed close to the Patriots until an interception on the final drive. Where's that long-range pass game the Raiders are known for? Last week: 32

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3): A near-historic dud of a performance in a 56-14 loss at Atlanta drops the Bucs into the bottom spot. They almost didn't look like an NFL team and have a legit chance to go 0-16. Last week: 29