NFL Power Rankings: After 4 Weeks

Matt Schaub leads the 4-0 Texans against the Jets Monday night

Matt Schaub leads the 4-0 Texans against the Jets Monday Night

NFL Power Rankings: Let’s take a look at all the NFL teams and where they stand at the end of the first quarter of the season. Most NFL coaches break the season down in chunks of four games, so let’s take a look. The Houston Texans have been the dominate team to date, with Atlanta a closed second. Here’s where all 32 teams stand.

The Elite:

#1 – Houston Texans (4-0) – The Texans come in as the number one team because of their defense. They allow just 273 ypg, and are the only team that hasn’t been in any real danger of losing a game. A solid defense, coupled with a well-balanced offense and the Texans should make a deep run in the playoffs.

#2 – Atlanta Falcons (4-0) – Prior to last week against Carolina, where they stole one, Atlanta had cruised. With wins over Denver and San Diego, this might be the year the Falcons finally win a playoff game.

Good, but not Great:

#3 San Francisco 49ers (3-1) – Close to elite, but the 49ers were a no-show against Minnesota and were never in that game. Harbaugh will not let the 49ers come out flat again, and they are terrific at taking care of the mid and low level teams.

#4 Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) – While they’ve only won by a total of five points, they stand at 3-1. The Eagles defense has been their anchor. The Eagle offense can be explosive with Vick, McCoy, and Jackson. If they get together and stay healthy a big playoff run could be in their future.

#5 New England Patriots (2-2) – Going 1-3 was looking pretty good there midway through the 3rd quarter at Buffalo. Well, that was until the Patriots rolled up 35 straight. New England could very well be 4-0 and #2 right now. They still have some holes on the defensive side of the ball, but that offense keeps on rolling.

#6 Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
– The Ravens are 3-1, but that defense is just not the same. They are currently ranked 23rd giving up 390 ypg and aging. They need to improve dramatically on the defensive end if they have any aspirations of making a Super Bowl run.

#7 Arizona Cardinals (4-0) – Who are these guys? They are middle of the road on defense ranked 17th, but they’re only allowing 15 ppg. They actually showed a little something this past Sunday against the Dolphins. They were definitely “flat” after the big win against the Eagles. They had no right winning this game against Miami. They stayed closed enough, and found a way to win in OT. Finding a way to win is definitely a trait of a solid team.

#8 Chicago Bears (3-1) – Jay Cutler yelling at J’Marcus Web seems like years ago. The Bears put a beating to the Cowboys Monday night, and they could be looking at 7-1 with Houston coming to town November 11th. The defense looks solid, and if Cutler can stay in it mentally, the Bears could do some damage.

#9 NY Giants (2-2) – The Giants are 2-2 without a worry in the world. They take losses in stride. The Giants understand the formula is playing your best ball with 4-5 weeks remaining in the season. This time of year feels like spring training. However, the injury bug has made some noise. They need to get healthy.

#10 Green Bay Packers (2-2) – We all know they should be 3-1 and not 2-2. They just seem a little out of sync thus far in 2012. They controlled their opponents most of last year until they met the Giants in the playoffs. Talent seems to be there on the offensive end, but can’t seem to put teams away.

#11 Denver Broncos (2-2) – He’s lost arm strength, his arm strength is back. Back and forth we go. Peyton may have lost some arm strength, but he’s probably the most intelligent guy in the NFL. That makes up for any arm strength issues. You do not want to face the Broncos in the playoffs.

#12 Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) – I think most were expecting a drop off after the amazing run last year. Andy Dalton has been effective and A.J. Green is tough match up for any team. The schedule picks up after this week against Miami, with Pittsburgh, Denver, and the Giants on the horizon.

#13 Minnesota Vikings (3-1) – This might be the biggest surprise of the young season. There wasn’t much expected from Minnesota. Christian Ponder? Who? The QB out of Florida State has the Vikings tied for first in the NFC North.

#14 San Diego Chargers (3-1) – It has to be frustrating being a Chargers fan. You never know what you’re going to get from game to game. They’ve looked good except for a blowout loss at home against the Falcons. The defense is ranked 11th, and they always have a chance with Philip Rivers.

#15 Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) – The Steelers have had their struggles early on this season, but they still have a lot of talent. With key players Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, and Rashard Mendenhall all missing time it’s been a challenge for Steelers. This week’s game against the Eagles is a big one for Pittsburgh. They don’t want to fall to 1-3 with Baltimore and Cincinnati both playing so well.

Show signs, but Inconsistent

#16 Dallas Cowboys (2-2) – They looked good in the opener against the Giants, but blown out twice since that win. The Cowboys just can’t seem to put it together. They always look good on paper. Check back again in four weeks.

#17 Seattle Seahawks (2-2) – Probably being a bit rough on Seattle, but they should be 1-3. The Seahawks are a good defensive team that hates the road. Rookie QB Russell Wilson hasn’t done much at all and probably shouldn’t be starting. Expect to see Flynn sometime in the next four weeks.

#18 New York Jets (2-2) – Oh boy. The prognosis is not good when your best offensive and defensive players are out for the season. The Tim Tebow countdown has begun. They were embarrassed against the 49ers and now have Houston. Ouch.

#19 Washington Redskins (2-2) – Being a Redskins fan must be like watching Madden 2013. Helter Skelter. Robert Griffin III has definitely brought back excitement to the D.C. area. There will never be a dull moment with the Redskins this year. Check back in 2015 when they might make a run.

#20 Buffalo Bills (2-2) – They can’t stand prosperity. The Bills had New England on the ropes at home. They couldn’t handle being out in front. On the positive end, they play well against the bad teams.

#21 St. Louis Rams (2-2) – Jeff Fisher can coach. Period. Make that 3-2 now with win over Arizona. It’s amazing what a coach can do, isn’t that right Tennessee? The Rams defense is improving each week and they have a good QB in Bradford. They’re not going to playoffs, but you don’t want to play them.

#22 Indianapolis (1-2) – Earlier this week Coach Pagano was diagnosed with Leukemia. It will be tough for the Colts the remainder of the season. The devastating news has to have an impact on the team. The Colts have been competitive in two of the three games played thus far, and Andrew Luck looks like the real deal.

#23 Miami Dolphins (1-3) – The Dolphins have two losses in OT. They could/should be 3-1 as they definitely had their chances in both of those losses. Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill has done some good things. The Dolphins need to close games out. They aren’t there yet. Do they have anything in the take after two OT losses in a row?

#24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) – The Bucs are a scrappy hard-nosed group led by new HC Greg Schiano. They’ve been in every game and they play 60 minutes. Like many of the teams down here they just don’t know how to finish games. That’s why they are ranked in the bottom third. Schiano has them on right track, but probably another year or two until any real noise is made.

What happened, you were suppose to be Good

#25 Detroit Lions (1-3) – The Lions were in the playoffs last year. They won’t be this year. The clock struck 12.

#26 New Orleans Saints (0-4) – The defense is a sieve. Any decent team is going to score 24+ on them without question. Sean Payton’s ego must be through the roof.

#27 Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) – Matt Cassel had one decent season with the Patriots. He signed the big contract, and he’s done nothing since. He’s now in danger of losing his job to Brady Quinn. The Chiefs are in trouble.

#28 Carolina Panthers (1-3) – The Panthers were 6-10 last year. It appears they’re headed in that direction again. They make a lot of noise, but don’t get the results. Losing that Atlanta game was a crime.

#29 Tennessee (1-3) – They showed up for one game. Having Matt Hasselbeck at QB should not make you feel warm and fuzzy if you’re a Tennessee fan. Calling Chris Johnson. Where are you Chris?

It’s going to be a long long season

#30 Oakland (1-3) – It seems like they should better. Carson Palmer is the modern day Jeff George.

#31 Jacksonville (1-3) – At least Maurice Jones-Drew is still good.

#32 Cleveland (0-4) – Best chances for a win come in Week 7 at Indy, and Week 13 at Oakland

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