NFL Power Rankings Week 4, 2016

There was no greater surprise in the league last weekend than when rookie QB Carson Wentz led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 34-3 demolishing of the Pittsburgh Steelers. This keeps the Eagles undefeated, and it sends the Steelers tumbling in our power rankings.

See how far Pittsburgh has fallen in our Week 4 power rankings, and check out last week’s rankings here.

1. New England Patriots (3-0); beat Houston 27-0, same spot – Even with a rookie, third-string quarterback, the Patriots outclassed Houston’s talented defense. Only one more game to go until Tom Brady returns from suspension.

2. Denver Broncos (3-0); beat Cincinnati 29-17, up 1 spot –  If Trevor Siemian can continue to torch teams like he did the Bengals, there’s no stopping the defending Super Bowl champs.

3. Minnesota Vikings (3-0); beat Carolina 22-10, up 3 spots – Minnesota’s defense was dominant in this one, sacking Cam Newton eight times and picking off three passes. But the bad news is that RB Adrian Peterson is finished for the year (torn meniscus).

4. Seattle Seahawks (2-1); beat San Francisco 37-18, up 3 spots – After averaging 7.5 PPG in the first two contests, Seattle’s defense finally managed to bust out.

5. Kansas City Chiefs (2-1); beat NY Jets 24-3, up 3 spots – Kansas City’s dominant defense showed up for the first time in 2016, picking Ryan Fitzpatrick off four times.

6. Carolina Panthers (1-2); lost to Minnesota 22-10, down 2 spots – Carolina’s chances of repeating last year’s outstanding 15-1 regular season mark are already gone.

leveon-bell7. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1); lost to Philadelphia 34-3, down 5 spots  – It’s hard to imagine how this happened, given that Pittsburgh is a legit Super Bowl contender. But the good news is that they get RB Le’Veon Bell back from suspension.

8. Green Bay Packers (2-1); beat Detroit 34-27, up 1 spot – The Packers bolted out to a 31-3 lead, but had to hang on after letting Detroit back in this one.

9. Arizona Cardinals (1-2); lost to Buffalo 33-18, down 4 spots – This is not the start that we envisioned for the Cardinals when they started out #1 in our power rankings.

10. Baltimore Ravens (3-0); beat Jacksonville 19-17, same spot – We’re still not ready to anoint the Ravens as favorites to win the AFC North. But they’ve certainly had an impressive start so far.

11. Dallas Cowboys (2-1); beat Chicago 31-17, up 3 spots – Dallas has withered the storm without Romo available. If they can make it until Romo’s Week 8 return with a .500 record, they’ll be favorites to win the NFC East.

12. Atlanta Falcons (2-1); beat New Orleans 45-32, up 3 spots – Last week it was Matt Ryan throwing for three touchdowns. This time it was Tevin Coleman running for three TD’s in another win.

13. Cincinnati Bengals (1-2); lost to Denver 29-17, down 2 spots – This now makes two straight losses for the Bengals, who are in a 3-way battle for the AFC North crown.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (3-0); beat Pittsburgh 34-3, up 9 spots – After wins against the Browns and Bears, there were doubts that Carson Wentz was as good as his stats suggest. Following this trouncing of the Steelers, we have a better indication that he’s for real.

15. New York Giants (2-1); lost to Washington 29-27, down 3 spots – New York’s running game is getting thinner and thinner with Shane Vereen likely done for the season with a torn triceps.

andrew-luck-playoffs16. Indianapolis Colts (1-2); beat San Diego 26-22, up 2 spots – Indianapolis staved off San Diego to avoid a near-disastrous 0-3 start and force a tie atop the AFC South.

17. Oakland Raiders (2-1); beat Tennessee 17-10, up 4 spots – Oakland did a good job of shutting down the Titans’ passing game and grinding out a victory to put themselves over .500.

18. Buffalo Bills (1-2); beat Arizona 33-18, up 1 spot – The Bills needed a victory in the worst way to keep their season from being a disaster. They beat a strong Arizona team to get their first win, but the schedule ahead is still tough.

19. Houston Texans (2-1); lost to New England 27-0, down 4 spots – As if getting shut out by the Pats and a third-string QB isn’t bad enough, the Texans have also lost J.J. Watt for the season.

20. Miami Dolphins (1-2); beat Cleveland 30-24 (OT), up 1 spot – It wasn’t easy, even against the worst team in the league. But Miami is now in the win column and looking to move to .500 against the Cincinnati Bengals this week.

21. New York Jets (1-2); lost to Kansas City 34-3, down 1 spots – The passing game was rolling up to this point. But Fitzpatrick struggled with KC’s pressure all game, throwing four INT’s and sealing this loss.

22. LA Rams (2-1); beat Tampa Bay 37-32, up 3 spots – We admit that when LA began the season with a 28-0 loss to San Francisco, we thought this was going to be a bad year. But they’ve turned things around in the last two weeks.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2); lost to LA 37-32, down 6 spots – Tampa Bay’s offense bounced back after only putting up 7 points last week. But their defense is still struggling in the transition away from a Cover 2.

24. Detroit Lions (1-2); lost to Green Bay 34-27, down 2 spots – After being crushed in the first half, Detroit made this one look respectable. Even still, respectable won’t count in the win column.

philip-rivers25. San Diego Chargers (1-2); lost to Indianapolis 26-22, down 1 spot – Without top weapons Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead, Philip Rivers will have his hands full trying to win games with this offense.

26. Washington Redskins (1-2); beat NY Giants 29-27, up 4 spots – Despite putting up strong numbers, Kirk Cousins still looked shaky in this one. Nevertheless, he did enough to win and get people off his back.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3); lost to Baltimore 19-17, down 1 spot – This is the year that Jacksonville was hoping to finally take a big step forward. But an 0-3 start is dooming this prediction.

28. Tennessee Titans (1-2); lost to Oakland 17-10, down 1 spot – The Titans are running the ball good, just like they wanted to. But it didn’t result in enough points this time around.

29. Chicago Bears (0-3); lost to Dallas 31-17, down 1 spot – Unable to sort out their running game and missing Jay Cutler, 2016 already looks like a lost season for the Bears.

30. San Francisco (1-2); lost to Seattle 37-18, down 1 spot – After playing solid the first two contests, San Francisco’s defense had a nightmare performance against the Seahawks.

31. New Orleans Saints (0-3); lost to Atlanta 45-32, same spot – Despite putting up impressive stats through both the air and ground, New Orleans was unable to get their first W.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-3); lost to Miami 30-24 (OT), same spot – Following a stellar all-around game, Terrelle Pryor now thinks that his team can go undefeated the rest of the way.

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