BASN’s NFL Power Rankings: Week Four

By Lloyd Vance
Updated: September 28, 2007

NFL Power Rankings

P HILADELPHIA — As we head towards the first quarter marker of the NFL season in Week Four, we are now seeing the Steelers, Colts, Patriots, Cowboys, and the surprising Packers cementing themselves as early playoff favorites by remaining undefeated at 3-0.

The unbeaten ranks did get a little smaller with the Redskins, Lions, 49ers, and Broncos leaving the group. We may also be seeing the re-birth of four playoff teams from 2006 (Eagles, Giants, Jets, and Chiefs) as they won last week after starting the season 0-2. The surprise of the season has to be that last year’s darling franchise the New Orleans Saints are 0-3.

The Saints are joined by the Falcons, Bills, Rams, and Dolphins in the dubious “no wins” club, which may signal the beginning of a long frustrating season as only three teams since 1990 have come back from (0-3) to make the playoffs. Also, don’t forget, Week Four starts the bye weeks as Jacksonville, New Orleans, Tennessee, Washington are off this week.

1. Colts (3-0): They went on the road and won against a tough divisional foe in the surprising Texans. In a marquee match-up, they now face the Broncos who are trying to prove they are a contender.

2. Patriots (3-0): Unfortunately for the Bills they were this week’s 38-point victim. A road MNF match-up awaits with the up and down Bengals.

3. Steelers (3-0): Mike Tomlin’s team showed the Niners what a “real” contender looks like. A grudge match awaits on the road against the Cardinals and former coaches Whisenhunt and Grimm.

4. Cowboys (3-0): The kings of the second half scored big against the defensive Bears on their way to a dominating win. They’d better not fall asleep at home versus the hapless (0-3) Rams.

5. Ravens (2-1): McNair returned to the lineup, but it was defense and special teams that carried them over the Cardinals. Will need to lean on the defense as they travel back to Cleveland to face the Browns.

6. Packers (3-0): No. 4 showed the Chargers how to produce on the field while tying another record and getting his team to 3-0 for the first time since 1991. The Pack travels to the Metrodome to face the Vikings, but Cheeseheads don’t worry as Favre has won three of his last four visits there.

7. Titans (2-1): The Vince Young-led Titans outworked the reeling Saints capitalizing on five turnovers. They’ll now have a week to sit back and enjoy the win, but I know Coach Fisher will be working.

8. Jaguars (2-1): They showed the Broncos a former unbeaten team how to play a tough physical game. Their D-Line and the rest of the team will get some rest during a bye week.

9. Broncos (2-1): Failed a home test against the physical Jags. We will see if they are a legitimate contender as they travel to Indy to play the champs.

10. Panthers (2-1): Tried everything to lose against the Falcons, but they squeaked out a victory. This week they host the surprising Bucs in a NFC South battle.

11. Seahawks (2-1): Took care of business against the inconsistent Bengals. Will be facing a motivated 49ers team in SF that wants to prove they are the best NFC West team.

12. Buccaneers (2-1): For the second week in a row, the surprising Bucs took care of business and they now look like NFC South contenders. Will face a tough road battle against divisional rival the Panthers.

13. Eagles (1-2): In probably the ugliest uniforms around, the Eagles showed the Lions what a real contender looks like. The Birds will need to have their “A” game as they travel to the Meadowlands to face divisional rival the Giants on Sunday Night Football.

14. Chargers (1-2): After all the “talk” of a Super Bowl run, this team is fighting to regain their swagger. A big divisional home battle with the LJ-led Chiefs is next.

15. Bears (1-2): Finally after losing a home test badly to the Cowboys, Brian Griese will be the QB instead of turnover machine Rex Grossman. Will travel to Detroit to face the Lions who looked ordinary last week losing by 35 pts.

16. Redskins (2-1): Let one slip away at home versus the Giants as they were stopped at the goal line. They will have the week off to get QB Jason Campbell and the young team back on track.

17. Texans (2-1): Without star receiver Andre Johnson they hung around against the Colts, but they are not ready for that step just yet. QB Matt Schaub will want to show the Falcons what they are missing this week in Atlanta.

18. Lions (2-1): Looked like pretenders while being torched by the Eagles for 56 pts (I can still see Eagles WR Kevin Curtis running). Facing a “Black & Blue” divisional game at home against the angry Bears.

19. 49ers (2-1): This young team showed that they are not ready for the upper echelon after losing to the Steelers. The Niners will now have to protect their home turf in a key NFC West match-up against the Seahawks.

20. Jets (1-2): They were not great, but they were much better than the hapless Dolphins. The J-E-T-S should reach .500 as they take on the beleaguered Bills this week in Buffalo.

21. Bengals (1-2): Had a chance to beat the Seahawks, but their undisciplined ways returned (10 penalties) in a loss. This week’s MNF match-up at home versus the Patriots will show who the Bengals are.

22. Cardinals (1-2): They hung around but they didn’t have the stamina to beat the Ravens in Baltimore. Whisenhunt will test his odd QB rotation at home versus the Steelers, who just happened to pass him over.

23. Chiefs (1-2): It wasn’t pretty, but the Chiefs spurred by their home crowd beat the Vikings for their first win. They will now face a motivated Chargers team led by an unhappy LT.

24. Vikings (1-2): Looked very average in losing at the Kansas City. Will need to lean on top Rookie of The Year candidate RB Adrian Peterson at home versus the upstart Packers and a rejuvenated Brett Favre.

25. Giants (1-2): It took almost the entire 60 minutes for the Giants to hold on to beat the Redskins. They return home to face the Eagles in an interesting divisional Sunday Night Football battle.

26. Raiders (1-2): A blocked FG finally elevated this better than their record team to their first win. Look for QB Daunte Culpepper to start in a return game to his former team the Dolphins.

27. Browns (1-2): Surprisingly last week versus the Raiders, this team was a blocked FG away from a winning record. They play hard, but a tough home battle versus the defensive Ravens awaits.

28. Rams (0-3): This team looks old and beat up after a dismantling by the Bucs. They now will have to face one of the NFL’s pinball machines, the Cowboys in Texas.

29. Dolphins (0-3): Despite a good game from Ronnie Brown, the rest of the team was dreadful in a loss to the Jets. They return home to face the Raiders and it maybe Daunte’s Inferno for them.

30. Saints (0-3): 2006 NFC South Champs looked like chumps again losing to the Titans at home on MNF. Maybe a week off will help QB Drew Brees with his turnover situation.

31. Bills (0-3): You have to feel for this team as they had no chance against the Pats and they lost their QB and MLB to injury. Will try to pick up the pieces at home versus the rebounding Jets.

32. Falcons (0-3): This time it wasn’t Joey Harrington that helped the other team, however enigmatic CB DeAngelo Hall was a key factor to a Panthers win. Matt Schaub returns to Atlanta with the upstart Texans this week.