2012 NFL Power Rankings: WEEK 4

And as we approach Week 4, we know even less than we did last week.  We have only two teams that have yet to win and three that have yet to lose.  Many would’ve guessed the Falcons and Texans would be in this position but the Cardinals?  As you may recall, I picked this Arizona team to have the 2nd overall pick in the 2013 draft and that seems rather unlikely.  Many would’ve picked the Browns to start 0-3 but with the Saints playing Washington, St. Louis, and Kansas City many thought they would be 3-0.  By the way the only wins these three teams have is against New Orleans.  And to talk about craziness what do the Patriots, Packers, Steelers, Broncos, Lions, and Saints all have in common?  They all have a worse record than the Minnesota Vikings.  Can that be right?  Oh well, our power rankings have been jumbled again as we have a new top team.

1. Atlanta Falcons (3-0)
Last Week: 2 (+1)

Prior to the Matt Ryan era this team never had back to back winning seasons.  Now the Falcons look like a team that can do something that Matt Ryan has never done – win a playoff game.

2. Houston Texans (3-0)
Last Week: 3 (+1)

Without a doubt the AFC’s best team plays in the NFL’s worst division.  With their schedule Houston could have a playoff seed locked up before the NBA season tips off.

3. Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 5 (+2)

The AFC is extremely weak this year but the two teams at the top are perhaps the two most complete teams in the NFL.  There is not a weakness on this Raven’s roster.

4. San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
Last Week: 1 (-3)

To say that the 49ers were upset on the road last week is an understatement.  The 49ers handled the two best teams from the NFC North a year ago with ease and then they go up against its worst team and are absolutely embarassed.  The 49ers should return to form this week.

5. New York Giants (2-1)
Last Week: 6 (+1)

The Super Bowl champs have found their rhythm again and should continue their winning ways against an Eagles team that does not protect the ball.

6. Arizona Cardinals (3-0)
Last Week: 14 (+8)

The Cardinals have made it clear they will not be ignored.  Their week 1 defeat was not a sign that the Seahawks were worse than we thought, it was simply a sign of how good this team was.  Big wins over the Patriots on the road and the Eagles shows that as long as there is steady QB play this is a team to be reckoned with.

7. Seattle Seahawks (2-1)
Last Week: 18 (+11)

Everyone is going to talk about the gaffe at the end of Monday’s game but let’s talk about the fact that at the end of 4 quarters Seattle was in a position to win.  This defense held the Packers to only 12 points and made Aaron Rodgers look like Mark Sanchez.  Russell Wilson is playing beyond his years right now and like the rest of the NFC West right now, this defense is performing at an elite level.

8. Green Bay Packers (1-2)
Last Week: 4 (-4)

Just three weeks in and the Packers have matched their loss total from a year ago.  Regardless of what you say about Monday’s game, this offense should never have been in a position to lose that game.

9. Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
Last Week: 12 (+3)

The biggest question I have about this team is the offensive line.  Everything else is there for this team to finally turn the corner.

10. Chicago Bears (2-1)
Last Week: 13 (+3)

I expected big things from Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall this season and so far I’ve been severely disappointed.  It is still hard to say how good this team is but they are 2-1 with a subpar offense.  If Jay Cutler shows up, watch out!

11. New England Patriots (1-2)
Last Week: 8 (-3)

I honestly cannot remember the last time the Patriots had a losing record.  The talent is here on this reloaded roster but this team is still trying to find an identity.

12. New York Jets (2-1)
Last Week: 16 (+4)

I want to give this team some credit before they freefall due to the loss of their best player for the season.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1)
Last Week: 7 (-6)

I knew turnovers would eventually catch up to this team once they met a top tier defense.  How long before the Philadelphia fans start chanting for Foles?

14. San Diego Chargers (2-1)
Last Week: 10 (-4)

The San Diego Chargers are trying to get back to the playoffs.  This weekend’s game against Kansas City decides who takes the lead in the AFC West.

15. Denver Broncos (1-2)
Last Week: 11 (-4)

The Broncos have had one of the toughest early schedules in the NFL, there is no doubting that.  Peyton has shown he still has it but it’s unfair for Denver to expect him to lead 3+ touchdown drives in the 4th quarter of every game.

16. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1)
Last Week: 17 (+1)

The Bengals young offense continues to impress but this defense that was so great a year ago still has not shown up.

17. Buffalo Bills (2-1)
Last Week: 20 (+3)

When the Bills face the Patriots this weekend we’re going to get our first real idea of how good this Buffalo team really is.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)
Last Week: 9 (-9)

Ben Roethlisberger is moving the ball on offense, the problem is that during the 4th quarter of games, the opposing QB is moving the ball a little better.  This defense needs to keep playing after the 45th minute.

19. Detroit Lions (1-2)
Last Week: 15 (-4)

The most “Penal-ized” team in the league is also among the most penalized.  This team’s success is going to be based on how healthy Matthew Stafford really is.

20. Minnesota Vikings (2-1)
Last Week: 27 (+7)

Christian Ponder put together his best game as a pro and Kyle Rudolph showed why he was the top tight end taken in the draft a year ago.  This surprising Minnesota team plays Detroit with the chance to take control of the NFC North.

21. Washington Redskins (1-2)
Last Week: 19 (-2)

You might have noticed that the Redskins have the best scoring offense in the league right now.  They also boast the league’s worst defense.

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)
Last Week: 22 (-)

This team is loaded with talent but the offense lacks any ability to move the chains.

23. Carolina Panthers (1-2)
Last Week: 21 (-2)

This team still lacks a rushing attack and a year after he took the league by storm, defenses are starting to figure out Cam Newton.

24. Oakland Raiders (1-2)
Last Week: 28 (+4)

The Raiders got a big win at home last week against the Steelers.  Now the Raiders have to travel to Denver in the hope of getting themselves back in the AFC West race.

25. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2)
Last Week: 29 (-4)

The Chiefs needed a win badly on Sunday and they got it.  This game was more of a statement for Jamaal Charles who proved that he still has the burst to be an elite NFL running back.

26. St. Louis Rams (1-2)
Last Week: 23 (-3)

In their first big loss of the season the Rams showed they still have a long way to go.  But they have to be excited about the leg on rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein.

27. Tennessee Titans (1-2)
Last Week: 27 (-)

The win against Detroit was a big one but I feel that after a loss to the Texans this week, Tennessee’s season will be officially over.

28. Miami Dolphins (1-2)
Last Week: 25 (-3)

Outside of Reggie Bush, who has blossomed in Miami, I cannot for the life of me figure this team out.

29. New Orleans Saints (0-4)
Last Week: 24 (-5)

Oh how the mighty have fallen.  A game against the Packers won’t help too much either.  Is this the return of the Aint’s?

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)
Last Week: 32 (+2)

Blaine Gabbert continues to impress, especially in the 4th quarter where him and Cecil Shorts have quite the chemistry.

31. Indianapolis Colts (1-2)
Last Week: 26 (-5)

There is a lot of young talent on this roster and they will get there but for now there must be growing pains – even for a highly touted prospect like Andrew Luck.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-3)
Last Week: 31 (-1)

There are some good pieces here but I do not see how this team wins a game in the always difficult AFC North.

Questions? Comments? Snide Remarks?
Let me hear ’em!

Where should your favorite team be ranked?

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