I’d like to welcome you all to the third installment of our new weekly NFL power rankings feature, to be found here each and every Thursday evening on Rant Sports. Helping me out in this season-long endeavor will be my good buddy Anthony Travalgia. We have each taken half of the NFL’s 32 teams and offered our thoughts on each in an alternating fashion. The net change from week’s rank is now listed in parenthesis. (D = Down, U = Up, E = Even).
32) Cleveland Browns (0-4) (Benjamin) (E)
– The Browns didn’t get blown out of the water in Baltimore last Thursday. That, my friends, is another major step forward.
31) New York Jets (2-2) (Anthony) (D-14)
– Mark Sanchez has completed less then fifty percent of his passes in the past three contests, but Rex Ryan insists he’s sticking with his QB, for now.
30) New Orleans Saints (0-4) (Benjamin) (U-1)
– The Saints nearly picked up their first win out in Green Bay last week, but Garrett Hartley‘s rare missed field goal would up costing them the game. I get the feeling they’ll get off the schnide this week at home with an upset of the Chargers on Sunday Night Football.
29) Tennessee Titans (1-3) (Anthony) (D-5)
– At 1-3, the Titans really need Matt Hasselbeck to come in and right the ship before it gets too late.
28) Buffalo Bills (2-2) (Benjamin) (D-12)
– The Bills looked like they had the Patriots on the ropes and a 3-1 record with an AFC East division lead tucked into their back pocket… Until somebody reminded them that they are the Bills.
27) Oakland Raiders (1-3) (Anthony) (U-1)
– The Raiders head into the bye week at 1-3, they certainly need the extra week to figure out their many issues.
26) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) (Benjamin) (D-5)
– Nothing much to write home about for the Jags after a 17-point home field defeat at the hands of the Bengals.
25) Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) (Anthony) (E)
– With studs Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe running the offense, there is no excuse to a 1-3 start, oh wait I forgot, they have Matt Cassel.
24) Indianapolis Colts (1-2) (Benjamin) (E)
– I’ve ranked the Colts ahead of eight other teams, if only because they didn’t lose a game this week.
23) Detroit Lions (1-3) (Anthony) (D-1)
– Through four games Calvin Johnson has just one touchdown, he had eight through four games a season ago.
22) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) (Benjamin) (E)
– The Bucs dropped a heart-breaker to the Redskins last Sunday after their defense couldn’t shut the door in the final minutes of the game. With young studs in the secondary like Mark Barron and Aqib Talib, I can’t understand why Tampa Bay cannot stop the pass.
21) Miami Dolphins (1-3) (Anthony) (U-2)
– Miami nearly knocked off the undefeated Cardinals last week. The Dolphins are much better then there 1-3 record indicates.
20) Carolina Panthers (1-3) (Benjamin) (D-1)
– The Panthers gave the undefeated Falcons a real run for their money at the Georgia Dome last week. If quarterback Cam Newton continues the type of strong effort he displayed this week, Carolina should have no problem getting back on track.
19) Dallas Cowboys (2-2) (Anthony) (D-12)
– Tony Romo throws five picks, then has to wait two weeks to redeem himself. Can’t imagine Romo is going to enjoy the bye this week.
18) Seattle Seahawks (2-2) (Benjamin) (D-9)
winning against a team as good as Green Bay in week three, the Seahawks come out and lay an egg against the Rams. Go figure.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) (Anthony) (U-2)
– The Steelers didn’t lose last week, but they also didn’t win.
16) St. Louis Rams (2-2) (Benjamin) (U-13)
– The Rams have very quietly had a solid open to their season. At 2-2, they’ll have a real test at home this week against the undefeated Arizona Cardinals.
15) Washington Redskins (2-2) (Anthony) (U-14)
– RG3 RG3 RG3. There’s you reasoning for why the Skins are looking good at 2-2.
14) New York Giants (2-2) (Benjamin) (D-9)
– It was a disappointing effort from New York against the Eagles on Sunday Night, but a week five match-up with the Browns should be just the cure for all that ails the Giants.
13) San Diego Chargers (3-1) (Anthony) (U-2)
– The Chargers looked very good once again last week, if they can get Ryan Mathews going they could be a legit contender in the AFC.
12) Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) (Benjamin) (U-1)
– The Bengals haven’t really beaten anyone of much value, but their 3-1 record is worthy of a rating in the league’s top dozen teams.
11) Green Bay Packers (2-2) (Anthony) (D-3)
– It seemed like every break went against Green Bay last week, yet Aaron Rodgers and company managed to keep the Saints win less.
10) Denver Broncos (2-2) (Benjamin) (U-8)
– An impressive blowout win over division rival Oakland vaults the Broncos back into the top ten with a showdown in Foxboro against the Patriots on the horizon.
9) New England Patriots (2-2) (Anthony) (U-5)
– Last Sunday in Buffalo, the Patriots scored a touchdown on six consecutive drives in the second half, no folks that is not a typo.
8) Minnesota Vikings (3-1) (Benjamin) (U-3)
– The Vikings continue to shock the football world with their second straight victory over a 2011 NFC playoff team. With the way their schedule is set up, this team could remain in the hunt until after Thanksgiving.
7) Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) (Anthony) (U-3)
– Are the Eagles the luckiest 3-1 team in the league? Maybe. But 3-1 is good enough to sit them atop the NFC East.
6) Chicago Bears (3-1) (Benjamin) (U-6)
– The addition of a returning Matt Forte to a team with a defense as suffocating as the Bears is a scary proposition for teams in the NFC North.
5) Arizona Cardinals (4-0) (Anthony) (D-1)
– Kevin Kolb has thrown 7 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions and the Cardinals are 4-0. What more can a Cards’ fan ask for?
4) Baltimore Ravens (3-1) (Benjamin) (D-1)
– The Ravens weren’t exactly impressive against Cleveland last Thursday, but their 3-1 record speaks for itself. 4-1 doesn’t seem to far-fetched either, as Baltimore has a date with the Chiefs and their cupcake defense coming up this week.
3) Atlanta Falcons (4-0) (Anthony) (D-1)
– With the Saints at 0-4, is it safe to crown the Falcons division champions?
2) San Francisco 49ers (3-1) (Benjamin) (U-4)
– After a hiccup against the Vikings in week three, the 49ers were back to their usual dominant ways in a 34-0 shutout of the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
1) Houston Texans (4-0) (Anthony) (E)
– The clear cut number one team in the NFL. With a Monday night meeting with the Jets on the horizon, expect this to remain the same after this week.
Thanks for reading!