2013 NFL Power Rankings Week 4: Miami Dolphins Prove to Be the Real Deal
2013 NFL Power Rankings Week 4
With another week in the books, it's time to take a look at the NFL Power Rankings for Week 4 of the 2013 season.
Once again, there were plenty of surprises to take away from Week 4 as plenty of football fans are surprised by some of their beloved teams disappointing starts. After three weeks of football, who would have though the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, and Atlanta Falcons would be 1-2 heading into the final week of September. Better yet, who would have thought the Kansas City Chiefs (2-14 last year) and Miami Dolphins would be 3-0 heading into Week 4?
If there's anything to take away from Week 3, it would be this Dolphins team is the real deal as they're coming off a very impressive win at home against the Falcons. It was one thing to beat the Indianapolis Colts on the road in Week 2, but for a team many considered to be a sleeper playoff contender in 2013--Miami has lived up to all of the hype so far and they certainly have what it takes to give the New England Patriots a run for their money in the division.
Of course, let's not forget to give credit to the Cleveland Browns--who pulled off one of the biggest surprises of Week 3 after their surprise win over the winless Minnesota Vikings on the road with Brian Hoyer at quarterback. There's certainly plenty of hot topics to talk about--so let's jump right into it and look at the NFL Power Rankings for Week 4.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars 0-3 (32)
The chances of the Jacksonville Jaguars pulling off the win against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3 were equivalent to--well the Jaguars actually winning the Super Bowl this year. Jacksonville fans should just be grateful their team managed to score 17 points against one of the league's top defenses--although the argument can be made Seattle most likely didn't try as hard as they normally would.
31. Minnesota Vikings 0-3 (25)
Just when it seemed like the Minnesota Vikings couldn't hit a new low, they go and lose a home game to the Cleveland Browns. It's hard not to feel bad for Adrian Peterson at this point considering he's arguably the league's top running back playing on an awful team, but the Vikings need to strongly consider making a change at quarterback as it's becoming more clear that Christian Ponder is not the answer.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-3 (30)
Speaking of quarterback changes, how long until the Tampa Bay Buccaneers give up on Josh Freeman? Foxboro is obviously never an easy place to play in, but the fact that Freeman couldn't even complete 50 percent of his passes (19 of 41 for 236 yards with one interception) against the defense of the New England Patriots is just embarrassing.
29. Washington Redskins 0-3 (29)
Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions was one the Washington Redskins could have easily won, but once again this team struggled on defense as they had no answers for Matthew Stafford and the passing game. Of course, the main storyline from this game once again is Robert Griffin III (32 of 50 for 326 yards with one interception) and whether he should even be on the football field yet as that knee of his continues to look rusty.
28. New York Giants 0-3 (20)
It's official--the New York Giants were overhyped during the offseason as this team hit a new low against the Carolina Panthers. It would be one thing to lose a tough matchup, but the Giants failed to score a single point against a banged-up Panthers' defense.
With this offensive line, don't be surprised if Eli Manning struggles to stay healthy for the entire 2013 season.
27. Pittsburgh Steelers 0-3 (19)
Just like the Giants, this seems like a team that his hit rock bottom already as the Pittsburgh Steelers currently sit at the bottom of the AFC North standings with an 0-3 record. Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears was a must win for the Steelers and despite an impressive performance by Antonio Brown (nine catches for 196 yards with two touchdowns), Pittsburgh just simply fell apart in the fourth quarter when it mattered the most.
As much as Steeler Nation doesn't want to hear it, Pittsburgh is no longer a contender in the AFC and it's time to focus on rebuilding mode as this team has too many aging veterans.
26. Oakland Raiders 1-2 (26)
There's really only two key points to take away from the Oakland Raiders in a game just about the entire nation expected them to lose. For starters, give Terrelle Pryor credit for looking impressive on the road in the national spotlight. Second, how did Darren McFadden end up with fewer yards than total carries?
25. Buffalo Bills 1-2 (23)
If this game was played in the actual state of New York instead of New Jersey, chances are the Buffalo Bills would have had a better chance of pulling off the win. Unfortunately, the Bills' defense couldn't contain with the offense of the New York Jets as Geno Smith became the first rookie quarterback in franchise history to break the 300-yard mark (take THAT Mark Sanchez!).
But on a serious note, no team deserves to win a football game when they allow the Jets to have two 100-yard receivers in the same game.
24. Philadelphia Eagles 1-2 (24)
For the second-straight week, this was a game the Philadelphia Eagles could have won, but four turnovers in the first half put this team behind early against the Kansas City Chiefs and they just couldn't catch up in the second half. If this team is going to have any chance at competing in the NFC East this year, Philadelphia better figure out a way to play better on defense quickly.
Otherwise, it's going to be a long and frustrating first season for Chip Kelly.
23. Arizona Cardinals 1-2 (21)
This game against the New Orleans Saints had mismatch written all over it from the beginning as their offense was just too much for the Arizona Cardinals to handle. How can anyone expect to win football games when your quarterback only throws for 187 passing yards and your leading rusher finishes the game with 29 yards?
Let's hope Larry Fitzgerald can get 100 percent healthy soon and return to his dominant Week 1 form--or it could be a long season for the Cardinals.
22. San Diego Chargers (23)
Rarely do teams move up after losing a game, but the San Diego Chargers have to be feeling the frustration knowing they could easily have been 3-0 to start off the season. For the second time in three weeks, the Chargers blew a fourth-quarter lead against the Tennessee Titans--which is the last thing they can afford when they play in the same division as Peyton Manning.
21. Cleveland Browns 1-2 (31)
Drew Carey must have been going nuts on Sunday with the way the Cleveland Browns ended their game against the Minnesota Vikings. For a team that seemed to have little hope after trading away their best player in Trent Richardson, Brian Hoyer provided a spark to this team to help pull off a huge win on the road.
With players like Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon in the passing game--maybe there is more hope for this team than originally thought. And on another note, it's nice not to see this team in the basement of the AFC North standings for a chance (that's right Steelers fans--went there).
20. New York Jets 2-1 (28)
For a team many expected to get four wins at the most in 2013, it's quite the surprise to see the New York Jets heading into Week 4 with a 2-1 record. What's even more scary to think about is how close this team was to being 3-0 if they could have managed to win against the New England Patriots in Week 2.
Sorry Mark Sanchez--but it looks like Geno Smith is the new answer in New York.
19. St. Louis Rams 1-2 (16)
What is there to say about the St. Louis Rams? This team looked like they could be a sleeper in Week 1 and has struggled against NFC contenders in each of the last two weeks.
They didn't just lose to the Dallas Cowboys--they got destroyed as the Rams were simply no match for their defense.
18. Carolina Panthers 1-2 (27)
After back-to-back close losses in games they could have won, the Carolina Panthers came through big in Week 3 with a huge 38-0 win over the New York Giants. Don't count the Panthers out just yet, but if they really are going to be contenders--Cam Newton needs to play at that high level on a weekly basis.
17. San Francisco 49ers 1-2 (4)
It was one thing to give the San Francisco 49ers the benefit of the doubt last week after losing to the Seattle Seahawks, but it may be time for Jim Harbaugh and company to hit the panic button. Nobody expected them to lose this bad at home to the Indianapolis Colts and it's difficult not to wonder if teams have finally figured out a way to contain Colin Kaepernick.
16. Green Bay Packers 1-2 (10)
Feel bad as much as you want for the Green Bay Packers, but they have nobody to blame but themselves for losing to the Cincinnati Bengals. A costly decision to go for it on fourth down late in the game with the lead resulted in the Packers falling to 1-2 on the season--with both losses coming to playoff teams from last year.
If this team is going to have any chance at winning the NFC North--the defense is going to need to make some adjustments.
15. Tennessee Titans 2-1 (17)
If you don't believe in the Tennessee Titans when it comes to winning the AFC South yet--you better start believing now. The Titans came up big in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Chargers and keep in mind this is a squad that could have easily been 3-0 if it wasn't for their late collapse against the Houston Texans in Week 2.
14. Detroit Lions 2-1 (18)
After a disappointing loss in Week 2, the Detroit Lions bounced back on Sunday with a big road win against the Washington Redskins as Matthew Stafford (25 of 42 for 385 yards with two touchdowns and one interception) came up big for the passing game. This team looks much better than the four-win team from one year ago and if they can continue playing at this level--they certainly have what it takes to compete in the NFC North this season.
13. Dallas Cowboys 2-1 (15)
The defense of the Dallas Cowboys looked just as impressive as they did in Week 1 on Sunday--even if it was against the St. Louis Rams. With the way things are playing out in the NFC East, the Cowboys may be the team to beat--but how many times have we seen this before?
12. Atlanta Falcons 1-2 (6)
It's still early in the season, but it's not a good sign that the Atlanta Falcons have two losses against two teams that look like playoff contenders this season. On paper, the Falcons have one of the top offenses in football, but Matt Ryan and company need to figure out a way to turn things around quickly before they fall too far back in the division.
11. New England Patriots 3-0 (7)
The New England Patriots finally woke up on offense in a favorable matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday and once again--Tom Brady showed why he's one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. For a team dealing with plenty of injuries, the Patriots need every win they can get--especially with the surprising competition in the AFC East.
10. Indianapolis Colts 2-1 (14)
The Indianapolis Colts made a huge statement by pulling off a win in one of the toughest environments in football on the road against the 49ers in Week 3. Andrew Luck is quickly turning into one of the league's top quarterbacks and when Trent Richardson gets comfortable with the offense--just think how dangerous this team is going to become.
9. Houston Texans 2-1 (5)
If the Houston Texans are going to be contenders in the AFC, they're going to need to figure out a way to play better against the other contenders in the AFC. For a team with two close wins over their first two games, the Texans looked flat-out awful against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Plus, the AFC South is turning out to be a tougher division than expected at the beginning of the season with the Titans emerging as contenders.
8. Cincinnati Bengals 2-1 (9)
Call it luck, but the Cincinnati Bengals came up big when it mattered the most to pull off the exciting win against the Packers on Sunday. As impressive as the Bengals have looked at times over the first three weeks, this team still has plenty of areas in need of improvement if they're going to have any shot at winning the AFC North--especially when it comes to consistency on both sides of the football.
7. Baltimore Ravens 2-1 (13)
There was a reason for concern over the Baltimore Ravens over the first two weeks, but this team showed why they're the defending Super Bowl champions against the Texans on Sunday. What's even more impressive--the Ravens managed to pull off the win with Ray Rice watching from the sidelines.
6. Kansas City Chief 3-0 (12)
If there was any game Andy Reid wanted the Kansas City Chiefs to win this season, it was Week 3 against his former team in the Philadelphia Eagles. Not only are the Chiefs undefeated, but they've won more games than all of last season after an impressive win on the road in Philadelphia.
Still, this team has plenty to prove as the argument can be made they haven't truly been tested yet--so keep an eye on them over the next few weeks.
5. Miami Dolphins 3-0 (11)
No team made a bigger statement than the Miami Dolphins in Week 3 as they pulled off a huge win in their home opener against the Falcons. With all of the injuries and struggles surrounding the Patriots, the Dolphins appear to have all of the right weapons to make a run in the AFC East as Ryan Tannehill is quickly working his way up to one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
4. Chicago Bears 3-0 (8)
After back-to-back close games to start the season, the Chicago Bears managed to pull off a win at Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers--which is never easy to do. If anyone is doubting Jay Cutler's toughness, just take a look at that one hit he took on the run by leaning in with his shoulders--whether you think it was an idiotic move or not.
Is this one of the most balanced teams in football? Perhaps--but we've seen this happen before with the Bears where they start off the season hot. If they can manage to play at this high level for the entire season, they may be one of the top teams in the NFC when it's all said and done.
3. New Orleans Saints 3-0 (3)
The look on his face says it all--Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are back to the dominant level from a few years ago. Even if their Week 3 competition wasn't that difficult, this team showed how dangerous the offense can be when Brees and Jimmy Graham are on top of their game.
2. Denver Broncos 3-0 (2)
Is anyone really surprised the Denver Broncos beat the Oakland Raiders? Better yet, is anyone really surprised Peyton Manning made NFL history once again?
This Broncos team looks scary good and should be at the top of the rankings once again next week with a favorable matchup at home against the Eagles.
1. Seattle Seahawks 3-0 (1)
Sunday's win was an easy one for the Seattle Seahawks as Russell Wilson continues to show how he's quickly becoming one of the league's top quarterbacks. At this rate, it wouldn't be a surprise if they remained in the No. 1 spot next week as well with one of the best overall teams in football, but it certainly won't be easy as they have a tough matchup on the road against the Texans.