Power Ranking the NFL’s Undefeated Teams Going Into Week 4
Power Ranking the NFL’s Undefeated Teams Going Into Week 4
Week 3 of the NFL season is officially over, and the football world will now begin to look ahead to next week. The drama will be just as thick, and the stakes will be just as high. It may only be Week 4, but if you think playoff hopes are not being fought over, then you just aren't paying attention.
Several of last season’s playoff teams have struggled out of the gate, while some look better than ever. The middling teams scrapping to make a postseason appearance are as feisty as ever, and several of them are as good as we have seen in recent years.
We have been surprised by performances, awed by bone-crunching defenses, electrified by returns and amazed by perfection. It has only been three weeks, but this season is giving us all we could ask for and more.
Teams like the Washington Redskins and New York Giants are already soul-searching, digging deep to see if they have what it takes to get their organizations back on course. Both teams are being tested, and we are all waiting to see how they handle the pressure. Will they become playoff contenders once more or will they fade off and watch as another team takes their place among the upper echelon of NFL?
The San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers have both been punched in the mouth, and they are seeing stars at the moment. Will they be able to pick themselves up off the mat? Will they get back to playing their own style of football and beat-back the upstart teams trying to take advantage of their momentary weakness?
All of the storylines will continue to play out, and we will all be there, watching the games, checking our fantasy scores, and soaking in the drama. Week 4 will be just as exciting as the first three weeks were, and it will leave us just as anxious for Week 5 to arrive.
In the meantime, here are the remaining undefeated teams left in the NFL. The list is presented in reverse order, from the least likely undefeated, to the team that could go the distance without a loss. Take a look and see what you think. If you disagree or would like to add to the conversation, please take advantage of the comment section below or tweet to us @RantNFL using the hashtag #RML.
7. Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs won all of two games in 2012. They have already bested that mark by one and have done so without suffering a single loss. They hired Andy Reid in the offseason and worked out a deal to bring Alex Smith in from the 49ers. Together, they have the Kansas City offense operating in an efficient manner and they protect the football. The defense is one of the brightest up and coming groups in the entire league, and when the entire team plays as disciplined as they have been they are extremely hard to beat. It also helps to have a bona fide stud running back like Jamaal Charles breaking the back of opposing defenses on a weekly basis.
They are a feel-good story, but they are still young and unproven. They have the potential to rise higher on this list but will have to earn it every week, and unfortunately they will likely stumble before rising too far.
6. New England Patriots
It may not be much of a surprise to hear that the New England Patriots are still undefeated, but these are not the Patriots we are used to seeing. Tom Brady has struggled through three weeks, his receivers have been anything but reliable, and the running game has suddenly become a weakness. The defense still manages to create turnovers and has kept them in games, but if the offense does not start catching a spark, they won’t be undefeated for long.
5. Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins have made great strides in their effort to bring a competitive team back to South Florida. Last year they used the eighth overall selection to draft quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and they broke the bank during the offseason to give him the best chance to succeed. So far it looks like that money was well spent.
The Dolphins started the season with two games on the road, both against teams that presented a challenge on one side of the ball or the other. They took both of those match-ups and then treated their fans to a thrilling, come from behind, touchdown drive to beat the Atlanta Falcons at the end of the fourth quarter on Sunday.
It has been a thrilling start to the season, and the Dolphins are beginning to generate a good amount of buzz. But the loss of Cameron Wake will hurt their defense, and they travel to the Superdome to face the New Orleans Saints in Week 4.
4. New Orleans Saints
The Saints are back!
Head coach Sean Peyton is back in control of the situation, the defense is playing the best it has since their Super Bowl run, and Drew Brees gets to throw the ball to Jimmy Graham, one of the greatest mismatch weapons playing in the game today.
Memories of last year’s team force the caution lights to come on when getting excited about the Saints, but if they can continue this roll, New Orleans could reclaim its position as one of the best teams in the NFC.
3. Chicago Bears
Another new coach and another undefeated NFL team, but this time it is the Chicago Bears. Jay Cutler has been extremely efficient in his first three games, and while he still relies heavily on stud receiver Brandon Marshall, he has also developed a clear connection with Martellus Bennett. He also has Matt Forte to lean on in the running game, and Forte has been fantastic thus far.
The offense looks great this year, but the staple of a Chicago team is a ferocious defense and the Bears do not disappoint. Even without Brian Urlacher in the middle and Lovey Smith on the sideline, this defense is creating turnovers in every way imaginable.
With the defense playing like they have a chip on their shoulder and the offense looking like they have finally figured it out, Chicago could ride this wave deep into the season and look like an early lock on a playoff spot.
2. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks have just been plain nasty.
They started out a bit slow in Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers, but after dismantling their arch rivals in front of a national audience, the hype machine began rolling once again.
Russell Wilson went crazy in Week 3, throwing for four touchdowns and scoring yet another with his feet. The competition was among the worst in the NFL, but that is still a professional team he took the field against. When you add his offensive prowess to the momentum-killing brick wall that is the Seahawks' defense you have a strong candidate for Super Bowl favorite.
1. Denver Broncos
Some may argue that the Seahawks should top list, but if they do, just look at them like they have an alien growing out of the center of their forehead.
Peyton Manning has been gifting us with one of the greatest offensive explosions we have ever seen. Like a surgeon, Manning has stood behind the line and picked teams apart, starting with a record-tying seven-touchdown performance on opening night against the reigning Super Bowl Champs. Through three games Manning has 12 touchdowns, and the Denver Broncos' offense looks absolutely unstoppable.
Manning was already spoiled with wide receiver talent, but the Broncos went out and brought in Wes Welker to complement Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. Add breakout tight end Julius Thomas to the mix, sprinkle in effective running from three talented backs, and this offense has the potential to shatter every offensive record we have ever seen
Oh, and their defense has been among the best in the league despite the absence of their top two defensive talents, Champ Bailey, and Von Miller.
The Broncos are counting on making history repeat itself by following up a heartbreaking playoff loss with a Super Bowl win, and from what we have seen to this point, they could do it with a perfect record.