Welcome to the 4th installment of your Canal Street Chronicles Power Rankings! I apologize for the delay, but I've been (and still am) pretty sick... I blame Sunday's game. Now that I have the ability to look at a computer screen for more than 30 seconds, I give to you my Week 4 NFL power rankings!
32. Chicago Bears (0-3, Previously #31) - After an 0-3 start, the Bears have already started focusing on next season, trading DE Jarred Allen to Carolina for a 6th round pick, and LB John Bostic to New England for an undisclosed pick. With the Cubs poised to make the post season, maybe it's time for this Chicago team to take the saying "There's always next year."
31. New Orleans Saints (0-3, Previously #30) - Another week another loss. They played better than expected without Drew Brees, but they still haven't been able to find a way to win. I don't put too much stock in hanging in there with the Panthers, because I don't put too much stock in the Panthers.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2, Previously #29) - A horrible performance against a bad team, following their first win of the season. This Buc's team doesn't seem to have taken many steps from last year. While Winston has shown signs, the emergence of Mariotta has to have some Bucs fans second guessing.
29. Houston Texans (1-2, Previously #32) - Got their first win of the season... but barely winning a home game against the Bucs really isn't going to make that big of an impact in the power rankings.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2, Previously #28) - They lost big in a game that everyone expected them to lose big. Move along, nothing to see here.
27. Tennessee Titans (1-2, Previously #27) - They are better early on than I expected... but I wasn't expecting much. Lost to the Colts thanks to a late 4th quarter collapse. Mariota has given them hope, but that hope doesn't make them better now.
26. San Francisco 49ers (1-2, Previously #17) - After week one, I thought that just maybe I was underestimating the 49ers... well, the past two weeks have changed that. After getting absolutely embarrassed by the Cardinals, I think it's safe to say that the 49ers are who we thought they were.
25. Cleveland Browns (1-2, Previously #26) - Lost to Oakland at home, a week after getting their first win. They can beat the Tennessee's of the NFL, but this team is kidding itself if they think they have a chance at the postseason. At some point they'll accept their fate.
24. Detroit Lions (0-3, Previously #23) - This early schedule is a tough one. At San Diego, at Minnesota, vs Denver, and next up they travel to Seattle. Matthew Stafford's start hasn't been what Lions fans were hoping for, but there is plenty of time to turn it around (and against weaker opposition).
23. Washington Potatoes (1-2, Previously #20) - Kirk Cousins isn't starting QB material, Jay Gruden isn't head coach material. At least the defense looked alright the first two games.
22. Indianapolis Colts (1-2, Previously #21) - The good news, they got a win. The bad news, the win was a squeeker against Tennessee. They have a good QB and solid talent at the skill positions on offense, but that's about it.
21. Miami Dolphins (1-2, Previously #19) - Lost to Jacksonville, embarrassed by Buffalo. The offense hasn't been as explosive as hoped, the defense hasn't been as tenacious as hoped. Philbin's seat is getting pretty hot, right about now.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2, Previously #22) - Another team getting it's first win of the season. This one is a little better than the Colts win, but they still needed Chris Ivory to be out and Brandon Marshall to hand them the ball to get things done.
19. St. Louis Rams (1-2, Previously #13) - Can it be week one again? That's what every Rams fan is hoping for, after dropping two straight. Since putting up 34 points in week one, they've only added a combined 16 more in the two games since.
18. Oakland Raiders (2-1, Previously #24) - After getting blown out week 1 by the Bengals, this team has turned things around nicely. Derek Carr is proving that he's a legit NFL quarterback, and the connection with Cooper is clicking right out of the gates. This ain't your daddy's Raiders team.
17. Carolina Panthers (3-0, Previously #25) - They're 3-0, but they still haven't beaten anyone. They struggled against Houston and New Orleans (without Brees) at home, which doesn't mean much. Next up, they go to Tampa Bay, to finish off the easiest 1st quarter schedule in the NFL.
16. Baltimore Ravens (0-3, Previously #14) - Three losses, all by less than 7 points, and all against teams doing very well this season (at Denver 3-0, at Oakland 2-1, vs Cincinnatti 3-0). They've dug themselves into a hole, but none of these were "gimme" games, either. They have a good chance to try to turn things around in the next three weeks, facing the Mike Vick led Steelers, the Browns, and the 49ers.
15. Dallas Cowboys (2-1, Previously #15) - They had an ugly second half, after a pretty solid first one against a talented Atlanta Falcons team. The defense let Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman go crazy, which might be a bigger concern than Weedon not throwing the ball down field. We'll get a better idea of where the Romo/Bryant-less Cowboys stand, when the go to New Orleans on Sunday Night.
14. New York Giants (1-2, Previously #16) - They got their first W of the season, and should be getting Victor Cruz back. Things are definitely trending in the right direction for the G-Men. Will Coughlin find a way to do just enough to keep his job, again?
13. San Diego Chargers (1-2, Previously #9) - This team has the talent, they just haven't been able to put it all together. Expect a bounce back when the play host to the Browns in week 4.
12. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2, Previously #11) - They have two early losses, but those losses are to the Broncos (by 7) and at Green Bay (by 10). They have a chance to prove they can beat a top team, when they travel to Cincinnati in week 4. So far the story has been the same as it always is, the Chiefs can beat the about average and lower tier teams, but can't hang with the truly big boys.
11. Minnesota Vikings (2-1, Previously #18) - What happened week 1? This team is looking more like the darkhorse they were expected to be, the past two weeks. After being held to 31 yards in week 1, Adrian Peterson has reverted back to his old self, posting back to back 125+ yard games.
10. New York Jets (2-1, Previously #10) - Managed to still make a game out of it, despite having no Ivory, and Brandon Marshall setting the Eagles up for a TD after attempting an ill-advised lateral. Can't help but think that with Ivory, this game would've been different. Since he was a game time decision (actually ruled active) against the Eagles, he should definitely be back soon.
9. Seattle Seahawks (1-2, Previously #12) Got their first win of the year against the hapless Bears. The defense showed up and completely shut out Chicago. It's hard to say that the Seahawks are back for beating the worst team in the league, but you have to start somewhere.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1, Previously #6) - They lost Ben Roethlisberger for a while, but they still have enough playmakers on offense to keep things interesting and the defense is playing better than expected. If Mike Vick falls on his face on Sunday, expect a drop... but until then, I have to give them the benefit of the doubt.
7. Atlanta Falcons (3-0, Previously #8) - They just keep getting things done. Quinn has this team fired up and playing well through the end whistle. Even though the Panthers also sit at 3-0, I fully expect the Falcons to run away with the division.
6. Cincinnati Bengals - (3-0, Previously #7) - Somebody told me that Andy Dalton was the joke of the NFL... I don't see many people laughing now. They are now 3 and 0 with wins over the better than usual Raiders, the Chargers, and the Ravens. Not a bad way to start the season.
5. Buffalo Bills (2-1, Previously #5) - Answered any questions that might have arose from the loss to the Patriots by holding the Dolphins to just 14 points, while putting up 41of their own. Through 3 games, Rex Ryan's magic is working, but will the clock soon strike midnight?
4. Arizona Cardinals (3-0, Previously #4) - As long as Palmer stays healthy, this team looks like the real deal. After absolutely embarrassing San Fran, the Cardinals have put the other top teams on notice.
3. Denver Broncos (3-0, Previously #3) - The pass defense has been nothing short of spectacular. Throw in that Peyton Manning actually looked pretty good last week, and this team is as dangerous as any. The defense has proven legit, now it's time for the O to step up.
2. New England Patriots (3-0, Previously #2) - They follow up a 40 point offensive performance with a 51 point performance. This offense is clicking, to say the least. Tom Brady is on a mission, and so far nobody has been able to stop him.
1. Green Bay Packers (3-0, Previously #1) - Picked up another nice win this week, handling Alex Smith and the Chiefs. As long as they keep winning, I see no reason to drop them.