Matzek's NFL Power Rankings: Week 4
I've come to the realization that it's going to be one of those years in the NFL. This season is wide open for the taking with no clear-cut powerhouse in either conference. After 4 weeks of action, we now have more of a sample to consider in regards to the quality of a given team.
One point to consider: the transitive property of mathematics has no bearing on these rankings. For example, just because the Bears beat the Packers, and the Giants beat the Bears, it's doesn't mean the Giants are better than the Packers. Similarly, just because one team beat another head-to-head, it doesn't automatically place them ahead of the other.
What I do know is this: rankings 10-20 are going to be a weekly crap shoot, but I'll give it a shot.
Last weeks ranking in parenthesis:
1. NY JETS (3) - LT has found the fountain of youth. Mark Sanchez has thrown 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. They've played the last game and a half without CB Darelle Revis and won big. And they get WR Santonio Holmes back from suspension this week.
2. BALTIMORE RAVENS (9) - Not creating as many turnovers without Ed Reed, but it's hard to find a more physical team in the NFL.
3. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (1) - A bye week in week 5, followed by the return of Ben Roethlisberger in week 6. The rich get richer.
4. ATLANTA FALCONS (4) - Underwhelming in victory...
5. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5) - ...over bad teams.
6. GREEN BAY PACKERS (6) - Look on the bright side: they won a game after committing 4 turnovers and possessing the ball for only 22 minutes.
7. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (11) - Scored just about every way possible in their 41-14 win over the Dolphins. I'll say it again, from 15 yards and in, Wes Welker is the most difficult WR in the league to cover.
8. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (2) - A shaky defense that is already without Bob Sanders, will be without S Melvin Bullitt for the rest of the season.
9. HOUSTON TEXANS (8) - Outlasted the Raiders. Entertaining team to watch, but very green in the secondary.
10. DALLAS COWBOYS (13) - BYE. Still not sure what to think about this team...the bye week didn't allow me another chance to figure them out.
11. NY GIANTS (18) - Nothing fancy about their win over the Bears, just a hard-nosed, "I'm better than you" attitude. Need to be more careful with the ball however.
12. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (20) - Boy they are just all over the place. But they are supremely talented in some key spots.
13. CHICAGO BEARS (7) - They are who we thought they were.
14. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (19) - Played well enough to win on the road in Philly. Nice rebound after being pounded by St. Louis.
15. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (16) - BYE. They moved up by virtue of other teams ahead of them losing. They'll move way up if they dismiss the Colts in week 5.
16. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (17) - BYE. Next up: The NY Jets.
17. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (12) - Trending downward with the loss of Michael Vick. Backup QB Kevin "Check down" Kolb looked scared to be in the game.
18. DENVER BRONCOS (22) - Guess who the NFL leader in passing yardage is? It's Kyle Orton with an incredible 1419 yards (354.75 YPG).
19. CINCINNATI BENGALS (10) - So they beat the Ravens, but can't beat the Browns? Makes sense.
20. MIAMI DOLPHINS (15) - After losing back to back home games to the Jets and Patriots, the Dolphins have a bye week followed by games against the Packers, Steelers, Bengals and Ravens. Yuck!
21. TENNESSEE TITANS (14) - The trick to beating the Titans? Hold Chris Johnson to 53 yards rushing and put the pressure on Vince Young.
22. ST. LOUIS RAMS (26) - The Rams are tied for the division lead in the NFC West and are underdogs for this Sunday's road game against the 0-4 Detroit Lions. Go figure.
23. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (27) - Playing Indianapolis is like the Super Bowl for the Jags every year. After a game winning 59 yard FG, kicker Josh Scobee should head straight for Disney Land.
24. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (23) - BYE week. Dropped a spot after wins by the Rams and Jaguars. Sorry.
25. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (21) - After a 20-3 loss to the Rams, the 2-2 Seahawks are right in the thick of things in the NFC West.
26. CLEVELAND BROWNS (30) - The Browns won the battle of Ohio behind 102 rushing yards from Peyton Hillis. QB position is still a problem.
27. DETROIT LIONS (28) - Had a strong game plan and 37 minutes of possession against the Packers, but also had 13 penalties in suffering a 28-26 loss.
28. ARIZONA CARDINALS (24) - Larry Fitzgerald has just 19 receptions for 208 yards on the season. Oh, and undrafted rookie Max Hall could get the start at QB this weekend. Oh, and they're tied for first in the NFC West.
29. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (25) - At 0-4, they are still in the hunt in the NFC West. If they played in any other division, their season would be toast.
30. OAKLAND RAIDERS (29) - Team is more stable with Bruce Gradkowski under center, but still not very good.
31. CAROLINA PANTHERS (32) - Good fight against the Saints earns them the right to move out of the cellar.
32. BUFFALO BILLS (31) - Back home again.