Seattle Seahawks (3-0) - Previously: #1 - Pete Carroll did a great job of beating the spread against the hapless Jaguars. He even let his second- and third-stringers play. This will undoubtedly impress the polls. Unfortunately, there's little doubt that Carroll will be suspended in a couple of seasons because his uber-talented players have already taken money for their autographs. Sorry, Seattle.
Denver Broncos (3-0) - Previously: #3 - Go to my NFL Game Recaps page for analysis of the Broncos-Raiders game.
San Francisco 49ers (1-2) - Previously: #2 - I want to give the 49ers a mulligan. A 20-point home loss to the Colts is inexcusable, but they were dealing with four major issues: 1) Aldon Smith's arrest and impending trip to drug rehab. 2) Last week's loss to the Seahawks left them flat. 3) A game in four days against a divisional foe they've had problems with (Rams) had them unfocused. 4) Vernon Davis was out, so Colin Kaepernick didn't have very many options to throw to.
San Francisco is too talented not to rebound. If the team struggles at the Rams, I'll drop them in my power rankings, but they'll remain in the top three for now.
New Orleans Saints (3-0) - Previously: #5 - The Saints' defense is for real. They've limited two quality offenses (and Josh Freeman) to barely any points in three weeks. Their pass rush, led by Cameron Jordan, is tremendous.
I'd like to take this time to discuss how utterly annoying it is that there's a Jordan Cameron and a Cameron Jordan in the NFL. Whenever I type one of their names, I have to stop and think, "OK, Jordan Cameron's the defensive end... no... he's the tight end. Yeah, the tight end." If someone starts a petition to have one of them change their names, I will gladly promote it on this Web site because I don't know how much more of this I can take.
Green Bay Packers (1-2) - Previously: #4 - Chicago fans are going to be pissed that I have the Packers ahead of their Bears, but Green Bay easily could (and should) be 3-0 right now despite dealing with defensive injuries. I feel like the Packers are a bit better than the Bears, so let the hate mail come: I'll just post it here and make fun of it as I always do.
New England Patriots (3-0) - Previously: #10 - Nine days of rest made a huge difference. Tom Brady showed much better rapport with his receivers against the Buccaneers. In fact, some of Brady's incompletions - and end-zone interception - was the quarterback's fault. With Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola due back soon, New England is about to take off.
By the way, I've been asked why I don't call Aaron Hernandez "TE People Killer" given that I refer to the Eagles' quarterback as "QB Dog Killer." Well, for one, Hernandez hasn't been convicted yet (though the evidence makes him look very bad). And two, Hernandez will actually be punished appropriately if found guilty. At least I hope so. As Leelee pointed out, "[QBDK] will advise Hernandez on how to apologize with no sincerity, and the media will eat it up."
Chicago Bears (3-0) - Previously: #8 - I'm tentative to rank the Bears higher than this because of Henry Melton's torn ACL. Losing him is huge, as it severely downgrades Chicago's interior pass rush. Despite this, the Bears deserve to have a spot in the lower half of the top 10.
Still, I expect the hate mail to flow in. Here's something from last week:
We've been building and building and now we've finally popped: WalterFootball.com is officially a parody site now. Basically the online equivalent of First Take on ESPN2. It's a shame, but if that's the direction Walt wants to take this place and it gets him money, well, all the power to him.
Awesome. I've been a parody site for a very long time, but I'm glad it's finally "official."
Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) - Previously: #9 - I came close to ranking the Bengals over the Bears because of the Henry Melton situation, but then I thought about it: If the two teams were to meet in the playoffs - it would obviously have to be the Super Bowl, but let's pretend it's a fictional situation in which they battle in the wild-card round - I'd take Chicago because I wouldn't trust Andy Dalton. The ginger quarterback is too erratic and inconsistent, and he's come up small in too many big games. And no, it's not because he doesn't have a soul, though I'm sure it'd help his cause if he did have one.
Baltimore Ravens (2-1) - Previously: #11 - So, it appears as though people have finally realized that the rumors of Baltimore's demise have been greatly exaggerated. The Ravens just clobbered the Texans despite not having Ray Rice. They're 2-1, and remember that they led Denver in the third quarter before the Broncos took advantage of Michael Oher's absence. I'm still bitter about that three-unit spread loss.
I want to make myself feel better about that, so I was happy to find an old quote from the real Migelini:
we beet falco and ravens to day. we all ways mak come bak.
Atlanta Falcons (1-2) - Previously: #6 - More hate mail opportunities:
WALTORFOOTBALL.COMS IS JOKE! HOW CAN HE HAVE FALSOCNS AHEED OF DOLPHHENS AND CHEEFS THEY BOTH 3-00 FALSCONS ONLY 1-2 REOCRDEED!
Meh. The Falcons are two plays away from being 3-0, and their two losses were both on the road. It's difficult to win in New Orleans, while the Miami game should've been theirs. They led the entire way, won time of possession by 15 minutes and outgained the Dolphins by nearly 100 yards. Atlanta is missing a ton of personnel right now, but the team will be much better once a bunch of players return.
NFL Power Rankings: Week 4 - Bottom 10
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) - Previously: #32 - What I wrote last week applies:
Congratulations, Jaguars on winning the Teddy Bridgewater sweepstakes (go here for my 2014 NFL Mock Draft). The people in London are going to love Bridgewater once the team moves there in 2020.
I can say this again because it appeared as though the Browns would compete for Bridgewater in the wake of the Trent Richardson. Jacksonville, however, established itself as the clear-cut worst team in the NFL this past weekend. It's not even close. They didn't even cross their own 30-yard line until the middle of the second quarter!
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3) - Previously: #28 - The Buccaneers, who were already terrible, lost one of their two offensive play-makers when Vincent Jackson went down with a rib injury. Jackson could be out for a couple of weeks, which will make Josh Freeman look even worse. Meanwhile, the dissension in the locker room will continue to build, as many veterans aren't buying into Greg Schiano.
Speaking of Schiano, a friend of mine recently compared him to a "raging gorilla with a headset." I was hesitant to post this because it might be seen as racist - stocky white men are compared to gorillas too often - but I'll risk the backlash.
30. Oakland Raiders (1-2) - Previously: #31 - I already discussed the Raiders, so it's time for the Adventures of Stupid Vince and Senile Bud! In this week's episode...
Bud Adams: Man servant, I need help. Man servant? Man servant!
Vince Young: What I need do Mr. Buds?
Bud Adams: I'm having trouble accessing my e-mail machine. I need to check how many fantasy points Dan Fouts scored for me yesterday in our victory over the Chargers.
Vince Young: Derrr, I tink Fouls is guy who talkey on box with picture and say stuffs during when football play ha.
Bud Adams: The "box with picture" being the TV, I assume? Man servant, I need to know how many fantasy points Dan Fouts scored for me. Please make my e-mail machine work!
Vince Young: Derrr, I tink wire that go in hole need be in hole ha.
Bud Adams: Ah, you're a genius, man servant. It's loading now. And here's my fantasy team... no, this is not my team! Who in blazes is Philip Rivers? Where's Dan Fouts? Did that sly dog orchestrate a trade away from my fantasy team?
Vince Young: Derrr, I dunno I no tink dog can play football ha.
Bud Adams: There's a dog playing football? Man servant, call his agent for me immediately. We need to make him the new member of the Houston Oilers!
Vince Young: OK but I try talk to dog many time but no work.
Bud Adams: Weh? You can speak to dogs? Man servant, you never cease to surprise me with your various talents.
29. Cleveland Browns (1-2) - Previously: #30 - It's amazing how much better the Browns' offense looked with Brian Hoyer and Josh Gordon on the field. The only thing that was missing a ground game. Ah, if only the Browns somehow had a talented running back.
In all seriousness, it's insane how the Browns are so inept that they can't even tank correctly. The Jaguars aren't winning a game this year, so Michael Lombardi can say goodbye to Teddy Bridgewater.
Before I move on, I feel like the Browns' spot in the power rankings needs a Gong Rant of the Week. Gong, an avid Cleveland supporter, often goes on great tirades about his beloved squad. Here's the first Gong Rant of the Week I'll be posting here:
Weeden faked benched, Campbell mediocre, Hoyer is practice squad level guy.
Typical Browns QB "Controversy"
Complete trash, pretty ugly trash, or festering pile of poop.
Yup, they will start the pile of poop.
Again, the answer to every Browns inquiry, is "Its the Browns, its always the Browns."
Sad thing is I am the most sane Browns fan ever, and every rant I have is 100% truth.
28. St. Louis Rams (1-2) - Previously: #25 - The Rams are so terrible. The offensive line can't block, the defense can't stop anyone, the receivers drop passes, the running backs can't stay healthy, the quarterback does nothing but throw checkdowns, and the head coach refuses to run the hurry-up offense even though his signal-caller excels in that style of attack.
Fortunately, the Rams and Redskins stink so much right now that St. Louis may have two top-10 selections in a loaded 2014 NFL Draft class.
27. Minnesota Vikings (0-3) - Previously: #24 - The Vikings lost to a team at home that was trying to tank its season for the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Amazing.
I'm not sure I understand these rumors about Christian Ponder getting benched, by the way. They could be legitimate, but why? It's not like the Vikings have a promising, young quarterback behind Ponder. All they have is Matt Cassel, who is older and crappier than Ponder.
26. Buffalo Bills (1-2) - Previously: #23 - I must have received a dozen e-mails/texts/Facebook messages this weekend all asking why C.J. Spiller sucks so much. I didn't get to answer them all, but the appropriate response should be: "He's a Buffalo Bill."
Oh, and I unearthed another old GameCenter quote:
Remach baby it's paid back time Bills 24 Jets 10
I'll be sure to follow this wise man's gambling advice the next time Buffalo and New York square off.
25. New York Jets (2-1) - Previously: #29 - Nice win by the penalty Jets on Sunday. Geno Smith made penalty some mistakes, but penalty he made up penalty for it with some long penalty bombs to Santonio Holmes and Stephen penalty Hill. Meanwhile, Bilal Powell penalty ran very well, penalty eclipsing 100 penalty rushing yards all while penalty Chris Ivory penalty did nothing. The defense did a penalty good penalty job penalty of keeping E.J. penalty Manuel in check penalty. The Jets have improved to penalty 2-1, though that penalty still makes them third place in a tough AFC East penalty penalty.
The point is that 20 penalties in a game is just as absurd as 20 penalties in a single paragraph.
24. New York Giants (0-3) - Previously: #16 - A comment posted below:
Walt - Why do you overrate the Giants every time in these things. 0-2 with embarrassing losses, turnovers, and all around sloppy play. Yet you rank them just outside of the top half. What's it gonna take to make you write some honest criticism on these overrated slugs.
It's going to take three lost units and a lethargic performance in the wake of Tom Coughlin losing his brother. I can't believe the Giants showed no heart. It's almost as if this happened...
Eli Manning: Hey guys I really think we should rally around Coach he's a good guy and he's awesome and he's like a father figure to us and he just lost his brother and he's super sad and we should really try hard and win the game so what do you guys say should we beat the crap out of the Panthers like we did last year if so who's with me?
Other 52 Giants: Nahhhhhhh...
It was pathetic. Here's how bad the Giants' offense was:
23. Washington Redskins (0-3) - Previously: #27 - Clov posted this prior to yesterday's game:
I feel like Calvin Johnson is going to be Aaron Hernandez and the Redskins are going to be gangbanging hoodlums in the Northeast. My only concern is that the Lions D might not put up 40 points before RG3 gets his garbage time stats to help me win in fantasy.
The good news for the Redskins is that Robert Griffin appears to be very close to snapping out of his funk. That's why I moved up Washington a bit this week despite the home loss.
Where are the Steelers!? I feel like I have to explain why Pittsburgh's not in the bottom 10. There are so many terrible teams this year that I just didn't have room for them. I would agree that the Steelers have been equally as awful as some of these squads, but it's worth noting that their opponents have a combined 7-2 record. Also, I liked what I saw out of them in the second half when Jonathan Dwyer was inserted into the lineup. Dwyer was a big upgrade in pass protection, so if Pittsburgh keeps him on the field - a big if, considering how stupid Todd Haley is - Ben Roethlisberger should have more success against lesser opponents as the season progresses.
Of course, if the Steelers lose to the Vikings in London, they'll be back in the bottom 10.
NFL Power Rankings: The Rest: 11. Miami Dolphins (3-0). Previously: #12
12. Dallas Cowboys (2-1). Previously: #13
13. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0). Previously: #15
14. Houston Texans (2-1). Previously: #7
15. Detroit Lions (2-1). Previously: #14
16. Indianapolis Colts (2-1). Previously: #22
17. Tennessee Titans (2-1). Previously: #20
18. San Diego Chargers (1-2). Previously: #17
19. Carolina Panthers (1-2). Previously: #25
20. Arizona Cardinals (1-2). Previously: #19
21. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2). Previously: #21
22. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3). Previously: #26
Something new this year - I'm keeping track of precise run defense, pass defense and pass protection rankings in Excel. The benefit to this is that it'll be broken down by week. Here are the download links: