Week 4 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo - 09/28/2006
Somewhere between Chris Simms' spleen and Terrell Owens' publicist the NFL made a hard left-hand turn this week. We have teams coming off byes, clubs trying to rebound from heartbreaking divisional losses and the Oakland Raiders. But amidst the madness we have a strong slate this weekend, topped by the Seattle at Chicago showdown Sunday night.
Here are my Week 4 NFL Power Rankings:
1. Indianapolis (3-0) - Reggie Wayne reportedly is going to play on Sunday, and look for him to have a big game. He was 50-50 after the death of his older brother in a car accident. After last season, the Colts are pros when it comes to dealing with off-field drama.
2. Chicago (3-0) - The Bears offensive line has been great in pass blocking (only two sacks) but the running game has sputtered. They're averaging just 2.7 yards per carry and 83 yards per game one season after posting 4.3 and 131.2.
3. Seattle (3-0) - Seattle seeks its first ever 4-0 start. Matt Hasselbeck has gone 6-1 in past seven road starts, with 70 percent completions and 8-0 TD-INT. Seattle has won six of seven against Chicago.
4. Jacksonville (2-1) - The Jaguars spent the early part of the week accusing the Colts of dirty play. What was filthy was that the Jags were 14-0 when leading after one quarter under Jack Del Rio. That was before Sunday.
5. Baltimore (3-0) - The Ravens wins have come against teams with a combined 0-8 record. Baltimore has won five straight at home and are 7-2 in M&T Bank Stadium in October.
5. Cincinnati (3-0) - The Bengals may have the best secondary in the league. They have 57 interceptions and a +29 turnover differential over the course of their last 35 games. They are 20-1 under Marvin Lewis with a +1 or greater turnover differential.
6. Pittsburgh (1-2) - I'm not giving up on them yet, but they are a mess. Their eight giveaways are worst in the league. Also, their run-pass ratio was 34:24 last year, but this year it's dipped to 30:32.
7. San Diego (2-0) - The Chargers will be without both starting safeties. Kiel is smoking dope with DEA agents right now and Bhawoh Jue just had knee surgery. The Chargers are one of two teams allowing less than 50 percent pass completions.
8. Philadelphia (2-1) - Surgical. That's the best way to describe the offense right now. However, the combined record of the teams Philly has played is just 2-7.
10. Denver (2-1) - The Broncos and the Patriots are the only teams with a negative turnover differential and a winning record.
11. Atlanta (2-1) - 87-year-old Morten Andersen won the kicking job over Todd Peterson - who nailed 23-of-25 field goals last year - allegedly because he got better lift on his kicks. Naturally, Anderson's first attempt against New Orleans was blocked.
12. New Orleans (3-0) - Clearly the Saints are poised for a huge letdown game, but their eight-point line against Carolina is inflated. The Saints are 28-22 in road games since 2000. That includes a 5-1 SU and ATS mark in Carolina this millennium.
13. New England (2-1) - Chad Johnson had a lot to say about the Patriots secondary this week. The old Pats wouldn't stand for that. What will the new Pats do?
14. Carolina (1-2) - Dan Morgan is still out, as is Shaun Williams. Left tackle Jordan Gross has been disgusting this year, and center Justin Hartwig still isn't practicing and now RT Todd Fordham isn't practicing.
15. Minnesota (2-1) - The Vikings offense is ranked 27th in red zone efficiency and hasn't scored a touchdown since the fourth quarter of week one. Minnesota should be able to run the ball down the throat of Buffalo's undersized defense.
16. Dallas (1-1) - There's a lot of psychoanalyzing, a lot of image consulting, and a lot of B.S. going on right now. All I know is that I have no sympathy for T.O. - none. In my eyes the guy is a scumbag.
17. New York Giants - The Giants already thin linebacking corps took another hit. Carlos Emmons tore his pectoral muscle and is likely out three to four weeks.
18. St. Louis (2-1) - The Rams are No. 2 in the league in turnover differential (+7) and Marc Bulger is 21-4 as a starter at home. This is a big game for STL because they need to put pressure on Seattle while the Hawks play without Alexander.
19. Washington (1-2) - Stitches on Mark Brunell's elbow have been popping open, causing some pain, so he's iffy for the game on Sunday. I think he plays, but there is pain when he throws. The Skins are the league's most penalized team (30 pen. for 298 yards).
20. Miami (1-2) - Culpepper has already been sacked 15 times for 120 yards. His mobility right now is somewhere between Rosie O'Donnell and Martin Sheen.
21. New York Jets (2-1) - The Brick will get his first taste of Dwight Freeney this weekend. Eric Mangini is 7-2 against Peyton Manning. Mangini was the secondary coach in New England before coming to the Jets.
22. Kansas City (0-2) - The Inflated Line Of The Week runner-up is Kansas City (-7) over San Fran. Left tackle Kyle Turley is aching, meaning more woes for the o-line. The Chiefs are 11-6 SU after a bye.
23. Buffalo (1-2) - The Bills are 21st against the rush - and that's an improvement from last year. They allowed the Jets to go 3-for-3 in the red zone opportunities last week, and surrendered 4.0 ypc to a NY team that doesn't have a strong running game.
24. Arizona (1-2) - Kurt Warner has already fumbled eight times. If John Abraham is back for Atlanta this week that could be serious trouble for the Cardinals. Larry Fitzgerald has six dropped passes this season, and one dropped onsides kick.
25. Tampa Bay (0-3) - Spleenectomy. Ouch.
26. San Francisco (1-2) - The 49ers have been a plucky bunch. What I've liked about the offense is that it hasn't been afraid to take shots up the field. The 49ers have been outscored 58-20 in the first half of their three games.
27. Green Bay (1-2) - The Over/Under on weeks before media bobbleheads are calling out Brett Favre for caring more about the TD pass record than the team is 3.0. The Pack has lost eight straight in Philly.
28. Detroit (0-3) - "The League's Most Improved Team" five years running. They've gone from laughable to pathetic to putrid to horrible to now just awful. Baby steps.
29. Houston (0-3) - Houston's defense has more holes in it than the Mexican border. The Texans are allowing teams to convert 68 percent of their third downs.
30. Cleveland (0-3) - The Browns beat the Raiders 9-7 near the end of last season. Now the Browns have Ted Washington, Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards. They may not have Reuben Droughns, who says he's ready to play but still has a hurt shoulder.
31. Tennessee (0-3) - Jeff Fisher is 9-3 vs. the NFC East and Kerry Collins is 8-3 as a starter against the Cowboys. But most of those wins came when they had good teams around them.
32. Oakland (0-2) - So, Andrew Walter. Sweet. Good luck with that. Who knows, maybe he can be the next Todd Marinovich.