NFL Power Rankings Week 4: Cowboys Soar, 49ers show off improved club

Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills is an NFL MVP favorite
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) tries to get past Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey (44) and linebacker Patrick Queen (6) in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
AP Photos

The first quarter of the NFL season has been completed. Has time flown or what?

The playoff contenders are starting to form while the teams in limbo continue to try and figure out just how good (or bad) they are. 

In reality, there has been a ton of parity in the NFL to this point. Not a single team has looked exponentially dominant and it shows with some of the league’s best sitting at a mere .500 record. 

So where do the 32 teams stand in AM New York’s latest NFL power rankings? Let’s take a look. 

32. Houston Texans (0-3-1)

The Houston Texans have had some rotten luck to start the season. They have played far better than a lot of teams ahead of them, but because their roster is pretty low on talent, and Mills is still an unknown, they’ll be at the bottom of the NFL power rankings for awhile.

31. Carolina Panthers (1-3)

What an absolute mess. The Panthers have had atrocious production at the quarterback position, and they look very poorly coached. Carolina is in a world of hurt and could be looking for a new head coach in a few weeks. 

30. Indianapolis Colts (1-2-1)

The Colts are, in my opinion, the worst team in the NFL by eye-test. Their win against Kansas City was shortlived when Indy lost at home to Tennessee. It’s really hard to take this group seriously with Shaq Leonard out again. 

29. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)

The Steelers finally came to their senses and started the only QB drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft this year. A ten point lead still was lost on Sunday, and Pittsburgh is now in the phase of trying to figure out what they have at QB. 

28. New Orleans Saints (1-3)

The Saints have been nothing short of a disaster so far this year. They’re a comeback in the season opener away from being 0-4 and the worst in the NFL. Jameis Winston, and Alvin Kamara have injuries and the team itself is extremely undisciplined. There are a lot of problems in New Orleans right now. 

27. New England Patriots (1-3)

I give New England credit for keeping a game in Lambeau Field close when they were expected to be blown out. Bailey Zappe looked far more competent than Mac Jones has had all year. There’s something interesting brewing in New England. 

26. Washington Commanders (1-3)

Another team that is a mess. The Commanders have arguably the worst offensive line in football and their quarterback is already shellshocked. Washington will need to make some changes, and fast or else their first round pick is going to be taken on another QB in the NFL Draft. 

25. Atlanta Falcons (2-2)

The Falcons play hard man. What a resounding win on Sunday that was against the Cleveland Browns. Mariota may not be the quarterback of the future, but Arthur Smith has Atlanta playing very aggressively. This will be a hard team to judge throughout the NFL season. 

24. Las Vegas Raiders (1-3)

The Raiders got an impressive win against their rivals in Denver, but they aren’t out of the woods yet. If they play well against the Chiefs, it could go a long way to deciding if Vegas is back or not. 

23. Detroit Lions (1-3)

Everyone and their mother wants to love what the Lions are doing. They score a lot of points, Jared Goff isn’t as bad as people thought, and their coach is easy to like. It’s just they can’t find ways to win. Detroit’s defense is one of the worst in the NFL.

22. Seattle Seahawks (2-2)

Geno Smith has outplayed Russell Wilson through the first four games of this season. Who thought that was possible? Seattle has to be pleased that a perceived “rebuild” is moving along nicely. 

21. New York Jets (2-2)

The Jets are 2-2, have their starting quarterback back and play a Dolphins team without Tua next week. The path is there for New York to have a winning record in October…if Zach Wilson can continue to develop. Going 10-12 in the fourth quarter in Pittsburgh should help ease concerns. 

20. Chicago Bears (2-2)

It’s hard to count the Bears as contenders when they either can’t or won’t trust Justin Fields to throw the football. Chicago’s defense and run game is playing well, but they won’t be good enough to compete against good teams if they can’t throw the football. 

19. Denver Broncos (2-2)

I have no idea what the Broncos are in terms of NFL hierarchy. Are they pretenders or contenders? In two wins, they’ve scores less than 17 points. In both losses, the defense has been outgunned by Geno Smith and Derek Carr. The Broncos are a very interesting but mediocre team in the NFL. 

18. Tennessee Titans (2-2)

The Titans have won two in a row against the Colts and Raiders. Are they for real? It’s highly doubtful with the way they have eecked out wins in the last two weeks. Almost blowing a 24-3 lead to Indy isn’t very good. 

17. Cleveland Browns (2-2)

The Browns had an inexcusable loss to the Falcons on Sunday. But if you asked the team if they’d be happy being 2-2 without Deshaun Watson, they’d probably say yes. 

16. New York Giants (3-1)

The Giants are arguably the worst 3-1 team in NFL history. They don’t have a competent passing game because of their receivers, their interior OL is a mess, but their defense has been good enough to hold on to wins. I doubt it continues but there’s a lot to like in New York right now. 

15. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)

Had the Jaguars held on to their 14-0 lead in the first quarter at Philadelphia, Jacksonville would be looking at a top-10 spot right now. Alas, the rain was too much for Trevor Lawrence who turned the ball over five times. Can’t do that against one of the NFL’s best. 

14. Arizona Cardinals (2-2)

The Cardinals knocked off an inferior Panthers team, but only just. Kyler Murray is playing well, but he’s really the only one that is doing so. Philadelphia is a big test next week before they get DeAndre Hopkins back. 

13. Baltimore Ravens (2-2)

Lamar Jackson is the front-runner for NFL MVP right now, but the Ravens can’t get out of their own way. Two blown second half leads has the team at 2-2 and struggling to find answers. Don’t forget about the Marcus Peters situation…again!

12. LA Chargers (2-2)

The Chargers got back to their winning ways again against a bad Texans team. They are another group that you have to question if they are for real or not. Doesn’t help they almost blew a 27-7 lead either. 

11. LA Rams (2-2)

The NFL’s defending Super Bowl champions are in a world of hurt right now. A 24-9 embarrassing loss to San Francisco has shown that the team’s OL is awful, and the rest of the offense is struggling because of it. Dallas is licking their chops for next week.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)

The Bengals got a nice win on Thursday night, but how much of that was Tua’s injury? The NFL’s representative in the Super Bowl on the AFC side will need to be a lot better as the season goes on.

9. Minnesota Vikings (3-1)

Typical Vikings. They keep winning which is why they are in the top 10, but I have not been impressed with Kevin O’Connell through the last few weeks. A double-doink is the only reason they are 3-1 and not 2-2. 

8. Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

Don’t look now, but the Cowboys are the hottest team in the NFL right now. Their defense is the best in football, the offense is playing mistake-free, and they could have their starting quarterback back this week. God help Dak if he comes out and struggles though. 

7. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)

The 49ers are a team that is still trying to figure out what they are. Jimmy Garappolo was efficient on Monday night against the Rams, and the team has some easier opponents before their matchup with the Chiefs in three weeks. 

6. Miami Dolphins (3-1)

Tua’s injury will dampen a lot of hopes in Miami, but this is still a very good roster. If Tua’s out for one week, they should be ok. Anything more and the team is in trouble across the NFL. 

5. Green Bay Packers (3-1)

The Packers are very fortunate to be 3-1. A scare by New England has highlighted just how poor the receiving core has been early on. That will need to change as soon as possible or the NFC’s elite will bypass the Pack. 

4. Tampa Bay Bucs (2-2)

I can’t hold much stock in losing to the Chiefs at this point. Yes the Bucs are 2-2 but their losses have come to Green Bay and Kansas City. Not exactly bad teams. The Bucs should still be favorites in the NFL on most weeks. 

3. Philadelphia Eagles (4-0)

The Eagles are the only undefeated team in football through four weeks so why are they only third? Injuries at corner, the offensive line and kicking game could make Sunday’s game in Arizona very bad. 

2. Buffalo Bills (3-1)

Like the Eagles, the Bills showed a lot by coming back from 17 down to Baltimore. I have doubts of their ability to sustain their success without a running game, but this is a very good football team.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (3-1)

The Chiefs have played like a team that is reinventing themselves, and they are still a top offense in the NFL. Their improved defense has also looked solid. The Chiefs will be here until they lose to a top contender. 

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