NFL Power Rankings and Awards: Week 4


Oct 4, 2015; London, United Kingdom; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) is pursued by Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas (31) and cornerback Jamar Taylor (22) in Game 12 of the NFL International Series at Wembley Stadium.The Jets defeated the Dolphins 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 is in the books, and the NFL’s good teams are starting to separate themselves from the bad ones. Six undefeated teams remain: In the AFC, the Bengals and Broncos stand at 4-0, with the the 3-0 Patriots close behind. In the NFC, the Falcons, Packers and Panthers, all 4-0, remain unbeaten. Only the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Jets have 3-1 records; the rest of the NFL is 2-2 or worse. However, with the Bears and Saints winning in Week 4, only the Lions remain winless.

AFC MVP: Chris Ivory

Chris Ivory gashed the Dolphins’ defense all game long, taking 29 carries for an impressive 166 yards and a touchdown. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was canned on Monday morning as I predicted, but Ivory’s performance could have been a huge part in this decision being made so quickly after the Jets’ victory over the Dolphins in London. Ivory ran straight through Ndamukong Suh on a particular run, making the big man–and the rest of the Phins’ defense–look like a complete disaster on all fronts.

NFC MVP: Josh Norman

Josh Norman has been balling out in 2015. He picked off two passes in Carolina’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and solidified his status as one of the NFL’s top corners. Norman has a league-high four interceptions in just as many games, and his defensive play has directly helped the Panthers win games.

Coach of the Week: Marvin Lewis

Lewis missed a challenge this week, but his great coaching throughout the season deserves some recognition. Lewis and his staff have helped Andy Dalton become a top-10 quarterback (as of this season), they’ve vastly improved the Bengals’ defense and they have a 4-0 record to show for it. Lewis’ defense played as a testament to his coaching for this team, as the Kansas City Chiefs were unable to score a single touchdown on seven scoring drives. Cairo Santos kicked seven field goals in Cincinnati; and while his performance was fantastic, Lewis’ coaching performance was even better.

With the awards handed out, let’s get right into it and take a look at this week’s Power Rankings. If you don’t agree with where your team is ranked, just remember that I purposely ranked them lower than they should be ranked as a personal attack on you because I don’t like your team. That being said, hit me up on Twitter @HoweNFL if you want to discuss why I ranked your team where I ranked it. Without further ado, let’s get started.

1. team. 47. While the Patriots no longer own the NFL’s best record, they’re still the best team in the league. Fresh off a bye week, New England will be looking to continue its dominance and preserve its undefeated record, starting with an away game in Dallas on Sunday.. (3-0). Previous: 1st. New England Patriots

Previous: 2nd. Green Bay Packers. 2. team. 49. The Packers are still on track after a 17-3 win in San Francisco. It wasn’t impressive, but the Packers defense impressed on Sunday, taking the pressure off of <a href=. (4-0)

Cincinnati Bengals. 3. team. 56. <a href=. (4-0). Previous: 4th

(4-0). Previous: 5th. Denver Broncos. 4. team. 45. Denver easily has the best defense in the NFL. Even though <a href=

32. Arizona dropped a game it had in the bag to a sneaky Rams team that likes to knock off good teams but lose to bad ones. Despite the loss, the Cardinals still have the league’s best point differential after running up the scoreboard in their first three games. Arizona’s defense has been good in recent years, but its offense is what could take this team deep in the playoffs. Don’t count out the Cardinals after just one loss; they’re still one of the NFL’s best teams.. (3-1). Previous: 3rd. Arizona Cardinals. 5. team

What a nail-biter on Monday night. Despite the <a href=. (2-2). Previous: 7th. Seattle Seahawks. 6. team. 36

team. 44. Dan Quinn has coached the heck out of this team, and the Falcons have a 4-0 record to show for it. Even with <a href=. (4-0). Previous: 8th. Atlanta Falcons. 7

87. <a href=. (4-0). Previous: 11th. Carolina Panthers. 8. team

It wasn’t pretty, but the Colts pulled off an overtime victory over the Jaguars to secure the AFC South lead, despite only having a .500 record. 40-year-old backup quarterback <a href=. (2-2). Previous: 12th. Indianapolis Colts. 9. team. 46

55. Pittsburgh needed that win on Thursday night, but bad playcalling and even worse kicking led to a surprise victory for the Ravens. <a href=. (2-2). Previous: 9th. Pittsburgh Steelers. 10. team

124. Kansas City is easily the unluckiest team in the NFL, drawing matchups with undefeated teams in each of the past three weeks (Denver, Green Bay and Cincinnati). Although the offense couldn’t score a touchdown on Sunday, the fact that it could move the ball down the field on Cincinnati’s stingy defense suggests that there’s at least potential there for growth. Hopefully <a href=. (1-3). Previous: 10th. Kansas City Chiefs. 11. team

12. team. 16. Buffalo excited many people early on in the season, myself included, raising people’s expectations for the team. Let’s not forget that its starting quarterback, <a href=. (2-2). Previous: 6th. Buffalo Bills

60. Denver’s defense is great, but there’s no excuse for giving up seven sacks in a football game. <a href=. (2-2). Previous: 13th. Minnesota Vikings. 13. team

What a game in San Diego. Kicking seemed to defined Week 4, whether in the ability to kick or lack thereof. In San Diego, it was <a href=. (2-2). Previous: 15th. San Diego Chargers. 14. team. 13

(3-1). Previous: 18th. New York Jets. 15. team. 30. Even without his starting quarterback, <a href=

(2-2). Previous: 19th. St. Louis Rams. 16. team. 51. This Rams team is by far the NFL’s most mysterious and unpredictable team. St. Louis knocked out Seattle in Week 1 and topped Arizona in Phoenix on Sunday, but it lost to the Redskins and the Steelers. <a href=

17. team. 123. Another week without <a href=. (2-2). Previous: 16th. Dallas Cowboys

18. team. 28. The Oakland Raiders were one win away from being a relevant team, but the Raiders simply can’t have nice things. While Oakland’s offense has been hyped up for the past three weeks, it was nowhere to be found on Sunday. Chicago’s defense made some plays and slowed <a href=. (2-2). Previous: 17th. Oakland Raiders

19. team. 54. Slow down there, Chip. NFL fans were once incredibly optimistic about Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense that would wear down opposing defenses on a weekly basis, but fans and Kelly alike seemed to have forgotten a few key aspects of the Chip Kelly offense: the Eagles defense is stuck on the field for about three times as long as the offense in each game, the offensive line uses the same snap count over and over again and opposing defenses are able to shut down the run game all because of Kelly’s insisted urgency on offense and unwillingness to change the snap count throughout the game. Analysts like former offensive linemen Mark Schlereth have <a href=. (1-3). Previous: 14th. Philadelphia Eagles

Previous: 21st. New York Giants. 20. team. 31. If anyone went on on Sunday, they would’ve likely thought that <a href=. (2-2)

Previous: 22nd. Baltimore Ravens. 21. team. 26. Baltimore is finally on the board after barely edging the Steelers in a must-win Week 4 game. The already weak receiving corps was decimated by injuries this week, so Baltimore <a href=. (1-3)

New Orleans is also finally on the board. What a play by <a href=. (1-3). Previous: 27th. New Orleans Saints. 22. team. 15

10. The <a href=. (1-3). Previous: 20th. Houston Texans. 24. team

(0-4). Previous: 23rd. Detroit Lions. 25. team. 50. Detroit is now the NFL’s only winless team, but it is still a better team than all of those ranked lower. Detroit was <i>thisclose</i> to pulling off an upset in Seattle, but the Lions just couldn’t manage to follow through. Up next is yet another difficult matchup: this time, a home game against the Arizona Cardinals. Let’s see if Detroit can finally get a win; it desperately needs one.

42. Not much to say after a 17-3 loss to the Packers. <a href=. (1-3). Previous: 25th. San Francisco 49ers. 26. team

35. Tennessee moves up three spots by virtue of an early bye and losses all across the board by every team ranked in the bottom seven (aside from Chicago). A home matchup with the Bills coming to town could be a great chance for this Titans team to really show what it’s made of.. (1-2). Previous: 30th. Tennessee Titans. 27. team

52. <a href=. (1-3). Previous: 26th. Jacksonville Jaguars. 28. team

59. The Dolphins are an utter disaster. Miami finally canned Joe Philbin 10 months after he should’ve been fired, but at least that’s progress. Teams with interim head coaches rarely outperform expectations (aside from the Bruce Arians-led Colts back in 2012); the Dolphins could be looking at five or six wins this season. Then again, a change in coaching could be good for this team. Maybe the Phins won’t flop as hard as people expect.. (1-3). Previous: 24th. Miami Dolphins. 29. team

30. team. 53. <a href=. (1-3). Previous: 29th. Cleveland Browns

(1-3). Previous: 31st. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 31. team. 48. Another stinker in Tampa. While <a href=

(1-3). Previous: 32nd. Chicago Bears. 32. team. 57. Nice win on Sunday for an otherwise depressing Bears team. If Chicago won, why isn’t it ranked higher? Apparently, the team is <a href=

Next: Around the AFC North: Week 4 Notes