The NFL Power Rankings bring some order to the NFL as teams head into Week 5 of the 2013 season. In somewhat of an oddity for power rankings, we have the Patriots and Saints tied for the third spot on our list, but that's just how the voting process among our staff writers worked out.
|1||4-0||The way these power rankings are structured suggests the number two team is close to the number one team. That is not the case. At the moment, the Broncos are in a class by themselves, and after their fourth straight blowout win, the only interesting question is whether they can sustain that performance for a 16-0 season.||(1)|
|2||4-0||The Seahawks eked out an overtime win over the Texans, but struggled mightily in the process, with their vaunted defense giving up 20 points, 324 yards, and 19 first downs in the first half before clamping down in the second half and holding the Texans scoreless. A juggernaut at home, their two away wins (12-7 in Carolina and 23-20 in Houston) were both tightly contested and could have gone either way.||(2)|
|3T||4-0||The Patriots may not currently have much on offense outside of Tom Brady (and that's still plenty), but they do have a defense that ranks an impressive sixth in points allowed. Throw all of that together, and the Patriots are 4-0 for the first time since 2007.||(5)|
|3T||4-0||Last year, the Saints were 0-4 after four weeks, this year they are 4-0. Last year, they had scored 110 points, this year they've scored 108. The key difference between two years is in points allowed: In 2012, they allowed 130, this year they're down to 55. In his tenth year as a defensive coordinator in the league, it looks like Rob Ryan may finally be on a team with a winning record at the end of the season.||
|5||4-0||Andy Reid and the Chiefs have been sticking it to the NFC East big time, with three of their four wins coming against NFC East teams. But what are those wins really worth? The NFC East is a combined 4-12, and the fourth Chiefs win was against the subterranean Jaguars. But the Chiefs didn't put together the schedule and can only play who they're supposed to play.||(7)|
|6||3-1||The Colts are getting stronger as the year goes on and are setting themselves up nicely in a suddenly altered AFC South. If Houston is going to be schitzo, then the Colts might have a clean ride to the playoffs, where a date with Peyton Manning awaits. Wouldn't that be something special. (KD)
|7||3-1||The Dolphins looked promising after three games, but a little less so after the Saints were finished with them. Still, they've beaten the Colts and the Falcons, and there's no shame in losing to the red hot Saints. But they've got to find a way to help Ryan Tannehill, who leads all NFL quarterbacks in fumbles and sacks.||(6)|
|8||3-1||The Bears trailed Detroit by 40-16 early in the fourth quarter, but that had as much to do with Jay Cutler as it did with the Lions: Cutler helped dig a hole for the Bears with three interceptions and a fumble, so it's not like the Lions simply outplayed the Bears, because in the end the Lions needed every little bit of that lead to hold off the late-charging Bears. Minus the mistakes, the Bears remain a very strong team.||(4)|
|9||3-1||The Lions led by 24 points against the previously unbeaten Bears with five minutes to play before the Bears scored 16 points in what was effectively garbage time. Reggie Bush has been a revelation for the Lions and comparisons are already being drawn: Bush had 11 carries for 112 yards (10.2 average) in the first half and is the first Lions player since Barry Sanders to rush for at least 100 yards and average 10.0 yards per carry in the first half of a game.||(11)|
Jake Locker has the fifth highest passer rating (99.0) after four weeks, and the Titans defense is a top ten unit in terms of both points and yards allowed. The Titans look like they could be one of the surprise teams this year - if only Jake Locker hadn't been carted off the field with a right hip injury in the second half of Sunday's game. It currently looks like he could be out for at least four weeks.
|11||2-2||Suddenly, the Bengals don't look so hot anymore. In fact, the Bengals are beginning to look like the most over-hyped team after the first quarter of the season. Despite some big-name offensive weapons, the Bengals offense is sputtering at best, and didn't score a touchdown for the first time since Week 3 in 2011. With the Patriots coming for a visit, followed by a two-game road trip to the resurgent Bills and the Reggie Bush-enabled Lions, the Bengals could see their season slipping away soon if they don't fix their offense.
|12||2-2||With five interceptions on Sunday, Joe Flacco made a strong case for having the title of "Super Bowl MVP" permanently removed from any reports about him or the Ravens. The Ravens have a short week as they prepare for the Browns on Thursday, and they'll be sure to focus especially on their running game (9 attempts, 24 yards against the Bills).||(12)|
|13||2-2||If one were to be completely objective, one could say that SD's home win this past weekend was against a team that doesn't have an identity and didn't take advantage of what San Diego was presenting them. That one person might not think too highly of the Chargers latest victory. (KD)
|14||2-2||The 49ers still have their problems. But on Thursday night, the defending NFC champions took a step in the right direction. Prior to the rout of the Rams, the 49ers had been outscored 56-10 in the previous two games by the Colts and Seahawks, so next week's game against the Texans will be a good game to determine what the win over the hapless Rams is really worth.||(22)|
|15||1-2||In an NFC North that already looks like a two-team race between the Lions and the Bears, the Packers will likely face an uphill climb for the rest of the season. That climb could be particularly steep considering the Packers are allowing 29.3 points per game, ranking them 27th in the league.||(17)|
|16||2-2||Texans fans are growing increasingly disenfranchised with their franchise quarterback, with reports surfacing of Schaub jerseys being burned and new word creations making the rounds like "Schaubenfreude" or "Schaub the game mangler." The Texans were up 20-3 after the first half but then lost the game on a fumble and a pick-six in the second half. In what would have been billed as a Super Bowl preview a mere four weeks ago, the 2-2 Texans are heading to 2-2 San Francisco for a Sunday night game between two teams who seem to have lost their mojo.||
|17||2-2||Dallas had a 21-10 lead in the second quarter but surrendered the game's final 20 points. The Cowboys' shiny new defense has only held one opposing quarterback below a 95.0 passer rating in four games; you can't win a lot of games that way. And with the league's highest rated passer coming to Dallas next week, Monte Kiffin and his staff had better think of something, or Peyton Manning will engineer his fifth straight blowout.
|18||1-2||Don't be surprised should the Saints falter for this underrated Panthers team to be the ones that move up in the world, as opposed to the Falcons. Cam Newton is nowhere near as bad as he's made out to be (he's actually pretty good) and their defensive front 7 is legitimate. (KD)
|19||2-2||It's the NFL media department's job to make sure new NFL records are reported every week, and rumor has it that they employ an entire Obscure Stats Division to come up with numbers like these two for the Bills: Bills QB Manuel is the first rookie quarterback to defeat the defending Super Bowl champions in September. Also, Manuel and rookie head coach Doug Marrone are the first rookie quarterback and head coach tandem to defeat the defending Super Bowl champions since 2003. And despite Manuel's milestone being set against the Ravens, the record is still valid.||(21)|
|20||1-3||A year ago, the Falcons stormed off to an 8-0 start. Not this year. In 39 home games with Matt Ryan as the starter, the Falcons compiled a 35-4 W/L record. On Sunday, the visiting Patriots were down to rookies and special teamers in the passing game and still pulled off a road win in Atlanta. Things are very wrong in Atlanta.
|21||2-2||Improbable as it may sound, the Browns are tied for the lead in their division after shutting down division rival Cincinnati 17-6. It's not clear yet that they have a quarterback, and they traded away their first-round running back, but outside of that and against all odds, the Browns seem to have assembled a solid core of talented players.||(26)|
|22||2-2||Geno Smith continued his best Mark Sanchez impression on Sunday, throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles. For the season, that brings Smith's turnover total to 11. Only the Giants as a team have more turnovers than Smith by himself through four games. Unfortunately, the Jets' defense will keep the franchise from landing a top draft spot, so this will likely be a wasted season in multiple ways for the Jets.||(14)|
Carson Palmer should send the schedule makers a bouquet of roses, as their gift to him has kept the greatest 5-year con from being outed. Palmer somehow still starts in the NFL. (KD)
|24||1-3||A close win over the decrepit Steelers in London doesn't tell us much about the state of the Vikings, but the big news out of London for Vikings fans is that they probably have a new QB: Matt Cassel recorded a 123.4 passer rating against an admittedly inconvenienced Steelers defense. But that's almost twice as high as Christian Ponder's 65.9 passer rating for the season.||(27)|
|25||1-3||If you haven't been watching any Eagles games, you may find this hard to believe, but Michael Vick is ranked second in the league behind only Peyton Manning with 9.2 yards per pass attempt, and their ground game is averaging 198.2 yards per game, almost 50 yards more than the next best team. But a defense that has allowed the second-most points in the league, coupled with an inability to score in the redzone means the Eagles are stuck at the bottom of these rankings, and no amount of hurry-up offense is going to cure that.||(20)|
|26||1-3||Last year's 7-8-1 record and a widely lauded draft in 2013 were supposed to be a sign that things were looking up for the Rams. But after being outscored 66-18 in the last two games, it's clear that something is very wrong in St. Louis. Granted, the Cowboys and 49ers may yet end up being two of the better teams in the NFL this year, but still...||(25)|
|27||1-3||The Oakland fans began to boo QB Matt Flynn late in the game after he had fumbled twice and thrown an interception. Along the way, Washington's pass defense looked like a real NFL defense for the first time this season. The Redskins have a bye-week to work on their pass defense before heading to Dallas where they may or may not be challenged by the Cowboys passing game, which itself is somewhat of a hit-and-miss proposition.||(30)|
|28||1-3||After the will-he-won't he leading up to the game, Terrelle Pryor didn't play after all. Here's one telling stat illustrating what Pryor brings to the table for the Raiders: Matt Flynn was sacked on seven of his 40 dropbacks on Sunday (18%), Pryor has been sacked on only seven of his 99 dropbacks this season (7%). Even against an 0-3 team like the Redskins, the Raiders need everything to go their way if they want to win. Pryor is a big part of that.
|29||0-4||After the loss to the previously also winless Vikings, Roethlisberger said, "You could say we're the worst team," and if it weren't for the Giants and Jaguars, they easily could be. 1968 (45 years ago) was the last time the Steelers started the season 0 and 4. They ended the season with just two wins and brought in a new coach: Chuck Knoll.||(28)|
|30||0-4||In what seems to be a recurring theme under Greg Schiano, the Bucs gave away a game in the final minutes for the third time this year. You've got to like their defense (tied for 8th-best with only 70 points allowed), but if your offense only scores five TDs in four games, things have a way of getting ugly fast.
|31||0-4||The New York Football Giants are a dumpster fire. Their season is over, and they'll start the long, arduous process of rebuilding their offensive and defensive lines with exactly $60,066 of cap space left this year.
|32||0-4||The CBS announcers after Andrew Luck's 31-yard TD pass to Coby Fleener: "This is just too easy." The Jaguars are looking closely at their schedule and are wondering if there's a team left on their schedule that they can beat this year. The good news: they've got the number one pick locked up and won't need to trade for Josh Freeman.
Every week, Blogging The Boys goes through the labor of bringing you a NFL power rankings summary from around the internet, usually ranging from solid opinions by some of the bigger names in football through some absolute head-scratchers all the way through a collection of stat-based rankings.
While you will still get a summary of all those stats and opinions later today, you now get our own "expert opinion" right here with our inaugural Blogging The Boys power rankings. The rankings are summarized from a poll of all eight BTB writers, with KD Drummond pitching in on the comments.