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Lots of changes to this week's NFL Power Rankings
October 3, 2013 - Andy Heintz
10. Tennessee Titans, 3-1
The Titans are one of the surprises this year so far. They are outscoring opponents by nearly 30 points and could very well be 4-0 if it wasn’t for a narrow defeat to Houston. The next three weeks – vs. Kansas City, at Seattle and vs. San Francisco – will tell us how good they really are.
9. Chicago Bears, 3-1
The Bears looked good in starting the season 3-0 but those three wins were against teams combined for a 5-9 record. The Lions shot the Bears down a notch, perhaps providing a blueprint in how to score against Chicago’s defense. This week’s home game against undefeated New Orleans will tell us a lot. They are head to Green Bay in a few weeks.
8. Detroit Lions, 3-1
The addition of Reggie Bush and the impact that he has made should not go unnoticed. The Lions are a much more complete team with him in the lineup and he will continue to be productive as defenses continue to focus on Calvin Johnson on the outside. The loss to Arizona hurts but the win over Chicago helps them in the rankings. They go to Green Bay this weekend, a place they have not won since I was in school. Home games after that against Cincinnati and Dallas won’t be easy either.
7. Indianapolis Colts, 3-1
The Colts come in behind the Dolphins between the Dolphins won the head-to-head matchup in Indianapolis. But the Colts defense looks strong and Andrew Luck is playing at a real high level. They are outscoring opponents 105-51. The next three weeks for the Colts also will show us a lot. They host undefeated Seattle on Sunday and then head to San Diego before hosting Denver the following two weeks.
6. Miami Dolphins, 3-1
I know, the Dolphins lost and moved up. The loss was at one of the toughest homefield advantages in the league and it came against an undefeated team. Plus, other teams ahead of them suffered defeats. Miami has scored 91 points and given up 91 points so it is still too early to tell how good or bad they really are. The next three include home games against Baltimore and Cincinnati and a trip to Foxboro to take on the rival Patriots.
5. New England Patriots, 4-0
The Patriots moved up this week by default but also because winning in Atlanta is never easy, even if the Falcons are suffering from injuries. In case you didn’t know, so is New England. Tom Brady continues to win with no-namers at wide receiver. They are outscoring opponents 89-57 but the four wins have come against teams that are a combined 5-12. After traveling to Cincinnati this weekend, New England could be putting its undefeated record on the line against also unbeaten New Orleans at home.
4. Kansas City Chiefs, 4-0
I want to believe in the Chiefs, I really do. But the fact that their four wins were against teams with a combined 3-12 record cannot be overlooked. Alex Smith continues to play smart, and the defense has dominated their opponents. The 102-41 points for and against also impressive but we’ll find out in the coming weeks just how good the Chiefs are. They head to 3-1 Tennessee this weekend before playing in three straight home games against Houston, Oakland and Cleveland.
3. Seattle Seahawks, 4-0
I moved Seattle down this week because I just don’t trust them on the road. Yes, they beat Houston after a big comeback, but the Texans – and Matt Shaub – gave that game away as much as the Seahawks took it from them. They are 109-47 against their opponents this year no one they have beaten has more than two wins (even though I think Houston and San Francisco are much better than their records indicate). The Seahawks road struggles get tested in the coming weeks with trips to Indianapolis, Arizona and St. Louis occurring in three of the next four games.
2. New Orleans Saints, 4-0
The Saints look like a well-oiled machine right now. Other NFC teams are hoping both the Saints and Seahawks come down to Earth a bit because both will be tough to beat at home. Three of New Orleans’ four wins so far have come in the Dome and the combined record of the four teams is just 6-10. Road games against Chicago and New England in the coming weeks will give us a better gauge at how good the Saints are.
1. Denver Broncos
I realize the Broncos are making things look really easy. I also understand that Peyton Manning has thrown 16 touchdowns and no interceptions. But do you realize the lack of competition they have played so far? First off, three of the four wins were at home. Second, the combined record of the four opponents is just 4-12. And two of those wins are from the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. They are good, no doubt. Just ease up with the “no one is beating this team” talk.
Bottom Five: 5. St. Louis Rams, 4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3. Pittsburgh Steelers, 2. New York Giants, 1. Jacksonville Jaguars.
Rising: Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers
Falling: Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Cincinnati Bengals
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