NFL Power Poll and Week 4 Picks
With September in the rearview, it’s a good time to break out the first edition of the Power Poll. There are some huge games this weekend (BAL at NE, NYJ at NO, SD at PIT, GB at MIN), which means a shakeup is imminent. For the time being, here’s how the Top 10 rounds out after three weeks.
1. Baltimore Ravens (3-0) The Ravens have never had a good offense, let alone a top-ranked one. Only the Saints have scored more points than Baltimore’s balanced attack.
2. New Orleans Saints (3-0) Three wins, two on the road, with a combined margin of victory of 64 points. This is the best team in the NFC until proven otherwise, something the Giants will have their shot at come Week 6.
3. New York Jets (3-0) First the Jets silence the Texans in Houston, then they back up their trash talk in New England before gutting one out vs. the desperate Titans. Hands down, the three most impressive wins of any team.
4. Indianapolis Colts (3-0) Back-to-back primetime victories in Miami and Arizona have those few Indy skeptics shaking their heads in disbelief. Again.
5. New York Giants (3-0) A win vs. the turnover-prone Cowboys stands out because the G-Men crashed the party at new Cowboy Stadium, but holding the Bucs — hapless as they are — to 86 yards of offense last week is pretty impressive.
6. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) Between Hard Knocks, the stomach punch they endured in Week 1 vs. the Broncos, and the way they’ve responded since — winning at Lambeau Field and pulling off a shocker of a comeback vs. the Steelers — the Bengals deserve some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
7. Minnesota Vikings (3-0) You can only beat who’s on your schedule, but the fact remains the Vikings drew the Browns and Lions before needing a for-the-ages Favre missile against San Francisco to polish off a somewhat dubious 3-0 start.
8. New England Patriots (2-1) Even without Welker, the Pats offense of old returned vs. the Falcons last week. Sure, they had issues getting the ball into the end zone, but 445 yards of total offense is still 445 yards of total offense.
9. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) The Eagles have weathered the early storm in the face of injuries to McNabb and Westbrook, not to mention the ongoing Vick saga.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2) If Jeff Reed makes either a 38 or 43-yard field goal Week 2 in Chicago, the Steelers are 2-1 and nobody’s panicking.
Week 4 Picks (home teams in CAPS)
NEW ENGLAND over Baltimore
WASHINGTON over Tampa Bay
Tennessee over JACKSONVILLE
HOUSTON over Oakland
CHICAGO over Detroit
Cincinnati over CLEVELAND
INDIANAPOLIS over Seattle
NY Giants over KANSAS CITY
NEW ORLEANS over NY Jets
Buffalo over MIAMI
Dallas over DENVER
SAN FRANCISCO over St. Louis
PITTSBURGH over San Diego
MINNESOTA over Green Bay
Last Week: 11-5