Week 4 NFL power rankings

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By SAM SPIEGELMAN
XN Sports

The third week of football is officially in the books, and again we're seeing changes at the top from the Week 3 edition of the XN Sports NFL Power Rankings.

Every week, XN Sports will rank every NFL team. Here is the Week 4 edition based on the Week 3 results and the season-long potential of each team.

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Week 4 NFL Power Rankings
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Week 4 NFL power rankings

2. Cincinnati Bengals (Last week: 3)

The Broncos are the class of the AFC, but it’s hard to argue that they’re playing better than Cincinnati, which is clicking on all cylinders heading into their Week 4 bye. The Bengals have a tough slate beginning Week 5, which will tell us even more about this AFC contender.

What to know: The vaunted Bengals defense has limited opponents to a 46.7 completion percentage on throws of five yards or more downfield, which is second best only to the Bills.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

3. Denver Broncos (Last week: 1)

It’s only one loss, but I was impressed with Peyton Manning’s late-game moxie and his team’s ability to rally, especially after the late interception. The Broncos needed to prove the lopsided loss last February was a fluke, and they did.

What to know: Peyton Manning’s two touchdown passes against Seattle put him at 100 as a member of the Broncos and he sits at 499 in his career. Brett Favre is the only NFL player with 500+ career touchdown passes.

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last week: 12)

The Steelers made a statement by slashing Carolina’s awfully stingy defense, but it is a concern that the team lost Jarvis Jones and rookie Ryan Shazier to injury and may have to rely on the old legs of James Harrison for a few weeks.

What to know: Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown — call it a lock. When targeting Brown, Big Ben was 10-of-10 with two touchdowns.

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

10. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 13)

Atlanta made a mockery of division rival Tampa Bay, looking explosive on offense and dominant on defense. However, they did face the Bucs, so let’s not blow this one out of the water. I still think the Falcons are out to make some noise.

What to know: Falcons receiver Julio Jones has eight straight games with at least six receptions and 75 yards, the longest such streak in the NFL.

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

17. Indianapolis Colts (Last week: 21)

Indianapolis finally got off the snide with a romping of Jacksonville. Ahmad Bradshawfinally gave the team a reliable running game, while Andrew Luck admirably played the role of Andrew Luck. This one should get the ball rolling for the Colts.

What to know: Bradshaw piled up 83 total yards and a touchdown, and broke four tackles in the win. Bradshaw averaged 7.0 yards per touch and 5.3 yards per carry, compared toTrent Richardson (4.7 and 3.7, respectfully).

(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

18. New York Jets (Last week: 17)

I’m still impressed by the defense’s ability to take Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte out of this game, while giving Jay Cutler fits throughout the night. This came down to good Geno vs. bad Geno, and the latter showed up too often and with the game on the line.

What to know: What are they drinking in the Big Apple? Since the start of the 2013 season,Geno Smith is tied with Eli Manning for the most multiple interception games in the league with eight.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

21. Washington Redskins (Last week: 25)

Washington fell on the short end of the stick in their wire-to-wire shootout with Philadelphia, and is the only NFL team to move up its standings in the XN Sports power rankings without actually winning a game. I was impressed by Kirk Cousins engineering the offense

What to know:  DeSean Jackson is the third player in AFL/NFL history to have a touchdown reception of at least 80 yards both for and against the same team (Washington). The others are Art Powell for (and against) the Oakland Raiders andCharlie Joiner for (and against) the Houston Oilers, according to Elias Sports.

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

22. Miami Dolphins (Last week: 20)

Two weeks ago, the Dolphins pulled off the upset of Week 1 by dominating the Patriots in the second half en route to victory. Now the discussion is whether Ryan Tannehillshould be benched. That’s not a good sign for both the quarterback and coach to be on the hot seat.

What to know: Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and Miami lost by a combined 88 points this week. According to Elias Sports, that is the worst point differential by the three Florida teams combined in a single week since Jacksonville became a team in 1995.

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

23. Dallas Cowboys (Last week: 28)

Call it a comeback, as Tony Romo and Co. overcame a 21-point deficit to defeat the Rams after it looked like Austin Davis had gotten the best of the depleted Dallas D. Speaking of that defense, two interceptions of Davis were major factors in the comeback. These Cowboys are 2-1.

What to know: Dallas’ 21-point  comeback against the Rams Sunday matched the largest comeback in franchise history. The last time was in 1984 against the Saints and 1999 against Washington, according to Elias Sports.

(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

24. Kansas City Chiefs (Last week: 27)

Without their most dangerous offensive player, the Chiefs knocked off Miami with unquestionably Alex Smith‘s best performance of the young season. Smith tossed three touchdowns; Knile Davis racked up 132 rushing yards and Joe McKnight came out of nowhere to score twice. Can’t blame that on Tannehill.

What to know: The Chiefs’ defense finally emerged. Allen Bailey and Dontari Poe earned a combined +7.7 grade by Pro Football Focus. The two combined for five stops, five pressures, and two batted passes.

(Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

25. Cleveland Browns (Last week: 23)

Another “close but no cigar” sort of finish for the Browns, who fared similarly against the Ravens as they did Week 1 against the Steelers. Hey, at least we saw Johnny Manziel, right?

What to know: Offensive line remains a strength of the Browns, and rookie Joe Bitonio has improved each game. This week, he earned a +2.3 Pro Football Focus grade after not allowing any pressure.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

26. New York Giants (Last week: 28)

Finally, a win for the Giants! The running game was the best its been in recent memory, with Rashad Jennings slashing the very stout Houston defense.

What to know: Eli Manning didn’t throw an interception against the Texans, marking the first game without a pick in the last eight games.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

28. Tennessee Titans (Last week: 24)

I’ve jumped further and further away from the Titans’ bandwagon since Week 1, as Jake Locker continues to flop under center and this defense looks lost week in and week out.Ken Whisenhunt will be drafting a quarterback next spring if this continues.

What to know: Jake Locker’s 6-for-20 performance, including 98 yards and two picks on pass attempts five yards or more downfield, pushed him below the NFL average on those throws.

(Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)

29. St. Louis Rams (Last week: 29)

The Rams had a victory over the Cowboys but allowed Tony Romo and Co. to march right back into this one. Austin Davis cooled down, and Romo found seams in the Rams’ D. I’m not overblowing this loss because the Rams simply aren’t a good team.

What to know: Janoris Jenkins took back a Tony Romo interception for a touchdown. Jenkins has five defensive scores since entering the league in 2012, which is the most in the NFL

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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