Week 4 NFL Power Rankings: VICTORY AT LAST!

"Hey man, put in a good word with me with Gettleman!" - Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

After the systematic destruction of a reeling Giants team, where did the Panthers land on this week's power rankings? Read on to find out!

Week 3 set the stage for what at this point can only be considered the "Twilight Zone" version of a beginning to the 2013 NFL season. Perennial winners in San Francisco, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Houston are faltering, while upstarts are emerging out of the quagmires of Kansas City and Miami. New Orleans looks ready to rebound with Sean Payton back at the helm, New England just keeps piling up wins despite fielding a wide receiver corps of nobodies, Peyton Manning looks like he's 30 years old all over again, RG's 0-3, and oh yeah: the PANTHERS JUST BEAT THE BRAKES OFF OF THE G-MEN!!!

With all that being said, my weekly job of compiling Power Rankings is no easy task. Up is down; left is right; and the sky over Charlotte seems to be hanging stead for the moment. Yes, it has been a crazy weekend, so let's see how it all played out!

This week there was a ton of movement in the middle, but the big story is the precipitous fall of San Francisco and Green Bay, each of whom dropped 9 spots. The Jets led the risers with a 9 spot rise after inexplicably starting the season 2-1, and the Panthers jumped a healthy 7 spots after an impressive showing against the New York Giants...

RANK TEAM COMMENT PREV TREND
1
Denver Broncos
In 2012, Peyton Manning was the NFL's "Comeback Player of the Year". If he keeps this up, 2013 is going to be one hell of a Swan Song. Three games in, he's on pace to throw 64 TDs with 0 INTs. No big deal...
1
SAME
3-0
2
Seattle Seahawks
Another week, another blowout. Of course, it was against the "Punching Bag Jags", but still, these guys were predicted to dominate, and are being dominant.
2
SAME
3-0
3
New Orleans Saints
A few weeks ago I got a lot of flak for putting the Saints at number 4 after one win. So far they are not making me look so stupid after all. With Sean Payton back, Rob Ryan's defense playing well, and rookie standout Kenny Vaccaro, the Saints are marching.
4
UP
3-0
4
Chicago Bears
Will someone please beat these guys already? I seriously feel like an idiot for having them so high, especially after Jay "Crispy Cutlets" being able to do next to nothing on offense this week. But until they lose I can't justify dropping them.
7
UP
3-0
5
New England Patriots
Who'd of thunk the abysmal-looking Patriots would be undefeated without Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski on the field? Well, there is something to be said for great coaching, after all. With Gronk and Amendola getting healthy, I only expect them to get better.
9
UP
3-0
6
Cincinnati Bengals
Nice, gritty come-from-behind win against the Packers. Nothing spectacular, but Dalton was efficient and this Gio kid (that some of you may have heard of) looks pretty legit.
10
UP
2-1
7
Miami Dolphins
Wow. Another quality win against what was supposed to be a very good Falcons team. Tannehill is looking very competent as a starter, and with Paul Soliai and Cameron Wake returning, that defense will be scary.
11
UP
3-0
8
Baltimore Ravens
It's beginning to look like that drubbing the Broncos gave them in week one may have just been an example of the Broncos just being that good. The champs have rebounded well and showed it with an impressive beatdown of the Texans this week.
12
UP
2-1
9
Kansas City Chiefs
Alex Smith is doing exactly what they need him to do, and he helped Andy Reid lay the wood on his former team. This team is loaded with talent, and Reid looks to be righting the ship. Good news for a beleaguered fanbase.
13
UP
3-0
10
Houston Texans
I fell into the trap of giving this team a lot of respect for two straight comeback wins, then they got trounced by the Ray Rice-less Ravens. With Arian Foster running his mouth more than the rock and that defense looking off, there is reason for concern in Houston.
3
DOWN
2-1
11
Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys beat down the Rams at home this week. They are looking really good at home, but got beat up in Kansas City last week. We'll see going forward, but they'll have to show me quite a bit before cracking my top ten as long as Romo's still the quarterback.
14
UP
2-1
12
Indianapolis Colts
With Miami surging, the close loss to them last week doesn't look so bad, especially in light of the fact they just decimated the 49ers in San Francisco. I'm convinced; this team is good.
15
UP
2-1
13
Tennessee Titans
With wins against the Steelers and Chargers, neither of whom are very good, I am a little iffy about putting the Titans this high. However, I'm giving them a little love because the teams directly below them have looked terrible over the last two weeks.
17
UP
2-1
14
Green Bay Packers
Little publicized stat: Aaron Rodgers is 5-17 in games decided by 4 or less points. Do you think we'd hear more about that if his name was Cam Newton? Oh, nevermind, we don't even have to speculate…
5
DOWN
1-2
15
San Francisco 49ers
Two weeks, two straight beatdowns, and the last one at home, against a far less talented team. As unthinkable as it would have been a month ago, if the Niners don't bounce back this week against a Rams team they had a hard time against last year, they'll be in full-blown crisis mode.
6
DOWN
1-2
16
Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are better than this, and I am confident they will bounce back. This is a plain example of how injuries can kill seasons. Missing Steven Jackson and with Roddy White barely playing, this is not the same team.
8
DOWN
1-2
17
Detroit Lions
The Lions finally beat the Redskins in Washington, after having not done it once in 73 years. Kudos to them. They are still going to have to be more consistent before I can move them any higher. I could easily see them dropping a goose-egg next week against Chicago.
18
UP
2-1
18
New York Jets
I mean, they have to beat someone better than the Bills or Buccaneers before I can justify moving them up. They are still playing sloppy, and that is never a recipe for sustained success.
27
UP
2-1
19
St. Louis Rams
I am eating crow. I am honestly dumbfounded that this team is performing so badly, when they were one of my dark horses at the beginning of the season. I am still holding out hope they can turn it around, but they have to play much better all around. They usually play the 49ers tough, so this weekend is a good time to start.
16
DOWN
1-2
20
San Diego Chargers
Never trust Philip Rivers. I repeat: NEVER trust Philip Rivers…
19
DOWN
1-2
21
Buffalo Bills
I hate you, Buffalo Bills. I hate you so very much. You play a very tough game against my Panthers, beating us and effectively stabbing this hopeful fanbase in the heart, then you go out and lose to the Jets the next week. Now I have to keep my Panthers ranked lower than the Jets, and I HATE you for that.
21
SAME
1-2
22
Carolina Panthers
I can't justify putting us above the Bills, since they beat us just last week, but a 38 point demolishment of the Giants earns us a huge jump in the rankings. Dis defense…
29
UP
1-2
23
Philadelphia Eagles
The way Chip Kelly is running this team, he really needed to jump out to 5 or 6 wins in the first half of the season to prepare for the inevitable fatigue-driven crash to earth coming in the second half. So far, things are not looking so good. Let's see if he tweaks his gameplan going forward...
20
DOWN
1-2
24
Arizona Cardinals
I don't know if the Cardinals are that bad, or the Saints are that good, but that was ugly. Here's hoping they still look that bad when the Panthers face them after the bye.
23
DOWN
1-2
25
Cleveland Browns
Two days before the game, Chud looked like he was throwing the season by trading away Trent Richardson. I personally don't buy it. For the last two years we in Carolina have seen that he does not value a marquee back in his system, so I think this was purely a move to build toward the team he wants. It helps that they followed up the move with a win.
31
UP
1-2
26
Oakland Raiders
The Raiders represented themselves against the Manning-led juggernaut Broncos better than the Ravens did in week one, so it is hard to fault them for a loss that was completely expected. As a matter of fact, they get to move up two spots, because the guys below them are just.that.bad...
28
UP
1-2
27
Washington Redskins
RG 0-3. That is all.
25
DOWN
0-3
28
New York Giants
We've discussed this game extensively, so I'm not going to pile on too much, but when your team runs a Manning off the field in the fourth quarter in fear for his life, that is pretty epic.
22
DOWN
0-3
29
Pittsburgh Steelers
Has any injury in the league hurt a team more than the loss of Mike Pouncey for the season? Ben Roethlisberger would have a better chance if he stood five trashcans full of sand out there in front of him... Also, do you think they may regret letting Mendenhall and Mike Wallace go?
26
DOWN
0-3
30
Minnesota Vikings
If Christian Ponder finishes the year a starter, I will be shocked. Plus, do you think Adrian Peterson is regretting that whole predicting to rush for 2,500 yards thing, now?
24
DOWN
0-3
31
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Want to hear a scary thought? Mike Glennon isn't far from being a starting NFL quarterback… From all of us N.C. State fans, let me be the first to say to the people of Tampa: "We're sorry."
30
DOWN
0-3
32
Jacksonville Jaguars
It's going to be really hard to come up with 16 ways to say the Jaguars are the worst team in the league, so I'm going to go start planning for next week…
32
SAME
0-3

That's how I rank 'em, Panthers fans. Now it's your turn. Give your rankings in the comments!

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