Injuries, Surprises Impacting Scout NFL Power Rankings, Week 4

The top five teams in the Scout NFL Power Rankings remain the same but after that there is plenty of movement because of some key injuries and surprise teams. Pitt slides with the loss of Big Ben and the high flying Falcons make a move. Even the Raiders are climbing.

No. 1 New England Patriots (3-0)

The Patriots whipped up on the Jags and posted a 34-point win over Jacksonville 51-17. Tom Brady passed for 358 yards and two scores. He became the fourth QB to ever throw for 400 career touchdown passes. With the way he and his teammates are playing so far this young season Brady will certainly pad that outstanding number. You hate to see New England have a bye this weekend because their offense is humming, averaging nearly 40 points a game so far in 2015.

Last week’s ranking: 1

Week four BYE


No. 2 Green Bay Packers (3-0)

Aaron Rodgers does what he does at home and that’s play great. He led the Packers to a 10-point win against Kansas City last night on Monday Night Football, 38-28. Rodgers threw for 333 yards and five touchdowns. Three of those scores went to Randall Cobb while James Jones got into the end zone once again and led Green Bay in receiving yards with 139. The Packers defense got after KC QB Alex Smith, sacking him seven times.

Last week’s ranking: 2

Week four at San Francisco


No. 3 Arizona Cardinals (3-0)

The Cardinals throttled the 49ers, 47-7. It started with their defense, as both Justin Bethel and Tyrann Mathieu had pick-sixes six minutes into the game for a fast 14-0 Arizona start. In all the Cardinals forced four Colin Kaeperkick interceptions. Of course Carson Palmer continues his winning ways as the team’s starter. He’s now 18-2 in his last 20 starts there. Palmer threw a pair of touchdown passes to Larry Fitzgerald.

Last week’s ranking: 3

Week four vs St. Louis


No. 4 Cincinnati Bengals (3-0)

A.J. Green is officially a Ravens killer, as he scored twice in the final quarter as he helped the Bengals rally against Baltimore 28-24. The former Georgia star finished with 10 receptions for 227 yards. Andy Dalton continues to impress this season. He finished with 383 yards and three scores, though he did through an interception.

Last week’s ranking: 4

Week four vs Kansas City


No. 5 Denver Broncos (3-0)

Denver beat Detroit 24-12 on the road on Sunday Night football. Quarterback Peyton Manning passed for 324 yards and two touchdowns. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders caught 15 passes between them. The biggest one of them all was a fourth down touchdown pass to Thomas late in the first half. The Broncos offense is still struggling to get their ground game going. Once again, the Denver defense came to play. They completely shut down the Lions rushing attack, intercepted quarterback Matthew Stafford twice and sacked him four times.

Last week’s ranking: 5

Week four vs Minnesota


No. 6 Buffalo Bills (2-1)

Buffalo scored a big road win in South Florida, beating Miami 41-14. The Bills started fast and didn’t let up. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor had a big game, finishing 21/29 for 277 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Rookie Karlos Williams rushed the ball 12 times for 110 yards and a score. Former Dolphin tight end Charles Clay got on the board first for the Bills with a 25 yard touchdown reception. The Buffalo defense forced three Ryan Tannehill interceptions and returned one for a score.

Last week’s ranking: 10

Week four vs NY Giants


No. 7 Carolina Panthers (3-0)

Carolina beat NFC South divisional foe New Orleans 27-22. This game was all about quarterback Cam Netwon. He finished with 315 yards passing and two touchdown throws, both to tight end Greg Olsen. Newton also added a touchdown on the ground. Olsen had his breakout game for 2015, finishing with eight receptions for 134 yards. New Orleans played without Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Last week’s ranking: 11

Week four at Tampa Bay


No. 8 Atlanta Falcons (3-0)

Atlanta went on the road to beat Dallas 39-28. It was a game in which they dominated the second half, outscoring the Cowboys 22-0. Devonta Freemen kept them in the game with this career rushing performance, netting 141 yards and scoring four touchdowns. But in the end Dallas couldn’t stop Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Ryan passed for 285 yards and two scores. Both went to Jones, who finished with 12 receptions for 164 yards. It took the Falcons ten weeks to earn their third win last season.

Last week’s ranking: 12

Week four vs Houston


No. 9 Seattle Seahawks (1-2)

Seattle got in the win column, shutting out Chicago 26-0 in the first home game this season. Rookie Tyler Lockett returned the second-half kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown. Russell Wilson was 20/35 for 235 yards and one score. He found tight end Jimmy Graham for that TD pass. But the real story was the Seahawks defense. Safety Kam Chancellor returned to the Seahawks defense and finished with one tackle. They only allowed three Bear plays in their territory all game. They also forced Chicago to punt on all 10 possessions.

Last week’s ranking: 14

Week four vs Detroit (Monday)

 No. 10 Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)

Pittsburgh beat St. Louis 12-16 but it proved costly for the Steelers. Starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went down with a knee (MCL) injury and will likely miss 4-6 weeks for Pittsburgh. In the meantime, Michael Vick will take over the Steeler’s offense. Some good news for Pittsburgh is that Le’Veon Bell returned to the lineup to rush for 62 yards and a score. He also caught seven passes for 70 yards. The first test without Big Ben’s is against their biggest rival on a short week. The Steelers drop in the rankings with the short term loss of Roethlisberger.

Last week’s ranking: 6

Week four vs Baltimore (Thursday)


No. 11 Minnesota Vikings (2-1)

Minnesota bounced back in a big way against San Diego, 31-14. Adrian Peterson ran hard and ran fast in route to two scores and 126 yards on the ground. That’s great news for the Vikings. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had a quiet afternoon, only throwing for 121 yards. In this one, the Minnesota defense played well. They hounded quarterback Philip Rivers and him four times and had a 91-yard pick-six from Chad Greenway.

Last week’s ranking: 15

Week four at Denver


No. 12 Dallas Cowboys (2-1)

The Cowboys lost their first game of the season to the Falcons, 39-28. Dallas, playing without star quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant, was terrific in the first half with the run game. Running backs Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden scored four rushing touchdowns. But they couldn’t stop the Atlanta attack. Running back Devonta Freeman had a career day and the Cowboys didn’t have a second half answer to the Matt Ryan-Julio Jones connection.

Last week’s ranking: 8

Week four at New Orleans


No. 13 New York Jets (2-1)

The Jets lost to the Eagles 24-17. There were just too many New York mistakes, including four turnovers and three Ryan Fitzpatrick interceptions. He was 35/58 for 283 yards and three touchdown passes. The Jets defense limited Philadelphia to only 241 yards of total offense.

Last week’s ranking: 9

Week four at Miami


No. 14 Kansas City Chiefs (1-2)

The Chiefs lost to Green Bay on Monday Night 38-28. Kansas City fell behind early and could catch up, though Andy Reid’s offense finally woke up when the game starting to get out of hand. Alex Smith was sacked seven times and threw an interception. He did pass for 290 yards and finally throw a TD pass to a Kansas City wide receiver for the first time in 18 games. That went to Jeremy Maclin. Jamaal Charles scored three rushing touchdowns for the Chiefs. The defense didn’t have an answer for Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers, who looked incredible throwing for 333 yards and five scores in their win.

Last week’s ranking: 7

Week four: at Cincinnati


No. 15 Indianapolis Colts (1-2)

The Colts rallied in the second half to beat the Titans 35-33. Down by 13 to start the second half Indy posted three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and hung on to beat Tennessee. Colts QB Andrew Luck hit on touchdown passes to both Phillip Dorsett and Donte Moncrief and veteran running back Frank Gore scored from six-yards to give the Colts the lead late. But Marcus Mariota rallied the Titans with 47 seconds remaining but they couldn’t convert the two-point conversion to tie the game at 35.

Last week’s ranking: 19

Week four vs Jacksonville


No. 16 Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)

Philadelphia finally got in the win column after a seven point win against the Jets. The star of the day was Darren Sproles. He scored on a spectacular 89-yard punt return. Sproles also scored on a one yard touchdown run. Running back Ryan Matthews hit the century mark, posting 108 on the ground and 20 through the air, including a touchdown reception. Philadelphia did force four Ney York turnovers.

Last week’s ranking: 21

Week four at Washington


No.17 New York Giants (1-2)

The Giants got in the win column on Thursday night, posting a 32-21 win over Washington. Rashad Jennings sparked New York with a blocked punt that turned into a safety. Quarterback Eli Manning passed for 279 yards and two scores. Wide receivers Odell Beckham, III and Rueben Randle each caught seven passes and scored a touchdown for New York. The defense played well, intercepting Kirk Cousins twice and only giving up 57 yards rushing to Redskins running backs Matt Jones and Alfred Morris. This team has to be kicking themselves for blowing two fourth quarter leads in their previous games. The Giants should be unbeaten right now.

Last week’s ranking: 23

Week four at Buffalo


No. 18 Oakland Raiders (2-1)

Oakland went East and hung on to beat Cleveland 27-20. The Browns were driving late in the game when defensive back Charles Woodson made a great play from the backend to intercept Browns quarterback Josh McCown. The Raiders earned a rare road victory. There were so many positives to take away. First, they are sitting in second place in the AFC West at 2-1. Quarterback Derek Carr passed for 314 yards and two scores. Running back Latavius Murray rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown while rookie sensation Amari Cooper caught eight passes for 134 yards and a score. And Oakland racked up five sacks.

Last week’s ranking:28

Week four at Chicago


No.19 San Diego Chargers (1-2)

The Chargers fell to the Vikings in Minnesota 31-14. San Diego just didn’t have an answer for Adrian Peterson. The future Hall of Famer rushed for 126 yards and two scores and suddenly looked like the Peterson old against the bolts. Quarterback Philip Rivers was 21/34 for 246 yards with a touchdown pass, interception and fumble. He was also sacked four times. Keenan Allen had another strong game at wide receiver, catching a dozen passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. San Diego gets a chance to regroup at home against Cleveland on Sunday.

Last week’s ranking: 13

Week four vs Cleveland


No. 20 St. Louis Rams (1-2)

The Rams lost to the Steelers at home 12-6. For the second straight week the offense for St. Louis really struggled. They failed to get into the end zone. Quarterback Nick Foles finished 18-28 for 197 yards and an interception. First round pick Todd Gurley saw his first action but it was a disappointing start, rushing six times for nine yards.

Last week’s ranking: 16

Week four at Arizona


No. 21 Baltimore Ravens (0-3)

Wow, Baltimore fell to 0-3 after dropping a close one to Cincinnati 28-24. The Ravens held the lead late but didn’t have an answer for Bengals star wide receiver A.J. Green. He torched Baltimore again, posting career numbers and scoring twice in the fourth quarter, including the game winner with 2:10 remaining. Joe Flacco and Steve Smith continued to produce in the passing game. Flacco passes for 363 yards and two scores (one interception). Both of those TD passes went to the veteran Smith, who finished with 13 receptions for 186 yards.

Last week’s ranking: 18

Week four at Pittsburgh (Thursday)


No. 22 Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)

Jacksonville was the next New England massacre, as the Jags lost to the Super Bowl champs 51-17. Quarterback Blake Bortles passed for 242 yards and threw a pair of touchdowns to Allen Hurns and Clay Harbor. The Patriots pretty much shut down wide receiver Allen Robinson for most of the game, though he did finish with four receptions. Jacksonville allowed 471 yards to the Patriots offense.

Last week’s ranking: 22

Week four at Indianapolis


No. 23 Miami Dolphins (1-2)

Miami had yet another disappointing performance. This week it was a home blowout loss to Buffalo 41-14. The Bills started fast and didn’t look back. Buffalo posted 429 yards, intercepted Ryan Tannehill three times in the first half, and led 27-0 at halftime. Tannehill finished with 297 yards passing and two scores. His consecutive mark of passes thrown without an interception was broke at 160.

Last week’s ranking 17

Week four at NY Jets


No. 24 Detroit Lions (0-3)

The Lions fell to the Broncos on Sunday night 24-12. There were too many mistakes by Detroit including turnovers by quarterback Matthew Stafford and allowing Denver and Peyton Manning to score from 45 yards out at the end of the second quarter. Detroit only rushed for 28 yards and allowed four sacks.

Last week’s ranking: 24

Week four at Seattle


No. 25 Cleveland Browns (1-2)

The Browns lost to the Raiders by seven, 27-20. Josh McCown returned to the lineup for the Browns after missing last week’s game with a concussion. He finished with 341 yards passing, two scores and an interception. The Browns only produced 39 yards rushing. Gary Barnidge recorded six receptions for 105 yards and a score for Cleveland. Oakland sacked McCown five times

Last week’s ranking: 25

Week four at San Diego


No. 26 Tennessee Titans (1-2)

Tennessee lost to Indianapolis 35-33. The Titans were winning 27-13 at halftime but couldn’t put the Colts away in the second half. Instead, they allowed Andrew Luck and Indy to catch some late fire and score three touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone to take the lead. But the Titans fought back behind rookie Marcus Mariota, who led Tennessee on a long TD drive, scoring with 47 seconds remaining to pull within two. They then failed to convert the two-point conversion. Mariota finished with 367 yards passing, two touchdowns and two big interceptions.

Last week’s ranking: 26

Week four BYE


No. 27 Washington Redskins (1-2)

The Redskins fell to the Giants on Thursday night 32-21. Kirk Cousins passes for 316 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Washington couldn’t kick start their run game. Matt Jones and Alfred Morris only combined for 57 yards rushing and Jones had a fumble. Jordan Reed led all Redskins receivers with six receptions for 96 yards. Rashad Ross returned a kickoff 101-yards for a touchdown for the final score of the game.

Last week’s ranking: 30

Week four vs Philadelphia


No. 28 Houston Texans (1-2)

The Texans beat Tampa Bay 19-9. Ryan Mallett passed for 228 yards and a touchdown while Alfred Blue rushed for 139 yards and a score to lead Houston. In fact, the Texans amassed 413 yards of offense in their first win of the season. Mallett’s scoring pass went to DeAndre Hopkins. Houston was aided by three missed field goals and an extra point by the Bucs.

Last week’s ranking: 30

Week four at Atlanta


No. 29 San Francisco 49ers (1-2)

It was a disaster in the desert for this 49ers team, as they lost to Arizona 47-7. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick didn’t help himself at all, as he threw four interceptions including two that were returned for scores in the game’s first six minutes. That’s a tough way to start on the road against a team as good as the Cardinals. The 49ers could only muster 170 yards of offense.

Last week’s ranking: 20

Week four vs Green Bay


No. 30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)

The Bucs had their chances against the Texans but couldn’t convert and lost 19-9 in Houston. Tampa Bay kicker Kyle Brindza nailed a 58-yard first half field goal but missed three other times in the second half. He also failed to convert a point after touchdown. Quarterback Jameis Winston passed for 261 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Mike Evans, who’s been battling a hamstring issue, was targeted 17 times by Winston. He had several drops among his seven receptions for 101 yards. The Bucs did not allow a sack.

Last week’s ranking: 29

Week four vs Carolina


No. 31 New Orleans Saints (0-3)

New Orleans lost to Carolina on the road 27-22. Of course the Saints played without their star signal caller Drew Brees because of his shoulder injury. Luke McCown got the start and passed for 310 yards and one interception. He did have a chance to make a play in the fourth quarter to put the Saints out in front but Panthers cornerback Josh Norman made a spectacular interception in the end zone.

Last week’s ranking: 31

Week four vs Dallas


No. 32 Chicago Bears (0-3)

The Bears remain winless after getting beaten out West by the Seahawks 26-0. All things considering it was a good defensive performance by Chicago. They were only down 6-0 at the half. Their special teams allowed the second half kick returned for a touchdown. The biggest issue was their offense, or lack of. They punt on all ten possessions and only ran a total of three plays in Seattle territory. Playing without starting quarterback Jay Cutler, the Bears only gained 161 yards of total offense with Jimmy Clausen running the show.

Last week’s ranking: 32

Week four vs Oakland


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