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NFL 2023 Week 4 Power Rankings: Dolphins Move Up to Third

Week 3 was a wild one with a number of massive upsets few saw coming. We don’t want to overreact to just one game, but we now have three we can use to evaluate each team.

Every Tuesday, we’ll provide updated power rankings. The rankings will be driven by who the teams are at the moment. Those stances will be centered on every team’s talent, reliability and current level of success. Betting markets will also influence our stances, as will each team’s path to contention within its conference. We’ll also be aware of each team’s looming schedule difficulty.

Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

 1. San Francisco 49ers (3-0)

Previous Rank: No. 1

Last game: 49ers 30, Giants 12

The San Francisco 49ers continued to roll, mopping the floor with the New York Giants Thursday night. The 49ers can beat teams through the air, on the ground or with their premium defense. They also have the pedigree of a team that’s played in three of the past four NFC Championship games. QB Brock Purdy’s offense has scored 30 or more points in seven of his eight regular season starts.

Next: vs. ARI, vs. DAL (SNF), at CLE, at MIN (MNF)

2. Philadelphia Eagles (3-0)

Previous Rank: No. 3

Last game: Eagles 25, Buccaneers 11

The Philadelphia Eagles are on the short list of teams that can win games in multiple ways. Philadelphia still has premium lines on both sides of the ball, but its running game could actually be better this season. After two slow weeks, Jalen Hurts’ passing attack made a big impact against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Philadelphia has three more very winnable games in a row before facing the Miami Dolphins in Week 7.

Next: vs. WAS, at LAR, at NYJ, vs. MIA

3. Miami Dolphins (3-0)

Previous Rank: No. 5

Last game: Dolphins 70, Broncos 20

“Wow” is really all that can be said about the Miami Dolphins’ assault on the Denver Broncos’ defense. The Dolphins scored 70 points without WR Jaylen Waddle. Miami purposely stacks speed in its passing and running games, and as we saw in Week 3, the ceiling for this group is unimaginable. Miami’s defense was the driving factor behind its Week 2 win in New England. As long as the Dolphins core pieces stay healthy, they can beat anyone.

Next: at BUF, vs. NYG, vs. CAR, at PHI (SNF)

>> READ: Miami’s Offense is Historically Good

 4. Kansas City Chiefs (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 4

Last game: Chiefs 41, Bears 10

More than any team in the league, we know what we’re getting with the Kansas City Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes lit up the hapless Chicago Bears last week. His wide receiver room is one of the thinnest in the league, but we saw him win last season’s MVP with a similar group. The Chiefs’ defense gave up 14 points to the Detroit Lions, nine to the Jacksonville Jaguars and 10 garbage-time points to the Bears. The Chiefs’ next three opponents are a combined 1-8.

Next: at NYJ (SNF), at MIN, vs. DEN (TNF), vs. LAC

 5. Buffalo Bills (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 6

Last game: Bills 37, Commanders 3

The Buffalo Bills have beaten the Las Vegas Raiders and Washington Commanders by a combined score of 75-13 in the past two weeks. Josh Allen’s Bills have been a perennial factor for years, and the best teams tend to win a number of games by significant distance. Buffalo squares off with Miami in Week 4’s most intriguing game.

Next: vs. MIA, vs. JAX (Europe), vs. NYG (SNF), at NE

 6. Dallas Cowboys (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 2

Last game: Cardinals 28, Cowboys 16

The Dallas Cowboys beat the New York Giants and Jets by a combined score of 70-10 in the first two weeks. Then, the Cowboys went to Arizona and lost a game the Arizona Cardinals controlled from whistle to whistle. Good teams lose to less talented teams all the time in the NFL.

However, Arizona’s offensive line bullied the Cowboys’ dominant front. What’s worse is QB Dak Prescott could not orchestrate a comeback. In fact, he didn’t even get the Cowboys close to a win. That’s why they’ve fallen outside the top five.

Next: vs. NE, at SF (SNF), at LAC (MNF), BYE

 7. Detroit Lions (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 9

Last game: Lions 20, Falcons 6

The Detroit Lions are a good football team that hasn’t played a complete game yet this season. On opening night, their defense carried the day in Kansas City. In Week 2, they fell short against the Seattle Seahawks in a shootout. Last week, their defense again spearheaded their win over Atlanta. That means Detroit’s best days could be ahead of it, especially when the offense gets back to full strength.

Next: at GB (TNF), vs. Car, at TB, at BAL

 8. Baltimore Ravens (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 7

Last game: Colts 22, Ravens 19 OT

The Baltimore Ravens were down a number of their best players last week against the Indianapolis Colts. Still, a home loss to a rebuilding Colts team with their backup quarterback is a brutal defeat. So far, Lamar Jackson has a 73.3 completion percentage, but he’s only thrown for 608 yards. The Ravens’ offense remains primarily reliant on Jackson’s abilities as a runner. At least for now.

Next: at CLE, at PITT, vs. TEN (Europe), vs. DET

 9. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 11

Last game: Steelers 23, Raiders 18

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ high-end defense has made a major impact in each of their past two games. After facing two top-five defenses to start the year, their offense showed some signs of life in Las Vegas, but the Steelers’ offense needs to improve if this team is going to make any noise. Ultimately, Mike Tomlin’s Steelers have never had a losing record.

Next: at HOU, vs. BAL, BYE, at LAR

 10. Cleveland Browns (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 12

Last game: Browns 27, Titans 3

The Cleveland Browns have a top-five defense that has given up three points in two different games this year. The Browns won both of those contests by at least three scores. QB Deshaun Watson was volatile in the first two games this season. However, he looked like a different player against the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee’s pass defense is among the worst in the league, so it’s not time for Browns fans to celebrate. If Watson can consistently play at the level he did last week, Cleveland is a title contender. 

Next: vs. BAL, BYE, vs. SF, at IND

 11. Los Angeles Chargers (1-2)

Previous Rank: No. 14

Last game: Chargers 28, Vikings 24

The Los Angeles Chargers opened the year with two narrow defeats, including a two-point loss to the Dolphins on opening day. Los Angeles has a high-performing offense, and it’s already shown it can hang with the hottest team in the league. We can’t call the Chargers consistent, but we can’t deny they can beat anyone on any given Sunday.

Next: vs. LV, BYE, vs. DAL (MNF), at KC

 12. Seattle Seahawks (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 16

Last game: Seahawks 37, Panthers 27

Geno Smith’s offense has scored 37 points in each of its past two games, which were both wins. The Seattle Seahawks also gave up at least 27 points in each of their first three games. Seattle can be a winning team as long as its talented offense continues to perform at a high level. If the Seahawks want to rise into the top 10, their defense needs to improve significantly.

Next: at NYG (MNF), BYE, at CIN, vs. ARI

13. Cincinnati Bengals (1-2)

Previous Rank: No. 7

Last game: Bengals 19, Rams 16

It wasn’t exactly pretty, but Joe Burrow played Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams. Lou Anarumo’s defense largely carried the day, but Burrow’s offense had its moments. This team isn’t anywhere close to reaching its ceiling, but the Cincinnati Bengals are alive in the AFC North. The Bengals have two winnable games at the Titans and Cardinals in the next two weeks.

Next: at TEN, at ARI, vs. SEA, BYE

14. Green Bay Packers (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 19

Last game: Packers 18, Saints 17

The Green Bay Packers‘ talented defense played well while driving last week’s narrow victory against the New Orleans Saints. Green Bay’s offense torched the hapless Chicago Bears but has otherwise been average so far. That said, QB Jordan Love has played reasonably well despite being without several difference-makers on offense.

Next: vs. DET (TNF), at LV (MNF), BYE, at DEN

15. New England Patriots (1-2)

Previous Rank: No. 23

Last game: Patriots 15, Jets 10

The New England Patriots gave the Eagles and Dolphins contested games to open the year. Now, they’ve added their first win of the season against the rival Jets. We can count on the Patriots to be a consistent team with a strong defense and an improved offense. The primary issue for New England is its brutal schedule.

Next: at DAL, vs. NO, at LV, vs. BUF

16. Los Angeles Rams (1-2)

Previous Rank: No. 15

Last game: Bengals 19, Rams 16

The score made Monday’s game look closer than it was, but Matthew Stafford made this a tight contest late. Stafford elevated a talent-poor Los Angeles Rams offense through the first three weeks. Despite him, they are a 1-2 team with narrow paths to victory against most opponents. However, the Rams have one of the better coaches in the league, and they enjoy elite quarterback play. That makes them dangerous against most opponents.

Next: at IND, vs. PHI, vs. ARI, vs. PITT

 17. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)

Previous Rank: No. 8

Last game: Texans 37, Jaguars 17

After only scoring nine points against the Chiefs in Week 2, the Jacksonville Jaguars were steamrolled by the Houston Texans. This was a strange game that involved a blown coverage, a dropped touchdown and a kick return for a score.

Even with all of those game-altering plays, the Jaguars still lost to the Texans by 20. If Jacksonville drops this week’s matchup with the Falcons in London, it could be time to push the panic button.

Next: vs. ATL (England), vs. BUF (Europe), vs. IND, at NO (TNF)

 18. New Orleans Saints (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 10

Last game: Packers 18, Saints 17

The New Orleans Saints were up 17-0 in Green Bay when QB Derek Carr exited due to a shoulder injury in the third quarter. New Orleans missed a late field goal after Jameis Winston entered the game.  Under Carr, the Saints are the team to beat in the NFC South. If Winston has to fill in for a significant stretch, he’s the very definition of a volatile quarterback. We expect Carr to miss at least one game.

Next: vs. TB, at NE, at HOU, vs. JAX

 19. Atlanta Falcons (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 17

Last game: Lions 20, Falcons 6

The Atlanta Falcons have a top-10 offensive line, three blue-chip skill players, an elite running game and an improved defense. Now for the bad news: Desmond Ridder is one of the most limited starting quarterbacks in the league. Ultimately, the Falcons are a good team that will only go as far as Ridder can take them.

Next: vs. JAX (England), vs. HOU, vs. WAS, at TB

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 20

Last game: Eagles 25, Buccaneers 11

Philadelphia has one of the most talented rosters in the league, so it’s no surprise the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost decisively to the Eagles. Tampa Bay still has a solid defense, but at the end of the day, Baker Mayfield is the team’s starting quarterback. We saw on Monday there aren’t any real positives when the Buccaneers face real NFL defenses.

Next: at NO, BYE, vs. DET, vs. ATL

 21. Indianapolis Colts (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 28

Last game: Colts 22, Ravens 19 (OT)

If you’re an Indianapolis Colts fan, you have to be thrilled with their performance through three weeks. They gave the Jaguars a tough game on opening day. Then they beat the Texans handily in Week 2, even though Anthony Richardson left early (when the team was up 14-0) because of a concussion. Then, with Gardner Minshew at quarterback, they went into Baltimore and stole a game in overtime. The Colts’ next four games are against difficult opponents, including two division rivals.

Next: vs. LAR, vs. TEN, at JAX, vs. CLE

 22. Minnesota Vikings (0-3)

Previous Rank: No. 22

Last game: Chargers 28, Vikings 24

The Minnesota Vikings have an elite passing attack with a quality quarterback and an exceptional group of pass catchers. Through three games, that’s all this team has. That’s why they are still searching for their first win.

Next: at CAR, vs. KC, at CHI, vs. SF (MNF)

 23. Washington Commanders (2-1)

Previous Rank: No. 21

Last game: Bills 37, Commanders 3

Buffalo sent the Washington Commanders back to reality last week. Sam Howell was a nonfunctional quarterback with four interceptions and nine sacks taken against Buffalo’s defense. The only true strength of this team is its pass rush.

Next: at PHI, vs. CHI (TNF), at ATL, at NYG

 24. Tennessee Titans (1-2)

Previous Rank: No. 18

Last game: Browns 27, Titans 3

The Tennessee Titans are well-coached, and they have a premium defensive front. They also have the worst offensive line in the league and one of the NFL’s worst secondaries. Those two liabilities give Tennessee an uphill battle against most opponents.

Next: vs. CIN, at IND, vs. BAL (Europe), BYE

 25. New York Giants (1-2)

Previous Rank: No. 25

Last game: 49ers 30, Giants 12

The New York Giants had to travel across the country on a short week to face the best team in the league. It’s no surprise San Francisco pulled away in the second half. New York needs to improve in a number of areas, but it is well-coached and well-rested heading into Week 4.

Next: vs. SEA (MNF), at MIA, at LAR, vs. WAS

 26. Arizona Cardinals (1-2)

Previous Rank: No. 31

Last game: Cardinals 28, Cowboys 16

The Arizona Cardinals gave the Commanders and Giants all they could handle during the first two weeks of the season. Then, they beat Dallas in decisive fashion. QB Josh Dobbs has been rock solid so far.

The Cardinals’ offensive line has been better than expected, and the group bullied the Cowboys’ front. Arizona’s pass rush has exceeded expectations, as well. Perhaps most importantly, the Cardinals have been a maximum-effort team early this season. 

Next: at SF, vs. CIN, at LAR, at SEA

 27. Houston Texans (1-2)

Previous Rank: No. 32

Last game: Texans 37, Jaguars 17

The Houston Texans realistically couldn’t have asked for more out of QB C.J. Stroud through the first three games. Most of his production has come in negative game scripts, but he was good in Jacksonville. The Texans’ offensive line has been ravaged by injuries, which is the primary reason their running game has struggled. Defensively, Houston has been a scrappy but generally average unit.

Next: vs. PIT, at ATL, vs. NO, BYE

 28. New York Jets (1-2)

Previous Rank: No. 24

Last game:  Patriots 15, Jets 10

We take no pleasure in sending the New York Jets down in our Power Rankings. New York has a championship-caliber defense that will steal a few wins for this team. But ultimately, the Jets have a nonfunctional offense with Zach Wilson at quarterback.

Next: vs. KC (SNF), at DEN, vs. PHI, BYE

>> READ: Jets Should Sign Carson Wentz

 29. Las Vegas Raiders (1-2)

Previous Rank: No. 26

Last game: Steelers 23, Raiders 18

The Las Vegas Raiders have some excellent players, most notably WR Davante Adams and EDGE Maxx Crosby. However, as we saw Sunday night, this is a limited football team with a difficult schedule. Las Vegas is much closer to entering a full-blown rebuild than it is to being a factor in the AFC.

Next: at LAC, vs. GB (MNF), vs. NE, at CHI

 30. Carolina Panthers (0-3)

Previous Rank: No. 29

Last game: Seahawks 37, Panthers 27

Andy Dalton went into Seattle and infused some life into the Carolina Panthers’ offense. However, much of that production came in late in a negative game script. Ultimately, the Panthers’ defense has disappointed so far, and their offense lacks difference-making weapons.

Next: vs. MIN, vs. DET, at MIA, BYE

 31. Denver Broncos (0-3)

Previous Rank: No. 27

Last game: Dolphins 70, Broncos 20

Russell Wilson still has room for improvement, but he’s been much better this year. That said, the Denver Broncos gave up 70 points and lost by 50. The Broncos gave up 35 points to Howell and the Commanders the week before. Denver’s normally reliable defense has been a disaster the past two weeks.

Next: at CHI, vs. NYJ, at KC (TNF), vs. GB

 32. Chicago Bears (0-3)

Previous Rank: No. 30

Last game: Chiefs 41, Bears 10

Nothing is going right for the Chicago Bears through the first three weeks of the season. Justin Fields hasn’t played well, but Chicago’s struggles are much deeper. The whole offense looks lost. Defensively, the Bears not only have the league’s worst pass rush but the worst pass rush in recent memory. Chicago will square off with Denver to determine the NFL’s worst team through four weeks.

Next: vs. DEN, at WAS (TNF), vs. MIN, vs. LV

Ryan Reynolds is the associate director of fantasy and betting at The 33rd Team. Follow him @RyanReynoldsNFL on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.