The Saints may not finish in the bottom five and the Cardinals might not definitely be in the top three at season's end, but four games into the regular season we do have a general idea about where each team really is (cue Dennis Green's "they are who we thought they were" rant).
There isn't an absurd amount of movement in the rankings this week, most teams moving only 2-3 spots with the largest jump/fall being last week's #25 going up eight spots to #17.
Previous week's ranking in parentheses
1. (1) Atlanta Falcons – Every great team has to overcome the scrappy underdog at least once. The Falcons showed their mental fortitude in a comeback win against the Panthers.
2. (2) Houston Texans – Another dominant performance by the Texans. They're 4-0 for the first time in team history.
3. (9) Arizona Cardinals – Alright Arizona, you're at 4-0 so I'll put you among the other undefeated teams. I'm still skeptical about Kevin Kolb, but for now you get your day in the sun.
4. (5) New England Patriots – 58 points and 580 yards of offense is exactly what we expect from the Patriots.
5. (7) San Francisco 49ers – I said last week that I expected the 49ers to bounce back against the Jets. 200+ rushing yards and a shutout for the defense qualifies as a bounce back, I think.
6. (6) Cincinnati Bengals – A good overall performance for the Bengals against a bad Jaguars team.
7. (3) Baltimore Ravens – When will the Ravens learn that their best weapon is Ray Rice?
8. (12) Chicago Bears – A great win for the Bears against the most over-hyped team in the league. The running game needs to be a little more productive though.
9. (16) Minnesota Vikings – Special teams led the way in another quality win for the Vikings.
10. (10) Denver Broncos – Pure domination by the Broncos over their division rival Raiders.
11. (8) Green Bay Packers – Last season a late win against the saints would have been a big win for Green Bay. This year, not so much.
12. (4) New York Giants – The Giants need to run the ball more consistently, and not commit killer offensive pass interference calls.
13. (11) Pittsburgh Steelers – On a bye this week, week 5's game versus Philadelphia should give a good idea of how the rest of the Steelers' season will go.
14. (18) San Diego Chargers – The Chargers' offense didn't do much against the Chiefs, but they didn't need to after forcing 6 turnovers on defense.
15. (19) Philadelphia Eagles – Hey Philadelphia, see what happens when you don't commit 4 turnovers in a game?!? You win!!
16. (13) Detroit Lions – Special teams killed a great Chargers team a few years ago, and it will do the same to the Lions this year. Detroit has given up punt and kick returns for touchdowns in consecutive games.
17. (25) St. Louis Rams – Greg Zuerlein is this year's Sebastian Janikowski. His accuracy and ability to his monstrous kicks (including a record 58, then 60 yard field goals) will steal a few games for the Rams, as it did Sunday.
18. (15) Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks scored an early touchdown and then did nothing the rest of the game. This offense needs more weapons.
19. (14) Buffalo Bills – So much for a much improved defense, the Bills are getting scorched on a regular basis.
20. (23) Washington Redskins – Kicker Billy Cundiff won the game as time expired. But that wouldn't have been necessary if he hit any of his previous three.
21. (17) Dallas Cowboys – A pure whooping at the hands of the Bears defense and 5 interceptions by Tony Romo. The Cowboys are doing what the Cowboys do, winning just enough to give people hope before crushing their dreams.
22. (24) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Yet another close loss for the Bucs, at some point they HAVE to pull out a win.
23. (20) Kansas City Chiefs – Turnovers kill, and 6 turnovers did just that to the Chiefs against the Chargers.
24. (21) Tennessee Titans – Losing Locker for next week isn't a good sign for the Titans, but thankfully Chris Johnson finally had a good game.
25. (26) Indianapolis Colts – A match-up against the Packers week 5 isn't how many teams want to come out of a bye week.
26. (29) Carolina Panthers – The Panthers put up a good fight against the top ranked Falcons, but good teams close out games and Carolina didn't.
27. (22) New York Jets – The more we see of the Jets, the more we see that the offense isn't what we saw week one against Buffalo.
28. (28) New Orleans Saints – Stop me if you've heard this one….the Saints' defense is horrid this year.
29. (30) Miami Dolphins – It took a record breaking performance by Brian Hartline to take the Cardinals to overtime, you can't consistently hope to get performances like that.
30. (31) Jacksonville Jaguars – I'll be surprised if the Jaguars ever get out of the bottom 5 this season. They need a lot of help.
31. (27) Oakland Raiders – The Raiders follow an improbable win by falling flat on their face against the Broncos.
32. (32) Cleveland Browns – They gave the Ravens a good fight on Thursday night, but 0-4 is what it is.
Photo Credit: Zuma Press/Icon SMI