2023 NFL Power Rankings, Week 4: Contenders Take a Tumble, New Team at the Top

Sep 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) scrambles against the Los Angeles Chargers in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 of the NFL season saw a number of the top teams in the league take a tumble with some disappointing losses.

Meanwhile, a couple teams that seemed to be among the bottom tier in the league also proved that they aren’t going down this year without putting up a fight.

As we head into Week 4, here is a look at the updated NFL power rankings.

The Super Bowl Contenders

NFL Power Rankings
Aug 25, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan looks on during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

1. San Francisco 49ers

  • Last Week: 30-12 win vs. NYG
  • Trending: +2
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. ARI

San Francisco just has too many playmakers to account for. Both sides of the ball are loaded, and even on a short week, they were firing on all cylinders against the New York Giants. With 10 days of rest, they’ll be ready for this home matchup against Arizona.

2. Kansas City Chiefs

  • Last Week: 41-10 win vs. CHI
  • Trending: +2
  • This Week: 10/1 @ NYJ

Remember when the Chiefs were stumbling all over themselves in Week 1 against the Lions? Well, in the two weeks since, they’ve put together a strong defensive win on the road against Jacksonville, and an offensive clinic against the Bears. Kansas City is doing just fine.

3. Miami Dolphins

  • Last Week: 70-20 win vs. DEN
  • Trending: +4
  • This Week: 10/1 @ BUF

If the Dolphins play like they did on Sunday, there isn’t a team in the NFL that can beat them. Even without Jaylen Waddle, they put up numbers similar to the ones I would string together as a kid when I set Madden on rookie difficulty. This week, they get a chance to prove that they can string together a win against a contender on the road. If that happens, they’ll be at the top of the rankings next week.

4. Buffalo Bills

  • Last Week: 37-3 win @ WSH
  • Trending: +1
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. MIA

Josh Allen has looked much closer to what we’re used to seeing from him at the quarterback position over the past two weeks. Buffalo’s defense has been fabulous in each of these two wins as well. Things in Buffalo appear to be getting on the right track just in time for a matchup against the Dolphins.

5. Philadelphia Eagles

  • Last Week: 25-11 win @ TB
  • Trending: +1
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. WSH

The Eagles are simply too much to handle in the trenches. Their defensive front got to Baker Mayfield multiple times, and their offensive line played bully ball against the Buccaneers defense. D’Andre Swift has completely rejuvenated his career in Philadelphia as well and totaled 130 yards on just 16 carries.

6. Dallas Cowboys

  • Last Week: 16-28 loss @ ARI
  • Trending: -5
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. NE

I think a couple of things factored into this loss to the Cardinals. Firstly, Arizona isn’t going to roll over and accept being the worst team in the league. Secondly, Dallas seemed to have gotten a bit comfortable after two blowout wins to start the year. It isn’t time to hit the panic button for the Cowboys, but they need to get a bounce back win against the Patriots.

7. Baltimore Ravens

  • Last Week: 19-22 loss vs. IND
  • Trending: -5
  • This Week: 10/1 @ CLE

Similarly to the Cowboys, I don’t think this is a loss that should set off any immediate alarm bells. The biggest concern is that there are a few injuries that could impact them down the stretch. That being said, the loss does put more onus on the Ravens to beat the Browns next weekend.

Solid Playoff Teams

Aug 27, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) looks on before the game between the Browns and the Chicago Bears at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

8. Detroit Lions

  • Last Week: 20-6 win vs. ATL
  • Trending: +3
  • This Week: 9/28 @ GB

Even without David Montgomery in the lineup, the Detroit Lions cruised to a win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Jahmyr Gibbs starred out of the backfield, and the defense allowed fewer than 10 points for the first time since Week 9 of the 2022 season.

9. Cleveland Browns

  • Last Week: 27-3 win vs. TEN
  • Trending: +5
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. BAL

Deshaun Watson began showing signs of his former self this week, and Cleveland’s defense will be a terror for any opponent moving forward. They get a chance to make a big statement this weekend against the Ravens.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Last Week: 23-18 win @ LV
  • Trending: -1
  • This Week: 10/1 @ HOU

The Steelers offense makes me nervous about keeping them in this group, but much like Cleveland, this team will go as far as their defense can carry them. T.J. Watt has been a menace to opposing offenses through the first three weeks, and as long as Kenny Pickett continues making timely plays, Pittsburgh is a strong team moving forward.

The “Swing” Teams

Jan 8, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) embraces wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) following a touchdown pass against the Los Angeles Rams during the third quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

11. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Last Week: 17-37 loss vs. HOU
  • Trending: -3
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. ATL

For whatever reason, the Houston Texans simply have had the Jags’ number over the Trevor Lawrence era. The Jacksonville QB is now 1-4 against this team during his NFL career, and Sunday was one of the uglier showings. With their struggles on offense during Week 2, there are some concerns heading into this weekend.

12. Seattle Seahawks

  • Last Week: 37-27 win vs. CAR
  • Trending: —
  • This Week: 10/2 @ NYG

The Seahawks offense was terrific during the second half, scoring 25 points to close out the Panthers. Kenneth Walker carried 17 times for 98 yards and 2 TDs and also added 3 catches for 59 more yards.

13. Green Bay Packers

  • Last Week: 18-17 win vs. NO
  • Trending: +4
  • This Week: 9/28 vs. DET

When David Bakhtiari, Aaron Jones, and Christian Watson were listed as out for this game, it seemed that the Packers would be content to lose and fight for the division lead on Thursday. It seemed that way for much of the first three quarters as well, but 18 unanswered points completed a huge comeback victory over the Saints.

14. Cincinnati Bengals

  • Last Week: 19-16 win vs. LAR
  • Trending: -3
  • This Week: 10/1 @ TEN

The Bengals got somewhat back on track against the Rams on Monday night, but Joe Burrow is still hurt while the offense remains a bit off in Cincinnati. Ja’Marr Chase finally had a strong showing, though, so perhaps that can be a catalyst going into Week 4 against the Titans.

15. New Orleans Saints

  • Last Week: 17-18 loss @ GB
  • Trending: -3
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. TB

The Saints have some pretty glaring problems on offense that only got worse when Derek Carr left with a shouldeer injury. Perhaps Alvin Kamara’s presence this week will give them the boost they need against the Buccaneers.

16. Los Angeles Rams

  • Last Week: 16-19 loss @ CIN
  • Trending: +2
  • This Week: 10/1 @ IND

The Rams offensive line stood no chance against Cincinnati’s defensive front, allowing six sacks of Matthew Stafford. The QB had by far his worst showing of the year, but LA’s defense had a great game against this offense.

17. New England Patriots

  • Last Week: 15-10 win @ NYJ
  • Trending: +2
  • This Week: 10/1 @ DAL

Ezekiel Elliott had a big game for New England, which they desperately needed with how Mac Jones played. If the Patriots are going to get an upset over the Cowboys, Jones will need to play much better football.

18. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Last Week: 28-24 win @ MIN
  • Trending: +4
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. LV

The Justin Herbert/Keenan Allen connection was ridiculous on Sunday, with Allen totaling 18 catches for 215 yards. Even without Austin Ekeler, the Chargers managed to steal a win in Minnesota.

19. Atlanta Falcons

  • Last Week: 6-20 loss @ DET
  • Trending: -4
  • This Week: 10/1 @ JAX

After an impressive 2-0 start, including a comeback victory over the Green Bay Packers, the Falcons laid an egg against the Lions in Week 3. Bijan Robinson had the first bad game of his early NFL career, totaling just 33 rushing yards. Meanwhile, the defense allowed Detroit to move the ball all afternoon.

20. Indianapolis Colts

  • Last Week: 22-19 win @ BAL
  • Trending: +7
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. LAR

Anthony Richardson didn’t play this weekend due to his concussion, but the Jock Strap King came in and took care of business for the Colts on Sunday. Gardner Minshew threw for 227 yards and a touchdown while Zach Moss added 122 yards on the ground. The Colts are looking pretty good heading into this weekend’s matchup with the Rams.

21. Minnesota Vikings

  • Last Week: 24-28 loss vs. LAC
  • Trending: -8
  • This Week: 10/1 @ CAR

How did it all go so wrong in Minnesota? Once again, turnovers plagued the Vikings, and they scored on just one of their four red zone possessions during the day. Any time those two things are combined is going to equal a loss.

On the Outside Looking In

Aug 19, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) waits in the tunnel before the start of the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

22. Tennessee Titans

  • Last Week: 3-27 loss @ CLE
  • Trending: -1
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. CIN

This was a nightmare game for the Titans. They totaled 94 yards of total offense, and Derrick Henry averaged fewer than 2 yards per carry for just the seventh time in his career. No matter how good Tennessee’s defense is, they were not going to be able to keep the team in this game.

23. New York Jets

  • Last Week: 10-15 loss vs. NE
  • Trending: -4
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. KC

The Jets had one drive that went for 84 yards, and on their other 11 possessions, they totaled 87 yards. That about sums up how this game went for New York. Their offense has halted to a stand-still with Zach Wilson at QB.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Last Week: 11-25 loss vs. PHI
  • Trending: -1
  • This Week: 10/1 @ NO

The Buccaneers finally met their match on Monday night as they hosted the Philadelphia Eagles. In part due to their first turnovers of the season, Tampa Bay simply couldn’t keep up with all the firepower on that Eagles roster.

25. Washington Commanders

  • Last Week: 3-37 loss vs. BUF
  • Trending: -1
  • This Week: 10/1 @ PHI

Similarly to the Buccaneers, the Commanders were 2-0 heading into this game, but they stood no chance against the Buffalo Bills. Sam Howell had a very erratic day throwing the ball with 4 interceptions.

26. Arizona Cardinals

  • Last Week: 28-16 win vs. DAL
  • Trending: +5
  • This Week: 10/1 @ SF

This might go down as one of the outcomes that we look back on at the end of the year and wonder how in the world that happened. Regardless, the Cardinals are fighting and actually look like a solid group on the defensive side of the ball. With some creative playcalling on the offense, Arizona stole a big upset win.

27. Houston Texans

  • Last Week: 27-17 win @ JAX
  • Trending: +5
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. PIT

Similarly to the Cardinals, the Texans also stole a win against the Jaguars, and C.J. Stroud is still yet to throw an interception in the NFL. Through three games, he now has 906 yards and 4 TDs through the air, and Houston seems to have found a gem in Tank Dell at wide receiver.

28. New York Giants

  • Last Week: 12-30 loss @ SF
  • Trending: -2
  • This Week: 10/2 vs. SEA

The Giants have been one of the worst offenses in the league through three weeks, scoring one point more than the New York Jets to stay out of the cellar. They also have the fifth-fewest yards and third-fewest yards per play. If Saquon Barkley were to miss more time this week, it’s hard to imagine this team keeping up with the Seahawks.

29. Las Vegas Raiders

  • Last Week: 15-23 loss vs. PIT
  • Trending: +1
  • This Week: 10/1 @ LAC

Jimmy Garoppolo left this week’s game with a concussion, and now, the Raiders may be forced to play either Brian Hoyer or Aidan O’Connell in Week 4 against the Chargers.

30. Carolina Panthers

  • Last Week: 27-37 loss @ SEA
  • Trending: -2
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. MIN

There were moments where the Carolina Panthers offense looked solid with Andy Dalton at QB, but it’s very hard to trust this defense in its current state. Maybe a home matchup against a reeling Vikings team can get them back on track.

31. Denver Broncos

  • Last Week: 20-70 loss @ MIA
  • Trending: -6
  • This Week: 10/1 @ CHI

Honestly, it’s probably best for the health of Broncos fans if we don’t remind them of what happened last week.

32. Chicago Bears

  • Last Week: 10-41 loss @ KC
  • Trending: -3
  • This Week: 10/1 vs. DEN

Ditto for Chicago. Be sure to check out the best matchup of Week 4, though!

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.