Welcome to Week 4 of the Pro Football Network company-wide NFL power rankings! While Dalton Miller ably provides his own power rankings following the conclusion of each Sunday’s action, we’ll be polling each of PFN’s NFL contributors to assemble our list.
Each week, we’ll combine rankings from yours truly, Chief Content Officer David Bearman, NFL Director Adam Beasley, Betting Director Brian Blewis, Audience Engagement Director Mike Gambardella, COO Matt Infante, NFL Analyst Dalton Miller, Bengals Reporter Jay Morrison, Cowboys Reporter Jess Nevarez, and Fantasy Director Kyle Yates.
Which teams are too high or too low as we enter Week 4 of the 2023 NFL season?
Pro Football Network’s Week 4 NFL Power Rankings
32) Chicago Bears
Week 3 Ranking: 30
It’s an absolute mess in Chicago, where the Bears’ 41-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs only highlighted the wide variety of concerns on this organization’s plate.
Justin Fields hasn’t shown any significant development or gotten any assistance from the Bears’ coaching staff (which led to the former first-rounder saying the quiet part out loud this week). Chicago has the NFL’s worst defense, and their DC just resigned after allegations of “inappropriate activity.”
Luckily, the Bears get to face PFN’s No. 31-ranked team in Week 4.
31) Denver Broncos
Week 3 Ranking: 27
The Broncos and Bears will square off on Sunday, ensuring one of these teams will avoid an 0-4 start. Denver put up one of the poorest defensive performances in league history against the Dolphins in Week 3, allowing Miami to score 70 points, the second-most in an NFL game.
The Dolphins scored 70 points against the Broncos, and it's because of two things:
– Miami has a spectacular offense
– Denver played some of the worst defense ever witnessed
Just look at the Broncos' secondary on Miami's first score: pic.twitter.com/AuGP2vD3yn
— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) September 26, 2023
Sean Payton isn’t getting fired anytime soon after signing a five-year contract believed to be worth $18 million annually. But if the Broncos keep losing, Payton could consider trading contributors like Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and any others he didn’t bring to Denver himself.
30) Carolina Panthers
Week 3 Ranking: 29
The Panthers still couldn’t keep up with the Seattle Seahawks, but there’s hope for Carolina when Young returns, even if the No. 1 overall pick figures to go through plenty of growing pains.
29) Arizona Cardinals
Week 3 Ranking: 32
The Cardinals’ season really couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. Arizona isn’t trying to win this year, so starting hot before blowing leads in Weeks 1 and 2 wasn’t an issue. A big win over an elite team like the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3 should keep the Cardinals’ morale high as they struggle through the remainder of their schedule.
And don’t look now, but Joshua Dobbs ranks 10th in QBR, while Arizona’s offense ranks 10th in expected points added per play. This might not be sustainable, but it’s a testament to first-year Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzing.
28) Houston Texans
Week 3 Ranking: 31
We should be talking about C.J. Stroud a lot more than we are. The second selection in this year’s draft is averaging more than 300 passing yards per game while not throwing an interception to begin his career. Stroud took 11 sacks in Weeks 1 and 2, but stayed upright on Sunday while demonstrating excellent pocket awareness.
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ front will present a stiffer test in Week 4, especially for a Houston offensive line deploying backups at multiple spots. But Stroud, Dameon Pierce, Tank Dell, and Nico Collins comprise an exciting Texans corps that should be fun to watch all season.
27) Las Vegas Raiders
Week 3 Ranking: 26
The Raiders’ sole win came in Week 1 against the similarly-lowly Broncos. They were destroyed by the Buffalo Bills in Week 2 before Josh McDaniels turned in arguably the worst game-management performance by an NFL head coach this season in Week 3.
26) Tennessee Titans
Week 3 Ranking: T-22
The Titans field one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines, and it showed against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Tennessee gave up 15 pressures and let Ryan Tannehill get sacked five times. Left tackle Andre Dillard, the main culprit up front, performed so poorly that Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett gave him pointers after the game.
25) New York Giants
Week 3 Ranking: 24
Brian Daboll’s club has been embarrassed twice in primetime this season, while the Giants’ only win required a frantic comeback against the Cardinals. Saquon Barkley’s potential Week 4 return won’t do anything to augment a New York front five that can’t block anyone, especially when All-Pro left tackle Andrew Thomas is sidelined.
On defense, the Giants blitz at the second-highest rate in the NFL, but rank seventh-worst in generating pressures. The winless Broncos and Bears are the only teams with a worse EPA per play on defense than Big Blue.
24) Minnesota Vikings
Week 3 Ranking: 25
Speaking of blitz-heavy defenses, the Vikings are the only team that sends additional defenders at a higher rate than the Giants. Like New York, Minnesota still can’t seem to push the pocket — the Vikings rank bottom 10 in sacks, quarterback knockdown rate, and pressure rate.
Cousins with an absolute dime for the fourth down TD: pic.twitter.com/LOb6S7CGOm
— Nick Olson (@NickOlsonNFL) September 26, 2023
Minnesota’s pass offense has remained effective, but there’s little hope of the club rebounding from their 0-3 start. If the Vikings don’t plan to re-sign Kirk Cousins next offseason, could they consider trading him to the next team in our power rankings?
23) New York Jets
Week 3 Ranking: T-16
The Jets finally added a new quarterback this week! (Don’t get too excited — it’s Trevor Siemian, and he’s joining New York’s practice squad.)
Head coach Robert Saleh committed to Zach Wilson as the Jets’ “unquestioned quarterback,” but it’s hard to see how Gang Green can keep Wilson in the starting lineup much longer. He’s looked like exactly the same QB whose dreadful performance forced New York to pursue an Aaron Rodgers trade in the first place.
22) Washington Commanders
Week 3 Ranking: 21
Sam Howell looked like a long-term option for the Commanders through the first two weeks of the season, but it’s important to remember Washington played the Cardinals and Broncos in their first two games.
Week 3 wasn’t as forgiving. The Buffalo Bills sacked Howell nine times and picked him off four times in a blowout 37-3 win. The Commanders won’t have to face a team like the Bills every week, but Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles won’t offer a reprieve.
21) Los Angeles Rams
Week 3 Ranking: 20
The Rams are 1-2 but have exceeded nearly all outside expectations this season. Los Angeles dominated the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1 before keeping things tight against the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2 and Week 3, respectively.
All three clubs are expected to compete for the postseason, and that might not be an insane goal for the Rams, either, especially if their offense can go nuclear once Cooper Kupp returns.
20) Indianapolis Colts
Week 3 Ranking: 28
No team took a larger leap in our power rankings than the Colts, who took down the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3 without the services of Anthony Richardson (concussion). Fill-in Gardner Minshew and Zack Moss allowed Indianapolis to hang around, while kicker Matt Gay hit five field goals, including four from 50+ yards.
Richardson is trending toward a return in Week 4 when the Colts face the Rams. The AFC South looked like a one-team race entering the 2023 campaign, but the Jacksonville Jaguars’ struggles and the Colts’ hot start put the division up for grabs.
19) New England Patriots
Week 3 Ranking: T-22
A 15-10 score in the Patriots’ Week 3 victory over the Jets felt exactly right. New England’s defense remains among the best in the league, but it’s unclear if Mac Jones and offense can keep up. Jones managed nearly seven yards per attempt against New York’s outstanding defense but completed only 15 passes.
Bill Belichick’s team will grind out wins and will likely even defeat a few teams viewed as elite. But it’s hard to see a roster with this sort of construction competing in the AFC with clubs like the Bills, Chiefs, and Dolphins.
18) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 3 Ranking: T-16
After facing two of the NFL’s most porous defenses (Vikings, Bears) to begin the season, the Buccaneers got a dose of reality against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. Baker Mayfield was consistently under pressure while Tampa Bay couldn’t generate anything on the ground (2.4 yards per carry).
WHAT. A. CATCH.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 26, 2023
Mayfield’s connection with Mike Evans remained strong, as the veteran wideout scored for the third straight game. The Bucs have enough talent to make things interesting in the NFC South. A looming Week 4 matchup against the New Orleans Saints looks increasingly pivotal.
17) Atlanta Falcons
Week 3 Ranking: 11
It might be too early for this, but it feels like the Falcons will have to decide on Desmond Ridder soon. The 2022 third-rounder struggled mightily in Week 3, consistently failing to execute throws while absorbing seven sacks and posting an 11.1 QBR.
Atlanta’s defense is still playing well — they held a high-powered Detroit Lions offense to 20 points on Sunday. The Falcons might not be able to leave Ridder under center for much longer after their offense posted just 2.8 yards per play in Week 3, especially with Taylor Heinicke waiting in the wings.
16) Los Angeles Chargers
Week 3 Ranking: T-18
The Chargers may have saved their season by pulling out a last-second win against the Vikings on Sunday, but it came at a cost. Mike Williams suffered a season-ending ACL injury, which will test Los Angeles’ WR depth and force first-round pick Quentin Johnston into the starting lineup.
Injuries are nothing new for the Chargers, who were decimated in 2022 and have already been without Austin Ekeler and Joey Bosa for stretches this season. Every season, every month, and just about every game feels like a high-wire act for the Bolts.
T-14) Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 3 Ranking: T-18
The Steelers just always find ways to win games, even if they typically feel like a slog. Pittsburgh got track-raced against the 49ers in Week 1, but subsequently pulled out tight wins over the Browns and Raiders in prime time.
Any defense with T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward, Alex Highsmith, and Minkah Fitzpatrick will give its club a fighting chance. But the Steelers’ stagnant offense remains a concern. Kenny Pickett might look better once Diontae Johnson returns from injury, but he won’t help a rushing attack that ranks 30th in efficiency.
T-14) Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 3 Ranking: 8
After putting up 31 points in a season-opening win over the Colts, the Jaguars have managed just 26 points over the past two weeks (while allowing 54). Jacksonville might actually have to fight to win the AFC South, which is not a sentence we thought we’d type at this point of the season.
Trevor Lawrence and company have scored on just 29.7% of their drives, the eighth-worst rate in the NFL and only slightly better than the points-averse Bears. Things won’t get any easier over the Jags’ next six games. They’ll face the Falcons, Bills, Colts, Saints, Steelers, and 49ers, all featuring top-12 defenses by EPA.
13) New Orleans Saints
Week 3 Ranking: 10
While the Saints lost their first game of the season in Week 3, Derek Carr’s health is the team’s most significant concern. Carr went down with a strained AC joint and is week to week. New Orleans is not expecting to have him for its Week 4 NFC South showdown against the Buccaneers.
We’re all rooting for Carr to get healthy, but let’s be honest — who isn’t thrilled to watch a Jameis Winston revenge game?
12) Green Bay Packers
Week 3 Ranking: 15
Down 17-0 entering the fourth quarter, Jordan Love and the Packers’ offense went on an 18-0 run to post their second win of 2023. Credit to Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur for going for two to make it 17-11 late in the fourth, enabling the Packers to win the game in regulation on their next touchdown and making nerds everywhere happy.
Romeo Doubs to put the Packers ahead! What an effort! pic.twitter.com/uySgSYCDCP
— Ian Valentino (@NFLDraftStudy) September 24, 2023
Love, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Jayden Reed, and Luke Musgrave give Green Bay one of the league’s more intriguing young offensive foundations. A huge Thursday night game against the Lions awaits in Week 4, and Watson and Aaron Jones are trending toward playing after missing time.
11) Cincinnati Bengals
Week 3 Ranking: 13
Joe Burrow (calf) still didn’t look like himself against the Rams on Monday night, but he fed Ja’Marr Chase, and the Bengals earned their first win of the year. While Burrow’s injury could remain a concern all season, Cincinnati saved their season by averting an 0-3 start.
The Bengals’ defense was the MVP of the club’s victory over Los Angeles, holding the Rams to one of 11 on third downs while picking off Matthew Stafford twice. Trey Hendrickson obliterated L.A.’s offensive line en route to two sacks and 10 pressures, the latter of which was more than any NFL defender in Week 3.
10) Cleveland Browns
Week 3 Ranking: 14
The Browns’ defensive performance against the Titans in Week 3 is not getting the headlines it deserves. Cleveland gave up just 94 total yards to Tennessee. 94! That’s the 11th-fewest yards any NFL offense has managed in a single game since 2000.
Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson looked much improved, missing on just six of his 33 attempts while passing for 289 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Jerome Ford isn’t Nick Chubb, but he still found the end zone twice on Sunday.
Assuming the Browns get something closer to the Week 3 version of Watson instead of the 2022 version, they’ll be among the most dangerous teams in the league.
9) Seattle Seahawks
Week 3 Ranking: 12
Seattle’s Week 1 loss to the Rams might look like a total aberration at the end of the season. Geno Smith and the Seahawks’ offense were firing on all cylinders in Week 2 and 3, when Seattle scored 74 points, third-most in the NFL over that stretch.
However, the club’s defense remains a problem. Only the Broncos, Bears, and Giants have given up more points than the Seahawks (88). The pending Week 4 returns of defensive backs Riq Woolen and Jamal Adams should help, at least in the back end.
8) Baltimore Ravens
Week 3 Ranking: 6
The Ravens always seem to lose games like their Week 3 stinker against the Colts, don’t they? Baltimore kept allowing Indianapolis to hang around, send the game to overtime, and eventually defeat them — even in a contest where Lamar Jackson threw for 200 yards and rushed for 101 more.
It’s hard to criticize the Ravens too much when key contributors like Marlon Humphrey, Ronnie Stanley, Tyler Linderbaum, Marcus Williams, Odell Beckham Jr., and a host of others were sidelined. Baltimore desperately needs their complete starting offensive line intact in Week 5 when the club will travel to face the Browns.
7) Detroit Lions
Week 3 Ranking: 9
It’s becoming increasingly impossible to run on the Lions’ defense. The Falcons commit to their rushing attack more than any team in the NFL, and even they could only post 44 yards on the ground against Detroit. The Lions have allowed 216 rushing yards in 2023, the fifth-fewest in the NFL.
This is the same defense that gave up 623 rushing yards over the final three games of the 2022 campaign, including a 320-yard effort from the Panthers. Detroit defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn deserves a good deal of credit and a healthy round of head-coaching interviews in the offseason.
6) Dallas Cowboys
Week 3 Ranking: 1
Oh, what a fall from grace. The Cowboys’ offense had its problems against the Cardinals (the No. 32 team in our rankings entering Week 3), but the club’s defense — which had been the NFL’s most dominant unit through two weeks — undid them on Sunday.
Dallas ranked 31st in EPA per play on defense in Week 3. The Broncos — you know, the team that allowed 70 points — were the only squad to finish worse. Dobbs was the week’s eighth-most productive quarterback by EPA + CPOE composite.
5) Buffalo Bills
Week 3 Ranking: 7
Josh Allen’s epic meltdown against the Aaron Rodgers-less Jets in Week 1 seems like it happened a lifetime ago. While Allen wasn’t quite as surgical against the Commanders as he was against the Raiders the week prior, he scored a rushing touchdown and posted a 92.3 QBR.
— NFL (@NFL) September 24, 2023
Meanwhile, Buffalo’s defense looked unfair on Sunday, erasing any attempt by Sam Howell to move the ball down the field. Through three weeks, the Bills are the only team with a top-five offense and defense by EPA.
4) Philadelphia Eagles
Week 3 Ranking: 3
The Eagles defense finally looked like the 2022 version of itself against the Buccaneers on Monday night. Regression was always expected in Philadelphia, especially after the Eagles lost key pieces like Javon Hargrave and C.J. Gardner-Johnson and installed new play-caller Sean Desai over the offseason.
After giving up 370+ yards in each of their first two games, Philadelphia held Tampa Bay to just 174 total yards. Jalen Hurts hasn’t yet rounded into his near-MVP form, but the Eagles’ stout defense and D’Andre Swift’s rushing prowess have been enough to keep Philadelphia undefeated.
3) Kansas City Chiefs
Week 3 Ranking: 4
With Taylor Swift in the stadium on Sunday, the Chiefs did exactly what you’re supposed to do against bad teams like the Bears — utterly dismantle them. Kansas City was up 34-0 at half and 41-0 following a third-quarter Travis Kelce touchdown.
Patrick Mahomes’ second-quarter ankle injury was the Chiefs’ only concern in Week 3, but the reigning MVP already said he’ll be fine for Sunday. The Jets’ defense will cause problems in Week 4, but let’s face it — we’re all looking ahead to Week 9, when K.C. will meet the No. 2 team in our power rankings.
2) Miami Dolphins
Week 3 Ranking: 5
Barbie and Oppenheimer may have been the must-see events of the summer, but the Dolphins’ Week 3 offensive performance was the viewing experience of the fall. Miami’s 726 yards were the most in NFL history, and they could have broken the league’s all-time points record had they not kneeled to end the game.
Gotta say 90% of the NFL offenses are borderline unwatchable after experiencing what the Dolphins run
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) September 26, 2023
Seventy points is unheard of in the modern NFL. Only one other team — the 2011 Saints — had topped 60 points since 2000. Watching the Dolphins work is a joy, and Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, De’Von Achane, and Mike McDaniel are on the shortest of shortlists for end-of-season awards.
1) San Francisco 49ers
Week 3 Ranking: 1
The 49ers are so talented that they almost lull you to sleep. They’ve won 16 straight regular-season games dating back to 2022, scoring at least 30 points in the last six. On defense, San Francisco has allowed more than 20 points just twice during the regular season since last year’s Halloween.
Their schedule will get more challenging. The 49ers still have two games left against the Seahawks, plus matchups with the Cowboys, Bengals, Jaguars, Eagles, and Ravens. But they’ve looked like the best team in the NFL through three weeks.