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NFL power rankings after Week 4

Inside linebacker Clay Matthews of the Green Bay

Inside linebacker Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers reacts after sacking quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on Oct. 4, 2015 in Santa Clara, Calif. Credit: Getty Images / Thearon W. Henderson

1. PACKERS (4-0) (Last week: 1): On a day when the offense was just good enough to win, it was the defense that took a well-deserved bow in a 17-3 road win over the 49ers. Clay Matthews put an exclamation on the performance when he "Kaepernicked" on a sack of the 49ers' quarterback by kissing his biceps. Matthews was also caught by FOX cameras yelling at Kaepernick from the sidelines in the second half, "You ain't Russell Wilson, bro."

2. PATRIOTS (3-0) (2): The Pats come off an early bye to face the Cowboys in Dallas, so the Cowboys had better be prepared. Bill Belichick is 11-4 after bye weeks.

3. BENGALS (4-0) (4): It looks like Andy Dalton might be in the midst of a career year. He has the Bengals off to their best getaway since 2005, and with nine touchdown passes and just one interception, his early stats are off the charts. He's on pace for 36 touchdowns after finishing with just 19 last season.

4. BRONCOS (4-0) (5): With Peyton Manning having an off day with two interceptions, it was running back Ronnie Hillman who starred on offense with a 72-yard touchdown run. And there was more good stuff from the defense in a 23-20 win over the Vikings, as this modern day Orange Crush put up seven more sacks.

5. FALCONS (4-0) (6): The Falcons once again lit up the scoreboard, but this time it wasn't Julio Jones. Say hello to running back Devonta Freeman, who scored three touchdowns and made it six scores in the last two weeks. The Falcons routed the Texans 48-21 to remain tied for first in the NFC South with the Panthers.

6. PANTHERS (4-0) (8): From one No. 1 overall pick to another, Cam Newton shows Jameis Winston how it's done, as the Panthers quarterback throws for two touchdowns and adds 51 rushing yards in a 37-23 win over the Buccaneers.

7. CARDINALS (3-1) (3): Carson Palmer loses for the first time in 10 starts, as the Cardinals' offense sputters in the red zone in a 24-22 loss to the Rams. Arizona was just 1-for-5 in the red zone after going 11-for-12 in the first three games.

8. SEAHAWKS (2-2) (7): Kam Chancellor was the late-game hero with his forced fumble on Calvin Johnson at the goal line in the final seconds on Monday night. But the Seahawks also got a huge break from the officials after linebacker K.J. Wright got away with illegally batting the ball out of the end zone. That was the same end zone as the famous "Fail Mary" play in the 2012 Seahawks-Packers game involving replacement officials.

9. JETS (3-1) (13): The Jets rebound from a lethargic home loss to the Eagles with a convincing win over the Dolphins in London. Todd Bowles now presides over the NFL's top scoring defense, and game manager Ryan Fitzpatrick has the offense rolling.

10. VIKINGS (2-2) (9): Teddy Bridgewater loses his first -- and perhaps his only -- duel with Peyton Manning, but the second-year quarterback couldn't pull off the comeback and wound up fumbling off a T.J. Ward sack to give Denver the win.

11. STEELERS (2-2) (11): The Steelers had their way with the Ravens last Thursday night, but two missed field goals and Michael Vick's fourth-down incompletion in overtime opened the door for Baltimore's win.

12. GIANTS (2-2) (18): The sky was falling after the Giants' 0-2 start, but look at them now: After a road win over the Bills, the Giants have a share of first place in the NFC East heading into Sunday night's home game against the 49ers.

13. RAMS (2-2) (20): Welcome to the NFL, Todd Gurley. The Rams' rookie running back had the first of what he hopes will be a bunch of big games, running for 146 yards in his most extensive action of the season.

14. COWBOYS (2-2) (10): Brandon Weeden lost his 10th straight start, but this one wasn't his fault. After marching the Cowboys 91 yards to tie the game near the end of regulation, Weeden watched helplessly from the sidelines as the defense gave up the winning score on an 80-yard catch-and-run by C.J. Spiller in overtime. Now it's home to the red hot Patriots.

15. CHARGERS (2-2) (14): The Chargers win a thriller thanks to -- who else? -- Philip Rivers, who throws for 358 yards and three touchdowns. San Diego caught a huge break in the final seconds, when the Browns were flagged for offsides on a missed field goal by rookie Josh Lambo, who made good on his next attempt as time expired.

16. BILLS (2-2) (12): Rex Ryan is a boom-or-bust coach, and that's exactly what the Bills have been so far this season. After last week's 41-14 boom in Miami, it was bust in Buffalo, as the mistake-filled Bills lost to the Giants. The Bills committed a whopping 17 penalties and were stopped on a critical goal-line sequence early in the fourth quarter.

17. COLTS (2-2) (16): With Andrew Luck missing a game for the first time in his career, veteran backup Matt Hasselbeck did just enough to beat the Jaguars at home in overtime. All indications are Luck will return on Thursday night against the Texans.

18. EAGLES (1-3) (17): The Great Chip Kelly Experiment of 2015 is going up in smoke. The coach's revamped roster has been a dud so far, with Sunday's 23-20 clunker against Washington the latest evidence. Good thing Eagles fans are being patient with the coach -- not.

19. RAIDERS (2-2) (19): The Raiders' much-improved defense wasn't so hot when it counted in Chicago, as Oakland allowed Jay Cutler to march for the game-winning field goal in the final seconds. Now you know why coach Jack Del Rio was amused by the question the other day about whether the Raiders might be overlooking the previously winless Bears.

20. CHIEFS (1-3) (15): The only consolation for the Chiefs so far: All three of their losses have come against unbeaten teams (Denver, Green Bay and Cincinnati). Even so, you have to be concerned about quarterback Alex Smith, who has looked brutal so far with just four touchdown passes and a whopping 18 sacks.

21. WASHINGTON (2-2) (23): It's Kirk Cousins with the 90-yard touchdown drive to win it at the end, as the quarterback finishes off a 23-20 win over the Eagles with a four-yard TD pass to Pierre Garcon with 26 seconds left.

22. RAVENS (1-3) (21): That's a season-saving win by Joe Flacco's Ravens, who somehow find a way to beat the Steelers on the road in overtime. But who knows how much longer the Ravens still have a realistic chance at the playoffs, especially with all the injuries at receiver.

23. LIONS (0-4) (22): Calvin Johnson cost his team a chance at a win with his late fumble near the goal line on the Lions' final drive. The Lions were victimized by a critical non-call when the ball was illegally batted out of the end zone by linebacker K.J. Wright, but Johnson blames himself for the loss.

24. TITANS (1-2) (26): Marcus Mariota is back in action off the bye week, as the Titans host the Bills on Sunday.

25. SAINTS (1-3) (31): Drew Brees is missing some zip on his passes because of his banged-up shoulder, but he was good enough in a 26-20 OT win at home against the Cowboys. Brees was 33-of-41 for 359 yards and two touchdowns to finally get the Saints on the board.

26. BROWNS (1-3) (27): Josh McCown nearly pulls off a shootout win on the road against Philip Rivers, but the Browns come up short at the end. Tramon Williams' critical offsides penalty on what turned out to be a missed field goal turned out to be the soul-crushing conclusion of yet another Browns loss.

27. 49ERS (1-3) (28): Colin Kaepernick has done some of his most impressive work against the Packers, but not this time. The 49ers' quarterback threw for just 160 yards and had a 55.4 passer rating in a 17-3 home loss to Green Bay.

28. JAGUARS (1-3) (30): Kicker Jason Myers failed twice from long range -- once near the end of regulation and again in overtime -- as the Jaguars lost to the Colts for the 15th straight time. After a promising first half, quarterback Blake Bortles was shut out in the second half and overtime in the 16-13 loss.

29. BUCCANEERS (1-3) (29): For those of you who thought it would take Jameis Winston a while to become acclimated to the NFL, you're right. The first overall pick threw four interceptions in his first meeting with Cam Newton's Panthers.

30. BEARS (1-3) (32): After nearly blowing it at the end with a critical interception, Jay Cutler made good on his last chance by driving the Bears for the winning field goal against the Raiders, giving John Fox his first win as Bears coach in a week that began with the unexpected trade of defensive end Jared Allen.

31. DOLPHINS (1-3) (25): The Dolphins' dumpster fire claimed Joe Philbin, who was shown the door just a month into the season. Dan Campbell takes over on an interim basis, but change for the sake of change only gets you so far. Deep-seated problems on both sides of the ball won't go away any time soon.

32. TEXANS (1-3) (24): Ryan Mallett was awful against the Falcons, but he still keeps his job because Bill O'Brien already figured out Brian Hoyer isn't his guy. Good times.

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