NFL Power Rankings: New Orleans Saints sit at No. 31, but a rise may be on the way

1 of 4

Sep 3, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins (24) breaks up the pass intended for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Willie Snead (83) during the second quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Power Rankings have been released for Week 4 of the 2015 season.  And, well, as expected, the New Orleans Saints are at the bottom of the barrel — the very bottom.  To be precise, Sean Payton and company sit at No. 31, which is second to last in front of only the Chicago Bears.  The Green Bay Packers are top dogs.

Week 4 NFL Power Rankings and’s takes on each team:

1. Green Bay Packers (3-0)

"The Packers continue to roll, making the football masses wonder if anyone can beat them in Lambeau. One potential way to accomplish that: running right at them, a la Dallas in last year’s playoffs. Then have a receiver catch the ball through the catch — or something like that … Otherwise, no one has a shot. In 30 years of watching football (and understanding it — not counting when I was 5 years old), not sure I’ve ever seen a quarterback play at Aaron Rodgers‘ level for this long a stretch. Only Joe Montana in the postseason can match this kind of run."

2. New England Patriots (3-0)

"New England made a serious claim for the No. 1 spot Sunday. Everybody’s getting into the act:Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis and what is apparently a really ticked-off Tom Brady. The Jags were never in it, truthfully. Even the one defensive play they seemingly made — Davon House‘s pick ofTom Brady in the third quarter — was called back courtesy of James Sample‘s mugging of Gronk in the end zone. That was about the only mugging Jacksonville did all day. Gosh, how pleasant Sunday mornings must be in New England these days … I’ll take the clam chowder and a side of 119 points in three games, please"

3. Arizona Cardinals

"These guys are for real. Carson Palmer — minus one forced throw toward the end of the first half Sunday — is performing magnificently in his 13th season. And something — or maybe someonewith a Kangol — has gotten into Chris Johnson. On his 30-yard gallop in the second quarter, CJrejuvenatedK turned it back upfield when he could’ve merely jogged out of bounds, eliciting contact. In other words, the 2012 CJ was nowhere to be found on Sunday. Great coaches push buttons — the correct buttons — with their veterans. And in the interest of looking ahead, let’s note that the 3-0 Cards face the Seahawks in Seattle in Week 10, the week after Arizona’s bye. #can’twait"

4. Cincinnati Bengals (3-0)

"Big win for Andy Dalton and company. The much-maligned Cincy quarterback hasn’t endured as much, well, maligning this season. People are starting to show the Red Rifle some love. Other than a forced red-zone throw to A.J. Green (and who could blame him for doing that?), Dalton was clutch. As for Green … 227 yards and two scores, including the game-winner. I couldn’t quite read Green’s lips after that last touchdown catch, but I think he might have said “Have fun watching ‘Martin’ reruns on your couch in January, Ravens.”"

5. Denver Broncos (3-0)

"Tip of the proverbial hat to Peyton Manning. The game-clincher to Owen Daniels on Sunday was a dandy, in heart, mind and body. As Cris Collinsworth pointed out, that play unfolded as it did because Manning had adroitly set up his pass protection. The throw displayed the kind of touch49ers fans can only dream of seeing in Colin Kaepernick by 2020. Watching Manning push himself out there on every play reminds me of Nolan Ryan grunting on every one of his fastballs late in his career. Speaking of fastballs, Manning might not carry any in his repertoire at this point, but he ain’t carrying no clipboard or TV remote, either."

6. Buffalo Bills (2-1)

"That was a butt-kicking by the Bills down in Miami. Everyone got in on the act: the pass rush,Ronald Darby, Corey Graham, Chris Hogan, Bacarri Rambo, Tyrod Taylor, Marcell Dareus, Karlos Williams, Joe Ferguson … OK, maybe not the last guy. But don’t tell me the guys from the ’70s and ’80s Bills didn’t love watching Miami get dominated from kickoff to gun. Week 2’s loss to thePatriots already seems well in the rearview — that’s how you answer a Sit down! from the ruler of your division. Back to those old Bills for a moment. Did you know Buffalo lost all 20 of its meetings with theDolphins from 1970 to ’79? Power Rankings Trivia: The Bills finally beat Miami in 1980 behind 131 total yards and a touchdown from whom? (@HarrisonNFL)"

7. Atlanta Falcons (3-0)

"If you watched the first half of Sunday’s win over the Cowboys, Atlanta fans, admit it: You panicked. The Falcons got that field goal to close the gap to 28-17, then headed into the third quarter confident they could get the matchups (translated: Julio Jones on anybody in white) they needed. Who saw that kind of game comin’ from Devonta Freeman? Good grief. Freeman, who put up 193 total yards of offense and three scores, was running like the love child of William Andrews, Gerald Riggs and Warrick Dunn. And while we’re there … why doesn’t Riggs get more love?"

8. Seattle Seahawks (2-1)

"We don’t see many shutouts these days in the NFL. Too many illegal-contact calls, lame rules geared toward the offense (heck every rule is geared towards the offense) and Dwayne BoweFantasy Memorial Garbage Time touchdowns. That was pure domination by the Kam Chancellor-sporting Seahawks on Sunday. (Do you older Seattle fans remember when you’d get electronic football by Mattel and the batteries weren’t included? So deflating.) Chancellor had a quiet day, but the Seahawks‘ D did not, allowing just 146 yards total. The Bears averaged 3.2 yards and a cloud of ground-up tires."

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)

"The biggest story of Week 3, hands down, was Ben Roethlisberger’s knee injury, which is expected to keep him out for several weeks. Without overstating the impact of that development, I have to say it changes everything in the AFC, not unlike Le’Veon Bell’s Week 17 knee injury last season, which many analysts attributed to ruining the AFC tournament. (Perhaps the Patriots would not have been able to slow down the Steelers that postseason.) Here’s hoping Michael Vick gives it all he has in Pittsburgh, as his effort came into question in New York. Thinking he will."

10. Carolina Panthers (3-0)

"Gut-check win for the Panthers, who looked like a group that didn’t respect the other team’s quarterback early on — it became apparent, though, that Luke McCown came to play (as noted below). In other news, Cam Newton continues to succeed without much help on his side of the ball. If Carolina takes care of business in Tampa this week, Ron Rivera’s club will be undefeated with a chance to get healthier during a Week 5 bye."

Next: Teams 11-20