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Mason's Week 4 Power Rankings: Chiefs hit the top

Posted Sep 26, 2017

Just two unbeaten teams remain, and appropriately, they sit atop the rankings.

1. KANSAS CITY (3-0)
LAST WEEK: 2

According to pro-football-reference.com, Kareem Hunt is just the third player in NFL history to rush for 400 or more yards in his first three games, joining Tampa Bay's Cadillac Williams (2005) and Baltimore's Alan Ameche (1955).

Another amazing stat: Kansas City not only leads the league in first-down production with 9.58 yards per attempt, it's averaging 2.38 more yards per first-down play than the next-best team (Rams).

2. ATLANTA (3-0)
LAST WEEK: 3

The second of the league’s final two unbeaten teams leads the NFL in net yards (41.4) and first downs (2.25) per possession.

3. PITTSBURGH (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 1

Signs for concern: a rush defense that ranks 22nd and a rushing offense that is tied for 29th.

4. NEW ENGLAND (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 6

No. 1 in total offense, No. 32 in total defense. For the neutral fan, the entertainment value of Patriots games will be off the charts.

5. GREEN BAY (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 7

Good enough when they needed to be, but they need to find a remedy for their slow starts. Only Cleveland has a worse first-half point differential (minus-34).

6. DENVER (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 5

One thing that the Broncos hope to change in future games is their opponents’ drive-start position. Denver ranks second in first downs (1.4) and fourth in net yards (23.6) allowed per possession, yet is 10th in net points, in part because their opponents' average drive-start position is at the opponents' 36-yard line -- thanks to eight drives that have begun in Denver territory, including five that followed turnovers.

7. OAKLAND (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 4

You wouldn't want to be the team facing the Broncos or the Raiders this week after their losses. In other words, pass the popcorn for a crackling duel.

8. MINNESOTA (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 9

Three different targets -- Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook -- had at least 72 yards in receptions as Case Keenum diced up Tampa Bay's coverage.

9. DETROIT (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 12

The Lions are persistent and resilient, but they've had one touchdown on a return in each game so far. They can't count on that the rest of the way.

10. DALLAS (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 13

Ezekiel Elliott and the ground game weren't all the way back on track Monday night, but it was enough to get their offense back in working order after being roughed up by the Broncos a week earlier.

11. TENNESSEE (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 14

Nearly 200 yards on the ground, 225 yards through the air, no sacks allowed and no turnovers is Tennessee's ideal formula for success.

12. PHILADELPHIA (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 15

A good sign for the consistency of Carson Wentz: The Eagles go three-and-out on just 20.6 percent of their possessions, the second-best figure in the league. But can they keep that pace without the reassuring presence of Darren Sproles, who touched the ball 168 times the last two seasons before being lost to a torn ACL and a broken arm?

13. WASHINGTON (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 18

They're as good as they want to be, and are just a few self-inflicted wounds in Week 1 from being undefeated.

14. JACKSONVILLE (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 21

With a 44-7 win over the Ravens at Wembley Stadium, the Jaguars became the 29th team to post at least two wins of at least 20 points in Weeks 1-3 since the playoffs expanded to 12 teams in 1990, according to pro-football-reference.com. Twenty-four of the previous 28 teams made the playoffs, including the last eight teams in a row dating back to 2006.

15. BUFFALO (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 23

New head coach Sean McDermott is working his magic; Buffalo is the only team in the league that ranks in the league's top 10 in rushing defense (No. 7) and passing defense (No. 9).

16. SEATTLE (1-2)
LAST WEEK: 10

Russell Wilson was hit 11 more times, Seahawks running backs gained just 43 yards on 15 carries and a fatigued defense finally broke, giving up 195 yards on the ground to Tennessee.

17. TAMPA BAY (1-1)
LAST WEEK: 8

With Doug Martin suspended, they mustered just 26 yards on nine carries last Sunday on offense. With no such excuses on defense, they couldn't contain the Sam Bradford-less Vikings, surrendering 494 yards.

18. LOS ANGELES RAMS (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 24

Jared Goff's quarterback rating of 118.2 and the slow starts of the Seahawks and Cardinals give reason to believe the Rams can at least hang in the division race for the entire season.

19. MIAMI (1-1)
LAST WEEK: 11

After it took a last-play touchdown to avoid a shutout to the low-flying Jets, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase has had enough of his offense, saying, "I'm just tired of watching it for two years. Just garbage."

20. CAROLINA (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 16

Carolina's defense is still atop the league in total yardage allowed, but its offense ranks 28th and has generated just two touchdowns in the last two games.

21. BALTIMORE (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 17

On 10 drives led by Joe Flacco on Sunday, the Ravens generated just four first downs, averaged just 7.9 net yards and never advanced beyond the Jacksonville 45-yard line. For the entire season to date, Baltimore ranks dead last in passing offense and average per pass play.

22. HOUSTON (1-2)
LAST WEEK: 22

Even after facing the Patriots last week, Houston's defense still leads the league in forcing three-and-outs, doing so on 34.3 percent of all series.

23. ARIZONA (1-2)
LAST WEEK: 20

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians suggested that the blueprint for stopping the Cowboys was to "borrow Denver's players." He couldn't, but his Cardinals still contained the Cowboys, holding them to 273 yards. However, the Cardinals lost the field-position game; Dallas took over at midfield or in Arizona territory after three Cardinals punts, and marched to the end zone each time.

24. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (0-3)
LAST WEEK: 19

They go three-and-out less often than any other offense and rank in the league's top 10 in first downs (1.84) and net yards (33.0) per possession, but too often fail to translate their momentum to the scoreboard, ranking 20th in net points per series.

25. NEW ORLEANS (1-2)
LAST WEEK: 27

Their defense held down the Panthers last week, but how much of that was due to Carolina playing without tight end Greg Olsen?

26. NEW YORK GIANTS (0-3)
LAST WEEK: 25

Better wasn't good enough to beat the Eagles, but the Giants were at least able to shed the abject look of the first two weeks.

27. INDIANAPOLIS (1-2)
LAST WEEK: 29

The offense still leads the league in possessions without a first down (50 percent), but Jacoby Brissett brought a needed spark, and continued progress will allow the Colts to be patient with Andrew Luck.

28. CINCINNATI (0-3)
LAST WEEK: 28

Even after awakening from a two-week hibernation, the Bengals' offense still ranks in the league's bottom three in net points, net yards and first downs per possession.

29. CHICAGO (1-2)
LAST WEEK: 30

In defeating the Steelers, the Bears became just the fourth team since the start of the 2014 season to win despite amassing 85 or fewer passing yards.

30. NEW YORK JETS (1-2)
LAST WEEK: 32

They're last in first downs, next-to-last in yardage per first-down play, and their offense and defense both rank in the league's bottom eight ... but they have a win, which is more than some pundits thought they'd get.

31. CLEVELAND (0-3)
LAST WEEK: 31

They can't keep digging these holes for themselves; Cleveland's first-half scoring margin of minus-35 is the league's worst.

32. SAN FRANCISCO (0-3)
LAST WEEK: 32

In what will surely be a frustrating season, the 49ers will have to cling to moments like the fourth quarter last Thursday, when their offense clicks and offers a glimpse of better days to come.

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