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Ira Kaufman’s Week 4 NFL power rankings


Published:   |   Updated: September 25, 2013 at 07:23 AM

Each week, 12 media members - including the Tribune’s Ira Kaufman - rank teams in what is known as the Associated Press Pro32 Power rankings. Here is Kaufman’s ballot.

1. Denver - Who needs Von Miller and Ryan Clady when Peyton Manning looks as masterful as ever?

2. Seattle - The NFL’s No. 1 defense and a power running game add up to a championship formula.

3. New Orleans - Miami had better find a way to cover TE Jimmy Graham. No one else has.

4. Chicago - The opportunistic Bears are on pace to force 59 turnovers this season.

5. New England - Miami is coming on, but the Pats won’t give up the AFC East crown easily.

6. Cincinnati - That was a big-time comeback against the Packers.

7. Green Bay - Aaron Rodgers has an extra week to stew about the one that got away.

8. Indianapolis - Andrew Luck isn’t as good as advertised ... he’s better.

9. Kansas City - How do you open 3-0? Zero turnovers through three weeks is a good start.

10. Dallas - The high-scoring Cowboys suddenly look like the class of a lousy division.

11. Miami - Heading into the Superdome on Monday night, itching to hound Drew Brees.

12. Baltimore - Has rebounded nicely from that Week 1 debacle at Denver.

13. Houston - AFC’s No. 1 defense faces a major test as Seattle rolls into town.

14. San Francisco - The 49ers could find themselves in the NFC West basement by Sunday afternoon.

15. Atlanta - Shaky defense needs to step it up against Mr. Brady on Sunday evening.

16. Detroit - The protection in front of Matt Stafford has been outstanding.

17. Carolina - This aggressive defense will keep Carolina competitive every week.

18. Tennessee - Like the Chiefs, the disciplined Titans also have no giveaways.

19. San Diego - A soft defense has undermined a strong September by Philip Rivers.

20. N.Y. Jets - Year in, year out, these guys know how to defend the pass.

21. Philadelphia - Peyton Manning can’t wait to slice up this beleaguered secondary.

22. Cleveland - Somebody forgot to tell this defense that there’s a fire sale.

23. Minnesota - Figure on Jared Allen leaving London with at least a couple of sacks.

24. Arizona - Tampa Bay’s dormant attack should thrive against these guys.

25. St. Louis - They usually play the 49ers tough.

26. Washington - No team has yielded more yards than the Capital Gang.

27. N.Y. Giants - Tom Coughlin has emerged from holes before, but this one is deep.

28. Buffalo - Rookie EJ Manuel has thrown only one pick in 108 pass attempts.

29. Oakland - The Raiders should be able to run on Washington’s hapless defense.

30. Tampa Bay - If the Bucs hit the bye week at 0-4, all bets are off.

31. Pittsburgh - Nine turnovers and zero takeaways is a recipe for disaster.

32. Jacksonville - Averaging a mere 2.4 yards per rushing attempt, and that’s no typo.

VOTING PANEL: Chris Collinsworth, NBC Sports; Tony Dungy, NBC Sports; Herman Edwards, ESPN; Bob Glauber, Newsday; Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News; Clark Judge, CBSSports.com; Ira Kaufman, Tampa Tribune; Pat Kirwan, SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com; John Lynch, Fox Sports; Alex Marvez, Foxsports.com; Charean Williams, Fort Worth Star Telegram

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