Panthers in the Power Rankings: Week 4

Power-Rankings_CMC

Here's where the Panthers stand in various power rankings heading into their Week 5 matchup against the New York Giants.

Panthers rank: 5th (3rd in NFC)
Previous rank: 5th

NFC South: Saints 4th, Panthers 5th, Falcons 18th, Buccaneers 19th

Beyond the numbers: Elliot Harrison slotted the Panthers right back at No. 5 despite the bye week, saying Carolina has been one of the best at handling early adversity. Harrison also believes the impending return of linebacker Thomas Davis as well as tight end Greg Olsen progressing ahead of schedule from his injury will only make Ron Rivera's squad stronger in the coming weeks.

Panthers rank: 6th (3rd in NFC)
Previous rank: 5th

NFC South: Panthers 6th, Saints 10th, Buccaneers 18th, Falcons 22nd

Beyond the numbers: Frank Schwab is on the Efe Obada bandwagon, saying that the defensive end's story is "the best in the NFL this year" and that "it’ll make a great movie someday." Couldn't agree more, Frank.

Panthers rank: 8th (5th in NFC)
Previous rank: 9th

NFC South: Saints 6th, Panthers 8th, Buccaneers 21st, Falcons 23rd

Beyond the numbers: The Panthers benefited in more ways than one from the week of rest, moving up one spot in Pete Prisco's rankings. After facing the Giants (1-3) at home on Sunday, the Panthers will continue their NFC East expedition with road contests against the Redskins (2-1) and Eagles (2-2). With the Falcons and Bucs continuing to slide and the Saints thriving, these next three conference games are big for Carolina.

Panthers rank: 10th (7th in NFC)
Previous rank: 9th

NFC South: Saints 3rd, Panthers 10th, Buccaneers 17th, Falcons 18th

Beyond the numbers: The Panthers' run game and eighth-ranked scoring defense (20 ppg) stand out most to the B/R staff. Although they believe this has created a recipe that allows Carolina to control tempo, they worry about Carolina being ranked 25th in passing. Playing in a division with several high-powered offenses could give the Panthers some trouble later on but, to date, the staff feels that the team has made opponents "play them on their terms."

Panthers rank: 11th (6th in NFC)
Previous rank: 11th

NFC South: Saints 4th, Panthers 11th, Falcons 17th, Buccaneers 20th

Beyond the numbers: The ESPN staff decided to single out each team's best rookie through four weeks. Cornerback Donte Jackson got the nod after his exceptional start to the season. Jackson has played 157 snaps out of 178 and, in Week 3, became the third Panthers rookie to grab two interceptions in a game. He is currently tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with three.

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