NFL power rankings, Week 4: Did Dolphins just dislodge 49ers from No. 1 spot?

Chances are, you've never seen an NFL team put up 70 points in a game.
Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel
Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel / Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers held the top spot in most experts' NFL power rankings entering Week 3, but a 70-point game by the Dolphins challenges that in Week 4.

The San Francisco 49ers have pretty much stayed at the top of most NFL power rankings throughout the first two weeks of the season and heading into Week 3, namely after back-to-back road wins to open up the season and ahead of the Thursday Night Football victory over the New York Giants.

In total, head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad has scored 30 points in each of those games, while quarterback Brock Purdy is beginning to prove his doubters wrong. He's not just some upstart who got hot last year but will fade like every other seventh-round NFL Draft pick who has gone before.

It's not hyperbole, but the Niners do look like they're the league's most complete team from top to bottom and on both sides of the ball.

That was, however, before the 3-0 Miami Dolphins ended up dropping 70 points on the Denver Broncos in what was only the third time in NFL history such a thing has happened.

Shanahan's longtime understudy, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, had the opportunity to set history but opted to hold at 70 instead for reasons he alone will have to answer to (and has).

With that output in the rearview mirror with the rest of the Week 3 games, should Miami now be the top dog in NFL power rankings over San Francisco?

Let's look at what the experts had to say in our Week 4 NFL power rankings roundup.

NFL power rankings: Dolphins threaten 49ers for top spot entering Week 4

McDaniel and the Dolphins will have the top-ranked offense for some time now, but is that enough to leapfrog over the 49ers for the No. 1 spot in power rankings?

According to some, yes. Let's see where the Niners rank now.

Eric Edholm, No. 2 (-1)

"This team appears to be on the same plane right now as it has been in three of the four previous seasons (save for 2020). The upcoming part of the schedule (featuring the suddenly spunky Cardinals and resurgent Browns) is more interesting than it looked previously, but three of the next five are at home before the Week 9 bye. Things are good."

Of note, Edholm listed the Dolphins at No. 1.

ESPN power panel: No. 1 (even)

"The Niners have mostly kept quarterback Brock Purdy upright, ranking right in the middle of the pack in sacks allowed per dropback (6.1%). But, in part because they've faced the highest blitz percentage (43.4%) in the league, the Niners have also allowed one of the highest pressure percentages (33.3%) in the NFL. Teams are likely to continue trying to heat up Purdy with the blitz even though he's had success against it, but it would also help if the Niners, especially on the right side of the line, continue to improve."

Miami is at No. 2, according to ESPN.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: No. 1 (even)

"They showed against the Giants how dominant they can be on defense. Brock Purdy fits in perfectly in this system as they keep racking up regular-season victories."

Prisco has the Dolphins down at No. 4, which is interesting. Maybe he's not buying the offensive hype that Miami has.

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: No. 1 (+1)

"They are starting to look like a team of destiny."

Of note, Mike Florio's quote about the Dolphins was, "They are starting to look like a team of destiny."

Related story: Mike Florio has dumbest take on Brock Purdy of all time

Nate Davis, USA Today Sports: No. 1 (even)

"We're nearing the realm of death, taxes, San Francisco scoring exactly 30 points (all 3 games this season), prevailing (13-game regular-season winning streak) and enjoying a TD from RB Christian McCaffrey, who's found the paint in 12 consecutive games to match Hall of Famer Jerry Rice's club record."

Davis has Miami third overall behind the No. 2-ranked Philadelphia Eagles.

Russell Baxter, No. 1 (even)

"Call them “30 Something!” Talk about consistency? Kyle Shanahan’s team scored exactly 30 points in as many games as the 49ers toyed with the visiting Giants on Thursday night. Running back Christian McCaffrey continued his excellent start this season, finishing with more than half (85) of San Francisco’s 141 yards on the ground."

Based on the evidence, it seems as if Miami's great surge over Denver wasn't quite enough to justify a widespread spot atop NFL power rankings entering Week 4.

Nope. The Niners still claim that (mostly).

And it's something San Francisco can likely retain by going up against the weakish Arizona Cardinals at home after a long break from playing Thursday night, while the Dolphins will face an awfully tough task against the Buffalo Bills in a key AFC East showdown.

The results from those tilts likely decide who should be No. 1

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