With the exception of the Panthers and Packers, every team has four games under its belt In NFL 2013.

For clubs like the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it was a forgettable September.

For the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, the odds are better than average that they will be playing beyond December.

But who is to say which one of those five teams is the best?

Speaking of “the best…”

Philip Rivers, Frank Gore And Jimmy Graham Earn Top 10 Honors In NFL's Week 4 Slideshow


QB Philip Rivers

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning continues to be red hot and the Saints Drew Brees was on target Monday night against the Dolphins. But Rivers was clearly on target in a 30-21 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The rebounding signal-caller did have one crazy interception returned for a score but Rivers would hit on 35-of-42 passes for 401 yards and three scores as San Diego scored the final 20 points of the afternoon after falling behind Dallas, 21-10.


RB Frank Gore

After watching his team get flattened by a combined 56-10 score the previous two weeks (by the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts, respectively), the Niners took out their frustrations on the host St. Louis Rams. And Frank was blunt, rushing for 153 yards and a score on 20 carries as Jim Harbaugh’s club rolled to a 35-11 victory. In two wins this season, San Francisco has scored a combined 69 points compared to 10 points in their two setbacks.


WR Nate Washington

Neither the New York Jets defensive backs nor the game officials could stop Washington, who totaled four receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns in an impressive 38-13 win. The one-time undrafted free agent caught a four-year score from quarterback Jake Locker in the second quarter and later, he snared a 77-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Uh, make that starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.


TE Jimmy Graham

It was a huge week for tight ends with Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Jordan Cameron all having big games on Sunday. But Graham made a pair of eye-opening plays in the Saints 38-17 Monday night win over the overmatched Miami Dolphins. The former Miami Hurricane hauled in scoring passes of 27 and 43 yards, totaling 100 yards on just four receptions. In four games this season, Graham has already caught 27 passes for 458 yards and six scores, more than half of teammate Drew Brees’ touchdown pass total (10) in 2013.


Offensive Line: Vikings

Yes, many will tell you that the Pittsburgh Steelers defense isn’t what is used to be. Of course, it is games like the one that left tackle Matt Kalil and company had on Sunday in London, England, that would make any defense look bad. Starting quarterback Matt Cassel was sacked only once and his 16 completions went for 248 yards. Add in 145 yards rushing (140 by running back Adrian Peterson) on 25 carries and Leslie Frazier’s front five had their way in a 34-27 win.


DT Ndamukong Suh

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen had a jolly old time in England against the Steelers on Sunday. But it was Suh who set the tone for Detroit’s 40-32 victory over the visiting Chicago Bears. The hard-hitting defender had four tackles and also totaled two sacks of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who coughed up the ball on one of those sacks and saw it returned for a touchdown by teammate Nick Fairley. The Lions finished with three sacks on the afternoon, equaling the times Cutler had been sacked in the first three games.


OLB Robert Mathis

Chuck Pagano’s Colts are starting to manhandle teams, although there will be those who will quickly point out that these were the Jacksonville Jaguars were facing on Sunday. But those were the 49ers in San Francisco the previous week when Andrew Luck and company came away with a 20-point win. But back to this past Sunday, when Mathis totaled a team-high five tackles and had three of the four sacks of Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the Colts 37-3 win.


CB Aqib Talib

We will get to Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman later. And Tennessee Titans corner Alterraun Verner (three takeaways) had quite the afternoon against the New York Jets, as did Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But Talib know Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan all too well. At the Georgia Dome on Sunday night, the one-time Buccaneers’ standout totaled two tackles, knocked down four passes and picked off Ryan in the fourth quarter as New England held on for 30-23 victory.


Special Teams: Broncos

You think it’s all about quarterback Peyton Manning in the Mile High City? The Broncos rolled up 52 points on the visiting Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday and the Denver special teams did their share, scoring a pair of touchdowns on a kickoff return (105 yards by Trindon Holliday) and a blocked punt (17 yards by linebacker Steven Johnson, who also blocked the kick). Holliday has already returned a pair of kicks for scores this season and has been making life even easier for Manning and the offense.


Coach: Pete Carroll

The Seahawks have now won nine straight regular-season games dating back to 2012, including four straight on the road. Quarterback Russell Wilson and company trailed the Texans, 20-3, at halftime. And Carroll’s club had been outgained an astonishing 324-88 in total yards in the first 30 minutes. But the ‘Hawks came all the way back via a 23-20 overtime win thanks to some late heroics from cornerback Richard Sherman and an assist from Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. And the Seahawks are 4-0 for the first time in the franchise’s 38-year history.

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-- Read more of Russell S. Baxter at ProFootballGuru.com. Follow him on Twitter @BaxFootballGuru.