The early weeks in the NFL are hard to assess. Each year there is a team that jumps out to a fast start before fading into obscurity (looking at you 2011 Buffalo Bills), so it's typically best not to read too much into early wins. That being said, with four weeks in the books it's probably safe to say that two teams have risen to the top of the early favorites to play for the Super Bowl. The Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons have both started 4-0, and both have put up some impressive numbers in the process.
The Texans and Falcons are two of only three undefeated teams at this point, and while the Cardinals are also a surprise 4-0, they have not looked quite as convincing in their wins. There's a strong case to be made for a Texans-Falcons match-up in Super Bowl XLVII, and at this point in the season it's hard to argue against it.
The Atlanta Falcons, who have put together impressive seasons in the last few years, have yet to get over the hump in the playoffs. However, with fifth-year quarterback Matt Ryan looking more poised than ever, this year could be the time they do it. Through four games, Ryan has thrown 11 touchdowns to just two interceptions, and led Atlanta on an impressive drive in the closing minutes for a game winning field goal.
But Ryan is just one piece of the puzzle. Running back Michael Turner has looked like he's in prime form this season, and Ryan's favorite target Roddy White has been his usually, productive self. Not to mention their defense looks better than it has in recent seasons, and it's no surprise they have become a popular Super Bowl pick in the early going.
The Texans have been arguably even more impressive than the Falcons, and you could argue that they would have made the Super Bowl last year had quarterback Matt Schaub not been injured. But he's back this year, and has his team firing on all cylinders. Through four games, the Texans have not really been challenged, winning three of their four games by 20 or more points.
Much like the Falcons, their well-balanced approach features a standout running back (Arian Foster) and one of the best receivers in the game (Andre Johnson). Houston also has a stout defense with players like Brian Cushing and Jonathan Joseph leading the charge.
The Falcons and Texans have staked out an early lead, but as all NFL seasons have showed, anything can happen. Of course, you can never count out the defending champion New York Giants, nor the offensive juggernaut in the New England Patriots - both of whom are 2-2.