NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

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1) Los Angeles Rams

(No Movement)

Outside of a potential IR stint for Aqib Talib, it’s hard to find a flaw with Sean McVay’s club. Through three weeks, the Rams appear to be in a different galaxy compared to the remainder of the NFC.   

2) Kansas City Chiefs

(Up 4 Spots)

I can’t remember the last time I’ve enjoyed watching a team this much. The Chiefs are more like a blockbuster movie than a football team, in that instead of watching them to analyze or cheer, I’m there just to enjoy the show. Take a bow, Andy Reid.     

3) Philadelphia Eagles

(Up 1 Spot)

Carson Wentz understandably was rusty in his first game back, but it was clear from the opening drive how much Philly missed his playmaking ability. Their schedule starts to get tough these next few games, making it that more important to have their MVP back under center.

4) Minnesota Vikings

(Down 2 Spots)

What a strange week. From the horrific performance against the Bills and Everson Griffen’s concerning off the field incident, the Vikings find themselves having to answer multiple questions. Bad games happen, and I’m not concerned about Minnesota going forward, but this isn’t the situation you want to be in when you’re traveling to LA on a short week to play the scorching hot Rams.     

5) New Orleans Saints

(Up 2 spots)

New Orleans has shortcomings on defense, but Drew Brees is more than capable of making up for them. Whether it’s throwing for 400 yards, or juking defenders with a spin move, the 39-year-old can still do anything asked of him.    

6) New England Patriots

(Down 3 Spots)

I still believe what I said last week. The Patriots are familiar with slow starts to the season and will figure it out. Julian Edelman returning from his suspension in week 5 will play a major factor in the turn around. That said, New England fans still have reason to worry. If they can’t beat the undefeated Dolphins this week, there’s a real chance that they might not win the AFC East for the first time since 2008.  

7) Jacksonville Jaguars

(Down 2 Spots)

A week after throttling the Patriots, Blake Bortles returned to his usual subpar play and wasted a brilliant game from the best defense in the league. Hopefully Leonard Fournette can return this week and give the offense a spark.     

8) Carolina Panthers

(Up 1 Spot)

Christian McCaffrey has arrived! The offensive gadget has exploded the past two games and Carolina’s offense has transcended because of it. The RPO’s between McCaffrey, Cam Newton, and C.J. Anderson are a nightmare for defensive coordinators. Hiring Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator wasn’t overwhelming positively in the offseason, but he’s quickly starting to change opinions throughout the league.    

9) Green Bay Packers

(Up 1 Spot)

This defense has struggled early this season and now have lost Muhammad Wilkerson for the season. It appears that Green Bay is going to have to use their age-old formula of counting on Aaron to outscore the opponent every week.

10) Pittsburgh Steelers

(Up 3 Spots)

There’s clearly still a number of issues with the Steelers, but Monday’s ugly win over the Bucs should calm the PR thunderstorm that swirled the locker room all week.  

11) Miami Dolphins

(Up 10 Spots)

It’s still early in the year, but I owe the Dolphins an apology. Ryan Tannehill has been awesome, and the defense continues to impress. Currently leading the AFC East, Miami has the opportunity to prove they truly belong when they travel to New England this week to play the struggling Patriots.

12) Chicago Bears

(Down 2 Spots)

Chicago was fortunate to win last week. Again, Mitchell Trubisky struggled and the offense as a whole suffered as a result. The defense is great, and Khalil Mack is on his way to winning defensive player of the year, but like the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Bears ceiling this year is significantly lower because of their QB.    

13) Atlanta Falcons

(Down 5 Spots)

It’s starting to become one of those years for the Falcons. With Ricardo Allen going on IR, Atlanta has lost both their starting safeties, star linebacker, and leading rusher to injuries. The season is far from over, but the Falcons may have hard time keeping up with the division as the season progresses.  

14) Los Angeles Chargers

(No Movement)

There are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes, and the Chargers blowing a game because of special teams mistakes.  

15) Baltimore Ravens

(Up 2 Spots)

Sunday’s win over the Broncos was a nice bounce performance from both Joe Flacco and the defense. With the AFC North seeming wide open, the Ravens can make a strong, early push with a win this week over the vulnerable Steelers.    

16) Cincinnati Bengals

(No Movement)

The defense is coming off a terrible performance versus the Panthers, but a fair amount of that can be attributed to injuries to Preston Brown and Michael Johnson. Vontaze Burfict returning from his annual suspension in week 5 should also help the defense going forward. Andy Dalton was a mixed-bag in the loss, but his play overall this year has been encouraging. Cincinnati is very much in the running for the AFC North.    

17) Denver Broncos

(Up 1 Spot)

Everything seemed to go wrong for the Broncos in week 3. While I’m not panicking over one game, I’m concerned how Denver will fare in future games this season when their offense has to score to keep up. Monday’s game against the Chiefs will be the perfect test. The Chiefs are going to put up points, can Denver take advantage of Kansas City’s weak defense and match blows? We shall see.

18) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Up 1 Spot)

Despite the loss, there’s plenty of positives to take from the offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a rough start but bounced back in the fourth quarter with a number of spectacular throws. Jameis Winston returns from suspension this week, but the Bucs have no choice but to ride FitzMagic for as long as possible.   

19) New York Giants

(Up 3 Spots)

Saquon Barkley is simply incredible. On one of the biggest plays of the game, Barkley was split out wide as a receiver on 3rd and 1 and made an incredible catch to keep the drive alive and put away the game. The defense has impressed through two weeks, and with the combination of Barkley and Odell Beckham and mistake free performances from Eli Manning, there’s a formula to keep winning games.    

20) Tennessee Titans

(Up 5 Spots)

The defense’s performance in week 3 against the Jaguars was impressive, and while this offense continued to struggle, having the rushing threat of Marcus Mariota back was a noticeable boost.     

21) Washington Redskins

(Up 3 Spots)

The offense got off to hot start and never looked back. I had doubts that Adrian Peterson could consistently carry load in the backfield, but he was gashing Green Bay’s defense like it was 2012. It was a fantastic win, but I still can’t shake off week two’s rough performance against the Colts. The fear is that we’re in for a rollercoaster year of highs and lows. Still, Washington is talented on both sides of the ball and have the potential to beat almost anyone.     

22) Detroit Lions

(Up 6 Spots)

DETROIT MI. – SEPTEMBER 23: Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia celebrates the win at Ford Field on September 23, 2018 in Detroit Michigan (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/Boston Herald)

Sunday night’s win is exactly what we’ve been waiting for. The three-headed monster Detroit has at WR finally looked dynamic, and it appears Kerryon Johnson can bring the consistent running game they’ve needed for years. After a gloomy two weeks, the arrow is starting to point up.  

23) Seattle Seahawks

(Up 3 Spots)

The Earl Thomas led defense was fantastic and Russell Wilson proved once again that he can keep Seattle in a game singlehandedly.

24) Oakland Raiders

(Down 2 Spots)

For the third straight week Oakland started strong but fizzled towards the end. There’s been nothing smooth about Jon Gruden’s transition back into the league and an 0-3 start seems to have already eliminated their hopes of winning the AFC West. The Raiders have been close, they’re not a terrible team, but getting a win against the Browns this week is a must for any chance of salvaging their season.     

25) Dallas Cowboys

(Down 5 Spots)

Dak Prescott has been bad and he has no time to throw. The playing calling is hilariously predictable, and the receivers can’t get open. Unless Earl Thomas can play receiver, trading for him isn’t going to solve Dallas’ problems.  

26) Houston Texans

(Down 11)

We’re on red alert here. Even a vintage J.J. Watt performance wasn’t enough to overcome this sputtering offense. Again, Deshaun Watson was under heavy pressure the entire game and he didn’t receive much help from the rushing game. At some point this season, Houston might have to sit Watson and wait until next year to play him behind a better offensive line. I’m legitimately concerned that he’s going to suffer another major injury.   

27) Cleveland Browns

(Up 3 Spots)

The Browns got their first win in 635 days and appear to who have found their QB of the future. There’s still a number of problems with this team, but Baker Mayfield has given them hope for the first time in decades.

28) New York Jets

(Down 1 Spot)

It’s about to get interesting in New York. Todd Bowles was already on the hot seat heading into this season and now the Jets are coming off two ugly losses and have the Jaguars and Broncos next on the schedule.

29) Indianapolis Colts

(No Movement)

Despite a lack of talent, the Colts have managed to stay competitive in games. The defense has surprised many and the offense is continuing to improve. Wins will still be hard to come by this season, but the Colts are headed in a positive direction.   

30) San Francisco 49ers 

(Down 18 Spots)

Hard not to believe that Jimmy Garoppolo’s torn ACL isn’t the end of the 49ers playoff hopes. He’s certainly struggled this year, but there’s a colossal drop off from him to back up C.J. Beathard. With the Rams already running away with the division, and the absurd number of talented teams in the NFC, a Wild Card spot isn’t likely.   

31) Buffalo Bills

(Up 1 Spot)

Why even bother trying to predict games? Through two weeks of football, the Bills looked bounded for the first overall pick in next year’s draft, then responded by humiliating the Vikings who were favored by 16.5 points! Does this mean the Bills are actually good? No, I don’t believe so, but there’s a much better vibe surrounding them. Josh Allen is not going to consistently carve up defenses this year like he did on Sunday, but it’s clear he has the talent to succeed in this league. The jury is still out on Allen but labeling him a bust before he was even drafted is starting to look increasingly foolish.     

32) Arizona Cardinals

(Down 1 Spot)

It took three games too many, but Josh Rosen is finally getting his shot. An offense featuring David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald has somehow managed to be the worst in the league but plugging in Rosen should help with making the unit less predictable.  

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