Welcome back to NFL Power Rankings.
In the early part of the season, it’s normal to see a lot of fluctuation between teams in the NFL, as each squad tries to set the tone for their season. As a result, there was a lot of movement in the middle of this list, as teams either rose to the occasion in their most recent game, or left more to be desired.
Expect this to continue over the next month or so in these rankings before things settle down.
Before we begin, here are a few quick notes:
PR = Previous Ranking (from the week prior)
I’ll also be noting the teams that made the biggest rise and biggest fall before starting off the rankings (so a bit of a spoiler)
Biggest rise: Detroit Lions (up 8 spots)
Biggest fall: Philadelphia Eagles (down 8 spots)
Here are the rankings.
1. New England Patriots (PR: 1)
Record: 3-0 | Week 4 opponent: Buffalo Bills (away)
The defense has allowed 3 points all season, and gotten two straight shutouts (the points allowed on Sunday did not involve the Patriots defense). With Brady playing great, and the defense performing at a historic level, they’ve earned this spot.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (PR: 2)
Record: 3-0 | Week 4 opponent: Detroit Lions (away)
Mahomes is still on another level, and proved again he’s not regressing. The defense will need some work, but consider this: in games started by Mahomes, the Chiefs have scored at least 26 points every single time; as long as the defense doesn’t let up 4 touchdowns, they’re literally fine.
3. Dallas Cowboys (PR: 3)
Record: 3-0 | Week 4 opponent: New Orleans Saints (away)
The Cowboys got an easy win against Miami and have continued to cruise along this season. Even without Drew Brees, the Saints should be a good test for this team tomorrow night.
4. Los Angeles Rams (PR: 4)
Record: 3-0 | Week 4 opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (home)
The Rams are 3-0, but have not really shown me a lot if we’re being honest. They barely pulled out a win last Sunday against the Browns, similar to Week 1 against the Panthers. I won’t penalize them yet, but it could be a problem for this team in the weeks to come.
5. Baltimore Ravens (PR: 5)
Record: 2-1 | Week 4 opponent: Cleveland Browns (home)
The Ravens may have lost, but they gave the Chiefs a run for their money. Lamar Jackson had a rough start, but got his team within striking distance in the 4th quarter. With 3 straight divisional games, Baltimore could be 5-1 before heading into Seattle.
6. Green Bay Packers (PR: 6)
Record: 3-1 | Week 4 opponent: Philadelphia Eagles (home); lost
I was starting to come around on the Packers, and then they had a classic Packers/Rodgers game against Philly; I’ve seen that movie too many times. Philly is a talented team, the most talented offense Green Bay has faced to this point, so it was a humbling loss, but Rodgers did have his best game of the season thus far (even though he choked at the end). At 3-1, there’s plenty of good to work off of here.
7. Minnesota Vikings (PR: 9)
Record: 2-1 | Week 4 opponent: Chicago Bears (away)
After a close loss to Green Bay in Week 2, Minnesota came back strong and easily beat the Oakland Raiders last Sunday. The defense looked solid, and the run game flourished yet again; it’s a good formula. Keep it simple, don’t let Cousins control the game.
8. Buffalo Bills (PR: 10)
Record: 3-0 | Week 4 opponent: New England Patriots (home)
Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills! 3-0 going into tomorrow, hosting the 3-0 New England Patriots!? Sunday might be the most important Bills game in Buffalo this century. Bring it on!
9. Houston Texans (PR: 12)
Record: 2-1 | Week 4 opponent: Carolina Panthers (home)
Houston pulled out a win against a good Chargers team on the road, and Deshaun Watson looked spectacular, going 25 for 34, with 351 yards, 3 TDs, and a 135.8 passer rating. He was only sacked 2 times, which is a huge positive. Keep him standing up, and Houston has a chance to compete, plain and simple.
10. San Francisco 49ers (PR: 13)
Record: 3-0 | Week 4 opponent: none (bye week)
Another surprise undefeated team. They beat the winless Pittsburgh Steelers, but we know that is still a talented roster, so I’ll give them some credit. Jimmy G needs to clean up his game, but a win is a win, and the 49ers are winning with him under center. The team will have 15 days between their Week 3 win and their next game (against the Cleveland Browns). Their next win would match last season’s win total.
11. Indianapolis Colts (PR: 15)
Record: 2-1 | Week 4 opponent: Oakland Raiders (home)
Is Jacoby Brissett better than Andrew Luck? Someone has to ask. The Colts handled the inconsistent Atlanta Falcons with ease, and Brissett looked great, bringing the Colts to 2-1 to start the season. This was a talented team last year that added guys in the offseason, and even with Brissett under center, they’re showing they’re still a force to be reckoned with.
12. New Orleans Saints (PR: 16)
Record: 2-1 | Week 4 opponent: Dallas Cowboys (home)
Without Drew Brees under center, the Saints went into a hostile environment, and had a convincing victory. New Orleans handed Seattle their first home loss in September since Pete Carroll became their head coach, an impressive feat considering the circumstances. Teddy Bridgewater did his job, and the Saints defense and special teams were strong. They aren’t dead yet, folks.
13. Detroit Lions (PR: 21)
Record: 2-0-1 | Week 4 opponent: Kansas City Chiefs (home)
Don’t look now, but the Detroit Lions are in first place in the NFC North. You could argue their wins are more of their opponents – two talented teams – playing bad, but a win is a win. I’m not buying completely in yet (if I were they’d be higher in these rankings), and tomorrow will be a big test against the Chiefs. Win that game and you’ll get my attention.
14. Seattle Seahawks (PR: 7)
Record: 2-1 | Week 4 opponent: Arizona Cardinals (away)
Seattle had looked lackluster in their first two games of the season, and their loss against the Saints was certainly a wake up call. They scored two touchdowns in garbage time that made the final score look closer, but New Orleans – without Drew Brees – came in and beat this team with ease. They’ll have to bounce back against the Cardinals tomorrow.
15. Chicago Bears (PR: 14)
Record: 2-1 | Week 4 opponent: Minnesota Vikings (home)
You’re probably wondering how I could move a team down for winning – and in the fashion they did – in Week 3. Well, it was a bounce back win for sure, but the teams behind them last week have had a better body of work, so consider this a re-calibration. The Bears haven’t allowed more than 15 points this season, so there’s still promise hee. If the offense does wake up, they’ll move back up.
16. Philadelphia Eagles (PR: 8)
Record: 2-2 | Week 4 opponent: Green Bay Packers (away); won
Season on the line (maybe), and the Eagles had a huge win in Green Bay on Thursday (which prevented them from falling any further). Carson Wentz had a solid game against what was considered one of the better defense in the NFL, and Jordan Howard had the game of his life. This is still a good team, but they have to be more consistent moving forward.
Our thoughts go out to Avonte Maddox, who suffered a huge hit towards the end of the game and had to be taken to the hospital.
17. Los Angeles Chargers (PR: 11)
Record: 1-2 | Week 4 opponent: Miami Dolphins (away)
Well, Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen have been great for my fantasy team, but the Chargers lost another close game for the second straight week. Clearly a lot of talent here, but maybe the injuries are adding up. Melvin Gordon has decided to join the team (will not play tomorrow), so maybe that will light a fire under this squad moving forward.
18. Cleveland Browns (PR: 17)
Record: 1-2 | Week 4 opponent: Baltimore Ravens (away)
Cleveland played a good Rams team, and had multiple chances to win the game. Questionable play calls were the biggest takeaway, such as a HB draw on 4th & 9, and a horrible string of plays near the goal line to end the game. They are close, but close doesn’t win games in the NFL.
19. Atlanta Falcons (PR: 18)
Record: 1-2 | Week 4 opponent: Tennessee Titans (home)
Look at it this way: if the Falcons win the Super Bowl, Big Cat of Barstool Sports will cut the tip of his pinky off… yeah, I don’t see it happening either. The Falcons are so disappointing, and they tease you into thinking they’re good, only to put up a dud against the Colts. The team will have to play without Keanu Neal, who suffered a season-ending injury on Sunday; this is the second straight season Neal will be on IR after an early season injury.
20. Tennessee Titans (PR: 19)
Record: 1-2 | Week 4 opponent: Atlanta Falcons (away)
The Titans, similar to their opponent tomorrow (the Falcons) have a tendency to give you hope, and then crumble when things are going good. Repeating what I said last week, I think Mariota is a lost cause (at least on this team). There’s talent here, but maybe they should hope the Chargers collapse and Phillip Rivers leaves without any trouble (remember how he almost ended up a Titan in 2015?)
21 Carolina Panthers (PR: 22)
Record: 1-2 | Week 4 opponent: Los Angeles Rams (away)
Hello Kyle Allen. He was a highly recruited QB coming out of high school, but never seemed to prove himself in college, at one point losing a starting job to Kyler Murray. That didn’t stop him this past Sunday, as he threw 4 TDs and helped lead the Panthers to their first win of the season. Does Carolina have something in Allen? We’ll see.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (PR: 20)
Record: 1-2 | Week 4 opponent: Houston Texans (away)
Even as Daniel Jones brought his team back from a 28-10 deficit, Tampa Bay still had a chance to win, and got into the red zone with less than 15 seconds to go… and then their kicker blew the game, missing an easy kick. Just when you start to believe in them, the only thing they kick successfully is you… right back to the curb.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (PR: 24)
Record: 1-2 | Week 4 opponent: Denver Broncos (away)
Well, Jalen Ramsey is still on the team. He won’t be playing on Sunday, and it’s in flux whether he’ll play for the Jags again. The Jags head up to Denver tomorrow, which will be a good test for Gardner Minshew, the greatest QB of all-time.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (PR: 23)
Record: 0-3 | Week 4 opponent: Cincinnati Bengals (home)
The Steelers were very competitive against the 49ers, but could not pull out the victory at the end. I think they have something in Mason Rudolph, and he’ll have all season to continue developing with this team. You can probably kiss their playoff hopes goodbye, and the question that will surround this team all year is whether or not Mike Tomlin will keep his job.
25. Oakland Raiders (PR: 25)
Record: 1-2 | Week 4 opponent: Indianapolis Colts (away)
The Raiders are coming back down to reality yet again, losing by 20 on Sunday to the Vikings. Derek Carr wasn’t awful, but you could tell this team would love to have Antonio Brown (his fault, not theirs). Nevertheless, looks like we’re seeing another weak showing in Oakland (how they won 12 games in 2016 will always amaze me).
26. New York Giants (PR: 31)
Record: 1-2 | Week 4 opponent: Washington (home)
Danny freaking Dimes. I’ll be honest, I was starting to buy into Jones a little bit going into this game, but THAT!? I mean that was a ballsy performance, and it made a lot of people (including me) look stupid. As Fredy said early this week, that’s what makes sports great. Keep it up, Daniel.
27. Denver Broncos (PR: 28)
Record: 0-3 | Week 4 opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars (home)
Other than Pittsburgh, the Broncos have been the best winless team thus far. They just can’t put it together for 60 minutes, but they’ve certainly been close. Joe Flacco has looked bland, and if the team continues to slide, it might not be long before Drew Lock gets the keys to the operation (he’s on IR at the moment, so it wouldn’t be for another month).
28. Arizona Cardinals (PR: 26)
Record: 0-2-1 | Week 4 opponent: Seattle Seahawks (home)
Kyler Murray had a rough time against the Panthers, and the Cardinals lost rather easily. This team still has a long way to go, and this won’t be the first deflating loss of the season, but as long as Murray continues to learn and develop, they can hang their hats on that. I just wish Larry Fitzgerald didn’t have to suffer through this.
29. Cincinnati Bengals (PR: 29)
Record: 0-3 | Week 4 opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers (away)
They gave the Bills a game, but it wasn’t enough to pull out a win. It’s gonna be a long season for the Bengals, so if I were a fan of the team, it might be time to watch college football and look for the guy to replace Andy Dalton next season.
30. Washington (PR: 27)
Record: 0-3 | Week 4 opponent: New York Giants (away)
So much for Case Keenum looking good the first two weeks of the season. Washington was dominated by a Bears team that had been lackluster to start 2019 (especially on offense). Rumors say that Jay Gruden’s future hinges on his performance tomorrow, and well, I’d call Jon now and ask if there’s room for him on the Raiders coaching staff (or at least his house). Similar to Denver with Drew Lock, the clock for Dwayne Haskins getting a shot is ticking.
31. New York Jets (PR: 30)
Record: 0-3 | Week 4 opponent: none (bye week)
The Jets can thank Jared Stidham and Gunner Olszewski for even getting a point on the board. Brady carved their defense, and their offense struggled to pass the 50-yard line all game. What a disaster.
32. Miami Dolphins (PR: 32)
Record: 0-3 | Week 4 opponent: Los Angles Chargers (home)
They almost took the lead in the second quarter… almost. Dolphins fans should watch college football this season and hope someone good can help them next year… and maybe scout for the 2021 Draft too.
Follow Nick on Twitter @Nick_Collins14