NFL Week 4 Power Rankings
Despite having very few intriguing matchups on paper, this week actually proved to be pretty fun. We saw an old legend battle an up-and-comer, two young quarterbacks trying to keep their struggling team afloat dueled, and somehow the Dolphins nearly beat the Seahawks.
There were some big wins, some narrow wins, some upsets and a lot of offense. I don’t want to talk too much about it yet, so I’m just gonna jump right into this week.
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32. New York Jets (Last Week: 31) -1
I finally caved and moved the Jets down to 32 after last Thursday’s terrible loss. The Jets lost by multiple scores to an injury riddled team starting their third string undrafted rookie quarterback who had never started a game before. Oh, and did I mention they had a pick 6 and two other interceptions? After Sam Darnold’s Lamar-Jackson-like run for the first score of the game, the Jets looked dead in the water. Fire Adam Gase.
31. New York Giants (LW: 32) +1
The Giants looked bad, but not worse than the Jets. They have no hope for this team at all, sitting at 0-4 in the worst division in the league. I do think that maybe they’ll have a chance at moving up a bit in upcoming weeks, since they are yet to play a divisional opponent, but there’s nothing good about this team right now. What I want to know is, if they finish in last, will they go for Trevor Lawrence? Daniel Jones might not be the guy they thought he’d be, but they did just spend a high pick on him. Are they ready to admit they were wrong?
30. Atlanta Falcons (LW: 29) -1
I don’t know why I even bothered to bet on the Falcons this week. I’ve been pretty successful with my upset picks this year, but I was definitely 100% wrong on this one. That being said, I’m not sure why the Falcons are so bad. Obviously, Dan Quinn is a major problem, but this team has so much offensive talent and they can’t win games. They should have won against Dallas and Chicago, but they’ve been blown out in the other two games. Figure this out, guys.
29. Detroit Lions (LW: 27) -2
The Lions lost, but they looked good at points of the game. They took an early 14-0 after a tipped pick from Drew Brees, but blew it over the next few minutes and fell to a 35-14 deficit. But they did come back, even getting a 2-point conversion with a few minutes left to make a touchdown win it. They ended up losing 35-29, but as a Saints fan, I was surprised with the fight they put up. They have a few holes they need to fix, but they could be a great team soon if they can work out those wrinkles.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 28) =
Jacksonville lost another really close game, but in the end, Joe Burrow outplayed Gardner Minshew. Although DJ Chark had his best game of the season, it wasn’t enough to win, especially with their defense getting eaten up by Joe Mixon. But I wouldn’t be too worried if I were Jacksonville right now. Their next four games are against opponents that have two total wins between them. If they can win at least three of those games, I think they can show that they’re not ready to be counted out.
27. Denver Broncos (LW: 30) +3
The Broncos won against the worst team in the league, but at least they won. Melvin Gordon looked great and Jerry Jeudy reminded us why he was taken in the first round. This team has a lot of holes, mostly due to injuries, but once Drew Lock comes back to provide some QB consistency, they’ll be able to get back on track. This season is basically lost for Denver, but they’re in a great spot to build for the future.
26. Washington Football Team (LW: 24) -2
Earlier this week, the Washington Football Team made two huge mistakes. First, they benched Dwayne Haskins, who is not the problem for this team right now. But secondly, they announced that Kyle Allen, not Alex Smith, would be taking over. I know they’re 1-3 but they were atop the NFC East for two weeks and are just barely behind the Eagles. If they have Kyle Allen, they aren’t going to be winning games. Alex Smith, though? Maybe.
25. Carolina Panthers (LW: 26) +1
By some miracle, the Panthers are 2-0 without Christian McCaffrey this season. That doesn’t mean they don’t need him, of course, but it has forced the offense to try to make plays that don’t include him. That’s going to be huge for this team going forward, because once they get CMC back, he’s just another weapon they can use on the offense. Teddy Bridgewater needs to reel in his accuracy, but the Panthers could be in playoff contention.
24. Miami Dolphins (LW: 23) -1
The Dolphins lost, but they stayed in this game against the Seahawks, which is a win in the big picture. They held Russell Wilson down pretty well in the first half, and though he improved as the game went on, it was still a good job by them. The Dolphins have shown some serious talent that a lot of people didn’t expect this season. And while they’re unlikely to make any significant impact this season, like the Broncos, they’re ready for the future.
23. Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 25) +2
Philly finally won, which is something that I’m genuinely surprised it took me this long to write. It’s not quite time for them to put in Jalen Hurts, but it could be time soon with the way that Carson Wentz is playing. I know they have a lot of injuries, but at some point, you have to stop making excuses for not being able to play well. They flat out did not deserve to win this game, but sometimes you win accidentally.
22. Houston Texans (LW: 15) -7
Last week, I said that Houston was the best 0-4 team, and I was clearly wrong. They might not be the worst team in the league right now, but they’ve been looking awful the first four weeks, even against the mediocre Vikings. I hope, for their sake, that firing Bill O’Brien was the right move and can help them move forward, but it’s been pretty clear that what they’re really missing is a star receiver. I know we’ve been making jokes about it, but I’m being serious. If not for that trade, they could probably be 3-1 right now.
21. Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 22) +1
I don’t care what the score says, the Chargers won this game. Justin Herbert looked amazing once again and they jumped out to a nice lead against a team that was heavily favored. Unfortunately, the good luck couldn’t last, and they did end up losing, but it showed a lot of promise. If I were on Los Angeles, I would be proud of the way the game went. We already knew this team wasn’t going to be beating the Chiefs in the division, so any sort of hope is good for the AFC West teams.
20. Chicago Bears (LW: 14) -6
The Bears came crashing down to Earth after a 3-0 start and lost to a team that couldn’t put together a good offensive drive for most of the day. What do I think the problem was? Well, most disagree with me, but I think it was starting Nick Foles. He’s a great quarterback, but mostly just in relief. How many times do teams need to see it to remember why he’s been cut, benched, and traded so many times? The rest of the team also looked weak, and I don’t think this team deserved to be 3-0, but this was really the worst case scenario for Chicago.
19. Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 20) +1
Joe Burrow finally got his first career win, but Joe Mixon stole the day. If I’m being honest, I didn’t even remember Mixon was on the team after a lackluster performance in the first three weeks. But then he came out and put up 150 total yards and three total touchdowns, carrying the Bengals to the win. The team is still very inconsistent, but if AJ Green and Tyler Boyd can start becoming true playmakers, this team has a future.
18. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 19) +1
The Vikings won their first game of the season, but it doesn’t really mean much. They beat a team that was too busy shooting themselves in the foot all game to realize they were playing. The upside for Minnesota, though, is that rookie receiver Justin Jefferson looked outstanding for the second straight week, shooting him way up to the top of the stacked rookie receiver leaderboard. He’s gonna be a superstar in a few seasons, and the Jefferson-Theilen combo will be deadly once the Vikings get a quarterback.
17. Dallas Cowboys (LW: 17) =
I’m very conflicted about the Cowboys. On one hand, they’re 1-3 and didn’t deserve the only win they’ve gotten this season. But on the other hand, they have had some incredible offensive production. The team that was touted all offseason as being the best defense has let up 38+ points in three straight weeks and has an average of 36.5 points per game scored against them. That can’t fly. But hey, CeeDee Lamb looks pretty great.
16. Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 13) -3
The Raiders might have gotten a bit ahead of themselves after beating the Saints, but they’re not a bad team. I find it hard to make an argument for the Raiders being able to make the playoffs right now, since they’re in the same division as Patrick Mahomes, so I won’t talk about that right now. They have a good core, but Jon Gruden is far from done if he was trying to rebuild this team.
15. Cleveland Browns (LW: 21) +6
Did the Browns really just beat a team with offensive talent? Whack. I’m not ready to call them legit yet, but last week’s game showed that they’re not the Browns of the Hue Jackson era anymore. They’re sitting at 3-1 and tied for second place with the Ravens, and with the offense looking consistently good for three straight weeks, something they’ve struggled with in the past few years, they could very well be in the mix at the end of the season.
14. Indianapolis Colts (LW: 16) +2)
Indianapolis is lucky that they have a great defense, because the offense has been leaving a lot to be desired. T.Y. Hilton hasn’t been the same since Andrew Luck left, and while the offensive line has done a great job of protecting Philip Rivers, that’s really the only bright spot. Fortunately, they’re winning games, but that might not hold up against some high flying offenses they have to play in the coming weeks.
13. Arizona Cardinals (LW: 11) -2
After two great wins, the Cardinals have looked flat offensively in their next two. Other teams have figured out the game plan (throw to DeAndre Hopkins) and without that connection working to perfection, this team is struggling. It doesn’t help that Kenyan Drake has had a few down weeks, but if they can start to get the ball to Kirk and Fitzgerald more, teams are gonna have to lighten up on Hopkins.
12. Los Angeles Rams (LW: 18) +6
Coming off of a tough week 3 loss, the Rams managed to bounce back against the Giants. Well, not really. To be honest, they were lucky the Giants are so bad because they didn’t look too hot, especially compared to last week’s performance. But I launched them up because they’re sitting at 3-1, second place in a division that I personally had them losing. And they’ve shown they can win without their star players doing anything notable, which is a good sign.
11. New England Patriots (LW: 12) +1
We’ve seen four very different Patriots teams in the first four weeks and that should scare the rest of the league. I know, the Patriots lost, but the fact is that the score doesn’t fully represent how well New England played on defense. They made Pat Mahomes look human, which not a lot of teams can do. Yeah, Hoyer and Stidham looked like a flaming dumpster, but that’s a minor thing. Once Newton comes back from the Coronavirus, the Patriots could challenge the Bills for the division title.
10. San Francisco 49ers (LW: 8) -2
The 49ers lost, which is concerning. But it was mostly because of Nick Mullens, who looked like he bet on the Eagles to win the NFC East. The defense struggled, but that can be credited to a metric ton of injuries. And offensively, a lot of the injured players are coming back. With Jimmy G almost ready to return, the offense is ready to get back up and running. Although their defense carried them most of last season, they’re going to have to flip the script for the rest of 2020.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 10) +1
Tom Brady looked old, bad, and washed up in the first half. But then he had to go and ruin my fun by looking as good as ever in the second. While I did say the Chargers won morally, the Buccaneers looked solid in the second half after going down 24-7. The defense really stepped up, but they still have problems covering the deep ball. That could be dangerous if they have to play more teams with strong arm quarterbacks later this season (foreshadowing…).
8. Tennessee Titans (LW: 6) -2
The Titans moved down two spots not because they lost. They didn’t even play. But it’s because I didn’t want to drop the Steelers for the Titans being bad at quarantining. They blatantly broke rules that the league set in place and now have more Covid cases, making their week 5 matchup with the Bills (which would have been amazing) most likely postponed. I’m on team forfeit, but we’ll see what the league mandates.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 7) =
I don’t think anyone expected the Steelers to be alone in first place in the AFC North after the first quarter of the season, yet here we are. They’ve looked pretty strong and I was hoping to be able to see this matchup between them and the Titans. But alas, someone had to go and get a virus in the middle of a pandemic. Who could’ve guessed this would happen? But when they come back, expect a lot more of the same for Pittsburgh.
6. New Orleans Saints (LW: 9) +3
The Saints finally got back on track against the Lions in a few ways. Firstly, their offense looked like it was actually able to move, and Drew Brees was finally confident enough to throw something other than a checkdown or a slant. Defensively, the team turned it way down on penalties. There were still a few, but that was a big problem for New Orleans in the first three games. They’re ready to go. Really this time.
5. Buffalo Bills (LW: 5) =
Josh Allen once again had a great game, but it was the defense that really stepped up in this week’s win against the Raiders. That’s big, because it’s struggled mightily in the few games before that. Hopefully it can be fully solid by the time they play the Patriots, the only team that can keep them from winning the division. New York’s team is having their best seasons in a very long time.
4. Green Bay Packers (LW: 4) =
The Packers beat the Falcons, but that’s not much to celebrate with the way Atlanta’s season has started. They’re 4-0, but they’ve looked vulnerable at times in the past two weeks. I don’t think this team is as unstoppable as a lot of people seem to think, but they are a much better team than they were last year. I could see them making a solid run in the postseason, but I can’t imagine them winning it all.
3. Baltimore Ravens (LW: 3) =
After a poor offensive performance against the Chiefs in week 3, the Ravens bounced back to trounce the Washington Football Team. The offense isn’t fully back yet, but they’re getting close to the point they were at last season. But without the exceptional offense, is the defense good enough to keep them afloat? They’re in second place in their division with a Steelers matchup coming soon, and that could be the game that determines their finish this season.
2. Seattle Seahawks (LW: 2) =
Seattle’s offense had some problems at the beginning of this game, which is even more concerning when you remember they were playing Miami. But despite a lot of injuries, the defense held mostly strong to carry the Seahawks to the win. I’m not too afraid of the Seahawks offense not coming back, but that’s the reason that I didn’t move them up to #1 this week. Maybe soon, though.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 1) =
And of course, the Chiefs take the top spot once again. Yes, Pat Mahomes didn’t look his best, but they played just well enough to stop the Patriots. They lucked out not having to play Cam Newton, which would have made this game a lot more fun, but you gotta roll with the punches. The big storyline from this game came after the clock ran out, as Stephon Gilmore (who just tested positive for Covid) was getting pretty close to Mahomes. Hopefully, he doesn’t catch it.