NFL Power Rankings: Two teams remain undefeated through Wk. 4
Wk. 4 NFL rankings
There are only two teams that remain undefeated through four full weeks of NFL action: The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams. Who else rose or dropped in this week’s NFL Power Rankings by Aaron Fentress.
1. Los Angeles Rams (4-0) - Last week: 1.
Fentress says: The Rams faced their first real test of the season and shredded Minnesota’s defense with quarterback Jared Goff delivering one of the greatest statistical performances in NFL history. This is easily the best all around team in the league with few holes to speak of. Up next is a three-game road stretch against Seattle, Denver and San Francisco.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) - Last week: 2.
Fentress says QB Pat Mahomes II finally faced a challenge at Denver on Monday night and delivered a come-from-behind victory. But the bigger news is that running back Kareem Hunt finally broke out of his funk with a 100-yard game, his first of the season. Things get much tougher for KC with No. 3 Jacksonville, at No. 8 New England and No. 5 Cincinnati up next.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-1). - Last week: 3.
Fentress says: QB Blake Bortles has passed for 176 yards, 376, 155 and 388 Sunday against the New York Jets. That has to change. The defense will be tested big time at No. 2 Kansas City this week. What this team really needs is for RB Leonard Fournette to get completely healthy and back to normal.
4. Carolina Panthers (2-1). - Last week: 4.
Fentress says: Carolina used its off week to help get new safety Eric Reid acclimated to the defense. The former Pro Bowl safety who has been out of job in part because of his kneeling protests last season, will add some savvy and veteran leadership to Carolina’s secondary.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1). - Last week: 7.
Fentress says: The team’s only loss came at Carolina and the team has wins against Atlanta and Baltimore. The emergence of wide receiver Tyler Boyd has aided A.J. Green and helped QB Andy Dalton get off to the best start of his career. But the defense could hold this team back. The Bengals rank 29th in total yards allowed and 23rd in total points.
6. New Orleans Saints (3-1). - Last week: 8.
Fentress says: New Orleans has won three in a row since that shocking opening game loss to Tampa Bay. Now, the team will welcome back running back Mark Ingram, who served a four-game suspension for PED use. Ingram and Alvin Kamara formed the league’s best RB tandem last season.
7. Baltimore Ravens (3-1). - Last week: 14.
Fentress says: Joe Flacco is getting things done on offense but the running game must improve. Baltimore ranks 23rd in rushing yards per game, and that can’t continue for this team to contend. Defensively, Baltimore has been nails, ranking fourth in total defense and allowing just 16.3 points per game. Up nest are games at Cleveland and No. 11 Tennessee.
8. New England Patriots (2-2). - Last week: 10.
Fentress says: Poor Miami. Detroit went and upset coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady causing them to take out their frustrations on the Dolphins, 38-6 on Sunday. Now the team welcomes back WR Julian Edelman so expect these Patriots to become even stronger in the coming weeks.
9. Green Bay Packers (2-1-1). - Last week: 11.
Fentress says: The Packers have looked strong and should be 3-1 if not for that bogus roughing the passer penalty on Clay Matthews against Minnesota. Still, the offense has been wildly inconsistent, frustrating QB Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay has very winnable games up next at Detroit and against San Francisco before going on a bye week and then heading to the No. 1 Rams.
10. Chicago Bears (3-1). - Last week: 16.
Fentress says: QB Mitchell Trubisky threw six touchdown passes on Sunday against Tampa Bay. That’s the equivalent of tossing about three against a real NFL defense. Still, it was the best game of his young career. Chicago is one fourth quarter meltdown against Aaron Rodgers away from being undefeated. A bye week will help Chicago get ready for a tough matchup at No. 13 Miami.
11. Tennessee Titans (3-1). - Last week 17.
Fentress says: QB Marcus Mariota had arguably his best game of his career on Sunday, leading the team to a win over the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles. The best sign for the former Oregon star is that wide receiver Corey Davis finally looked like the first round pick that the Titans made him in 2017. He had his first 100-yard receiving day (161) and caught the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (2-2). - Last week: 6.
Fentress says: The Eagles lost three games all of last season and have already lost two so far this year. The defending champs don’t quite look the same despite the return of QB Carson Wentz. Looming this month are underachieving No. 20 Minnesota, No. 4 Carolina and No. 3 Jacksonville.
13. Miami Dolphins (3-1). - Last week: 9
Fentress says: Miami got brought back to earth by New England but this still looks like a playoff team.
14. Los Angeles Chargers (2-2) - Last week: 18.
Fentress says: RB Melvin Gordon is 475 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns.
15. Denver Broncos (2-2). - Last week: 20.
Fentress says: RB Royce Freeman has a rushing TD in three of four games.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2). - Last week: 5.
Fentress says: The FitzMagic has ended. After three amazing games, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched in favor of Jameis Winston.
17. Washington (2-1). - Last week: 19.
Fentress says: Comes off by off week to face New Orleans and Carolina.
18. Seattle Seahawks (2-2). - Last week: 21.
Fentress says: There might not be enough star power here to keep this team in the hunt for very long
19. Dallas Cowboys (2-2). - Last week: 22.
Fentress says: QB Dak Prescott finally decided to show up this season with two TD passes against Detroit.
20. Minnesota Vikings (1-2-1). - Last week: 12.
Fentress says: Consecutive losses leads to a return to site of last year’s NFC title game in Philadelphia.
21. Atlanta Falcons (1-3). - Last week: 15.
Fentress says: Tough losses to Cincinnati, Philadelphia and New Orleans.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2-1). - Last week: 13.
Fentress says: Coach Mike Tomlin must fix his defense. Atlanta and QB Matt Ryan are up next.
23. Cleveland Browns (1-2-1). - Last week: 24.
Fentress says: Rookie RB Nick Chubb had first 100-yard game in loss to Oakland.
24. Detroit Lions (1-3). - Last week: 25.
Fentress says: The Desperate Lions must win over the Packers or the season is effectively over.
25. Houston Texans (1-3). - Last week: 30.
Fentress says: Team’s win at Indianapolis in overtime doesn’t instill much confidence.
26. Oakland Raiders (1-3). - Last week: 31.
Fentress says: QB Derek Carr’s game (437 yards on Sunday) is starting to come to life in Jon Gruden’s offense.
27. Indianapolis Colts (1-3). - Last week: 23.
Fentress says: QB Andrew Luck finally has a great game and the team still loses to Houston.
28. San Francisco 49ers (1-3). - Last week: 27.
Fentress says: The 49ers actually looked solid in loss at the Chargers without QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
29. Buffalo Bills (1-3). - Last week: 26.
Fentress says: How did this team, shutout at Green Bay, win the previous week at Minnesota?
30. New York Giants (1-3). - Last week: 28.
Fentress says: It might simply be time for New York to begin playing for the chance to select Oregon QB Justin Herbrert.
31. New York Jets (1-3). - Last week: 29.
Fentress says: Losing at Jacksonville is excusable, but that’s three straight losses for the Jets.
32. Arizona Cardinals (0-4). - Last week: 32.
Fentress says: Rookie QB Josh Rosen made some nice throws in loss to Seattle. He might actually be the real deal.