Week 4 NFL Power Rankings - Did your team move up?
After three weeks of action, just three undefeated teams remain and all three have played relatively soft schedules and two of those teams have displayed serious flaws that indicate losses are just around the corner.
Maybe more interesting is that four teams ranked last week in the top six respectively lost to teams ranked No. 32, 30, 27 and 21.
That’s NFL parity at its finest.
However, such nonsense makes it very difficult to juggle ones power rankings.
Detroit upset New England to place both teams at 1-2 on the year. But does anyone really believe that the previously No. 4-ranked Patriots should drop down far enough to end up behind previously No. 30-ranked Detroit?
Then again, what does “deserve” have to do with anything?
Now on to this week’s rankings...
1. Los Angeles Rams (3-0), Last week: 1.
The Rams have taken care of business by dominating their first three opponents by a combined score of 102-36. However, two wins came against No. 32 Arizona (0-3) and No. 31 Oakland (0-3) (as ranked in these power rankings). Sunday’s 35-23 win over the 1-2 Los Angeles Chargers carries weight. But by far the Rams biggest test to date will come Thursday against Minnesota.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0), Last week: 3.
Is it too early to induct quarterback Pat Mahomes II into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? He threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns during a 38-27 win over San Francisco and now has 13 touchdown passes in three games with zero interceptions. Unreal. Also unreal is that this team is 3-0 with the last ranked defense in the NFL.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1), Last week: 2.
The inconsistency of this team’s offense will drive fans mad. How did the Jaguars light up New England last week then fall 9-6 at home to Tennessee? Maybe the Titans’ defense is that good. Or, maybe the Jaguars’ offense is destined to hold this team back.
4. Carolina Panthers (2-1), Last week: 11.
Running back Christian McCaffrey rushed for a career-high 184 yards on 28 carries in a win over the Bengals in a game that my redefine his role with this team. Maybe McCaffrey isn’t simply a speed back best used as a pass catcher. But can his body withstand many 28-carry days?
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1), Last week: 8.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for three interceptions in the team’s loss to Pittsburgh but it’s being reported that the Buccaneers will not turn to Jameis Winston, who will be coming off of a three-game suspension. Winston is more talented but has never been as productive as Fitzpatrick has been the first three games of the season (11 TD passes).
6. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1), Last week: 9.
Carson Wentz returned from an ACL injury and helped the Eagles hold to a close win over Indianapolis, 20-16. Wentz demonstrated the savvy mobility that made him so difficult to defend last season. With the Eagles’ defense soaring, Philadelphia a threat to repeat.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1), Last week: 7.
A loss at Carolina doesn’t diminish the strong start by the Bengals and the fact that they look like the best team in the AFC North. However, the Bengals face one of the toughest schedules around with games coming up against Atlanta, Miami, Pittsburgh and Kansas City. We will know who the Bengals really after the next four weeks.
8. New Orleans Saints (2-1), Last week: 12.
Drew Brees rushed for two TDs to help lead a comeback at Atlanta in one of the better games of the season so far. What’s alarming is the lack of defense. The Saints rank 29th against the pass and are allowing a whopping 10.2 yards per pass attempt.
9. Miami Dolphins (3-0), Last week: 18.
QB Ryan Tannehill might have finally turned the corner. His 121.8 passer rating is 28.3 ahead of his career best for an entire season. Miami has a chance to prove it should be taken seriously by making a strong showing this week at New England.
10. New England Patriots (1-2), Last week: 4.
Something isn’t quite right with the Patriots. But we can’t forget 2014 when New England lost 33-20 to Miami in week 1 and 41-14 at Kansas City, and many wrote them off. That team responded by winning the Super Bowl. It’s clear, however, that the Patriots need wide receiver Julian Edelman back in a bad way.
11. Green Bay Packers (1-1-1), Last week: 6.
Linebacker Clay Matthews has been called with enough touchy roughing the passer flags that he might consider simply jumping up and down and waiving his arms in front of the quarterback rather actually tackle him. One of the calls cost the team a win against Minnesota. The other hurt the Packers at Washington.
12. Minnesota Vikings (1-1-1), Last week: 5.
Nothing defines the phrase, “on any given Sunday” more than the Vikings losing 27-6 at home to Buffalo, a 17-point underdog. That’s a 38-point swing from point spread to outcome. One must surmise that Minnesota got caught looking ahead to Thursday’s game at the Rams.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1-1), Last week: 13. Win at Tampa Bay reaffirmed this team’s potential but that defense is horrible.
14. Baltimore Ravens (2-1), Last week: 14. QB Joe Flacco is off to his best start in years.
15. Atlanta Falcons (1-2), Last week: 10. Rookie WR Calvin Ridley has four TDs while Julio Jones has zero
16. Chicago Bears (2-1), Last week: 16. The Bears are in first place in the NFC North but third among division teams in these rankings.
17. Tennessee Titans (2-1), Last week: 21. QB Marcus Mariota came off the bench to ride the defense to a win at Jacksonville.
18. Los Angeles Chargers (1-2), Last week: 15. The Chargers’ two losses have come against the Rams and Kansas City. No shame there.
19. Washington (2-1), Last week: 27. RB Adrian Peterson rushed fro 120 against the Packers.
20. Denver Broncos (2-1), Last week: 17. Can Denver’s defense put a stop the Mahomes’ madness.
21. Seattle Seahawks (1-2), Last week: 24. Safety Earl Thomas should simply never have to practice.
22. Dallas Cowboys (1-2), Last week: 19. Dallas must trade for an impact receiver or call it a season. The offense is horrible.
23. Indianapolis Colts (1-2), Last week: 22. QB Andrew Luck’s arm strength remains a work in progress.
24. Cleveland Browns (1-1-1), Last week: 29. Browns fans needed that 21-17 win over the Jets.
25. Detroit Lions (1-2), Last week: 30. Nothing says parity like the Lions defeating the Patriots
26. Buffalo Bills (1-2), Last week: 32. No way Buffalo pulls off a similar upset at Green Bay.
27. San Francisco 49ers (1-2), Last week: 20. Jimmy Garoppolo’s decision to not run out of bounds in loss to Kansas City proved costly.
28. New York Giants (1-2), Last week: 25. Slow start could get worse with the Saints, Panthers, Eagles and Falcons up next.
29. New York Jets (1-2), Last week: 26. It’s official. The Week 1 win at Detroit was a fluke.
30. Houston Texans (0-3), Last week: 23. The Texans’ once dominant defense is now the team’s weak link.
31. Oakland Raiders (0-3), Last week: 28. The Raiders won’t win until they start getting the ball to WR Amari Cooper.
32. Arizona Cardinals (0-3), Last week: 31. Rookie QB Josh Rosen will get his chance to begin making the teams regret passing on him in the draft against the Seahawks.