• Ben Matthews

NFL Power Rankings: Week 4


32. (= Last wk.) New York Jets (0-4)

31. (=) New York Giants (0-4)

30. (=) Washington Football Team (1-3)

29. (=) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)


28. (-6) Detroit Lions (1-3)

These Lions collapses are more concerning than Atlanta's. After racing into a 14-0 lead over the Saints and picking off Drew Brees, the Detroit defense gave up five consecutive touchdown drives. Patricia's time is running out.


27. (=) Denver Broncos (0-4)

26. (=) Philadelphia Eagles (1-2-1)

25. (=) Cincinnati Bengals (1-2-1)


24. (-7) Houston Texans (0-4)

Bill O’Brien is gone. Finally. Romeo Crennel is in temporary charge of this team and will hope for a new head coach bounce as they look to grab their first win of the season against the Jaguars. If it wasn’t for an overturned Will Fuller touchdown, the Texans could be sat at 1-3 and O’Brien may still be clinging to his job but nevertheless, they looked sluggish again and it is a roster full of underperforming stars and too many scrubs. A reset will be needed after the season.


23. (=) Atlanta Falcons (0-4)

22. (=) Miami Dolphins (1-3)


21. (+7) Carolina Panthers (2-2)

This is a team that is remodelling -- not rebuilding. Teddy Bridgewater looked superb, picking apart the Arizona secondary. He looks not just physically recovered from his mangled knee, suffered a couple of years ago, but mentally recuperated too and is playing with the freedom that a former first round quarterback should do. Carolina managed 168 yards rushing without CMC -- something that bodes well as they look to make waves within the NFC during the last three quarters of the season.


20. (+4) Minnesota Vikings (1-3)

The offense looked good in week 4, with four touchdowns in five red zone visits against the Texans and Justin Jefferson continues to impress as a first round rookie. Overall though, the team is mediocre and will maintain a ranking in the low-teens/early-twenties as Mike Zimmer's defense takes its lumps along the way in what is a development year.


19. (-3) Las Vegas Raiders (2-2)

Derek Carr has been able to move the chains consistently this season, but the Raiders still don’t truly scare anyone. The defense needs to improve as they do not have much of a pass rush and are now banged up in multiple spots. 8-9 wins feels like the max for this team.


18. (-5) Dallas Cowboys (1-3)

Can’t stop the run, can’t stop the pass. That is quite obviously a recipe for disaster on defense, but the offense isn’t helping, despite the numbers that Dak and the gang are putting up. Three turnovers and multiple dropped picks by the Browns could have put this game to bed much earlier. They are still in contention due to a poor division, but Dallas need to get it together – now!


17. (+1) Los Angeles Chargers (1-3)

Justin Herbert has been confirmed the starter in L.A. This ensures that the Chargers will be an exciting team to watch for the rest of the season as there are bound to be some ups and downs with a player who is unafraid to be aggressive downfield. They are not going to be serious contenders in the AFC but could surprise many along the way.


16. (+3) Cleveland Browns (3-1)

Cleveland pulled off an impressive 49-38 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in week 4. There are still areas of improvement and they could have closed out the game much earlier, dropping three potential interceptions, but the Browns are a team who are finally beginning to deliver on some of their perceived potential. Kevin Stefanski has forged an identity on offense with an explosive run game that is just as impressive even with Nick Chubb on IR. They must continue to get Odell Beckham involved early and often so that he does not lose focus, because his three touchdowns in this game prove that he is still one of the premier playmakers in the league when he is switched on.


15. (+4) Chicago Bears (4-1)

Chicago beat the Buccaneers in midweek, proving that they can hang tough with most offenses. Defensively, they will be tough the rest of the way, but Nick Foles is not the answer at QB, and David Montgomery is simply not elusive enough to gear towards as a true workhorse running back. The schedule stays tough and they will lose more than they win the rest of the way.


14. (=) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2)

Tampa Bay lost 19-20 on Thursday Night Football to the Chicago Bears. The offense never got going, but the defense limited the Bears on the ground and made plays aerially. On another evening, this game could have gone the other way and Tom Brady’s lack of weapons truly hindered the Bucs all night. Once Godwin and Fournette are back up to speed and Rob Gronkowski becomes a more consistent threat, Tampa will begin to reap the rewards. Up until that point, they will suffer some inconsistency.


13. (-1) Arizona Cardinals (2-2)

Mistake-laden on both sides of the ball, the Cardinals continue to be a work in progress. The D needs serious work, despite the absences of some key secondary pieces. They also need to find a true position for 8th overall pick, Isaiah Simmons – more impact is expected of a rookie drafted so highly.


12. (-1) Tennessee Titans (3-0)

The Titans did not play in week 4, and their week 5 matchup against the undefeated Bills is also up in the air due to a COVID-19 outbreak that has affected over 20 of their players and staff. The fact that they were pictured staging an unauthorized practice in midweek is appalling and they deserve whatever punishment is coming their way for breaching and disregarding protocol in such an overt manner. The Titans are overrated anyway and will take their first loss of the season in week 5. Enforced or otherwise.


11. (+4) Indianapolis Colts (3-1)

The Colts’ defense is quite possibly the best in the league. It has only given up 14 points per game and limited Chicago to 28 yards on 16 carries. If the Rivers and the offense can find its way to some more explosive plays, then this team will stand a chance to go deep into the post season.


An unchanged Top-10


10. (=) San Francisco 49ers (2-2)

George Kittle expectedly tore the Eagles’ linebackers and secondary to shreds in week 4, going for over 180 yards and a teeder, but the quarterback play and famed running game from Kyle Shanahan’s offense were nonexistent. The Niners cannot continue to use injuries as an excuse as the Eagles were arguably more ravaged by missing players. This was a concerning loss for San Fran against an average team and they drop in the rankings as a result.


9. (=) New Orleans Saints (2-2)

We were not ready to give up on Drew Brees and the Saints in week 3 and nothing has changed in that regard after week 4. Sean Payton will continue to funnel the offense through Alvin Kamara, but Brees looked closer to his old self after throwing an early pick. He completed 9/12 passes downfield after that blot on his copy book for 174 yards and a touchdown. As mentioned, the ground game will continue to be the focal point but that is just sensible, complimentary football. The Saints are trending upwards.


8. (=) New England Patriots (2-2)

The defense remains this team’s calling card even when Cam Newton returns to the field of play. The Pats will continue to be a nightmare for all opposing quarterbacks and limited Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs for three quarters on Monday night, but will be without DPOY Stephon Gilmore in week 5. Luckily, they face the struggling Broncos and should be able to put enough points on the board to get over the line no matter who is calling the shots under center.


7. (=) Los Angeles Rams (3-1)

The Rams were poor on offense as they scraped a 17-9 win over the Giants in week 4. They just could not get anything going and would have comfortably lost against a more competent outfit than New York. Jared Goff continues to be inconsistent and uninspiring and despite Sean McVay’s best efforts, this team will not get back to the Big Dance with the ex-Golden Bear under center alongside a running game led by Malcolm Brown.


6. (=) Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0)

The Steelers did not play this week and retain their 6th placed rating in the GX Power Rankings. Offensively they are still finding their feet but have been effective when needed and defensively they are capable of matching up with anybody week-to-week. A week 5 matchup with the battered and bruised Eagles could see them truly break out.


5. (=) Buffalo Bills (4-0)

A solid road win over the Raiders for the Bills confirms their status as a genuine contender. Josh Allen and the offense have been the talk of the town across the first three weeks, but it was the defense that limited Josh Jacobs to 48 yards on the ground and stifled Las Vegas in the second half to ensure victory away from home. There was a scare at one point as Allen had to leave the field for a while due to a stinger, but the quarterback returned to complete the game and will not miss any time.


4. (=) Green Bay Packers (4-0)

Aaron Rodgers continues to do more with less. Robert Tonyan is the latest in a long line of no-name pass catchers of whom the Titletown QB has elevated to fantasy football red herring. It is an extremely efficient offense and Rodgers is protecting the football with ease, producing zero interceptions through four weeks.


3. (=) Seattle Seahawks (4-0)

The defense was missing some key pieces in Quinton Dunbar, Jamal Adams, Marquise Blair and first round pick Jordyn Brooks, but managed to continue to make plays and limit any explosive plays from Miami. Pete Carroll has always preached a bend but don’t break defense and this week the Seahawks managed just that after breaking more often than not in weeks 1-3.


2. (=) Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

They are still not humming yet on offense but managed to get Marquise Brown into the game more in week 4 whilst Mark Andrews ensured that his poor game in week 3 was merely a blip. Baltimore remain the biggest threat to KC in the AFC.


1. (=) Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)

Another win, another way to win. It was a struggle at times, but the Chiefs ended up brushing the Patriots to one side with four takeaways to become the first team in history to start four consecutive seasons 4-0.


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