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NFL Power Rankings Week 4

  1. Kansas City Chiefs 3-0 +1

The Chiefs came out and showed once again why they’re the top dog in the AFC. After last night’s dominant performance, QB Patrick Mahomes moved to 10-0 with a 32 TDs and 0 INTs in his career in September. Mahomes and the Chiefs are now 3-0 versus the Ravens since Lamar Jackson has assumed the starting job. The offense looked like the league’s best but what was the bigger surprise was how effective defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s gameplan was. He dialed up a multitude of blitzes with no safety help over the top daring the Ravens to throw over the top. Jackson wound up with 97 passing yards. The Chiefs are unsurprisingly starting to separate in the AFC West as they are already two games ahead of the Raiders and Chargers while the Broncos haven’t yet tallied up their first win. 

Next: vs. NE

  1. Baltimore Ravens 2-1 -1

Lamar Jackson now moves to 0-3 versus the Chiefs as the starter of the Ravens. The Ravens have proven if they fall behind and have to go off script, they really struggle. Lamar Jackson is 20-0 in his career when he has a lead at half, but is 0-6 with a halftime deficit. In a passing league, this is a really troubling stat. The Ravens receivers came into this game as one of the more sure-handed teams in all of football but tallied up five drops in their loss on Monday night. Expect the Ravens to correct these mistakes and run the ball all over the field against a Chase Young-less Football Team. However, if you’re the Ravens, do you need to consider bringing in some more help for Lamar on the perimeter? The Chiefs dared the Ravens receivers to beat Cover 0 man coverage and could not deliver with their personnel.

Next: @ WAS

  1. Seattle Seahawks 3-0 —

The Seahawks outlasted the Cowboys in another high-scoring affair that came down to the final drive. QB Russell Wilson continued to build on his historic clip as he threw for 315 yards and 5 TDs. Wilson set an NFL record with the most TD passes through three weeks with 14. The Seahawks are embracing an air-raid scheme that relies heavily on Russ and this dynamic receiving corps and it’s paid huge dividends. However, their defense has been very suspect this first three weeks. While QB Russell Wilson is breaking records on one side, so is their secondary, but in a not-so-positive light. They have given up an NFL record 1,292 passing yards through three weeks, good for 430 yards/game. The Cowboys may have the best receiving corps in the league, but this will need to be cleaned up sooner rather than later. The Seahawks can’t just expect their offense to continuously outscore teams in these high-scoring affairs; this formula is not sustainable for an entire season. Their defense needs to regroup and find that edge Pete Carroll defenses usually have at Miami in week four.

Next: @ MIA

  1. Green Bay Packers 3-0

Without superstar WR Davante Adams, QB Aaron Rodgers was sharp once again with 283 yards and 3 TDs. WR Allen Lazard continued to shine with 146 yards and a touchdown. Ever since head coach Matt Lafleur’s arrival, this offense has taken off as one of the top units in football. Aaron Jones continued his tear with 85 total yards. The OL is one of the best in all of football and Rodgers can keep them in any game. The defense has held up respectively in their first three weeks but the interior of the defense severely missed DT Kenny Clark. The Pack will look to keep it rolling versus Atlanta on Monday night next week.

Next: vs. ATL

  1. Buffalo Bills 3-0  

In a game of undefeated teams, the Bills looked absolutely dominant in the first half. QB Josh Allen continued to build off the first two weeks in his third year breakout. After mounting a 28-3 lead in the beginning of the second half, they slowly began to collapse. A 50/50 interception and a timely fumble along with the defense running on fumes, the Bills gave up 29 unanswered as their lead evaporated altogether. Allen’s ability to extend the play and keep his eyes down the field was as high level as it gets. On his game-winning drive, he executed a ridiculous 3rd and 22 while putting his team in a prime position to win. Nevertheless, a seemingly phantom DPI bailed out Buffalo as they escaped past the Rams. Dating back to last season, QB Josh Allen has now thrown 33 TDs to 3 INTs in his last 11 games. This team’s identity has seemingly taken a 180 overnight; once a stout, defensively minded team has become a team reliant on a high scoring offense. Their defense will need to tighten up and play much better if they want to be considered an elite team in the AFC.

Next: @ LV

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers 3-0  

The Steelers took care of business wearing down the Houston Texans 28-21 and moving to 3-0 on the season. In a weird turn of events, the combined record of their opponents they’ve faced are now 0-9. Regardless, the defense has looked like the league’s best as they got another five sacks against Houston in week three. EDGEs Bud Dupree and TJ Watt continue to show that they are the league’s best tandem. The ground attack proved lethal as they totaled 169 yards using all three RBs James Conner, Benny Snell, and rookie fourth rounder Anthony McFarland. Their dominance led to 36 minutes in time of possession. Pittsburgh will have it’s toughest test of the year week four at Tennessee.

Next: @ TENN

  1. New England Patriots 2-1 +1  

The Patriots struggled offensively in the first half but slowly wore down the Vegas Raiders. RBs Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel absolutely exploded for 238 total yards combined along with an average of over 11 yards per carry. This was the most explosive Michel had looked since their Super Bowl 53 playoff run that ended in a victory over the Rams. QB Cam Newton had struggled in the beginning with a turnover as they held a small lead at halftime 13-10. But then the ground game erupted where the Pats had outscored Vegas 26-3 to start the second half. They completely shut down star TE Darren Waller (2-9-0 statline) and neutralized Vegas’s ground game. Despite all the turnover in personnel, this defense is still very solid. They will surely have their hands full at Kansas City next week.

Next: @ KC

  1. Tennessee Titans 3-0 +1

For the third week in a row, it wasn’t pretty but the Titans snuck out with a win. Since Derrick Henry’s arrival in 2016, they now move to 15-0 when he runs for 100+ yards. Henry finished with 130 yards and two touchdowns on the day as the Titans moved the ball at will against Minny. They struggled immensely to finish off drives. They scored just two touchdowns in six redzone trips including an interception. K Stephen Gostkowski who was thought to be a liability after week one made a career high six field goals including three that were 50+. The defense which has usually been a strength for this team has looked vulnerable for two weeks in a row. They’ll look to run that around in a ground and pound game versus Pittsburgh next week.

Next: vs. PITT

  1. Los Angeles Rams 2-1 +2

The Rams almost pulled out what would’ve been the best comeback of 2020 so far. Down 28-3, they were getting beat in every facet of the game. But it slowly turned around after forcing a few turnovers, and generating some big plays on offense. RB Darrell Henderson Jr. is starting to separate himself as the #1 in that backfield as he accumulated a career-high 114 rushing yards. Although they fell to 2-1, there are a lot of encouraging signs for this Rams team moving forward. The OL continues to look dominant in the first three weeks, QB Jared Goff is playing sound football in McVay’s system while DT Aaron Donald continues to be the best interior DL in football wreaking havoc all day vs. Buffalo with 3 TFLs, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble. The NFC West has a .750 winning % through three weeks, a ridiculous mark. But the Rams have an upcoming slate versus the Giants, the Football Team, Bears, and Dolphins in four of the next five weeks. This stretch will be crucial for LA if they want to separate in their gauntlet of a division.

Next: vs. NYG

  1. Arizona Cardinals 2-1 -3

One of Sunday’s more unexpected outcomes, the Cardinals laid an egg against the struggling Lions. QB Kyler Murray played his worst game in 2020 with 3 interceptions. The Cardinals could not generate a turnover of their own; they consistently pressured QB Matthew Stafford all day with 4 sacks but he carved up Arizona’s pass defense. WR DeAndre Hopkins continued his dominance with a 10-137-0 statline as he leads the NFL in receiving yards through week 3. The Cardinals will face Carolina and the New York Jets in the next two weeks. It is crucial they bounce back quickly and get these two wins as their schedule gets much tougher towards the middle of the year.

Next: @ CAR

  1. New Orleans Saints 1-2 -1

The Saints looked much sharper than the first two weeks but they fell short against Green Bay. New Orleans was without their superstar WR Michael Thomas for another week but they made up for his production with RB Alvin Kamara. Kamara tallied up a ridiculous 13 catches for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air. Kamara has the most yards after the catch through three weeks with 280. QB Drew Brees looked like the Brees we are used to seeing with 288 yards, three touchdowns while completing over 80% of his throws. This is a defense that had high expectations going into the year but have yet to live up to their hype. The defense needs to play much better as they’re giving up over 350 yards a game.

Next: @ DET

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-1

The Bucs pulled out the pewter uniforms and did not disappoint as they put together their best game of the year with a solid performance from each unit. QB Tom Brady was efficient completing passes to eight different receivers for 297 yards and three TDs. First rounder OT Tristan Wirfs has looked like an absolute beast as the Bucs have had solid OL play up to this point. The defense had 6 sacks including a safety in the third quarter. DE Shaq Barrett looked like the 2019 sack leader with two of his own. TE Rob Gronkowski finally got involved in the pass game with six receptions. WR Chris Godwin was pulled at the end of the game due to a hamstring strain. There are reports that he may miss multiple weeks. This will be something to monitor in the upcoming weeks. But with the Saints loss, the Bucs now have sole possession of first place in the NFC South. 

Next: vs. LAC

  1. San Francisco 49ers 2-1 +1 

The 49ers were without nearly half their starters going back to East Rutherford but it really didn’t matter. The defense looked like they hadn’t missed a beat from a year ago and backup QB Nick Mullens played remarkably throwing for 343 yards and a touchdown with two of his top passing catchers out. The only blemish for the 9ers was their ground game which is usually their biggest strength but they only averaged 2.7 yards per carry against a mediocre Giants front. In a Kyle Shanahan offense, that mark will need to improve but the 49ers are treading just fine regardless of all these injuries. 

Next: vs. PHI

  1. Indianapolis Colts 2-1 +2

The Colts are doing everything in their power to prove that their week one tilt against Jacksonville was a fluke. Since then, they have outscored their opponents 64-18. Now, one of those opponents was the Jets but the team does look like the Colts we were expecting in the preseason. They are tough in the trenches paving lanes for this elite ground game, QB Philip Rivers is playing smart football as he completed over 80% of his passes to eight different receivers in week three. CB Xavier Rhodes is proving to be one of the better offseason additions early on as he is Pro Football Focus’s number one rated CB through the first three weeks. The Colts will have their toughest game of the year in week four versus Chicago.

Next: @ CHI

  1. Dallas Cowboys 1-2 -2 

The Cowboys dropped a thriller late to Seattle, but are still tied for first place in the NFC East. QB Dak Prescott outdid his 450 yard performance from a week ago and ended up throwing for 472 against this horrid Seattle secondary. The Cowboys were well in this game but self-inflicted wounds continue to hold this team back. RB Tony Pollard’s inexcusable fumble at the 1, K Greg Zuerlein’s two missed extra points, and their OL’s late game struggles were all costly mistakes that changed the outcome of this game. Despite this, they were still just 26 yards away from sending this game into overtime. Offseason addition DE Aldon Smith is proving to be the biggest offseason steal as he leads the league in sacks through three weeks. OT La’el Collins will be eligible to come back week 4; undrafted free agent OT Terrance Steele has played admirably in his three starts but an inability to pick up twists and stunts for the young rookie is showing. When the Cowboys get back Collins, and stud Tyron Smith, this team may just turn into a contender in the NFC.

Next: vs. CLE

  1. Chicago Bears 3-0 +1

The most suspect of the 3-0 teams, the Bears managed to pull off yet another huge comeback win but with another man under center. It seemed like it was a matter of time, just not after the 2-0 start. QB Mitch Trubisky got out to a decent start but threw one of the worst interceptions you’ll see this season leading to his benching for offseason acquisition QB Nick Foles. Foles led the charge outscoring the Falcons 20-0 in the fourth quarter. WR Allen Robinson and TE Jimmy Graham had their best receiving outputs of the season while the defense came alive shutting out the Falcons when it mattered most late in the game. Head coach Matt Nagy has already announced the team’s starting QB will be Foles against Indy this upcoming week. Chicago will have their toughest test of the season as they take on the Colts next Sunday.

Next: vs. IND

  1. Los Angeles Chargers 1-2 -2

The Chargers outgained the Panthers by 134 yards, and gained 12 more first downs, but still couldn’t come away with a W. The offense is clicking at a much higher level with rookie QB Justin Herbert at the helm but turnovers proved to be the deciding factor. With a fumble and a costly interception before the half, the Chargers put themselves at a 18-7 deficit into the half. They slowly clawed their way back; Herbert again threw for over 300 yards in his second career start. He executed their last drive beautifully almost finishing off what would’ve been a ridiculous 99-yard game-winning drive. A great play call by head coach Anthony Lynn, with a better pitch, RB Austin Ekeler walks in for the game-winner. This loss may hurt themselves in the long run as they travel to Tampa and New Orleans in the next two weeks, making a 1-4 start look very possible.

Next: @ TB

  1. Las Vegas Raiders 1-2     

After one of the biggest wins in years, the Raiders followed up with a decisive loss. Even without C David Andrews, the Patriots absolutely dominated the trenches, running for 250 yards on the ground. Their tackling was an utter mess as they made RBs Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel look like a top duo in the league. The Patriots took away Waller and neutralized RB Josh Jacobs after getting a lead. QB Derek Carr had no answers; without being able to get Jacobs involved in the second half, this is a team that is not built to come from behind. Carr is throwing a very-pedestrian 7.8 yards/attempt while relying on young WRs Bryan Edwards and Hunter Renfrow. This is a team that is definitely headed in the right direction but still hasn’t proved they are a legitimate AFC playoff contender after that performance.

Next: vs. BUF

  1. Houston Texans 0-3

The last time the Texans started 0-3, they finished 11-5 and went on to win the AFC South. That was in 2018; things seem much different this time around. Without WR DeAndre Hopkins, this offense is missing its’ biggest playmaker. Furthermore, their rookie class did not play one snap in their contest against Pittsburgh in week three. Their OL continued to struggle mightily giving up five sacks and consistent pressure all game. An intriguing report came out Monday that free agent S Earl Thomas had made a visit with Houston personnel. If they end up with Thomas, this is an immediate upgrade in their back end. Moreover, they will have a good shot to get in the win column in week four, but the Vikings will be with DE Danielle Hunter who is eligible to play in their upcoming contest.

Next: vs. MINN

  1. Minnesota Vikings 0-3

Although the Vikings are 0-3, they looked way better in week three than they did in the first two weeks. RB Dalvin Cook ran for a career high 181 yards and a score. WR Justin Jefferson has gotten off to a slow start but made his best impersonation of Stefon Diggs finishing with 175 yards and a touchdown of his own. The Vikings defense continues to really struggle as they surrendered nearly 450 total yards to Tennessee. In a surprising duel between 0-3 teams, the Vikings will look to turn their season around versus Houston next week.

Next: @ HOU

  1. Detroit Lions 1-2 +5

The Lions defense produced zero takeaways through the first two games, but managed to come up with three against breakout star Kyler Murray. WR Kenny Golladay was missed as he aided their offense with 57 yards and a score in his first game back. The Lions did not have any leads to blow late in the game as they were down 23-20 going into the fourth. However, their defense buckled down and QB Matthew Stafford was surgical in his game-winning drive. He threw for 270 yards finding nine different receivers, while not turning the ball over. This is the Lions first win in 11 games dating back to 2019. They will look to get to .500 against a depleted Saints team.

Next: vs NO

  1. Cleveland Browns 2-1 +2

For the first time since 2014, the Cleveland Browns are over .500. The presence of new head coach Kevin Stefanski is apparent; he’s leaning on a great ground game and simplifying his offense for QB Baker Mayfield. RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt continue to prove they are the best backfield in football as they ran for 158 yards and had 2 TDs combined. DE Myles Garrett wreaked havoc with 2 sacks as the defense caused a staggering five turnovers. If the Browns want to get an upset in AT&T, their OL will need to continue their stellar play.

Next: @ DAL

  1. Miami Dolphins 1-2 +4

In previous weeks, we had talked about how Miami was slowly turning the ship but it wasn’t resulting in W’s. Well, it did last Thursday night when Miami absolutely dominated the Jaguars for the entirety of the game. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like he was having the time of his life as he completed 90% of his passes with two touchdowns through the air and one on the ground. The Dolphins were without star CB Byron Jones, but it didn’t matter as they were the first team in the 2020 season to make Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew look lost. They jumped out quickly to a 14-0 lead and never turned back. Their pass rush was a force all night led by EDGEs Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah. 

Next: vs. SEA

  1. Atlanta Falcons 0-3 -3

Can’t say we’re surprised but the Falcons are breaking records every week with each collapse. In NFL history, no one had ever lost after not giving the ball away and scoring 39 points or more until the Falcons faltered to Dallas week two. In week three, the Falcons became the first team in NFL history to lose back-to-back games despite leading each game by 15+ in the fourth quarter. It is the 5th such loss since the start of the 2016 season; no other team has suffered more than two such losses. Head coach Dan Quinn is still employed for the moment but his firing seems pretty inevitable. It doesn’t get any easier as they will face Green Bay in the week four’s Monday night showdown.

Next: @ GB

  1. Carolina Panthers 1-2 +4

This is a team that was more competitive in the first two weeks than we thought they’d be. They led the Raiders in the fourth quarter in week one and were within a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Bucs in week two. But turnovers and an inability to stop the opposing team at the end of the game have been the biggest issues with this Carolina team. Even without star RB Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers were very efficient on offense. QB Teddy Bridgewater completed 78.5% of his throws and backup RB Mike Davis had 91 total yards and a TD in CMC’s absence. This score should not have been as close as it was; as the Panthers were 1 for 6 in red zone trips. And their one touchdown was a bailout as the Chargers lined up illegally on a field goal. Five field goals will not do the trick against Kyler Murray next week, but they’ll take the W.

Next: vs. ARI

  1. Philadelphia Eagles 0-2-1 -4

This team is in trouble. And the crazy part is they are only .5 game out of first place for the NFC (L)east division lead. For starters, the Eagles were once again losers in the turnover battle. After going -2 in turnover differential as Wentz continues to struggle, they are now at -7 for the season. They’ve only generated one fumble and given the ball away a league-leading eight times. The defense looks pedestrian, and that’s putting it nicely. They contained RB Joe Mixon but with Cincy’s OL, that should come as no surprise. The pass rush came alive yesterday with eight sacks but rookie QB Joe Burrow still threw for 312 yards as the secondary was absolutely picked apart. Besides a two-minute drill before the half, and the final drive in regulation, the Eagles could not get in the endzone against Cincinnati. The only bright spots were RB Miles Sanders and WR Greg Ward, but things may get even tougher for this offense if they may be without TE Dallas Goedert and WR Desean Jackson in the upcoming weeks.

Next: @ SF

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-2 -4

The Jaguars sorely missed WR DJ Chark in their week three tilt with Miami. Although he only had seven catches through two weeks, it was the presence of Chark that helped open up the vertical passing attack in Jacksonville. He was unable to play week three and the Jags paid the price for it. They inserted offensive captain, Chris Conley, in Chark’s role as the team’s “X” receiver and he was severely disappointing with multiple drops. Minshew and the Jaguars OL compounded mistakes; RB James Robinson was the only bright spot as he has already matched Leonard Fournette’s TD production from 2019 through three weeks (3). The Jaguars defense didn’t look great the first two weeks, but took a huge step back Thursday as they allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to complete 90% of his passing attempts.

Next: @ CIN

  1. Washington Football Team 1-2 -3 

QB Dwayne Haskins has not looked the part with new OC Scott Turner. Besides a decent second half against the Eagles in week one, the second year quarterback has not played well. He took a big step backwards in week three generating four turnovers of his own. Through two+ games, DE Chase Young has already established himself as the Football Team’s top defensive player but he had to exit the game after suffering a groin injury. In spite of this, the Football Team is still tied for first place in the NFC East. 

Next: vs. BAL

  1. Cincinnati Bengals 0-2-1 +2

It certainly wasn’t pretty but the Bengals got their first non-loss of the season. The Bengals generally outplayed the Eagles for most of the game generating two interceptions and scoring 13 unanswered points after a 16-10 halftime deficit. QB Joe Burrow built off his strong week 2 performance with another game throwing for over 300 yards. However, there are just certain obstacles this team won’t be able to overcome this year. They gave up another 8 sacks on the week, while seemingly showing that they still weren’t able to run the ball. The defense looked better than they did a week ago versus Cleveland, but who hasn’t against this Eagles offense. Without DT Geno Atkins anchoring the interior, this defensive line consistently gets pushed around in the run game. 

Next: vs. JAX

  1. Denver Broncos 0-3 -2

A team with a lot of promise going into the season has collapsed very rapidly. Without QB Drew Lock, the offense looked absolutely lost. QB Jeff Driskel was benched for QB Brett Rypien who was activated off the practice squad days before the game. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team turned to free agent signee QB Blake Bortles for their Thursday night game against the Jets if they feel he has enough of a grasp on the offense. The lone bright spots on the team are coming from 2019 and 2020 first rounders TE Noah Fant and WR Jerry Jeudy who are producing but aren’t getting the ball as much as you’d like to see. This is a team that is completely depleted and lost yet another key contributor this past week with offseason addition DT Jurrell Casey out for the year. If the Broncos find a way to lose to the Jets on Thursday night, they are very serious contenders for Trevor Lawrence come next April.

Next: @ NYJ

  1. New York Giants 0-3 -1

Well, after an embarrassing loss to a JV version of San Francisco, the two worst teams in the NFL reside in New Jersey. The Giants offense put up a stagnant 231 total yards including a total of 17 rushing yards from their RBs. There is minimal explosiveness and the OL continues to be a huge issue. Like any other week, QB Daniel Jones had a few plays that “wow” you but generated two turnovers. Through 16 career games, Jones has now produced 36 turnovers. On the other side of the coin, he has been sacked 51 times in that timeframe. It does not get any easier as the G-Men take on the Rams in SoFi.

Next: @ LAR

  1. New York Jets 0-3 —

The Jets did not disappoint in terms of being more of a laughing stock. QB Sam Darnold threw not one but two pick sixes. They were outgained by nearly 100 total yards. Their defense generated no sacks or turnovers, and produced three on offense. The OL is the worst in the league as the Jets can’t complete a five-step drop without Darnold immediately seeking pressure in his face. The only bright spot on the team has been OT Mekhi Becton who looks like a star in the making. The Jets will face the Broncos in a battle of teams eyeing the number one pick.

Next: vs. DEN

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