Biggest Jump: Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars are +8 after wins against Detroit and Indianapolis respectively.
Biggest Fall: Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers are -8 after losing to Chicago and Atlanta.
1. Denver Broncos 4-0
Last Week: 2
Denver just keeps winning. The defense is playing great and Payton Lynch stepped in well for the injured Trevor Siemian (who will play this week). Big game this weekend as Denver hosts Atlanta.
2. Minnesota Vikings 4-0
Last Week: 3
That Vikings defense, wow. They continue to be impressive, while the offense is good enough to win. Sam Bradford seems to be working out pretty damn well (so far) in Minnesota and the Vikings are off to their 9th ever 4-0 start and first since 2009. Minnesota is home against Houston this week.
3. New England Patriots 3-1
Last Week: 1
The Pats got shut out at home for the first time since 1993, the year I was born, yikes. The good news is that they are 3-1 without arguably the best Quarterback in the league and he is back this week. The AFC East is horrendous and Tom will have the offense firing on all cylinders in no time. The best part? Brady and the Patriots head to Cleveland this week.
4. Philadelphia Eagles 3-0
Last Week: 4
Philly is coming off of a bye week that preseason people may have loved. Get it out of the way early, that way if they start slow they can regroup. Well, the Eagles are sitting atop the NFC East at 3-0 and have already had their bye week with a rookie Quarterback. Hopefully Wentz can keep up his stellar performance. Eagles head to Detroit on Sunday.
5. Seattle Seahawks 3-1
Last Week: 5
Seattle picked up a nice win against a struggling Jets team. The most important part of this game was it got Russell Wilson (23-32, 309 yards, 3TDs) and Jimmy Graham (6 rec, 113 yards) going. They need these two if they hope to make the playoffs. Seahawks have a bye week.
6. Green Bay Packers 2-1
Last Week: 6
The Packers, like the Eagles, are coming off the early bye week this season. The offense hasn’t looked great, but it has gotten the job done thus far. Rodgers and company are home against the New York Football Giants on Sunday Night.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers 3-1
Last Week: 8
A week after they get slaughtered by Philly, Pittsburgh absolutely dominates Kansas City. The game was ever close, Le’Veon Bell had one hell of a return (18 carries 144 yards) and Big Ben was as good as can be (22-27, 300 yards, 5TDs). Steelers are home against the New York Jets.
8. Oakland Raiders 3-1
Last Week: 12
How bout dem Raidaaaas? What a start for Jack Del Rio and the Blackhole out in Oakland. Great road win against the previously unbeaten Ravens, which yours truly called, take away the poor defensive outing against Atlanta and they’re 4-0. Derek Carr has been incredibly steady at the helm and this team has play-makers. Oakland is home against the Chargers on Sunday.
9. Houston Texans 3-1
Last Week: 10
No JJ Watt, no problem. The Texans beat a bad Tennessee team by a touchdown at home last week. Brock Osweiler is starting to put it together but still isn’t anywhere near as valuable as what they’re paying him. The team has some weapons with the emergence of Will Fuller. Houston heads to Minnesota for a big test for Osweiler and company.
10. Dallas Cowboys 3-1
Last Week: 14
I cannot say enough good things about Dak Prescott. His competition hasn’t been great, but you cannot choose who you play and aside from a Terrence Williams mental gaffe in week 1, he is unbeaten. Ezekiel Elliott has also started to find his rhythm running for over 100 yards last week. The Cowboys are back home this week as they host Cincinnati.
11. Atlanta Falcons 3-1
Last Week: 16
I can honestly say I did not see this coming, the Atlanta Falcons are 3-1 and Matt Ryan is the best Quarterback in the NFL right now. Matty Ice continues to shred defenses, he dropped 48 on Carolina last week. Easily their toughest test of the year is this upcoming week as they head to Denver.
12. Los Angeles Rams 3-1
Last Week: 18
There is a theme in this week’s power rankings and it is surprising teams. The LA Rams are a surprising team. Todd Gurley has been pretty well bottled up all season, yet they keep winning. Case Keenum has somehow found ways to win football games and oh yeah, their defense is pretty darn good too. A road win against Arizona is big time, can they keep it going is the real question? Or will Jeff “.500” Fisher strike again. Rams are home against the upstart Bills.
13. Cincinnati Bengals 2-2
Last Week: 16
Just as I was ready to write-off the Bengals, they look really good against Miami. To be fair, Miami is not a good football team this year, but Cincy passed the eye test. The defense, much like Stella, seems to have gotten their groove back. And boy are they going to need it as they head down to Jerry World on Sunday.
14. Baltimore Ravens 3-1
Last Week: 7
The Ravens have been the beneficiary of a weak schedule and finally they have been beaten. Not all is lost if you’re Baltimore, you’re still in the playoff race with Pittsburgh and the combination of Joe Flacco (32-52, 298 yards, 1TD) and Terrence West (21 carries 113 yards 1TD) was solid last week. They host Washington this week in the battle for Maryland.
15. Buffalo Bills 2-2
Last Week: 22
The Bills are back! Maybe. They beat a 3rd string New England Quarterback, but doing it in Foxborough is no joke. Tyrod needs to play clean, turnover free football for them to have chances to win games and that’s exactly what he did last week. Bills are heading to Los Angeles on Sunday.
16. Kansas City Chiefs 2-2
Last Week: 13
Forget last week ever happened and you’re still a 2-2 team in the thick of things. Alex Smith should never throw the ball 50. Not even if there’s a fire. Fortunately for KC, they have a bye this week to get healthy and figure out what the hell happened in Pittsburgh Sunday Night.
17. Carolina Panthers 1-3
Last Week: 9
Man oh man are the Panthers bad. The defense can’t stop anyone, the offensive line is leaving Cam out to dry, and they have absolutely no run game. To their credit they have had a tough start to the season and the silver lining is it does get easier these next three weeks. They host a bad Tampa Bay team in a must-win game.
18. Arizona Cardinals 1-3
Last Week: 11
Suddenly that field goal loss to New England isn’t looking as good as it did before. Not because of how NE has played but because of Arizona. It doesn’t look like Carson Palmer will play this week, which could be disastrous for Arizona’s playoff chances, they head to San Francisco on Thursday Night.
19. Washington Redskins 2-2
Last Week: 20
Washington almost made me look very, very bad this week as they kept Cleveland around much longer than they should have. The good news: Matt Jones (22 carries 117 yards 1TD) and Jordan Reed (9 catches 73 yards 2TDs) played really well. They head to Baltimore (long trip) in the battle of Maryland on Sunday.
20. New York Giants 2-2
Last Week: 15
This may be a slight overreaction, because losing on the road to a top 3 team is expected. But the G-Men are suddenly in the basement of the NFC East and their offense has looked awful scoring just 73 points through 4 weeks. Huge game this weekend for New York as they play another prime-time game in Green Bay on Sunday Night.
21. New Orleans Saints 1-3
Last Week: 28
Drew Brees, doing what he does best, winning absolute shoot-outs. The gunslinger out shot the other gunslinger (FYI I call about 5 Quarterbacks the gunslinger) Philip Rivers. The Saints notched their first win of the year and it was a road win, hence why they jumped so high. Saints get a bye week to sort themselves out.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-3
Last Week: 30
Jaguars win the “highly anticipated” London game to get their first win of the year. But since it happened on international soil does it really count? Jacksonville as a whole was just OK, but just OK was certainly enough to win last week. Jaguars get a bye after the hectic week of travel, just in time for Blake to give us another edition of the Wikipedia club.
23. Chicago Bears 1-3
Last Week: 31
The Bears are back! Not really. But it was really nice to see the Bears play competitive football again! The defense looked great against a bad Lions team and the offense did what it had to do. For a more in-depth recap check out Jack Conlon’s blog. Bears head to Indianapolis to play the Colts who are fresh off their London trip.
24. Miami Dolphins 1-3
Last Week: 23
Ryan Tannehill is not a very good Quarterback. This is coming from a big Jay Cutler fan. Tannehill’s team only has one win and it was a very lucky one against the Browns. The defense is bad, the offense is anemic, they need to figure something out quickly or this season is done. They play a must-win against Tennessee this week.
25. Indianapolis Colts 1-3
Last Week: 19
I’m not an Andrew Luck fan by any means, but can someone please protect him? Dear God, it’s like the entire offensive line has him in a death pool. Until they protect their franchise Quarterback, they won’t win games. Plain and simple. Colts host the Bears.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-3
Last Week: 24
The Bucs really have fallen off fast. Open the season with a road win against Atlanta, a very tough place to play, and all of a sudden they’re all the hype. 3 humbling losses including two where they didn’t score double-digits and this season took a whole new turn. Tampa Bay struggles with turnovers, cut those down and you at least give yourself a chance to win. Bucs head to Carolina for a Monday Night showdown.
27. New York Jets 1-3
Last Week: 25
Well Jets fans, now you know, Ryan Fitzpatrick is not your answer at Quarterback. The Harvard man has thrown NINE interceptions in his last two games. NINE! It might be time for Geno *all of New York and New Jersey shudder*. The Jets hit the road and head to Pittsburgh Sunday in another tough game.
28. San Diego Chargers 1-3
Last Week: 26
San Diego has now blown 3 leads in 4 games. This last week was the most crushing against a weak New Orleans team (not to mention it kept me from going undefeated in my NFL picks…). Rivers and company cannot seem to close out games for whatever reason. Yes, they have injuries and yes that is a big deal, but come on. A 13 point lead at home should be a lock. Chargers head to Oakland on Sunday.
29. Detroit Lions 1-3
Last Week: 21
The Lions are not a good football team. They live and die by the side-arm throw of Matt Stafford (another gunslinger). Giving up 302 yards and 2TDs to Brian Hoyer is a clear sign that your defense needs to wake up. Not to mention their offense didn’t score a touchdown against an ailing Bear defense. Detroit hosts Philadelphia who is a fresh off a bye week.
30. San Francisco 49ers 1-3
Last Week: 27
Carlos Hyde has proven he can handle 15 to 20 carries a game AND produce for you. It is Quarterback that is the question. Blaine Gabbert played much better this week (16-23, 196 yards, 1TD) but I don’t think he is the answer. Nor do I think Kaepernick is but that’s Chip Kelly’s call not mine. If they ever had a chance it is this week against the Cardinals sans Carson Palmer on Thursday Night.
31. Tennessee Titans 1-3
Last Week: 29
Like I wrote last week, this team will only go as far as Marcus Mariota takes them. Through 4 games, that is not far. Mariota has been abysmal this season throwing 4TDs against 5INTs. It is a real shame too because DeMarco Murray has been flat out awesome. Mariota needs to step up and start winning some games. Tennessee is at Miami this week.
32. Cleveland Browns 0-4
Last Week: 32
The poor Browns. I actually don’t think they’ve played that poorly, and honestly could have won that game against Washington. But they didn’t and they’re the only NFL team without a win. Cody Kessler has been really impressive, more so than Jacoby Brisset, in my opinion. Cleveland will get a win, just not this week as they host New England.