Each week members of The Game Haus will collaborate to determine our NFL Power Rankings. We rate teams from 1-32 and add the points received to give us our final answer.
Our voters: Zac Stone, Ben Hendricks, Joe DiTullio, Victoria Horsley, Michael Packard, Pranay Malempati, Savannah Dean, Jacob Gilbert.
Normally after four weeks in the NFL, storylines start to become a bit clearer and you will start to see who is a contender and who is a pretender. This year is different. Most teams have had an outstanding performance, while also owning a poor one.
The only teams that have established themselves both come out of the NFC West in that the Rams are legit, and the Cardinals, well, are not. Another certainty in the NFL this year is that it will be a long year of questionable officiating. The Browns should have two wins, but the referees decided otherwise. the Bears have been a nice surprise after the addition of Khalil Mack and emergence of Mitchell Trubisky, putting an end to the FitzMagic.
Patrick Mahomes has been putting on a clinic, with a 10-point fourth quarter comeback in Denver on Monday Night Football. The last time a team went into Denver and the Broncos blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead? 2004.
Week 4 was fun, let’s take a look at where each team stands after the first quarter of the season comes to a close.
1. Los Angeles Rams – 256 (High: 1. Low: 1. LW: 1)
The Rams showed on Thursday why they’re currently NFC favorites in the NFL, absolutely dominating Minnesota’s defense. Jared Goff played almost perfect, dropping dimes all over the field. Their defense did give up 31 points but came up big with a strip sack of Kirk Cousins at the end to seal the game. The D does need to be more consistent throughout the game, but Talib’s eventual return will help that.
2. Kansas City Chiefs – 246 (High: 2. Low: 3. LW: 2)
How about these Chiefs? They are 4-0 with the highest scoring offense in the league. They have now gone into two of the hardest stadiums to win in with Pittsburgh and Denver. Patrick Mahomes pulled off a stunning comeback. This man is the real deal. He had a left-handed pass to extend the game-winning drive that is just unheard of. The Chiefs have another tough test against Jacksonville at home. Despite the Chiefs’ worst ranked defense, that is not the Jaguars strong suit and they will have a chance to go 5-0.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: – 234 (High: 3. Low: 7. LW: 3)
Many were concerned about how Jacksonville would play after last week’s less-than-inspiring
loss to the Tennessee Titans. However, the response was pretty clear as the Jaguars beat the
suddenly floundering New York Jets 31-12 on Sunday. The Jags thoroughly beat their opponent
in every facet of the game, outgaining the Jets 503-178 in total offensive yards. QB Blake
Bortles had another career day passing, completing 29-38 for 388 yards and two touchdowns.
The Jags rushed for 126 yards, and the defense shut down the Jets offense all game. The only
touchdown given up by the defense was when the Jets capitalized on a T.J. Yeldon fumble that
put them in the red zone. The Jaguars have a tough road game next week at Arrowhead
Stadium, where they take on the 4-0 Kansas City Chiefs.
4. New Orleans Saints – 223 (High: 4. Low: 10. LW: 5)
Even though Drew Brees was slightly off, by his standards, the Saints drove the ball all day. Their defense finally decided to show up and held down the Giants. New Orleans did have trouble converting their red zone opportunities, as they kicked four field goals before finally scoring a TD. They’ll get Mark Ingram next week which should both improve their red zone efficiency and keep their defense fresh. After a letdown in Week 1, NO seems to be turning into the team many thought they would be.
5. Cincinnati Bengals – 216 (High: 5. Low: 7. LW: 8)
The Bengals are 3-1, QB Andy Dalton played his heart out against the Falcons to come out with the win. It was their first win in Atlanta since 1987. Cincinnati’s defense stepped it up with three sacks. WR A.J. Green and Dalton rallied at the end of the game scoring a touchdown, stealing the win in Atlanta with only seconds left to play.
6. Philadelphia Eagles – 203 (High: 4. Low: 14. LW: 4)
The Eagles are still great. They’re just very banged up. Two of their three core running backs were on the inactive list for Week 4, and Ajayi is still nursing a back injury. McLeod is done for the season, and Mike Wallace won’t be back until Week 13 or so. The Titans gave them all they can handle, so more credit to them than blame to Philadelphia. The bye week can’t come soon enough.
7. Baltimore Ravens – 202 (High: 4. Low: 14. LW: T9)
8. Chicago Bears – 194 (High: 2. Low: 17. LW: 16)
I have two words from this week: Mitchell Trubisky. He broke records for a Bears’ quarterback this week that no other one wearing their uniform has had in the Super Bowl era. With a 3-1 start, the Bears have made it clear that they plan to continue the success and one week is not a fluke. Their addition of Khalil Mack has helped their defense become relevant again. At only four weeks in, they aren’t showing many weaknesses.
9. Carolina Panthers – 192 (High: 5. Low: 16. LW: 6)
Carolina had a bye week, so nothing to report game-wise. But they did make a big move by signing in Eric Reid, the former San Fran safety, for the rest of the season. Reid was a pro-bowler with the Niners but couldn’t find a job after filing a grievance claim against the NFL that stemmed from National Anthem protests.
10. New England Patriots – 191 (High: 7. Low: 13. LW: 12)
The New England Patriots are a stronger team than their record gives them credit for. They have two losses. One of which was a respectable loss to the Jaguars and the other an embarrassing meltdown to the Detroit Lions. In addition, the Patriots look much better now that rookie Sony Michel has broken into the starting line up. Expect the Patriots to take back control of the AFC East and finish towards the top of the standings this season as always.
11. Green Bay Packers – 182 (High: 6. Low: 14. LW: 14)
In week four we saw Aaron Rodgers returning to Aaron Rodgers potential. With a shutout of Buffalo this week, the Packers began to show us that the first three weeks weren’t a preview for the whole season. One place where the Packers could improve is in their secondary. They continue to show moments of weakness, but as their shutout showed us, it is nothing to be too concerned of.
12. Tennessee Titans – 163 (High: 10. Low: 16. LW: 19)
It took overtime, but the Tennessee Titans held off the defending Super Bowl champs 26-23 on
Sunday. QB Marcus Mariota was heavily relied on with the run game struggling, throwing 40
times for 344 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. It took some magic to pull out
the win, as the Titans faced three fourth downs on the final drive of the game that consisted of
16 plays. The final play of the game was the game-deciding touchdown caught by Titans WR
Corey Davis, who was closely covered by CB Avonte Maddox. The Titans have an easier match-
up next week, as they travel to Buffalo to take on the 1-3 Bills.
13. Denver Broncos – 154 (High: 12. Low: 15. LW: 17)
What a tough way to lose against a division rival, especially one the Broncos are chasing. The Broncos battled till the end and had it not been for an overthrow to Demaryius Thomas, they probably would have won. They also almost hit an exciting hook-and-latter on the last play of the game. Case Keenum has gone from a journeyman backup to an actual starting quarterback. The defense stepped up against the best offense in the league. They, unfortunately, had a late call lead to a big gain. The Broncos are tough and should not be too worried, but trailing the Chiefs by two early on might not be the easiest to overcome.
14. Los Angeles Chargers – 154 (High: 9. Low: 19. LW: 15)
The Chargers are a difficult team to read still. They are 2-2 with wins against a poor Bills team and were able to hold off a 1-3 49ers team. San Francisco is not terrible, with their three losses coming against solid teams, but a C.J. Beathard led 49ers hurts them. The Chargers can still recover, it is still early, the problem is the other teams in their division are playing at a high level.
15. Washington Redskins – 149 (High: 11. Low: 19. LW: 20)
The Redskins come back from their bye next week with a Monday night game against the Saints.
The extra time off will likely be more of a help than a hindrance, but the defense will have to step up as Brees looks to pass Peyton Manning for all-time career passing yards during this prime-time matchup.
16. Minnesota Vikings – 144 (High: 8. Low: 18. LW: 13)
The Vikings are one team that appears to show up completely different nearly every week. They tied the Packers which was a good showing for them. The loss to the Bills was not much short of embarrassing. Then you see week four where they played hand in hand with arguably the best team in the NFL. Kirk Cousins utilized Stephon Diggs more effectively in week four and that is seemingly where their success on offense lies.
17. Atlanta Falcons – 143 (High: 11. Low: 22. LW: 11)
The injuries to their defense were apparent on Sunday when they allowed the Bengals to score 37 points including a game-winning touchdown from Andy Dalton to AJ Green. Their offense has been good, keeping them in games. But at some point, a team needs to actually close the deal.
18. Miami Dolphins – 140 (High: 10. Low: 22. LW: 7)
Despite a disappointing first loss this season the Miami Dolphins couldn’t be happier with the way their season has shaped up. The defense has played much better than last year and the offense that had done enough to win during the first few weeks just couldn’t get anything going in New England. Overall, the Dolphins seem like a team that could compete for a wild card spot come end of the season.
19. Pittsburgh Steelers – 108 (High: 18. Low: 21. LW: 18)
Ben didn’t look like Ben except for about five minutes near the end of the first half. The defense is going the wrong way, falling down on the job when the game is slipping away. Pittsburgh hasn’t looked the same all season. They failed to score any points the whole second half and only had a grand total of 47 yards.
20. Tamba Bay Buccaneers – 107 (High: 17. Low: 23. LW: T9)
Well it’s confirmed, Fitzmagic was just a temporary thing. Jameis Winston will be starting Week 6 after their bye. Can’t really blame any one person for this loss though, considering the Bucs got absolutely dominated on both sides of the ball from start to finish. This defense has a lot of issues to fix, as they’ve allowed over 30 points in three of their four games.
21. Dallas Cowboys – 96 (High: 17. Low: 27. LW: 24)
America’s team escaped with a win on Sunday. It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t against a good team, but it was a win nonetheless. The defense took a shaky step forward, and quarterback Dak Prescott is looking a little better. Their main concern going forward will be star running back Ezekiel Elliot, who apparently is playing through two different lower body injuries. The season is not lost just yet, but they are light years away from the Super Bowl contenders they once resembled in Prescott’s rookie season.
22. Seattle Seahawks – 84 (High: 17. Low: 25. LW: 26)
Seattle barely beat a winless Cardinals team but at least they did come out with a win. Earl Thomas is the biggest loser of a weekend. On the verge of a trade, he broke his leg and ended his season. This is why players hold for long-term contracts, because in the NFL injuries are always a very real possibility. This might cause players to start taking a path more similar to Le’Veon Bell and hold out for a long time.
23. Cleveland Browns – 78 (High: 21. Low: 27. LW: 22)
It was a hard fought game against the Raiders this week. New starter Baker Mayfield was on fire. The Browns led for most of the game. Myles Garret looked powerful. Although the defense blew it at the end, letting Oakland come back causing OT, they looked better than normal. The team is finally connecting. They just need to learn how to finish and connect with the win.
24. Detroit Lions – 69 (High: 22. Low: 29. LW: 21)
The Lions have one of the highest paid quarterbacks in Matthew Stafford and rightfully so. Their offense through the air is not the problem here as they are the 9th ranked team in total passing yards. However, in rushing they are 19th. Against teams with a strong secondary, they’ll need to be more of a threat on the ground to be able to improve upon their 1-3 record.
25. Houston Texans – 66 (High: 20. Low: 29. LW: 31)
Unlike the Colts, Houston should be thanking their lucky stars that they managed to pull out a
win against Indianapolis. It took a masterful performance by QB Deshaun Watson (29-42 for
375 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT, 6 carries for 41 yards) to will the Texans to a 37-34 OT win. While the
defense did get four sacks and two turnovers, they let Andrew Luck throw all over them (464
yards and 4 TD’s) and it almost cost them the game. Houston looks to make it two wins in a row
when they host the 2-2 Dallas Cowboys next Sunday.
26. Indianapolis Colts – 58 (High: 21. Low: 28. LW: 23)
At the end of the day, the Colts are going to feel like they let a win slip away as they fell to the
previously winless Houston Texans in overtime 37-34. Down 11 points going into the fourth
quarter, QB Andrew Luck threw two touchdowns in the final 7:45 of regulation to send the
game to OT. However, the Colts offense couldn’t muster anything in the extra period except for
a field goal. The Colts doomed themselves when head coach Frank Reich decided to go for it on
fourth down at their own 43-yard line and couldn’t convert (Reich said after the game that he
would go for it in that situation “10 times out of 10”). The Texans would take over on downs
and score the game-winning field goal three plays later. Indianapolis looks to get back in the
win column on Thursday when they head to Foxborough to take on the 2-2 New England
27. Oakland Raiders – 50 (High: 22. Low: 31. LW: 30)
The Raiders did not deserve to win this game, plain and simple. Offensively they played more than well enough to win, but when you allow 42 points, which should have been 49, you deserve to lose. Derek Carr had himself a big day with over 400 yards and four touchdowns, but it took 58 attempts to do so. He also tossed two interceptions and should have had an essentially game-sealing fumble with six minutes left in the fourth, had they not been bailed them out. Give Carr credit for leading the Raiders down the field for a last-minute touchdown, but they got lucky.
28. New York Giants – 49 (High: 24. Low: 28. LW: 25)
The Giants are suffering from an identity crisis. They have an offense full of talented skill players, yet seemingly do not know how to capitalize on said talent. With the criticism out of the way, only giving up 33 points to the offensive juggernaut that is the New Orleans Saints is a small victory.
29. San Francisco 49ers – 34 (High: 25. Low: 31. LW: T28)
After yet another close loss, the 49ers sit at 1-3. They have lost by a combined 10 points while playing in Minnesota and LA, with an 11-point loss against the high flying Chiefs offense. Nothing to hang your head about, except for the actual record. Losing Jimmy Garropolo is a huge blow for San Francisco, but Matt Breida has been a surprising bright spot for the team. The defense has looked poor so far, allowing at least 24 points in each of the first four games.
30. New York Jets – 30 (High: 28. Low: 30. LW: T28)
The New York Jets are in a poor state of affairs. After their week one decimation of the Detroit Lions, they have lost three straight. They have not looked good doing it either. The Jets defense has been serviceable but the offense has been too inefficient as Sam Darnold continues to learn the ropes. As a result, it puts to much pressure on the defense to keep points off the board.
31. Buffalo Bills – (High: 24. Low: 31. LW: 27)
After the Buffalo Bills showed a completely different side of themselves shutting out the Minnesota Vikings in week three, more was expected of them this week. They failed to deliver, looking much more like week one and two’s Bills than week three’s. Unfortunately, this season will likely continue to be a long one for the Buffalo Bills as rookie quarterback Josh Allen continues to develop.
32. Arizona Cardinals – 8 (High: 32. Low: 32. LW: 32)
The Cardinals were close to pulling out their first win of the season, but came up a field goal short. Josh Rosen was under center and while his stats weren’t sexy, he played much better than they show. He fell victim to a couple of dropped passes that would have boosted them significantly. Trubisky destroying the Buccaneers should make them feel better a bit better for keeping it close, but this team is just not good.
“From Our Haus to Yours”