NFL Week 4 Power Rankings: Bears stay in the top 5
Join BetAmerica Extra columnist Zack Rhodes as he fearlessly slices and dices all 32 teams and ranks them in order according to their Week 3 performance and Week 4 outlook.
1. New England Patriots (3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS)The Patriots remain in the top spot despite Jamal Adams ruining a lot of people’s day with his pick-6 of Jarrett Stidham in the fourth quarter to backdoor the cover for the Jets. I maintain that the Antonio Brown move was a bit out of character for the no-nonsense Patriots, but with the soap opera behind them, it continues to be business as usual as New England heads to Buffalo this week in what could be a surprisingly tough game.
2. Cowboys (3-0 SU and 3-0 ATS)It was a sluggish start for the Cowboys against Miami last week, but Dak Prescott and the boys woke up in the second half and Tony Pollard put us over the top late in the fourth quarter with a nifty 16-yard TD run. Next up is a trip to New Orleans for the Sunday night game in the Superdome. Even without Brees, it should be an electric atmosphere between two of the best teams in the NFC. It’s still early, but everything continues to fall Dallas’ way.
3. Los Angeles Rams (3-0 SU and 3-0 ATS)Sean McVay gave us another reminder last Sunday night of just how great of a football mind he is, as he outclassed the amateurish Freddie Kitchens at every turn. Aaron Donald ran circles around that sorry Browns offensive line as the Rams continue to be on cruise control. It’s going to be another great season for the varsity squad in Los Angeles.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0 SU and 3-0 ATS)I mean, is Patrick Mahomes human? The dude is playing a video game while everyone else is stuck in the Matrix just trying to get a first down. He's already averaging 398 yards passing a game with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions and now he goes to Detroit this weekend to play in his first indoor game as a pro. Just give him the MVP trophy now. I might as well throw my Zeke ticket in the trash.
5. Chicago Bears (2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS)Thankfully, my beloved Bears finally cashed at the window against the lowly Redskins so I didn’t have to drop them from the top group of teams. But that may have been just delaying the inevitable as the Vikings get ready to come to town this weekend. It may not happen this week, but I’m still convinced the key to Chicago’s season is establishing the run with rookie David Montgomery. Do that and everything else should fall into place.
6. Baltimore Ravens (2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS)Although not quite one of the elite teams in the league, the Ravens seem to be as solid as they come as Lamar Jackson continues to develop into a star. It will be interesting to see if they assert their dominance in the AFC North as they prepare to face Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati over the next three weeks.
7. Indianapolis Colts (2-1 SU and 2-0-1 ATS)How can you not be anything but impressed by this gritty Colts bunch that plays a smart, tough-nosed style of football? The criminally underrated and under appreciated Frank Reich deserves medals for the job he’s done in Indy. You can’t convince me that the Colts would be half as good if the overrated Josh McDaniels would have actually lived up his commitment and not backed out on the deal. Talk about a blessing in disguise.
8. New Orleans Saints (2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS)The Saints return to their rightful place in the Top 10 after the pride of Louisville football, Teddy Bridgewater, led them to an impressive win in Seattle in their first game without their fearless leader, Drew Brees. However, beating an average Seattle team with the help of a defensive and special teams touchdown is one thing, beating a Dallas team playing some of the best football in the league is quite another. Sunday night should be a lot of fun.
9. Green Bay Packers (3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS)Having the luxury of watching Green Bay lose at home to the Eagles on Thursday night, I feel far more comfortable with the Packers in this ninth spot instead of the top 5. I have never been a believer in this Packers D and I expect the normalization to continue next week when Green Bay goes on the road to face Dallas.
Next up: Dallas Cowboys (Week 5)
10. Philadelphia Eagles (2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS)Doug Pederson and the Eagles showed their championship mettle in Green Bay last night in what was in many ways a must-win game as they prepare to face a season-defining stretch of five games that may be the toughest any team faces all year starting in Week 6. The return of Alshon Jeffery helped and it was nice to see Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders establish themselves and take some pressure off of Carson Wentz.
Next up: New York Jets (Week 5)
11. Minnesota Vikings (2-1 SU and 2-1 ATS)The Vikings dismissed the Raiders as expected, and now they travel to Chicago this week in what is likely to be a defensive slugfest. With Dalvin Cook completely healthy, I’m really interested to see how this Vikings team continues to progress. Feels like they have a ton of upside.
12. San Francisco 49ers (3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS)Starting with this Niners squad, it feels like there is almost nothing that separates teams ranked 12-19. It took some Jimmy G heroics, but San Francisco is 3-0 for the first time since 1998. Now they enjoy a bye before welcoming Cleveland to town and then traveling to Los Angeles to face the Rams. The game against the Browns is particularly interesting as we continue to get a feel for this San Francisco squad.
Next up: Bye
13. Seattle Seahawks (2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS)Man, these aren’t your older brother’s Seattle Seahawks. As Russell Wilson single handily tried to will his team back into the game against the Saints last week, it was clear as day that he doesn’t have a lot of help on either side of the ball. I don’t know about you, but I miss the days of the Legion of Boom. That unforgettable Super Bowl performance against Peyton Manning and the Broncos in 2014 was truly historic. But those days are long gone.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2 SU and 2-1 ATS)How awesome is Gardner Minshew? Yes, you’ve got to love his swag, but he backs it up on the field as well. The Jags D finally played up to their potential in the convincing win against the Titans last week, but Jalen Ramsey’s situation is disconcerting as his status for this week’s game is unclear as Jacksonville travels to Denver to take on an 0-3 Broncos team desperate for a win.
15. Tennessee Titans (1-2 SU and 1-2 ATS)The question with this Titans team has to be Marcus Mariota. The dude seems like a great guy and a solid leader, but his performance on the field continues to lead to more questions than answers.
16. Houston Texans (2-1 SU and 2-1 ATS)As expected, the great Deshaun Watson terrorized the depleted Chargers secondary, outscoring the Chargers 20-3 in the second half as the Texans pulled out another win. I don’t love this Houston team or Bill O’Brien, but as long as you have Watson and DeAndre Hopkins, you’re going to have a chance in damn near every game you step on the field.
17. Atlanta Falcons (1-2 SU and 1-2 ATS)The Falcons feel like they are exactly where they need to be bunched up in the middle of the rankings. After making it a game late against Indianapolis, Atlanta returns home to play Tennessee in what should be another close game, which I have a feeling may be a consistent theme for Dan Quinn’s team throughout the season.
18. Cleveland Browns (1-2 SU and 1-2 ATS)I think it’s safe to say Freddie Kitchens is no Sean McVay. Add in his rather unimpressive post-game press conference and Freddie may want to get out of the kitchen because he doesn’t seem to be handling the heat very well. Very interested in how the Browns handle the criticism and play this week in a key divisional game at Baltimore.
19. Los Angeles Chargers (1-2 SU and 0-2-1 ATS)The "Rivers face" is almost is as good as the "Manning face". We’ve seen that utter disgust and disbelief on Phil’s face a lot over the last two weeks, but that should change this week with the Chargers set to travel to take out some of their frustrations on the lowly Dolphins. Melvin Gordon may have a taken a giant L when it came to his holdout, but he will give Los Angeles a nice shot in the arm when he returns to the field presumably next week.
20. Buffalo Bills (3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS)Yes, the Bills are 3-0, but let’s keep things in perspective as they’ve beaten the Jets, Giants and Bengals to open the season. But things get real this week with Brady, Belichick and the mighty Patriots coming to town. This Bills defense is legit, it’s just a matter of how much has Josh Allen progressed. We should get a much more definitive answer this weekend.
21. Detroit Lions (2-0-1 SU and 2-1 ATS)With the Eagles beating the Packers in Lambeau Field on Thursday night, the Lions’ win at Philly is that much more impressive. However, we’ll get a much better sense where this Detroit team stands over the next three weeks as the Lions prepare to play Kansas City, Green Bay and Minnesota. I have a feeling Detroit has peaked at this No. 21 ranking as it may be all downhill from here.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2 SU and 1-2 ATS)Even with star rookie linebacker Devin White injured, that was an embarrassing second half performance by the Tampa Bay defense as Daniel Jones did whatever he wanted and did it with Saquon Barkley in a walking boot on the sidelines. It was good to see Jameis Winston, Mike Evans and the passing game breakout, but this is still a very questionable Buccaneers squad.
23. Carolina Panthers (1-2 SU and 1-2 ATS)Did you know Kevin Sumlin had Kyler Murray and Kyle Allen on the same team at Texas A&M and still went 8-5 on the season, 4-4 in the SEC, and lost to Louisville in the Music City Bowl? I think that’s absolutely amazing. That aside, it was an impressive performance by Allen and Christian McCaffrey against the Cardinals and they’ll look to keep it going this week against the Texans.
24. New York Giants (1-2 SU and 1-2 ATS)Along with the Lions (another team I hate), the Giants and Golden Boy Daniel Jones were the biggest movers this week, as both teams jumped up seven spots. And as much as I want to rain on the Giants’ parade, you have to give it up to Jones for orchestrating that impressive second half comeback against the Bucs with Saquon on the sideline. The good times are likely to continue this week against a Redskins defense that has really struggled so far, but things get real the next two weeks with the Vikings and Patriots ready to give Mr. Jones a couple of “welcome to the NFL” moments.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3 SU and 1-2 ATS)In what has been a nightmare start to the season, it was good to see Pittsburgh put up a fight and at least get a win at the window. Even with Big Ben sidelined, this Steelers team still has plenty of talent, and Mason Rudolph has shown he’s capable. It’s been tough, but the season’s not lost for Pittsburgh.
26. Denver Broncos (0-3 SU and 1-2 ATS)Similar to Pittsburgh, Denver is off to a rough start, but this is another team with enough talent and proud veterans to keep fighting. The Jacksonville game this Sunday feels like a must-win.
27. Oakland Raiders (1-2 SU and 1-2 ATS)After getting the upset win against the Broncos in Week 1, it’s been a tough couple of weeks against the Chiefs and Vikings. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any easier as the Raiders travel to Indianapolis this week, return home to play the Bears and then head back out on the road to face Green Bay at Lambeau. Pretty brutal stretch for Jon Gruden’s guys. “Knock on wood if you’re with me!”
28. Washington Redskins (0-3 SU and 1-2 ATS)Again, Case Keenum isn’t the main reason Washington stinks right now, but with the Redskins clearly headed nowhere this season, the question becomes when do you let the young guy get his chance? Week 6 against the Dolphins has to be the week, right? Let Haskins get his confidence up and see what happens from there.
29. Cincinnati Bengals (0-3 SU and 2-1 ATS)The Bengals may not be winning football games, but they are winning bets as they continue to pay competitive games. However, with the Steelers also struggling, the line this week (Steelers -4 at home) seems very fair.
30. Arizona Cardinals (0-2-1 SU and 2-1 ATS)If it didn’t happen last week against a Panthers team without Cam, when are the Cardinals going to get their first win? Maybe at Cincinnati in two weeks, but they’re certainly going to be few and far between in what is going to be a trying rookie season for Kyler and Kingsbury.
31. New York Jets (0-3 SU and 1-2 ATS)The Jets are on a much needed bye this week, and although things are dire right now, New York will eventually get Sam Darnold back and things will turn a bit. But right now, it’s nothing but that familiar feeling of misery for Jets fans.
Next up: Bye
32. Miami Dolphins (0-3 SU and 0-3 ATS)It looked like this pathetic excuse of an NFL team might actually cash for the brave souls who backed them at the window on Sunday, but in predictable fashion, they blew it and failed to cover again. That’s all I got for the Dolphins and that’s far more than they deserve.
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