Despite being on a bye in week 4, the New England Patriots still sit on top of our power rankings, ahead of the Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers, the other undefeated teams. At the bottom, it’s hard to find teams looking worse than the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers, although the Detroit Lions are the only winless team in the league, yet they’re not as bad as the three teams ranked below them.
1. New England Patriots (3-0): Didn’t play, but looked so impressive at every moment so far this season it’s hard to think of anyone better than them at the moment.
2. Green Bay Packers (4-0): Not an offensive explosion on the pitiful Niners (17-3), but a fine performance altogether, as Aaron Rodgers improved to 11 touchdowns and 0 interceptions this season.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (4-0): This is the fourth time in franchise history they’ve won their first four games. They made the playoffs on all previous occasions, including winning 11 games at least in the regular season.
4. Arizona Cardinals (3-1): The biggest problem for the Cardinals in the loss was not getting it done in the red zone, settling for field goals four out of five times. They converted their previous visits to touchdowns 92% of the time heading into the game.
5. Denver Broncos (4-0): The Broncos don’t just have a defense now. They have a running game, with a season high 144 yards in the win over the Vikings, with Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson combined for 118 yards before contact.
6. Atlanta Falcons (4-0): Devonta Freeman is the first player since the 1970 Merger to score three touchdowns in each of his first two career starts.
7. Carolina Panthers (4-0): No one on offense had a special game, but no one needed to. The Panthers scored 27 of their 37 points off of the five turnovers by the Buccaneers, the most by any team in a game since Week 4 of last season.
8. Seattle Seahawks (2-2): Luck has a lot of credit in the Seahawks not being down a 1-3 hole, but with Kam Chancellor back on the field, the defense looks menacing again.
9. Indianapolis Colts (2-2): This is all based on Andrew Luck coming back in the next week or two. If his injury is more serious, the Colts, as we saw in a squeaky win over the Jaguars, have no business so high on the rankings.
10. New York Jets (3-1): Chris Ivory is putting up impressive numbers, including 91 yards after contact in the win over the Dolphins, more than any other running back this season so far.
11. St. Louis Rams (2-2): Nick Foles looked great in the upset win over the Cardinals (three touchdown passes, 126.9 passer rating), which is incredible news for the Rams, not used to having a good quarterback.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2): A kicker ousted and more weird decision making from Mike Tomlin and inconsistency from a defense.
13. New York Giants (2-2): Eli Manning threw an interception, but the Giants seem to be clicking on both ends of the field at the moment, something that didn’t look possible when the season began.
14. San Diego Chargers (2-2): Philip Rivers being able to stare down the blitz and complete passes (best in the league so far this season) is the reason the Chargers have wins this season, barely.
15. Buffalo Bills (2-2): The Bills have 57 penalties this season, the most by a team through their 1st 4 games of a season since the Dolphins and Raiders had 59 and 57 respectively through the 1st 4 games of 2005. And Rex Ryan was out to eliminate that issue at the beginning of the season.
16. Dallas Cowboys (2-2): With the Patriots, at Giants and Seahawks waiting for them, the Cowboys need to win at least one game to leave themselves some hope for the rest of this season.
17. Minnesota Vikings (2-2): With Teddy Bridgewater sacked 7 times, it’s a wonder the Vikings managed to keep the game so close (lost 23-20 against Denver).
18. Baltimore Ravens (1-3): Now that they’ve got the win thing out of the way, playing the Browns and 49ers in their next two games could very well mean they’ll be back at .500 in no time.
19. Tennessee Titans (1-2): A week of rest to get Marcus Mariota in better shape to play the kind of football that should finally make the Titans fun to watch.
20. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3): Alex Smith isn’t a bad quarterback, but the Chiefs not getting the ball to receivers makes it very easy for defenses to stop them from scoring.
21. Washington Redskins (2-2): A win for the Redskins as Kirk Cousins avoids throwing an interception for only the third time out of his 13 career starts.
22. Oakland Raiders (2-2): The Raiders have one big weakness (they have a few of them): Defending tight ends. Not just Martellus Bennett this weekend; they have given up 32 receptions, 388 yards and 6 TD to opposing tight ends this season, all most in the NFL.
23. Cleveland Browns (1-3): Stupid plays at the wrong time show something about a deeper problem than just making a mistake that can be fixed.
24. New Orleans Saints (1-3): Drew Brees is back, but without some more success on defense, the Saints aren’t going to keep up with the Panthers and Falcons.
25. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3): The Chip Kelly vanity project is looking uglier and uglier, and it’s not because DeMarco Murray isn’t getting enough touches. It has more to do with his offensive line.
26. Chicago Bears (1-3): Jay Cutler getting compared to Jesus has to be the weirdest comment of the season.
27. Houston Texans (1-3): J.J. Watt might be putting up great numbers, but this is starting to look like a baseball team with one great hitter and a bunch of scrubs around him.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3): With Jameis Winston imploding on his home field for the second time, the Buccaneers can’t expect to make any kind of improvement this season.
29. Detroit Lions (0-4): Not the worst team in the league, but the only one without a win.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3): The Jags have yet to score more than 20 points in a game this season, which means it’s going to be hard keeping up with anyone semi competent offensively.
31. Miami Dolphins (1-3): Head coaches fired, offensive line falling apart, no one playing with passion, and a lot of money and expectations going down the drain.
32. San Francisco 49ers (1-3): We can look at any part of this team and realize they’re at or close to the bottom of the league. But Colin Kaepernick playing awfully with or without good protection is killing this team, among other things.