1. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4-0)
When you’re automatic on 4th & 1, things tend to tilt in your favor. It’s also beneficial to have a kicker like Jake Elliott. This team is such a tough out.
2. BUFFALO BILLS (3-1)
The Buffalo Bills made something very clear this weekend. If you’re in the AFC East, it doesn’t matter if you put up 100 points – that division runs through Buffalo.
3. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (4-0)
Have yourself a day, CMC! McCaffrey had 4 TD’s on Sunday, as the Niners dispatched the Cardinals 35-16. San Francisco will have their toughest test of the season on Sunday, when the host the Cowboys for Sunday Night Football.
4. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (3-1)
These guys are just masters at closing out games. We saw it in the Super Bowl, and we saw it again on Sunday night. The Chiefs were ahead by 3 and they got the ball on the Jets 47-yard-line with 7:24 remaining. The Jets never got the ball back after that. That is just incredible.
5. MIAMI DOLPHINS (3-1)
The Dolphins received a very clear message in Buffalo on Sunday – the Bills are still the team to beat. Now the question is how do the Dolphins respond?
6. BALTIMORE RAVENS (3-1)
We got a glimpse of how effective this Ravens defense can be on Sunday. They got to Thompson-Robinson 4 times and were +2 in the turnover battle. The offense didn’t exactly emulate the defense’s success, but they were able to coast to a 25-point victory.
7. DALLAS COWBOYS (3-1)
Another impressive Cowboys blowout, another superb defensive performance. Dallas’ defense chipped in 2 TD’s to help out the offense. I may sound like a broken record here, but I’m not buying in to the Super Bowl talk until the offense shows that they can bail out their teammates on the other side of the ball. Then again, the way this defense looks, they may not ever need to.
8. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (3-1)
The Seahawks handed the Giants an embarrassing loss on MNF. This team didn’t show up in Week 1, but they have really turned up the heat ever since.
9. DETROIT LIONS (3-1)
The Lions made a statement in Lambeau on Thursday night. They’re here to stay, and the Packers aren’t the same team that they were with Aaron Rodgers
10. CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-2)
It was a rough one for the Browns, as you might have expected since they were missing Deshaun Watson & Nick Chubb. Honestly, I was wondering “how much worse could it get?” for Cleveland at the QB position since Watson has not looked good so far in his Browns career. It turns out it could get worse – and it did. Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw 3 INT’s and was sacked 4 times, as the Ravens teed off on the Browns for 60 minutes.
11. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (3-1)
Tom Brady may be gone, but the Bucs are making it clear that Brady’s departure doesn’t mean they’re gonna pack it in. As far as they’re concerned, they are still the kings of the NFC South until someone usurps the throne. They made that very clear with a 17-point, road victory over their division rival Saints.
12. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-2)
A couple weeks ago I posed the question of whether or not it would be good for the Chargers to hit a skid in the hopes that Staley gets canned – again, this is a flawed thought process, but I can’t help but wonder. The last two weeks have been what I was worried about when it comes to the Chargers. Staley stays off the hot seat because the team is winning, but they are still finding themselves in situations where they are either trailing late in the 4th quarter or playing close games against teams that they should be beating with ease. The Raiders had Aidan O’Connel starting at QB, Khalil Mack had 6 sacks, and at one point the Chargers had a 17-point lead – but they still found themselves needing an Asante Samuel Jr interception to prevent the Raiders from tying the game or taking the lead late in the 4th quarter. You can’t get away with stuff like that against the Chiefs or the Bills. You just can’t.
13. CINCINNATI BENGALS (1-3)
I think it’s time to start worrying in Cincinnati. A 1-3 start isn’t insurmountable, but the Bengals have failed to find the end zone in two of those losses – both of them being losses of 21+ points. The big plays haven’t been there. But most troubling of all is the remaining schedule: Seahawks, at 49ers, Bills, at Ravens, Steelers x2, at Jaguars, Vikings, at Chiefs, Browns. The Bengals will be the underdogs in at least 5 of those, maybe more.
14. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-2)
The Jaguars and London go together like tea & crumpets. They found a victory in their trans-atlantic voyage, after being embarrassed by the Texans last week.
15. LOS ANGELES RAMS (2-2)
So, what’s this going to look like when Cooper Kupp returns? Will Puka Nacua still be producing at an all-pro level or is this just a flash in the pan that will end when he has to start sharing touches with Kupp? This could be a very exciting situation for the Rams, and I’m eager to see how it plays out.
16. TENNESSEE TITANS (2-2)
Newsflash: Derrick Henry is still the king. He gashed the Bengals on the ground and threw a TD pass just for good measure.
17. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (2-2)
Sam Howell bounced back this week. He put up 290 yards and a TD. He may not have walked away with the victory, but he went into one of the toughest places to play and took the best team in the NFL to the brink. That’s about as optimistic as a loss can be.
18. NEW YORK JETS (1-3)
When Zach Wilson fumbled the ball away on his own 47-yard-line, down 3, with over 7 minutes to go, I don’t think anyone in Met Life Stadium thought that the Jets wouldn’t get another possession. They had stormed back from an early 17-point deficit and were hanging tough with the Chiefs. Most people probably believed that New York would hold Kansas City to a field goal or force a punt, and then Wilson would have a chance to lead the team down the field looking for an upset. Unfortunately, the Chiefs are masters at killing the clock, and Wilson didn’t touch the ball again after the fumble.
19. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (2-2)
The Steelers are 2-2, but it doesn’t feel like it. The decision to bring back OC Matt Canada is surely weighing heavy. Kenny Pickett hasn’t taken that Year 2 leap that was expected. The Steelers vaunted defense is showing holes. All of those were on full display when the Steelers got trounced by the Texans 30-6, yielding 306 yards through the air to rookie QB CJ Stroud. The Texans gashed them on the ground for another 139.
20. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2-2)
Sunday was just a deflating loss for the Saints. Home field advantage is supposed to loom large in rivalry games, but the Saints just couldn’t get anything going, as the Bucs handed them a 17-point loss on their home field.
21. ATLANTA FALCONS (2-2)
All the momentum from that 2-0 start – gone. The past two weeks have been brutal for the Falcons, particularly on offense, having only mustered 13 points in their past 2 games.
22. GREEN BAY PACKERS (2-2)
An ugly 1st half sealed the Packers fate early on Thursday Night Football. The role reversal that’s currently happening with the Lions must be a tough pill to swallow for the Pack.
23. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (2-2)
The Colts had a roaring comeback fall just short on Sunday. After falling behind 23-0, Anthony Richardson led this team to tie it up and force overtime. The Rams would win the toss and end the game on their first possession, but this was a good learning experience for the rookie QB.
24. HOUSTON TEXANS (2-2)
CJ Stroud looks for real. It’s obviously still early to be making a call like that, but he just torched the Steelers defense for 300+ yards. You can’t expect much more than that from a rookie QB – and Stroud delivered.
25. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (1-3)
It took a while, but the Vikings finally got it right, albeit against one of the league’s worst teams in the Panthers. The beginning looked all too familiar for Minnesota as Kirk Cousins threw a 99-yard pick-six on the opening drive. However, the Vikings would climb back into it and clamp down on rookie QB Bryce Young to earn a 21-13 victory – their first of the season.
26. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (1-3)
I’m pretty sure Bill Belichick became a meme on Sunday when he expressed his disappointment in his team by rolling his eyes and covering his face. If you watched the game, you surely know what I’m talking about. Beyond that, like a lot of people, I was a little perplexed when the Patriots cut Zappe in the preseason. Now we find a situation where Zappe may end up taking over at QB for a team that gave him the boot a couple months ago. It would be hard to enter that situation with a lot of confidence, I would imagine.
27. ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-3)
The Cardinals will be seeing Christian McCaffrey in their nightmares this week, after allowing the RB to reach the end zone 4 times. The team we saw on Sunday, compared to the team we saw last week, were night & day.
28. NEW YORK GIANTS (1-3)
The Giants have surely bottomed out now, right? I don’t know how much worse it could get. This team won a playoff game last year, but they are now 1-3 after getting embarrassed at home in a national primetime game for the second time this season.
29. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (1-3)
So close, but yet so far. That is becoming a theme with the Raiders. They found themselves within 1 score and had possession of the ball in the red zone with 3 minutes left, but an Aidan O’Connel pick doomed the Raiders, leading them to fall to 1-3.
30. DENVER BRONCOS (1-3)
The Broncos got their first win, but they were a questionable Eberflus decision away from watching it slip through their fingers. A win’s a win, though, and the Broncos surely needed one.
31. CAROLINA PANTHERS (0-4)
Bryce Young is still waiting to taste NFL success. The Panthers jumped out to an early lead against the Vikings, but just couldn’t muster enough on offense to hang onto it. It also doesn’t help when you give back a defensive TD.
32. CHICAGO BEARS (0-4)
Eberflus may have helped nail his own coffin on Sunday. Forget about blowing the 21-point 2nd half lead, which is inexcusable in its own right, but what about not taking the points in a tied game with less than 3 minutes remaining? On 4th & 1, Eberflus left the offense on the field, and you already know how that went… stuffed, Broncos FG, Fields INT. That’s a bizarre decision in any situation, but even more so with the Bears’ sputtering offense.