Remember in school, perhaps at the junior high “middle school” and the elementary levels, the year was broken up into four quarters. The NFL teams do the same, as they judge really on a quarter’s worth. You may go 3-1 in the first quarter-year, 2-2 in the second quarter-year, 1-3 in the third quarter-year, and 2-2 in the fourth quarter year. That’s when you end up 8-8 (I did not intentionally do that) and are average. Most of our teams are through their first quarter-year, so we see how they rank.
Things to Note:
There is only one winless team remaining in the NFL.
There are 6 remaining teams left unbeaten.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) — This team is back to being the worst in the NFL. After a week where the Buccaneers lose by two touchdowns to a Panthers defense lacking Luke Kuechly, and your “franchise savior” quarterback throws 4 interceptions, you deserve to be ranked at 32. Not to mention, they gave up 37 points to Carolina. Even when the Panthers win, they don’t score that many points! Lovie should be done by Week 10.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) — I was gracious enough to the Jaguars, even after losing 51-17 to the Patriots… They come back the next week against a Colts team out of Luck (an obvious pun) and they fail to capture the game. Could be 2-2 right now and vying for a division crown, but instead, they’ll settle in at 1-and-3, and the inverse to that is 31.
30. Chicago Bears (1-3) — A win against the Raiders by two will be enough to get you out of the last spot, only when there’s teams like the Bucs and the Jags. Be fortune Chicago, and keep this fortune up if you plan on staying up here much longer.
29. San Fransisco 49ers (1-3) — This team remains at 29 from last week. Good news? They held the Packers to 17 points. The bad news? You could only score 3 points against a team who has given up 22.7 PPG coming in. This season isn’t going to be a pretty one for the Niners, will it?
28. Cleveland Browns (1-3) — They didn’t have Joe Haden and lost by 3 points, literally a field goal because of a dumb special teams offside penalty. That’s a mouthful. But look on the bright side, the Browns put 27 up on the scoreboard. I would say that leaves hope.
27. Miami Dolphins (1-3) — Perhaps my largest drop since the preseason, as this team falls all the way down here. They fired their head coach Joe Philbin, and now are turning to an interim head coach. I expect this team to win its next game or two (TEN and HOU), but come on. You fire your head coach this early in the season and you deserve to be this low.
26. Tennessee Titans (1-2) — They got to watch from the sidelines this week as the Colts beat the Jaguars and the Texans decimated the Falcons. Even moving up a spot, they perhaps lost this week considering it’s hard to take a bye week this early in the season.
25. Detroit Lions (0-4) — The only team in the NFL that has yet to win a game, yet they’re 25th-ranked and don’t go down a bit this week. They nearly won in Seattle, no thanks to Megatron, but thanks to an apparent officiating bluff(?). The Lions have had a brutal schedule thus far. It doesn’t get any lighter considering they play the Cardinals next week. Depending on the fight they give will determine if I rank them any lower in my Week 5 rankings.
24. Oakland Raiders (2-2) — This is someone I wanted to move way down after falling short to the Bears this week. They are 2-2 however, and there’s teams who have it worse than them at this point. If they actually beat the Broncos next week, I’ll gladly move them up and buy some stock into this team.
23. Houston Texans (1-3) — This team looks baaaad! They were just crushed by the Falcons, but it wasn’t the team, it was how they played. They still have questions at quarterback. I would hope it gets better, but this “oh so great” defense has allowed the 7th-most points per game. Strangely enough, tied with Oakland in that aspect.
22. New Orleans Saints (1-3) — They move up four spots after an overtime victory over the Cowboys, but still have a lot to figure out. How do you have a Dallas team without Romo, Bryant, Hardy, McClain, Gregory, Scandrick, and they lose Sean Lee early in that game, and you need overtime to beat Brandon Weeden and Brice Butler (who also left the game early), really Saints? This Brandin Cooks option isn’t working out, as he was shown up by Morris Claiborne. Yikes!
21. Washington Redskins (2-2) — Like the Raiders, they are a .500 team I want to move down, but I have to move them up. They were able to defeat the Eagles, and they are tied for the NFC East division lead, whatever that stands for. I would like to see this Redskins team beat the Falcons next week in Atlanta. If I have any Redskins fans here, you can call me biased if I don’t rank y’all in the Top 20 next week if you win down in the ATL… But if you lose, don’t complain to me how bad your team is!
20. Baltimore Ravens (1-3) — They win, but they remain stationary at the twentieth spot. I felt they had an easy win against the Steelers, and it was exactly what I expected. However, if the Steelers had a JV kicker, they probably win that game.
19. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) — This situation looks a lot like what the Dolphins just had. All the talent in the world acquired, and yet they’re 1-3. DeMarco Murray’s calling out the play-calling publicly, and Chip Kelly’s throwing his players under the bus for not executing on the field. This drama doesn’t exactly spell a 10-12 win team, now does it?
18. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) — I have quickly fallen out of love with this team, so much so they drop five in my “league standings”, if you will. Alex Smith has proven he’s a terrible quarterback, and I’m just amazed they haven’t thrown in the towel yet. Their only win came against the Texans, who look worse.
17. Minnesota Vikings (2-2) — They went to Mile High Stadium and challenged the Broncos. Even if they didn’t get a win like I expected, they proved they could hang with the Broncos on the road. A dangerous team, but they’re still .500. If they can tear up the Chiefs at home like they did the Lions and Chargers, this team will begin to win me over as a double-digit winning team.
16. Indianapolis Colts (2-2) — They’ve won their last two, but I drop them five spots. Why? If the kid for the Jaguars could make a simple field goal, they’re 1-3 right now. Just watching this team, does it look to be a top-12 team? Some may think I’m being courteous enough to rank them this high… And no, I’m not holding a grudge for starting Andrew Luck this week on my fantasy team. That was a mistake on my part, but he should’ve played! WIMP! Oh, and by the way, of the 34 quarterbacks qualified, he has the lowest passer rating this season. Even lower than Brandon Weeden, Jay Cutler, Blake Bortles, Ryan Tannehill, and Colin Kaepernick!
15. St. Louis Rams (2-2) — They were able to defeat the undefeated Cardinals. What does this tell me? St. Louis can win division games. However, this isn’t last year’s NFC South. You can’t host a playoff game with a 6-10 record.
14. New York Giants (2-2) — A big win against Buffalo? They didn’t have to cover Sammy Watkins or handle LeSean McCoy. This is a very inconsistent team, but I’ll keep them at fourteen for the time being.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) — I drop them one spot this week, only because they win that Ravens game if they had a better kicker than Josh Scobee, who has now been released. Everyone will see just how valuable Ben Roethlisberger is for this team.
12. Dallas Cowboys (2-2) — They’ve dropped two straight games, and they go from 3, to 8, all the way down to 12. This is a completely different team with all the injuries, and it just gets worse. Jerry World needs to install a full-blown hospital inside there, with a complete medical stuff, examination rooms, everything! And just like the 13th-D46-ranked team, everyone will see just how valuable Tony Romo was for the Cowboys.
11. San Diego Chargers (2-2) — They won, but can they really boast about beating the Cleveland Browns by 3, thanks to an offsides penalty? This drops them outside the Top 10, but it’s only one spot. They must have their way with the Steelers if they have any chance of getting back into the Top 10. Because guess who comes after the Steel Curtain? The Lambeau Leap! Well… Assuming the Browns put up 27 against the Chargers, I can assume the Packers will be doing the “Lambeau Leap” plenty of times in that meeting!
10. Carolina Panthers (4-0) — They move up five spots, and I am careful not to buy into this team yet. They’re obviously the worst undefeated team out there, but their defense did shine without star linebacker Luke Kuechly. If the Panthers can beat the Seattle Seahawks, THEN will I begin to let Panthers fans message me on Facebook. Until then, I’ll just ignore all that.
9. New York Jets (3-1) — They move up ten spots, but they beat the Dolphins, why? Well, just like the Dolphins take a major step back for firing their head coach, the Jets take two giant steps forward for having a division rival fire their head coach! The Jets humiliated the Dolphins, and their “first quarter-year” performance has been tremendous, and has exceeded all expectations.
8. Denver Broncos (4-0) — Someone explain to me why I should buy into the Broncos. They move up one, but are they really going to be up here for long? I don’t believe so. The Broncos really only play the Packers, Patriots, and Bengals this year. Those three games they lose. This is one of the easier schedules to begin the season with, and yet they haven’t had their offense explode. Now I’m just here waiting for Peyton Manning to implode.
7. Buffalo Bills (2-2) — I still believe in this team. Tyrod Taylor isn’t as bad as everyone thought coming into the season. I recognize the Bills were without Watkins and McCoy, and though that fact only has them dropping three spots, I can’t continuously make that excuse for them. They should destroy the Titans, with or without either of those players, and then they’ll have the tough task of the Bengals. If they win the next two, they are what I thought they were.
6. Cincinnati Bengals (4-0) — I move them up one spot, and they’re good. Many are overreacting with this “Andy Dalton for MVP” sort of deal, but I get it. Unfortunately, the Bengals are one of those teams who are hot at the beginning, yet begin to falter and don’t do much in the postseason. However, these are regular season rankings. Therefore, I’ll keep them high. Just be careful buying stock into this Bengals team.
5. Seattle Seahawks (2-2) — They were winless without Kam Chancellor, and they’re undefeated with Bam Bam Kam. They struggled against Detroit, which is why I will not be moving them ahead any in my rankings, but they’re on the right track.
4. Arizona Cardinals (3-1) — The Cardinals fall out of the box of undefeated teams, after a division loss to the Rams. I won’t be too critical, as this team still has the highest point differential in the league. As a matter of fact, I think I like this team even more. I did watch the game, and knew it’d be a defensive matchup, which it was. Difference was the running back. Andre Ellington was out while Todd Gurley shined brightly in the closing moments.
3. Atlanta Falcons (4-0) — The Texans have been bad, but the Falcons put 48 up and won by 27, which it wasn’t even that close! Week by week, they continuously get better. Won by 2 points, then 4, then 11, and it’s opened up for them. They have two games next calendar week, one against the Redskins and then they are faced with a divisional road game on Thursday Night Football versus the Saints. If they can come out of this 6-0 and stay tough, they’ll prove me right.
2. Green Bay Packers (4-0) — This defense showed up to hold the 49ers, on the road, to 3 points. The Packers didn’t have a great game offensively, but it was expected to be close. The Packers actually won by fourteen on the road, so I can’t really move this team down any.
1. New England Patriots (3-0) — If you remember, I talked about the Titans’ bye week and how they loved relaxing. Well, same deal with the Patriots. They not only saw the Bills succumb to the Giants, and not only the Dolphins head coach fired, but they also saw Bengals struggle, the Broncos struggle, the Seahawks struggle, the Cardinals lose, and so every team that could’ve knocked them off their throne, they didn’t play worthy of the #1 spot. The Patriots then head in for the Cowboys game, which will likely be worse than their 51-17 victory before this bye week they had against Jacksonville. This would end the would’ve-been suspension of Tom Brady, so I expect him to go out with, say, 4 touchdowns and 450 yards. Oh, and a win! But hey, this isn’t #WeeklyFood yet.
What is your assessment of the NFL through four weeks? Let me know if I underrated or overrated one of your teams! Is New England still number one?