NFL Power Rankings - Week 4

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TwinSpires Staff

October 2nd, 2018

NFL Power Rankings Week 4

1. Los Angeles Rams (4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS) The Rams were able to dispatch the Vikings in Week 4 in one of the best football games played so far this season. Goff finished with an impressive stat line, going toe-to-toe with Kirk Cousins throughout the night. The Rams are firing on all cylinders right now heading in to Week 5, and get a chance to feast on a Seattle team that will be without Earl Thomas.

Next Game: LAR (-7) at Seattle

2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0 SU and 4-0 ATS) Patrick Mahomes didn’t post the most impressive stat line against the Broncos in Week 4, but his final scoring drive with 1:39 left on the clock juxtaposed with Case Keenum’s attempt at a last second winner proved that this kid is for real. If the Chiefs can sort out the defensive issues they could be looking at a very special season.

Next Game: Jacksonville at Kansas City (-3) 

3. New Orleans Saints (3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS) The Saints were finally able to win comfortably in Week 4, beating the Giants 33-18. The defense looked improved, holding Saquon Barkley to just 44 yards and one touchdown, as Alvin Kamara went for 134 yards and found the endzone three times. The Saints get the Redskins on Monday night this week with Brees staring down an opportunity to claim the all-time passing yards record in prime time.

Next Game: Washington at New Orleans (-6.5)

4. Carolina Panthers (2-1 SU and 2-1 ATS) The Panthers took a media gamble signing Eric Reid to a one-year deal last week. Reid’s talent is undeniable and will help improve a defense that is already tough to score on. As long as Cam continues to play at an MVP level, the Panthers will be in the mix for a trip to the Super Bowl in February.

Next Game: NYG at Carolina (-6.5)

5. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS) The Jags bounced back in Week 4, destroying the Jets 31-12. Through 4 games the Jacksonville defense has surrendered a total of 53 points to its opposition, which is the top mark in the league. Meanwhile, Blake Bortles continues to have a roller coaster season, this week throwing for 388 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Leonard Fournette wasn’t needed, but was eased back into the running back rotation with 11 carries but has already been ruled out for next week leaving the duties to T.J. Yeldon. With Fournette, the Jaguars are a special offense. Without him? We're still not sure.

Next Game: Kansas City (-3) at Jacksonville 

6. New England Patriots (2-2 SU and 2-2 ATS) After losing to the Lions in Week 3, the Patriots looked like the Patriots once again in Week 4, annihilating the Dolphins in Foxboro. Josh Gordon’s debut did not go as planned as he was held to only 2 catches for 32 yards and 0 touchdowns, but the rest of the Patriots skill position players fared well against a soft Miami defense. The Patriots will get Julian Edelman back in Week 5 on a short week.

Next Game: Indianapolis at New England (-10)

7. Baltimore Ravens (3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS) Before the season began, the major question surrounding the Ravens was whether or not Joe Flacco was still a quarterback capable of leading a team in the NFL. Through four games it appears the answer to that question is "yes" as Flacco is playing at an elite level, throwing for 363 yards and 2 touchdowns in his most recent outing against the steelers. A more impressive stat is that Flacco only has 2 interceptions in his first 171 attempts so far in 2018, which is an obvious improvement over the 8 interceptions he threw in his first 185 attempts in 2017. Flacco maintaining an elite status has been as rough-and-tumble experience for Baltimore and their backers throughout the years, but for now the Ravens are flying high.

Next Game: Baltimore at Cleveland (-3)

8. Philadelphia Eagles (2-2 and 1-3 ATS) The Eagles dropped another winnable game to the Titans on Sunday, despite Carson Wentz returning to form. There are several issues contributing to the slow start for Philadelphia, but the most glaring is the poor offensive line play . Against Tennessee, Wentz never looked comfortable as the o-line surrendered 4 sacks and 8.5 tackles for a loss. The issues on the line will need to be cleaned up quickly if the Eagles want to defend their Super Bowl title.

Next Game: Minnesota at Philadelphia (-3.5)

9. Green Bay Packers (2-1-1 SU and 2-2 ATS) Clay Matthews was able to get through his first game of the season without a roughing the passer penalty for sacking the quarterback, which is about all one could take from this game. Green Bay pitched a shutout, Aaron Rodgers looked hobbled, second-string running back Aaron Jones had a good day, and Jimmy Graham caught his first touchdown as a Packer. All this happened while Buffalo caved in on itself once again. Green Bay gets a chance to prove themselves against an equally shaky Detroit team.

Next Game: Green Bay (PK) at Detroit

10. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS) The Bengals get Vontaze Burfict back in Week 5 after he missed the first four games of the season for violating the league’s PED policy. Burfict should help improve the defense, specifically in the run game where the Bengals currently rank 21’st in the NFL. Surprisingly, Cincinnati is sitting at 3-1 after a tough schedule through the first quarter of the season. Aside from the Carolina game, Andy Dalton has been able to limit his turnovers and put the Bengals in a position to win.

Next Game: Miami at Cincinnati (-6.5)

11. Chicago Bears (3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS) Just when you thought that this season couldn't get any more unpredictable, here comes Mitch Trubisky. The 6 touchdown, 354 yard performance against the Bucs was easily his best outing of his career as the Bears slotted themselves into first place in the NFC North. The Bears are heading into the bye week on a high note and will get the Dolphins in Miami in two weeks.

Next Game: BYE

12. Los Angeles Chargers (2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS) The Chargers were barely able to dispatch the 49ers in LA, despite C.J. Beathard lining up under center for San Francisco. The defense is a mess right now, giving up an average of 30 points and 385 yards per game. The pass rush from the d-line has been virtually non-existent with the absences of Joey Bosa and Corey Liuget. The Chargers will get Lugiet back in Week 5 for the matchup against Oakland, but Bosa isn’t slated to return until Week 8.

Next Game: Oakland at LAC (-5)

13. Minnesota Vikings (1-2-1 SU and 2-2 ATS) The Vikings fell to 1-2-1 on the season after coming up short against the Rams in LA. There is no shame in losing to the best team in the NFL, especially in one of the best games played so far this season. Kirk Cousins played extremely well, but Goff and the Rams were simply able to come up with a few more crucial plays that eventually won the game. The Vikings have a chance to legitimize themselves when they play the Eagles this weekend, with hopes that Delvin Cook will be healthy enough to contribute more meaningfully.

Next Game: Minnesota at Philadelphia (-3.5) 

14. Miami Dolphins (3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS) The Dolphins never got going offensively against the Patriots on Sunday. The game plan failed to materialize and the defense gave up nearly 450 yards of total offense in a 38-7 rout. In addition to the blowout, the Dolphins lost yet another starting offensive lineman (and team captain), Daniel Kilgore. The losses along the o-line were evident on Sunday as Tannehill took hit after hit from the Patriots defense. A once promising season now seems doomed to mediocrity.

Next Game: Miami at Cincinnati (-6.5) 

15. Atlanta Falcons (1-3 SU and 1-3 ATS) It is frustrating to watch the Falcons struggle to win close games when it’s obvious most of these losses would be wins if the defense were healthy. Unfortunately, this is the NFL and teams have to find a way to overcome injuries and win football games. For the second week in a row the Falcons put up over 35 points in a losing effort, this time at the hands of the Bengals. Devonta Freeman should return in Week 5 after missing the past three weeks with a knee injury bolstering an already dangerous offense.

Next Game: Atlanta at Pittsburgh (-4)

16. Tennessee Titans (3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS) The Titans pulled out a gritty win against the Eagles in overtime on Sunday. Mike Vrabel refused to kick a field goal in overtime, going for it three times on 4th down en route to the game winning touchdown. The only negative from the game was that Kenny Vaccaro picked up an elbow injury that will cause him to miss the next few games. Tennessee’s lone loss on the season came against the Dolphins in a weird game with multiple lightning delays. Their record is promising, and they're beginning to show real grit, but we'll hold off before anointing them as a top-10 team.

Next Game: Tennessee (-3) at Buffalo

17. Denver Broncos (2-2 SU and 0-3-1 ATS) The Denver Broncos suffered a tough loss at home to the red-hot Chiefs on Monday night, and honestly it all came down to Keenum being unable to make basic NFL throws. His running backs struck gold against a bad KC rush defense and he has two top tier receivers. Missing Demaryius Thomas on third down with seconds ticking on the clock felt like a "well, this is what you paid for when you gave Keenum $18 million" sort of moment. They now travel to the Jets who need to bounce back after a big fall from their Lions upset. Denver shouldn’t look like this, but Keenum has always looked like this. 

Next Game: Denver at New York Jets (-1)

18. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2-1 SU and 1-3 ATS) We thought Pittsburgh was back, then they weren’t, then we thought they were again, and then they weren’t. This offense just isn’t clicking under new play calling duties, and missing Le’Veon Bell doesn’t help either. A team with this much on the roster should be much more consistent, but the fact of the matter is that they’re waiting a long time to figure it out. Atlanta is a mess on defense with injuries and an allergy to tackling so this is a good place for the Steelers to get into rhythm. 

Next Game: Atlanta at Pittsburgh (-4) 

19. Indianapolis Colts (1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS) Indianapolis looks like that team that you know you can handle, but they’re a serious pain to play. T.Y. Hilton is on the sideline with an injury and that doesn’t leave Andrew Luck with much. Luck has looked good, but not exactly back to full strength. What helps Indianapolis is a good group of edge rushers and the fact that Luck at 60% is still better than half the NFL. Ten and a half points feels like too much when the Colts visit the Pats.

 Next Game: Indianapolis at New England (-10.5)

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2 SU and 2-2 ATS) Winston gets a week off to get back into practice and the Fitzmagic era comes to an end. Wow, was that short lived or what? Now it’s time to find out what this team is sincerely capable of with Winston inserted as the starter. By the way, Tampa went 3-10 SU in 13 games when Winston was the man in 2017. This has the potential to be better, but it also has the potential to be a lot worse.

Next Game: BYE

21. Cleveland Browns (1-2-1 SU and 3-1 ATS) It hurts to put Cleveland this low on the list. They’re trying, they’re in the hunt, they had some horrendous officiating mistakes that took a game away from them, but alas they’re still down here. Mayfield threw a late interception and his offensive line let him down leading to two costly turnovers against Oakland. This team is fighting and while they only have one official win right now, they have at least four personal victories and a division rival to take the hate out on next week in The Land. 

Next Game: Baltimore (-1) at Cleveland

22. Washington Redskins (2-1 SU and 2-1 ATS) Remember when Washington rolled over Green Bay after losing to the Colts after rolling over Arizona? Does anybody know who Washington is? We sure don’t, but is it possible they still snag a playoff spot within a strange division of non-contenders and the Eagles? Yeah it’s possible, and while they’re low here coming off a bye, there is a lot of room to be proved wrong. Their most valuable win comes against Green Bay and we’re not sure who they are yet, but taking a visit to NOLA will prove a lot on Monday night.

Next Game: Washington at New Orleans (-7) 

23. Seattle Seahawks (2-2 SU and 1-2-1 ATS) The demise of the Legion of Boom will make a really cool 30 for 30 documentary one day. But for now, they’re still the post-legion Seahawks with a mess of an offensive line and some hobbled receivers. Seattle gets to host the Rams who are still beating everybody up each week, and home field advantage is what they’ll depend on to get a victory here. Seven and a half points feels awfully low for an unimpressive Seattle team.

Next Game: Los Angeles Rams (-7.5) at Seattle

24. New York Giants (1-3 SU and 1-3 ATS) Nobody could have predicted that the Giants could be this boring with this many playmakers. Honestly, the Giants are a major disappointment with only one win coming in Houston. Carolina is tough and the G-Men have to travel to Charlotte this week. Nothing is ever a sure thing in the NFL, but if there is a sure thing it’s that Carolina should beat up on New York come Sunday.

Next Game: New York Giants at Carolina (-7)

25. New York Jets (1-3 SU and 1-3 ATS) The Jets have been on top and back to the bottom and everywhere in between. Sam Darnold was the savior and now he's a few bad performances away from carrying on the modern legacy of Jets quarterbacks. This secondary is still intimidating, but the Jets aren’t putting together team wins and it raises questions about what their future holds. The good news is that they get to play Denver at home. The bad news? They might be the same ol' Jets.

Next Game: Denver at New York Jets (-1)

26. Dallas Cowboys (2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS) Running backs have been completely devalued in this league, and that’s what Dallas has in their back pocket to base their team around. Dak isn’t very good, and Dez Bryant is tweeting out things about wanting to play in Dallas once again. Until Dez comes back and Dak proves he can throw a football the Cowboys are just giving it to Zeke and scraping by. This team’s too talented for this, but they’re coached by one of the worst groups of play callers in the league.

Next Game: Dallas at Houston (-3.5) 

27. Oakland Raiders (1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS) Oakland stole their first win from Cleveland with a little help from the refs last Sunday. They didn’t deserve it, they didn’t earn it, and they don’t have our respect. Carr is not a dynamic playmaker and Gruden is out of touch with the league. Oakland has put all their chips into the wrong baskets and it’s going to show over the next four or five years. They keep saying that they couldn't pay Khlalil Mack, which begs the question: which Oakland Raiders are earning that money and which of them actually deserves it?

Next Game: Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers (-6)

28. Detroit Lions (1-3 SU and 3-1 ATS) Detroit may have turned a corner with their win against New England, but after getting blown out by the Jets who can say that with confidence? We certainly can’t, but they get to host Rodgers and the Packers this week and prove us wrong. This line has moved towards Detroit from the open, and we’re still not sure why. Detroit has a lot to show the world and they haven’t done so just yet. Green Bay should walk away with a divisional win.

Next Game: Green Bay (PK) at Detroit

29. San Francisco 49ers (1-3 SU and 1-3 ATS) It’s a bit unfair to totally roast the 49ers because they lost their top CB and QB, but this isn’t a time for sympathy. The 49ers are going to be messy this year, and if they’re getting a win they can only hope it’s this week against rookie Josh Rosen and Arizona. With that in mind, take Arizona to win straight up. The 49ers are lost right now. It’s time to tank. Again.

Next Game: Arizona at San Francisco (-5.5)

30. Houston Texans (1-3 SU and 1-3 ATS) Houston is kinda trying to put it together. Deshaun Watson looks a bit more in groove but this team is really injured and JJ Watt finally has a number to put in the “sacks” column. But the Texans still don’t look very good to us and the pre-season expectations are keeping them afloat in the Vegas lines. They’re favorites against an in-state rival in prime time this week and we’re not totally sure why.

 Next Game: Dallas at Houston (-3.5)

31. Buffalo Bills (1-3 SU and 1-3 ATS) The Bills had a super cool win in Minnesota. Then they remembered they’re the Bills. Josh Allen became Josh Allen again. LaSean McCoy is surviving the suspension guillotine one week at a time. Kelvin Benjamin swears the team is trying really hard. Shout out to Buffalo for keeping one thing in the NFL consistent: the Bills. We are who we thought they were.

 Next Game: Tennessee (-3) at Buffalo

32. Arizona Cardinals (0-4 SU and 2-2 ATS) Josh Rosen honestly has a blank slate to paint his masterpiece on with this season. Prove us all wrong, prove your place in the draft, prove literally anything because the Cardinals don’t have a chip on the table right now. They’re underdogs to a seriously debilitated 49ers squad. If they can't pick up a win here, they might not win a game this entire season.

Next Game: Arizona at San Francisco (-5.5)