NFL Power Rankings: B/R's Consensus Rank for Every Team Entering Week 5
And then there were three.
The top of the National Football League saw quite the shake-up in Week 4. Entering the week, there were eight teams without a loss.
Less than half remained undefeated at week's end.
In the first game of the week, the Green Bay Packers suffered their first loss at home, compliments of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Los Angeles Rams were stunned at home by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs squeaked out wins against the unbeaten Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions.
Things went a bit more according to script at the bottom of the barrel. The Miami Dolphins were pounded by the Los Angeles Chargers. The Denver Broncos lost another heartbreaker at home. And in a Monday night battle of winless teams in Pittsburgh, it was the Steelers who finally got a win.
Sorry, Cincinnati Bengals.
As has been the case every week this season, Bleacher Report analysts Gary Davenport, Brad Gagnon and Brent Sobleski have gathered to rank all 32 teams from worst to first.
The bookends haven't changed in some time, but in between them is a swirling mass of football chaos.
Just how we like it.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-4)
Last Week: 32
Week 4 Result: Lost 30-10 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
A pattern is emerging with the 2019 Miami Dolphins.
Well, a couple of patterns are emerging. The first is losing games in blowout fashion on a weekly basis.
But just as they did a week ago in Dallas, the Dolphins kept Sunday's game with the Chargers close in the first half. It was 17-10 at intermission.
The problem is that while in the locker room, the Dolphins looked in the mirror and remembered that they are the Dolphins. The team didn't score another point, the Bolts added to their lead, and by game's end the 'Fins had gotten roasted for the fourth time in as many weeks.
There is a bright side, though—a silver lining for Miami. We can guarantee that the Dolphins will not lose in Week 5.
The team is on a bye.
31. New York Jets (0-3)
Last Week: 31
Week 4 Result: Bye Week
Generally speaking, NFL teams don't like having a bye week early in the season. But in the case of the New York Jets, the bye week came at a good time.
With quarterback Sam Darnold sidelined by mononucleosis and inside linebacker C.J. Mosley on the shelf with a groin injury, the Jets fell completely apart over the past two weeks. New York hasn't scored an offensive touchdown since Week 1 and was outscored 53-17 in losses to the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots.
Per Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post, Darnold is expected back on the field for next week's trip to Philadelphia. But Darnold will not fix the team's offensive line. Or pass rush. Or secondary.
The Jets entered the 2019 season with a modicum of optimism, but it hasn't taken long for some cold, harsh realities to settle in. This is a flawed team on both sides of the ball.
And it's going to be another long season for Gang Green.
30. Cincinnati Bengals (0-4)
Last Week: 30
Week 4 Result: Lost at Pittsburgh 27-3
There are some truly bad football teams at the bottom of the NFL. The Miami Dolphins are putrid. The Washington Redskins are dreadful.
The Cincinnati Bengals aren't even a little bit better.
On Monday night, the Bengals were outclassed in every aspect of the game by a Pittsburgh Steelers team that entered Week 4 with the same number of wins Cincy had: zero.
There wasn't a facet of the game in which the Bengals weren't terrible. The defense had no answer for Pittsburgh's short passing game. The offensive line was completely dominated, which meant no running lanes for Joe Mixon and no time to throw the ball for Andy Dalton.
Forget the close losses at Seattle and Buffalo. Stow the notion this team isn't that far away from being competitive. The Bengals can't block or tackle. Both are rather important in the NFL.
The days of five straight playoff appearances are long gone. The days of the Bengals winning six or seven games and at least being a tough out are over, too.
These Bengals are bad.
And for the eighth time since 1991, Cincinnati is 0-4.
29. Washington Redskins (0-4)
Last Week: 26
Week 4 Result: Lost at New York Giants 24-3
After three straight losses to open the 2019 season, fans in the nation's capital clamored last week for rookie first-round pick Dwayne Haskins to play—especially after Daniel Jones led the New York Giants to a victory in his first NFL start.
Well, those fans got their wish in Week 4—after Case Keenum struggled badly in the first half against the Giants, Haskins saw the first game action of his pro career.
It was a disaster.
Granted, Haskins had little in the way of passing game weaponry and Washington's line play isn't good. But he barely completed over half of his 17 attempts and threw three picks—one of which was returned for a touchdown.
The Redskins have lost four straight to open the season, and every loss has been by a larger margin than the defeat that came before it.
"It's only a matter of time before Washington implodes," Sobleski said. "The team is already well on its way to a winless Week 6 showdown with the hapless Miami Dolphins—everyone can safely assume Washington will lose to New England next week, while the Dolphins are on their bye week. Dwayne Haskins clearly wasn't ready to start. The coaching staff said so publicly and then played him anyway. Head coach Jay Gruden's hot seat no longer exists because it's burnt to a crisp. Yeah, owner Daniel Snyder won't tolerate a lost season much longer."
28. Denver Broncos (0-4)
Last Week: 28
Week 4 Result: Lost vs. Jacksonville 26-24
There was good news for the Denver Broncos in Week 4.
They finally notched their first sack of the season. Five of them, in fact.
But a month into the season, the Broncos still don't have a takeaway.
Denver quarterback Joe Flacco had his best game since joining the team, passing for 303 yards and three touchdowns.
But the Broncos once again found a way to lose, blowing a 14-0 lead, then retaking the lead late, only to once again fall at home on a last-second field goal.
It's still awfully early in the Vic Fangio era, but it's a bad sign that Denver is 0-4 for the first time in two decades.
To say the Broncos are reeling is a massive understatement, and with three of their next four against teams that made the playoffs last year, the worst may be yet to come.
"The Broncos just look toothless," Gagnon said, "which is very disappointing considering Vic Fangio's reputation. The defense has now gone a quarter of a season without a takeaway, and they were embarrassed on their home field in the second half Sunday by Gardner Minshew II and Leonard Fournette. The schedule is also hell. They could be a surprise contender for the No. 1 overall pick."
27. Arizona Cardinals (0-3-1)
Last Week: 27
Week 4 Result: Lost vs. Seattle 27-10
Four weeks into the 2019 NFL season, something has become painfully clear in the Valley of the Sun.
The 2019 Cardinals may be a bit more fun to watch than the 2018 iteration, but that doesn't make them any better.
Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray has been OK, but not much more—he's thrown just four touchdown passes, an equal number of interceptions and has a passer rating of less than 80. Kliff Kingsbury's supposedly high-octane offense ranks 24th in the NFL in yards per game and 24th in scoring, at just 18.5 points per game.
In and of itself, that's not a huge surprise—it takes time to get a new scheme up and running. But the offense appears headed in the wrong direction—Sunday's 10 points were the fewest the team has scored this season.
The Cardinals are at Cincinnati in Week 5—a game in which they'll take on one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
If Murray and the Redbirds offense can't get going in the Queen City, it's time to hit the big red button.
26. Atlanta Falcons (1-3)
Last Week: 21
Week 4 Result: Lost vs. Tennessee 24-10
The Atlanta Falcons are done.
It's not just that by virtue of Sunday's home loss, the Falcons are now in last place all by themselves in the NFC South. It's how the Falcons got there.
It's a run game that continued to struggle, managing just 3.4 yards per carry and 58 total yards Sunday.
It's a porous defense that surrendered 365 yards and 22 first downs to a Tennessee offense that looked terrible in Week 3 against the Jaguars. The Falcons made Marcus Mariota look like Joe Montana in Week 4.
It's an offense that added another turnover to the pile Sunday and went 5-of-14 on third down.
"When Drew Brees got hurt," Davenport wrote, "I figured that opened the door for the Falcons to take control of the division. Instead, the Falcons are 1-3 despite not having played a team that's above .500 this year. Three of Atlanta's next four are against 2018 playoff teams. By the time the Falcons reach their bye week, they're going to be playing for a draft slot and not a playoff spot."
25. Oakland Raiders (2-2)
Last Week: 29
Week 4 Result: Won at Indianapolis 31-24
The Oakland Raiders are not an easy team to get a read on this year.
After looking impressive in a Week 1 win over the Denver Broncos, the Raiders were outscored 62-24 in blowout losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings—losses that dropped the Raiders close to the bottom of these power rankings.
However, Oakland didn't look the part of a tomato can Sunday in Indianapolis. Quarterback Derek Carr led the Raiders to touchdowns on three of their first four possessions, they piled up almost 190 yards on the ground, and a late pick-six sealed the team's second win of the season.
After going just 4-12 last year, the Silver and Black have to feel like a .500 September record is a step in the right direction.
But a Week 5 trip to London to face the Chicago Bears is a tall order for the team to get above that .500 line for the first time in October since its playoff season in 2016.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)
Last Week: 25
Week 4 Result: Won vs. Cincinnati 27-3
On one hand, the Pittsburgh Steelers desperately needed a win at home on Monday night. If they were to maintain even the slimmest of hopes of reaching the postseason in 2019, they had to do whatever it took to avoid an 0-4 start.
In that respect, the Steelers were successful. Pittsburgh used short passes and the Wildcat on offense and a ferocious pass rush on defense to pound the hapless Bengals at Heinz Field.
The problem is that Pittsburgh's most impressive effort of the season came against a miserable team, so it's hard to determine whether it's on the right track or if this was just a temporary respite born of a pitiful opponent.
We won't have to wait that long to find out which it was, though. On Sunday, the Steelers continue their AFC North house party by welcoming in the Baltimore Ravens.
By virtue of Cleveland's win over Baltimore this past Sunday, the Steelers are just one game out of first in the division.
Get past their most hated rival and the Steelers could be right back in business.
23. New York Giants (2-2)
Last Week: 22
Week 4 Result: Won vs. Washington 24-3
The legend of Danny Dimes continues.
Just two games into his NFL career, the New York Giants rookie quarterback is already setting records. The sixth overall pick is tied for the best winning percentage of any quarterback in NFL history.
Kidding aside, Jones came back down to earth a little in Week 4, tossing a pair of interceptions against Washington. But Jones made plays when he needed to, got some help from his defense and ground game and earned his second win in as many starts.
There will be ups and downs for Jones and the Giants this year—he's a first-year signal-caller leading a team that's not without flaws.
But there's no denying that the dynamic around this team has changed drastically. Jones adds an athletic element to the offense that was sorely lacking under Eli Manning.
There's going to be bumps in the road, but there's also optimism about the future of Big Blue.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2)
Last Week: 24
Week 4 Result: Won at Los Angeles Rams 55-40
It's not all that often that a team allows 518 yards of total offense and wins a football game.
OK, it happens twice a week in the Pac-12, but in the NFL it's rare.
That's just what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did in Week 4, riding a red-hot start—during which the team raced to a 21-0 lead—to a wild 55-40 victory that is the biggest upset of the 2019 season to date.
Tampa's defense gave up a boatload of yards, but it also made a handful of huge plays, forcing four Rams turnovers. Jameis Winston had one of the best games of his career, throwing for 385 yards and four touchdowns. And wideout Chris Godwin went bananas, hauling in 12 passes for 172 yards and two scores.
It was the kind of effort that can define a season. Serve as a springboard.
Or a Buccaneers team that has ping-ponged all over the place through the first month of the season could lose by three scores in New Orleans on Sunday.
21. Tennessee Titans (2-2)
Last Week: 23
Week 4 Result: Won at Atlanta 24-10
The Tennessee Titans are impossible to figure out.
When last we saw the Titans, they were getting their heads handed to them by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Titans offense was stuck in mud for almost the entire Thursday night affair.
So of course, just over a week later the Titans went on the road to Atlanta and handled the Falcons with ease.
After struggling mightily against the Jags, quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 66.7 percent of his passes, threw three touchdowns and posted a passer rating of almost 130. Bruiser Derrick Henry carried the ball 27 times and hit the 100-yard mark. The Titans defense allowed 422 yards of total offense but gave up just one touchdown.
After back-to-back division losses, the Titans have returned to .500 and are tied for first place in a four-team AFC South logjam.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)
Last Week: 20
Week 4 Result: Won at Denver 26-24
There isn't a team in the AFC South with more positive momentum right now than the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Despite the Jalen Ramsey saga swirling around the team, the Jaguars have peeled off back-to-back wins, coming from 14 points down to beat the Broncos on Sunday.
The passing (and mustache) of Gardner Minshew II has rightly gotten its fair share of run, but the real story Sunday was the running of bruiser Leonard Fournette. He destroyed the Denver defense, rolling for 225 yards on 29 carries and powering Jacksonville's comeback.
After an 0-2 start to the season, the Jaguars are right back in the mix in the traffic jam that is their division—quite the feat given that the Jags were left for dead by most after Nick Foles got hurt.
Who knew it would take Jacksonville losing its quarterback to find one.
19. Carolina Panthers (2-2)
Last Week: 19
Week 4 Result: Won at Houston 16-10
Over the first two games of the 2019 season, the Panthers offense was inconsistent at best and stagnant at worst. For every good drive there were two bad ones. Tailback Christian McCaffrey was the only reliably productive weapon the team had in back-to-back losses to begin the year.
Then starting quarterback Cam Newton got hurt, youngster Kyle Allen was pressed into action and things got…better?
This isn't to say that Newton was solely to blame for Carolina's offensive woes. But it's hard to argue with results, and while Allen's yardage numbers haven't been jaw-dropping, he's thrown six touchdown passes without an interception while posting a passer rating of over 118.3.
With Newton battling a Lisfranc injury, it could fall to Allen to lead the Panthers offense for quite some time. If he continues to enjoy this kind of success, the Panthers could have some tough decisions to make under center in the offseason.
18. Indianapolis Colts (2-2)
Last Week: 13
Week 4 Result: Lost vs. Oakland 31-24
There are some things that the 2019 Indianapolis Colts just cannot afford. They can't afford to let opponents get off to fast starts—this isn't a team built to score points in bunches via the passing game. The Colts can't afford to be one-dimensional offensively. And like every team in the league, the Colts can't afford to turn it over.
All of those things happened to the Colts on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, and the result was a seven-point loss.
Oakland found the end zone on three of its first four possessions, racing to a 21-7 lead. The Colts had just 81 rushing yards and managed only 3.5 yards per carry. And a late pick-six by quarterback Jacoby Brissett all but ended any hopes of a Colts comeback.
"The Colts aren't a bad team," Davenport said, "but it's becoming apparent that they aren't an especially good one, either. The chances of this team going into Arrowhead and beating the Chiefs is only slightly better than my odds of winning Mega Millions, which means the Colts will hit the bye a flawed 2-3 team staring at the season getting away from them. If there's a saving grace, it's that the rest of the AFC South is just as bad—and maybe worse."
17. Minnesota Vikings (2-2)
Last Week: 11
Week 4 Result: Lost at Chicago 16-6
Over the first three weeks of the season, the Minnesota Vikings rode the running of tailback Dalvin Cook to a 2-1 record. Had they defeated the hated Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday, the Vikings would have claimed both a share of first place in the NFC North and sent a message to the division.
A message got sent, all right—by the Bears.
The Vikings were thoroughly dominated by the Bears defense in Week 4. Tailback Dalvin Cook was limited to just 35 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked a half-dozen times. And the Vikings managed just 222 yards of offense total in a 16-6 loss.
"The Vikings might be the worst team in the NFC North, which is pretty unbelievable considering the capital they've invested in both the offense and defense," Gagnon said. "Kirk Cousins is utterly unreliable, he's not getting enough support anyway, and the Vikings are simply overmatched in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. They'll continue to bully bad teams and lay eggs against good ones, with 8-8 looking inevitable. Just waiting for that 2021 rebuild."
16. Detroit Lions (2-1-1)
Last Week: 17
Week 4 Result: Lost vs. Kansas City 34-30
The Lions almost had it.
Detroit put a massive exclamation point on a surprisingly successful September by stunning a Kansas City Chiefs team some considered the best in the NFL. With less than three minutes left in the game, the Lions held a three-point lead.
The Lions couldn't close the deal, but if there are such things as moral victories in the NFL, the Lions notched one in Week 4.
This is a team from which not much was expected in 2019. When Detroit squandered a big fourth-quarter lead against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1, those low expectations appeared justified.
But since that game, the Lions have played three teams that all made the postseason last year—and came close to sweeping them.
The Lions appear to be a much better team than we thought heading into their Week 5 bye. But the schedule doesn't get any easier after that week off. Detroit travels to Lambeau Field in Week 6 and then hosts the Minnesota Vikings.
15. Houston Texans (2-2)
Last Week: 7
Week 4 Result: Lost vs. Carolina 16-10
No team in the AFC South that can be trusted—including the Houston Texans.
After moving into the top 10 of these power rankings last week, the Texans rewarded the confidence of the Bleacher Report NFL analysts by laying an egg against a one-win Carolina Panthers team starting their backup quarterback.
Despite forcing three turnovers and allowing fewer than 300 yards of total offense and just 16 points, the Texans came up short on the scoreboard—largely because Houston had just 264 yards of offense and 10 points in their own right. The Texans were miserable on third down, converting just four of 11 attempts.
"When training camp started, the AFC South looked like arguably the most competitive division in the NFL," Davenport said. "Now it's a morass of mediocrity filled with teams who look good one week and abysmal the next. The entire division's now 2-2, and while the Texans may still be the class of the South on paper, I have zero confidence right now in their ability to make a run in January."
"No matter how much everyone wants to believe the Texans are counted among the NFL's best teams, they're not," he said. "The AFC South is up for grabs between four 2-2 squads. Deshaun Watson is inconsistent, and Houston's quarterback is still sacked far too often (18 times through four games, which is second-worst behind the Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray). Until the Texans prove themselves capable of taking hold of the division and playing well on a consistent basis, they'll be stuck with the NFL's large swath of mediocrity."
14. Buffalo Bills (3-1)
Last Week: 15
Week 4 Result: Lost vs. New England 16-10
No NFL team ever feels good about losing a game. But there are reasons for the Bills to feel decent after falling at home by six to the defending world champions—especially given that Buffalo's starting quarterback spent much of the afternoon in the concussion protocol.
The Bills outgained the Patriots by a substantial margin, surrendering only 224 yards of total offense. Buffalo's excellent pass defense held Tom Brady to just 150 yards through the air, and the Bills didn't give up an offensive touchdown to one of the league's more explosive offenses.
Buffalo was done in by four turnovers and a special teams letdown, and if the Bills are going to make a serious playoff push, gaffes like those will have to be eliminated.
But for one afternoon at least, the Bills showed they can play with the best team in football.
And that is a step in the right direction.
13. Los Angeles Chargers (2-2)
Last Week: 16
Week 4 Result: Won at Miami 30-10
There's not a ton to be gleaned from L.A.'s blowout win over the putrid Dolphins on Sunday. Everyone blows out the Dolphins. SMU would blow out the Dolphins.
OK, they wouldn't—but the Dolphins are terrible.
The bigger story for the Chargers this week is the return of running back Melvin Gordon III. Gordon wasn't a factor in Week 4, but as Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn told reporters, Gordon will be the team's starting tailback once he's up to speed.
The question then is what the team will do with Austin Ekeler. Just as he's been all season, Ekeler was a huge part of the Chargers' Week 4 win, piling up 122 yards and scoring two touchdowns on 23 touches.
That's an awful lot of production to relegate to the bench, even for a back with Gordon's resume.
12. Cleveland Browns (2-2)
Last Week: 18
Week 4 Result: Won at Baltimore 40-25
After losing two of three to open the season, there was plenty of talk this week concerning what was "wrong" with the Cleveland Browns.
All it took was a few hours to change that conversation markedly.
The Browns played easily their most complete game of the season in handling the Ravens in Baltimore to assume first place in the AFC North. Offensively, the Browns got a 342-yard effort from quarterback Baker Mayfield and a massive game from tailback Nick Chubb. Defensively, the Browns kept the highest-scoring team in the league in check most of the game and forced Baltimore's first three turnovers of the season.
"Sunday we saw the recipe for the Browns to win games," Davenport wrote. "Cleveland leaned on Nick Chubb and the run game and used quick passes to compensate for deficiencies along the offensive line. The best part about the recipe is that it's easily duplicated—play like that over the next month, and the Browns may yet survive a brutal stretch on the schedule."
"Cleveland deserves credit for fighting back after that brutal start," Gagnon added. "The Browns are a play or two short of being 3-0 since that loss to the Titans, and they're right back in the thick of things after hammering a division rival on the road. They're the best team in the AFC North, and they have the talent to pull away."
11. Baltimore Ravens (2-2)
Last Week: 8
Week 4 Result: Lost vs. Cleveland 40-25
A couple weeks ago, the Baltimore Ravens were being talked up as one of the best teams in the NFL.
A lot can change in a fortnight.
This isn't to say that the Ravens aren't still a good team. Or a very good team. Or even a Super Bowl-caliber team. But one week after coming up short at Kansas City, the Ravens got beaten soundly at home by the team they used to be—and that defeat raised a couple of concerns.
Those concerns reside on the defensive side of the ball. Against a Browns offense that had struggled much of the year, the Ravens were gashed for a jaw-dropping 530 yards of total offense and 193 yards on the ground. The Browns averaged 6.7 yards per carry and a staggering 8.7 yards per play.
The Ravens should be able to get untracked again soon enough, though—their next two games are against the Bengals and Steelers, who have combined to go 1-7 this season. But Sobleski pointed out a stat that should give grave concern to Ravens fans.
"Keep the following statistic in mind as the Ravens slowly work their way down the power rankings after a hot start," he said. "Baltimore's defense, which finished last season ranked No. 1 overall, is currently tied with the Miami Dolphins for dead last by allowing 7.0 yards per play."
10. Philadelphia Eagles (2-2)
Last Week: 14
Week 4 Result: Won at Green Bay 34-27
The Philadelphia Eagles entered Week 4 with their backs against the proverbial wall. The team sat at 1-2 after a disappointing home loss to the Detroit Lions and couldn't afford to fall further behind the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East.
However, the Eagles are also experienced in big games—and they showed that at Lambeau Field.
Propelled by a rushing attack that gashed the Packers for 176 yards and over five yards a carry, the Eagles rallied after finding themselves in an early hole and pulled off a win that may be looked back on as a season-saver. With a home date against the reeling Jets up next, the Eagles have an excellent chance of getting above .500 and back on track.
"Philly's secondary remains a problem," Davenport said, "but in Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders, the Eagles have a one-two punch at tailback they can use to control game tempo and time of possession. Dallas remains the best team in the division, but the gap between it and Philadelphia doesn't look as wide as it did a week ago."
9. San Francisco 49ers (3-0)
Last Week: 12
Week 4 Result: Bye Week
The San Francisco 49ers were one of the more hyped teams in the NFL entering the 2018 season, only to be ravaged by injuries on the way to a four-win face-plant.
As it turns out, that hype may not have been completely misplaced—just a year premature. Four weeks into the season, the Niners are the NFC's last remaining unbeaten team.
Yes, the 49ers haven't exactly piled up the style points this season, and the combined record of their opponents is 3-9. But the 49ers are undefeated and averaging a robust 32 points per game.
There's also a pretty good chance that the 49ers will be able to keep the good times rolling for quite a while longer. San Francisco's Week 6 showdown with the Rams (a game that now has massive implications in the division) is the only game until Week 10 in which 49ers will face a team that currently sports a winning record.
The 49ers are a legitimate playoff contender—provided they can avoid another rash of major injuries.
8. Los Angeles Rams (3-1)
Last Week: 3
Week 4 Result: Lost vs. Tampa Bay 55-40
If you figure out what happened in Los Angeles on Sunday, do us a favor and drop us a line. Maybe one of those tweets we hear so much about.
Sure, the Los Angeles Rams hadn't looked as dominant through three games as they did a year ago, but they were still 3-0 and a heavy favorite heading into a home tilt with a Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad that blew a big lead at home against the Giants the week before.
So of course, the Rams fell behind 21-0 and let the Buccaneers drop 55 points on them.
You read that right. Fifty-five. Insert Sammy Hagar lyric here.
The Rams allowed 464 yards of total offense, turned it over four times and had no answer at all for Tampa wideout Chris Godwin. It was as bizarre as it was unexpected, and it put a large dent in L.A.'s claim to be the best team in the NFC.
"I'm starting to wonder if this'll be a dud season for the Rams," Gagnon said. "I know they're still 3-1 and that offense will likely continue to be lethal, but this is no longer a cold streak for Jared Goff. He's too inconsistent and makes too many mistakes, and that's a problem because he's got less support than he had last year. Plus, the Rams have a target on their back this season."
7. Chicago Bears (3-1)
Last Week: 10
Week 4 Result: Won vs. Minnesota 16-6
It's not often that an NFL team loses its starting quarterback and doesn't miss a beat. That's doubly true when the team is a playoff contender.
But that's what happened at Soldier Field on Sunday. Despite Mitchell Trubisky going down early in the game with a shoulder injury, the Bears offense didn't falter in its huge NFC North matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.
Yes, the run game found the sledding rough, managing just 72 yards on 33 carries. And Chase Daniel's 195-yard, one-touchdown stat line wasn't very Mahomes-esque. But Daniel and the Bears made plays when they needed to, and Chicago's otherworldly defense picked up the slack.
It was a big win for the Bears, especially in light of the Packers' loss at home on Thursday night. With Chicago now headed to London to take on Oakland, the dominant storyline will be the prognosis on Trubisky's shoulder.
Head coach Matt Nagy has already indicated he doesn't believe the injury is season-ending, but the Bears should be able to get the win in Week 5 regardless.
6. Seattle Seahawks (3-1)
Last Week: 9
Week 4 Result: Won at Arizona 27-10
After a listless performance in a home loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 3, the Seahawks needed a rebound performance Sunday in Arizona.
They got it.
It was a business-like effort against an overmatched team. Seattle opened up a 20-3 lead at the break and cruised in the second half.
Russell Wilson missed on just six of 28 pass attempts and threw for 240 yards and a score. Tailback Chris Carson carried the ball 22 times for 104 yards and didn't fumble for the first time this season.
It was a win that gave the Seahawks a nice head of steam heading into a short prep week for Thursday's now-huge NFC West showdown with the Rams in Seattle.
"At this point, the NFL is made up of the Patriots, Chiefs and everyone else," Sobleski said. "Two elite teams exist. The rest is up for grabs. The Seahawks aren't particularly impressive, but they are 3-1 and took care of business against weak opposition. The combination of quarterback Russell Wilson, a strong running game and a top-10 defense will keep Seattle in every game."
5. Green Bay Packers (3-1)
Last Week: 5
Week 4 Result: Lost vs. Philadelphia 34-27
Thursday night's home tilt against the Philadelphia Eagles started out well enough. The Packers raced out to a 10-0 lead and looked the part of an undefeated Super Bowl contender.
Then the wheels fell off. By night's end, the Packers had their first loss and a host of problems.
The first (and biggest) is a run defense that has been steadily worsening as the season wears on. That came to a head and then some against the Eagles. The Packers were repeatedly gashed on the ground, allowing a three-score game to Jordan Howard and over 175 total rushing yards.
As if that weren't bad enough, they also suffered a significant injury.
After going off to the tune of 10 catches for 180 yards, star wide receiver Davante Adams missed the end of the game with a toe injury. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the injury isn't believed to be serious, but losing Adams for any length of time would be a big deal for the Green Bay offense.
Between that leaky run D and the potential absence of their best skill-position weapon, the Packers have some significant issues ahead of a trip to Dallas in Week 5.
4. Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
Last Week: 4
Week 4 Result: Lost at New Orleans 12-10
Over the first three weeks of the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys looked as good as any team in the NFL.
Sunday night in the Big Easy, they came back to Earth a bit.
There's no shame in losing to the Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and the Cowboys were in the game until the very end. But New Orleans limited a Dallas team that had been averaging over 32 points per game to a single touchdown and held both quarterback Dak Prescott (223 passing yards, one interception) and tailback Ezekiel Elliott (18 carries, 35 yards, one touchdown) in check.
"The Cowboys may well remain the most balanced team in the NFC," Davenport said. "And playing in the Superdome in prime time has tripped up even the best of clubs. But the Cowboys went from unstoppable juggernaut to a team looking to rebound in the span of a few hours.
"Said rebound won't be easy, either. Next week, the Cowboys host a Packers team that's also looking to wash off the stink of its first loss of the season. It wasn't a good week for the NFC's unbeaten teams—at least the ones who played."
3. New Orleans Saints (3-1)
Last Week: 6
Week 4 Result: Won vs. Dallas 12-10
We'll start this one off with a mea culpa from Davenport.
"When Drew Brees went down," he said, "I thought the Saints' days as a legitimate Super Bowl contender were done. I was wrong. At least crow tastes a little better with Cajun spices."
The Saints didn't exactly light up the scoreboard Sunday night against the Cowboys. The team had just 266 yards of total offense and didn't find the end zone. But the Saints also allowed only 257 yards to the high-octane Dallas offense and forced three turnovers.
Brees or no Brees, Gagnon considers the Saints among the best teams in the league not located in Boston or Kansas City.
"I think there's a huge drop-off from the Patriots and Chiefs to everybody else, even after both New England and Kansas City cut it close in Week 4," he said. "That said, it's hard not to give the top 'best of the rest' spot to New Orleans, which has defeated two 2018 playoff teams in back-to-back weeks without its starting quarterback. That's a damn good sign that this team is both deep and mentally tough. It might be stronger than ever when Drew Brees returns."
2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)
Last Week: 2
Week 4 Result: Won at Detroit 34-30
Had you told the Detroit Lions they would hold Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes without a touchdown pass, the team would probably have liked its chances of securing the upset.
Well, the Lions did just that—for all the good it did them.
The Lions actually had a 30-27 lead in this game with about two-and-a-half minutes left, but Mahomes led the Chiefs down the field, and a Darrel Williams touchdown run sealed the deal with 23 seconds on the clock.
It wasn't Kansas City's prettiest win of the season, but Davenport thinks it was the Chiefs' most impressive.
"Down three to a good Lions team on a day when the offense wasn't its usual buzzsaw self, rallying for the win shows just how good this Chiefs team really is," he said. "I still have significant concerns about the defense, but the only team in the AFC that can knock these Chiefs out is the one that did so in last year's AFC Championship Game."
1. New England Patriots (4-0)
Last Week: 1
Week 4 Result: Won at Buffalo 16-10
Sooner or later, a team was going to test the defending Super Bowl champions after three straight blowouts to open the season.
The Patriots got that test Sunday against the Bills. Buffalo gave New England all it could handle, holding the Patriots to just 224 total yards—over 150 fewer than the Bills piled up.
And yet, it was the Patriots who emerged with the win when the dust settled.
It was just another example of what makes them so maddening for opponents. The Bills did just about everything right. But a blocked punt return for a touchdown and a late interception on a tipped ball were all it took for New England to hang on for the victory.
"This was easily New England's ugliest win of the season," Davenport said. "But in some ways, it was also the most impressive. Even when the Pats are at less than their best, there's just no margin for error against them. Show them a sliver of daylight and they'll use it to beat you."
"The Patriots remain the league's No. 1 team and deservedly so," Sobleski added. "But the Buffalo defense held Tom Brady and his offense in check. Granted, not every opponent will feature the same caliber of defense, but future challengers will certainly emulate Buffalo's approach. With that said, the Patriots' real strengths this season are on defense and special teams, which allowed them to escape New Era Field with a victory."