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My Week 4 NFL Power Rankings 2017

Updated on October 3, 2017

Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

Believe it or not we are a quarter of the way through the NFL season. Bye weeks are starting so long as you don’t count Miami and Tampa Bay missing out on Week One. Which I don’t. The season is in full swing and by now we have enough of a sample size to see which teams are for real and which teams are, well, not. Hopefully your club falls into the former category there, but there’s only one way to truly tell. How you ask? By seeing where they fall in this week’s rankings of course! Duh! Does anyone say “duh!” anymore? They should. I’m bringing it back.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) ~ Harrison Butker’s second career NFL field goal turned out to be a game-winner as he drilled the 43-yarder with just eight seconds left in regulation helping Kansas City remain the NFL’s only unbeaten team. For the third week in a row the Chiefs top my rankings, but an exciting match-up awaits them Sunday night in Houston where the defense will try and contain electric rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson. (Last Week’s Ranking 1)

2. Green Bay Packers (3-1) ~ The Packers will go into this weekend’s game with extra rest as they last played Thursday night. And they need it. Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams are banged up which could mean that rookie running back Aaron Jones will get the start at Dallas Sunday. The fifth-rounder from UTEP had 13 carries for 49 yards and a score against the Bears. (LWR 4)

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) ~ There’s the Le’Veon Bell we’ve all come to know and love. After a slow start the Steelers MVP candidate torched the rival Ravens for 144 yards and two touchdowns as Pittsburgh took control of the AFC North. Up next is a home date with Jacksonville who just allowed the Jets to run wild all over them. (LWR 5)

4. Atlanta Falcons (3-1) ~ Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu were both forced from Sunday’s game with injuries. Jones isn’t expected to miss any time, but Sanu could be out 2-3 weeks. The Falcons have teetered on the edge of defeat a few times this season and finally came up short Sunday at home against the surprising Bills. They’ll look to avoid the trap game in a week against Miami before a Super Bowl rematch with New England. (LWR 3)

5. New England Patriots (2-2) ~ I almost had the Lions in this spot. ALMOST. Then I realized I can’t possibly rank the Lions ahead of Tom Brady and the Patriots. Could I? If New England’s defense doesn’t stop somebody soon, that might have to change. For now, I still believe in this team because any time you thought they were out of it over the last fifteen years, they’ve proven otherwise. Still a top five team for me, but barely. (LWR 2)

6. Detroit Lions (3-1) ~ Provided the tweaked ankle doesn’t prove problematic, Ameer Abdullah looks like he is ready to give the Lions something they’ve sorely lacked in recent years: a dependable running game. The former Cornhusker toted the ball 20 times Sunday against a stout Minnesota defensive front and gained 94 yards while also finding the end zone. A solid running game will open things up for Matthew Stafford through the air and make the Lions that much more formidable. (LWR 7)

7. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) ~ Speaking of running games, the Eagles showed on Sunday that they can run the ball if they choose to do so. LeGarrette Blount ran wild for 136 yards and a score in easily his most productive game as a member of the Eagles. Backup Wendell Smallwood added 34 yards and also caught four passes out of the backfield as he looks to replace Darren Sproles. The Eagles are alone atop the NFC East and already have two wins in the division. (LWR 9)

8. Denver Broncos (3-1) ~ Melvin Gordon. Ezekiel Elliott. LeSean McCoy. Marshawn Lynch. What do they all have in common? They’ve all been held in check by Denver’s suddenly superb run defense. Denver is allowing just under 51 yards rushing per game after having faced those four Pro Bowl backs. Up next is a date with the New York Giants who have a non-existent run game. Yikes. (LWR 10)

9. Oakland Raiders (2-2) ~ Oakland’s dream season a year ago took a turn for the worst when Derek Carr went down with a broken leg. Now, the star quarterback has a fracture in his back which will force him to miss at least the next two games. Can Oakland keep up in the ultra-competitive AFC West without their signal-caller? (LWR 6)

10. Dallas Cowboys (2-2) ~ Jason Witten has disappeared. Dallas’ all-time leader in receiving yards had 17 catches for 156 yards and two scores in the first two games of the season. Over the last two he has just two grabs for 12 yards. Dak Prescott will need to start looking for his Hall of Fame bound tight end again as the Cowboys will look to avoid dropping below .500 this weekend. (LWR 8)

11. Seattle Seahawks (2-2) ~ Just when it looked like Seattle had figured out their running back situation, Chris Carson breaks a bone in his leg and lands on injured reserve. It looks like it is back in the hands of Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls if Seattle is going to move the ball on the ground. Seattle is a defense-first team, but a ground game will help keep that defense rested to close out tight games. (LWR 15)

12. Los Angeles Rams (3-1) ~ All aboard the Rams bandwagon. I’ve got my ticket. After going on the road and outgunning the Cowboys, the Rams matched last year’s 3-1 start. The difference is that this year the Rams actually have an offense that can put points on the board. Jared Goff is showing signs of why the Rams took him first overall just a year ago and Todd Gurley is gashing defenses like it’s 2015 all over again. (LWR 17)

13. Buffalo Bills (3-1) ~ This was supposed to be a rebuilding year in Buffalo. Nobody told the team that. The Bills handed Atlanta their first loss of the season as they moved to 3-1 and tops in the AFC East. That’s right. The Bills are leading the AFC East. The same Bills who currently have the longest playoff drought in the NFL (1999 was the last time Buffalo was in the postseason). They are holding opponents to a league-best 13.5 points per game. (LWR 18)

14. Carolina Panthers (3-1) ~ A week after I basically proclaimed Cam Newton dead after he couldn’t figure out the New Orleans defense, he proved he was only mostly dead as he torched New England’s league-worst defense for 316 yards and three scores through the air and another touchdown on the ground. I’m not ready to say Superman is back, but I’m more hopeful than I was a week ago. (LWR 19)

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) ~ Jacquizz Rodgers has filled in nicely for Doug Martin while he served a three-game suspension to start the season. That’s all over and the muscle hamster is back. It remains to be seen just how much action he will see as the Bucs play Thursday night, but adding Martin to an offense that already has weapons such as Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Jameis Winston will only help Tampa in their bid for a playoff spot. (LWR 16)

16. Minnesota Vikings (2-2) ~ Obviously the big news out of Minnesota is that star rookie running back Dalvin Cook will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Losing your top running back is a big deal for almost any team, but the Vikings do have Latavius Murray who starred in Oakland before joining the Vikings as a free agent. If he can keep the ground game going, the Vikes could be OK. (LWR 12)

17. Washington Redskins (2-2) ~ Kirk Cousins and company nearly handed the Chiefs their first loss of the season Monday night in Kansas City. They raced out to an early 10-0 lead and even tied it up late with a field goal only to see the Chiefs kick one of their own in the waning seconds of the game. They may be 2-2, but this team seems to have a fight in them that was lacking a year ago. (LWR 14)

18. Houston Texans (2-2) ~ A week ago I asked if the Texans were the best 1-2 team in the league. They responded by scoring a franchise-record 57 points against the Titans. It was rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson’s third career start. To say that is impressive is an understatement. Now the question is are the Texans the best 2-2 team in the league? (LWR 23)

19. Tennessee Titans (2-2) ~ Their defense gave up 57 points to a division-rival, but what might be more troubling is that Marcus Mariota was forced to leave the game with a hamstring injury. If he can’t go, the Titans do have a more than capable backup in Matt Cassell. If Mariota needs to miss extended time, however, the Titans season could be sunk. (LWR 11)

20. New Orleans Saints (2-2) ~ The New Orleans Saints have shut out an opponent. You read that right. The Saints, and their much-maligned defense, allowed zero points to an opponent for the first time since 2012. Granted, it was Jay Cutler and the anemic Dolphins, but a shutout is a shutout. (LWR 22)

21. Baltimore Ravens (2-2) ~ Over the first two games of the season Baltimore outscored their opponents 44-10. Over the next two weeks they were outscored 70-16 and 44 of those were scored by the Jaguars of all teams. Something is wrong in Baltimore on both sides of the ball and they need to figure it out quick if they are going to turn their season back around. Perhaps Sunday’s game against the Derek Carr-less Raiders will help. (LWR 13)

22. Arizona Cardinals (2-2) ~ The defense didn’t allow a touchdown at home to a winless team and the Cards STILL needed a late touchdown in overtime to pull out the victory. Carson Palmer is getting pummeled behind an offensive line that is doing its best impression of a sieve. A trip to Philly and their defensive front could pose problems for Arizona this weekend. (LWR 24)

23. Cincinnati Bengals (1-3) ~ A date with the Browns will cure almost any team and cure the Bengals offense it did. Andy Dalton tossed four touchdowns and Cincy cruised to their first victory of the season. Things will be a bit tougher this Sunday when they host the Bills who have allowed just one touchdown pass all year. (LWR 28)

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) ~ All that stood in the way of the Jaguars starting the season 3-1 was a game against the New York Jets. A game the Jaguars could have, and should have, won easily. They completely took apart the Ravens a week ago. Everything was in the cards for us to talk about whether or not the Jaguars could compete in the AFC South. Then they did what the Jaguars do and reminded us all that they are still the Jacksonville Jaguars. (LWR 20)

25. New York Jets (2-2) ~ I know. I can’t believe it either. Never in my wildest dreams did I think the Jets would be this high, but here they are. I didn’t think they’d win more than two games all year, and while that can still play out, odds are they won’t lose their next 12 in a row. Food for thought: The Jets have the same record as the Patriots through the first quarter of the season. Just let that sink in for a while. (LWR 30)

26. Miami Dolphins (1-2) ~ The Dolphins are a garbage-time touchdown away from having been shut out by the Jets and the Saints in consecutive weeks. I don’t even know how that is humanly possible. If they can’t score at home this weekend when the Titans come to town, you know, the team that just allowed 57 points to a rookie quarterback, it will officially be all over for the Dolphins. (LWR 21)

27. Chicago Bears (1-3) ~ The Mike Glennon era is over in Chicago. Mitchell Trubisky, the number two overall pick in this year’s draft, will make his first career start Monday night against the Vikings. The last quarterback to make his NFL debut was Colin Kaepernick back in 2012. He ended up taking the 49ers to a Super Bowl. If Trubisky can do that in Chicago he will be well worth the price the Bears paid to move up and draft the young qb. (LWR 26)

28. New York Giants (0-4) ~ For the second straight week the Giants lost on a last-second field goal. This time it was Nick Folk of Tampa Bay who did the damage. It wasn’t a 61-yarder, but it put up another tally in the loss column. The Giants are in a must-win this weekend when the Chargers come to town if they are going to have any chance at playing in the postseason. (LWR 25)

29. Los Angeles Chargers (0-4) ~ Much like the Giants, the Chargers will also be looking to salvage their season Sunday. One of these teams has to win, right? Odds are that there will be no more than three winless teams after Sunday’s contest in New York. (LWR 27)

30. San Francisco 49ers (0-4) ~ For the third straight week the Niners lost by three points or less. They are close. This week they take a trip to Indy who can’t stop anyone. When I look in my crystal ball I see the Niners picking up that elusive first win this weekend. (LWR 31)

31. Indianapolis Colts (1-3) ~ They made things interesting in Seattle for a half before things fell apart. They had an interception and a fumble returned for touchdowns and were outscored 36-3 in the second half. The Colts are allowing 34 points per game, which is worst in the league. That’s asking a lot for an offense to overcome let alone one without Andrew Luck. (LWR 29)

32. Cleveland Browns (0-4) ~ Cleveland is just 2-29 over their last 31 games. That’s a staggering figure. So staggering, that it ties the NFL record for futility over a 31-game stretch. They have a shot this week when the Jets come to town. Will this be the week the Browns finally put one up in the win column? At least they have the Indians playing well into October. (LWR 32)

That's all she wrote folks. Or that's all I wrote. He. I brought this on myself didn't I.....Anyway.... Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them right here. Or if that's not good enough you can follow/harass me on Twitter @therichwhiteguy. It wouldn't be the biggest waste of your time.


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