By Reece Mowlem
Week 3 cooked up a fair amount shocks results and consequently there has been a large amount of movement in my power rankings. Below are how the teams look entering Week 4 of the NFL season.
1. Los Angeles Rams (Up 1)
There aren't many NFL teams that could lose both their starting cornerbacks to injury and still be the best in the league, but the Rams are just that. They won the 'Battle of LA' convincingly against the Chargers, looking dominant on offence, defence and special teams. Quite simply, the Rams are the best team in football.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (Up 5)
Is there anyone that can slow down Pat Mahomes? Like seriously? The second year QB put on a show yet again, throwing for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns, one of which was eerily similar to the kind of pass you'd see from Aaron Rodgers. They still have to come up against the Jaguars defence, but right now the Chiefs offence looks invincible.
3. New Orleans Saints (Up 6)
The Saints' overtime victory against the Falcons on Sunday was best game of the year so far in my opinion. Drew Brees came out on top in what was straight shootout with Matt Ryan, ending the day with 396 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns and 2 rushing touchdowns. The defence still has a way to go, but much like the Chiefs' unit, this offence can win games on its own.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Up 1)
I don't put much weight into the 9-6 loss to the Titans, the Jags just seem to falter against Tennessee in recent years. I have complete faith that Jacksonville will bounce back, and they have moved up in my rankings purely because their loss wasn't as bad as the beatings the Patriots and Vikings took. Don't sound the alarm, the Jaguars will be fine.
5. New England Patriots (Down 2)
On last week's podcast I announced that there was no way the Patriots would lose to the Lions. Well then. New England looked less than impressive on both sides of the ball in Detroit and have now lost back to back games by double digits for the first time since 2002. As always, the Patriots will be back in the mix come December, but they're performing well below expectation right now.
6. Atlanta Falcons (No Change)
It's not often a quarterback throws 5 touchdowns and still loses a game, but that's what Matt Ryan suffered on Sunday afternoon. Despite Julio Jones having a quiet day, the Falcons offence flourished as first round rookie receiver Calvin Ridley scored 3 touchdowns and racked up 146 receiving yards. The defence continued to struggle without Deion Jones and Keanu Neal, and have now lost another safety (Ricardo Allen) for the season. They may have a losing record right now, but I'm still confident the Falcons will be a playoff team.
7. Minnesota Vikings (Down 6)
The curse of the number one ranking continues as for the third week in a row the team at the top of my Power Rankings has lost their next game (Falcons Wk.1, Patriots Wk.2, Vikings Wk.3). But the Vikings didn't just lose, they lost the Bills. Now Buffalo might be a better team with Josh Allen leading the offence, but they still have one of the worst rosters in the league. It might have just been an anomaly, but Minnesota's performance was far from what you'd expect from a supposed Super Bowl contender.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (No Change)
I think it's fair to say that Carson Wentz's return wasn't as magical as the Philly faithful would have hoped, but he did enough to the home win against the Colts. Wentz will undoubtedly improve as the season ages and the Eagles defence is still an elite group. Philadelphia don't look as explosive as last year, but they are trending upwards.
9. Green Bay Packers (Down 5)
I don't think we'll see the true level of the Packers until Aaron Rodgers is fully healthy, but it's not just the offence that has looked of out sorts. The Green Bay defence, although marginally improved from last year, is still not the disruptive force that many expected Mike Pettine to create. The Packers are another team that I believe should get better and better as each week passes.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (Up 1)
They cut it fine but the Steelers finally won their first game of the 2018 season. I say finally, it's only been three weeks, but it must have felt like a lifetime to Pittsburgh fans. The defence stepped up, collecting 3 interceptions in the first half, one of which was pick six. The offence also flourished in the first half as they put up 30 points, however they didn't score at all in the second half. It wasn't pretty, but at least the Steelers no longer have a zero in the win column.
11. Los Angeles Chargers (Down 1)
The Chargers were utterly outplayed in all faucets of the game against in the Rams on Sunday, losing by 35-23. I still find it hard to assess the Chargers with their losses coming against two of the best teams in the NFL and their lone win coming against the Bills. At the current moment I'd say that the Chargers are a fringe playoff team but need Joey Bosa back to guarantee their spot.
12. Carolina Panthers (Up 2)
The Panthers win was great, but I really need to talk about Efe Obada here. As a Brit, to see someone from the UK go straight from the British American Football Association National League to the NFL is quite incredible. After three years bouncing around practice squads, Obada was finally given his chance by Carolina and he most definitely made the most of it. The defensive end finished his debut with an interception, a sack and pass defended, earning him not only the game ball, but the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award. Congratulations Efe, the whole NFL UK community is behind you!
13. Cincinnati Bengals (Down 1)
Until A.J. Green left the field with a groin injury the Bengals were going toe to toe with the Panthers, but the wide receiver's absence was enough of a loss to the Cincinnati offence to hand the game to Carolina. I still believe the Bengals could be back in the playoffs in 2018 but having key players like Joe Mixon and A.J Green stood on the sideline well certainly diminish their chances.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Down 1)
Fitzmagic must have lost his wand in the first half against the Steelers on Monday night, throwing three poor interceptions. But he found it again after the break and became the first quarterback top ever start the season with three 400 yard passing games. The secondary is still a concern on defence, but the Bucs have talent up front and a high-powered offence. They're still in the mix for a wildcard spot.
15. Baltimore Ravens (Up 1)
Not only were the Ravens impressive against the Broncos, Joe Flacco played his best game of the past few years. Baltimore just seem like a typical 8-8 team with no real weaknesses, but also no real strengths. That being said, I wouldn't be shocked if they found their way into the postseason in what is wide open AFC North.
16. Miami Dolphins (Up 5)
I can already hear the Dolphins fans shouting at their phones/laptops/tablets. "HOW CAN YOU PUT A 3-0 TEAM AT 16 IN YOUR POWER RANKINGS?". Well Dolphins fan, because your team isn't as good as the record suggests. Don't get me wrong, they might beat the Patriots on Sunday and go on to win the division, but I don't think that's likely. Much like Baltimore, Miami are a middle of the pack team. Sorry. PS. Adam Gase is a really good head coach.
17. Indianapolis Colts (Up 6)
Stick 2014 Andrew Luck on this Colts team and they'd be a lock for January football. Unfortunately for the fans Indy, 'The Captain' is still looking rusty he returns from the shoulder injury that kept him off the field for nearly two years. On the positive side, the Indianapolis defence, led by Margus Hunt and Darius Leonard, is continuing to play better than anyone predicted. If Luck can get back to his best, the Colts have a chance to make a playoff push.
18. Washington Redskins (Up 8)
The Redskins' performance level has been on a rollercoaster this past three weeks, but if they can keep it close to how they played against the Packers, they have a legitimate shot at winning the NFC East. They're another team built solidly from top to bottom. There's a lot to like about this team, just not a lot to love.
19. Cleveland Browns (Up 1)
BAKER MAYFIELD! (*clap clap, clap clap clap*). BAKER MAYFIELD! (*clap clap, clap clap clap*). BAKER MAYFIELD! (*clap clap, clap clap clap*). BAKER MAYFIELD! (*clap clap, clap clap clap*)
20. Chicago Bears (Down 5)
The Bears might seem particularly low on the list, but to be honest with you, it's because I'm losing faith in Mitch Trubisky. The defence is scary with Khalil Mack already looking the favourite for defensive MVP and the weapons around Trubisky on offence are exciting, but it's just not coming together. Also, Mitch doesn't like throwing the ball left very much. What's that all about?
21. Denver Broncos (Down 3)
As I predicted, the Broncos didn't look as strong in their first road game of the year against the Ravens. Case Keenum and the offence wasn't too awful, but I think it's fair to say that the 'No Fly Zone' is well and truly over. Denver can't rely on good defence anymore, this team's hopes and dreams rest on the shoulders rest on Keenum.
22. Tennessee Titans (Up 3)
The Titans are 2-1. Don't ask me how, but they are. I will give Mike Vrabel credit though, he is setting up his team perfectly, creating effective gamelans and winning games by out coaching his opponent.
23. Detroit Lions (Up 6)
As I mentioned earlier, I didn't give the Lions a shot against the Patriots and not only did they win the game, they won it reasonably comfortably. The defence managed to stifle Tom Brady, holding the GOAT to only 133 passing yards. They also performed well offensively and finally had a 100-yard rusher in rookie Kerry Johnson. I'm sure Matt Patricia is hoping that the victory will kickstart their season.
24. Seattle Seahawks (Up 3)
Having Bobby Wagner back in the lineup made a huge difference to the Seahawks defence. Seattle held the Cowboys to only 13 points, allowing Russell Wilson to go get his first win of the season. Earl Thomas also had two interceptions despite not practicing all week. The question is, how much longer will he be in Seattle?
25. Dallas Cowboys (Down 6)
Even with Dak and Zeke, the Cowboys offence could be one of the worst in the NFL. The lack of receiver has been telling and that has led to teams stuffing box, stopping the run and forcing Prescott to throw the ball to the subpar wideouts. The only saving grace for Dallas is that the defence is playing well, but well enough to carry this team to a winning record.
26. New York Giants (Up 4)
It wasn't as impressive as most Giants fan would have hoped, but at least the G-Men got their maiden victory of 2018. Although not statistically, Saquon Barkley had his most impactful performance in what was a solid display from the Giants offence. Defensively, they did what they had to and managed to hold on for the win.
27. Oakland Raiders (Down 5)
I know I sound like a broken record, but once again the Raiders led at halftime in a game they ended up losing. Oakland have decent talent but just can't seem to find the extra gear in the fourth quarter to kill the game. I am in no doubt that the Raiders will throw everything at the Browns in Week 4 to get the $100 million man his first victory.
28. New York Jets (No Change)
The Jets have been disappointing the past two weeks after their surprise Week 1 victory. Sam Darnold is young and it's understandable that he is making rookie errors, but he's not being helped out too much by those around him (apart from Quincy Enunwa). The defence also hasn't played anywhere close to the level they did against the Lions in their matchups with the Dolphins and Browns. As I've said before, this Jets team has a bright future, but they still have a long way to go.
29. Buffalo Bills (Up 3)
The Bills beat the Vikings 27-6. Need I say more?
30. Houston Texans (Down 6)
The Texans were so bad on Sunday that they made the Giants look good. DeShaun Watson continues to struggle behind the revolving door that is the Houston offensive line despite having skill player talent around him. At least J.J. Watt had a great game and is looking closer to the player that was the undisputed best defender in the NFL only a few years ago.
31. San Francisco 49ers (Down 14)
Sorry 49ers fans but C.J. Beathard won't win more than 4 games. He's not too bad, but he's certainly no Jimmy G. At least you'll be picking top 5 in the 2019 NFL Draft.
32. Arizona Cardinals (Down 1)
The Cardinals had a chance to march down the field, kick a field goal and win their first game of the season against the Bears. But head coach Steve Wilks had other plans as he decided to chuck Josh Rosen into the game for his NFL debut against Khalil Mack with 2 minutes left on the clock. As you can imagine, that didn't well. Rosen will get his first start against the Seahawks and might be a better option than Sam Bradford, but I doubt he'll improve the offence enough to win a significant amount of games.
Mowlem is a sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).