NFL Power Rankings Week 4: Cowboys and Packers Surging
We likely know our top two contenders in the AFC, but the NFC is a whole other story.
Through three weeks, we’ve seen the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs paving their ways towards an AFC Championship rematch, while several NFC squads are duking it out to stake their claim as Super Bowl contenders.
But, once again, as we reach the quarter-point of the NFL season this weekend, everything is still to play for. Who are the contenders and who are the pretenders?
Here are your official power rankings for Week 4 of the 2019 NFL season.
Week 4 Power Rankings
1. New England Patriots (3-0)
Last Week’s Ranking: 1
Week 4 Opponent: at Buffalo Bills (3-0)
New England has looked insanely sharp in the first three games of the season, but it’s worth noting that their trio of opponents are currently combined for an 0-9 record.
But that doesn’t change the fact that the defending Super Bowl Champions are winning games that they should be and doing it without any real contest.
While Tom Brady is looking mighty impressive at 42-years-old, this Patriots team’s fate will be decided on the defensive side of the ball. The defensive unit leads the league with only 199 offensive yards allowed per game and hasn’t allowed a touchdown yet through three weeks.
Injuries will be the question for this team going into the coming weeks — Julian Edelman suffered a rib injury on Sunday, Josh Gordon was removed from action for a bit, left tackle Isaiah Wynn and fullback James Develin have been placed on the IR and number one draft pick N’Keal Harry might not touch the field this year.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
Last Week’s Ranking: 2
Week 4 Opponent: at Detroit Lions (2-0-1)
Who, if anybody, can stop Patrick Mahomes this season? While the Ravens proved the toughest test yet for the Chiefs in the early season on Sunday, Baltimore’s defense couldn’t find the solution to slow down the reigning MVP. Mahomes threw for 374 yards and three touchdowns in the 33-28 win over the Ravens, bringing his passing touchdown total to 10 this season with zero interceptions.
For the third straight week, a new receiver helped fill the void left by the injured Tyreek Hill. This time it was Mecole Hardman, who broke out for an 83-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter.
If Mahomes can stay on his record-setting pace and the Chiefs defense can still hold strong, we may see them jump up to the top position on these power rankings sooner rather than later.
3. Dallas Cowboys (3-0)
Last Week’s Ranking: 3
Week 4 Opponent: at New Orleans Saints (2-1)
Dak Prescott is playing for a contact and you can tell. The Cowboys quarterback reportedly declined a contract extension with $100 million in guaranteed money over the offseason in hopes that he could sweeten the deal even more with better play.
So far so good for the Mississippi State product.
As Ezekiel Elliott gets back into form after sitting out all of training camp and preseason, Prescott has helped the Cowboys cruise through their first three games offensively.
Prescott has thrown for nine touchdowns on the season and currently boasts an impressive 128.0 passer rating thanks in part to his partnership with new Dallas offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
This Cowboys roster is stacked with talent and once Elliott starts going, we could be looking at the new favorites to come out of the NFC.
4. Los Angeles Rams (3-0)
Last Week’s Ranking: 3
Week 4 Opponent: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)
We haven’t seen the full potential of the Rams offense yet this season. After breaking records in the NFC last year, Sean McVay’s offensive unit has come slow out of the gates through the first three weeks.
While they sit at 3-0, there’s drastic room for an improvement for Jared Goff and company. Mostly — the side has struggled to get going early in games. The Rams haven’t scored a touchdown in the first half of their last two games, partially since they can’t get their running game established.
But even a slow Rams offense is one of the best in the league. Los Angeles currently sits at eighth in scoring (25.7), with that ranking likely to rise as they get deeper into the season.
5. Green Bay Packers (3-0)
Last Week’s Ranking: NR
Week 4 Opponent: vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)
The NFC North will be a bloodbath this year, but the Packers look to be the team to beat in the early going.
The partnership of new head coach Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers has been healthy so far as Rodgers has yet to throw an interception through three games.
But the Packers undefeated start is thanks mostly to the play of their stout defense. They are holding opponents to 11.7 points per game and stifled both the Bears and Vikings offenses.
Another thing to note about Green Bay is that we haven’t seen full use of their offensive weapons yet. Davante Adams is considered one of the most lethal receiving options in the league but was only targeted four times last week. The same can be said of tight end Jimmy Graham, who has been targeted only seven times through three games.
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