This past Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs proved definitively to be the team that belongs atop the NFL Power Rankings. On the other end, the New York teams proved to belong on the bottom. In between, there was plenty of movement, here’s how the league lines up heading into Week 5’s games:
NFL Power Rankings, Tier 1: Alone at the top
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Not only did the Chiefs prove to be the NFL’s best team on Monday night with a 34-20 win over Baltimore, but Kansas City also proved to be in a class of its own among NFL teams.
NFL Power Rankings, Tier 2: Nothing to be ashamed of
2. Seattle Seahawks (3-0)
Russell Wilson has been every bit as good as Patrick Mahomes this season. For now though, the Seahawks move up to the No. 2 spot but there’s still a sizable gap between K.C. and everyone else.
3. Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
It wouldn’t be hard to argue that the Ravens still belonged in the No. 2 spot. The Chiefs make pretty much every team look bad, and if the game were played again, the Ravens may have been able to avoid digging such a deep hole to start. Somehow, it simultaneously seems like the final score of Monday night’s 34-20 Kansas City win over the Ravens was closer than what the game seemed like but also the gap between the two teams may not be as big as what the game would suggest.
4. Green Bay Packers (3-0)
The Packers had an impressive win over New Orleans Sunday night. Green Bay has another prime-time game this Monday night against Atlanta. Moving to 4-0 and taking care of a winless Falcon team is paramount for the Packers with divisional rival Chicago also being undefeated so far.
5 .Tennessee Titans (3-0)
It’s been a great start to the season for Tennessee, who picked up right where they left off last year when the team made a surprising run to the AFC Championship game. But positive COVID-19 tests have the Titans’ upcoming schedule looking doubtful. It’s the first test to the NFL’s response protocol, let’s hope everyone gets through unscathed and we don’t miss any more games than necessary.
6. Buffalo Bills (3-0)
Everyone keeps waiting for the Bills to fall off, but Josh Allen and the offense keep plugging away. And we knew the defense would be stout. Allen hasn’t shown the consistency to this point in his career but has dramatically cut down on his erratic tendencies this year.
— NFL (@NFL) September 27, 2020
7, New England Patriots (2-1)
It seems like this team, specifically Cam Newton, is becoming more comfortable by the week. If that keeps happening and the injury bug stays away, New England once again could figure into the AFC Championship picture.
“The person who you see on Sundays wearing No. 1 had a lot of inspiration from No. 7.”
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 30, 2020
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0)
Pittsburgh is the best team in the league at drafting and developing wide receivers. Chase Claypool is Ben Roethlisberger’s newest target. But in order to get the most out of their wideouts, Roethlisberger needs to stay healthy, and that’s been a tall task the past couple seasons.
9. San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
Given what the team was missing due to injury, the Niners’ 36-9 over the Giants (even considering it’s the Giants) was toward the top of the list of impressive wins this past week. Still, it looks like some key pieces will be missing more time for San Francisco, so the team’s depth will have to deliver another win or two to keep this squad afloat in the NFL’s toughest division.
NFL Power Rankings, Tier 3: Stepping back, stepping forward
10. Arizona Cardinals (2-1)
It wasn’t totally shocking that the Cardinals, who are talented but young in some important places, took a bit of a step back in Week 3 with a loss. However, how this team responds to the defeat may be a test of their character.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
With a season-opening loss to New Orleans and wins over Carolina and a depleted Denver team, we still don’t have a full grasp of how good this team is. With the Chargers on the slate this week, there may not be a whole lot to be learned, either. But still, the Bucs need to keep winning.
12. Chicago Bears (3-0)
At the beginning of the season, the prospect of Nick Foles taking over at quarterback for Mitchell Turbisky by Week 4 would have seemed predictable. However, Trubisky getting replaced while Chicago remained undefeated would have been a little more surprising. That turned out to be the case, though. Still, the Bears haven’t been going against the cream of the crop in wins over the Lions, Giants, and Falcons.
13. Indianapolis Colts (2-1)
Indy has beaten the Vikings and Jets but lost to Jacksonville. This team is still very much a question mark.
14. Las Vegas Raiders (2-1)
Vegas put up a little bit of a fight against the Patriots but ultimately took the loss. The Raiders have a pretty intriguing game against the Bills coming up.
15. Los Angeles Rams (2-1)
Jared Goff has rebounded nicely from the latter part of 2019 when many were questioning his role as starting QB of the Rams. But with some much winning going on around them in the division, L.A. has no time to let up.
NFL Power Rankings, Tier 4: Facing a pivotal couple weeks
16. Cleveland Browns (2-1)
Cleveland appears to be the team that beats up on bad teams but struggles against even mediocre ones. A spot right in the middle feels appropriate.
17. Dallas Cowboys (1-2)
Things have gotten ugly in Dallas as owner Jerry Jones called out starting quarterback Dak Prescott a little bit in the last couple weeks. This may be a bit of a low in the NFL Power Rankings, but the Cowboys need to show something before its too late.
18. New Orleans Saints (1-2)
Here again, it would not be surprising if the Saints made a big jump back up toward the top of the NFL Power Rankings over the next couple weeks, but for now, there’s not much we can do with a 1-2 team that might be starting to whisper about a possible new starting quarterback other than Drew Brees.
19. Los Angeles Chargers (1-2)
The Chargers’ best performance of the season came in a 23-20 loss to Kansas City. L.A. beat the Bengals in Week 1, but the Chargers could very well find itself at 1-4 after games with the Bucs and Saints coming up.
NFL Power Rankings, Tier 5: Positivity needed in the worst way
20. Houston Texans (0-3)
While Houston’s record may suggest a lower spot in the NFL Power Rankings, the Texans’ roster still boasts some talent in meaningful places.
21, Miami Dolphins (1-2)
Perhaps more impressive than Miami getting a win is that the Dolphins are 1-2 so far but are shockingly sporting a positive point-differential at plus-five.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 25, 2020
22. Atlanta Falcons (0-3)
Atlanta has more than enough talent to compete with just about any other NFL team on any given day. However, that talent seems to fall just short of being able to seal the deal when it matters. This team just keeps finding new ways to lose.
23. Detroit Lions (1-2)
The Lions scored a really impressive win over the Cardinals this past Sunday. Still, there’s a long way to go yet before this team works itself into contention for the division, much less the conference or in position to make the playoffs.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)
On one hand, given the talent disparity, there appears to be between Jacksonville and Houston on paper, it would be a huge win for the Jags to finish ahead of the Texans in the standings this season, which is currently how it stacks up. But on the other hand, if the objective this season was to get Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, that Week 1 win may have done more harm than good.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2-1)
While top overall pick put up some big numbers Week 2’s loss in throwing 61 times (completing 37) for 316 yards and three touchdowns, he was much more efficient Week 3, going 31-of-44 for 312 yards and two scores. Burrow was rewarded for his efforts with his first career … non-loss.
26. Philadelphia Eagles (0-2-1)
On paper, the Eagles have a better roster than the Bengals, even considering Philadelphia’s injury woes. But Sunday’s tie against Cincinnati felt like a bigger loss – for lack of a better term – for the Eagles than it did the Bengals, given where each franchise has been in recent years.
27. Minnesota Vikings (0-3)
Things have gone all bad for Minnesota. And now wrapped up in the league’s first COVID-19 positive tests by virtue of being Tennessee’s opponent (although Minnesota hasn’t reported any positive tests), Sunday’s scheduled game in Houston may be in doubt. Although, the Vikings are on a much better path toward playing this week than the Titans.
28. Washington Football Team (1-2)
Things were looking up for this team after a Week 1 win, but Washington has done very little since to prove that this would be anywhere close to a .500 team as the season wears on.
29. Carolina Panthers (1-2)
Carolina has put forth some nice efforts this season, they just don’t have the talent to compete for anything meaningful. The injury to Christian McCaffery only made things worse.
30. Denver Broncos (0-3)
The Broncos are working depressingly down the depth chart for healthy bodies.
NFL Power Rankings, Tier 6: NYC
31. New York Giants (0-3)
32. New York Jets (0-3)
Add the Giants and Jets — easily the two worst teams in the NFL— to the list of poorly run & unwatchable New York pro sports franchises. No city has a higher percentage of currently garbage teams.
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) September 27, 2020
Would we be surprised if the New York teams combined to go 0-32 this season?