Another week of football means another edition of our NFL power rankings. The Cardinals soar into the top spot after a statement win against the Rams, while the Cowboys crack the top 10 for the first time this season. Don’t like where your team is ranked? That’s not my problem. Call your favourite team’s headquarters and tell them to start playing some better football then, because The Intermission’s NFL Power Rankings are here!
1. Arizona Cardinals (4-0)
Previous Rank: 5
What a statement win by the Cardinals. Arizona had their way all day against the Rams in a 37-20 triumph. With the win, the Cardinals remain the only undefeated team in the league. While Kyler Murray was great in the win, it was truly a team effort. The offence scored at ease while the defence forced two early turnovers and kept a high-flying Matthew Stafford offence off-sync the entire game. It was the Cardinals first win in nine previous matchups against a Sean McVay led Rams squad. The Cardinals will look to keep the chains moving with a matchup against the rival 49ers in Week 5.
2. Buffalo Bills (3-1)
Previous Rank: 4
Domination. The Bills steamrolled the Texans in a 40-0 blowout. The defence is humming right now, forcing four interceptions and now leading the league in interceptions and turnovers. The offence looks to have a more balanced approach than previous years, as the Bills rank 5th in the league in rushing yards (145.3 YPG), and Josh Allen still looks like his usual elite self. A huge test awaits the Bills in an AFC Championship Game rematch against the Chiefs which will truly gauge how good this Bills squad really is.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)
Previous Rank: 2
While Tom Brady didn’t do much in his long-awaited return to Foxborough, the Buccaneers still managed to narrowly escape with victory in a 19-17 win against the Patriots. Tom Brady wasn’t his usual self, surprisingly throwing no touchdowns on the night but Leonard Fournette made up for it delivering a solid game on the ground (138 total yards) and the defence made stops when it had to. Who knows what would’ve happened if Nick Folk ended up draining that kick to put the Patriots up 20-19 with a minute left. I guess we’ll never know.
4. Green Bay Packers (3-1)
Previous Rank: 3
The Packers handled the Steelers with relative ease in a 27-17 win in a game where Aaron Rodgers didn’t have to do much. After the infamous summer of incontent from Aaron Rodgers which saw him bring one of his former favourite targets Randall Cobb back, he broke out for his first big game after being a non-factor in the previous three, catching both of Aaron Rodgers touchdown throws on the night. The Packers will look to keep the train rolling with a matchup against the Bengals in Week 5.
5. Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
Previous Rank: 6
Denver head coach Vic Fangio wasn’t too pleased with Baltimore after Lamar Jackson rushed for a five-yard gain in garbage time so Baltimore could tie an NFL record of consecutive 100-yard rushing games. I doubt Baltimore cares, Mr. Fangio. The Ravens steamrolled the Broncos 23-7. The defence shut down Denver, allowing only 256 total yards. Marquise Brown also had a nice redemption game after last week’s horrid effort with a gorgeous diving touchdown grab. Baltimore seems like they’re finally putting it all together on both sides of the ball, and that might mean trouble for the rest of the league.
6. Los Angeles Chargers (3-1)
Previous Rank: 11
The Chargers continue their strong start to the season with a commanding 28-14 win over the Raiders. The defence dominated Las Vegas in the first-half, limiting them to zero points. While the Raiders did score on back-to-back drives to open the second-half, Justin Herbert led the offence to another score to put the Chargers up 28-14 and the Raiders couldn’t do much more after that. The Chargers now remain in an unlikely tie for first-place in the AFC West with the Raiders after four weeks of action. Who could’ve guessed that?
7. Los Angeles Rams (3-1)
Previous Rank: 1
After a strong start, the Rams were halted against the Cardinals in a 37-20 loss that reminds us what happens if you don’t bring your “A” game in an NFC West matchup. The offence coughed up two early turnovers -- a Matthew Stafford interception and a Sony Michel fumble -- and the offence just couldn’t find the groove they showcased through the first three weeks for the rest of the game. The Rams will look to get on track in another tough NFC West matchup versus the Seahawks.
8. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2)
Previous Rank: 7
It’s a good thing Kansas City has Patrick Mahomes. The star-studded signal caller threw for a season-high five touchdowns in a 41-30 win over the Eagles. This team still has their issues though. The defence has been abysmal, surrendering a league high 31.3 points per game and 453 total yards per game. While Patrick Mahomes does have the ability to score 40 or even 50 points in a game, it’s not exactly the best recipe for success to bank on that.
9. Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
Previous Rank: 14
Trevon Diggs is elite. The sophomore cornerback is now up to five interceptions on the season after a two-interception game in a 36-28 win over Sam Darnold and his Panthers. The Cowboys offence has been it’s usual elite self as the ground game looks revitalized after being seemingly neutralized over the previous couple of seasons, and the defence actually looks solid so far. The Cowboys are easily the favourites to win the NFC East and it’s not particularly close.
10. Cleveland Browns (3-1)
Previous Rank: 8
The Browns keep rolling after a 14-7 win over the Vikings. The defence has looked great so far, neutralizing a Vikings offence that was humming going into this week. The problem lies with quarterback Baker Mayfield, who had one of his worst performances to date. He completed less than half of his passes for no touchdowns. We know this running game and defence are great, but Mayfield will have to take that next step forward for the Browns to become true Super Bowl contenders.
11. Las Vegas Raiders (3-1)
Previous Rank: 10
A humbling game, to say the least, for the Raiders in a 28-14 loss against the Chargers. The Raiders offence was shut down going into half-time -- zero points -- and could never get back into the game after a slow start. The offence recorded season lows in everything on Monday and didn’t get it going until it was too late. Las Vegas will look to get back on track against the struggling Bears in Week 5.
12. Seattle Seahawks (2-2)
Previous Rank: 17
The Seahawks played their best all-around game of the season in a 28-21 win over the rival 49ers. Russell Wilson threw for three touchdowns and the Seattle defence made big stops when it mattered. It was a big win for Seattle, as they prevented dropping three games in a row for the first time in 10 years (take notes, @Jaguars). Another NFC West derby against the Los Angeles Rams awaits on Thursday Night Football.
13. Carolina Panthers (3-1)
Previous Rank: 13
Going into halftime, Carolina was looking good. They held a 14-13 lead against the Cowboys and looked to be in control. But then, the third quarter came around. Carolina was outscored 20-0 and the defence rattled Sam Darnold into throwing two interceptions. While Carolina did make a valiant effort in the fourth quarter with two touchdown drives, it just wasn’t enough in a 36-28 loss that saw the Panthers take their first loss of the season. Carolina will look to get back into their winning ways with a matchup versus an explosive Eagles team on Sunday.
14. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)
Previous Rank: 9
San Francisco is in a weird position. Quarterback Jimmy Garapolo suffered another injury -- this time, a calf contusion -- that could potentially keep him out for Week 5. Rookie Trey Lance delivered an uneven performance, but his raw athleticism and playmaking might be San Francisco’s best bet for an offence that was seemingly in a rut with Jimmy G behind centre against a Seattle defence that was surrendering yardage at an alarming rate. Where Kyle Shanahan decides to go for a Week 5 matchup versus the Cardinals is yet unknown.
15. Denver Broncos (3-1)
Previous Rank: 12
The Broncos got punched in the mouth in a brutal 23-7 loss versus the Ravens that has people doubting if the Broncos are truly contenders. After starting off the season 3-0 against opponents who had a combined record of 0-9 through the first three weeks, the Broncos failed to do anything productive against a team that has legitimate Super Bowl aspirations. Teddy Bridgewater couldn’t move the chains well before leaving the game with a concussion, and Drew Lock couldn’t do much either in his limited action in Week 4. The Broncos will look to bounce back against the faltering Steelers on Sunday, and possibly without Teddy Bridgewater under centre.
16. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)
Previous Rank: 18
Don’t look now, but the Bengals are tied for the division lead in the AFC North alongside Baltimore and Cleveland after a surprisingly close 24-21 victory over the hapless Jaguars.
Things weren’t smooth sailing for the Bengals though; the team trailed 14-0 going into halftime. Fortunately for the Bengals, Joe Burrow showcased why he is one of the better young quarterbacks in the league after leading his team to multiple scoring drives and setting up the game-winning field-goal drive. The Bengals will look to keep their winning ways up with a matchup at home versus Aaron Rodgers and his Packers.
17. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
Previous Rank: 16
Minnesota is a confusing team. They have the tools to be a legitimate playoff contender in the NFC but they just can’t get it done. The offence was humming through the first three weeks before falling prey to a Cleveland pass rush that devours all they can see. Dalvin Cook spent more time on the sideline than on the field with an ankle injury. The Vikings lack one thing (other than a kicker), and it’s consistency. This team may have talent, but it means nothing if they can’t consistently play at that level. The Vikings will look to get their season back on track with an upcoming matchup versus the winless Lions.
18. Tennessee Titans (2-2)
Previous Rank: 15
How do you lose to the Jets? I don’t care if your top two weapons weren’t playing. It’s the goddamn Jets. King Henry did all that he could do, rumbling over the Jets for 157 yards and a touchdown, but it just wasn’t enough. The defence couldn’t get any pressure on a Jets squad that was allowing sacks and QB pressures at a historic rate, and the Titans couldn’t find the endzone until the fourth quarter. Also, not to mention Randy Bullock missing the game-tying field-goal in overtime. You guys suck. Get out of my sight.
19. New Orleans Saints (2-2)
Previous Rank: 19
The Saints may be the most interesting 2-2 team in the league. On one hand, this is the team that curb-stomped the Packers in Week 1. On the other hand, this is a team that lost to the winless Giants. The Saints fell apart in crunch time. The offence went cold and the defence fell apart after holding a 21-10 lead. Who knows what type of Saints team will show up next week against Washington.
20. Washington Football Team (2-2)
Previous Rank: 23
Surprisingly, Washington’s greatest weakness this season hasn’t been their offence; it’s been their defence. The feared front seven has only generated seven sacks through four games and are surrendering points and yardage at an alarming rate. The only reason Washington is not 0-4 right now is because of the play of Taylor Heinicke. He led Washington to back-to-back touchdown drives in the fourth quarter on Sunday, turning a 30-22 deficit into a 34-30 win over the Falcons. Even when Ryan Fitzpatrick returns, Heinicke has proven himself to be the starter for Washington.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)
Previous Rank: 20
Ben Roethlisberger needs to ride a corvette corvette straight into retirement. The offence continued being a mess in a loss versus the Packers in Lambeau. Big Ben continues to look sloppy, missing multiple throws and the receiving core continues to underperform. It doesn’t matter how good this defence is. If this offence can’t get it together in a cut throat AFC North division, then the Steelers may be sitting in the basement for the first time in a long time.
22. Indianapolis Colts (1-3)
Previous Rank: 25
The Colts delivered in a must-win victory against the Dolphins that prevented the club from falling to 0-4. Indy was the superior team in all three phases. Jonathan Taylor and Mo Alie-Cox finally broke out for big performances, and Carson Wentz looked much better two weeks removed from his double ankle sprain. While the Colts were busy beating up some Dolphins, the Titans were busy getting dropped off by the Jets. The division is there for the taking, so who wants it?
23. New England Patriots (1-3)
Previous Rank: 24
If Tom Brady were still Bill Belicheck’s quarterback, he would’ve gone for a fourth-and-3 on the Bucs’ 37. But Belicheck decided to turn to Nick Folk, who doinked the kick off the left upright as the Patriots went home losers in a 19-17 loss to the defending champions. Despite this, the Patriots probably secretly feel good about themselves. Their defence held the Bucs to their lowest point total of the season and shut down Tom Brady (zero touchdowns), and Mac Jones even completed 18 straight passes consecutively at one point.
24. New York Giants (1-3)
Previous Rank: 30
Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley played like the dynamic duo the Giants were expecting when they drafted them in a stunning 27-21 road win over the Saints. Danny Dimes tossed for 402 yards on the day while commanding the offence with confidence, while Barkley caught two touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime, looking like his former self who dominated the league before his ACL tear last season. While the Giants put themselves in a deep hole after starting 0-3, this team has the potential to get hot in a weak NFC East division.
25. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3)
Previous Rank: 22
Penalties killed the Eagles in their shootout against the Chiefs. Four drives where they scored a TD were reversed by penalties. In result, they had to settle for field goals instead. After losing by four points and losing out on a potential 16 points called back by penalties, it’s a tough loss for an Eagles team that played its heart out on offence. Nick Siriani and his squad needs to clean up their sloppy mistakes.
26. Miami Dolphins (1-3)
Previous Rank: 21
The expectations for this Miami squad was that they were going to take a huge step forward and become potentially AFC contenders after last season’s showing. Instead, they’ve been the epitome of mediocrity. The Dolphins welcomed a winless Colts team into their building and got outplayed on all sides of the ball in a 27-17 loss. The Fins have dropped their last three games and things aren’t looking any better in Week 5 in a daunting road matchup versus Tom Brady and his Bucs.
27. Atlanta Falcons (1-3)
Previous Rank: 26
The Falcons will be the Falcons. Blowing leads is just routine now. Leading 30-22 with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Falcons surrendered two touchdown drives and the offence couldn’t respond in a 34-30 loss to Washington. The Falcons will look to get back on track with a matchup versus the Jets in Week 5.
28. New York Jets (1-3)
Previous Rank: 32
The Jets… won? Those two things usually don’t go together in sentences. But the Jets did it. They won a football game. And better yet, it was against a good team: the Tennessee Titans. Zack Wilson showed the promise New York was hoping to see when they drafted him with the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, having by far his best game of the season and completing multiple nice throws to lead his Jets to a 27-24 OT win over the Titans. It wasn’t pretty, but the Jets finally have a win under their belt.
29. Chicago Bears (2-2)
Previous Rank: 29
Don’t be fooled by Chicago’s record; they’re much worse than they look. They beat the lowly Lions because they finally decided to give David Montgomery more touches (since he’s the best player in that offence) and look what happened? They won. It’s just too bad that Montgomery is out for four to six weeks with a hyperextended knee. At least Nagy has enough common sense to keep Justin Fields as his starter.
30. Detroit Lions (0-4)
Previous Rank: 27
The only thing Detroit should be looking forward to is a potential lottery pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
31. Houston Texans (1-3)
Previous Rank: 28
Until Tyrod Taylor returns to this squad, they are one of the worst teams in the league. They aren’t the worst team though; another team claims that prestigious title.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4)
Previous Rank: 31
If Urban Meyer spent more time watching film and creating an actual good scheme instead of flirting with college girls at bars, the Jaguars might actually be good.