Power Rankings

NFL Power Rankings after the first quarter of the ’21 season:

As I always do after the first four games of a season, I wanted to rank all 32 teams once again. Unfortunately, with the 17th game added, it’s not exactly a quarter of the season anymore and we’ll have to see how that impacts teams down the road, who may otherwise have already pre-determined their outcome for the full year, but I think at this point we have a pretty good indication of where almost everybody stands.

The thing I want to make very clear here is that these are my personal rankings and I judge what I’ve seen on the field, rather than what the records say. So there may a couple of 2-2 teams over others at 3-1 for example, as I don’t want to be a prisoner of the moment.

So looking at this whole list, I wanted to quickly share my general thought on the individual teams, aided by a couple of key statistics, but I’m more than willing to discuss certain rankings, maybe in comparison to others, in the comments or on my social media outlets (links in the top bar).

Now let’s go through this list:


1. Buffalo Bills (3-1) Bills

I really believe you can arrange the top five or six a lot of different ways and make compelling arguments for these teams, but considering the Bills right now are tied for second in points scored (134) and give up the fewest points (44), which obviously gives them the best differential at +90, makes them the logical choice here to top things off. The crazy thing is that Buffalo’s offense hasn’t even quite hit on full cylinders – or needed to. When Josh Allen & company were asked to keep building that distance to Washington in week three, Josh accounted for five touchdowns. Facing an anemic Davis Mills-led Texans offense certainly pushed those numbers towards the top, but the Bills defense right now is first in almost every major category. All in all, they start drives from their own 36.1-yard line on average – that’s nearly four yards ahead of the next-closest team. So they work with short fields to put up points, where Dawson Knox all of a sudden is one of the biggest red-zone threats in the NFL, and they have those waves of pass-rushers to close out games. My only worry – they go to Kansas City on Sunday Night.


2. Arizona Cardinals (4-0) Cardinals

It doesn’t feel totally right to put the Cardinals this high, after I looked at them as a fringe playoff team heading into the year, but right now they are the only undefeated team left and they beat my number three team just this past Sunday, which won against my number four team the weekend prior. Arizona has scored a league-high 140 points through four games, with Kyler Murray as the obvious choice for MVP right now, who has four receivers, that can lead the team in targets any given week, and is like a get-out-of-jail-for-free card in desperate situations. And what shocked me to see against a strong Rams defense on Sunday was that they ran the ball for a season-high 216 yards. Defensively, what really stands out is the speed that they move with from sideline to sideline and how they go after the ball, as they are currently third with nine takeaways. The one issue – they are tied with the Chiefs, allowing a league-worst 5.4 yards per carry.


3. Los Angeles Rams (3-1) Rams New

This was such an obvious letdown spot for L.A., coming off a win over the reigning Super Bowl champs. I was still shocked that they lost by three scores to a Cardinals team, that they had owned for the last couple of years, but I still think with these are championship contenders. Despite being held to just 20 points last week, the Rams overall have scored on about 54 percent of their possessions, as Matt Stafford has given them a legitimate dropback pass game, where they can attack the entire field, and the O-line has still only allowed three sacks on the season (fewest in the NFL). While I still believe in the defense, it’s surprising to see that they allow opponents to convert exactly half of their third-down attempts against them (third-most), and in the process they are also on the field for the longest time per possession. However, their 22.8 penalty yards per game are about half of the next-closest team. So they play a very disciplined brand of football.


4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) Buccaneers

I’m at a little bit of a crossroads with the reigning champs right now. At full strength, they looked like the best team in football. Right now, they are really banged up in the secondary however, allowing opponents to convert basically two thirds of their passes against them these past two weeks and having Richard Sherman off the street play all but one snap defensively for them this past Sunday. On offense, their issue has been that they’ve just been very one-dimensional, even though the numbers may say different, largely based on having to run the ball at New England on Sunday Night due to the heavy rainfall. I love the way they attack opposing teams vertically, as Tom Brady leads the league in intended air yards (1631) and is second to only Derek Carr in completed yards (1356). So in general they have more firepower than almost anybody they face, and by allowing an NFL-low 2.7 yards per rush (0.4 yards better than the next-closest team), they can make opposing teams one-dimensional. Unfortunately, only the Chargers have been penalized for more than their 76 yards per game.


5. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2)  Chiefs

This is a tale of two sides here with the Chiefs. The offense has once again been as lethal as any in the league. They are still first with 6.9 yards per play, and are about ten percentage-points higher than any other team, converting a ridiculous 64.1 percent of their third downs. Overall, they are the only team to score more than field-goal per drive – and they average 3.56 points per. Their one issue has been that only the Jaguars have turned the ball over on a higher percentage of their possessions (19.4%). And more importantly, their defense has not been able to stop anybody, also surrendering the most yards per play (6.9) and being the only team to allow more than a field-goal per defensive drive – and they are at 3.34 points per. Patrick Mahomes is still unreal, Tyreek Hill can explode any moment and the connection between Travis Kelce and his QB on must-have third downs is unstoppable. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is starting to take advantage of opposing defenses playing as much split-safety looks and somewhat daring them to run the ball, but the defense under Steve Spagnuolo has to step up once again.


6. Green Bay Packers (3-1) Packers

This might feel a little low for the Packers, considering they have won three straight, after their no-show performance against the Saints in week one, including a walk-off win at San Francisco, but I’m still not 100 percent sold on this team. There’s a lot of things to like, with their defense showing that they can opportunistic and give the ball back to Aaron Rodgers and company, who has looked great ever since their season-opener and hasn’t been asked to do too much, with a heavy dose of Aaron Jones when defenses present favorable looks. So I really don’t have many questions about the offense, which has only turned the ball over once since week one and has shown great patience under Matt LaFleur. There’s two things however that bother me about their defense – they don’t creative many negative plays, as their five tackles for loss are less than half of the next-closest team, and they still hasn’t stopped a team from turning a red-zone possession into a touchdown (11 for 11).


7. Cleveland Browns (3-1)  Browns

When I got the stats this week, I saw something that I can’t remember seeing in seemingly two plus seasons – the Browns have now actually passed their division rival Ravens with 177 rushing yards per game. This is the best offensive line in football and it allows them to stay balanced in high-scoring affairs, but also control and win those ugly games. Unfortunately, after Baker Mayfield made some big-time throws into tight windows in week one, he has been off over these last three weeks, most recently missing Odell Beckham Jr. streaking wide-open for a game-sealing touchdown at Minnesota this past Sunday. Flipping things around, their defense has been very impressive, where only the Bills allow less yards per play (4.5) and they’re also tied with the Panthers for the second-most sacks in the league (14), aided by a nine-sack performance against the Bears in week three of course. Yet, even when they only got home twice at Minnesota this past Sunday, they pressured Kirk Cousins on 22 of 40 dropbacks this past Sunday, almost exclusively rushing four guys. Right now, Myles Garrett is just wrecking offensive lines.


8. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) Ravens

The Ravens just tied a 40-year old record, with 100+ rushing yards in 43 straight games. After barely cracking that mark on the final play of the game last week, they are now “only” third in the league in rushing. And by the way, Vic Fangio needs to just shut up, bad-mouthing the Ravens organization, when he took all his timeouts for the opportunity to score a completely meaningless touchdown prior to it. Also – People need to get off Lamar Jackson’s back, who despite a highly banged-up and inconsistent group of skill-position players, has overcome several long-yardage, obvious passing situations this season and put his team in position to win games. The defense, which had major issues with injuries in the secondary, has gotten a lot better at getting opponents off the field and now allow just 31.1 percent of third downs to be converted against them (fifth-best in the NFL), and of course having arguably the greatest kicker ever makes them a bigger threat to score from distance than their opponents.


9. Dallas Cowboys (3-1)  Cowboys

Going back to what I just said with the Browns, the Cowboys have now also kind of shockingly just moved ahead of the Ravens with 165.8 rushing yards per game and only the Eagles average more than their 5.4 yards per carry – and their quarterback makes up for a lot of that. So seeing Dak Prescott drop back 62 times in the season-opener at Tampa Bay is now more of an outlier, due to facing the league’s best run defense. I mean they just ran the ball down the throat of the Panthers for 245 yards and they averaged 7.7 yards per play on Sunday, who came in as the number one defense in terms of rushing yards per game. Having that balance, with those weapons in the pass game makes Dallas one of the most dangerous offenses in football. The even bigger difference for this team however has been the defense, which plays at a different speed this year it seems like under Dan Quinn and if not for Buffalo getting four picks off Davis Mills this past Sunday, would still lead the league with their ten takeaways.


10. Los Angeles Chargers (3-1)  Chargers

A young superstar quarterback and a very talented roster give you the opportunity to make some serious noise. You can argue that nobody’s handled a challenging start to the schedule better than these Chargers, as they won at 2-2 Washington, when we still thought they might be a team to look out for, then they lost on a game-winning field goal at home to the 3-1 Cowboys, due to having a couple of touchdowns taken off the board by penalties, they won at Kansas City, to hand the Chiefs their second consecutive loss, and now they pretty much man-handled the recently undefeated Raiders at home on Monday Night. Justin Herbert is playing a very mature brand of football, to go along with his natural gifts, Austin Ekeler is fully back is an all-around weapon, their group of pass-catchers and the protection are better than a year and that defense is starting to really take on shape under Brandon Staley. They just have to get those penalties under control, having been flagged for a league-high 87 yards per game.


11. Carolina Panthers (3-1)  Panthers

That showing on Sunday at Dallas certainly has me thinking over what I believe this Panthers defense truly is, even though I’m still very high on it. As I explained two paragraphs ago, their recently top-ranked run D was absolutely steamrolled by the Cowboys for 245 yards and 7.7 yards per carry. However, they are still top-three in points allowed (66) and number one in pressure percentage (34.3%) and third-down percentage (23.8%). The only concerning number on that side of the ball – outside of what happened this past Sunday – is 100 percent of red-zone possessions ending into touchdowns against them so far (6 of 6). I don’t think many teams have the weapons on the outside to force Carolina into some softer looks up front, like we just saw. The offense has been a lot more capable this season, as Darnold brings a vertical passing and a scrambling component they simply didn’t have with Teddy Bridgewater. I’m a big believer in Joe Brady as a play-caller and once Christian McCaffrey is back, they have the skill-position guys to create matchup problems for their opponents.


12. Las Vegas Raiders (3-1)  Raiders

I personally didn’t go crazy about the Raiders after their 3-0 start, but the feeling around them is certainly a lot different after being down by two touchdowns for the majority of Monday Night against the Chargers. My biggest concern for them was full on display, as they were outgained 48-to-168 yards on the ground, with a clearly still banged-up Josh Jacobs on their side and poor second-level defensive play, not being allow to wrap up Austin Ekeler. Even after a sub-200 yard performance, Derek Carr leads the league in passing yards, but they don’t really have balance offensively. Their defense on the other hand is vulnerable over the middle and they are starting to get really banged up in the secondary. They’ve been able to come back in games, if you let them hang around, but those overtime Ws could easily both have gone the other way. They’re a good team, but I still have to see them actually outplay great ones.


13. Seattle Seahawks (2-2)  Seahawks

I feel like this ranking may seem low to some people and high to others. I’m not sure how you can look at anything Seattle has done this year and be impressed with it, outside of a double-digit win at Indianapolis in week one. This may be the most quarterback-dependent team in all of football, but because of how good Russell Wilson is, they can’t be ignored. The Seahawks have turned the ball over just once all season long and Russ leads the league with a passer rating of 129.9. Somehow they are tied for second in the league with 6.6 yards per play, but bottom-ten in percentage of their drives ending in points, possessing the ball for a league-low two minutes and twelve seconds on average. Their opponents start at their own 23.1-yard line on average (furthest back in the league), but their defense simply can’t get off the field, surrendering a league-high 107 first downs and having intercepted just one pass all year. So it’s all-or-nothing for them on offense and a defense that can’t create stops, leading to the lowest time of possession mark in the NFL (24:35).


14. Denver Broncos (3-1) Broncos

Just like their division rivals in the Raiders, being undefeated coming into last Sunday and losing my multiple touchdowns will have people question if you’re really legitimate. The concussion suffered by Teddy Bridgewater certainly threw things off for Denver, as the Drew Lock-led offense couldn’t put together a drive of more than 22 yards until their final one of the day – on which they got stopped. I still think they can win games with a heavy dose of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon pounding the rock, with all their inside zone and power runs, but the fact is that they are now missing two of their three starting receivers in 11 personnel. Defensively, even after surrendering a season-high 23 points to Baltimore this past Sunday, they are still second, with 49 total allowed, and they have only missed a league-low 11 tackles for loss. We saw flashes of Von Miller creating chaos against the Ravens and that defense is pretty much as good as it gets, but they need Bradley Chubb to come back, if they want to be truly elite. This may seem low, but let’s not forget they were able to beat up on the Giants, Jaguars and Jets before, who have combined for two wins.


15. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)  49ers

Their meeting at home against the Seahawks on Sunday was one of the weirdest games I’ve watched this year. The Niners utterly dominated the first half, as through 25 minutes, they had outgained their opponents 188-to-minus-12. But all of a sudden there went Russell Wilson putting together a touchdown-drive to end the half and we were tied 7-7, before Seattle put together three more consecutively and San Francisco could not come back. I’m still a big fan of the talent that is rookie quarterback Trey Lance, but this was not a gameplan suited to him and Jimmy G couldn’t take advantage of those opportunities in the first half. I’m very excited to see what Kyle Shanahan draws up this week for Trey’s first official start and believe they can be good enough to support a defense, which simply has to force a couple more turnovers to really be great. They are tied for a league-high 24 tackles for loss and other than outside corner have all the pieces to be.


16. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)  Bengals

For the first time since Week 5 of 2018, the Bengals are alone atop the AFC North, thanks to conference record. I obviously don’t believe they are the best team in that division, but they are certainly miles ahead of where they were last year. Joe Burrow has bounced back strong from major knee surgery, as only two quarterbacks in the NFL have completed a higher percentage of their throws and average more yards per attempt. Joe Mixon being banged up once again is a little worrying, because they’ve gotten him involved to good effect, but it’s been very encouraging to see them give up just one sack over these last two games combined, considering Burrow was taken down ten times through the first two. The defense has really impressed me at times, with how much they’ve controlled games up front, thanks to their deep and big D-line. Logan Wilson seems to be the play-making linebacker they’ve tried to find for like five years now and only four other teams have surrendered points on a lower percentage of their drives (28.6%).


17. New Orleans Saints (2-2)  Saints

If I had to draw a graph of the Saints season so far, it would be would lines going almost straight up and down. They had two very impressive wins on the road, blowing out the Packers at a neutral site in their season-opener and sort of controlling that Patriots game in week three, with their defense taking over in the second half. However, in-between those, they could not hang with the Panthers and now they just gave up a ten-point lead to the Giants, not making the plays to seal the deal. Jameis Winston still has some of that rollercoaster quality to him (which reflects on the rest of the team) and they have not run the ball effectively at all, averaging below four yards per carry. The defense has played at a very high level for most of the year, with a front-seven that suffocates the run game (3.1 yards per carry is tied for second-fewest in the league) and a very well-coordinated back-seven in coverage. And so far they have allowed just a third of red-zone possessions to be converted into touchdowns against them.


18. Tennessee Titans (2-2) Titans

I said last week that the Titans were one of the least impressive 2-1 teams in the league and then they went on to lose at New York to the Jets. Derrick Henry once again is head and shoulders ahead of the competition in terms of rushing yards, but they are missing both their stud receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones right now and simply don’t have the explosive plays through the air that we’re used to, as Ryan Tannehill’s eight passes of 20+ yards rank 28th in the league. They have now also move ahead of the Jets and Bears with a league-high 17 sacks allowed and they’ve been penalized for 290 yards (fourth-most in the league). The defense has been the bigger issue, as we just saw Zach Wilson & company light them up for 27 points, after the Jets had scored 20 combined through their first four weeks(!). They’re a top-ten run-stopping team, which is why their numbers aren’t totally awful, but only the Jaguars, Lions and Chiefs allow more yards per dropback, and with just two takeaways on their part, they are at -5 in the turnover department.


19. Washington Football Team (2-2)  Washington Football Team

First and foremost – Terry McLaurin right now is playing like a top-five receiver in football probably. It’s not always pretty with Taylor Heinicke, but somehow he finds ways to make plays. The offense has been the positive surprise here, as they are just outside the top-ten with 103 total points scored. Unfortunately the defense has been one of the more disappointing units league-wide, not being deceptive at all and has just not being able to get off the field consistently, allowing a league-high 59.7 percent of third downs to be converted against them and 57.1 percent of opposing drives ending in points. They are in the top-ten in pressure percentage, but I want to see them bring down one safety as a robber late, to take away easy access over the middle of the field and just change up their looks on the backend overall a little more. They’re too talented to be play this poorly.


20. Chicago Bears (2-2) Bears

I seriously thought about putting the Bear at the bottom of the list purely because Matt Nagy is still so hell-bent on saying Andy Dalton is his starter under center, but I wanted to do the exercise justice and put them where I think they actually belong – and number 20 seems about right. I have no idea what Nagy doesn’t see in Fields, because even if the rookie wasn’t very consistent, after one of the roughest debuts last week, we saw some plays on Soldier Field this past Sunday, that we hadn’t seen in years, if it wasn’t Aaron Rodgers or Matt Stafford throwing them. Their run game, spearheaded by David Montgomery, has been pretty effective and now with Darnell Mooney, they have the guy to force defenses to back off, by taking – and actually connecting on – those vertical shots. The stats are still dreadful at this point, being bottom-three in yards per play, third-down percentage and sacks allowed, but I think that could change with Fields. Defensively, they’ve been vulnerable to some big plays in the secondary, but they have forced six turnovers and they lead the league with 15 sacks right now.


21. New York Giants (1-3)  Giants

I told ya’ll that the Giants were not playing like an 0-3 team. And I think I might have been the only person on the planet to beat the Saints this past Sunday. Not saying they were the better team on the field, but they finally took advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves. When you look at their three prior games – I mentioned how a crazy fourth-down conversion and touchdown against the Broncos in the opener turned that game upside-down, they gave Washington an extra chance to hit a game-winning field goal by jumping offside and then Adoree Jackson had a should-have-been pick thrown right into his hands by Matt Ryan in week three. The defense has not been what I expected so far, but they are starting to come together. And on offense, Daniel Jones has made a jump this year, Saquon Barkley finally had his breakout performance at New Orleans and they have the weapons to stress defenses in different ways.


22. New England Patriots (1-3) Patriots

I had the Giants and Patriots projected to finish with the same record and I thought the G-Men were more competitive in their losses, but New England just gave the reigning champs all they could handle at home. They just threw the kitchen sink at Tom Brady and the reason I still think this is one of the better defenses in the NFL is that they have all the DBs on the roster to execute a wide array of coverages, most importantly challenging receivers at the line with press-man coverage. They are tied for the fifth-fewest yards allowed per dropback (5.5 yards) and they have held opponents to a league-low 141 yards after the catch so far. The offense is certainly challenged to some degree, with the lack of a vertical passing game, as only four regular starters average less yards per attempt than Mac Jones (6.3 yards) and their run game hasn’t been as dominant as expected, especially when facing tougher competition, as they were limited to -1 yards on Sunday by the Bucs.


23. Indianapolis Colts (1-3)  Colts

I was surprised the Colts beat the Dolphins on Sunday. I was ready to put them in the bottom-five or so, because they just hadn’t really shown anything special on either side of the ball, but they came through on the brink of elimination almost, when they outgained Miami by over 100 yards on the ground, as Jonathan Taylor rumbled downhill when they did open up lanes for him, and their defense almost doubled their season total on pressures with 12, including two strip-sacks, even those Jacoby Brissett more so gave one back to his old team as a gift it felt like. Over the course of the season, there’s nothing that really stands out statistically, as they are slightly below-average on offense and slightly above-average defensively, other than pressures being significantly on the wrong end of the spectrum in terms of pressures surrendered and provided, heading into this past weekend. If they can play through the run game more consistently and they sign or trade for a corner or two, they are still alive, largely thanks to how bad the AFC South is.


24. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)  Vikings

The Vikings were a popular betting pick on Sunday, which I was certainly on the opposite side of with the Browns, but I expected a more high-scoring affair, rather than a 14-7 slugfest for the most part. Sure, they had the chance to throw a Hail Mary into the end-zone with zeros on the clock, to potentially tie the game, but I thought that was more due to the inability of Cleveland to take advantage of the opportunities that were presented to them, as Minnesota was outgained 184-to-65 on the ground and Baker Mayfield missed a wide-open OBJ that should have put the game away. Outside of this lackluster showing, the Vikes had been pretty effective offensively, as long as they had Dalvin Cook as his usual self, even though they start drives from their own 23.1-yard line on average, which is the worst mark in the league. Defensively, they’ve had much bigger issues, especially due to their old secondary, where they can get tortured on the outside. Along with that they, they have only forced two turnovers and they’re tied for first (or worst) with 36 missed tackles so far.


25. Miami Dolphins (1-3) Dolphins

The next four teams all won week one and gave us false hope to some degree, before losing the following three games. The Dolphins are the one among those that I had high hopes for coming into the season. However, only the Jets have scored less than their 62 points so far and they are dead-last with just 4.0 yards per play. The Jets are the only other team in the league, that is in the bottom-five in passing and rushing yards, and Miami manages to put dynamic players like Jaylen Waddle, who averaged 19 yards per catch at Alabama, in situations where they are just volume guys and average a pedestrian eight yards a grab. And the defense has had its issues as well, as no other team has given up more than their 327 penalty yards so far and they’ve allowed teams to convert the second-highest percentage of third-downs league-wide (54.2%). So the defense can’t really make stops and the offense has turned the ball over six times – not a good combination, when you’re losing the time of possession battle, don’t control the tempo of the game and then don’t have that explosive element to climb back into contests.


26. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)  Steelers

I still can’t believe this team won at Buffalo in week one. It doesn’t even feel like that game happened this season at all and the Steelers have seemingly gotten worse every week now. It’s painful to watch this Pittsburgh offense, which invested a first-round pick into a running back, only to be dead-least in the league in rushing, and a quarterback that is willing to throw the ball short of the sticks routinely. I mean Big Ben acts like he’s still 25 years old at times, but he simply can’t move around or push the ball down the field anymore, while the aforementioned rookie RB has not been targeted 31 times over the last three weeks. The offense has been the same shitshow we last year, where they are really predictable and just throw a bunch of shallow crossers, hoping one will pop, even though defenses have no issues just sitting on the underneath stuff. I still believe the defense has the ability to be one of the best out there, if they didn’t have to be on the field as much, but the corners are vulnerable, if the rush can’t quite get there, and opponents already start from their own 33.2-yard line on average, which is the second-highest mark in the league.


27. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3)  Eagles

Similar to the other Pennsylvania team, the Eagles have been in a tailspin since ever their week one blowout win over Atlanta. People kind of have the book on their offense, with heavily relies on college-y elements, with a bunch of wide receiver screens and simple RPO reads. The offensive line is already banged up again and even though they lead the league with 5.4 yards per carry, but that is a deceiving number, considering Jalen Hurts has been responsible for 34 of their 91 attempts and averages about one-and-a-half times as much as the Philly backs. They have also been penalized 45 times on offense – 12 times more than any other team in the league – constantly putting themselves behind the sticks. Defensively, they don’t have their biggest leader in Brandon Graham, with his injury the pass-rush has cooled off significantly, they have only forced two turnovers and largely because of negative game-script, they are now second-to-last 150 rushing yards allowed per game.


28. Atlanta Falcons (1-3)  Falcons

We saw the Falcons offense wake up to some degree against Washington this past Sunday, as they scored a season-high 30 points – even though that was somewhat predictable, thinking of how disappointed their opponents defense had been and the fact a veteran like Matt Ryan still knows how to take advantage of those simplistic coverages. I still believe an offense, in which Calvin Ridley averages just 9.4 yards per catch and their fourth overall pick Kyle Pitts was supposed to be a mismatch nightmare, but now has only caught 15 passes and seems almost invisible at times, has issues. Cordarelle Patterson has been awesome, but he should not be your featured weapon, and Andy Dalton shouldn’t be the only multi-game starter to average less intended air yards than Matty Ice (5.9). And when the offense did find ways to make those big plays last weekend, it was their defense that was responsible for a big comeback loss. They have given up a league-high 32 points per game so far and they’re the only team to surrender a passer rating North of 120.


29. New York Jets (1-3)  Jets

What a win for this Jets team on Sunday, battling back and bringing it home against a Titans team, that had been incredible recently whenever a game went to overtime. They more than doubled their season point total with 27 on Sunday, even though the Tennessee secondary has shown some major issues. Zach Wilson put on full display why he was the number two overall pick, with some amazing off-schedule throws, and I believe he will only grow from being thrown in the fire, especially once they get fellow rookie Elijah Moore and hopefully left tackle Mekhi Becton back. The two great stats for them on defense are that they are tied for a league-high 24 tackles for loss and allow just 35.3 percent of red-zone possessions to end in touchdowns against them (fourth-best in the NFL). And they’ve not been put in easy situations, as their opponents are already starting drives from their own 35.6-yard line on average against them (highest in the league).


30. Houston Texans (1-3)  Texans

Man, the Texans have gone quickly from making a statement in week one against what we now know to be a Jacksonville team, that still has a ways to go before they can actually compete, to just getting destroyed by my number one team on the countdown, as they could not do anything on either side of the ball at Buffalo this past Sunday, outside of an interception early on. For a team that ran the ball to great effect against the Jags with that four-headed backfield, they are now dead-last with just 3.2 yards per carry, and rookie QB Davis Mills looked like he was completely out of place against a strong Buffalo defense, tossing four picks. Brandin Cooks is the lone bright-spot on offense, but when teams can put them in third-and-long situations and DBs are confident to jump routes, that will be an issue. The defense has also steadily been falling off, even though they have forced a few turnovers, simply because they don’t have the personnel to cover for extended stretches and then they are tied for first with 36 missed tackles so far.


31. Detroit Lions (0-4) Lions

Man, the first three weeks of the Lions must have been tough, considering they found ways to hang around and nearly pull off wins over some of the better teams league-wide, but then they lose by double-digits to a Bears team, that was coming off one of the most abysmal performance so far this season. I know Chicago was just able to slow them down, but they had been right around the top-ten rushing offense prior to Sunday and some of those young pass-catchers have stepped up, but they don’t really threaten you on that side of the ball. And the defense has been rough to watch at times, as they are in the bottom three in yards per play, 20+ yard plays allowed and points allowed per drive, even if they have been surprisingly great on third downs. Against Chicago the edges of the defense were just way too easily accessible for opposing ball-carriers.


32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4) Jaguars

What a mess this has been down in Duuval County. I don’t even want to get into the whole Urban Meyer situation and how I think that behavior is unacceptable for an NFL head coach, but focus on what they’ve done on the field. There has been some growth, going from losing by double-digits to my number 30 team in the Texans in week one to being up at halftime against the undefeated Cardinals and looking to go up by three scores on the now 3-1 Bengals, but for some reason deciding to go for it in that spot. James Robinson has become a bigger focus of the offense, to take pressure off first overall pick Trevor Lawrence, whose internal clock is starting to speed up and now he doesn’t lead defenders to the ball with his eyes as much anymore. But they have turned the ball over a league-high nine times – and that includes a clean day last Thursday Night – and their defense has been absolutely atrocious. They’ve recorded a league-low five sacks, they have now moved ahead of the Lions, allowing 9.1 yards per dropback, and they are tied for the most missed tackles in the league with 36.


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