Chibs’ Power Rankings, Take Two

I thought my first shot at Power Rankings would also be my last shot, but there have been.. requests.

Since I do it for the people, here are my Power Rankings headed into Week 4 of the NFL season. Check here to see who rose, who fell, and who is more stagnant than a swamp in the summer.

Don’t like where I’ve ranked your favorite team? Maybe they should play better. That’s a them problem, not a me problem.

Let’s get into it!

The Top 10:

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) during the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 28, 2020
Photo Credit: Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs – 1 (2)
The Pat (still being petty) Mahomes-led Chiefs went into Baltimore and absolutely manhandled the Ravens. It wasn’t completely because of the Chiefs, but credit where it is due. This is the best team in the NFL. They can hurt you in so many ways (emotionally, in the case of Ravens fans) and they bring something new to the table every single week.

Green Bay Packers – 2 (3)
No Davante Adams? No problem. The Aaron (Jones) and Aaron (Rodgers) show combined for 352 yards and four touchdowns, while the defense did just enough to stop a Michael Thomas-less Saints team. The Packers are showing why they’re still Kings of the North, as Rodgers is turning no-names into viable starters (Allen Lazard had six catches for 146 yards and a score, like.. what?).

Baltimore Ravens – 3 (1)
The Ravens went into this game thinking they were the best team in the NFL, and it showed. The arrogance of getting away from your game plan in the interest of showing that you can do different things well, causes you to look.. not great. Let’s be clear: they’re still a formidable opponent. This game exposed their weaknesses to the world, and I’d expect them to make changes to cover those back up.

Seattle Seahawks – 4 (4)
The Seahawks are a Top 5 team because of Russell Wilson and the offense. They’re winning in spite of a miserable defense. Dak Prescott is good-not-great, yet he was able to go toe-to-toe with an elite quarterback, because the Seahawks defense is just.. not good. They’re still the NFC West front-runner until proven otherwise.

Buffalo Bills – 5 (5)
Bills Mafia might be mad that their team didn’t go up a few notches because of their win over the LA Rams. There is a large part of me that thinks they manage to blow the 28-3 lead that they had, if that ticky-tack pass interference call is instead a no-call. The other side of that is, its the Rams’ job to stop them at the goal line, and they didn’t. Josh Allen is playing at a high level, and the addition of a real No. 1 wide receiver is just what this team needed.

New England Patriots – 6 (9)
Bill Belichick made the Raiders look like the 2019 version rather than the strong showing that they had up until this game in 2020. Never count out the Hoodie. What’s even weirder is that there are clips of the Emperor having.. fun? 2020 is weird, man. If they can take down the Chiefs this week, look for them to vault back into AFC East leader talks on morning football shows.

Pittsburgh Steelers – 7 (6)
The Steelers won in Week 3, but drop a notch because of two things. One, other teams look more impressive in their victories. Two, they didn’t look impressive against a team that got blown out two weeks in a row. People can bite on the undefeated record all they want to, but the tape doesn’t lie. This is a weird Top 10 argument, but they belong here.

Tennessee Titans – 8 (8)
How about Stephen Gostkowski? Goes from missing four kicks in Week 1 to booting a 55-yarder to win the game in Week 3. In doing so, he kept the upstart Titans perfect through three weeks. They’re a Top-10 team because they find ways to win close games – they’ve won all of their games by the amount that the Browns scored against the Ravens in Week 1. They get the No. 7 team on this list next week. What day, we don’t know. But it’ll happen.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 9 (12)
Tom Brady is slowly whipping the Bucs offense into shape, after two weeks of very ‘meh’ play. Their blocking tight end had himself a day on Sunday, but I’d prefer Chris Godwin staying healthy over a Gronk resurgence. The defense is the story of this team, no matter who’s at quarterback. They sit at 2-1, and it’s largely because of the defense’s ability to stop opposing offenses.

Los Angeles Rams – 10 (7)
Ever get slapped and somehow get a bloody nose because of it? I haven’t, but the Rams sure did this week. They nearly pulled off the sacred 28-3 comeback, just to get kicked in the face by the referees, and then failing to stop Josh Allen with 15 seconds left in the game. This team can still roll, and looks to be a high-seed Wild Card – the Seahawks still exist, of course.

The Middle of the Pack:

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Photo Credit: San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers – 11 (15)
Listen, I know it was just the Giants (big drop coming for them), but the fact remains that Kyle Shanahan showed that he can keep rolling over teams with half of his on Injured Reserve. They absolutely manhandled the New York Giants, and didn’t break a sweat. Next up? The Philadelphia Eagles, who played to tie the Bengals. 3-1, here they come.

Arizona Cardinals – 12 (10)
Kyler Murray had a bout of colorblindness this week, tossing a few passes to the Lions secondary in a close loss to the hapless Matt Patricia-led team. If you lose to the Lions, you’re likely to drop a few spots in my rankings. But hey, they got Andy Isabella back. That’s something. Either way, you cannot drop winnable games if you hope to make a run at the NFC West title.

New Orleans Saints – 13 (11)
I understand that Michael Thomas is the second-best wide receiver in the entire league, but this team is supposed to be able roll with the next man up mentality. The Packers were able to do it without Adams, but the Saints weren’t able to match up without Thomas. This team is still stacked with talent, but they need to figure out how to have success without their No. 1 wideout.

Dallas Cowboys – 14 (14)
This ranking says more about the offense’s ability to go punch-for-punch with Mr. Unliiiimited than it does about the rest of the team. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott showed that they weren’t phased by the surging Wilson-led score-at-will offense, and tried their best in a close win. They’ll need to figure out their defensive issues if they want to crack my Top Ten.

Las Vegas Raiders – 15 (13)
Say what you want about the character that is Jon Gruden, he has had his team ready to fight. Say what you want about the character that is Bill Belichick, he has had his team ready to fight harder. This was true when the Raiders tried (and failed) to get their third straight win. Ravens Legend Darren Waller was held to just two catches, and the defense couldn’t stop SuperCam. There’s a small voice telling me that LVR will be fine moving forward.

Indianapolis Colts – 16 (16)
It was the Jets. That’s my explanation for not moving the Colts up. Philip Rivers had himself a day, and the Colts defense ran roughshod over the Jets’ offensive line. But it was the Jets. Do it against a real team, and maybe they move up.

Cleveland Browns – 17 (18)
The Browns are over .500 for the first time in six years. Since Week 1, Baker Mayfield has looked improved, and the offense is starting to get it together. Will it last? We’ll see – they’re the Browns, after all. Nick Chubb is a bonafide stud, though. He and Kareem Hunt form what might be the best one-two punch of any backfield in the NFL.

Chicago Bears – 18 (19)
I’m still not fully convinced that this Bears team is for real, 3-0 record or not. Of course Nick Foles came in during the third quarter and did Nick Foles things, bringing the Bears out of their hole and into Victory Lane. That being said, I think we all knew it was over when the Falcons were up by two scores, and a 28-3 lead happened at the same time. Destiny is inevitable, much like Thanos.

Los Angeles Chargers – 19 (17)
You can’t lose to a winless team and not expect to drop in the rankings. That being said, they only lost because of a trick-play gone wrong. I don’t care what they say, I’m not convinced that Tyrod Taylor gets his job back when his lung heals. Justin Herbert looks like he’s the future of this franchise, rookie mistakes and all.

Minnesota Vikings – 20 (21)
Kirk Cousins is not the problem, no matter how much I like trolling my Vikings employee. The defense is absolutely putrid, allowing just under 450 yards to Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. Dalvin Cook is also not the problem, having a career game. Justin Jefferson might be good, so Vikings fans have that to look forward to after the off-season trade of Stefon Diggs.

The Bottom Third:

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Photo Credit: Houston Texans

Houston Texans – 21 (20)
Poor Deshaun Watson. Not only does he have Bill O’Brien as a GM-HC, the schedule-makers apparently hate him. His team is now 0-3, and has faced opponents with a combined 8-1 record. To be fair, they looked good in a loss against Pittsburgh, so moral victories I suppose. They need to fix a lot of things, and they’re fairly cash-strapped. It’s going to be a long season for the Texan faithful.

Carolina Panthers – 22 (30)
Perhaps the Panthers have started to figure out their offense. Or maybe Christian McCaffery being out is addition by subtraction? I don’t mean that they don’t need him. I mean that they can’t force him to be the focal point, so other players are finding their grooves. Except, apparently DJ Moore. They get their first win, and rocket up the list – because the rest of this list is filled with atrocities.

Detroit Lions – 23 (31)
The Lions escaped with a win, but it wasn’t a pretty one. Still, they enjoy a big rise on this list after their first win. Kenny Golladay coming back is huge for them, and Matthew Stafford looks like he has new life with his best friend back on the field. This ranking is more about projection than their record.

Miami Dolphins – 24 (28)
The Dolphins see the second-biggest rise on this list, and it isn’t necessarily because I believe in them. It’s because the rest of the teams on this list deserve to be where they are. Ryan Fitzpatrick had his ‘big game’ this week, making the Jaguars defense look absolutely foolish. I still think it’s Time for Tua, especially with Devante Parker banged up. They need some magic.

Atlanta Failcons – 25 (22)
If I didn’t think other teams were significantly worse than the Falcons, I would have them lower on the list. The problem is, the offense is producing (at least for 24 points or so). The defense is failing them at the worst possible times. Dan Quinn might be fired by the bye week if they don’t figure it out, and I’m not sure Matt Ryan can get any more red from frustration.

Denver Broncos – 26 (24)
Brett Rypien is starting at quarterback after the Broncos benched Jeff Driskel in the third quarter of the last game. So that means we get to see Rypien vs. Darnold on Thursday Night Football. I hate 2020.

Washington Football Team – 27 (23)
Dwayne Haskins had four turnovers this week. Ron RIvera was not having it. Maybe it’s time to let Alex Smith be the comeback kid? Chase Young is out against the Ravens, as well as a couple of damaging injuries to the offensive line. I’d expect Haskins to play his final NFL game as a starter, on Sunday, when they face the Interstate Rivals.

Philadelphia Eagles – 28 (26)
They played to tie the Bengals. In overtime. If that wasn’t bad enough, Dallas Goedert is joining what seems like the rest of the team on Injured Reserve, and his replacement is.. Hakeem Butler. Former fourth-round wide receiver pick of the Arizona Cardinals, he is now a tight end, but his 15.5% drop rate hasn’t gotten any better.

Jacksonville Jaguars – 29 (27)
No DJ Chark? Big problem. The Jacksonville offense struggled to get anything going through the air, despite the efforts of Garnder Minshew and rookie Laviska Shenault. James Robinson continued to show why the Jaguars didn’t need Leonard Fournette. The defense, however.. I’m fairly certain that they were still asleep.

Cincinnati Bengals – 30 (29)
Joe Burrow’s Bengals keep losing, and keep falling down the list. There are myriad problems for Zac Taylor to figure out, and I’m not sure that Mike Brown is giving him the best opportunity to do so. If it continues much longer, they need to punt on 2020 (like they do on every offensive drive) and draft seven offensive linemen.

New York Giants – 31 (25)
The New York Giants faced half of the San Francisco 49ers, and got smoked. It wasn’t even as close as the score said it was, and that is saying something. Big Blue fans were absolutely livid, and are ready to burn it all down already. Fire Joe Judge, fire Jason Garrett, and replace Daniel Jones. They might get a chance to, as well – the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft is within their grasp at the moment.

New York Jets – 32 (32)
If the Jets don’t look like a competent football team sometime soon, I may create a lower ranking for them. Sam Darnold has no confidence left, so that experiment is likely over for the Jets. Adam Gase is the worst head coach in the NFL, and it isn’t particularly close. Some people at NZI think that Justin Fields is the answer, but I’m here to tell you – a quarterback isn’t going to make a lick of difference with all the other issues that the team has.

In Closing:

Listen.. I can’t make your team play better. So if you have a problem with these rankings, take it up with them.

I’m kidding. Take it up with me, on Twitter. I’ll fight all of you.

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