One quarter of the NFL season is complete and it looks like the cream is beginning to rise to the top. The early surprise teams are falling back to earth, the slow starters are rounding back into form, and the best teams are shining through. and then, there are the Jets...
1) Los Angeles Rams (4-0)
Last Week Ranking: 1
Last Game: beat Minnesota 38-31
Next Game: at Seattle
The Greatest Show on Turf moved west to become The Greatest Show on Real Grass. The Rams are second in scoring (35.0 ppg) and passing yards (343.2 ypg) and lead the NFL in total yards (468.5 ypg.)
2) Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)
Last Week Ranking: 2
Last Game: beat Denver 27-23
Next Game: vs. Jacksonville
Patrick Mahomes II lead his team to a win in a hostile environment when he wasn't playing all that well. That may have the most impressive thing he's done so far. That and this Brett Favre-esque toss.
3) Jacksonville Jaguars (3-1)
Last Week Ranking: 4
Last Game: beat N.Y. Jets 31-12
Next Game: at Kansas City
Blake Bortles threw for a career-high 388 passing yards. With Leonard Fournette's hamstring still an issue, consistency from Bortles is a must.
4) New Orleans Saints (3-1)
Last Week Ranking: 5
Last Game: beat N.Y. Giants 33-18
Next Game: vs. Washington (MNF)
Alvin Kamara rushed for 134 yards and three touchdowns, both of which were career highs.
5) New England Patriots (2-2)
Last Week Ranking: 9
Last Game: beat Miami 38-7
Next Game: vs. Indianapolis (TNF)
The Patriots outscored the other three AFC East teams on Sunday 38-19. It looks like all is well in New England, as per usual.
6) Green Bay Packers (2-1-1)
Last Week Ranking: 11
Last Game: beat Buffalo 22-0
Next Game: at Detroit
Were Aaron Rodgers' comments after the Bills game directed at Mike McCarthy's play calling?
7) Carolina Panthers (2-1)
Last Week Ranking: 7
Last Game: Bye Week
Next Game: vs. N.Y. Giants
Eric Reid will start at safety, his first football action in nine months.
8) Chicago Bears (3-1)
Last Week Ranking: 12
Last Game: beat Tampa Bay 48-10
Next Game: Bye Week
Mitchell Trubisky had a game that no Chicago Bear QB in modern history has ever had. His six touchdown passes are the most since Sid Luckman's seven in 1943.
9) Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)
Last Week Ranking: 13
Last Game: beat Atlanta 37-36
Next Game: vs. Miami
Lost in the Bengals' last second victory was Tyler Eifert's gruesome leg injury. He's only played in 14 games in the last three years due to injuries to his back, knee, and elbow. Such a shame.
10) Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
Last Week Ranking: 15
Last Game: beat Pittsburgh 26-14
Next Game: at Cleveland
Despite throwing for a career best 363 yards, Joe Flacco wasn't happy with his teams' performance.
11) Tennessee Titans (3-1)
Last Week Ranking: 16
Last Game: beat Philadelphia 26-23 in OT
Next Game: at Buffalo
The Titans converted three fourth downs during a sixteen play, 75-yard drive in overtime against the Eagles.
12) Philadelphia Eagles (2-2)
Last Week Ranking: 3
Last Game: lost to Tennessee 26-23 in OT
Next Game: vs. Minnesota
Philadelphia lost a 17-3 lead as their vaunted defense gave up 344 passing yards. Carson Wentz was sacked five times and the Eagles went 1 for 4 in the red zone.
13) Minnesota Vikings (1-2-1)
Last Week Ranking: 8
Last Game: lost to L.A. Rams 38-31
Next Game: at Philadelphia
The key to the Vikings' woes? Mike Zimmer's defense is 22nd in the league in points per game and gave up the fourth-most yards in team history against the Rams.
14) Los Angeles Chargers (2-2)
Last Week Ranking: 20
Last Game: beat San Francisco 29-27
Next Game: vs. Oakland
Defense looked very suspect but will get help from returning DT Corey Liuget. Kicking game is yet again a nightmare.
15) Seattle Seahawks (2-2)
Last Week Ranking: 21
Last Game: beat Arizona 20-17
Next Game: vs. L.A. Rams
I understand Earl Thomas' frustration with not getting a new contract, but his problem is with the Seattle front office. Flipping his own sideline the bird as he's carted off doesn't help matters. Thomas deserves to get a new contract and be handsomely paid, but Seattle doesn't want give out that big a contract to someone with that kind of injury history. Both sides are right and it all stinks.
16) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2)
Last Week Ranking: 6
Last Game: lost to Chicago 48-10
Next Game: Bye Week
Well, I guess Ryan FitzMagic has run its course. Enter in the Jameis Winston era, again, for better or worse. Hopefully for the better, probably for the worse.
17) Miami Dolphins (3-1)
Last Week Ranking: 10
Last Game: lost to New England 38-7
Next Game: at Cincinnati
Bill Parcells once said, "You are what your record says you are." Well, that doesn't apply to Miami. The Dolphins aren't as good as their record says they are.
18) Washington Redskins (2-1)
Last Week Ranking: 18
Last Game: Bye Week
Next Game: at New Orleans (MNF)
Washington upcoming schedule includes games against the Saints, Panthers, Cowboys, Giants, and Falcons. This stretch will go a long way in determining if they are contenders or pretenders.
19) Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
Last Week Ranking: 23
Last Game: beat Detroit 26-24
Next Game: at Houston
Another Jerry Jones update: the meddlesome owner sees "similarities" between his team's offense and the Rams. Um...yeah...
20) Denver Broncos (2-2)
Last Week Ranking: 17
Last Game: lost to Kansas City 27-23
Next Game: at N.Y. Jets
Not sure why the Broncos did run the ball more against a Chiefs team that had trouble stopping it. Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman combined for 20 carries, 136 yards, and two touchdowns.
21) Atlanta Falcons (1-3)
Last Week Ranking: 14
Last Game: lost to Cincinnati 37-36
Next Game: at Pittsburgh
The losses of Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen in the secondary and Deion Jones at linebacker have really set this defense back.
22) Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2-1)
Last Week Ranking: 19
Last Game: lost to Baltimore 26-14
Next Game: vs. Atlanta
Le'veon Bell could rejoin the Steelers by week seven if he's not traded by then. The running game could use him. In their last three games, they've averaged 43.3 yards on the round per game and 2.8 yards per carry.
23) Oakland Raiders (1-3)
Last Week Ranking: 31
Last Game: beat Cleveland 45-42 in OT
Next Game: at L.A. Chargers
Raiders put up 565 yards of offense on the Browns to give Jon Gruden his first victory in nine years.
24) Houston Texans (1-3)
Last Week Ranking: 27
Last Game: beat Indianapolis 37-34 in OT
Next Game: vs. Dallas
The Good: Deshawn Watson and Will Fuller V have started seven games together and they've hooked up for a TD in all of them. The Bad: Watson has thrown a red zone interception in every game this season.
25) Cleveland Browns (1-2-1)
Last Week Ranking: 22
Last Game: lost to Oakland 45-42 in OT
Next Game: vs. Baltimore
Browns did some Browns-like things again (four turnovers, nine dropped passes) but it doesn't feel as hopeless in Cleveland as it's been before. So far, Baker Mayfield has shown he can lead this team.
26) Detroit Lions (1-3)
Last Week Ranking: 25
Last Game: lost to Dallas 26-24
Next Game: vs. Green Bay
I know that Matt Patricia came from the Patriot way, but why they didn't use Kerryon Johnson more in the game is a head-scratcher.
27) Indianapolis Colts (1-3)
Last Week Ranking: 26
Last Game: lost to Houston 37-34 in OT
Next Game: at New England (TNF)
Head coach Frank Reich told the media that he never wants to play for the tie. And I like that. What I didn't like was the 4th down play called near the end of overtime.
28) San Francisco 49ers (1-3)
Last Week Ranking: 28
Last Game: lost to L.A. Chargers 29-27
Next Game: vs. Arizona
Shoddy tackling hurting the 49ers. They have a league-high 43 missed tackles this season.
29) New York Giants (1-3)
Last Week Ranking: 24
Last Game: lost to New Orleans 33-18
Next Game: at Carolina
Giants' coach Pat Shurmur is under fire by the New York media for his play-calling. But then again, it wouldn't be New York if they weren't lambasting someone.
30) Buffalo Bills (1-3)
Last Week Ranking: 29
Last Game: lost to Green Bay 22-0
Next Game: vs. Tennessee
Josh Allen did a numberous ill-advised things that he'll need to correct. He'll learn that the NFL isn't the Mountain West Conference.
31) Arizona Cardinals (0-4)
Last Week Ranking: 32
Last Game: lost to Seattle 20-17
Next Game: at San Francisco
Josh Rosen looked comfortable in his first start. He wasn't afraid of the rush, showed an ability to scramble, and threw the ball into some tight spaces. He finished with 15-for-27 passing with 180 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions, but his receivers dropped five passes.
32) New York Jets (1-3)
Last Week Ranking: 30
Last Game: lost to Jacksonville 31-12
Next Game: vs. Denver
Remember when Sam Darnold and the Jets were the toast of New York? What a fun 72 minutes that was...