NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys stumble after embarrassing loss

The Kansas City Chiefs just gook out the New England Patriots Monday night in a game that had to be rescheduled after Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19. At 4-0, the defending champs remain the top dog in the NFL heading into Week 5.

On the other end of the ledger, the Dallas Cowboys are coming off a brutal 49-38 loss to the Cleveland Browns. This has Mike McCarthy’s team at 1-3 on the season and on the downswing.

A bit further down on the totem pole, rookie No. 1 pick Joe Burrow has his Cincinnati Bengals playing at an extremely competitive level following their first win of the season. They are quickly ascending the power rankings heading into Week 5.

NFL Week 5: Schedule and picks for every game

1. Kansas City Chiefs (1)

What an incredible football game. On a night when New England’s defense kept Patrick Mahomes and Co. out of the end zone for nearly three quarters, the defense saved Kansas City’s bacon. The Chiefs’ defense looks just as dominant as we saw near the end of 2019 and that has to terrify every other NFL team.

2. Green Bay Packers (2)

Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers. Following Week 4’s brilliant performance over the Falcons, Rodgers has his Packers at 4-0 on the season. He’s thrown 13 touchdowns compared to four interceptions and has the team averaging 38 points per game. After a trip to the NFC Championship Game last season, Green Bay is looking like the class of the conference at the quarter point of the 2020 campaign.

3. Baltimore Ravens (4)

Lamar Jackson is back. While Baltimore’s offense experienced a few problems with All-Pro tackle Ronnie Stanley sidelined, it still did more than enough to cruise past the Ravens. There is one area of concern, the Ravens’ defense. Struggling against Mahomes is understandable, but Baltimore allowed Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson to combine for 246 total yards. Maybe, just maybe, the Ravens miss having a Pro Bowl safety in the secondary.

4. Buffalo Bills (3)

The Bills experienced a scare on Sunday when Allen went to the locker room after this scary arm injury. Fortunately, he returned and started threading needles once again. He still makes a few mistakes and gets a little reckless at times, but that 12/1 TD/INT ratio through four games is incredible. The offense is clicking, but this defense still needs to get back on track after allowing 300-plus passing yards for the third consecutive game.

5. Seattle Seahawks (5)

The Seahawks must love nail-biting victories. They come out of Sunday with a 4-0 record, winning the last three by one-score margins. Russell Wilson wasn’t at his MVP-caliber form against the Miami Dolphins, but he didn’t need to be with Seattle’s defense delivering a quality performance. Count on the Seahawks to easily dispatch the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5, but a challenging three-game stretch ( vs. SF, @ BUF, @ LAR) is right around the corner.

NFL odds: Week 5 lines and point spreads

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9)

Trailing 24-7 with 50 seconds left in the first half, Tampa Bay was staring down a tough loss and a .500 record. Ndamukong Suh’s forced fumble changed everything, leading to a touchdown before halftime. Tom Brady came out and started cooking in the second half, slicing up the Los Angeles Chargers secondary. The Buccaneers should have no trouble dispatching the Chicago Bears in Week 5. After that, things get interesting in Week 6 against Green Bay.

7. Los Angeles Rams (10)

After the Rams’ offense nearly saved the day against the Buffalo Bills, the defense came out on Sunday and delivered the win. While Jared Goff wasn’t sharp, the Rams suffocated the New York Giants and bought time until Goff was ready to seal the victory. If the Rams can execute on both sides of the ball, perhaps on Oct. 17 against the 49ers, this team will get a lot more national respect.

Related: Jalen Ramsey fights Golden Tate after Sunday’s game

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (6)

The Steelers were a victim of circumstance in Week 4. Instead of having the opportunity to make a statement against the Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh was forced into taking an early bye week. We expect this team to rebound in Week 5, unleashing their extra energy on the Philadelphia Eagles. After that, there has to be concern about playing 13 consecutive games before the NFL Playoffs even begin.

9. New England Patriots (8)

We lost out on an incredible matchup between Mahomes and Cam Newton. It’s a big blow for the NFL, but even more concerning for the Patriots. While Newton is asymptomatic and might return soon, we’re still talking about an injury-prone quarterback. If his surgically-repaired shoulder or left foot cause problems, New England will experience a catastrophic fall with Brian Hoyer at quarterback. Let’s just hope Newton returns quickly and stays healthy, because that’s when the Patriots are a fun team.

Related: Cam Newton tests positive for COVID-19, requirements for return

10. Indianapolis Colts (15)

The Colts are back in the top-10 after sliding down following the Week 1 loss. We thought the offense would be the driving force this season, but Indianapolis’ defense is absurd. It’s even more impressive given practically every other team looks sluggish defensively without the benefit of a full offseason and training camp. Combine an elite defense with a dominant running game and consistent passing attack, you have the ingredients for a team that can go on a deep playoff run.

NFL defense rankings: Ranking top-20 defenses for Week 5

11. San Francisco 49ers (7)

San Francisco won as many games as a team could with a lot of backups. The 49ers welcomed Deebo Samuel back in Week 4 and there’s a chance Jimmy Garoppolo could return in Week 5. With those starters back and Brandon Aiyuk hurdling defenders on eye-popping plays, we’d say Kyle Shanahan’s offense will soon look unstoppable.

NFL ratings: Eagles-49ers game takes a hit on Sunday Night Football

12. New Orleans Saints (13)

The Saints finally got back on track and all it took was a midnight scare. Drew Brees looked sharp on Sunday and Alvin Kamara is playing like the Offensive Player of the Year, a nice combo with Michael Thomas nearing a return. New Orleans stands a good chance of winning its next three (vs. LAC, vs. CAR, @ CHI) before a pivotal NFC South rematch against the Buccaneers.

13. Tennessee Titans (11)

The Titans are the talk of the NFL for all the wrong reasons. Even when the team is cleared to return, several key players will be sidelined by COVID-19. A short-handed Titans’ squad likely wouldn’t fare well against Buffalo. Tennessee should enjoy its undefeated start, because it probably won’t last much longer. This is a good team – when everyone is available – but it’s highly unlikely the Titans reach the wild heights we saw in 2019.

NFL news: Latest on Titans’ COVID-19 outbreak and potential return

14. Cleveland Browns (18)

Are the Browns a good team? After getting steamrolled by Baltimore in Week 1, Cleveland has picked itself off the ground in grand fashion. Three consecutive victories, all with 34-plus points scored and an offense that is firing on all cylinders. The trick plays are working, Kareem Hunt is dominating and everyone is happy. If the Browns can consistently score against the Colts’ defense in Week 5, they will shoot up the power rankings.

NFL injury news: Nick Chubb placed on IR with knee inury

15. Carolina Panthers (20)

Maybe the Panthers aren’t tanking for Trevor Lawrence. Carolina’s investment in Teddy Bridgewater is paying off, with the 27-year-old completing over 70% of his passes and this offense moving the football efficiently. When Christian McCaffrey landed on injured reserve, it felt like the nail in the coffin. Instead, the Panthers have won consecutive games and now face a winnable Week 5 contest against the Atlanta Falcons. Even if this isn’t a playoff-caliber team, it’s clear hiring head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady were brilliant moves.

16. Arizona Cardinals (12)

Time is all relative in 2020, but Arizona’s 2-0 start to the season feels like it happened a year ago. The Cardinals seemed ready to compete for the NFC West title, with Kyler Murray playing at a ridiculous level. Reality has crushed that hope into particles. Murray is unraveling and this defense is falling apart, which is problematic with the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks on the schedule in October. The Cardinals are probably a year away from contending.

17. Los Angeles Chargers (19)

The Oregon Ducks wasted Justin Herbert. If we’ve learned anything from the rookie’s first thee games, it’s that he can be a future NFL star. The ability to navigate pressure and evade sacks is stunning for his age, but his touch and velocity on deep balls is insane. While the Chargers are 1-3 and just lost Austin Ekeler, this team took the Chiefs to overtime and nearly beat Tom Brady on the road. If the defense gets healthy, Los Angeles could string some wins together.

18. Philadelphia Eagles (21)

There’s still some major issues for Philadelphia. It can’t rely on an opposing quarterback playing as poorly as we saw last week in the Eagles’ first win of the season against Nick Mullens and the 49ers. Carson Wentz was hit 10 times in the win. He also threw another interception, his seventh of the season. Injury issues along the offensive line and wide receiver add another layer to this. However, a win is a win. Philadelphia has tough upcoming games against the Steelers and Ravens. We’ll find out more about Doug Pederson’s squad over the next two weeks.

19. Dallas Cowboys (14)

Absolutely disastrous. That’s the best way to describe Dallas’ performance on the defensive side of the ball through the first quarter of the season. Including giving up 49 points in an humiliating Week 4 loss to the Browns, the Cowboys’ defense is yielding an average of 36.5 points per outing. It has Dallas at 1-3 on the season despite the fact that Dak Prescott is on pace to shatter the single-season passing yards mark and is playing at an MVP level. Something needs to change here, stat.

20. Minnesota Vikings (23)

As with the Eagles, a win is a win. Unfortunately for Minnesota, it came against a bad Houston Texans squad and included the team nearly blowing a 17-3 lead in Week 4. The good news? Dalvin Cook put up 130 rushing yards on 27 attempts. Meanwhile, rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson continues to show out. He’s now tallied 11 receptions for 278 yards over the past two games. Minnesota will need more of this if it is going to run off a winning streak, starting Week 5 against the undefeated Seahawks in Seattle.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (22)

Cincinnati lost 14 games a season ago. Through the first four weeks of the 2020 campaign, we already know this team won’t come close to matching that total. In reality, it’s been all about rookie No. 1 pick Joe Burrow. The reigning Heisman winner is coming off his first career NFL win and is on pace to throw for nearly 4,500 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. It has Cincinnati at 1-2-1 at the quarter point of the campaign.

22. Las Vegas Raiders (17)

The good feelings that came with two consecutive wins to open the 2020 season have given way to reality. While the Raiders are more entertaining and boast more talent than we’ve seen throughout the first two years of Jon Gruden’s tenure, this team is not yet ready for prime time. Las Vegas is giving up 33 points per game during its current two-game losing streak. Derek Carr has regressed big time under center after starting the season out well. With games coming up against the Chiefs, Buccaneers and Browns, it would not be a surprise to see an extensive losing streak in the desert.

Related: NFL fines multiple Raiders’ players for not wearing masks

23. Chicago Bears (16)

About that whole Nick Foles being Chicago’s savior narrative. This came crashing down quicker than Mitchell Trubisky’s career in the Windy City. He led Chicago to just 11 points in an ugly offensive performance against the Indianapolis Colts last week. While these Bears are 3-1 on the season, it has not been an impressive start to the campaign by any means. With games coming up against the Buccaneers, Panthers, Rams, Saints and Titans, expect Chicago to find itself in a bad situation come mid-November.

24. Miami Dolphins (24)

We’re not going to drop the Dolphins down in our rankings from last week. Why? The team played pretty competitive football against MVP front runner Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks last week. That came after a blowout win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. The question here is who will be under center Week 5 against the 49ers? Head coach Brian Flores won’t commit to Ryan Fitzpatrick as his starter. That means the long-anticipated debut of rookie first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa could be on the horizon.

25. Denver Broncos (29)

Not many teams can be as competitive as we’ve seen from Denver while starting three quarterbacks in four weeks. Following last Thursday’s win over the New York Jets, these Broncos find themselves at 1-3 on the season. It’s not where head coach Vic Fangio and Co. wanted to be at the quarter pole. But injuries have been a major component here. Having to go up against the Patriots and Chiefs in two of their next three games, we’ll find out a lot more about this squad moving forward.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars (25)

Remember that Week 1 win over the Colts? It seems like eons ago. Since then, the Jaguars have lost three consecutive games. Their defense has given up 31 points or more in all three of those outings. It’s almost like losing a half-dozen Pro Bowler on that side of the ball has impacted Doug Marrone’s squad. Now at 1-3, Jacksonville has an opportunity to head into its Week 7 bye with an even record. It goes up against the Texans and Lions next. However, most of the onus is now going to be on Gardner Minshew and the Jags’ offense.

27. Detroit Lions (26)

It’s stunning. Detroit held a 14-0 lead within the first five minutes of last Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. As we have seen under defensive-minded head coach Matt Patricia, that side of the ball failed this team in another brutal loss. The 1-3 Lions are now giving up 31.8 points per game. Could this be the end of the road for Patricia in Detroit? It darn well should be.

LOOK: Ex-Lions’ player roasts Matt Patricia for absurd comments

28. Houston Texans (27)

Good news, Texans fans. Former head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien has been fired. Rejoice. Pour one out. Celebrate. The bad news? Houston is now at 0-4 on the season following last week’s loss to the Vikings. It’s now a lost season. We just hope this doesn’t include the demise of star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is on pace to be sacked 64 times this season. Sixty-four!

29. Atlanta Falcons (28)

Could Dan Quinn soon follow Bill O’Brien on the unemployment line? It’s more than possible following an 0-4 start to the 2020 season. Atlanta was not competitive during a 30-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 4 and is giving up a whopping 34 points per game through four weeks. There’s no reason to believe this thing is going to change with Quinn leading the charge. It’s time for owner Arthur Blank to take action.

30. New York Giants (30)

We’ll give Joe Judge and Co. credit for remaining competitive this past week against the Los Angeles Rams. They actually had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter before Daniel Jones was picked off. In reality, it’s that side of the ball that has let this squad down. New York heads into Week 5 averaging 11.8 points per game, the lowest total in the NFL. As for Mr. Jones, he’s thrown two touchdowns compared to five interceptions while putting the ball on the turf another three times. Just gross.

31. Washington Football Team (31)

No one really gave Washington much of a chance against the Ravens last week. In a pretty ho-hum manner, Ron Rivera’s squad lost the game by the score of 31-17. It’s Washington’s third consecutive defeat after the team earned a season-opening win over Philadelphia. This span has seen the burgundy give up nearly 32 points per game. Meanwhile, second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins has put up just four touchdowns compared to three interceptions at the quarter pole of the season.

32. New York Jets (32)

Should we really give Adam Gase and Co. credit for being competitive against an injury-plagued Broncos team last week? Nope. If New York is not going to be able to defeat Denver at home on a short week, one now has to wonder what game this team might win moving forward. That’s not hyperbole. The Jets are bad. Potentially historically bad. They rank 31st in scoring offense and 30th in points allowed. That says enough.

Jets injury report: Sam Darnold to miss Week 5 vs. Cardinals?

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Author: Matt Johnson

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