NFL Power Rankings Week 4
Week 3 in the NFL is a slap in the face.
The first two weeks of the year served their purpose. Opening week was that first shot of whiskey on a Friday evening. The one that gets you going. The moment and experience that just reminds you what you were missing and why you’ve been so excited in anticipation.
The second week of the NFL is the Overreaction Week. It is there to remind you that after six months of analysis and predictions blew up in Week 1, the worst thing you can do is take that sliver of new information – one game – and try to draw any long-term conclusions from it.
Well, Week 3 came in and reminded everyone that no matter what they think they know about the NFL – it’s actually wilder and more unpredictable than they remembered.
Miami scored 70 points. In one game. The Cowboys and Jaguars both lost outright as double-digit favorites to two teams that won a combined seven games last season. The Bills and Chiefs won by a combined 78-13. The Packers overcame a 17-0 deficit, and the Chargers begrudgingly avoided an 0-3 start in the most Chargers way possible.
That’s why they play with a funny shaped ball.
And I can’t wait to see what Week 4 has in store.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL expert picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Here is Doc’s Sports NFL Power Rankings:
1. Miami Dolphins (3-0) – If you score 70 points on another NFL team, you get to be No. 1 in the power rankings. That’s just a rule. I’m doing this partially in jest – I think San Francisco is the best team in the league – but also to prove a point. The NFL is all about overreactions. That’s a key part of handicapping The League: being able to keep a steady, objective perspective. You don’t want to become a prisoner of the moment and let your beliefs sway in the breeze of public opinion. Miami was the best team in the NFL last week. They likely won’t be this week. They could be a month from now. Let things happen at their own pace and don’t get sucked into the hypersensitivity that drowns so many gamblers.
2. San Francisco 49ers (3-0) – That Thursday night game was not nearly as close as the 30-12 final score showed. This team has won its three games by an average of 16 points per game, and last year they beat Arizona by 25 and 28 points in their two meetings. San Fran’s No. 3 rush defense is going to be tested by Arizona this week. If they can bottle up Josh Dobbs, I can see another 20-point blowout.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) – “Win on Monday, lose on Sunday.” Look, I’m not saying the Eagles are going to get upset by Washington this week. I am just saying that it is always important not to overrate Monday Night Football performances. The Eagles have only rushed for more than 118 yards against Washington once in the last six meetings. They have averaged 330 yards per game against the Commanders in six straight games. So, you have to ask yourself: will 330 yards yield enough points to cover an 8-point spread this week?
4. Dallas Cowboys (2-1) – I’m not going to crush the Cowboys for losing at Arizona last week. As I pointed out in this space last week: Arizona just kind of has Dallas’ number and they have for the past two decades. It’s just one of those weird things. The Cowboys are a prime bounce back candidate this week, and they are a sensational 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games after a loss.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) – The Chiefs are 5-18 ATS in their last 23 games after scoring 30 or more points. They are also 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games after a win and 2-9 ATS against a team with a losing record. Kansas City is 3-13 ATS in its last 16 conference games. We will see if the Power of Taylor Swift can help turn some of those bleak numbers around.
6. Buffalo Bills (2-1) – Obviously, everyone is overreacting to Miami’s offensive explosion last week and treating them as The Next Big Thing. Buffalo is favored in this week’s showdown for a reason, though, and the Bills have absolutely dominated this series with the Fins. Buffalo is 9-1 SU in the last 10 games against Miami, including the win over the Dolphins in last year’s postseason matchup.
7. Baltimore Ravens (2-1) – This is going to be a major test for Baltimore’s shaky offense. They were terrible on third down against the Colts (6-for-16), and four fumbles weren’t the cause of the problems on that side of the ball as much as they are a symptom of a group that is not in sync. Baltimore is 19-5 ATS in its last 24 games as an underdog and 4-1 ATS on the road.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) – I still think that this team is undervalued. They are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall and are a short favorite this week on the road against the hapless Texans. The Steelers have only been favored four times in their last 10 games but have beaten the number three times.
9. Cleveland Browns (2-1) – This is the best defense in football. And right now, it isn’t even close. The Browns are allowing just 163.7 yards per game, 90 full yards better than the No. 2 defense (Buffalo). They have only allowed one touchdown, and that was a 71-yard score off a blown coverage, and Cleveland’s defense has only surrendered 18 points in three games. Jim Schwartz has always been a defensive master. This has been some of his finest work.
10. Seattle Seahawks (2-1) – I can’t say enough good things about Kenneth Walker. That guy is a real difference maker and is the real engine of this offense. I also like Seattle force-feeding the ball to D.K. Metcalf last week. Metcalf did not look 100 percent. But even him at 80 percent is better than the majority of receivers in this league. Seattle has scored 37 points in back-to-back games, and I think they will chew up a weak Giants defense.
11. New Orleans Saints (2-1) – I don’t think that the Saints should be a solid three-point favorite this week. I know they are at home. And their defense, which has held 11 straight opponents to 20 points or less, is among the best in football. But we don’t know if Derek Carr can play this week. Jameis Winston is a proven loser. And we saw what happened to this Saints offense in Lambeau when Carr went out. There is absolutely no way I would put money on Winston as a favorite.
12. Detroit Lions (2-1) – I really like watching this Lions offense work. Their scheme is innovative and fresh, and they always seem to have guys running open through opposing secondaries. They need to start getting Jahmyr Gibbs in space, though. He is not a workhouse, three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust back. And if they keep trying to use him the way they did Jamaal Williams, they are going to get him injured.
13. Atlanta Falcons (2-1) – I know the Falcons want to run the ball. That’s their brand. That is their focus and their offensive philosophy. However, every defense they face is going to scheme them the same way the Lions did. Atlanta is going to face nothing but first down blitzes and stacked boxes. It’s not supernatural here; teams are going to force Desmond Ridder to prove that he can beat them. The Falcons better be ready to throw the ball.
14. New England Patriots (1-2) – Last year the Patriots were dead last in the NFL in red zone efficiency, converting just 42.2 percent of their trips inside the 20 int touchdowns. Bill O’Brien has been playing immediate dividends in that arena, with the Patriots cashing in 71.1 percent of their early season red zone drives. There is a long way to go, but there is no doubt New England’s attack looks more organized (although not any more explosive).
15. Cincinnati Bengals (1-2) – This group spent a lot of time on Monday night celebrating very basic accomplishments. Get a first down? Do a coordinated dance. Don’t commit pass interference? Set off fireworks. These guys look like trash right now. And it is not just Joe Burrow’s calf. Also, something is seriously wrong with Tee Higgins. He hasn’t looked right all year, and it is crippling this offense.
16. Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) – No, that wasn’t a good decision by Brandon Staley. He can justify it any way he wants. But going for it on fourth-and-one from his own 24 with a chance to end the game was egregious. The worst part was the play call, though. A fullback dive? I thought Kellen Moore was this innovative, creative offensive mastermind? That’s the best he could come up with in a potentially season-defining moment?
17. Washington Commanders (2-1) – Was Sam Howell exposed? I don’t think so. He’s still a first-year starter. Just because he isn’t a rookie that doesn’t mean he isn’t a young quarterback and that he won’t be prone to some erratic play. The Commanders have split their last six games against the Eagles and are 3-1 ATS in the last four. Washington has only lost by more than 10 points to the Eagles once since the start of the 2019 season.
18. Green Bay Packers (2-1) – The Packers have lost three straight games to the Lions and are just 1-4 ATS in this series. However, the underdog is 7-2 ATS when these two teams square off, and you would have to think Green Bay would get an emotional boost after that gritty comeback win Sunday.
19. Los Angeles Rams (1-2) – Get rid of the ball, Matt Stafford. He went 18-for-33 for 269 yards with two interceptions. He was also sacked six times, and at least four of them were because Stafford refused to just throw the ball away. Puka Nacua was smothered in the second half, and Stafford and the Rams offense didn’t seem capable of adjusting. This team’s lack of talent was glaring in the second half of this game and may be starting to catch up with them.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) – Jacksonville is just 1-3 SU in its last four games in London. They are coming off a humbling home loss to a putrid Texans team, and right now the Jags defense looks like a mess. Despite that, three-quarters of the tickets bet on Jacksonville’s game against Atlanta are being cut for the Jaguars. The public just doesn’t seem ready to accept that this team isn’t that good.
21. Tennessee Titans (1-2) – The Titans turned five second-half possessions into just 26 total yards of offense. Not great. They are underdogs for the fourth straight week, and the second time this year they have dressed up as a home dog, and this is the Titans’ best role. Tennessee is playing with double revenge here. They lost at home to the Bengals in the 2021-22 playoffs and then also fell 20-16 against the Bengals at home last November.
22. Minnesota Vikings (0-3) – Two more turnovers and going 1-for-4 in goal-to-go efficiency doomed the Vikings, again. Remember: last year really wasn’t supposed to happen. I’m not even talking about all the regression stuff and their luck in one-score games. Minnesota brought in a new head coach last season to start a roster shift and general rebuild. I think what this team looks like so far in the opening month of this season is what we expected to see last year. A turnaround isn’t happening any time soon.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) – These guys cannot run the ball at all. Not even a little bit. The Bucs are averaging 2.8 yards per carry, posting 234 rushing yards on 84 carries. Those wins against the Bears and Vikings are looking worse by the day. And the fact that they are getting dominated at the line of scrimmage is a bad indicator for what is to come.
24. Las Vegas Raiders (1-2) – Josh McDaniels decided to kick a field goal on 4th-and-4 from the Pittsburgh 8-yard-line despite being down eight points. That alone is further proof that McDaniels is an incompetent that should never be an NFL head coach ever again. The fact that he couldn’t even admit that he made a mistake the day afterwards is further proof that he is a total loser that I wouldn’t trust with a lemonade stand by the side of the road.
25. New York Giants (1-2) – The Giants have been one of the worst teams in the NFL on Monday Night Football. They are 26-48-3 SU on Mondays, posting just a 36 percent winning rate. They have lost seven straight MNF games and are just 4-15 SU in their last 19 games on Monday dating back to 2011.
26. Indianapolis Colts (2-1) – I know it is early. However, it looks like Jonathan Gannon and Shane Steichen both look really, really good as rookie head coaches. The Colts and Cardinals have two of the worst rosters in the league but are a combined 5-1 ATS in their six games. The Colts are 0-4 ATS at home and 1-8 ATS in their last nine games as a favorite.
27. Carolina Panthers (0-3) – The Panthers are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games as a home underdog. They are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games as an underdog of 3.5 or more. There is no doubt that they are a better, more competitive team with Andy Dalton under center right now.
28. Arizona Cardinals (1-2) – Run the ball and play good defense. It’s not rocket science. Arizona is 3-0 ATS to start the season. They are No. 2 in the NFL in yards per carry, posting 5.6 YPC, and they have the sixth-most rushing yards in the league. These guys aren’t very good. But they are going to be a tough out for teams all season because they just pound the ball on the ground.
29. Denver Broncos (0-3) – The biggest mistake Sean Payton made when he took over this job wasn’t keeping Rusty Wilson, it was getting rid of Ejiro Evero. Denver had the No. 7 total defense in the league last year. Now new DC Vance Joseph – who Broncos fans didn’t even want to return after his calamitous 11-21 run as head coach in 2017-18 – is overseeing the worst defense in the league.
30. New York Jets (1-2) – I’m not going to defend Zach Wilson, who is a total loser. However, everyone is blaming Wilson for the issues with this team. It’s not the quarterback position. The Jets tackles are atrocious. Duane Brown is now out injured, and Mekhi Becton is a complete and total bust. They can’t run the ball and they can’t protect the passer. You could literally put anyone under center, and they wouldn’t move the ball behind this mess of a line.
31. Houston Texans (1-2) – C.J. Stroud is putting up excellent numbers in a quarterback-friendly system. It’s only a matter of time before he suffers the same fate as his other two rookie-QB contemporaries and gets injured, though. The Texans had all kinds of issues with Baltimore’s blitz-heavy defense in Week 1, cobbling together just nine points. They’ve scored 57 in the last two weeks, but those points have come against significantly weaker stop units than what they will see this week from the Steelers.
32. Chicago Bears (0-3) – I don’t ever remember a nationally televised game being pre-empted at the start of the second half because even the suits at the TV networks were like, “Yup, this is absolutely disgusting.” Now that Daniel Snyder is gone, I think it is time that serious people start asking honest questions about this organization, which has been one of the worst in professional sports for the past 40 years.
Robert Ferringo has been one of the best football handicappers in the country and for a full decade from 2010-2019 he banked over +$40,000 in football profit. Robert has produced five of seven winning seasons and 9 of 13 profitable years. Robert expects a MONSTER football season. Robert is looking for another winning football year and wants more profit this fall. SIGN UP HERE TODAY AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR 3-FOR-1 FOOTBALL SPECIALS!