Quickly

  • Just three points separate New England and Kansas City atop our Week 4 power rankings, as the Chiefs continue to impress. Elsewhere, Daniel Jones lifts the Giants, the Saints bounce back big, and Philly—which our voters can’t quite figure out—drops to the middle of the pack.
By The MMQB Staff
September 24, 2019

This week’s voters:

Ben Baskin, Staff Writer
Andy Benoit, Staff Writer
Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Mitch Goldich, Producer/Writer
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Jonathan Jones, Staff Writer
Kalyn Kahler, Writer/Producer
Bette Marston, Associate Editor
Mark Mravic, Executive Editor
Jenny Vrentas, Senior Writer


1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (3-0)

Previous rank: 1
Points in poll: 316
Highest-place vote: 1 (7 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 3 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat N.Y. Jets, 30-14
This week: at Buffalo

The Patriots are the first team since the 1944 Giants to allow zero rushing or passing touchdowns through the first three games. The G-Men’s first three opponents that season were the Boston Yanks, Brooklyn Tigers and Card-Pitt (the wartime mashup of the Cardinals and Steelers). This has been your NFL 100 fact for the day.

2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (3-0)

Previous rank: 2
Points in poll: 313
Highest-place vote: 1 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 2 (7 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Baltimore, 33-28
This week: at Detroit

Each week someone new emerges on this offense. Against the Ravens, we got a good taste of how LeSean McCoy fits in.

3. LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-0)

Previous rank: 3
Points in poll: 295
Highest-place vote: 3 (4 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 5 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Cleveland, 20-14
This week: vs. Tampa Bay

While the Rams’ offense isn’t blowing the bloody doors off, the D is proving to be one of the league’s toughest. Eric Weddle and Clay Matthews have been valuable additions.

4. DALLAS COWBOYS (3-0)

Previous rank: 4
Points in poll: 293
Highest-place vote: 3 (4 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 5 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Miami, 31-6
This week: at New Orleans

An early prove-it stretch coming up for the Boys, with the Saints, Packers and Eagles over the next four weeks. That will help sort things in the NFC.

5. GREEN BAY PACKERS (3-0)

Previous rank: 6
Points in poll: 274
Highest-place vote: 2 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Denver, 27-16
This week: vs. Philadelphia (Thurs)

It’s the third time in the Aaron Rodgers era that the Packers have started out 3-0, and maybe the least convincing of those teams. The Pack offense is 28th in the league.

6. BALTIMORE RAVENS (2-1)

Previous rank: 5
Points in poll: 266
Highest-place vote: 5 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Kansas City, 33-28
This week: vs. Cleveland

Lamar Jackson and crew made it a game on the road against the Chiefs. A win over the preseason-darling Browns would put Baltimore in the early driver’s seat in the division.

7. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2-1)

Previous rank: 10
Points in poll: 263
Highest-place vote: 5 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Oakland, 34-14
This week: at Chicago

Dalvin Cook has rushed for at least 110 yards in each of the first three games. He’ll be tested against that Bears front on Sunday.

8. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2-1)

Previous rank: 17
Points in poll: 237
Highest-place vote: 7 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Seattle, 33-27
This week: vs. Dallas

After N.O. plunged to 17 last week, a big win on the road at Seattle reassured our voters, pushing Teddy Bridgewater and friends way back up the rankings.

9. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (2-1)

Previous rank: 14
Points in poll: 231
Highest-place vote: 8 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Atlanta, 27-24
This week: vs. Oakland

Gutsy victory for Jacoby Brissett will help this young, talented team move on from Andrew Luck.

10. HOUSTON TEXANS (2-1)

Previous rank: 15
Points in poll: 229
Highest-place vote: 8 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 14 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat L.A. Chargers, 27-20
This week: vs. Carolina

AFC South is shaping up as a two-team race.

11. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (3-0)

Previous rank: 11
Points in poll: 221
Highest-place vote: 7 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 14 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Pittsburgh, 24-20
This week: Bye

Third straight AFC North opponent coming up after the break. Hard to judge where this unbeaten team fits into the NFC picture until it starts facing serious conference opposition.

12. BUFFALO BILLS (3-0)

Previous rank: 13
Points in poll: 200
Highest-place vote: 10 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Cincinnati, 21-17
This week: vs. New England

The last time the Bills started 3-0 they got an SI cover. Better not to ask how that ended up.

13. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (2-1)

Previous rank: 8
Points in poll: 196
Highest-place vote: 10 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 18 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to New Orleans, 33-27
This week: at Arizona

Russell Wilson’s heroics might not be enough to carry the Hawks in a very competitive NFC. Loss at home to the Brees-less Saints wasn’t as close as the final score.

14. DETROIT LIONS (2-0-1)

Previous rank: 19
Points in poll: 194
Highest-place vote: 10 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Philadelphia, 27-24
This week: vs. Kansas City

Closed out a tough win in Philly. Are people starting to believe in Matt Patricia?

15. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (1-2)

Previous rank: 7
Points in poll: 191
Highest-place vote: 7 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Detroit, 27-24
This week: at Green Bay (Thurs)

This still looks like a contending team (one voter has the Eagles in the top 10), but will it ever be healthy enough? Things won’t get easier on the road against the Packers on a short week.

16. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (1-2)

Previous rank: 9
Points in poll: 178
Highest-place vote: 10 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Houston, 27-20
This week: at Miami

The injury absences of safety Derwin James and left tackle Russell Okung are hobbling this club. Dolphins should offer a bit of a reprieve.

17. CHICAGO BEARS (2-1)

Previous rank: 16
Points in poll: 165
Highest-place vote: 14 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Washington, 31-15
This week: vs. Minnesota

Mitch Trubisky came alive, and Khalil Mack put on another Monday night show. And still the Bears dropped in the rankings—evidence of how poor the opposition was. Tester coming against the Vikes.

18. ATLANTA FALCONS (1-2)

Previous rank: 12
Points in poll: 147
Highest-place vote: 12 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (4 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Indianapolis, 24-20
This week: vs. Tennessee

Tone-setting safety Keanu Neal is out for the season with a torn Achilles, after an ACL tear ruined his 2018 campaign. That’s just not fair.

19. TENNESSEE TITANS (1-2)

Previous rank: 18
Points in poll: 142
Highest-place vote: 17 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Jacksonville, 20-7
This week: at Atlanta

Next three games—at injury-weakened Atlanta, vs. Cinderella Bills, at struggling Denver—will be critical.

20. CLEVELAND BROWNS (1-2)

Previous rank: 20
Points in poll: 127
Highest-place vote: 18 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (5 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to L.A. Rams, 20-14
This week: at Baltimore

Baker Mayfield is completing just 56.9% of his passes, 30th in the league. Freddie Kitchens and Todd Monken have to get that figured out or this once-promising season will slip away.

21. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-2)

Previous rank: 23
Points in poll: 126
Highest-place vote: 18 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Tennessee, 20-7
This week: at Denver

Sixth-round rookie Gardner Minshew is hitting on 74% of his passes and seems made for the limelight. He’s doing the impossible—making the Jags a team to watch.

22. CAROLINA PANTHERS (1-2)

Previous rank: 21
Points in poll: 116
Highest-place vote: 20 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Arizona, 38-20
This week: at Houston

Kyle Allen threw four touchdown passes in an impressive second NFL start. That should give Ron Rivera some comfort and Cam Newton time to heal.

23. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (0-3)

Previous rank: 22
Points in poll: 95
Highest-place vote: 22 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to San Francisco, 24-20
This week: vs. Cincinnati (Mon)

Complete absence of a run game—lead back James Conner is averaging 2.9 yards per carry—isn’t going to do Mason Rudolph any favors.

24. NEW YORK GIANTS (1-2)

Previous rank: 31
Points in poll: 92
Highest-place vote: 21 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Tampa Bay, 32-31
This week: vs. Washington

Forget the Eli Hall of Fame debate. Is Daniel Jones ready for Canton?

25. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (1-2)

Previous rank: 25
Points in poll: 77
Highest-place vote: 22 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to N.Y. Giants, 32-31
This week: at L.A. Rams

Matt Gay makes that chip-shot field goal and we’re talking about Jameis Winston’s 380 passing yards and the Bucs’ clutch comeback. Game of inches!

26. OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-2)

Previous rank: 24
Points in poll: 69
Highest-place vote: 24 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Minnesota, 34-14
This week: at Indianapolis

The opening-night magic against Denver, not to mention the Antonio Brown drama of the summer, seems like a million years ago.

27. DENVER BRONCOS (0-3)

Previous rank: 29
Points in poll: 52
Highest-place vote: 27 (5 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (1 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Green Bay, 27-16.
This week: vs. Jacksonville

Former Bronco Shaq Barrett, now in Tampa, has eight sacks through three games. The Broncos have zero.

28. ARIZONA CARDINALS (0-1-2)

Previous rank: 28
Points in poll: 48
Highest-place vote: 24 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Carolina, 38-20
This week: vs. Seattle

Kliff Kingsbury needs to get a run game going if teams aren’t to just game plan for his rookie QB.

29. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (0-3)

Previous rank: 27
Points in poll: 47
Highest-place vote: 25 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Chicago, 31-15
This week: at N.Y. Giants

Warming up in the bullpen: rookie Dwayne Haskins.

30. CINCINNATI BENGALS (0-3)

Previous rank: 26
Points in poll: 43
Highest-place vote: 26 (1 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost Buffalo, 21-17
This week: at Pittsburgh (Mon)

The rushing attack is averaging 42 yards per game. Not good.

31. NEW YORK JETS (0-3)

Previous rank: 30
Points in poll: 27
Highest-place vote: 29 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (5 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to New England, 30-14
This week: Bye

An early bye gives Adam Gase a chance to regroup—but where to start?

32. MIAMI DOLPHINS (0-3)

Previous rank: 32
Points in poll: 10
Highest-place vote: 32 (10 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (10 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Dallas, 31-6
This week: vs. L.A. Chargers

Congrats, Dolphins—you set the NFL record for point differential through three games, at -117. Last year at this time, Miami was 3-0.

Question or comment? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.

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