The fourth week of the NFL season is complete. In my Monday afternoon column, I handed out quarter-season awards to individual players, but after a wild week full of news and schedule changes, where does each team stand heading into Week 5?
Let's dive in.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)
Last week: Win vs. New England 26-10
Next week: vs. Las Vegas
The Chiefs' offense had its issues against a stout Patriot defense, so it was the defense that made the plays, with a Frank Clark strip-sack and Tyrann Mathieu pick-six being the two biggest plays in KC’s second straight win over Bill Belichick.
2. Green Bay Packers (4-0)
Last week: Win vs. Atlanta 30-16
Next week: BYE
The Packers continue to look more well-rounded than they have in years, and Aaron Rodgers continues to look excellent. Sometimes, getting your quarterback help doesn’t have to mean buying him a receiver.
3. Seattle Seahawks (4-0)
Last week: Win at Miami 31-23
Next week: vs. Minnesota
Russell Wilson wasn’t at his best, but the defense (finally) was better—and star corner Shaquill Griffin made the plays in the end, with a big pick and pass breakup late to put the road win to bed.
4. Buffalo Bills (4-0)
Last week: Win at Las Vegas 30-23
Next week: at Tennessee
Josh Allen’s growing, Stefon Diggs is balling, and Buffalo’s pulling on all cylinders right now. We’ll see if they get to show in Nashville this week—no certainty yet given the circumstances there.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0)
Last week: BYE
Next week: vs. Philadelphia
So this was a weird one, with the awkward, forced Week 4 Bye followed by a visit from a hobbled, but still resourceful Philly group on tap. Things don’t lighten up from there. They have Cleveland, Tennessee, Baltimore and Dallas on deck.
6. Tennessee Titans (3-0)
Last week: BYE
Next week: vs. Buffalo
Another Titan went on the COVID-19 list on Monday, and time is running short for the bleeding to stop if they’re gonna get Sunday’s home date in.
7. Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
Last week: Win at Washington 31-17
Next week: vs. Cincinnati
The Ravens got right against their neighbors to the south on Sunday. And while it wasn’t the most impressive win, a lot of people chipped in.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)
Last week: Win vs. Los Angeles Chargers 38-31
Next week: at Chicago
The Bucs looked scary from the last minute of the first half on against the Chargers, and have a chance to turn that momentum around—even with emerging tight end O.J. Howard—right away, with a Thursday nighter against the Bears on tap.
9. Indianapolis Colts (3-1)
Last week: Win at Chicago 19-11
Next week: at Cleveland
The NFL’s best defense was smothering again, and Jonathan Taylor’s settled in as the offense’s centerpiece. The Colts are good already, and getting better.
10. New England Patriots (2-2)
This week: Loss at Kansas City 26-10
Next week: vs. Denver
The Patriots really controlled the pace of the game, and if not for a couple Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham miscues, this one might’ve come down to the wire.
11. Los Angeles Rams (3-1)
This week: Win vs. New York Giants 17-9
Next week: at Washington
Brandon Staley’s defense has made plays time and again through the first quarter of the season, and so it was again Sunday, with a Darious Williams pick putting away the Giants.
12. New Orleans Saints (2-2)
Last week: Win at Detroit 35-29
Next week: vs. Los Angeles Chargers
I’m cautiously optimistic on where the Saints are coming out of Detroit, with Tre’Quan Smith and Emmanuel Sanders emerging as legit options for Drew Brees in the passing game, which is exactly what he needed.
13. Cleveland Browns (3-1)
Last week: Win at Dallas 49-38
Next week: vs. Indianapolis
Bill Callahan is a magician, and Jedrick Wills looks like a home-run draft pick, and suddenly all that optimism lost is back in Cleveland.
14. Chicago Bears (3-1)
Last week: Loss vs. Indianapolis 19-11
Next week: vs. Tampa Bay
The schedule stiffens from here, and the validity of their 3-0 start will continue to be tested, as will Nick Foles.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2-1)
Last week: Win at San Francisco 25-20
Next week: at Pittsburgh
Injuries have decimated Philly again, which has meant a who’s who of who? starring for Philly again. Jordan Mailata, Alex Singleton and Travis Fulgham (?) all played huge roles in Sunday’s big road win.
16. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)
Last week: Loss vs. Philadelphia 25-20
Next week: vs. Miami
If Jimmy Garoppolo can’t go Sunday, we have a new quarterback controversy on our hands—Mullens v. Beathard!
17. Las Vegas Raiders (2-2)
Last week: Loss vs. Buffalo 30-23
Next week: at Kansas City
The Raiders have come back to Earth a little but showed fight in making the Bills play 60 minutes to get their win in Vegas.
18. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
Last week: Win at Houston 31-23
Next week: at Seattle
The passing game came to life on Sunday, and Justin Jefferson looks like he’s ahead of schedule as Diggs’s replacement.
19. Dallas Cowboys (1-3)
Last week: Loss vs. Cleveland 49-38
Next week: vs. New York Giants
Dak Prescott got away with a few would-be picks, keeping the loss to Cleveland from being even worse. The Cowboys' defense is a problem, and not in a good way.
20. Carolina Panthers (2-2)
Last week: Win vs. Arizona 31-21
Next week: at Atlanta
The Panthers were feisty in Weeks 1 and 2, and have just been good since. And regardless of the early results, Matt Rhule’s program is in a good place.
21. Arizona Cardinals (2-2)
Last week: Loss at Carolina 31-21
Next week: New York Jets
I may have gotten a little ahead of myself on the Cards through two weeks. I still like a lot of their young talent.
22. Los Angeles Chargers (1-3)
Last week: Loss at Tampa Bay 38-31
Next week: at New Orleans
The Chargers seem to have found their quarterback—Will they keep playing him?
23. Cincinnati Bengals (1-2-1)
Last week: Win vs. Jacksonville 33-25
Next week: at Baltimore
Nothing’s rattled Joe Burrow thus far. We’ll get to see Sunday if a trip to Baltimore will.
24. Washington (1-3)
Last week: Loss vs. Baltimore 31-17
Next week: vs. Los Angeles Rams
That was one courageous effort coaching on Sunday from Ron Rivera
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)
Last week: Loss at Cincinnati 33-25
Next week: at Houston
The team’s encouraging start has become a thing of the past, and we’re right back into wondering about the team’s future again.
26. Detroit Lions (1-3)
Last week: Loss vs. New Orleans 35-29
Next week: BYE
If there’s good news here, it’s that the schedule softens a little over the month after the bye, so the Lions can build some momentum.
27. Houston Texans (0-4)
Last week: Loss vs. Minnesota 31-23
Next week: vs. Jacksonville
The team certainly could wind up rallying behind Romeo Crennel, like the 2011 Chiefs did when he took over as interim coach in KC.
28. Miami Dolphins (1-3)
Last week: Loss vs. Seattle 31-23
Next week: at San Francisco
Listen to coach Brian Flores addressing the QB situation now, vs. a month ago. It sure sounds like Tua Tagovailoa’s time is coming.
29. Denver Broncos (1-3)
Last week: Win at New York Jets 37-28
Next week: at New England
Not the best spot to have to go into Foxborough—with the Patriots coming off a loss.
30. Atlanta Falcons (0-4)
Last week: Loss at Green Bay 30-16
Next week: vs. Carolina
At least they didn’t blow a lead this week, I guess.
31. New York Giants (0-4)
Last week: Loss at Los Angeles Rams 17-9
Next week: at Dallas
The effort fight is still there, the wins aren’t.
32. New York Jets (0-4)
Last week: Loss vs. Denver 37-28
Next week: vs. Arizona
Not a lot to say here.