nfl power rankings week 4
Syndication: The Record

Week 3 has come and gone, but the sadness and frustrations of New York football fans remain.

Things change from season to season — one aspect that hasn’t from 2020 to 2021, however, is the state of New York football.

After the first three weeks of this NFL season, the Giants and Jets are both 0-3 and in the basement of their respective divisions.

At least the Jaguars exist though, so neither MetLife Stadium squad is in the bottom spot of our latest NFL power rankings.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars ( → )

The Jaguars continued their terrible start to the season with a third consecutive loss. Arizona ousted Jacksonville by a score of 31-19 Sunday afternoon.

As long as the Trevor Lawrence- and Urban Meyer-led squad keep putting up goose eggs, the Jags will remain in the bottom spot of our rankings.

31. New York Jets ( ↓ 1 )

We knew this would be a developmental season for the Jets with a rookie quarterback and head coach in place — but boy did they look horrendous against the Broncos this past weekend.

Teddy Bridgewater and Denver defeated New York by a score of 26-0; the Jets gained just 162 total yards.

30. New York Giants ( ↓ 2 )

Many were optimistic about the Giants heading into this season.

Those supporters aren’t looking too smart right now — the Giants have begun the year with three straight losses and hit a new low Sunday, coming up short against a weak Falcons team at home.

29. Atlanta Falcons ( ↑ 2 )

The Falcons, despite notching their first victory of the year, still sit near the bottom of our power rankings — it was only a three-point win over a struggling Giants team. This victory isn’t exactly going to turn Atlanta’s season around.

The Falcons still employ an aging Matt Ryan at quarterback and a poor defense that allowed 80 combined points through the first two weeks.

28. Houston Texans ( ↓ 1 )

The Texans (sort of) came back down to earth last Thursday night and lost to the Panthers 24-9. Houston could only gain 193 total yards while it allowed Carolina to gain 407.

At least rookie Davis Mills looked promising at quarterback…

27. Detroit Lions ( ↑ 2 )

I move the Lions up two spots following their two-point loss to the Ravens, which came on a 66-yard game-winning field goal from Baltimore’s Justin Tucker (an NFL record).

The Ravens are certainly a team to beat after they defeated a Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs team 36-35 in Week 2.

26. Chicago Bears ( ↓ 1 )

The Bears drop one spot following a rough 26-6 loss to Cleveland. Chicago is now 1-2 to begin the year and has real issues to figure out at the quarterback position.

Is Andy Dalton the guy when he’s healthy? Is continuing to start Justin Fields smart? Is Nick Foles a legitimate consideration?

25. Indianapolis Colts ( ↓ 1 )

The Colts further descend the rankings after dropping to 0-3.

This was supposed to be one of the better teams in the AFC and the potential winner of the AFC South division. But thus far, Indy is looking like it’ll be one of 2021’s biggest disappointments.

Not to mention, quarterback Carson Wentz can’t seem to stay healthy, which is an obvious issue.

24. Philadelphia Eagles ( ↓ 1 )

The Eagles looked to be better than most originally thought through the first two weeks, defeating Atlanta by 26 before losing to the 49ers by just six.

However, Philly may have come back down to earth Monday night, losing by 20 to the division-rival Cowboys.

23. Washington Football Team ( ↓ 4 )

The Football Team could only beat the struggling Giants by a questionable game-winning field goal (you may argue Dexter Lawrence wasn’t offsides on the original miss) and followed that victory up with a putrid Week 3 performance. The Bills defeated Washington on Sunday 43-21.

This defense is nowhere near as strong as it was last year and it may only be a matter of time before teams consistently figure out how to stop Taylor Heinicke. The 28-year-old quarterback threw for 212 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions against Buffalo.

22. Miami Dolphins ( ↓ 1 )

The Dolphins sit at No. 22 following their second straight loss but only drop one spot because they kept up with the still-undefeated Raiders for much of their Week 3 meeting. Jacoby Brissett threw for 215 yards in a 31-28 overtime loss.

21. New England Patriots ( ↓ 1 )

The Patriots drop one spot after falling to 1-2 on the year.

Some believed the Pats could be a team to beat in the AFC this year — it’s always irresponsible to doubt Bill Belichick.

But after losing 28-13 to the Saints, it’s possible New England isn’t at the same level as some of the league’s better squads.

20. Cincinnati Bengals ( ↑ 6 )

The Bengals pulled off an impressive win over the division-rival Steelers this past weekend, defeating Pittsburgh 24-10. Thus, Cincinnati deserves to move up to No. 20.

This team has shown it can compete and is now 2-1, with its only loss coming by three points in Week 2.

Cincinnati should improve to 3-1 with a win over Jacksonville on Thursday, but we may see the type of team the Bengals truly are when they face Green Bay in Week 5.

19. Minnesota Vikings ( ↑ 3 )

The Vikings finally entered the win column in Week 3, and given the victory was an impressive one over the superior Seahawks, we move them up three spots in the rankings.

Minnesota isn’t a great team by any measure, but it’s not a bad one either. The Vikings lost by just three points in Week 1 and then by one the following Sunday.

18. San Francisco 49ers ( → )

The 49ers couldn’t close out what would’ve been a one-point victory over the Packers – Aaron Rodgers needed only 37 seconds to lead a successful final drive to win the game.

We keep San Francisco at No. 18 following this loss and a pair of unimpressive wins over the Lions and Eagles.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers ( ↓ 7 )

What a brutal Week 3 showing from Pittsburgh, as the Steelers lost by two touchdowns to Cincinnati.

Ben Roethlisberger threw two interceptions in the defeat. Maybe the Steelers should’ve drafted a quarterback in the first round instead of a running back, especially considering Najee Harris rushed for just 40 yards on 14 carries (2.9 yards per rush).

16. Denver Broncos ( ↑ 1 )

The Broncos are one of the only five 3-0 teams, but the reason I keep them in the middle of the power rankings is due to their easy schedule to begin the year.

Denver defeated the Giants, Jaguars, and Jets in Weeks 1, 2, and 3. Let’s see what the Broncos can do against teams like the Ravens, Raiders, and Browns in the coming weeks before formulating opinions on how good of a team they are.

15. Carolina Panthers ( ↑ 1 )

The Panthers, like the Broncos, are 3-0, and I believe could be a darkhorse playoff team (as I said last week).

It’ll be interesting to see what they can do against a team like the Cowboys though. Carolina has had two easy opponents up to this point (the Jets and Texans), so a win over Dallas (to go with the Week 2 win over New Orleans) could really put the Panthers on the map.

14. New Orleans Saints ( ↑ 1 )

The Saints returned to their winning ways against the Patriots after losing to the Panthers in Week 2.

While this is a talented New Orleans team, the No. 14 ranking seems appropriate due to its inconsistency.

Jameis Winston threw for 128 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s victory.

13. Tennessee Titans ( → )

The Titans have now won two straight and, as expected, defeated the division-rival Colts and a not-so-healthy Carson Wentz in Week 3.

The No. 13 spot seems appropriate though due to the fact a win over a struggling Indianapolis team isn’t all too impressive right now.

Expect the Titans to take advantage of the upcoming portion of their schedule, which includes the Jets and Jaguars.

12. Seattle Seahawks ( ↓ 5 )

The Seahawks have surprisingly begun the year 1-2 and have now lost two consecutive games.

Sunday’s defeat was cringeworthy — Seattle’s defense was atrocious and allowed Minnesota to gain 453 total yards in what was a 30-17 win for the Vikings.

11. Las Vegas Raiders ( ↑ 1 )

The Raiders have started off 3-0 but only move up one spot because they needed overtime to defeat a Dolphins team led by Jacoby Brissett.

Vegas won 31-28; its defense needs to put on a better showing than that, so the hope is the unit bounces back against the division-rival Chargers next Monday night.

10. Los Angeles Chargers ( ↑ 4 )

The Chargers are back in the top 10 following a massive victory over the mighty Kansas City Chiefs.

You could argue this win was Justin Herbert’s most important to date. The second-year quarterback threw for 281 yards and four touchdowns in the 30-24 win.

9. Dallas Cowboys ( ↑ 2 )

The Cowboys are absolutely a top-10 team following three strong performances to start the season.

After losing by just two points to the reigning Super Bowl-champion Buccaneers, Dallas defeated a strong Chargers team in Week 2 before recording a 20-point statement win over Philly this past Monday night.

The Cowboys should run away with the NFC East division.

8. Cleveland Browns ( → )

The Browns remain right where they are after pulling off the expected on Sunday afternoon.

Cleveland defeated Chicago 26-6; Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 246 yards and one touchdown.

7. Baltimore Ravens ( ↓ 2 )

The Ravens shouldn’t have needed a literal record-breaking game-winning field goal (66 yards) to defeat a below-average Lions team, especially after Baltimore defeated Kansas City in Week 2.

Congratulations on the win, but the Ravens offense needs to right the wrongs from Week 3 — Baltimore scored just 19 points in the victory.

6. Green Bay Packers ( ↑ 3 )

The Packers are officially back.

After suffering a Week 1 blowout loss to New Orleans, Green Bay has now won two straight, with the latest victory coming this past Sunday night against the 49ers.

San Francisco scored the go-ahead touchdown/extra point with 37 seconds remaining to go up by one, but that amount of time is all Aaron Rodgers needed.

The legendary quarterback led his team down the field and set Mason Crosby up for a game-winning 51-yard field goal as time expired.

Even after the Week 1 disaster, Green Bay is still a team to beat in the NFC.

5. Kansas City Chiefs ( ↓ 2 )

The Chiefs at 1-2?

It’s not something anyone really expected, but given Kansas City’s talent and its likely ability to bounce back, we’ll keep the Chiefs in the top five.

4. Arizona Cardinals ( ↑ 2 )

The Cardinals move back into the top five after briefly leaving this portion of the power rankings last week. Arizona defeated the Jaguars 31-19 and Kyler Murray threw for 316 yards while rushing for one score.

3. Buffalo Bills ( ↑ 1 )

Like the Packers, the Bills are absolutely back following a tough Week 1 loss (although the Bills’ season-opening defeat wasn’t nearly as bad as the Packers’).

Buffalo defeated Washington 43-21 behind 358 passing yards and four touchdowns from Josh Allen.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( ↓ 1 )

The Buccaneers drop from their usual top spot to No. 2 following their loss to the Rams on Sunday.

This paves the way for Los Angeles’ ranking to change as well…

1. Los Angeles Rams ( ↑ 1 )

We have no choice but to move the Rams from No. 2 to 1 on our power rankings.

In a battle between the top two teams in the NFL, Los Angeles defeated Tom Brady’s Buccaneers by a score of 34-24 Sunday and continued its undefeated start to the season.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 343 yards and four touchdowns in the win.

Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY

Listen to ESNY’s Wide Right Podcast by clicking here.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.