As the 2018-19 NFL season is underway, certain franchises have stepped into the spotlight. As the weeks progress, here are the NFL Power Rankings, brought to you by The Athletes Hub:
1. Los Angeles Rams (4-0) (-)
After a fourth consecutive victory on Sunday, the Los Angeles Rams maintained their #1 slot in the power rankings. On the road against the Seattle Seahawks may get chippy, but the Rams will be the heavy favorite.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) (-)
After erasing a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter on Monday night, the Kansas City Chiefs remain at the #2 slot. Tough games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots may cause a bit of turbulence, but cause for a few great games to keep an eye on.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-1) (+1)
The Jaguars left their fluke game against the Tennessee Titans in week three in the past and took care of business against the New York Jets the following week. With one of the best defensive units in recent history, the Jaguars have a chance to shoot up to #2 with a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
4. New England Patriots (2-2) (+2)
After a dominant victory over the Miami Dolphins, the New England Patriots are starting to settle in at the perfect time. Josh Gordon has been receiving positive reviews, and Julian Edelman is set to return from his suspension in week five against the Indianapolis Colts.
5. Carolina Panthers (2-1) (-)
After a bye week on their hands, the Carolina Panthers will settle back into action against the New York Giants in week five. Both teams have shown minor flaws in the early weeks, but with Odell Beckham Jr battling injuries of his own, Carolina needs to take advantage.
6. New Orleans Saints (3-1) (+1)
An overpowered Saints offense will now receive the support of Mark Ingram in the backfield, which only improve the team’s chances in week five against the Washington Redskins. As long as Drew Brees is under center, New Orleans will remain a contender in the NFC.
7. Green Bay Packers (2-1-1) (+2)
After a shutout victory over the Buffalo Bills in week four, the Green Bay Packers have plenty of momentum moving forward. While Aaron Rodgers is not as healthy as originally hoped for, the Packers still have a top ten offense in the NFL.
8. Chicago Bears (3-1) (+6)
The Chicago Bears are slowly starting to tap into their potential, as the defense is primed for success. After putting up 48 points in week four, the Bears will sit through a bye week before traveling to Miami.
9. Washington Redskins (2-1) (-1)
After the bye week, the Washington Redskins witnessed losses for the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants in week four. Stuck within the most competitive division in the NFL, this will all come down to divisional play down the stretch of the season.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (2-2) (-7)
The Philadelphia Eagles took a dip in the power rankings after their week four loss against the Tennessee Titans. Even with Carson Wentz under center, the Eagles need to adjust on both sides of the ball before they are considered the favorite in the NFC.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) (+6)
A high-scoring victory over the Atlanta Falcons places the Cincinnati Bengals on the fringe of the top ten heading into week five. With a few upset losses in the top ten, the Bengals could continue to climb their way up the rankings.
12. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) (+1)
A Sunday night victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers could have easily catapulted the Baltimore ravens higher than #12, but I still remain somewhat skeptical. The defense is showing signs of elite status, but going 2-0 in the next two weeks over Cleveland and Tennessee will be crucial.
13. Minnesota Vikings (1-2-1) (-1)
Another loss under Kirk Cousins is only justifying the argument against him as an elite quarterback in the NFL. Viewed as the favorite in the NFC by many, the Minnesota Vikings will struggle to remain in the Wild Card hunt at this rate.
14. Tennessee Titans (3-1) (+7)
The most surprising 3-1 franchise heading into this week is none other than the Tennessee Titans. With victories over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles over the last two weeks, this is one of the most unpredictable teams in football.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2-1) (-5)
The Pittsburgh Steelers are continuing to drop games in the early weeks, which will only haunt them down the road. The positive from this week is that Le’Veon Bell is projected to report during the team’s week seven bye week.
16. Los Angeles Chargers (2-2) (+3)
Although it was over a San Francisco 49ers roster without QB Jimmy Garoppolo, the Los Angeles Chargers still have a talented roster on their hands. There is concern over Keenan Allen’s health moving forward, which will play a large factor in the team’s success in the coming weeks.
17. Miami Dolphins (3-1) (-5)
The Miami Dolphins were brought back to earth thanks to the New England Patriots in week four, but hold a one game lead in the AFC East. While the expectation is that the Patriots will close that gap, the Dolphins could very well secure a wild card berth down the road.
18. Denver Broncos (2-2) (-2)
The investment in Case Keenum isn’t going as planned, but it’s going as most of us expected it to. Had the Broncos held onto their lead over the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night, their ceiling could have been as high as the #9 slot.
19. Atlanta Falcons (1-3) (-4)
Even scoring 36+ points in back-to-back weeks hasn’t been enough to earn a victory for the Atlanta Falcons. The defense hasn’t been able to hold its own, and the last time the Falcons started a season 1-3, they finished that season 4-12.
20. Seattle Seahawks (2-2) (-)
A close victory over the Arizona Cardinals keeps the Seattle Seahawks at #20 for the time being. Although the Seahawks play at home in week five, a matchup against the Los Angeles Rams has the potential to make or break this franchise.
21. Dallas Cowboys (2-2) (+1)
A game-winning field goal kept the Dallas Cowboys within the conversation in the NFC East. While I wasn’t impressed with their defensive coverage, the offensive firepower between Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot was on point.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) (-4)
The quarterback dilemma continues for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as the inconsistent quarterback play led to a blowout loss against the Chicago Bears. Heading into the bye week, for the time being, Jameis Winston has been named the starter.
23. Detroit Lions (1-3) (+1)
After a loss against the Dallas Cowboys, I was impressed with Matt Stafford’s ability to lead the Lions offense on Sunday. While three losses in the first four games puts Detroit in a tough situation, there is plenty of time left in the regular season.
24. New York Giants (1-3) (-1)
The lackluster play of the New York Giants wasn’t enough to overcome a contender in the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Even with Saquon Barkley on the roster, the Giants offensive line will be the reason this team fails to meet expectations in 2018.
25. Houston Texans (1-3) (+2)
The Houston Texans saw their first victory in week four, and now look to continue to build on their success in week five against the Dallas Cowboys. The play of Deshaun Watson has been underwhelming so far, but Sunday night has the making of a great game.
26. Oakland Raiders (1-3) (+3)
Although it was over the Cleveland Browns, Jon Gruden and company saw out their first victory of the 2018 season. I’m not high on their chances moving forward, but this was a much-needed win.
27. Cleveland Browns (1-2-1) (-2)
Baker Mayfield failed to impress in his first NFL start, turning the ball over four times in a loss against the Oakland Raiders. I firmly believe Mayfield has the most potential among any other rookie quarterback, but the defense allowing 45 points won’t do any justice.
28. Indianapolis Colts (1-3) (-2)
The Andrew Luck experiment is continuing to malfunction, as the Indianapolis Colts have failed to find an identity. There are a few flashes of talent on the roster, but a makeover on the defensive side of the ball is much-needed.
29. New York Jets (1-3) (-1)
Sam Darnold continues to struggle in New York, as the Jets are falling behind in the AFC picture. While I would like to believe in their chances at a Wild Card slot in 2018, the chances are growing dimmer as the weeks go on.
30. San Francisco 49ers (1-3) (+1)
San Francisco remained competitive in their loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, but there is no reason to believe in the play of CJ Beathard. I won’t claim that recruiting Colin Kaepernick is the answer to all of their problems, seeing that there are multiple issues throughout the roster.
31. Buffalo Bills (1-3) (-1)
So far, the victory over the Minnesota Vikings in week three has proven to be a fluke. Josh Allen and company failed to put up a single point in week four, as Buffalo Bills fans are growing tiresome early on.
32. Arizona Cardinals (0-4) (-)
There is no reason to move the Arizona Cardinals any higher than #32, as both sides of the ball have failed to impress during the first four weeks of play.
Featured Image: Sports Illustrated