Now that week four of the NFL is all but wrapped up, it’s time to take a look at which teams impressed, or flopped. Much like last week’s article, I have separated the teams into four different categories: True Contenders, Playoff Bound Material, Mediocre at Best, and Dead in the Water.
True Contenders: Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers.
Just like last week, we are seeing a lot of movement in this category with some new faces (Green Bay Packers, 3-1) and some disappearing acts (New England Patriots, 2-2). This is a cut-throat business, and I’m going to be harsh with the Patriots at this point, even though they will likely recover from this early season loss. Their defense must improve vastly if they want to have any chance of competing come playoff time. Other contenders who slipped down were the Raiders (2-2) and Titans (2-2), each coming off brutal losses. I will give the Falcons (3-1) a pass this week, since Matt Ryan had a rough outing all while losing his top two targets at receiver.
Both Falcons receivers wearing Flair cleats have been injured today
— Cageside Seats (@cagesideseats) October 1, 2017
Playoff Bound Material: Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans, Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers.
These aforementioned franchises are solid, but still have a few major flaws to address as the season chugs along. Whether or not they can move into the “true contender” category remains to be seen, but we simply haven’t seen enough from these squads to really rely on them week in and week out. A couple of teams to watch on the way up are: the Detroit Lions (3-1), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1), Los Angeles Rams (3-1), and Carolina Panthers (3-1). All of these four teams impressed in crucial Week 4 victories. The teams trending down, at the moment are: the Tennessee Titans (2-2), and New England Patriots (2-2), who came off very embarrassing losses to end their week.
When you realize that Cam Newton is undefeated against the New England Patriots pic.twitter.com/0RurFBb3za
— JT (@Jaberuski) October 1, 2017
Mediocre at Best: Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals.
Remember what I said last week about the Seattle Seahawks (2-2)? They put up more of a fight against the Colt (1-3), but I am still far from a believer in this Seattle franchise. The Saints (2-2) might not be dead yet after an impressive shutout of the hapless Dolphins (1-2). Dallas (2-2) took a major step backwards losing to the Rams, while the Jaguars (2-2) couldn’t gain any momentum by also losing to the Jets (2-2).
Dead in the Water: Cleveland Browns, NY Jets, NY Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins.
Not much movement at the bottom of the rankings this week, since these teams are who we thought they were: not very good. Based on this week’s performances, these teams will have a very tough time even being in playoff contention moving forward, much less, relevant. The Dolphins (1-2) are the latest addition to the basement category, and their arrow is trending down faster than a rock hitting water.
Be sure to check back next week to see the movement in these categories, which teams should start to be taken seriously, and the others we wish would just get off our TV screens for good.
Photo Credit: PennLive.com
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