Article by: Justin Imler
We're now a quarter of the way through the 2019 NFL regular season, and I think we have more question marks than ever. A lot of teams have been disappointing on the offensive side of the ball, I'm looking at you Houston and Minnesota, with others seemingly on the rise. The top and bottom tiers look relatively the same this week, with a few teams like the Bears and Eagles making their way up the rankings after some impressive Week 4 performances.
Which teams are on the rise, and which teams took a fall? Take a look below to see where I have your team ranked heading into Week 5!
1. New England Patriots +-0 (4-0)
The Pats got the win in Buffalo last Sunday. Both offenses looked horrible, but their defense and special teams dominated and took care of business. Look for Tom Brady and company to get back on track against a very disappointing Washington defense this week.
2. Kansas City Chiefs +-0 (4-0)
Kansas City survived a close one in Detroit last week. Many expected this game to be another Patrick Mahomes beat down, but it ended up being his only NFL game without a TD so far in his career. Gotta give the Lions credit, they hung with KC for 60 minutes, but when Mahomes has the ball to close out a game, it's all but over.
3. New Orleans Saints +7 (3-1)
Like I said last week, the Saints are doing just fine without Drew Brees at the helm. Teddy Bridgewater has now led this team to back-to-back wins against a tough Seattle team, and now upsetting Dallas in New Orleans. This team has risen to the challenge in Brees' absence, and it's only a matter of time before we get to see this offense fully healthy and ready to strike.
4. Chicago Bears +4 (3-1)
This Chicago defense carried them to victory yet again against Minnesota last week. QB Mitch Trubisky did suffer a dislocated shoulder, but backup Chase Daniel did well in his place. With Trubisky's outlook being murky for at least the next game or two, look for this defense to continue to carry the load going forward, which hasn't been an issue so far.
5. Dallas Cowboys -1 (3-1)
With a lot of top tier teams taking an L last week, Dallas remains in my top 5 and here's why. This Dallas defense is special, they held this Saints offense in check pretty much the whole game. Now on the other hand, their offense couldn't get things going whatsoever, but any primetime matchup in the Superdome is going to put you at a massive disadvantage. They have another tough matchup at home against Green Bay this week, so let's see if they can turn things around.
6. Los Angeles Rams -3 (3-1)
The Rams were playing catch up from the very beginning last Sunday, but ultimately still fell short of Tampa Bay 55-40. This game was by far the highest scoring game of the season thus far, and both defenses looked like they just didn't want to stop a thing. With that being said, I still think LA has one of the best all around rosters in the NFC. They have a tough matchup Thursday night in Seattle to try to bounce back from last week's disappointing performance.
7. Philadelphia Eagles +6 (2-2)
Many believe that Philly saved their season last Thursday in their win over the Green Bay Packers. With Dallas looking to be on the rise, a 1-3 start by the Eagles would not have been an ideal position. But instead their defense stepped up when they needed to late in the game, and now they're 2-2 heading into Week 5 with a much easier opponent in the New York Jets. The secondary still concerns me, but this Philly roster is still one that should not be overlooked.
8. Green Bay Packers -3 (3-1)
The other side of that Thursday night matchup resulted in Green Bay's first loss of the season. However, like I expected, Aaron Rodgers and Devante Adams found their grove connecting for 10 catches and 180 yards. Adams did however suffer a turf toe injury that will most likely keep him on the sidelines this week against Dallas. Let's see if this defense can continue their high level of play, and Rodgers can make do without his favorite weapon.
9. San Francisco 49ers +3 (3-0)
Coming off a bye week, San Fran still moves up in this week's rankings. They'll get their first true test of the season in primetime on MNF against the Cleveland Browns, who are coming off an impressive win of their own. Let's see if the Niners can keep their undefeated season going another week.
10. Seattle Seahawks +1 (3-1)
Seattle handled Arizona pretty easily last week, beating the Cards 27-10. Seattle has looked impressive so far this season, but time will tell to see how they compete when facing tougher NFC competition. They struggled against New Orleans a few weeks ago, but have another favorable matchup against Cinci this week.
11. Buffalo Bills +3 (3-1)
Bills Mafia should be happy, as I still have the Bills moving up in the rankings, despite suffering their first lost of the season to New England this past week. Yes, the offense looked rough, even before Allen suffered a concussion, but what offense hasn't when facing the Pats this year? This defense proved that they're legit, and hung with the league's top team harder than anyone else so far this season.
12. Los Angeles Chargers +4 (2-2)
The LA Chargers handled their business against the abysmal Miami Dolphins last week 30-10, but that's not why I have them moving up 4 spots this week. This team is getting a very talented offensive weapon back at their disposal in RB Melvin Gordon. His holdout didn't go as planned, and even though he didn't receive a new deal, he'll be back on the field this week. Technically he was on the active roster last week, but there was no need to use him when he had minimal preparation, and RB Austin Ekeler has been filling the void so well in Gordon's absence. It seems though that Gordon will take over the starting RB role right away, so let's see if he can make an immediate impact for this .500 Chargers team.
13. Baltimore Ravens -6 (2-2)
The Ravens have struggled in back to back weeks, suffering a loss to Kansas City, and now getting blown out by AFC North rival Cleveland 40-25. Baltimore will look to get back on track this Sunday against Pittsburgh, a game that this team desperately needs to win if they want to regain control of this division.
14. Detroit Lions +4 (2-1-1)
The Lions turned me into a believer last week as they went toe to toe with the Kansas City Chiefs. They played them well, and slowed down Mahomes better than anyone so far. Even though they still took the loss, this Detroit team is sticking around, and continuing to surprise everyone around the NFL. Detroit is on a bye this week, which is beneficial, they now have an extra week to prepare for their primetime Week 6 matchup against Green Bay on MNF.
15. Cleveland Browns +4 (2-2)
The Cleveland hype is back... for now. The Browns made a statement by dropping 40 points on the impressive Baltimore Ravens last week. They're now tied for the division lead at 2-2, and face another solid opponent in San Francisco on Monday night. Let's see if this Browns team can put together two solid outings in a row.
16. Minnesota Vikings -7 (2-2)
The Vikings are continuing to fall in this year's power rankings. This offense is falling apart, with it's sole bright spot being RB Dalvin Cook. Kirk Cousins still looks lost, and his two star WRs Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs aren't happy, not exactly a receipe for success if you ask me...
17. Houston Texans -10 (2-2)
Speaking of disappointing offenses, in come the Houston Texans. I may have overhyped this team a little bit having them inside my top 10 last week, but on paper this team should be performing at an elite level each week. The Panthers had a game plan to stop them, and it worked, holding Deshaun Watson and company to just 10 points. They're going to need to come up with some solutions fast, because the AFC South is looking a lot more competitive than most people originally thought.
18. Indianapolis Colts -3 (2-2)
Right after I made the Colts the highlight of last week's power rankings, and finally became a believer, they lay an egg against the Oakland Raiders. Oakland came all the way to the east coast, and still out performed Indianapolis for the full 60 minutes. Now I'll give them this, they were without star WR T.Y. Hilton, and starting RB Marlon Mack left the game with a sprained ankle in the 2nd quarter. As of right now it looks like both guys will be back for their SNF matchup against Kansas City, which is a tall task even if everyone is healthy. Let's see how they handle the challenge.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars +1 (2-2)
The Minshew mania is alive and well in Jacksonville as they got another victory against a disappointing Denver team last week. This offense looks comfortable, and the defense is continuing to show up. The Jags take on Kyle Allen and the Panthers this week, which should be a great matchup of two young QBs out to prove themselves. If there's one thing i've learned so far this season it's that if Gardner Minshew II is at the helm, it's going to be a fun game to watch.
20. Tennessee Titans +1 (2-2)
Tennessee got the win against the Atlanta Falcons last week, a game in which I didn't expect them to win. I've come to learn that whenever I count out Mariota and the Titans, they like to win, and whenever I think they have a favorable matchup, they lay an egg. This is why I don't have them moving up too much this week. I need to see some consistency from this team. A win in their home matchup against Buffalo on Sunday will be a great way to prove themselves as a legitimate playoff contender in the AFC.
21. Carolina Panthers +1 (2-2)
I'm hopping on the Kyle Allen bandwagon and officially petitioning for a QB controversy in Carolina. This offense has rallied behind Allen, and gotten them their first two wins of the season. We still don't have a timetable for Newton's return, so it's still going to be Allen's team for at least the next few weeks, time for him to continue to prove that he deserves a spot in the league.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1 (2-2)
Tampa is coming off of an impressive win against the LA Rams, but as impressive as a 55-40 win is, their defense still gave up 40 points... Now even though this Rams offense is better than most, this defense is still a major concern of mine, and a reason why I don't have them higher on my list. They have some solid playmakers, but haven't been able to put up consistent performances on that side of the ball. Jameis Winston has been silencing the doubters these last few games, but I'm not so sure he'll be able to keep it going as the Bucs travel into New Orleans to take on the Saints this Sunday.
23. Oakland Raiders +3 (2-2)
The Raiders were my upset pick of the week last week and they indeed delivered, defeating the Colts in Indianapolis 31-24. Whenever this Raiders offense gets going early, they're primed to have a good game. It's something they need to focus on from here on out if they want to stay in football games. Their defense is still well below average, especially after losing LB Vontaze Burfict to a season long suspension. If the Raiders want to win games, they need to find ways to ensure their offense is striking early and often.
24. Atlanta Falcons -7 (1-3)
What is going on with Atlanta? Another team that on paper, should be in playoff contention almost every year, but just continue to disappoint. I had hopes for the Falcons this year, especially after beating Philly in primetime back in Week 2, but they've been going downhill ever since. They face a Houston team who's dealing with their own struggles, so let's see which team can bounce back in their Week 5 matchup.
25. New York Giants +5 (2-2)
Daniel Jones has two wins in two starts, and is showing no signs of stopping there. They took care of business against a rough looking Washington team last week, but regardless, it's pretty impressive how comfortable this rookie QB looks right out of the gate. This Giants team looks to keep the momentum going as they'll host a struggling Minnesota team in Week 5. With RB Saquon Barkley looking to come back earlier than expected from an ankle sprain, and WR Golden Tate returning from his 4 game suspension, this Giants team could potentially be one to watch out for if their defense can step it up.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers -2 (1-3)
The Steelers are finally in the win column for 2019, but it was about as easy of a win that they'll get all season. The Bengals are a mess, and this Steelers team gets the pleasure of hosting back to back AFC North opponents as the much more threatening Baltimore Ravens come to town on Sunday. QB Mason Rudolph has looked pretty good, and this defense has been playing on another level since acquiring former Miami Dolphins safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Time to put it all together, they'll need a win this week if they want to keep up with Baltimore and Cleveland for the division lead.
27. Denver Broncos +-0 (0-4)
Denver has looked ROUGH so far to start the season. Now granted, they were leading most of their game against the Jags last week, then Gardner Minshew happened. Regardless, it's been a disappointing start to say the least, and to make bad news even worse, 2018 5th overall pick Bradley Chubb will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL. The road doesn't get any easier, as Denver gets to travel to LA to take on the Chargers for Melvin Gordon's 2019 debut, let's see if they can pull off the upset.
28. Arizona Cardinals +-0 (0-3-1)
Arizona has yet to get into the win column after four games, but their most winnable matchup to date is approaching this week in the Cincinnati Bengals. This Cardinals team has been in some close games, but has yet to put it all together, which is expected when you have a young team with a 1st year head coach and starting QB. We'll just have to wait and see if Kliff Kingsbury can get this ship turned around this season before it's too late.
29. Washington Redskins +1 (0-4)
Washington did a little impromptu QB switch in the middle of their matchup against the Giants last week, giving 2019 1st round pick Dwayne Haskins his first regular season action of his career. Not an ideal scenario for the young QB however, with his team already being down multiple possessions, and most likely not practicing with the starters the entire week leading up to the game. However, I expect that it's now the Haskins show moving forward, so Redskins fans still can be optimistic about him in his first legitimate start, with a full weeks preparation. I wouldn't get my hopes up too much this week though with New England coming into town, might be best to just look ahead to Week 6 where Washington takes on the Dolphins...
30. New York Jets +1 (0-3)
The Jets are coming off of an early bye week, but it might have been the perfect time, because it gave QB Sam Darnold another week to recover from mono. All signs point to him being back into the lineup this Sunday as they take on the Eagles. Not the easiest matchup, but let's see how this Jets team will perform with their franchise QB back and 100%.
31. Cincinnati Bengals -2 (0-4)
I'm not even sure what to make of this Bengals team this year. They got embarrassed by Pittsburgh on Monday night 27-3, their offense hasn't been able to move the ball at all the last two weeks, and their defense doesn't even look like it wants to be on the field. The Bengals have a lot of work to do if they want to win more than a few football games this season. On the bright side, they face off against Arizona this Sunday, so one of these teams will get their first win of the season once the clock hits zero.
32. Miami Dolphins +-0 (0-4)
Miami is on a bye heading into week 5, but that doesn't change the fact that they're still at the bottom of this week's rankings. They now have a full two weeks to prepare for one of the only matchups where they have a legitimate shot at getting the W, the winless Washington Redskins. Keep your head up Miami, Tua and Jaylen Hurts are looking better and better every week.
Article by: Justin Imler
Week 3 of the 2019-2020 NFL season is in the books, and it helped show us what teams are for real, and what teams might have been faking it the first two weeks of the season. We got to see the emergence of Daniel Jones, the Bears' defense continue their dominance, and Jacoby Brissett leading the way for the Colts in the post Andrew Luck era.
Which teams are on the rise, and which teams took a fall? Take a look below to see where I have your team ranked heading into week 4!
1. New England Patriots +-0 (3-0)
Yes, Antonio Brown is gone, but this New England defense is arguably the best defense in the Brady/Belichick era. New England isn't going anywhere, but I am curious to see how they'll perform in Buffalo as they take on the undefeated Bills on Sunday.
2. Kansas City Chiefs +-0 (3-0)
Mahomes and company came to play against the surging Baltimore Ravens last week. This was their first true test of the season and the team proved that they're a legitimate Super Bowl contender yet again this season. Mahomes is making do without starting RB Damien Williams and star WR Tyreek Hill, which just goes to show that as long as Mahomes is out there, the Chiefs will be just fine.
3. Los Angeles Rams +-0 (3-0)
The LA Rams got the win in Cleveland on SNF football last week, with Jarred Goff and Cooper Kupp connecting for 2 TDs. That defense, led by defensive POY Aaron Donald, looks even better than last year. If RB Todd Gurley can get back to his 2018-2019 self, this team is only going to get more dangerous.
4. Dallas Cowboys +-0 (3-0)
Yes, the top 4 teams remain the same as last week, but can you blame us? Dallas has dominated in their first three games of 2019. I'm aware, their wins were against the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins, but regardless, this team is legit. They'll get their first real test as they travel to New Orleans to take on the Teddy Bridgewater led Saints on SNF. Prescott and Cooper have thus far proven they deserve a pay day, and I expect this level of play to continue into Week 4.
5. Green Bay Packers +1 (3-0)
Green Bay moves up a spot this week with Baltimore losing their shootout with the Chiefs. This new Matt LeFleur led defense has everyone impressed. They have a nice TNF matchup with Philadelphia coming to town. Look for Rodgers and star WR Devante Adams to return to 2018-2019 form, as this Philly secondary has been struggling so far this season.
6. Houston Texans +5 (2-1)
This Houston team is one 58 yard game winning FG away from being undefeated. They're legit, Deshaun Watson is elite, and they have the best WR in football. My main concern is the offensive line. Watson will not make it though the season if this line can't protect him. Let's see if they can do a better job against Carolina this week.
7. Baltimore Ravens -2 (2-1)
The Ravens just simply couldn't hang with the Kansas City offense last week. QB Lamar Jackson still shined, but that defense might be cause for concern come playoff time. Right now it looks like the AFC North is theirs to lose, but i'm not so sure this team can compete with the AFC powerhouses in New England and Kansas City.
8. Chicago Bears +4 (2-1)
This Chicago defense has picked up right where they left off last season. If Mitch Trubisky can continue the level of play we saw in last Monday night's matchup against Washington, they'll be right back in the playoff mix come January.
9. Minnesota Vikings +-0 (2-1)
RB Dalvin Cook is looking like the best RB in football these last three weeks. We knew Minnesota's mentality going into this season was to rely on their run game and defense. So far, it's woking out quite nicely, but let's see if they can rely on QB Kirk Cousins if they get down early in a football game. The Vikings play in Chicago this Sunday, so this could be the perfect test to see which of these NFC North teams is legit.
10. New Orleans Saints +5 (2-1)
QB Teddy Bridgewater put the doubters to rest last Sunday as this Saints team went into Seattle and got the W. Bridgewater went 19 for 27 for 177 yards and 2 TDs. If this defense, and offensive supporting cast can continue to step up in Brees' absence, this Saints team won't miss a beat.
11. Seattle Seahawks -3 (2-1)
After losing to the above New Orleans Saints, the Seahawks fall a little in this week's rankings. Russel Wilson still did his thing, but his supporting cast has proven to be average at best. They take on the struggling Cardinals this week in Arizona, so expect a bounce back game from Wilson and company.
12. San Francisco 49ers +-0 (3-0)
The Niners are undefeated, led by an effective running committee and a surprisingly good defense. This team could be legit, COULD BE. I'm not sure if i'm buying into the hype just yet. This team was a James Connor fumble away from losing to a Mason Rudolph led Steelers team last week, while also giving up the football FIVE times... They have a bye this week, but their matchup in Week 5 in New Orleans will be very much a prove-it game for this 49ers team.
13. Philadelphia Eagles -6 (1-2)
Normally a 1-2 team wouldn't be this high up in my power rankings, but this Eagles team is an exception. With a very depleted O-Line and WR core, Philly is a few crucial dropped passes away from being 3-0. WR Alshon Jeffrey is slated to be back for their TNF matchup against Green Bay. Let's see if that'll put a spark back into this offense, and their struggling secondary can hold off Aaron Rodgers.
14. Buffalo Bills +2 (3-0)
And the last, and probably most surprising, undefeated team left in the NFL is the Buffalo Bills. This Buffalo squad is so fun to watch, and Bills Mafia is even more so. HOWEVER, this Bills team has faced an Eli Manning led Giants team, a struggling Jets team, and almost gave up a 14 point lead to Cincinnati. They haven't exactly had the toughest competition to start the year, but that'll change on Sunday when they have New England rolling into town. Not many, including myself, expect a Buffalo win, but let's see if they can keep it close, and keep the Bills hype alive.
15. Indianapolis Colts +3 (2-1)
Many people, including myself, counted out the Colts once Andrew Luck made his shocking announcement that he was retiring from the NFL. In comes Jacoby Brissett, long time backup, now starter for the forseeable future, and he's showing all of us that he deserves to be. 646 yards, 7 TDs, and just 1 INT with a completion percentage of 71.7% so far this season are numbers that we can't ignore. Star WR TY Hilton did suffer a quad injury and has not practiced yet this week. That's definitely a concern for this offense, but this Colts team is looking more and more legit as the season progresses.
16. Los Angeles Chargers -3 (2-1)
Not really sure what to make of this Chargers team just yet. All three of their games have been decided by one possession, including a dissapointing 13-10 loss to Detroit in Week 2. LA impressed everyone last season, but with a few injuries on defense, and a certain RB slated to return in a few weeks, only time will tell if the Chargers can get things going and stay consistent.
17. Atlanta Falcons -3 (1-2)
Here's another team I still can't figure out. On paper, this offense should be close to unstoppable, but Matt Ryan's decision making has had most Atlanta fans more than frustrated. Julio is looking like the best WR in football, and TE Austin Hooper has been making plays as well. If their defense can step it up, and Matt Ryan can actually make good decisions in the red zone, then this team could be a threat.
18. Detroit Lions +3 (2-0-1)
Detroit might be, so far, the most surprising team in football. Technically still undefeated (tied Arizona in Week 1), they pulled off back-to-back upsets in taking down both the LA Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles. It might be time to show them some respect, but my main concern is their division. Being in the NFC North, they still have to deal with Green Bay, Chicago, and Minnesota twice (who are all ranked inside my top 10). For now, I'm excited to see if this Lions team can keep it up, but I'm not ready to completely bet on them just yet.
19. Cleveland Browns -2 (1-2)
The offseason Super Bowl favorites are now 1-2 to start the season, with their one win coming against a Jets team with more problems than I can count on my two hands. Baker has been struggling, partially due to the O-Line not being able to protect him. The media is already tearing them apart, and it's only going to get worse unless they turn things around ASAP, a task easier said than done. They have a tough divisional matchup against Baltimore on Sunday, which would be a perfect way to silence the critics if they can come away with the upset.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars +4 (1-2)
Gardner Minshew II... that's all I have to say. This guy might not be the most talented, but he's taking the NFL world by storm in Nick Foles' absence. He led his team to victory last Thursday night against a struggling Tennessee team, and they have another winnable matchup against Denver this week. This defense had NINE sacks in that victory last week, and if they can keep that up, this team could be one to watch out for. That could be tough to do however with star CB Jalen Ramsey still requesting a trade, but we'll have to wait and see how that situation plays out.
21. Tennessee Titans -2 (1-2)
The Titans started the year on the highest of highs after blowing out the Browns in Week 1, and they've been on a downward spiral ever since... They lost a close matchup to the Chargers, then got beaten pretty easily by Gardner Minshew II and company last week. Marcus Mariota needs to step up sooner rather than later or it might be Ryan Tannehill time in Tennessee.
22. Carolina Panthers +6 (1-2)
The Panthers seemed to gain new life last Sunday with backup QB Kyle Allen getting the start for the injured, and struggling, Cam Newton. It's already confirmed that Allen will get the nod this week against a much tougher opponent in the Houston Texans. Let's see if last week's win against Arizona was a fluke, or if there really might be a QB controversy in Carolina.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 (1-2)
Tampa is stuck. I'm not a believer in Jameis Winston, even though he did have a pretty good performance last week against an awful Giants defense. Speaking of defense, Tampa's simply can't keep them in games. They did look impressive in Week 2 against Carolina, but I think most of that had to do with Cam playing horribly vs. the defense playing out of their mind. You simply can't give up 32 points at home to a rookie QB making his first career start and expect to win football games.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers -2 (0-3)
New Starting QB Mason Rudolph struggled big time in the 1st half in their loss to the 49ers last week. With that being said, the defense forced five turnovers, and Rudolph seemed to be more comfortable in the 2nd half, throwing 2 TDs. As a Steelers fan, I haven't lost all hope just yet, but this MNF matchup against the Bengals is about as close to a must-win game as you can get.
25. New York Giants +5 (1-2)
Speaking of new life, the Giants got all they could've hoped for, and then some, in #6 overall pick Daniel Jones' first start of the season. Jones rallied the team back from an 18 point deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Bucs, and shut up the all the doubters that emerged since draft night. The Giants now take on Washington this week, and all eyes will be on Jones to see if he can put the team on his back and get them a second straight win. With a struggling defense, and Saquon Barkley out 4-8 weeks, it'll be a tough task to say the least.
26. Oakland Raiders -3 (1-2)
The Oakland Raiders are struggling. The relationship between HC John Gruden and QB Derek Carr is up in the air, the O-Line is below average, and their defense simply can't stop anything. I like some of their young playmakers in RB Josh Jacobs and TE Darren Waller, but they clearly have some issues they need to address if they want to compete every week.
27. Denver Broncos -1 (0-3)
I had somewhat high hoped for this Denver team entering the season, but they really haven't shown much of anything. Joe Flacco is playing exactly like most would expect Joe Flacco to play, and as a result, the offense simply can't stay on the field. It's going to be be difficult winning football games if you can't score more than 16 points a game...
28. Arizona Cardinals -3 (0-2-1)
Another team that I had somewhat high hopes for is the Arizona Cardinals. I bought into the Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury hype, and thus far, it's been a rough start. For Arizona, their main issue is similar to other teams in this tier, and that's the offensive line. When you have a young QB in Murray, and a top tier RB in David Johnson, you need to be able to protect them, and give them room to work. This offense still has potential in my mind, but the O-Line needs to step up, and help keep this high tempo offense on the field for more sustainable drives.
29. Cincinnati Bengals -2 (0-3)
The Bengals put together one of the worst offensive performances I've seen in recent memory for the first three quarters of their game last Sunday against the Bills. They did almost pull it together enough in the end, but still fell short of their first victory of the season. This Bengals team is a mess, and without star WR AJ Green for at least the next few weeks, and a below average defense, don't expect much from Cinci this season.
30. Washington Redskins -1 (0-3)
Not much to say about this Redskins team right now. The injury bug has hit them yet again with starting TE Jordan Reed in the concussion protocol, and 2nd year RB Darrius Guice already on the IR after just one game. Case Keenum looked lost against the Bears defense on Monday night, which begs the question, how long until it becomes the Dwayne Haskins show in Washington?
31. New York Jets +-0 (0-3)
The New York Jets will remain towards the bottom of the power rankings until we see Sam Darnold back in the lineup. Many are expecting him to be back for their Week 5 matchup against the Eagles (Jets have a bye this week). Many are anxious to see what this new look Jets team will look like at full strength, but without Darnold running the offense, it looks like a complete mess. How much will Darnold improve things in New York? Only time will tell.
32. Miami Dolphins +-0 (0-3)
QB Josh Rosen got the start in the Dolphins' matchup against Dallas last week, but the result was same as usual, a beat down. With that being said, not much of the blame can be thrown at Rosen, this team is as close to tanking as you can get in the NFL. Time to start looking forward to that #1 overall pick Dolphins fans.
Article by: Harrison Weaver
Week 4 of the college football season finally offers something for us to get really excited about. We get three Top-25 matchups, one of them being a Top-10 matchup. If there was ever a Saturday to invite family and friends over, stock the cooler, and watch college football all day, this is the day. Last week I went 5-1 on my picks, missing the Michigan State versus Arizona State matchup that came down to the wire. Florida survived a scare at Kentucky to remain unbeaten, the rest of the Top-10 cruised to easy wins, Maryland had a major let-down at the hands of Temple, and Penn State was able to make a few defensive stands to seal a victory against Pitt. This week we can expect a little more mayhem with the high stakes matchups that are on the slate. So, without further ado, let’s get into my Week 4 picks.
#11 Michigan @ #13 Wisconsin (Saturday @ 12 PM on FOX)
Michigan barely survived against Army two weekends ago as they almost lost in regulation on a last second field goal before securing the OT victory. Meanwhile, through two games, Wisconsin is outscoring their opponents 110-0. They haven’t even let anyone score yet… and the offense is booming behind Heisman candidate Jonathan Taylor. Wisconsin has home field in this one, and my best bet is that they’ll show up ready to play. To me, this game is more about Michigan though. They were the team with higher expectations, the team with playoff hype. So far, they’ve looked nothing like that. I attribute the slow start to poor play calling, poor situational football, and Shae Patterson needing to step it up a notch. In this game, I think Michigan is going to come out more confident and aggressive, with a better game plan. Despite the Badgers being favorites at home, I’m taking Michigan to step up and steal this one.
My pick: Michigan, 24-20
#8 Auburn @ #17 Texas A&M (Saturday @ 3:30 PM on CBS)
Here it is, Auburn’s first big SEC matchup of the season. Bo Nix has been absolutely terrific this season and the whole team is going into this game with a good rhythm. Anybody who reads my articles though knows that I’ve been raving about A&M all season. They couldn’t quite hang with Clemson two weeks ago, but this young group is hungry for a big win and will be playing with the 12th Man behind them at Kyle Field. This will be Bo Nix’s first game in a truly hostile environment, and I think he has some troubles in this one with the athletic A&M defense. This game will be a guaranteed back-and-forth slugfest, but I like the experience of Kellen Mond, with Jimbo Fisher on the sideline, and the 12th Man at their back.
My pick: Texas A&M, 31-28
#3 Georgia vs. #7 Notre Dame (Saturday @ 8:00 PM on CBS)
In what may very well be the game of the week, the Dawgs will be hosting the Fighting Irish in Athens. I’ve personally always been on the ‘Notre Dame is overrated and plays an easy schedule’ train, and I’m going to remain on that train until they can beat a top team. Georgia has been looking downright nasty behind Jake Fromm and what appears to be 5 NFL caliber running backs. Notre Dame has had issues this season stopping the run, which will mean that Kirby Smart will look to pound the rock and wear out the Notre Dame defense as much as he can. Ian Book is currently leading the Irish in both passing and rushing which is a slight concern for me. Playing against one of the best run defenses in the country, the Irish will need to be able to run the ball in order to open up their passing game. I don’t think they have the talent to get it done. This is an easy one for me.
#10 Utah @ USC (Friday @ 9 PM on FS1)
Even after a heartbreaking loss in overtime on the road against a tough BYU team, USC is still off to a very promising start this year. Kedon Slovis, another true-freshman QB has looked really good for his age and level of experience. When starting QB JT Daniels went down, a lot of Trojan fans began to get a little uneasy. Luckily, Slovis has stepped up and eased that concern by showing some excellent potential. However, this is Utah’s year to make some noise. The Utes have a stacked defense and plenty of weapons on offense. They’ve looked impressive so far, hence the #10 ranking. I like the Utes in this one.
My pick: Utah, 34-27
#9 Florida @ Tennessee (Saturday @ 12 PM on ESPN)
Florida versus Tennessee, a classic SEC rivalry. Tennessee finally got their first win last weekend against Chattanooga after a very rocky start. Meanwhile, the Gators overcame an 11-point deficit entering the 4th quarter against Kentucky last weekend to remain unbeaten. Unfortunately, it cost them starting QB Feleipe Franks in the 3rd quarter. The offense ended up playing great in the 4th quarter but I’m still waiting for a larger sample size before I can determine how this offense is going to look the rest of the season. Luckily, the Gators have an elite defense to lean on, and Tennessee has been very inconsistent on offense. For that reason, I think Florida wins, keeping Tennessee at arm’s length the whole way.
My pick: Florida, 31-20
#12 Texas versus Oklahoma State (Saturday @ 7:30 on ABC)
The rest of the season is must-win for the Longhorns after losing to LSU in primetime a few weekends ago. I think Sam Ehlinger and the Texas offense are fully capable of carrying that burden, but the problem is the defense. Allowing 417.3 yards per game, with 330 of them coming through the air, the Horns make themselves very vulnerable to slip-ups throughout the season. Oklahoma State has taken care of their easy opponents so far and have beaten all of them in style. However, this game is in Texas, and the Horns know they have their backs against the wall. This scenario doesn’t spell out an upset in my opinion.
My pick: Texas, 48-35
To keep up with all things sports, be sure to keep it here at Heated Sports!
Article by: Zach Henley
All season long, Mike Trout for the Los Angeles Angels and Christian Yelich have been neck and neck in season totals. Now since they are in different leagues, each can potentially win their league’s MVP…until the dreaded injury bug hit.
Mike Trout has been out of the lineup since September 7 and had a planned return for September 15 but was scratched due to lingering pain. After numerous tests, it was concluded that he a neuroma in his right foot and that surgery was needed to remove it. The Angels haven’t made the playoffs since 2014 and this season seemed hopeful to reach that goal again.
Through 134 games, Trout collected monster stats in another MVP year. Trout hit.291 with a career high 45 home runs and notched his third 100 RBI season with 104. He leads the AL in WAR, OBP, SLG, and OPS. His 184 OPS+ is in the top three of his career. Another key stat is that he passed Derek Jeter in WAR with 73.6 and the superstar isn’t even 30 years old yet.
Trout should be the favorite to win the AL MVP because even though he suffered an injury, he hasn’t played in 2 weeks and is still leading the league in respected categories and shows that he a constantly amazing hitter.
In the other league, there have been several players that have shown that they might have what it takes to win the MVP crown. Pete Alonso of the Mets has shown he has the power and numbers but lacks the average and consistency. Ronald Acuna has the average and electric play but lacks power and consistency. There is one player who has all of those things plus more and that is Christian Yelich. Yelich has been the saving grace for the Brewers as they have been fighting for a playoff spot all season. Early this month, Yelich was in Miami for a series against the Marlins and was hit by a pitch. He would leave that game early and was announced that his kneecap was shattered and would miss the rest of the season.
Yelich, coming off his 2018 MVP season was having another great season worthy of some more hardware for the 27-year-old. At the point of his injury, Yelich was hitting .329 with 44 homeruns and had 97 RBI's. The injury is going to sideline him for 8-10 weeks while the Brewers remain one game outside a wild card berth.
Like Trout, Yelich was putting together another amazing season and is doing it at the same age as Trout. Yelich is also deserving of the MVP award because this season he showed why he is so valuable to the Brewers and probably wouldn’t be in the playoff race without him.
To keep up with all things sports, be sure to keep it here at Heated Sports!
The Pittsburgh Woes Continue with QB Ben Roethlisberger being placed on IR after Suffering an Elbow Injury.
Article by: Justin Imler
Steeler Nation took a big hit Sunday afternoon when future Hall of Fame quarterback “Big Ben” Roethlisberger exited the game mid-way through the 2nd quarter with an apparent elbow injury. Not much detail was provided during the game, but Ben remained on the sideline for the remainder of the game, while backup QB Mason Rudolph filled in, and played pretty well in their 28-26 loss to Seattle.
As all of Pittsburgh waited in anticipation for the next 24 hours, it was revealed early Monday morning that Roethlisberger would indeed need surgery on his injured throwing elbow, ultimately ending his season. This blow is about as big as they come to an NFL team, especially when it happens to a team like Pittsburgh, who had high hopes for the 2019-2020 season.
Now it’s time for 2nd year QB out of Oklahoma State Mason Rudolph to take the helm and run the offense for the Black and Gold. Rudolph was impressive in his professional debut in relief for Roethlisberger, going 12-19 for 112 yards, 2 TDs (both to TE Vance McDonald), and 1 INT (drop by WR Donte Moncrief). Rudolph was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2018 draft by Pittsburgh, the highest the franchise has drafted a QB since Roethlisberger, who was drafted 11th overall in 2004. This led to some conflict at first with the star QB, who was not happy that the team took a QB that early in the draft, seemingly saying he had a lot left in the tank before he planned on calling it a career. Now, whether either of them likes it or not, it’s time for Rudolph to run the show for the remainder of the season and show what he can do. He has a golden opportunity to prove that he can be the future of the franchise once they officially reach the post-Roethlisberger era.
As an active member of Steeler Nation, I’m feeling a mixture of emotions. I’ve been on the Rudolph hype train since before he was drafted by the Steelers and was very excited to see him perform well in the preseason, win the backup job, and play decent in his debut on Sunday. With that being said, this team won’t be able to compete at the level that they’d like without Roethlisberger running the offense. I am however, trying to stay positive, and am excited to see how Rudolph plays throughout the season. This is his team now, and he needs to take advantage of this opportunity.
Roethlisberger made an official statement later on Monday explaining his disappointment in missing the season, supporting Rudolph, and his plans for the future.
“…I can only trust God's plan, but I am completely determined to battle through this challenge and come back stronger than ever next season. The Steelers committed three years to me this offseason and I fully intend to honor my contract and reward them with championship level play. I will do all I can to support Mason and the team this season to help win games. I love this game, my teammates, the Steelers organization and fans, and I feel in my heart I have a lot left to give.”
Only time will tell as to how this season pans out for Pittsburgh, but here’s some positive news for Steelers fans. The team ended up trading for Miami Dolphins S/CB Minkah Fitzpatrick late Monday night, who recently demanded to be traded from the sinking ship that is the Miami Dolphins, for their 2020 1st round pick. Fitzpatrick was drafted 11th overall in 2018 by Miami and has shown a lot of potential in his short NFL career. Personally, I love this move, and it’s one that makes sense if you’re Pittsburgh. The safety position is arguably their biggest need remaining on their defense, with Sean Davis being banged up early on, and backup Kameron Kelly not getting the job done in his place. Head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday afternoon that Davis will be placed on injured reserve, which means that Fitzpatrick will be in the starting lineup for their week 3 matchup in San Francisco.
All in all, I’m not giving up hope on a successful season in Pittsburgh. Will they be able to compete with the AFC powerhouses in Kansas City and New England? No, but I’d still expect this team to put up a fight throughout the season and win some games under Rudolph, along with a young and improving defense.
To keep up with all things sports, be sure to keep it here at Heated Sports!