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.