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NFL Weekly Power Rankings: Week 4

As the season goes on, ranking teams becomes less about overall talent and more about coaching and cohesiveness as a unit. It is still early in the season and some teams and players are getting too much hype from the media. Some teams are better coached, like the Patriots, and they start their season in mid-season form. Other teams get off to a slow start and pick things up later in the season. It’s a tough time to analyze teams as they’ve only played in three games so each game has a more significant impact. Let’s see how each team fared this week.


Model: Paola (Photo by Double G Media)

Model: Paola (Photo by Double G Media)


1. New England Patriots (last week’s ranking: 1) – Another week, another dominant effort from the New England Patriots. This time, with rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett under center, the Patriots used their run game and defense to win. The Pats defense shutout the Texans on route to a 27-0 victory. They were excellent all game as they have been in the first few games this season. Their run game has been strong so far this season as LaGarrette Blount is the NFL’s leading rusher. The Pats have been very good defensively too. Their front seven was always talented, but the secondary is stepping up. Until this team loses, they’re the NFL’s best. Next week’s matchup with the Bills should be no problem for New England.

2. Denver Broncos (last week’s ranking: 2) – What can’t the Broncos do? Their defense has been flat-out incredible in the first few weeks of this 2016 season. They’ve shut down three pretty good quarterbacks in Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, and Andy Dalton. Now, Trevor Siemian is starting to really turn heads. A lot of people were giving him too much credit for winning games early on, but the NFL’s best defense was carrying him. Now he’s making plays with his arm and the Broncos are looking even more dangerous. Their game against the Bucs next week should be a piece of cake.

3. Minnesota Vikings (last week’s ranking: 11) – If someone told you the Vikings would be 3-0 after facing the Panthers and Packers without Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater, you’d call them crazy. Well guess what? It’s true. The Vikings’ have been riding their incredible defense to a very hot start to their season. They’ve been excellent getting after opposing quarterbacks as well as stopping the run. The coverage from their secondary has been great as well, even without Xavier Rhodes in the first couple games. This team looks great right now, especially defensively, but they’ll only go as far as Sam Bradford takes them. Bradford has played well in his first two starts for his new team, but we’ll see if he can keep it up. For right now, this team looks like a top five team, but as soon as Bradford regresses back to his usual standards, they’ll likely struggle to score points. Next week’s matchup with Giants on Monday Night should be a great game.

4. Seattle Seahawks (last week’s ranking: 5) – There’s the Seahawks team that we all expected to see. The defense was excellent as usual, despite allowing two late touchdowns to Carlos Hyde. The offense was the big difference for this team. In the first two weeks, the Seahawks only managed 15 points. They put up 37 points on the 49ers defense and Russell Wilson looked like his old self. Wilson used his legs to buy time and improvise. He did reinjure his ankle, and that could hurt this team significantly if he misses any time, but as long as he’s playing, this offense is rather dangerous. Jimmy Graham finally looked like Jimmy Graham for the first time since being traded to Seattle and Doug Baldwin looked like the Doug Baldwin we saw explode in the second half of last season. The Seahawks will always be great defensively, with their excellent front seven and the “Legion of Boom”, but the offense is what makes this team a contender. Next week they face the Jets in what should be a great defensive battle.

5. Green Bay Packers (last week’s ranking: 6) – This Sunday, the Packers got out to a 31-3 lead early and would never relinquish it. Aaron Rodgers carved up the Lions’ secondary with ease, tossing four touchdowns before halftime. While the Lions roared back in the second half, closing the gap to 34-27, their early deficit was too much to come back from. Aaron Rodgers is still the best quarterback in the NFL and the offense around him is great. The Packers could be better defensively than they have in the first few weeks. They still have a good pass rush and they’re decent against the run, but their secondary has been rather disappointing so far. Their two young corners, Quinten Rollins and Damarius Randall, were both more impressive as rookies than they’ve been thus far this season, but they have plenty of time to turn it around. When they do, the Packers defense could be a strong unit. The Packers are off on bye next week.

6. Arizona Cardinals (last week’s ranking: 3) – Well, so much for that. After an incredibly dominant victory over the Buccaneers, the Cardinals fell flat against the struggling Bills. Carson Palmer was especially bad in this one. He threw four interceptions and barely completed half of his pass attempts, going 26 of 50. All four of his picks were in the second half and three of them were in the red zone. This offense is still too talented and as long as Palmer is healthy and Bruce Arians is coaching them, they should have no problem putting up points over the course of the season. The defense did not look good this week, but overall it’s still a talented group and this game seemed a bit fluky. The Cards defense simply allowed too many big plays and Palmer’s picks proved to be too costly. They should have no problem turning it around against the Rams next week.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (last week’s ranking: 4) – What just happened? The Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the NFL’s most accomplished and celebrated franchises, who got off to such a great start to the season, lost to the Eagles, a team lead by a rookie head coach and a rookie quarterback. Not only did the Steelers lose, they were stomped on. A 34-3 loss is never pretty, but this was especially ugly for the Steelers. Pittsburgh had no run game to speak of and Ben Roethlisberger faced constant pressure from the Eagles front seven. As if the offense wasn’t bad enough, the defense was even worse. The pass rush was nonexistent and no one on the Steelers defense could make a tackle to save their lives. Just a pathetic performance overall from this team. They’re going to have to win against the Chiefs next week if they want to be taken seriously as Super Bowl contenders.

8. Kansas City Chiefs (last week’s ranking: 9) – Eight. That’s the number of turnovers this Chiefs defense forced on Sunday against the Jets. Three. That’s the amount of points they allowed. That is simply remarkable. The Chiefs defense can be the best in the league some weeks, but they have to be more consistent. They are playing without Justin Houston, their best defensive player, and they’ve still played very well. They’ve also been without their best offensive player, Jamaal Charles. While Spencer Ware has played well in place of Charles, he’s not the same caliber player. This offense has plenty of talent surrounding quarterback Alex Smith. Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin give Smith two great weapons to throw to and their offensive line has been strong this season as well. The Chiefs have a very good roster and they also play very well as a unit. They’ll go as far as Alex Smith and Andy Reid can take them. Next week’s matchup with the Steelers provides a chance for the Chiefs to make a statement.

9. Carolina Panthers (last week’s ranking: 7) – It’s too early in the season to start panicking, but if there’s any team that needs to worry right now, it’s the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers were exposed by the Broncos in the Super Bowl and now teams know how to attack their offense. Getting pressure on Cam Newton is the way to beat this team. The Panthers’ offensive line has been so bad this season that Cam has been hit more than any other quarterback and the run game has struggled as well. The Panthers still have a couple good weapons offensively with Kelvin Benjamin back and Greg Olsen as good as ever, but the offensive line is holding them back. The defense is still great. Luke Keuchly is still the NFL’s best inside linebacker, Kwonn Short and Star Lotulelei form an incredible tandem on the interior defensive line, and the pass rush pretty good as well. The only problem they have defensively is the inexperience at corner, but otherwise it’s a strong defense. This team is well coached and the schedule does get easier so they’re poised to rebound. It starts next week against the Falcons.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (last week’s ranking: 15) – The Carson Wentz hype train is rolling and a lot of people are hopping on board. The people jumping on need to relax. It’s only been three games and two of them were against bottom-feeding teams in the Browns and Bears. The Eagles were very impressive against the Steelers on Sunday. Their defense was incredible, getting constant pressure on Big Ben and shutting down the Steelers run game. The Eagles front seven is a very good group, but the cornerback position is a major weakness. Most weeks they won’t be able to hold up like they did against the Steelers. While the Eagles have certainly impressed early on, it’s just too early to buy in. Wentz has played very well, but with an unproven group of receivers and an average offensive line, this offense is not built to continue this type of play. For now, they look like a top ten team, but as teams get more film on Wentz and start to game plan around him, it’ll become more of a challenge to continue his level of play.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (last week’s ranking: 10) – If there’s one word to describe the Bengals, it’s “solid”. The Bengals are just always a solid team. You can pencil them in for a 10-6 or 11-5 year pretty much every season. They don’t have any glaring weaknesses, but they also don’t have any great strengths either. A.J. Green is among the best at his position, but otherwise this offense is a very good, but not great, group. On defense, the Bengals have a good pass rush and a good secondary. They’re well coached and they always bring it. This team will probably hover around the top ten all year, but until they have a few players step up and become truly great, they’ll just continue to be “solid”. The Bengals have a short week as they face the Dolphins on Thursday Night Football.

12. Houston Texans (last week’s ranking: 8) – The Texans performance on Thursday night was simply atrocious. Many people viewed the Texans as favorites in this game, with Jacoby Brissett starting for the Patriots, but they fell flat. The Texans didn’t score a single point. They didn’t make it past midfield until late in the third quarter. Brock Osweiler looked like the average quarterback that was benched in the playoffs for a struggling Peyton Manning. The Texans may regret paying him so much money in the offseason. Lamar Miller has been a workhorse for the Texans, but it hasn’t gotten them anywhere. Miller has been hurt by the poor play of the offensive line. This offense has too many new faces and it shows. They have no chemistry. They may get better as the season goes on, but if they don’t they’re in trouble. The defense is still pretty good, but they may have lost J.J. Watt for at least the next couple months. If he’s out for an extended period of time, it hurts this team significantly. He’s still the best defensive player in the NFL and his impact cannot be matched by anyone. They should still be able to beat the Titans next week.

13. Oakland Raiders (last week’s ranking: 14) – The Raiders are a great offensive team. Derek Carr has been lighting it up this season and Amari Cooper is a stud. Latavius Murray is off to a slow start, but he’ll get it going at some point. The Raiders offensive line is a strong unit as well. The problem for the Raiders so far this season has been their defense. The play of their secondary has been their downfall. They were lit up by Drew Brees and Matt Ryan in the first two weeks, which isn’t surprising, but after the moves they made in the offseason, it was certainly disappointing. The lone bright spot has been David Amerson who has gotten off to a very strong start this season. Sean Smith has not played well, despite being one of their prized additions. If the Raiders’ defense can improve upon this bad start, this team has the ability to make the playoffs, but it has yet to be seen if they can do so. Next week’s game against the undefeated Ravens could be a good test for this team.

14. New York Giants (last week’s ranking: 12) – This is just the typical Giants. Their games against their NFC East rivals are almost always close, but being on the losing end of this one is not a good look for this team. It also was not a good look for Odell Beckham, who had another great game, but couldn’t control his emotions on the sideline. In the first two weeks, the Giants appeared to make some great strides from last season, especially defensively, but this was a step in the wrong direction. The defense gave up way too many big plays, especially in the passing game and special teams. Poor tackling and coverage was a huge problem that the Giants absolutely must fix. The G-Men could’ve won this game even with their poor defensive play if their offense didn’t turn the ball over three times. A fumble by Shane Vereen cost the Giants a chance to get at least a field goal before halftime and Eli Manning threw two horrible interceptions. The first one came early in the fourth quarter and the second was on the Giants’ final drive. Manning often comes through in those situations, but he choked in this game. The Giants are still a good team; this was just a minor setback. Next week they have a very tough matchup against the Vikings on Monday night.

15. Dallas Cowboys (last week’s ranking: 16) – One of the bigger surprises this season has been the performance of the Dallas Cowboys. They hanged tough against the Giants, and then proceeded to win back to back games against the Redskins and the Bears. Dak Prescott has been impressive in his first three starts. He’s done everything the Cowboys need from him. He’s been just good enough that the defense has to respect him as a threat and can’t zero in on stopping Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott, by the way, is off to a pretty good start and he looks like the real deal. The Cowboys offensive line is still among the league’s best. They played without Tyron Smith on Sunday night and may have lost La’el Collins for most of the season, but they still played well without those guys. The Cowboys defense is still a major question mark. It remains to be seen if Rolando McClain will play again. Randy Gregory is suspended until Week 15 and DeMarcus Lawrence is suspended until Week 4. The defense has a few good players, but as a group it just isn’t great. They are well coached at the very least and they should be good enough to win games as long as the offense continues to perform. They face the 49ers next week, which should be no problem.

16. Baltimore Ravens (last week’s ranking: 17) – The Ravens might be 3-0, but they’re still not one of the top teams in the NFL. They’ve had the NFL’s easiest schedule so far and the teams they’ve played are a combined 1-8 right now. They beat the winless Jaguars by just two points. The Ravens’ offense just isn’t very good. Joe Flacco is a decent quarterback. He’s got a strong arm and throws a great deep ball, but he’s often inaccurate and erratic. The Ravens’ offense around him isn’t great either. Their receivers aren’t great and their run game has been awful so far. In recent years, the Ravens have dominated the line of scrimmage offensively and it usually leads to them have an excellent ground game, but this year, the offensive line has struggled and the running backs haven’t been able to get going. Baltimore still has a great defensive unit. They’ve always been strong against the run and they still are. Their secondary has improved since last season when they were one of the league’s worst, but it is still the weakness of the defense. Their pass rush is not great either. The first time they face a legitimately good quarterback will be a problem for this team. It could be next week against Derek Carr and the Raiders.

17. Indianapolis Colts (last week’s ranking: 18) – For the first time this season, the Colts’ defense actually made a play when they needed it. Holding on to a 26-22 lead after Andrew Luck connected with T.Y. Hilton on a 63-yard touchdown, the Colts simply needed to stop the Chargers from getting into the end zone with just over a minute remaining. In Week 1, Andrew Luck lead a touchdown drive to take the lead against the Lions, only to watch his defense falter with just 37 seconds on the clock. This time, the defense made a play. Clayton Geathers forced a Hunter Henry fumble and Mike Adams recovered to seal the victory. After another 0-2 start, a win like this was necessary. For the first time this season, the Colts were relatively healthy on defense, getting back all but one starter. The run defense was much better in this game, as they held Melvin Gordon to just 35 yards on 16 carries. Getting back Henry Anderson was huge for the Colts. The pass defense still allowed a lot of yards, but they didn’t break. The defense held the Chargers to just one touchdown offensively. They did the same thing a week ago against the Broncos. This team’s biggest problem in the last two weeks has been turnovers leading to touchdowns for the opposition. They’ve given up three defensive touchdowns in the last two games. This offense is explosive and can put up a lot of points. They’ve shown they have the ability to run the ball if they commit to it and for the most part, the offensive line has played well. As long as Luck is given time to throw, this offense will be successful. They play the Jags in London next Sunday and it should be a shootout.

18. New York Jets (last week’s ranking: 13) – Has the NFL ever seen a worse performance at the quarterback position than what Ryan Fitzpatrick did on Sunday? Fitzpatrick threw six, yes SIX interceptions this past week against the Chiefs. He also didn’t throw a touchdown, or even lead the Jets on a touchdown drive for the whole game. One of his picks was returned for a Chiefs touchdown and five of his picks came on the Jets’ last five possessions. Three of his picks were in the end zone as well. Not only was Fitzpatrick terrible, but the rest of the Jets’ offense was bad too. Jalin Marshall lost a fumble returning a kickoff and the Chiefs recovered that for a touchdown as well. Bilal Powell also fumbled. Overall, there were eight turnovers for this Jets offense and they only scored three points. What changed from last week to this week? Their passing game went from looking elite to pitiful. The Jets are still very good defensively. They held the Chiefs offense to just 10 points, but their offense spotted them 14. They still have one of the best defensive lines in football. Darrelle Revis didn’t get burned this week. Derron Lee looks very good as rookie linebacker. There are plenty of positives to take away for this Jets defense, but the offense was abysmal and they have to turn it around quickly. Against the Seahawks next week, that doesn’t seem likely.

19. Buffalo Bills (last week’s ranking: 22) – This Buffalo Bills team is quite the enigma at this point in the season. One week, they can’t stop Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets; then the next week they pick off Carson Palmer four times. Their defense looked like the defense people expected to see. Actually, they looked better than that. They got after Palmer, sacking him five times and hitting him another nine times. Their coverage was exceptional, even without Ronald Darby. The Bills need to play more like this defensively every week. Their offense is also a bit confusing. They’ve put up a good amount of points the last couple games, but they haven’t been able to consistently move the ball down the field. Tyrod Taylor has not been very good throwing the ball, but he is also playing without his top target, Sammy Waktins. The run game was much better in this game, with LeSean McCoy running for 110 yards and Taylor chipping in 76 yards on the ground. If Taylor can be more efficient throwing the football, this offense could be a lot more dangerous. They have plenty of big-play potential, they just need more consistency. Maybe they’ll get it with new offensive coordinator, Anthony Lynn. It’ll be interesting to see how they play against the red hot Patriots next week.

20. Atlanta Falcons (last week’s ranking: 25) – Let’s get this out of the way: the Falcons’ defense is terrible. They can’t stop the run, they can’t get after the quarterback, and they can’t cover in the secondary either. There are only a few players that stand out on that side of the ball: cornerback Desmond Trufant and linebackers Deion Jones and Vick Beasley. These guys are all great young building blocks for this defense, but the talent around them is terrible and they’re just bad as a unit. The bright side for this team, however, is that their offense can actually win them some games. They currently lead the NFL in points per game at 34.6. Matt Ryan may have his best group of weapons in years, with Mohammad Sanu, Jacob Tamme, and Tevin Coleman stepping up to help Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones. Jones played hurt on Monday night and the offense still put up 45 points, with him doing next to nothing. Coleman actually looks like he deserves to be the lead back in Atlanta. While Freeman was more effective running the ball in this game, Coleman has had a better season to this point. The Falcons are going to score a lot of points, but they also have yet to face a great defensive team. We’ll see how they do next week against the Panthers’ stout defense.

21. Washington Redskins (last week’s ranking: 23) – The Redskins don’t have the best rushing attack. Their defense isn’t great. Overall, they don’t have the most talented roster. What they do have is a passing attack that can put up points in a hurry. When Krik Cousins plays well, this team can win games. Unfortunately for them, he doesn’t play well often enough. In this game against the Giants, he did get some help from his receivers making great plays after the catch, but he played well, too. The Redskins defense did make some huge plays in this game, picking off Eli Manning twice in the fourth quarter. One pick was in the end zone and the other was with just over a minute left in the game. In the NFC East, anything can happen. Games like this are expected, but overall, the Redskins just aren’t a very good team and could be the worst in their division. They should, however, have no problem winning next week against the Browns.

22. Miami Dolphins (last week’s ranking: 20) – The Dolphins may have gotten a win this week, but it was against the lowly Browns and they needed overtime to do so. They could’ve lost this game too, if newly-signed Browns kicker, Cody Parkey, didn’t miss a potentially game-winning 46-yard field goal with just four seconds left in the game. The Dolphins can’t stop the run. Their pass rush is good, but that don’t have any guys that can cover. Overall, their defense is weak. Allowing 24 points to the Cody Kessler-led Browns is not good. Offensively, the ‘Fins can move the ball. They have some exciting, young players in their offense, including guys like Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Jay Ajayi, and Kenyon Drake. It’s up to quarterback Ryan Tannehill to start getting the ball in their hands. He’s done a fine job so far this season, but he has to cut back on the turnovers. This offense should be able to put up points against weaker defenses, but against good defenses, they’ll likely struggle. They have a chance to turn some heads on Thursday night against a tough Bengals team.

23. Los Angeles Rams (last week’s ranking: 29) – Hey, the Rams finally got in the end zone. They actually managed to do it four times against the Bucs. Even their defense got in on the action, returning a fumble 77 yards for a score. Todd Gurley still wasn’t very impressive in this game, needing 27 carries to reach 85 yards, but he scored twice and that’s all that matters. Case Keenum had an uneven day. He managed just 190 yards and he did throw pick-six, but he also had a pair of touchdowns and the Rams won the game. The Rams took a step back defensively, allowing 25 points to the Bucs offense. The Bucs scored 32, but seven of those points came off the pick by Keenum. They were torched by Jameis Winston, who threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns, but they were decent against the run, holding the Bucs to just 83 yards on 22 attempts. The Rams have a great defensive line, but the rest of their defense isn’t great as a whole. They have some other good pieces, like Trumaine Johnson, T.J. McDonald, and Alec Ogletree, but the guys around them aren’t great. The Rams defense is going to have to step up against the Cardinals next week.

24. New Orleans Saints (last week’s ranking: 19) – The Saints came marching in on Monday night, but they forgot to bring their defense with them. The Saints’ defense was absolutely terrible against the Falcons. They allowed 45 points with very little resistance at all. There wasn’t a single bright spot for their defense other than their young corner, Ken Crawley, doing a decent job against a limited Julio Jones. As long as Drew Brees is under center, the Saints will be able to put up plenty of points. They’ve got a talented and deep offense. Coby Fleener finally stepped up. Brandon Coleman and Michael Thomas both made in impact with Willie Snead out. Mark Ingram is still a very good power back. This team has great balance offensively, but their defense is going to hold them back all year. This should be expected again when they take on the Chargers next week.

25. Detroit Lions (last week’s ranking: 27) – The Lions certainly made it interesting against the Packers, but they just fell short. Losing by seven points against one of the NFL’s better teams isn’t the worst thing in the world, especially when you trailed by 28 at one point. The Lions have been in three close games so far this year. It seems like it’ll be that type of year for the Lions; similar to what the Ravens dealt with last season. They’ve got an exciting and explosive offense. Matt Stafford is a gunslinger and Marvin Jones is stepping up big time, leading the NFL in receiving yards. His monster game this week was one of the main reasons the Lions were able to make it close with Green Bay. The Lions can run the ball well, but they had to abandon the run early in this game. Defensively, they struggled in the first half, but they were much better in the second half, allowing the comeback to be possible. Overall, they’ve done a solid job stopping the run and rushing the passer, they just need better play from their secondary. This team won’t mistake anyone for a playoff team, right now, but they can win games on the strength of their passing attack.

26. San Diego Chargers (last week’s ranking: 28) – This was a game the Chargers could’ve won, but they didn’t. Their biggest problem: too many self-inflicted mistakes. The Chargers are a team that is struggling with injuries right now, especially on offense. They have too many key weapons missing. Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead are both out for the season and Antonio Gates is currently battling a hamstring injury. The Chargers had several drops and penalties as well as a pair of costly fumbles. It was just a sloppy game offensively for them. Defensively, they just don’t have enough talent to keep up with good offenses. The Colts had just as many self-inflicted mistakes as the Chargers. The difference was the Chargers didn’t capitalize other than their fumble recovery for a touchdown. The Chargers had a blowout win as well as two games that came down to the wire. It’s been a bit of a mixed bag this season in San Diego, but if they can figure out how to close out games late, they could make some noise in the crowded AFC. Next week’s game against the Saints could be their next chance at a victory.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (last week’s ranking: 24) – After a strong first game for the Bucs, they have fallen flat the last two weeks. After getting demolished by the Cardinals, they lost to the Rams. It was a surprisingly high scoring game. The Bucs offense was as good as it looked in Week 1, but the defense was bad. Allowing the Rams to score 37 points is bad, even if it included a defensive touchdown. The Bucs didn’t give up a lot of yards, but they let the Rams score four touchdowns offensively. This is possibly the NFL’s worst offense we’re talking about. The Bucs have a young and exciting quarterback in Jameis Winston, they’ve got a good running back in Doug Martin, and they have a very talented receiver in Mike Evans. That trio can only carry this offense so far and with a not great defense, the Bucs aren’t going to win a lot. A victory certainly won’t be expected against the Broncos next week.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (last week’s ranking: 21) – This Jaguars team was supposed to be one of the more improved teams in the NFL this season, but they haven’t looked like it in the first few weeks. An 0-3 start is not where the Jags wanted to be, but it’s where they are. This team is young and inexperienced. They don’t have a lot of chemistry as a group with a lot of new faces, especially on defense. They certainly have the potential to pull off some upsets, but right now, they seem poised for another disappointing season. Blake Bortles is a very talented, young quarterback, but he’s turning the ball over at a higher rate than ever. If he can cut back on the turnovers, this offense has tons of potential. They have talented weapons like Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Julius Thomas, and T.J. Yeldon, and they have good offensive line. Their defense has a lot of potential as well, but as a unit, they aren’t performing. This is a defense that could be one of the best in a couple years, but right now, it’s still a work in progress. Next week’s game against Andrew Luck and the Colts in London will be another test for them.

29. Tennessee Titans (last week’s ranking: 26) – The Titans are not expected to be competitive this year, and they shouldn’t be. They just don’t have a good enough roster to be a winning team. They have a young quarterback in Marcus Mariota who should be good in a year or two, but he’s not quite there yet, nor does he have the talent around him. They want to be a team that runs the ball effectively, which is why they traded for DeMarco Murray and drafted Derrick Henry, but it hasn’t worked out so far in the regular season. The Titans have a solid defense, but it’s not good enough to carry them to wins against good teams. Their defensive line is very underrated, as is their secondary, but as a whole, there just isn’t enough playmakers on this defense. Next week, they’ll play the Texans in what should be an interesting divisional matchup.

30. San Francisco 49ers (last week’s ranking: 30) – It appears that the 49ers are back to being the 49ers. After their annihilation of the Rams in Week 1, the 49ers have been blown out in consecutive weeks. Blaine Gabbert is just a terrible quarterback who has little to nothing around him. Their only real threat offensively is Carlos Hyde. The 49ers have some talent defensively, but not enough for them to compete. Their cornerback position is especially terrible and they don’t have a very good pass rush either. This team needs to just continue to pick high in the draft and rebuild. They face the Cowboys next week.

31. Chicago Bears (last week’s ranking: 31) – Another week, another bad game for the Bears. Playing without quarterback Jay Cutler, the Bears stood no chance against a good, but not great, Cowboys team. The Bears have no pass rush and they can’t stop the run. Their front seven has not played well to start the season and even when Parnell McPhee returns, they still won’t scare any opposing offenses. The secondary is weak, too. The offensive line is starting to come together and maybe with Jeremy Langford out, Jordan Howard will have an opportunity to show what he can do. He could provide a spark for this offense. Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White form a nice duo at wide receiver, but this offense as a whole just isn’t very good. They face the division rival Lions next Sunday.

32. Cleveland Browns (last week’s ranking: 32) – Nothing ever changes for the Browns. They just aren’t a good team. They’re not really good at anything. They can’t stop the run or the pass defensively. They have terrible luck with quarterbacks, not only getting injured but not playing well either. The only bright spot for the team is Terrell Pryor. He was doing everything on Sunday. He caught eight passes for 144 yards, ran the ball four times for 21 yards and a touchdown, and he even threw the ball, completing three of his five attempts for 35 yards. Pryor paired with Josh Gordon, could give the Browns a nice set of weapons, but overall this team is just terrible. They won’t win many games, but anything can happen. Next week’s game against the Redskins is a winnable one, but still unlikely.

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