Analysis

Week 5 NFL Power Rankings: Bengals Leap Into Top 5

And then there was one.

Just four weeks into the season, the Philadelphia Eagles are the league’s only unbeaten team, improving their record to 4-0 Sunday with a 29-21 rain-soaked win over Jacksonville.

The Eagles are just the seventh team in league history to start 4-0 and put up at least 400 yards of offense in each of the four wins.

Of course, that won’t mean much if they stumble and lose their next two games to 2-2 Arizona and 3-1 Dallas.

A total of 23 of the NFL’s 32 teams are at 3-1 or 2-2 after four games. So, the Lombardi Trophy still is very much up for grabs.

The Bills improved to 3-1 with a come-from-behind win over the Baltimore Ravens that was helped by a questionable decision by Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.

It was enough to maintain their hold on the top spot in The 33rd Team’s weekly rankings:

 

1. Buffalo Bills (3-1)

Previous: 1

Last week: W 23-20 at Ravens | This week: vs. 1-3 Steelers

Good news: The Bills’ defense has given up just 58 points in their first four games.

Bad news: Josh Allen has averaged just 6.1 yards per attempt in the last two games.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (4-0)

Previous: 3

Last week: W 29-21 vs. Jaguars | This week: at 2-2 Cardinals

Good news: The Eagles are 4-0 for the first time since 2004.

Bad news: They lost two of their starting offensive linemen – left tackle Jordan Mailata (shoulder) and right guard Isaac Seumalo (ankle) – against Jacksonville. Too soon to say whether either will play Sunday vs. the Cardinals.

 

3. Kansas City Chiefs (3-1)

Previous: 5

Last week: W 41-31 at Bucs | This week: vs. 1-3 Raiders

Good news: Patrick Mahomes reached 20,000 passing yards faster (67 games) than any quarterback in NFL history.

Bad news: Steve Spagnuolo’s defense has forced just four turnovers and is 20th in the league in points allowed (24.0 per game).

4. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)

Previous: 10

Last week: W 27-15 vs. Dolphins | This week: at 2-2 Ravens

Good news: After being sacked 13 times in the first two games, Joe Burrow has been sacked just three times in back-to-back wins over the Dolphins and Jets, and hasn’t thrown an interception since Week 1.

Bad news: The Bengals’ ground game continues to struggle. Joe Mixon, who rushed for 1,205 yards last year, is averaging just 2.7 yards per carry.

5. Miami Dolphins (3-1)

Previous: 4

Last week: L 15-27 at Bengals | This week: at 2-2 Jets

Good news: Despite the loss to the Bengals, the Dolphins still are tied for first in the AFC East.

Bad news: QB Tua Tagovailoa is out indefinitely after suffering a concussion against the Bengals. At least their rematch with the Bills isn’t until mid-December.

6. Baltimore Ravens (2-2)

Previous: 6

Last week: L 20-23 vs. Bills | This week: vs. 2-2 Bengals

Good news: Lamar Jackson has averaged 9.6 yards per carry in the Ravens’ last three games.

Bad news: Games like Sunday, when he averaged just 5.0 yards per attempt and threw two interceptions, including one in the red zone with the game tied, are why it’s probably a mistake to mention Jackson in the same breath yet with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow and Josh Allen as a passer.

7. Tampa Bay Bucs (2-1)

Previous: 7

Last week: L 31-41 vs. Chiefs | This week: vs. 2-2 Falcons

Good news: As long as Tom Brady doesn’t get hurt, the Bucs could win the NFC South with their eyes closed.

Bad news: For just the fourth time in his career and first time since 2018, Tom Brady lost a game in which he threw at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions.

8. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)

Previous: 15

Last week: W 24-9 vs. Rams | This week: at 1-3 Panthers

Good news: DeMeco Ryan’s defense has given up a league-best 46 points in four games.

Bad news: Niners are 29th in scoring (17.7 per game). Scored just 21 points in losses to the Broncos and Bears.

9. L.A. Rams (2-2)

Previous: 2

Last week: L 9-24 at 49ers | This week: vs. 3-1 Cowboys

Good news: Cooper Kupp has a league-high 42 catches in four games. That’s a 175-catch pace.

Bad news: A year after throwing the second most TD passes in the league (41), Matthew Stafford has thrown just four in four games, none in his last two games.

 

10. L.A. Chargers (2-2)

Previous: 9

Last week: W 34-24 at Texans | This week: at 2-2 Browns

Good news: Justin Herbert has thrown just two interceptions and been sacked only four times in the first four games.

Bad news: Their run defense continues to be one of the worst in the league. Texans rookie Dameon Pierce gashed the Chargers for 131 yards on just 14 carries.

11. Minnesota Vikings (3-1)

Previous: 11

Last week: W 28-25 at Saints | This week: vs. 2-2 Bears

Good news: After having just 62 receiving yards against the Eagles and Lions, Justin Jefferson found his stride again against the Saints, erupting for 10 catches and 147 yards.

Bad news: The game wouldn’t have been as close as it was if the Vikings had been better in the red zone. They converted just two of five red zone opportunities into TDs. They’re 7-for-15 inside the 20 in their first four games.

12. Green Bay Packers (3-1)

Previous: 12

Last week: W 27-24 vs. Patriots | This week: vs. 3-1 Giants

Good news: Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon have combined for 538 rushing yards and 31 rushing first downs in the first four games.

Bad news: Aaron Rodgers has thrown interceptions in consecutive games for the first time since November of 2020.

13. Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

Previous: 13

Last week: W 25-10 vs. Commanders | This week: at 2-2 Rams

Good news: Turns out Dak Prescott’s thumb injury wasn’t the end of the world for the Cowboys after all. They’ve won three in a row since Cooper Rush replaced Prescott.

Bad news: The Cowboys have struggled on third down. They’ve converted just 30.2 percent of their third-down opportunities this season.

14. Denver Broncos (2-2)

Previous: 8

Last week: L 23-32 at Raiders | This week: vs. 1-2-1 Colts

Good news: Russell Wilson had a season-high 124.9 passer rating against the Raiders. He’s thrown one interception in 131 pass attempts this season.

Bad news: The Broncos’ leading rusher, Javonte Williams, tore his ACL in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders and is out for the season.

15. N.Y. Giants (3-1)

Previous: 17

Last week: W 20-12 vs. Bears | This week: at 3-1 Packers

Good news: This is the first time the Giants have gotten off to a 3-1 start since 2011. FYI, they won the Super Bowl that year.

Bad news: Daniel Jones hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 2.

16. Arizona Cardinals (2-2)

Previous: 18

Last week: W 26-16 at Panthers | This week: vs. 3-1 Eagles

Good news: Kyler Murray played his best half of football in the second half against the Panthers. He completed 10 of 12 passes for 117 yards and two TDs as the Cardinals outscored Carolina in the final two quarters, 23-6.

Bad news: The Cardinals haven’t scored in the first quarter yet this season.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)

Previous: 16

Last week: L 21-29 at Eagles | This week: vs. 0-3-1 Texans

Good news: They’re tied with Tennessee for first place in the AFC South.

Bad news: Trevor Lawrence turned the ball over five times in the rain against the Eagles, which led to four scores.

18. Tennessee Titans (2-2)

Previous: 19

Last week: W 24-17 at Colts | This week: at 1-3 Commanders

Good news: Derrick Henry notched his first 100-yard rushing game, running for 114 yards and a TD against the Colts. He had 99 of those yards in the first half when the Titans built a 24-10 lead.

Bad news: The offense went to sleep in the second half. The Titans put up just 28 yards and three first downs after intermission.

19. Indianapolis Colts (1-2-1)

Previous: 14

Last week: L 17-24 vs. Titans | This week: at 2-2 Broncos

Good news: The Colts are a respectable 13th in points allowed (21.3 per game). They haven’t given up more than 24 points in a game yet this season. The problems is they have yet to score more than 20.

Bad news: Jonathan Taylor was held to 42 yards on 20 carries by the Titans. Taylor, who led the NFL in rushing last year, has just one 100-yard game this season. And that was in Week 1.

20. Las Vegas Raiders (1-3)

Previous: 23

Last week: W 32-23 vs. Broncos | This week: at 3-1 Chiefs

Good news: They no longer have to worry about being the first team in history to go 0-17.

Bad news: The Chiefs are up next, so Josh McDaniels might want to keep the celebration short.

21. Chicago Bears (2-2)

Previous: 22

Last week: L 12-20 at Giants | This week: at 3-1 Vikings

Good news: The Bears have given up just three touchdown passes in four games.

Bad news: Their own QB, Justin Fields, hasn’t thrown a TD pass since Week 1.

 

22. Atlanta Falcons (2-2)

Previous: 28

Last week: W 23-20 vs. Browns | This week: at 2-2 Bucs

Good news: Led by rookie RB Tyler Allgeier, Falcons rushed for 202 yards vs. a Browns defense that hadn’t given up more than 104. The Falcons have rushed for 175-plus yards in three of their first four games.

Bad news: Their defense continues to struggle on third down. It’s 25th in third-down defense (44.4%).

23. Cleveland Browns (2-2)

Previous: 21

Last week: L 20-23 vs. Falcons | This week: vs. 2-2 Chargers

Good news: Nick Chubb has three 100-yard rushing performances in four games and leads the NFL in rushing first downs (21).

Bad news: Their defense gave up 202 rushing yards to the Falcons, including 77 on two fourth-quarter scoring drives.

24. Seattle Seahawks (2-2)

Previous: 30

Last week: W 48-45 at Lions | This week: at 1-3 Saints

Good news: Geno Smith has a 77.3 completion percentage. That’s the highest in NFL history in the first four games by a quarterback with at least 125 pass attempts.

Bad news: Giving up 45 points in a game is never a good thing.

25. Detroit Lions (1-3)

Previous: 20

Last week: L 45-48 vs. Seahawks | This week: at 1-3 Patriots

Good news: Three of their four losses have been by four points or less.

Bad news: The novelty of close-but-no-cigar has worn off for Dan Campbell. His defense can’t stop anyone. It’s  allowing a league-worst 35.3 points per game.

26. New England Patriots (1-3)

Previous: 27

Last week: L 24-27 at Packers | This week: vs. 1-3 Lions

Good news: They managed to take the Packers to overtime with their No. 3 quarterback.

Bad news: Bill Belichick’s defense can’t stop the run. It has given up 387 rushing yards in the last two games and is ranked 26th against the run.

27. New Orleans Saints (1-3)

Previous: 26

Last week: L 25-28 vs. Vikings | This week: vs. 2-2 Seahawks

Good news: The Saints have found their starting quarterback going forward. Andy Dalton’s efficient performance against the Vikings made it clear he’s a better alternative than erratic, interception-prone Jameis Winston.

Bad news: The Saints have an NFL-worst minus-7 turnover differential.

28. N.Y. Jets (2-2)

Previous: 31

Last week: W 24-20 at Steelers | This week: vs. 3-1 Dolphins

Good news: QB Zach Wilson returned after missing the Jets’ first three games with a knee injury.

Bad news: Wilson didn’t play particularly well in his 2022 debut, completing just 18 of 36 passes and throwing two picks. Blame it on rust.

29. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)

Previous: 24

Last week: L 20-24 vs. Jets | This week: at 3-1 Bills

Good news: First-round QB Kenny Pickett saw his first regular-season action after Mike Tomlin benched Mitch Trubisky. He completed 10 of 13 passes and ran for a touchdown.

Bad news: He also threw three interceptions, including one that led to the Jets’ game-winning TD.

30. Carolina Panthers (1-3)

Previous: 25

Last week: L 16-26 vs. Cardinals | This week: vs. 2-2 49ers

Good news: Baker Mayfield finally realized Christian McCaffrey is an eligible receiver. McCaffrey had his best receiving game of the season, catching nine passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Bad news: Mayfield continues to have problems getting the ball past the line of scrimmage. He had the most batted passes in the league last year and had four swatted away by the Cardinals, giving him a league-high nine in the first four games.

31. Washington Commanders (1-3)

Previous: 29

Last week: L 10-25 at Cowboys | This week: vs. 0-2-1 Texans

Good news: Rookie Jahan Dotson is tied for the league lead in touchdown receptions, with four.

Bad news: Carson Wentz in his last two starts: 4.5 yards per attempt, 58.9 completion percentage, 1 TD, 2 interceptions. Might be time to get Taylor Heinicke up in the bullpen.

32. Houston Texans (0-3-1)

Previous: 32

Last week: L 24-34 vs. Chargers | This week: at 2-2 Jaguars

Good news: They scored a season-high 24 points against the Chargers

Bad news: They still lost by 10.

WATCH MORE: Recapping Week 4 With Tank Williams

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