We’ve enjoyed four weeks of this season and team trends are beginning to emerge. The teams at the top and bottom shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. It’s the ones in the middle that create the most conversation.
The score next to each team reflects their average rank across 26 offensive and defensive statistical measures. The lower the score, the better the team’s rank across the board.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – 8.12
The defending Super Bowl Champions are off to a 4-0 start. Patrick Mahomes and his talented offense gets the most attention around the NFL but their defense deserves recognition for Kansas City’s quick start out of the gate.
The Chiefs are third in the league in points allowed and second in defensive passer rating. As the New England Patriots showed last Monday night though, their defense is vulnerable against the run. We’ll see who can exploit that weakness in Kansas City’s game as the leaves begin to turn.
2. Seattle Seahawks – 10.00
Seattle’s defense isn’t as intimidating as it was during the Seahawks Super Bowl years but never underestimate how far Russell Wilson can carry this team.
3. Baltimore Ravens – 10.15
After a disappointing loss to the Chiefs in Week 3, Baltimore put themselves back into the crowded AFC North race with a dominant win over the Football Team in Washington.
4. Indianapolis Colts – 10.50
The Indianapolis Colts spoiled Nick Foles’ first start at quarterback for the Chicago Bears last week. They’re showing off a quick-reacting, smart defense that might be able to carry Philip Rivers into a deep postseason run.
5. Los Angeles Rams – 10.58
So far, the Los Angeles Rams have combined a strong passing defense with a stretch the secondary offense to enable themselves to keep pace with the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. Their weakness so far in 2020 is an ability to stop the run.
6. San Francisco 49ers – 11.08
The San Francisco 49ers took a slight drop down the statistical rankings after their embarrassing Week 4 loss at home to the Philadelphia Eagles. They can redeem themselves this week when they host the Miami Dolphins.
7. Green Bay Packers – 11.65
Aaron Rodgers continues to demonstrate that the air power of the Green Bay Packers offense is driven by his right arm.
Green Bay sidelines starting wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazzard against the Atlanta Falcons and Rodgers adjusts. He targeted running back Jamaal Williams, tight end Robert Tonyan and receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling 22 times for 18 receptions, 238 yards and three touchdowns, all by Tonyan.
As usual though, the Packers ability to make a deep run into the playoffs will rest on a defense that is currently 31st in points per drive allowed and struggles to generate a consistent pass rush.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers – 11.77
As long as Ben Roethlisberger is at the controls of the Steelers offense the team will be a force in the AFC playoff race.
9. Buffalo Bills – 12.27
In his third season, Josh Allen is emerging as one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. His passer rating after four games is third to only Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers. He’s one of the most interesting stories of the 2020 season so far.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 12.46
Tampa Bay is missing some key players on offense and defense but Tom Brady has helped keep them afloat in the early going. We’ll see if the 43-year old quarterback can keep up this level of play the rest of the season.
11. New Orleans Saints – 14.23
As long as Drew Brees and company can continue to put up more points than they’re below average defense allows the Saints will stay a playoff contender.
12. Chicago Bears – 14.42
The Bears still live off their defense. It remains to be seen if head coach Matt Nagy can establish an identity for the team’s offense with Nick Foles under center.
13. Las Vegas Raiders – 14.62
Las Vegas’ offensive and defensive lines are as good as anyone in the league. They get a chance to prove themselves against the Chiefs on Sunday.
14. Tennessee Titans – 15.23
Ryan Tannehill has continued to give Tennessee solid play at quarterback. The question for the Titans no is, when will they be playing their next game?
15. Cleveland Browns – 15.85
The Browns want to have their say in the AFC North. Don’t sleep on Odell Beckham Jr. He’s exciting again.
16. Arizona Cardinals – 16.35
Kyler Murray is completing passes but needs to get the ball deeper down the field. Until he does Arizona will continue to struggle.
17. Carolina Panthers – 16.58
The Panthers are a team on the rise. New head coach Matt Rhule and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater are developing a winning chemistry in Charlotte.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – 16.58
The Chargers are averaging 19.3 yards of offense per point scored. That means their offense needs to drive the equivalent of 135 yards to score seven. Unless that improves, Los Angeles will be buried by midseason.
19. Cincinnati Bengals – 17.42
Don’t fret Bengals fans. Quarterback Joe Burrow is the real deal. This is another team on the rise.
20. Minnesota Vikings – 18.42
Minnesota’s win last week sealed the fate of Texans coach Bill O’Brien.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars – 18.58
The Jaguars have totaled four sacks in four games. They have to dial up more pressure on defense or become irrelevant in the AFC South.
22. New England Patriots – 18.92
This one was a surprise until you look at New England’s overall statistics. The Patriots are No. 28 in the league in average yards per point scored, No. 17 in points per drive and New England is also in the bottom half of the league in most defensive categories.
23. Dallas Cowboys – 19.27
Dak Prescott is setting passing records because he has no choice. Dallas’ defense putting him into a deep hole to try and climb out of.
24. Miami Dolphins – 19.46
One question for head coach Brian Flores, is 38-year old quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick your quarterback of the future? If not, you owe it to Miami’s fans to be starting rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
25. Denver Broncos – 19.62
Denver’s defense isn’t enough to keep the offense’s heads above water.
26. Philadelphia Eagles – 20.12
Philadelphia travelled west and beat the heavily favored 49ers last week. Is that a sign of things to come?
27. Detroit Lions – 20.85
The Matt Patricia era should be coming to a merciful end in Detroit.
28. Atlanta Falcons – 21.19
The same can be said for Dan Quinn’s tenure as football coach in Atlanta.
29. Washington Football Team
Ron Rivera has seen enough of quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Kyle Allen is the next man up.
30. Houston Texans – 24.08
Need any further proof that the Bill O’Brien era with the Texans was a joke? Houston is barely statistically better than the two dismal New York teams below them.
31. New York Giants – 24.35
Even is fans were allowed in MetLife Stadium, would they bother for these two teams?