Week 4 of the NFL season brought with it the end of three teams’ chances at an undefeated season. The only threat to the ‘72 Dolphins left standing is the Arizona Cardinals who were playing in St. Louis at that time. The Broncos, Rams, and Panthers all suffered losses, with two of them coming at home, to end their chances. Now let’s get to the rankings.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-1
Previous ranking- 2
The Bucs reclaim the top spot for now after barely escaping New England with a win and a disappointing Rams performance. Tom Brady was rather unspectacular in his return to the house he built, finishing with no touchdowns and just 269 yards on 22/43 passing. It was the first time Brady didn’t throw a touchdown pass since week 9 of last season. However, this game was encouraging for the Bucs defense, as they held the Patriots under 300 total yards of offense and forced two turnovers.
2. Kansas City Chiefs 2-2
Previous ranking- 6
Much like the Bucs, the Chiefs regained a top ranking after a homecoming of sorts. Andy Reid returned to Philadelphia and saw his team score 42 points and put up touchdowns on 6 of 8 possessions, with the outliers being an interception and a game-ending kneel down. Kansas City racked up 471 yards of total offense and averaged over 7 yards per play. Patrick Mahomes threw 5 TDs and Tyreek Hill caught three of them. Their defense was bashed again, but held the Eagles to 3-6 in the red zone.
3. Arizona Cardinals 4-0
Previous ranking- 8
It’s time to give the Cardinals some respect. Their 3-0 start flew under the radar and not many were ready to buy in just yet. Well, they went on the road to play the Rams on Sunday and blew them out by a score of 37-20. Kyler Murray threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns and three different receivers had at least three catches and 60 yards. The Arizona rushing attack ran all over the Rams, totaling 216 yards on the ground with Chase Edmunds leading the way with 120. Make no mistake, this was an impressive win for a team looking for some legitimacy.
4. Baltimore Ravens 3-1
Previous ranking- 3
The Ravens had a hand in keeping the Cardinals as the only unbeaten team, as they went on the road to Denver and easily handled the then undefeated Broncos 24-7. Lamar Jackson threw for over 300 yards for the first time this season and the first time overall since the Divisional Round against the Titans following the 2019 season. Denver meanwhile couldn’t get much offense going after starting QB Teddy Bridgewater left the game with an injury and was relieved by Drew Locke. Bridgewater was sacked twice before leaving and Locke was sacked three times and picked off once.
5. Los Angeles Chargers 3-1
Previous ranking- 4
The Chargers slowed down Derek Carr and the Raiders offense in a 28-14 win on Monday night. Carr was sacked four times and picked off once while being held to just 196 yards passing. It was the first time Carr didn’t throw for at least 350 yards this season and his lowest yardage total in a game he finished since Week 7 of 2020. Justin Herbert meanwhile three for three touchdowns a week after tossing four and Austin Ekeler led the way for the Chargers offense with 2 total TDs and 145 yards on 18 touches.
6. Buffalo Bills 3-1
Previous ranking- 7
The Bills easily took care of the Texans on the road in a 40-0 thrashing. The Buffalo defense forced five turnovers including intercepting Houston QB Davis Mills four times. Mills finished with just 87 yards on 11/21 passing with a 0.8 QBR. The Texans gained only 109 yards of offense while the Bills racked up 450. Josh Allen threw for 2 TDs and 248 yards while the Buffalo rushing attack totaled 199 yards on the ground. Stefon Diggs hauled in 7 passes for 144 yards receiving in addition.
7. Los Angeles Rams 3-1
Previous Ranking- 1
The Rams suffered their first loss in a rather painful fashion at home. Their defense wasn’t able to stop the Cardinals offense and their offense wasn’t able to keep up. Matthew Stafford and the Rams offense converted on just two of four red zone opportunities and turned the ball over twice. Despite nearly equaling the Cardinals in yards per play on offense (6.3 to 6.2), the L.A. defense simply couldn’t get off the field and lost the time of possession battle 35:10 to 24:50.
8. Cleveland Browns 3-1
Previous ranking- 5
The Browns keep shifting back and forth among the middle of the rankings because they haven’t been thoroughly impressive yet but haven’t had a huge loss either. Nevertheless, Cleveland handled the Vikings offense and gave head coach Kevin Stefanski a win in his return to Minnesota where he served as offensive coordinator. The Browns sacked Kirk Cousins twice and picked him off once while limiting the Minnesota QB to just 203 yards on 20/38 passing in the 14-7 win.
9. Dallas Cowboys 3-1
Previous ranking- Honorable Mention
The Cowboys handed the Panthers their first loss of the season while rushing for 245 yards against the top ranked defense. Ezekiel Elliott went off for 143 yards on the ground with a touchdown while Dak Prescott threw for 4 TDs in the air. Trevon Diggs picked off Sam Darnold twice to bring his league-leading total to five through four games. The Dallas defense also sacked Darnold five times in their best pass rush performance to date this season.
10. Green Bay Packers 3-1
Previous ranking- Unranked
The Packers finally find themselves back on the rankings after taking care of the Steelers at home by a score of 27-17. Aaron Rodgers and the Pack seem to be gaining some momentum after a crushing loss in week one. Rodgers threw for 2 TDs and 248 yards on 20/36 passing with Randall Cobb hauling in both scores as part of a 5-69 day receiving. The Green Bay defense forced two turnovers and held the Pittsburgh offense to just 282 total yards. Ben Roethlisberger posted a 43.7 QBR and Najee Harris rushed for just 62 yards on 15 carries.