NFL Week 4 Power Rankings
07 October 2020
Through four weeks of the NFL season, we have a good idea as to what each team is made of. With a quarter of their games played, teams have likely showed the bulk of their identity for better or worse. In this week’s edition of our NFL power rankings, we look at where each team stands heading into week five so you know how everyone stacks up before making your NFL betting picks.
32. New York Jets
The Jets remain the worst team in our power rankings for the second straight week. They faced a quarterback making his first professional start in Week 4. That quarterback only had three days to prepare for the Jets. And that quarterback, Denver’s Brett Rypien, lit the Jets up for 37 points. The offense was better this week, but this Jets team cannot put together a complete football game.
31. New York Giants
While the Jets improved offensively in a loss, the Giants improved defensively in a loss. They kept the Los Angeles Rams to just 17 points in Week 4. But the Giants offense only managed nine points. Daniel Jones is leading an offense that looks lost without Saquon Barkley to bail them out. In the worst division in the NFL, the Giants are the only team without a win so far.
30. Atlanta Falcons
You can’t blow a double-digit lead if your team never takes the lead in the first place. That is the lone silver lining for the Atlanta Falcons from Week 4, as they were beaten handily by the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football. Atlanta has allowed the second most points in the NFL this season. On the bright side, they should be in a great position to draft some defensive help this offseason.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
After a Week 1 win over the Colts, the Jaguars have lost three straight games. They have allowed 33 points in both of their road games this season. In Week 4, that meant giving up 33 points to Joe Burrow and the Bengals. Burrow hadn’t looked this good all season, which is a testament to how poor the Jaguars have been so far in 2020.
28. Houston Texans
After a playoff appearance last year, the Texans are off to an 0-4 start this season. Their -46 point differential is the third worst in the NFL through four weeks. But the Texans may have better days ahead of them. They fired head coach Bill O’Brien after Week 4. That firing was a long time coming, and could provide an emotional lift for Houston in the short-term.
27. Detroit Lions
Things looked so good for the Detroit Lions in the first quarter of their Week 4 game with the Saints. Up 14-0 early, the Lions proceeded to allow 35 points to lose to New Orleans. That loss dropped the Lions to 0-2 at home and 1-3 on the season. This is their second time blowing a double-digit lead at home in four weeks. As a result, the hot seat continues to get hotter under Matt Patricia.
26. Denver Broncos
It is hard to blame the Denver Broncos for their current situation. They have suffered so many key injuries on both sides of the ball. But when your only win has come against the worst team in the NFL in the Jets, you deserve to be near the bottom of any power rankings. Denver may have found a spark with Brett Rypien at quarterback, though, and could climb these rankings in a hurry.
25. Philadelphia Eagles
After two losses and a tie, the Philadelphia Eagles got into the win column in Week 4. They won on the road against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night. Even though the Eagles were fortunate to face backup quarterbacks Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard, the Eagles’ defense showed that it can carry the load while the offense continues to struggle.
24. Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team is one of three NFL teams that has failed to score 80 points through four weeks. The other teams are the New York Jets and Giants. That is a damning indictment of their offense with Dwayne Haskins at quarterback. While virtually no NFL picks had them beating the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4, you would like to see more from their offense after they were locked down by Baltimore.
23. Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow has improved as the Bengals quarterback over the last couple of weeks. He played well against the Eagles in their Week 3 tie, and was very effective in their win over Jacksonville. That is cause for optimism for sure, while the Bengals defense has played well in spurts as well. They still have a long way to go, but the Bengals at least have some sort of direction for the first time in years.
22. Miami Dolphins
Week 4 saw the Miami Dolphins run into one of the best teams in football in the Seattle Seahawks. The Dolphins lost that game to drop to 1-3 on the season. But Miami has been one of the most competitive teams in the league despite their losing record. Their point differential through four weeks sits at -3, as they have lost close games throughout the season. Given that this is a gap year before Tua Tagovailoa is ready, that isn’t the worst thing.
21. Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota finally got into the win column in Week 4. They defeated the Houston Texans, prompting the Texans to fire their head coach. There are still plenty of flaws in Mike Zimmer’s team. But now that the Vikings have broken into the win column, they have a chance to ride that momentum into a litmus test game against the Seahawks in Week 5.
20. Los Angeles Chargers
Even though they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4, there were some positives for the Chargers. Justin Herbert looked effective on the road against the highly touted Bucs. And while the circumstances surrounding Herbert starting are unfortunate, getting him meaningful experience this season is a plus in the long run. If the Bolts can resolve their injury woes, the playoffs are still a faint possibility this season.
19. Chicago Bears
It is never a bad thing to be 3-1 in the NFL. But the Chicago Bears are as strange as 3-1 teams get. They needed miracle comebacks to beat the Lions and Falcons within the first three weeks. In Week 4, they were beaten soundly by the Indianapolis Colts. They will need to show more offensively going forward, or they could be sliding down these rankings in a hurry as the Packers and Vikings loom on their schedule.
18. Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders have lost to the Bills and Patriots so far this season. There is no shame in that. But you have to think that there is a ceiling for this team based on what we have seen. Derek Carr hasn’t proven he can outplay elite level quarterbacks, while the Raiders defense has allowed 30 or more to the two best teams on their schedule so far.
17. Dallas Cowboys
Speaking of porous defenses, the Dallas Cowboys are as leaky as it gets on that side of the ball. They have allowed the most points in the league, and came one point away from allowing 50 points to the Cleveland Browns in Week 4. That is unacceptable, even when the offense is scoring the way it has been. In a bad division, the Cowboys are still the favorites in NFL betting markets, but they will need to be better to win in the playoffs.
16. Carolina Panthers
After starting the season with two abysmal performances on defense this season, the Carolina Panthers have figured things out in the last two weeks. Week 4 featured an impressive win by the Panthers over the Arizona Cardinals. After shutting down Kyler Murray, one has to wonder if the Panthers are in a position to make a run for a wild card spot. They will need more production out of Teddy Bridgewater, though.
15. Cleveland Browns
On one hand, the Cleveland Browns have been bad on defense. They allowed 38 points to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4, which is concerning. On the other hand, the Browns scored 49 points against the Cowboys. They appear to be getting Odell Beckham Jr. more actively involved in their offense. If that keeps up, the Browns might finally start living up to the hype they have been receiving.
14. New Orleans Saints
After falling behind by 14 points to the Lions in Week 4, it looked like the Saints were going to slide down the power rankings. But the Saints scored 35 points to take that game from the Lions, moving up to 2-2 in the process. They are one game back of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for first place in the NFC South, and should see a boost once Michael Thomas comes back from injury.
13. San Francisco 49ers
It is difficult to judge the San Francisco 49ers this season. Their loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4 was embarrassing to be certain. But they are without their starting quarterback, key figures in the running game, and multiple impactful wide receivers. All things considered, the Niners are in contention at 2-2, and should get demonstrably better once they get healthy. There are worse places to be.
12. Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts are tied for the third-best point differential in the NFL at +47 through four games. Playing against the struggling Jets and Bears helps boost that number, the Colts appear to be legit this year. Philip Rivers and their running game benefit greatly from a strong offensive line. And with the Texans struggling and the Titans dealing with COVID-19 issues, the Colts could rise above the rest in the AFC South.
11. Arizona Cardinals
Arizona laid a huge egg in Week 4 against the Carolina Panthers to fall out of the top-10 of our rankings. But the Cardinals still have a lot to like despite two consecutive hiccups. Their upcoming schedule contains two more road games in a row. How Kyler Murray and company performs in those games will go a long way toward telling what type of team the Cardinals really are.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay works its way into the top-10 of the power rankings this week. They struggled defensively against Justin Herbert and the Chargers. But the offense responded well to adversity en route to a high-scoring win. Tom Brady threw an early pick-six and responded with five touchdown passes. If he can continue to make accurate throws downfield, the Bucs will be a team to fear in the NFC.
9. Tennessee Titans
Tennessee had an unexpected week off in Week 4. Their team’s COVID-19 outbreak was the first experience the league has had with the coronavirus. They had their bye week moved up to Week 4 and will now play Pittsburgh in Week 7. That could have a huge impact on the team later in the season, as they won’t have any rest going into the second half of the season. For now, though, the Titans have looked strong with a 3-0 start.
8. Los Angeles Rams
It wasn’t pretty, but the Rams got another much-needed win to keep in contention in the NFC West. They held the Giants to just nine points, winning even though the Rams’ offense sputtered in that contest. Now the Rams have to go to the East coast for the third time this season for a Week 5 game with the Washington Football Team.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh was the team that the Titans were supposed to play in Week 4. Like the Titans, the Steelers are 3-0 on the season and could have their postseason stamina affected by the rescheduling of their bye. It will be interesting to see how the Steelers perform when they play against higher quality competition, as they have faced three struggling teams in their first three games.
6. Green Bay Packers
The Packers moved to 4-0 with a home win over the Atlanta Falcons on Monday. Green Bay has the top point differential in the NFL, and has already accumulated two division wins this season. They are on the short list of teams that could win the prized first-round bye in the NFC by virtue of being the top seed. The Packers have a Week 5 bye and will be out of action this coming week.
5. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle managed to escape a tough test in Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins. After a long flight to the Southeast, the Seahawks’ offense looked out of sync for portions of the game. But Russell Wilson delivered with timely deep passes to set Seattle apart. Wilson is the clear favorite for the MVP this season, and the Seahawks continuing to win will only strengthen his case.
4. New England Patriots
New England is a 2-2 team this season, but they get a pass for their Week 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots were without starting quarterback Cam Newton, who tested positive for COVID-19. With additional Patriots players testing positive for the coronavirus shortly after the Chiefs game, the immediate future of the Patriots is up in the air. But the Pats should still be commended for how close they kept things in the first half against the Chiefs in spite of their circumstances.
3. Buffalo Bills
Not only are the Buffalo Bills a 4-0 team, but they have a two-game lead against the Patriots in the AFC East. They have scored into the 30s in three of their four games so far this season. The one game they failed to reach 30 points in came against the Jets, where the Bills scored 27 points. Behind Russell Wilson, Bills quarterback Josh Allen is on the list of early MVP candidates based on his play thus far.
2. Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore demolished the Washington Football Team in Week 4. This is typical of the Ravens, who seem to struggle against top teams in the league while convincingly beating lesser opponents. This week, the Ravens have a chance to make a statement against rookie quarterback Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City stands at 4-0 this season and are the clear number one team in the league. In back to back weeks, they have beaten the Ravens and the Patriots. And though the Patriots had to play through some extenuating circumstances, the Chiefs did an admirable job of taking care of business. As long as Patrick Mahomes stays healthy, the Chiefs will be the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
NFL Betting FAQ
Power ratings matter, because sports betting is all about determining outcomes relative to expectations. When you have a set of power ratings, you can determine how much better you think that a team than another team. This can help bettors make more informed decisions when looking at spreads, totals and other NFL betting markets.
Bettors typically assign a point value to each space in their power ratings. That allows bettors to determine their perceived point discrepancy between each team. They can compare that number to the point spread and look at the factors that go into those individual games to find where there might be value.
Situational factors are so important when making power ratings. There are so many things that go into win-loss records for teams. Strength of schedule, tempo and other factors that can vary wildly from team to team should be thought about beyond just which teams have the most wins and losses.