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NFL Power Rankings 2018, Week 4: There’s no stopping the Rams

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The Rams look like the NFL’s most complete team, while the Dolphins continue to climb the ranks at 3-0.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 in the NFL was anything but predictable, leading to a shakeup throughout this week’s power rankings. Last week, the Jaguars were at the top of the rankings thanks to a dominant win over the Patriots, but this week both the Jaguars and Patriots lost (gasp!) and the Dolphins continued to prove that they’re no fluke at 3-0. In fact, they’re actually really fun to watch!

The Dolphins now have a two-game lead in the AFC East and travel to Foxborough next Sunday to take on the 1-2 Patriots. It’s the first time since 2002 that the Patriots are two games out of first place in the division.

The NFC South looks like one of the NFL’s most dominant divisions after the Falcons failed to beat the Saints, despite Matt Ryan completing 26 of 35 passes for 374 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions. The Saints weren’t going to let a historic game for Drew Brees go to waste as he took over Brett Favre’s record as the NFL’s all-time completion leader.

We’re still learning a lot (including much of what we thought was wrong), but here’s how teams stand heading into Week 4 in the NFL.

On the rise

Last week, there were still some questions to be answered about the undefeated Dolphins, but we can’t keep denying their success. Miami is moving up to the No. 5 spot this week, close behind the also undefeated Rams and Chiefs.

The Rams decisively beat the Chargers in Week 3 and Jared Goff played one of his best games yet. Unfortunately for the Rams, they’ll be without cornerback Marcus Peters for a few weeks and fellow cornerback Aqib Talib is banged up, too.

Who will be the first team to beat the red-hot Rams? Minnesota will be the next to try when it takes on Los Angeles on Thursday Night Football this week; maybe the Vikings were looking ahead when they fell to the Bills 27-6 on Sunday?

As for the Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes continues to shine, Sammy Watkins is finally coming along in Kansas City, Justin Houston notched two sacks on Jimmy Garoppolo, and Tyreek Hill remains good for at least one jaw-dropping play on a weekly basis.

The Saints also climb the rankings this week after an impressive win over their division rival in Atlanta. Both the Falcons and Saints played well, but it was Brees’ Saints who found a way to win. The Saints and Falcons both make the top 10 this week. The Panthers, who the Falcons beat last week, aren’t far behind after a solid win at home over the Bengals. Christian McCaffrey rushed for 184 yards and Cam Newton scored on two rushing touchdowns as well as two passing touchdowns in the win.

On the decline

The Jaguars are moving down this week after an embarrassing loss to the Titans in which Jacksonville only managed to score six points. After two weeks of great success for Blake Bortles, an AFC South team figured out how to bring him back down to Earth.

Also moving down are the Vikings, who as previously mentioned, badly lost to a team we all thought was the NFL’s worst. The Vikings’ leading rusher in the game was Mike Boone with just 11 yards. Yup, 11.

What’s going on in New England? Bill Belichick watched his former defensive coordinator beat the Patriots, 26-10, as Lions head coach Matt Patricia got his first win. The Patriots are now 1-2 and will need more than Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman entering the lineup to get back to winning.

The Packers are dealing with a few problems right now. Muhammad Wilkerson is likely done for the season with an ankle injury, Clay Matthews keeps getting hit with unnecessary roughness penalties, and Aaron Rodgers is definitely not back to 100 percent after suffering a knee injury in Week 1.

Toward the bottom of the list are the 49ers (who lost Jimmy Garoppolo for the year to a torn ACL), the Jets (who lost to the Browns), the Seahawks (whose only win this year came against the Cowboys), the Giants (who got a win against the lowly Texans), and the Bills (congrats on the win against the Vikings, Buffalo!).

Then the Cowboys, Raiders, Texans, and Cardinals round out the bottom four. The Cardinals will be pushing forward with Josh Rosen at quarterback after the rookie surprisingly entered the lineup in the fourth quarter on Sunday. Maybe he’ll be able to boost them up the rankings next week after Arizona faces the Seahawks in Week 4.

Somewhere in the middle

The Bengals lost to the Panthers by 10 points in a game in which they were missing starters Joe Mixon, Michael Johnson, Preston Brown, Billy Price, and Vontaze Burfict. Then, A.J. Green was lost in the second half due to a groin injury. Hope shouldn’t be lost in Cincinnati just yet.

The Ravens beat the Broncos and Washington beat the Packers, both with relative ease. The Chargers are now 1-2 but face some of the NFL’s bottom teams in the coming weeks (49ers, Raiders, Browns, Titans, Seahawks) so they should be able to boost their stock soon enough — if they’re a real contender.

The Colts lost a close game to the Eagles in Carson Wentz’s return. Andrew Luck can’t carry the team completely on his own, but he’s going to try. He was the team’s leading rusher on Sunday, which says a lot.

Here are our latest Power Rankings heading into Week 4 in the NFL.

NFL Week 4 Power Rankings

Ranking Team Last Week
Ranking Team Last Week
1 Los Angeles Rams 2
2 Kansas City Chiefs 3
3 Jacksonville Jaguars 1
4 Philadelphia Eagles 7
5 Miami Dolphins 12
6 Minnesota Vikings 4
7 New Orleans Saints 14
8 Atlanta Falcons 10
9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9
10 Carolina Panthers 16
11 Green Bay Packers 5
12 New England Patriots 6
13 Cincinnati Bengals 8
14 Chicago Bears 17
15 Baltimore Ravens 15
16 Pittsburgh Steelers 19
17 Washington 24
18 Tennessee Titans 21
19 Denver Broncos 11
20 Los Angeles Chargers 13
21 Indianapolis Colts 18
22 Cleveland Browns 27
23 Detroit Lions 28
24 Seattle Seahawks 25
25 San Francisco 49ers 20
26 New York Jets 23
27 New York Giants 29
28 Buffalo Bills 32
29 Dallas Cowboys 22
30 Oakland Raiders 26
31 Houston Texans 30
32 Arizona Cardinals 31