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NFL Power Rankings - Week 4: What Teams Are Pretender, Contenders... Or Just Done



I decided to take a look at each team and where they stand in terms of being pretenders, contenders or if their season is over. At the 1/4 mark of the season, let’s see the rankings.

VOTING: The voting is from myself, Willie Colon and Steven Cheah of the Barstool NFL podcast, Surf & Turf.

REMINDER: Power Rankings aren’t a reflection of standings and, as always, try not to take anything too personally… we don’t hate your specific team, we just hate everyone’s teams…


DONE: The Dolphins stink, it’s over


DONE: I think they might compete here and there once Sam Darnold comes back, but they lack playmakers and everything is a mess.


DONE: The Monday Night game was a fucking disaster and they’re in a division too compete to stay alive.


DDONE: Poor Dwayne Haskins. The office Redskins fans, PFT and Nate, think they might be worse than Miami.



DONE: They’ve had back-to-back close losses, but this team is no good and their division is one of the best in football.


DONE: They’re just too young and they’re in a tough division. The future is bright, though, and I believe in Kyler Murray.


LEANING DONE: This team is a squeaked-out win against an injured Eagles team away from being 0-4. I can’t see them crawling out of the hole with a NFC South schedule.


LEANING PRETENDER: There’s enough talent in Pittsburgh where I don’t want to rule them out, but I can’t put too much stock in a home win over the lowly Bengals.


PRETENDER: I am a believer in the Colts, so I will give them credit for the win but I also am inclined to call it a bit of a fluke.


PRETENDER: Daniel Jones is going to be good, I think, but he might also go through some growing pains. They beat a weird Bucs team and the abysmal Redskins. I need to see much more to believe in the Giants. 


LEANING CONTENDER: How about Kyle Allen? The Panthers are close to being 3-1 or even 4-0. With Christian McCaffrey, this offense can compete with anyone and we know they have a solid defense. Will Allen’s success last? If it does, a Wild Card berth is nowhere near crazy.


LEANING CONTENDER: I don’t know what to make of the Bucs. Their loss to the Giants was horrendous and the 49ers essentially worked them in Week 1. The team goes as Jameis goes, which might not be reliable, and their defense got torched the last two weeks. Like a bunch of the 2-2 teams, I need to see more before I call them legit contenders.


LEANING CONTENDER: Last week I would have called them pretenders, but their defense looks pretty damn solid. While I do think their Week 1 win in Cleveland was in large part to an unprepared Browns team, they’re still sitting at 2-2 with one of the most underrated coaches in the league.


LEANING PRETENDER: This team is an internal mess with the Cousins-Thielen debacle and the Diggs trade rumors. Also, their two wins came against the Raiders and Falcons. With the exception of the Redskins, the Vikings have a tough upcoming schedule against the likes of the Giants, Eagles, Lions, Chiefs and then Cowboys. We will know very quickly if this team is worth anything.


PLAYOFF CONTENDER: Minshew Mania is the real deal. I hope they don’t trade Jalen Ramsey because the defense is a fun bunch.


PLAYOFF CONTENDER: I am calling the loss to Oakland a fluke.


PLAYOFF CONTENDER: A victim of Minshew Mania, the Texans’ two-loss were by a combined eight points. The issue is still the offensive line, as Watson has been sacked the most times in the league outside of Kyler Murray and Andy Dalton.


PLAYOFF CONTENDER: Baltimore’s defense might be bad. Playing without a lead is clearly an issue for the Ravens, but I am a big Lamar Jackson guy and think they’ll get through what appears to be slight early growing pains.


LEANING SUPER BOWL CONTENDER: The Chargers are a little low in my book, but it is understandable after one of their patented slow starts. With Melvin Gordon back in the fold, I expect them to pick it up.


PLAYOFF CONTENDER: With their easy second-half schedule, if the Browns keep up their offensive gameplan from the win in Baltimore (with Rashard Higgins, Antonio Callaway and Kareem Hunt coming back), they should be in great shape to make the Playoffs for the first time since 2002-2003.


LEANING PLAYOFF CONTENDER: HEAR ME OUT… the Bills have beaten the Jets, the Eli Manning Giants and the Bengals. That really isn’t much to write home about, despite a strong battle against the Patriots. Their defense is stout and they have a good running game, but it will come down to Josh Allen (or Matt Barkley in a danger scenario like this past Sunday).


PLAYOFF CONTENDER: The Seahawks’ resume isn’t all that great either, but we know what type of talent they have and, just as importantly, a winning culture with guys who know how to step up.



LEANING PLAYOFF CONTENDER: I just don’t know about the offense yet. The 49ers have been the Bucs, Bengals, and Steelers, so they’re also showing off a mediocre resume. Their defense is legit, but let’s see how they do against the Browns on Monday Night Football before I establish them as a solid contender.


LEANING SUPER BOWL CONTENDER: This Lions team, man, they breaking hearts with tough losses and ties, but they look pretty fucking good. This team should probably be 4-0 at this point.


SUPER BOWL CONTENDER: This is still a good team, despite their bump in the road. I expect McVay and company to get over the Super Bowl hangover rather soon.


SUPER BOWL CONTENDER: First off, Khalil Mack might sack Derek Carr 10 times this weekend in London. Secondly, I think Chase Daniels holds the team together, but it might not matter much so long as the defense remains the best, or at least second best, in the league.


SUPER BOWL CONTENDER: There is reason to be concerned about Davante Adams’ injury and the way they looked at home against the Eagles. They’re a firm Top 10 team and as long as Aaron Rodgers is quarterback, they have their eyes set on the Super Bowl.


SUPER BOWL CONTENDER: They miss Drew Brees, no doubt, but they picked up one hell of a win against the Cowboys. They avoided one of their usual slow starts and have themselves in perfect shape in a division with teams that are a notch or two below their talent level.


SUPER BOWL CONTENDER: The Eagles are good. I won’t accept any debate. Once they’re healthy, everyone will be a believer.


SUPER BOWL CONTENDER: By virtue of the loss, I have the Cowboys behind the Saints, but they’re still an easy Top 5 team. Winning in New Orleans is tough and it was a solid early test for the NFC East leaders.


SUPER BOWL: Imagine your “bad game” looking like Patrick Mahomes did on Sunday… even when they aren’t clicking on all cylinders, they’re still winning… and on the road. Tyreek Hill also appears to be nearing his return.


SUPER BOWL FAVORITES: The test in Buffalo was tough and the Patriots looked off, but their defense is still one of the top two in the NFL. I still think this team has what it takes to go 16-0.

See you next week.