Written by Emilio Peña
Better Late than never!
After another crazy week in the NFL, it’s time to evaluate where each team stands.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
As the only remaining undefeated team in the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles have been nothing short of dominant. Led by early season MVP candidate Jalen Hurts, the Eagles have beaten their first 3 opponents by an average margin of 12 points (Philly was up by 17 against Detroit before allowing them to bring it to within 3 late).
2. Miami Dolphins
The last undefeated team in the AFC, the Miami Dolphins are #2 because they haven’t been as dominant as Philly. Two of Miami’s wins are arguably more impressive (Ravens, Bills) but both of those games could’ve gone either way. An impressive showing against Cincinnati in week 4 could propel them to #1.
3. Baltimore Ravens
If not for a collapse against the above mentioned Miami Dolphins, Baltimore could be residing in the #1 spot as well. Lamar Jackson and co. have been very impressive to start the season. If he continues to play this way, he will become a very wealthy man in the offseason.
4. Buffalo Bills
Miscues and maybe a little overconfidence led to the detriment of the Bills in week 3. Credit to Miami for the victory, but if not for some questionable decisions and some clammy hands from Josh Allen, the result might’ve been different.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
Mistake after mistake caused the Chiefs to fall to the previously winless Colts.
6. Green Bay Packers
Led by their stingy defense that caused two well timed fumbles, Green Bay held on against Tom Brady and the Bucs. Taking down another NFC powerhouse while Rodgers still builds his rapport with his young receivers is a big win for the Packers, as they look forward to hosting the New England Patriots.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Without no Mike Evans due to suspension, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggled to move the ball all day. Prior to a last minute touchdown, the Bucs offense barely mustered two field goals all afternoon. Poor clock management backed up the Tampa offense on a game tying 2 pt conversion attempt that ultimately failed.
8. Los Angeles Rams
The defending Super Bowl champs picked up their second win this season, but this time they did not require late game heroics from their defense to close it out. A much needed divisional win on the road helps keep the Rams atop one of the tougher divisions in football.
9. Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings bounced back from a MNF stinker against the Eagles with their second divisional win this season. With the Lions double and triple covering Justin Jefferson all day, Dalvin Cook and Kirk Cousins helped lead the Vikings back from two seperate 10 point deficits.
10. Cincinnati Bengals
From the second half of the Cowboys game to now, the Cincinnati Bengals are starting to look like the team that won the AFC last season. Joe Burrow is starting to feel comfortable post appendectomy, and the newly built line finally woke up. With a huge TNF game against Miami, this is Cincy’s chance to re-establish themselves as AFC top dogs.
11. Cleveland Browns
The northern of the two Ohio teams, the Cleveland Browns could very easily be 3-0, or 1-2. Allowing two comebacks (with varying results) in the first two weeks, the Browns hunkered down and held strong for a big divisional win against the Steelers.
12. Dallas Cowboys
Two words. Cooper. Rush. The Dallas Cowboys backup continues to prove everyone wrong by winning his 3rd (2nd this season) start. With Micah Parsons looking like an early DPOY candidate, and Dak Prescott returning sooner rather than later, America’s team is on Philly’s tail for the NFC East.
13. San Francisco 49ers
Dan Orlovsky anyone? Despite the ugly performance on SNF, the San Francisco 49ers are still working Jimmy G back into the lineup post Trey Lance injury. A MNF showdown with the Rams gives the Niners a chance to prove this ranking right even with the sub .500 record.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars
This is not the Urban Meyer led Jaguars. A very impressive 38-10 win on the road against the preseason darling Los Angeles Chargers helped propel the Jags to their first 2 game win streak since before the COVID 19 pandemic.
15. Los Angeles Chargers
At what point is poor injury luck no longer bad luck? It seems year in and year out the Chargers suffer from injuries to major players and that trend continues this season. Justin Herbert and the Chargers have a chance to redeem their week 3 loss with a game against the winless Houston Texans.
16. Denver Broncos
It hasn’t been pretty, but the Broncos are 2-1, and if not for coaching incompetency in week 1 could be 3-0. Russ’ cooking this season hasn’t been very appetizing. This offense has way too much fire power to be playing as poor as they have been so far this season. Week 4 they travel to Vegas to play a desperate Raiders team clinging on to their season for dear life.
17. Chicago Bears
Raise your hand if you thought the Chicago Bears would have a winning record 3 weeks into the season. Chicago’s run game and defense have both impressed early this season. If they want to keep the momentum they’ve built so far, Justin Fields will need to improve his play dramatically.
18. New York Giants
QB Daniel Jones was pressured 23 times (most in career) and sacked 6 times against the Dallas Cowboys on MNF. They were in the ballgame till Jones threw the game-ending INT, where his receiver slipped prior to the throw. A showdown against Chicago will help show who the 2022 G Men actually are.
19. Indianapolis Colts
After a pitiful ZERO point performance against divisional opponent Jacksonville, the Colts finally got in the win column by beating AFC powerhouse Kansas City. Even though the Chiefs tried their absolute hardest to lose this game.
20. Detroit Lions
Another gritty performance from Motor City Dan Campbell and his Lions that ultimately resulted in a loss. Detroit was uber-aggressive against the Vikings, going 4/6 on 4th down. Up 24-21 late in the 4th quarter, Campbell opted to kick a field goal (that was missed) giving Minnesota a short field. Detroit has to learn how to finish football games before they can be considered a playoff contender.
21. Arizona Cardinals
After starting the 2021 season undefeated through 7 games, the Cards sit at 1-2. If only Kyler Murray got double points in his NFL games like he does in Call of Duty.
22. New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints are one of the teams where I have no idea what to think of. Without Sean Payton there, it’s hard to feel very confident in this squad. If not for an on brand collapse by Atlanta in week 1, this team could be winless. A trip across the pond to play Minnesota at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium gives them a chance to right their wrongs.
23. Tennessee Titans
Another AFC South team finally getting in the win column. The Titans finally let King Henry do his thing helped get the Titans past the visiting Raiders. A big divisional game against the Colts is ahead.
24. New England Patriots
The Patriots were trading shots with the Ravens all afternoon, but Lamar Jackson was simply too much to handle. A couple costly turnovers from Mac Jones put New England in a hole, something you cannot do against the 2019 NFL MVP. To make matters worse, what appears to be a serious injury to Jones puts New Englands 2022 season in further doubt.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers sole win so far in 2022 came in week 1 against an over aggressive overzealous Bengals team, that they probably should’ve lost to. If you listen close enough you can hear chants for Kenny Pickett coming all the way from Pittsburgh. A Must win game against the Jets for both the Steelers and QB Mitchell Trubisky.
26. Washington Commanders
And suddenly Carson Wentz turns back to Carson Wentz. With a chance to stick it to the team that drafted him, Wentz and the Commanders folded early. This team will go as far as Carson Wentz will take them, they look to get back on track against Dallas.
27. Atlanta Falcons
Another team that’s hard to evaluate. They are better than their record indicates. They finally were able to close out a game with a week 3 win against the Seahawks. They will continue to be a pesky team the rest of the season.
28. Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders are free falling right now. The last remaining 0-3 team. The only reason they are not last is because they have been in each of these games till the end.
29. Carolina Panthers
What’s up with these NFC South teams being so hard to evaluate? A hard fought, defense slugfest of a win against divisional rival New Orleans helped the Panthers get their first win. Baker Mayfield will have to play better if he wants to help Carolina climb the rankings, metaphorically and literally.
30. New York Jets
Joe Flacco and the Jets flew back into Earth’s atmosphere after getting walloped by the Bengals in week 3. With Zach Wilson cleared to return this week, it’s a chance to see who the Jets really are.
31. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks were fortunate to get Russell Wilson and Denver in week 1 while they were still ironing out the kinks (it appears they still are…). In the two following games, the Seahawks have been even less impressive. It’s going to be a long season for the Hawks and the 12th man.
32. Houston Texans
The Texans are not good (sorry Texans fans). We all knew that coming into the season. Their fight in all of their games has been admirable, but they simply do not have the players to compete this season. Their quest for their first win will continue week 4 with a Chargers team they smashed last season.
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