2019 NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

Another week is in the books for the 2019 NFL season, and the New England Patriots still sit atop of the NFL Power Rankings leaderboard, while the Miami Dolphins remain at the bottom.

Daniel Jones made a splash in his NFL debut, finishing the day with 336 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, and 2 rushing touchdowns. Kyle Allen had an exceptional game himself, leading the Carolina Panthers to victory, while starting in place of an injured Cam Newton.

And the reining MVP, Patrick Mahomes, got the best of Lamar Jackson in their offensive showdown last week, building his case for back-to-back MVP seasons.

As for our power rankings, the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings saw the biggest leap forward, while the Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Chargers took the biggest step back after Week 3.

We had eleven teams stay in the same spot from last week, and the Dallas Cowboys found their way into the top-three

Here are our Week 4 NFL Power Rankings:

Teams Ranked 32nd to 23rd

RankTeamnERDRecPlayoff OddsOff. NEP RankDef. NEP RankChange
32Miami Dolphins-21.290-30.0%32320
31Arizona Cardinals-9.290-2-10.4%24250
30New York Jets-8.800-32.3%31100
29Oakland Raiders -7.841-24.1%1129-1
28Washington Redskins-7.830-30.7%17311
27New York Giants-6.151-25.0%12300
26Cincinnati Bengals-5.830-36.8%26210
25Cleveland Browns-2.871-218.9%3012-4
24Pittsburgh Steelers-2.700-314.1%2917-4
23Jacksonville Jaguars-2.681-217.8%21162

The New York Giants were one team who took a big leap forward after last week, even if it’s not reflecting in the rankings. Giants rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones, had a great start to his NFL career, making a fourth quarter comeback against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and getting his first NFL victory. He had the fourth-most passing yards across the league last week, which led to a 112.7 passer rating. Jones' biggest concern will come with his offensive line, which allowed five sacks last week and had the third lowest Sack Net Expected Points (NEP) of -12.19.

One team who has progressively dropped in the rankings since Week 1 has been the Cleveland Browns. They now find themselves in the 25th spot with less than a 20% chance of making the playoffs. Baker Mayfield has struggled to find consistency in his game thus far, as he has a -0.09 NEP per pass which ranks in the bottom-ten across all quarterbacks. The one bright spot for this Browns team has been their defense, which ranks 12th overall in terms of our defensive rankings. Should Mayfield start to find his game with their defense playing like it is, the Browns should find themselves climbing back up the rankings.

Teams Ranked 22nd to 13th

RankTeamnERDRecPlayoff OddsOff. NEP RankDef. NEP RankChange
22Atlanta Falcons-2.381-214.3%9240
21Denver Broncos-2.290-36.0%2223-4
20Indianapolis Colts-1.422-145.2%4283
19Detroit Lions-0.832-0-128.7%15140
18Tampa Bay Buccaneers-0.731-219.3%2870
17New Orleans Saints0.222-153.6%1326-5
16Carolina Panthers0.801-224.9%23118
15Philadelphia Eagles0.831-228.3%1819-1
14Buffalo Bills1.173-075.4%2062
13Los Angeles Chargers1.931-237.2%727-6

The Carolina Panthers were the team to take the biggest step forward in our Power Rankings this week, jumping eight spots up the rankings. Panthers second-year quarterback, Kyle Allen, started in place of an injured Cam Newton last week and may have began building a case as to why he should remain the starting quarterback for the Panthers going forward. Allen finished his day with 261 passing yards and 4 touchdowns, leading the Panthers to their first win of the season over the Arizona Cardinals. Although he’s only played in one game, Allen currently ranks atop the leaderboard with a 64.29% passing success rate. He’ll look to build on that this week against the Houston Texans, as Newton has been ruled out once again.

On the other hand, the Los Angeles Chargers were one of two teams to take the biggest step back in our Power Rankings this week, dropping six spots in the rankings. This was a team that had high expectations coming into the 2019 season but have been battling injuries and absences to some key players. Particularly the loses to free safety Derwin James, tight end Hunter Henry, and running back Melvin Gordon. While their offense hasn’t necessarily struggled to put up points on a weekly basis, they have struggled on the defensive side of the ball. The Los Angeles Chargers D/ST currently has the sixth-worst Adjusted Defensive NEP per play at 0.23. Per The Football Database, they also rank in the bottom ten teams in turnover differential, along with nine other teams who all have losing records to start 2019.

Teams Ranked 12th to 1st

RankTeamnERDRecPlayoff OddsOff. NEP RankDef. NEP RankChange
12Tennessee Titans2.771-237.2%195-6
11Seattle Seahawks2.812-136.7%10150
10Houston Texans2.842-162.2%5183
9Chicago Bears2.852-134.7%2785
8San Francisco 49ers4.163-059.6%1621
7Green Bay Packers4.883-074.7%2531
6Minnesota Vikings5.122-148.4%694
5Baltimore Ravens7.432-178.7%222-3
4Los Angeles Rams8.073-087.9%1440
3Kansas City Chiefs8.313-094.0%3200
2Dallas Cowboys8.693-082.9%1133
1New England Patriots15.553-099.1%810

The Tennessee Titans was the other team to take the biggest step back in our Power Rankings this week, dropping six spots as well. They are the only team in the top-12 of our rankings to have a losing record, as their nERD score -- a metric that measures how many points above or below average a team is -- continues to be at an impressive 2.77. This is largely due to how well their defense has been playing, which ranks fifth overall in our defensive rankings. They’ve been particularly good against the pass this year, with an Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play of -0.11 – which ranks fourth best across the league. Their offensive line has been the biggest concern, allowing the most sacks per game of any team to start this season.

While we still have the New England Patriots ranked as the best overall team in the NFL, they’ve had a relatively easy schedule to start their season. They’ve had to play the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets, who have a combined 0-9 record through the first three weeks of 2019. However, their nERD score is off the charts at 15.55, essentially doubling every other team’s nERD score. They currently have a 99.1% chance of making the playoffs, with a defense that is ranked number one overall in our rankings. Tom Brady has also been lights out for the Patriots and has the third-highest Passing NEP among all quarterbacks -- only Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott rank higher. They’ll face their first opponent with a winning record this weekend, as they take on the undefeated Buffalo Bills.