NFL Week 4: Recap & Power Rankings

Things started to get back to normal in Week 4 of the NFL regular season as the majority of the favorites won. That was bad news for me as I got seriously carried away with the underdogs picks and wound up going 8-8, moving to 39-25 overall, and the same goes for Christen (34-29 OVR) who picked all the exact same games after some last-minute changes. I wound up 8-8 against the spread as well, but I did go 9-7 against the over/under to pull a couple of games closer to getting above the .500 mark. I still landed some very good value picks, but that’s a small consolation prize. Nonetheless, I learned my lesson with a couple of teams and I’ll bounce back.

Column: Nick Canepa's Chargers report card: vs. Raiders - The San Diego  Union-Tribune
The Chargers showed they mean business on Monday night

The Chargers asserted themselves as the top dogs in the AFC West with a home(ish) win over the Raiders on Monday Night Football. Justin Herbert looked great for the Bolts and if they can continue to run with that kind of success and play defense the way they did, they’re a legit threat to the whole conference. The Raiders had a brief push in the second half, but the Chargers stopped them from ever really getting going.

It didn’t come easy, but Tom Brady got the win and maybe buried teh hatchet with Bill Belichick

The Sunday night game featured Tom Brady’s return to New England as the Bucs edged the Patriots 19-17. I had a feeling this game was going to be close and have some dubious penalty calls, but it was still closer that I pictured. Gronk’s injury is a massive problem for the Bucs’ offense, despite plenty of weaponry on the field. Richard Sherman made his debut for Tampa and led the team in sacks and recovered a fumble. Brady’s replacement in Foxborough, Mac Jones, played perhaps his best game of the season, but it’s still a long road ahead for New England.

Kyler Murray is on a mission

The high-profile afternoon game between the Cardinals and Rams was a bit lackluster as the Cards handled the Rams with relative ease. I had a feeling that LAR would be in for something of a letdown after beating the Bucs last week and essentially becoming the #1 team in the league, so I took AZ to cover. I figured the Rams defense would live up to their reputation but they got torched on the ground. A healthy Kyler Murray is a dangerous man and he’s led the Cards to the only unbeaten record still in the league.

Elsewhere in the NFC West, Seattle got a much needed W over the 49ers. Jimmy G got hurt and even though Trey Lance filled in really nicely, it’s tough to ask the rookie to beat Russell Wilson. By the numbers alone, Lance was the best QB in the game and Jimmy G may have an issue when he tries to get back. The Hawks figured out at least some of their second-half scoring woes, or maybe they just swapped it with the first half this time as they went 3 & out five times before finally scoring prior to the break. Seattle capitalized on the turnovers and converted when it mattered, but their defense continued to struggle.

Zeke returned to form in dominant fashion

There were only two remaining games between team with winning records and one of those saw Carolina take their first L on the road at Dallas. It was close there for a long time, but the Cowboys eventually pulled away behind a monster day from Zeke and an impressive performance from their defense that was missing a lot of pieces. The Panthers tried to climb back in it but Trevon Diggs shut the door with a pair of fantastic interceptions. The other game saw the Denver lose their 0 as the Ravens went into Mile High Stadium and andled the Broncos 23-7. Teddy Bridgewater got hurt for DEN as well, so that explains the lack of offense but the Broncos defense got lit up playing against a good team for the first time.

Winless no more, the Jets celebrate their overtime win over the Titans

A handful of teams got their first wins of the season in surprising fashion. Namely, the Jets upset of the Titans in overtime. Tennessee was really outplayed for the majority of the game and I know they had some guys out/injured , but they are supposed to win that game. The Giants went in to New Orleans and pulled off an overtime win of their own. The G-Men had been on the cusp of a win for the past few weeks, so it was good to see them get it. If they play their best, they have talent in all the right spots. Finally, the Colts went into Miami and denied Jacoby Brissett his revenge. It’s tough to tell if that’s more of Indy figuring things out or the Fins being terrible.

With those three wins, the Lions are now the only winless team at 0-4 after losing to the Bears. Justin Fields got the start but it was the Chicago defense that got it done. Elsewhere in the NFC North, the Packers beat a Pittsburgh team that can’t seem to score with any regularity. It’s hard to believe the Steelers are at this stage of existence, but the proof is in the pudding.

The Chiefs got a W back after back-to-back losses, but they still hemmorage points and yards on defense. Philadelphia’s offense couldn’t move the ball the last two weeks, but racked up 450-yards of offense against KC. The Eags also have no defense recently, giving up 40+ points in back-to-back games. I’m just sad for Miles Sanders who went from one of the best dual-threat backs in the league to a ghost. The Eagles fall into a tie for last place in the NFC East as the Washington Football Team went on the road and won a shootout with the Falcons. It was a fun game, but Washington has to be seriously concerned with the major regression of their defense.

It was teh Browns defense that dominated the day

Two other AFC heavyweights picked up wins as the Browns beat the Vikings 14-7. Right when I thought I could trust Minnesota, they score on the opening drive and collapse afterwards. Credit to the Browns defense that is very much for real, but this was a one-possession game the whole way and Minny’s offense has to be able to muster something in a winnable situation. They go back to the no-faith heap. Meanwhile in Buffalo, the Bills staked their claim to the top spot in the AFC with a 40-0 shutout of the Texans.

Week 5 kicks off with a doozy of a divisional game to get Thursday Night Football back on track as the Rams looked to rebound from their first loss when they head to the Pacfic Northwest to take on the Seattle Seahwaks. It seems like no matter what’s going on with these teams, they always manage to have a tightly contested game. If the Hawks can pull off a win, they can catapult their way back into contention and take important positional leverage in the division.

There was a lot of movement in Week 4 with Cardinals taking over the top spot and the Lions taking hold of the bottom spot. Buffalo moves up to #2, while the Cowboys and Chargers enter the Top-5, and the Ravens are back in the Top-10. Here’s the complete Power Rankings after Week 4:

1. Cardinals 4-0 (⬆3)
2. Bills 3-1 (⬆6)
3. Chargers 3-1 (⬆13)
4. Rams 3-1 (⬇1)
5. Buccaneers 3-1 (⬆7)
6. Cowboys 3-1 (⬆11)
7. Packers 3-1 (⬆8)
8. Browns 3-1 (⬆10)
9. Raiders 3-1 (⬇2)
10. Ravens 3-1 (⬆12)
11. Panthers 3-1 (⬇4)
12. Bengals 3-1 (⬆15)
13. Broncos 3-1 (⬇5)
14. Chiefs 2-2 (⬆17)
15. Titans 2-2 (⬇14)
16. Seahawks 2-2 (⬆19)
17. 49ers 2-2 (⬇9)
18. Washington 2-2 (⬆21)
19. Saints 2-2 (⬇16)
20. Bears 2-2 (⬆240)
21. Vikings 1-3 (⬇18)
22. Steelers 1-3 (⬇20)
23. Colts 1-3 (⬆28)
24. Dolphins 1-3 (⬇23)
25. Patriots 1-3 (⬆26)
26. Eagles 1-3 (⬇22)
27. Falcons 1-3 (=)
28. Giants 1-3 (⬇⬆30)
29. Jets 1-3 (⬆32)
30. Texans 1-3 (⬇25)
31. Jaguars 0-4 (=)
32. Lions 0-4 (⬇29)

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