Last week, a debate over who should be deemed the No. 1 team in the NFL was warranted. The Eagles, then 3-0, had the statistics that stood out, while the Dolphins, then 3-0, had the more impressive resume having just beaten the then-No. 1 Bills.
Week 4 cleared up any doubt over who belongs atop this week’s NFL Power Rankings.
Philadelphia defeated the surprising Jaguars 29-21 last Sunday in the latest performance that showed the Eagles just might be the league’s most complete team. Miami lost 27-15 to the Bengals but had more serious questions to answer about the handling of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s recent injuries and the implementation of concussion protocols.
Philly boasts the NFL’s No. 2 offense at 435.5 yards per game with the sixth-best passing game (270.3) and fifth-best rushing attack (165.3). It also has the league’s No. 3 defense (277.3 yards per game) that ranks third against the pass (177.0) and ninth against the run (100.3). Nick Sirianni’s Eagles are also fourth in scoring (28.8 points per game) while giving up the 10th-fewest points (17.8), and they’re first in turnover differential at plus-8.
It’s entirely reasonable to criticize Philadelphia's strength of schedule, with wins over Detroit (1-3), Minnesota (3-1), Washington (1-3) and Jacksonville (2-2), but that’s not the Eagles’ fault. They’re just beating the teams in front of them, and they’re doing so pretty comprehensively.
So, with the No. 1 team established — at least through four weeks — let’s take a look at the rest of the rankings.
NFL Power Rankings
1. Philadelphia Eagles (4-0, LW: 1): Bet you didn’t know Miles Sanders is third in the NFL in rushing with 356 yards.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (3-1, LW: 5): Even with Patrick Mahomes’ wizardry, perhaps the most impressive thing about K.C. has been the dominance of its run defense, which is yielding a league-low 65.8 yards per game and just 3.3 yards per carry (third-best in the NFL).
3. Miami Dolphins (3-1, LW: 2): They could be sliding further down the rankings with Tua Tagovailoa out and Teddy Bridgewater in at QB.
4. Buffalo Bills (3-1, LW: 3): Josh Allen, who out-dueled Lamar Jackson in Sunday’s showdown of early MVP front-runners, expects the Ravens QB to get paid.
5. Minnesota Vikings (3-1, LW: 7): Sometimes you need a lucky bounce or two to win in the NFL.
6. Green Bay Packers (3-1, LW: 8): After barely beating the Bailey Zappe-led Patriots, the Pack face Daniel Jones or Tyrod Taylor (or a Giants free agent if those two can’t play), Zach Wilson and Carson Wentz before a Sunday Night Football showdown against Josh Allen and the Bills.
7. San Francisco 49ers (2-2, LW: 13): With their latest victory over the Rams, the Niners flashed their Super Bowl championship qualities with the league’s most physical defense and its most dynamic playmaker not playing quarterback.
8. Los Angeles Rams (2-2, LW: 4): They’re not the same team that won it all, and the offensive line is the furthest thing from championship caliber, as evidenced by Matthew Stafford’s seven sacks against San Francisco on Monday and his seven sacks in the season-opening loss to Buffalo at home.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2, LW: 9): Tom Brady wasn’t kidding when he said he had “a lot of (stuff) going on” in his life away from football.
10. Dallas Cowboys (3-1, LW: 11): The longer Cooper Rush remains unbeaten as a starter, the more interesting the Cowboys’ QB situation becomes with Dak Prescott preparing to return.
11. Baltimore Ravens (2-2, LW: 6): John Harbaugh’s aggressive but risky play calls aren’t as big of a problem as his league-worst passing defense (315.3 yards per game).
13. New York Giants (3-1, LW: 14): With Daniel Jones (ankle) and Tyrod Taylor (concussion) sidelined, they brought in QBs on Tuesday to potentially start and hand off to Saquon Barkley all game long Sunday in London against Green Bay.
14. Denver Broncos (2-2, LW: 10): Will Nathaniel Hackett continue to lean on the running game with Javonte Williams’ season-ending injury and Melvin Gordon’s bad case of fumble-itis?
15. Arizona Cardinals (2-2, LW: 16): They might be the most frustrating team to watch with the way they sleepwalk through first halves before finally showing a sense of urgency.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2, LW: 17): After just four games, Doug Pederson has emerged as one of the betting favorites for NFL Coach of the Year.
17. Los Angeles Chargers (2-2, LW: 18): Justin Herbert, whose rib injury looked to be season-altering, showed no ill effects in throwing for 340 yards and two TDs against Houston.
18. Chicago Bears (2-2, LW: 12): The reaction to an NFL-worst 97.5 passing yards per game would be to let the franchise QB throw more, but Justin Fields has a passer rating of 58.7, the lowest of all current starters.
19. Tennessee Titans (2-2, LW: 24): Derrick Henry, with 290 yards from scrimmage the last two weeks, is back to being Derrick Henry again.
20. Indianapolis Colts (1-2-1, LW: 19): Last season, Jonathan Taylor only had two games with a rushing average below 3.40 yards per carry. This season, he already has two such games, including a 2.10 YPC in last Sunday’s loss to Tennessee.
21. Las Vegas Raiders (1-3, LW: 31): They finally won a game under Josh McDaniels, but losing Sunday in K.C. would send the NFL’s most disappointing team into its bye week at 1-4.
22. Atlanta Falcons (2-2, LW: 29): Arthur Smith just wants to run the damn ball, and he’ll do so with Tyler Allgeier as the replacement for the injured Cordarrelle Patterson (knee).
23. New York Jets (2-2, LW: 28): Zach Wilson’s fourth-quarter heroics against Pittsburgh prompted rookie RB Breece Hall to hilariously hail his QB’s fortitude.
24. Cleveland Browns (2-2, LW: 20): They lead the AFC in rushing (187.3 yards per game) with, not surprisingly, the AFC’s leading rusher in Nick Chubb (459 yards).
25. Seattle Seahawks (2-2, LW: 30): Geno Smith has the highest completion percentage through the first four games of a season in NFL history — 77.3%. The single-season record is 74.4% by Drew Brees in 2018.
26. Detroit Lions (1-3, LW: 21): How is defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn still employed after overseeing a unit that made the Seahawks look like the ’99 Rams?
27. New England Patriots (1-3, LW: 22): The Bailey Zappe experience could continue Sunday against Detroit if Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer can’t play.
28. Washington Commanders (1-3, LW: 23): They have the league’s worst point differential (minus-34), and Carson Wentz has been sacked 17 times, most in the NFL.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3, LW: 25): Rookie QB Kenny Pickett will give the offense some much-needed energy, but T.J. Watt’s injury is what really sent their season sideways.
30. Carolina Panthers (1-3, LW: 26): The odds are not in favor of head coach Matt Rhule keeping his job.
31. New Orleans Saints (1-3, LW: 27): Here’s how bad things are going: Latavius Murray, who ran for a team-best 57 yards and a TD as a late replacement for Alvin Kamara last Sunday, was signed by the Broncos off the Saints practice squad on Monday.
32. Houston Texans (0-3-1, LW: 32): Hey, at least rookie RB Dameon Pierce is fun to watch.