NFL September Power Rankings

Ranking All 32 Teams After 4 Weeks of the Season


The first month of the NFL season has come to a conclusion. Four weeks into the year, there has been no shortage of surprises: the Chiefs are dead last in their division, the Cardinals are undefeated, and the Texans have actually won a game! 


I reached out to general managers across the league to get their feedback on which teams have been the biggest surprises through the first four weeks. None of them responded. However, my one-man-panel went ahead and created a power ranking of the 32 NFL teams thus far in the 2021-22 season. 


P.S. – This article only covers the first four weeks of the season. Week 5 will not be taken into account in these rankings.


The Winless: These teams are still seeking their first win and therefore are automatically in the bottom tier of power rankings.


  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4)

The Jaguars nearly beat the Bengals last Thursday, but a last minute field goal by Evan McPherson pushed Cincinnati past the Jags. To make matters worse, head coach Urban Meyer was seen dancing with a random girl at a bar the following day. This franchise is a disaster.


  1. Detroit Lions (0-4)

Speaking of disaster franchises, the Lions have been abysmal for years. This season is no different. While the hope was that new quarterback Jared Goff would light a spark in the team, this looks like the same old Lions. I’m confident that they would at least beat the Jaguars, hence their spot at 31.


Focus on the draft: This group of teams might have a win, but their season is clearly over. Time to start watching college football and looking for players to draft next spring.


  1. Houston Texans (1-3)

It would be quite easy to make the case that the Texans are the worst team in the league. With Tyrod Taylor out, the offense is stagnant. However, they did beat the Jaguars week 1, so it’s hard to rank them lower than Jacksonville. At this point they might as well play Deshaun Watson.


  1. New York Jets (1-3)

If they hadn’t escaped by the Titans in overtime in week 4, the Jets would likely be ranked at 32. However, they picked up a nice win over Derrick Henry & co. (albeit without Julio Jones and AJ Brown) and Zach Wilson has shown some promising flashes. They’re still a team of nobodies and generally suck, but they’re young and encouraging.  


  1. Atlanta Falcons (1-3)

Matt Ryan has a noodle arm, the defense is allowing 32 points per game, and Kyle Pitts hasn’t produced as hoped. The Falcons are in a downward spiral and, given their position in “focus on the draft,” it may be time to start scouting for Ryan’s replacement next season.


  1. New York Giants (1-3)

The Giants are almost identical to their New York counterpart the Jets; they escaped by a decent team in overtime this week (the Saints), and they have some young talent in Saquon, Daniel Jones, Kadarius Toney, etc. However, they’re still trash and are missing a few pieces before they become a contender. 


  1. Miami Dolphins (1-3)

The Dolphins should probably be 0-4. If it wasn’t for a Damien Harris fumble on the 10 yard line week 1, the Patriots would’ve won on a walk-off field goal. The Dolphins have a great coach in Brian Flores who will keep them in games, but it’s going to be a long season for the Dolphins, especially if Tua cannot stay healthy.


Fading Hope: In theory, these teams could still turn it around and make a run at the playoffs, but change needs to happen fast. They’re on the bubble, but it’s about to burst. 


  1. Indianapolis Colts (1-3)

The Colts have a great offensive line, solid running back committee, stout defense, capable receivers, and an exciting quarterback. But make no mistake—this is not a good football team. For whatever reason, they can’t mold together. One week the defense gets stomped. The next week Wentz can’t throw. Granted, they’ve had a difficult schedule. But the Colts need to figure out their issues and fast if they want any chance at the wild card round. 


  1. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)

Three point loss in overtime week 1, missed field goal to win week 2. This team could easily be 3-1. However, they can’t finish games and Dalvin Cook has been banged up. If these trends do not correct themselves, the Vikings will be watching the playoffs from the couch.


  1. Washington Football Team (2-2)

One of the biggest surprises this season has been Washington’s defense. A gritty unit last year, they’re now the worst ranked D in the NFL. Luckily, Taylor Heinicke has the offensive unit on lock, gaining wins over two bad teams in the Giants and Falcons. If the defense doesn’t get their act together, don’t expect Washington to be able to outscore teams every weekend.


  1. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3)

Before the season, I was a hater on Jalen Hurts. I was wrong – he can play – but the rest of the team is suspect. How Miles Sanders gains 27 yards on 2 carries and doesn’t get the ball again is beyond me. Fix your play calling if you want a shot.


The Bubble: The bubble consists of teams with a realistic shot of making the playoffs. They’re just a few steps away from a wild card birth. 


  1. New Orleans Saints (2-2)

The Saints are hard to rank. One weekend Jameis Winston looks like 2007 Tom Brady. The next, he morphs back into Eli Manning. If he can bring his A game every week, the Saints will be in the playoffs. That’s a big “if,” though.


  1. Chicago Bears (2-2)

Justin Fields is slowly taking the reins, finding chemistry with Darnell Mooney and getting his first NFL win. Moreover, officially being named the starter by Matt Nagy should help settle him down moving forward. The defense is good per usual, so it’s all up to Fields if the Bears are playing in January. 


  1. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)

This is a team that just needs to mesh on both sides of the ball. One week the offense is good and the defense is bad. The next week the offense is bad and the defense is good. If they can feed off of each other’s momentum, they’ll be alright. However, they’re sitting at the bottom of the toughest division in football, so the wild card is the best they can hope for right now. 


  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)

Here’s a team that, while 1-3, is actually solid. They’re lone victory came over the Bills, ranked third on this list. The defense will keep them in games, and they have a plethora of weapons on offense. If the o-line can give Najee Harris and Big Ben some time, the Steelers are set to make a run late in the year.


  1. New England Patriots (1-3)

Like the Steelers, expect the Patriots to be floating near the wild card come December. The defense is stout and will slow opposing offenses down even every weekend. The offensive line and receiving corps are solid. James White is a loss out of the backfield, but it will force Mac Jones to look downfield more often. Lastly, when November hits and New England becomes rainy and cold, the Patriots will gain a major advantage. Visiting teams struggle in that late fall weather, but the Pats will be built for it. Like Pittsburgh, do not be deceived by the 1-3.


  1. Tennessee Titans (2-2)

The Titans have the worst loss of the season thus far, losing to the Jets in overtime in week 4. Granted, Julio Jones and AJ Brown didn’t play, but the Titans should still have dominated the Jets. When healthy, Tennessee has a loaded receiving corps and the best running back in the league in Derrick Henry. Given how poor the AFC South is this season, expect to see the Titans in the playoffs.


  1. Denver Broncos (3-1)

The Broncos are 3-1 and tied for the division lead. One must respect that. However, they’ve played probably the easiest schedule in the league (beating teams power ranked #32, #29, and #27), and losing to their only worthy opponent (#7). The team is winning on Sundays, but they’re overrated. Additionally, they’re in one of the toughest divisions in the league in the AFC West. Perhaps the Broncos will prove me wrong, but I’m not sold on Denver. 


Wild Cards: These teams are currently in the power ranking “Wild Card” spots, but that’s exactly what they are: wild cards. They’re in for now and look good, but that could slip away if they’re not careful.


  1. Carolina Panthers (3-1)

Sam Darnold has finally unlocked his potential in Carolina. Moreover, the Panthers have a great receiving corps, surprisingly gritty defense, and top 3 running back in Christian McCaffrey. Their only loss has come to a talented Dallas team, but injuries have begun to mount up for Carolina. If they can stay healthy, we’ll see them in January. 


  1. Las Vegas Raiders (3-1)

One of the biggest surprises this season, the Raiders are 3-1. With a new stadium and talented young offense, the Raiders have plenty of hype. Derek Carr is also an MVP frontrunner through September. If the defense can hold teams to fewer points, allowing Vegas to avoid the overtime battles they keep falling into, this team could challenge for first place in the brutal AFC West.


  1. Seattle Seahawks (2-2)

The formula for Seattle is simple: don’t give up 25 points per game, let Russel Wilson and his receivers do their thing, and the Seahawks will win. However, Seattle’s defense is terrible, and the offense is too one-dimensional without Chris Carson—a lot to ask of an already-poor offensive line. With that being said, this is still a talented team and I’d be shocked if they don’t make the playoffs. 


  1. Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

Back from injury, Dak Prescott looks like the best player in the NFL. Ezekiel Elliott also looks like his old self, and so does the offensive line. Like Seattle, The Cowboys season will come down to their defense. If Quandre Diggs continues his current production, and a few more players step up, the Cowboys are Super Bowl contenders. 


  1. Cleveland Browns (3-1)

With their only loss coming to the Chiefs in Week 1, the Browns have shown great promise so far this season. Myles Garrett is one of the best players in the league, and the defense is stout. However, Baker Mayfield only has two touchdown passes and has been largely unimpressive. The offense needs to find its stride if they hope to win the division.


  1. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)

This team is young and talented. Joe Burrow, Jamarr Chase, Tee Higgins, Joe Mixon, etc.—they have a plethora of young stars. Moreover, the defense is allowing less than 20 points per game. The biggest challenge against the Bengals is their division. The AFC North is one of three divisions in the NFL with 3 teams having a record of 3-1 or better. The Bengals will likely make the playoffs, but seeding is next their biggest concern.


Playoff Locks: No one is questioning whether or not these teams will make the playoffs. 


  1. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2)

Probably the biggest surprise through the first four weeks of the season is the Kansas City Chiefs being 2-2. Prior to the season, talk of going 17-0 surrounded the Chiefs. Instead, they’re last in the division. And guess what? I know I said this article is only covering the first four weeks of the season, but spoiler alert: the Chiefs got blown out in week 5. Kansas City will figure it out and make the playoffs, but they better do it quickly if they want home field advantage. 


  1. Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

Another year and opposing teams still can’t seem to figure out a way to stop Lamar Jackson. For a team who lost its 3 best running backs prior to week 1, the Ravens are playing great with what they’ve got. Baltimore’s defense is also tough as always. Look for the Ravens to make a Super Bowl run, one which seemed improbable just a few weeks ago.


  1. Los Angeles Chargers (3-1)

The Chargers offensive is a nightmare for fantasy football opponents, and they’re a nightmare for opponents on the field. In year two Justin Herbert is already establishing himself as a top quarterback in the league, and Mike Williams has finally made the jump. Watch out for the second best team in Los Angeles.


  1. Green Bay Packers (3-1)

Despite all the offseason controversy surrounding Aaron Rodgers, as well as perhaps his worst career game in week 1, the Packers have turned it around. Rodgers once again looks like an MVP caliber quarterback. Davante Adams is still a top 5 receiver. And Aaron Jones is productive as usual. The question is, will this finally be the year Green Bay plays in February?


Home Field Advantage: These teams are in the playoffs, but that’s an afterthought. Instead, they’re focused on securing the single home-field advantage spot for their conferences. 


  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)

Tom Brady returns at age 44 for his 22nd season (yes, half his entire life has been spent in the NFL) with an absolutely loaded supporting cast. Tampa Bay returns all 22 starters from last season’s championship team. As such, the biggest challenge facing the Buccaneers, which is already becoming evident through week 4, is injuries. Rob Gronkowski, Giovani Bernard, Jason Pierre-Paul, Sean Murphy-Bunting, and more were inactive against New England. However, if Tom-pa Bay is fully healthy, they’ll be nearly unbeatable.


  1. Buffalo Bills (3-1)

Josh Allen is once again on a rampage. Better yet, the competition for Buffalo in the AFC East and the AFC conference is super week this year. Aside from a slip-up week 1, the Bills have dominated opponents. Even the Chiefs (as I previously mentioned) were no match for Josh Allen and co. It’s smooth sailing to home field advantage for the Bills this year.


  1. Los Angeles Rams (3-1)

One of the most impressive wins thus far was the Rams’ convincing victory in week 3 over Tampa Bay. Matthew Stafford has been so effective with his new team that there are already talks floating around of him winning the MVP. While the Rams defense is poorly ranked, they have multiple stars on that side of the ball who can make a big play at any moment. Lastly, Cooper Kupp has easily been the best receiver in the NFL. The Rams will likely have to compete with division rival Arizona for home-field advantage in the NFC.


  1. Arizona Cardinals (4-0)

After 4 weeks of the season, Kyler Murray is your NFL 2021 MVP. And it’s not hard to understand when you look at Arizona’s offensive depth chart: DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green, Rondale Moore, Christian Kirk, Chase Edmonds, and James Conner. The Cardinals have an offense loaded with talent and a hungry defense. As long as Arizona does not rely too heavily on Murray to outscore opponents, the Cardinals are my September home field advantage and Super Bowl favorite.