LOS ANGELES — The top 3 are locked and loaded and are starting to separate themselves from the rest of the NFL pack. I need to see a little more out of the Panthers, Bengals and Patriots before I crown them. We’ll find out a lot about the latter this Sunday night. As for the rest of the league, a little shakeup on the list, but the bottom of the heap needs some serious help. Really happy for Josh Rosen getting that first win, the sky is the limit for that young man. ON TO THE RANKINGS!
1.) Los Angeles Rams (5-0; 1) → It’s good to know when the defense has an off day the offense is explosive enough to keep things cooking. Sean McVay pressing all the right buttons right now.
2.) Kansas City Chiefs (5-0; 2) → Patrick Mahomes didn’t throw a touchdown, turned it over twice and it was still a relatively easy win for Kansas City.
3.) New Orleans Saints (4-1; 3) → There was no way Drew Brees and the Saints were losing that game Monday night. And it looks like New Orleans have fixed its early defensive woes.
4.) Carolina Panthers (3-1; 6) → Hey, whenever you win a game by kicking the second-longest field goal in NFL history, that’s something. But this shouldn’t have been a close game.
5.) Cincinnati Bengals (4-1; 7) → The Bengal Juice Mojo is real this year, people. Start believing!
6.) New England Patriots (3-2; 8) → Yes, the Patriots look back. Yes, Josh Gordon made a ridiculous play on Tom Brady’s 500th career touchdown pass. Yes, I need to see them do it Sunday night against Kansas City to be fully convinced.
7.) Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1; 16) → Adam Thielen set an NFL record on Sunday that should get more attention that it has: first player ever to start the year with five straight 100-yard receiving games.
8.) Chicago Bears (3-1; 9) → BYE
9.) Los Angeles Chargers (3-2; 14) → Chargers need to rack up wins to keep pace with the Chiefs and stay ahead in Wild Card race. Still think they’re a playoff team.
10.) Tennessee Titans (3-2; 4) → Weird things happen in Buffalo but that’s just a bad loss for a team that looked to be rolling.
11.) Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2; 5) → No Leonard Fournette means Blake Bortles gets to air it out, which is usually a good thing. Just not when Blake throws four picks.
12.) Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1; 14) → Who the hell knows which Steelers team is going to show up week-to-week. I sure don’t but damn, when they’re clicking, they’re so tough to beat.
13.) Baltimore Ravens (3-2; 11) → Yup, I knew this is who the Ravens where. Shame on me for getting fooled.
14.) Philadelphia Eagles (2-3; 10) → You believe there are people out there who want to bench Carson Wentz? No, for real. This is a thing that’s happening.
15.) Miami Dolphins (3-2; 13) → You can’t go 9-7 if you don’t lose two in a row after starting the year with three wins.
16.) Washington Redskins (2-2; 12) → It’s just a law that the Redskins have to start the season 2-2 so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised they got smoked Monday night.
17.) Green Bay Packers (2-2-1; 15) → Look, kickers miss kicks. It’s just a way of football life. But that was a historically bad day from Mason Crosby, who has been great for a long time.
18.) Seattle Seahawks (2-3; 22) → I don’t think the Seahawks can play any better than they did on Sunday, yet they still lost. Kinda sums up this season for them.
19.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2; 19) → BYE
20.) Detroit Lions (2-3; 24) → I think this win says more about where the Packers are than how good the Lions could be, but it’s very noticeable how much better they are when Matthew Stafford doesn’t have to win them the game by himself.
21.) Cleveland Browns (2-2-1; 21) → Hue Jackson tried so hard to tie this game, didn’t he?
22.) Atlanta Falcons (1-4; 20) → Too many injuries on defense combined with too little pass protection multiplied by very little Julio Jones is how you get to where Atlanta is currently.
23.) Houston Texans (2-3; 25) → DeAndre Hopkins with the Play of the Year so far to help Houston stay within a game of Jacksonville.
24.) Dallas Cowboys (2-3; 23) → The Cowboys should have a season-long Hard Knocks every season. Always so much drama. Jerry Jones says this. Dez tweets that. Troy says this about Dak. And on and on.
25.) Buffalo Bills (2-3; 30) → Classic Buffalo, N.Y. game, just uglied it up and forced the other team away from any semblance of their initial game plan.
26.) New York Jets (2-3; 29) → Oh, so THAT’S where Robbie Anderson has been this whole time.
27.) Denver Broncos (2-3; 13) → Absolute no-show by Broncos this week but Case Keenum picked up his play, which was worrying Denver fans. Defense needs to be better.
28.) Indianapolis Colts (1-4; 26) → Colts and Falcons running neck-in-neck for best 1-4 team of all-time.
29.) Arizona Cardinals (1-4; 32) → Always tough to win on the road, especially with a rookie quarterback, so kudos to Josh Rosen for breaking into that win column.
30.) New York Giants (1-4; 31) → It’s going to be embarrassing when there’s no one at the Giants game Thursday night because everyone in the tri-state area will be home watching Red Sox/Yankees Game 5.
31.) San Francisco 49ers (1-4; 27) → After nearly beating the Chargers a week ago, the 49ers go home and lay an egg to a rookie QB. I miss Jimmy so much.
32.) Oakland Raiders (1-4; 28) → Jon Gruden clearly never watched the film of Super Bowl 49.