Every Tuesday during the NFL season, Colin puts out his Herd Hierarchy NFL power rankings, and there’s plenty of movement after Week 4.
The Patriots drop down because of their defense; The Titans, Falcons and Steelers drop out; the Redskins are in; and the Bills crack the Top 10 for the first time ever.
Here are his Top 10 teams after Week 4:
10. Green Bay Packers – Green Bay doesn’t have much other than Aaron Rodgers, but they still have Aaron Rodgers so they get in at 10. They’re the only NFL team ranked in the Top 5 in 3rd Down (3rd) and Red Zone (1st) offense, and have scored touchdowns on 68.8% of possessions inside their opponents 30. They don’t have a running game, are injury prone, and Colin doesn’t like their secondary, but with Rodgers they’ll still win games.
9. Buffalo Bills – The Bills make the Hierarchy for the first time in 5 years of Colin’s rankings. The new coaching staff has brought in a new culture, and these aren’t the same old Bills. They run the ball almost 55% of the time, which leads the NFL, and they’re defense has been outstanding. The Buffalo D has only allowed 4 offensive TD’s so far this year (fewest in the NFL), and their 15 quarterback pressures is the most in the league.
8. Detroit Lions – Colin loves Matt Stafford as a franchise quarterback, and the Detroit defense has only allowed opponents to score on 12 of 47 drives (2nd in the NFL). They’ve also been opportunistic in forcing an NFL high 11 turnovers, and have the best turnover differential in the league (+9). Creating turnovers isn’t sustainable or predictable, but the ball is bouncing their way so far, this year.
7. New England Patriots – The Patriots awful defense is the reason they drop down to 7 from 2 last week. Some of the problems in the secondary can be fixed by Belichick’s scheming, but they still don’t have a pass rush. Right now, New England is allowing the most points per drive of any team in the NFL, and just got lit up by a struggling Cam Newton and Carolina.
Offensively, they’re still dangerous. They’re 1 of 2 teams averaging 30 points per game and 400 yards per game. Tom Brady leads the NFL with 349.8 yards per game and hasn’t thrown a pick yet.
6. Washington Redskins – The Redskins have 2 losses so far, but Colin doesn’t base the Hierarchy on record. He likes their physical defensive front, they’re well coached, and over the last 3 weeks, Kirk Cousins has completed 70.4% of his passes with 6 TD’s, 0 INT’s, and a passer rating of 124.7.
Washington has also only had 6 drives end in 3 and outs this season , which is tied for the fewest in NFL.
5. L.A. Rams – The Rams 23 plays of 20+ yards is tied for the most in the NFL, and they lead the NFC in yards per play on 1st Down (6.88). Jared Goff has the league’s 3rd Best passer rating (112.2) after finishing last year with the league’s worst. Todd Gurley is 2nd in the league with 149.0 total yards per game and leads the NFL with 7 touchdowns. The defense is led by unblockable Aaron Donald, who is arguably the best defensive lineman in the game. L.A. is the real deal.
4. Dallas Cowboys – They lost against the Rams on Sunday, but Colin still likes their offensive personnel and coaching staff in the long term. The loss of linebacker Sean Lee hurts them, but their pass rush has been getting to the opposing quarterback. Dallas’ 28 Sacks since Week 13 of last year is the 2nd most in the NFL, and Demarcus Lawrence leads the NFL with 7.5 sacks.
3. Philadelphia Eagles – Colin has been on the Eagles all year, and comes away more impressed by Carson Wentz every week. They lead the NFL in time of possession (35:29), thanks to a dominant offensive line, and their 9 drives lasting 5+ minutes is further evidence of their control of the line of scrimmage. They’re also converting on 50.8% of third downs, which is a credit to Wentz’s development and ability to extend plays.
2. Denver Broncos – The Broncos are the only team in the NFL that hasn’t allowed a rushing TD, and are only allowing 143.0 rushing yards per game on the ground (T-3rd in the NFL). They run the ball effectively and Trevor Siemian has been good enough. The Broncos have been stepping on opponents by outscoring them 27-0 in the first quarter.
- Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs have the best roster in the league, playmakers all over the place, a swarming defense, and the second-best head coach in the league. Alex Smith leads the NFL in passer rating (124.2), Kareem Hunt leads the NFL in rushing (125.5 ypg), and Travis Kelce has emerged as the best tight end in the NFL.
They lead the NFL in yards per play (6.78), and touchdowns over 20+ (6), and lead the NFL in 2nd half point differential (+41). Chiefs stay on top.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 3, 2017