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NFL Power Rankings, Week 4: Potential Pitfalls for each Squad

Welcome back to another Power Rankings here at fansfirstsports.com! Week 3 had its share of record setting performances, big upsets, and tight battles. Despite some significant movement for a few teams, it felt like more teams are settling into their respective ranges as the strengths and weaknesses for each squad come more into focus.

In this week’s edition, we’ll highlight some of those weaknesses that could prove detrimental to each team’s season goals. Let’s dive in!


1. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (3-0)

PREVIOUS: 2

Potential Pitfall: Let me think…

2. MIAMI DOLPHINS (3-0)

PREVIOUS: 4

Potential Pitfall: The obvious one here is injuries. Jeff Wilson Jr.’s and Jaylen Waddle’s existing injuries as well as the histories of Tua Tagovailoa and Raheem Mostert could theoretically cripple the offense.

3. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (3-0)

PREVIOUS: 3

Potential Pitfall: The defense has looked less than sharp at times, especially in the secondary. I trust this organization to keep a lid on most issues, however.

4. DALLAS COWBOYS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 1

Potential Pitfall: Getting lazy. The Cowboys got jumped on by a frisky Cardinals team and couldn’t recover. They’re the most complete team in football, though, if they can stay out of their own way.

5. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 5

Potential Pitfall: Offensive weapons not named Kelce. It’s still a major work in progress outside of the all-world TE.

6. BUFFALO BILLS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 6

Potential Pitfall: Josh Allen’s decision-making. Yes, we’re still talking about this. He had another questionable throw that resulted in a pick against the Commanders.

7. DETROIT LIONS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 9

Potential Pitfall: Inconsistency up front on Defense. They looked good against Atlanta, but really bad against Seattle the week before.

8. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (1-2)

PREVIOUS: 10

Potential Pitfall: Coaching. I could’ve said the pass defense here too, but questionable decision-making on the sideline is the biggest threat to success for this team.

9. CINCINNATI BENGALS (1-2)

PREVIOUS: 11

Potential Pitfall: Joe’s health. The Bengals got it going against a suspect Rams D, but Burrow still looks off.

10. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 12

Potential Pitfall: Offensive imagination. Matt Canada’s predictable schemes make things harder on Kenny Pickett, and it could end up being too much to overcome against good defenses or head-to-head with the league’s best attacks in big games.

11. CLEVELAND BROWNS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 17

Potential Pitfall: Deshaun Watson. This team has a championship caliber defense, but Watson’s indecision and frankly poor decision-making will hurt them against better teams than Tennessee (See: Week 2 vs. Pittsburgh)

12. BALTIMORE RAVENS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 7

Potential Pitfall: Injuries. As per usual, this team’s injury report is longer than an Edgar Allen Poe piece.

13. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-2)

PREVIOUS: 8

Potential Pitfall: Bad defense. The Jags did little this offseason to shore up a defense with plenty of holes and it’s showing through 3 weeks.

14. GREEN BAY PACKERS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 15

Potential Pitfall: Rush defense. The Packers have already given up 410 yards on the ground through 3 games at a 4.3 yds/carry clip. That’s 6th worst.

15. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 16

Potential Pitfall: Pass rush. The Seahawks have a meager 5 sacks (T6th worst) through 3 games. Finding a way to create more pressure will help the young secondary. Even the Andy Dalton-led Panthers are throwing on this defense.

16. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 13

Potential Pitfall: Hopefully the return of Alvin Kamara can jumpstart a moribund rushing attack averaging a mere 3.4 yds/carry.

17. ATLANTA FALCONS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 14

Potential Pitfall: Desmond Ridder. The Falcons have a genuine superstar in RB Bijan Robinson, but Ridder’s inability to keep defenses honest on the outside means more stacked boxes and fewer lanes for the Rookie sensation.

18. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (1-2)

PREVIOUS: 18

Potential Pitfall: Pass-catchers. Simply put, it’s a bad group in New England. For some reason, Bill Belichick hates giving his QB NFL-caliber receivers on the outside.

19. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 28

Potential Pitfall: Youth. The Colts have the 3rd youngest team in the League, and when games start to count, can that youth be trusted to seal the deal?

20. LOS ANGELES RAMS (1-2)

PREVIOUS: 20

Potential Pitfall: Name one member of the Rams secondary without looking up the roster. Put it in the comments. (I’ll know if you looked it up… I won’t actually, but you get my point)

21. HOUSTON TEXANS (1-2)

PREVIOUS: 29

Potential Pitfall: Inexperienced core talent. I was suprised to see this is the 3rd oldest team in the League. However, a majority of players at key positions (QB, WR, Edge) are very young. Let’s see how they handle the big moments before we get too high on this fiesty Texans squad.

22. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 23

Potential Pitfall: Can Baker keep it up like this all year? Still trying to think of a pitfall for San Francisco, btw.

23. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (0-3)

PREVIOUS: 25

Potential Pitfall: Finishing games. These Vikings have an elite passing attack and an improved, albeit still underwhelming, defense. Unlike last year though, they have not closed out a game yet.

24. TENNESSEE TITANS (1-2)

PREVIOUS: 21

Potential Pitfall: The whole offense. Yeah, it’s bad.

25. NEW YORK JETS (1-2)

PREVIOUS: 19

Potential Pitfall: No potential about this one. The Jets’ pitfall is QB Zach Wilson. This was the team that should’ve traded for Trey Lance. That would’ve been fun.

26. NEW YORK GIANTS (1-2)

PREVIOUS: 24

Potential Pitfall: We’re starting to get into the “there’s a lot wrong with these teams” portion of the Power Rankings. If I had to highlight one, it’s the weapons on the outside.

27. ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-2)

PREVIOUS: 32

Potential Pitfall: Overall lack of high end talent. This team is way scrappier than I would’ve predicted, but they can’t keep it up with the players they have. Can they?

28. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (2-1)

PREVIOUS: 22

Potential Pitfall: Offensive Line. It’s a seive in pass pro, and ball-carriers are working hard to grind out much on the ground. This is one of the worst OL’s in football.

29. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (1-2)

PREVIOUS: 26

Potential Pitfall: Everyone on defense not named Maxx Crosby. Rookie Jakorian Bennett has also looked good in spurts, but overall this defense is sorely lacking consistent playmakers at every level.

30. CAROLINA PANTHERS (0-3)

PREVIOUS: 31

Potential Pitfall: Explosiveness. The Panthers are seemingly grinding for every yard, specifically through the air where they average a mere 4.3 net yds/attempt (2nd worst).

31. DENVER BRONCOS (0-3)

PREVIOUS: 27

Potential Pitfall: Pride. I like confidence, but Sean Payton’s Broncos have displayed more of an aura of arrogance since his arrivel. Maybe finally this team and coaching staff has learned some humility. Last year should’ve done it. Maybe 70-20 will.

32. CHICAGO BEARS (0-3)

PREVIOUS: 30

Potential Pitfall: The anti-49ers. Too many to pick just one here.


Who’s too high and who’s too low? Let the discussion commence in the comment section below! And don’t forget to stay tuned to Fans First Sports Network for the biggest stories and analysis from around the NFL this season.

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