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Thanatos

Thanatos' Utterly Arbitrary Quarter Pole Power Rankings

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Power Rankings this early are still bound to be very malleable, but we've seen enough action to have an idea of how most teams are doing so far.

 

So here we go.

 

:NFL: Quarter Mark Power Rankings

 

1. :Chiefs: (4-0): As the sole remaining unbeaten, the Chiefs would likely occupy this spot regardless of competition, but they have faced three teams in the top 12. From their opening week demolition of the Patriots in Foxborough, to taking down the Skins Monday Night, the Chiefs have the strongest resume overall in the league. Andy Reid in January still gives me doubts about this team's ability to take home the only trophy that matters, but they get the lead. For now.

2. :Falcons: (3-1): Not gonna overreact to one loss where Atlanta lost both of their top-two wideouts and still were ten yards away from victory versus a tough Bills squad. (More on them later). The Falcons are still the class of the NFC with Julio apparently suffering no major injury and DeVonta Freeman still pounding the rock relatively well. The NFC South are all hot on their heels, as the division once again attempts to lay claim to best in the NFL.

3. :Lions: (3-1): Detroit's only loss was on a last-second, technically-correct-by-the-rulebook, fluke of a play to the Falcons. They are playing some of the best football in the league, and Matthew Stafford is balling out. Rumors that he should have been traded and Colin Kaepernick signed instead appear to be completely misguided.

4. :Eagles: (3-1): Philly's young QB is playing beyond his years and the Eagles only loss so far is to our #1 team. They are the class of the East atm, and clearly playing the best in the division.

5. :Packers: (3-1): Aaron Rodgers is going to carry this team as far as they can go. Green Bay has looked, at times, as both a bottom-10 team and a top-10 team, but their record is still 3-1.

6. :Steelers: (3-1): Speaking of up and down performances, Pittsburgh is a complete mystery to me. They continue to play down to bad teams and I just don't know if they can put together a full sixty minutes against a good squad atm.

7. :Rams: (3-1): LA is the surprise of the season in my book. Absolutely playing the best in the West- and its not even close- they are my four week favorite as the surprise contender. Sean McVay deserves all the credit in the world for resurrecting the careers of both Goff and Gurley, who had bad rookie and 2nd seasons.

8. :Redskins: (2-2): If LA is the surprise of the season, the Redskins utter destruction of the Raiders on Sunday Night was the surprise game of the season. Washington is playing very good ball at the moment, and the 2-2 record is only a reflection of their tough schedule, (3 teams in the top 7: Rams, Eagles, Chiefs, plus the Raiders with Carr, whom they destroyed). They will be right there at the end.

9. :Broncos: (3-1): Trevor Sieman still has his bumps in the road, but Denver will always be a solid team with that ridiculous defense, specifically their secondary absolutely shutting down opposing wide receivers.

10. :panthers: (3-1): Again, speaking of up and down performances, Carolina's offense looked like the worst in the NFL through three weeks- even versus the Saints terrible defense- and then they ran into New England. I still don't trust the offense, sans Greg Olsen, to consistently move the ball and score in the redzone, but they are still 3-1.

11. :Bills: (3-1): Buffalo is another surprise, but one of the advantages of waiting till after week 4 is that we get to look at their whole body of work.They have two solid wins versus Denver and Atlanta, and a loss to the Panthers where their offense looked even worse than Carolina's. This may end up being a bit too low, but I couldn't put them ahead of anyone else atm.

12. :Pats: (2-2): I believe this is the lowest I've ever had the Patriots in my time doing power rankings. That defense is hands down the worst I have ever seen, and I've watched the Saints twice a year for the past four years. The Panthers receivers, for example, were wide open- by 10+ yards, and yet thanks to Tom Brady, they still nearly pulled it out. The AFC East is also still wide open through four weeks. It's not very often that we say that.

13. :Texans: (2-2): Houston's rookie QB has looked like anything but the last two weeks, and if Houston's defense continues to get better with JJ Watt back in the fold, the Texans could take the AFC South over by the time the midseason rolls around. If that defense could have just covered Brandin Cooks for another few seconds, they'd be 3-1 and in the driver's seat.

14. :Saints: (2-2): New Orleans defense held the Panthers to just 13, and then blanked the Dolphins. If the Saints finally have a competent defense to pair with Drew Brees, yall better watch out.

15. :Titans: (2-2): Marcus Mariota has looked at times both really good and really bad over the first quarter of the season. So has Derrick Henry. And DeMarco Murray. And really, that's this Titans club to a T. Up and down, so its fitting that they are at .500 after the first four.

16. :Seahawks: (2-2): The Hawks destroyed the Luckless Colts on Sunday night in the second half, but it sure took them awhile to get going. Walsh seems to still have the yips, and with the Rams rolling, they need to get back on track fast.

17. :Cowboys: (2-2): Not at all where Dallas envisioned themselves to start the season, and if they don't figure it out real fast, they will find themselves in a 2-3 hole, since Aaron Rodgers and co. are coming to town.

18. :Bucs: (2-1): Tampa has two wins on the year, but they came against New York (on a last second FG), and Chicago, two teams with one win.

19. :Vikings: (2-2): The news that Dalvin Cook has a torn ACL is what leaves the Vikings all the way down here. Cook was tearing things up out there, and the Vikes are looking up at both Green Bay and Detroit without him.

20. :Raiders: (2-2): Without Carr for 2-6 weeks, Oakland falls to 20th. But lets be honest here, they looked awful vs the Redskins last week and were getting handled by Denver this week even before Carr's injury. This is not the power team we thought they were.

21. :Cardinals: (2-2): Must wins for the Cards the last two weeks versus two bottom feeders in the Niners and Colts and they pulled them out- barely. If they can hold on until DJ is back in early December, they have a chance.

22. :Jets: (2-2): The Jets are something else. A team that everyone thought was basically tanking is now 2-2 and only one game back of the Bills in the East. The Jets can't even tank correctly, sheesh.

23. :jags: (2-2): The Jags, meanwhile, only had to beat the Jets to get to 3-1 and take the lead in the AFC South. Instead they fell flat on their face in a big spot. Again. The Jaguars need a competent QB and they don't have one at the moment.

24. :Ravens: (2-2): The Ravens got blown out by the Jags and then lost to Pitt in an ugly game that Pittsburgh was trying to give them. Flacco looks far worse than his usual mediocre self.

25. :Bengals: (1-3): Cincy gets in the win column with a thorough thrashing of the hapless Browns. They took the Pack to OT last week as well, but a 1-3 hole is gonna be somewhat hard to dig yourself out of.

26. :Bears: (1-3): Chicago's win vs the Steelers was a big surprise, but other than that lone anomaly, this Bears team has been lackluster. It would not be a surprise to see Trubisky get the call Monday night.

27. :49ers: (0-4): This may be a bit high for a team with zero wins, but San Fran has competed their tails off in each and every game, even the 23-3 season opening loss, box score notwithstanding. They just simply don't have as much talent as the teams they are playing, but this team has heart.

28. :dolphins: (1-2): The Fins ugly 20-0 loss to the Saints in London made a lot of people question Jay Cutler's ability to lead this team. Adam Gase apparently can't make Cutler great again down in Miami.

29. :Giants: (0-4): The G-men's season is over at this point. There just isn't enough talent on both sides of the ball and an 0-4 start with the rest of their schedule just doesn't show me enough wins to get there.

30. :Colts: (1-3): Andrew Luck won't save this team when he returns. There is simply too little talent in so many different positions.

31. :Chargers: (0-4): I don't think there's a more snakebitten franchise in the league. The Chargers simply cannot close out a game, and it doesn't seem to matter who is their coach.

32. :Browns: (0-4): Meanwhile, we have the all too familiar position of Cleveland bringing up the rear. How is a team this bad for this long? This was supposed to be a 6-10/7-9 year, to bring hope that they were rounding back into respectability. This feels more like another 2-14, top-2 pick in the draft season. I just don't get it.

Edited by Thanatos
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Can't really disagree with these rankings much. Steelers are too high in my opinion as they just haven't looked good but if Bell continues getting back into shape, they should be fine. You nailed the Packers' assessment, a real Jekyll and Hyde performance thus far but trending up after dismantling the Bears.

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Pretty solid list. Good on you for being gutsy by putting the Eagles and Rams so high, each. Both have really, really solid teams and the Eagles will only get better when Darby returns. There's also the trade deadline, and with so many top teams lacking at one or two specific positions, I wouldn't be surprised if we see trades this season at all.

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Can't really disagree with these rankings much. Steelers are too high in my opinion as they just haven't looked good but if Bell continues getting back into shape, they should be fine. You nailed the Packers' assessment, a real Jekyll and Hyde performance thus far but trending up after dismantling the Bears.

 

I honestly want to swap the Rams and Steelers, but for some reason, (probably history, Steelers have proven to be a good team, Rams have not), just can't do it yet.

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If it were me, I'd drop the Steelers below the Bills, but this looks like a pretty good list. No glaring issues, but I'd probably put the Giants at the bottom still because I'm an asshole.

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Very good, I honestly agree with most.

 

Here is my argument: You may want to reconsider the Vikings placement. I know they lost Cook but they have a capable Murray as the next man up. Two mediocre/bad games from Keenum led to two close* losses to teams in your top 10. They also handled the Bucs and Saints with relative ease, both of which are ahead of them.

 

*The Steelers game was much closer than the score indicated IMO.

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They handled the Saints prior to Nawlins defense gelling as it has the past two weeks. Latavius Murray is also hurt and is playing hurt.

 

If Bradford comes back and picks up where he left off, they will climb up a bit. Dalvin Cook is a huge loss for them though.

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Go CHIEFS!If Smith keeps hitting on the deep ball and playing like the kid who got drafted #1 overall over Rodgers, they'll stay on top. I could go on about them, but y'all know what it is already.

 

Sorry... had to get that out of the way.

 

Good list Than. Only things I'd say I have a legit gripe with are the Pack so high and, even more so than that is the Pats (logistically) being in the last playoff spot. You mean to tell me that you'd favor every team above them in a neutral - sight game?

 

I just don't see the east as up for grabs at all. The last time I recall them not being in first after losing to the Chiefs in primetime in the first four games of the season, I'm pretty sure they won the super bowl.

 

As for the Packers, I completely agree with your assessment. As goes Aaron, do goes the fate of the Pack. The problem with that formula is that it NEVER seems to hold up in January.

 

Couple that with the glaring inadequacy known as the Packers defense, and by your own account they're at least the same team as the Pats and certainly not 7 slots higher.

 

Rodgers can raise his play to Brady-like heights at times, but there's only one hoodie. With the run game looking pottery suspect at times, it's Rodgers vs the NFL. I just can't wrap my head around that.

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As for the Packers, I completely agree with your assessment. As goes Aaron, do goes the fate of the Pack. The problem with that formula is that it NEVER seems to hold up in January.

 

Couple that with the glaring inadequacy known as the Packers defense, and by your own account they're at least the same team as the Pats and certainly not 7 slots higher.

 

Rodgers can raise his play to Brady-like heights at times, but there's only one hoodie. With the run game looking pottery suspect at times, it's Rodgers vs the NFL. I just can't wrap my head around that.

 

If you want to bring that point up about the Packers, then the same has to apply to how Reid's teams have fared in January. Also the Packers' defense seems to be improved and is not nearly as bad as the Pats' D is right now.

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Go CHIEFS!If Smith keeps hitting on the deep ball and playing like the kid who got drafted #1 overall over Rodgers, they'll stay on top. I could go on about them, but y'all know what it is already.

 

Sorry... had to get that out of the way.

 

Good list Than. Only things I'd say I have a legit gripe with are the Pack so high and, even more so than that is the Pats (logistically) being in the last playoff spot. You mean to tell me that you'd favor every team above them in a neutral - sight game?

 

I just don't see the east as up for grabs at all. The last time I recall them not being in first after losing to the Chiefs in primetime in the first four games of the season, I'm pretty sure they won the super bowl.

 

As for the Packers, I completely agree with your assessment. As goes Aaron, do goes the fate of the Pack. The problem with that formula is that it NEVER seems to hold up in January.

 

Couple that with the glaring inadequacy known as the Packers defense, and by your own account they're at least the same team as the Pats and certainly not 7 slots higher.

 

Rodgers can raise his play to Brady-like heights at times, but there's only one hoodie. With the run game looking pottery suspect at times, it's Rodgers vs the NFL. I just can't wrap my head around that.

 

The Packers defense is a lot better than that ungainly mess the Pats have put on display through the first four weeks. If not for a coverage breakdown on Cooks, they'd be 1-3.

 

I also don't agree with your way of ranking two teams. On a neutral field, who would beat whom is less important to me than how they stack up overall. One team might match up very well with another team, such as, IMO, Houston vs KC this Sunday night, and yet even if Houston wins that game I am not going to have them leapfrog KC because its how you match up vs a lot of teams, not just one.

 

Third, yes, I would take any of those teams above NE on a neutral field save for two: The Steelers and the Bills.

 

The Bills simply do not match up well with NE. Pitt will never beat NE with Tomlin as their HC unless they're good enough to run away with the game, which they are not.

 

Josh Norman's injury may also put the Skins in play in this discussion, but I was unaware of that prior to these rankings.

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