Then there was one. One undefeated team remains in the NFL following Week 4 and it is your Philadelphia Eagles. Thankfully for the Eagles, Jacksonville has presented themselves as a quality team this year, (thanks Urban,) so they got a signature win over a good team. This got me thinking of how well the last undefeated teams from years prior have fared. Last season it was the 7-0 Arizona Cardinals, always destined to lose in the wildcard round, and the year before that were the 11-0 Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m sure Kenny 3-Pickett will match up well to Ben though Steelers fans, definitely. We have to go all the way back to 2006 to find the last the undefeated team to go on and win the Super Bowl, when Peyton Manning and the Colts started 9-0 and proceeded to knock off Rex Grossman and the Bears to win it all. (Grossman is sort of like when Jared Goff somehow made it to the Super Bowl, if Jared Goff was three times as bad.)
With that in mind, let’s look to the rankings.
TIER 1- A STEP AHEAD
- Philadelphia Eagles- 4-0
- Kansas City Chiefs- 3-1
- Buffalo Bills- 3-1
- Green Bay Packers- 3-1
Being the last undefeated team and winning most games convincingly has to be good for something. Jalen Hurts is electric and has A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Miles Sanders and Dallas Goedert at his disposal. They have the easiest schedule in the NFL in their favor as well, with only Green Bay and Dallas to worry about. Kansas City and Buffalo continue to be on a big collision course. They are the two most skilled teams in the NFL. Buffalo needs to find a way to keep their consistency up. If not for a little luck (and an absolutely questionable decision on 4th and goal that would be get most coaches not named Harbaugh roasted into infinity,) to keep them from 2-2. The Chiefs came out and smashed Brady and the Bucs on Sunday night in a game where the score was honestly closer than it had any right to be. You let Mahomes go up 7-0 in the first 15 seconds of the game, it’s probably a wrap.
The biggest question mark in this group figures to be Green Bay. However, they are 3-1 with the back to back MVP. Rodgers even looks like he has found a guy he might spare from his purge night style killing of the receiver room; Romeo Doubs. If Rodgers can continue to build on that and maybe not yell at Christian Watson all game, the Packers should be alright.
TIER 2- GOOD
- Baltimore Ravens- 2-2
- Dallas Cowboys- 3-1
- Miami Dolphins- 3-1
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 2-2
- Los Angeles Rams- 2-2
- Jacksonville Jaguars- 2-2
A lot of .500 records to be up this high but that is just the way this season has gone. Parity seems to be at a high. Baltimore could very easily be 4-0. You have to imagine the blown games is waying on the Ravens a bit. Marcus Peters and Harbaugh getting in an argument after the failed 4th down wasn’t a surprise because of this. (And because it’s Marcus Peters.) Lamar Jackson has looked fantastic however, and Duvernay and Bateman have really stepped up. They just need to find a way to close these games out. Reminding me of the Chargers lately, get it together fellas. Cooper Rush continues to make Jerry Jones’s head explode by playing surprisingly well. Dallas will be a big threat to the Eagles in the division.
TIER 3- BACK BABY
- Cincinnati Bengals- 2-2
- Tennessee Titans- 2-2
Overzealous? Hell yeah! Burrow is cooking, Tee Higgins is the most underappreciated wideout in the game and Derrick Henry has started to heat up. Two teams we wrote off too quick perhaps. Cincinnati has a chance for a very large statement win over the Ravens this weekend. Tennessee gets the benefit of one of the weaker divisions in the league. We will see these two during the playoffs. Back baby.
TIER 4- SOMETHING LEFT TO PROVE
- Los Angeles Chargers- 2-2
- New York Giants- 3-1
- Minnesota Vikings- 3-1
- San Francisco 49ers- 2-2
Our two California teams in this tier I am lower on than most, however neither have been super impressive. The Chargers hold wins over a Raiders team still trying to find itself and the Texans, while getting rocked by the Jaguars and falling to the Chiefs. (Oh, and they DIDN’T MAKE THE PLAYOFFS LAST YEAR WHY ARE THEY A SUPER BOWL FAVOURITE.) The 49ers don’t look great, aside from their annual win over the Rams. The Giants and Vikings both have solid records, even if their wins are a bit questionable. The Giants have beaten the Panthers and then the Bears this past weekend, where we got the Wildcat Option ran with Saquon when Danny Dimes and Tyrod Taylor (Surprise, surprise) got injured. Vikings got bailed out on the final drive to beat the Saints in London, although neither team will be as near and dear to the heart of the British faithful as those Jaguars.
All in all, every team in this grouping needs a few more weeks to prove themselves.
TIER 5- MAYBE BETTER WITH THEIR BACKUPS
- New Orleans Saints- 1-3
- New England Patriots- 1-3
ZAPPE HOUR. The Patriots shocked cheeseheads everywhere by taking the Packers to overtime on Sunday. The new prodigal son, Bailey Zappe potentially arrived. There was a distinct feeling in the air compared to Mac Jones or Brian Hoyer. An energy, an excitement. A little Zappe. And he looked good. Belichick kept things tight, stuck to the run, and only let Zappe loose a few times. However he looked good when throwing. Of course he did, he’s the College Football single season touchdown leader. He can sling it. Now, I know when Jones comes back he’ll be back in control of the team. All I can say is Jones isn’t the guy. Zappe might be.
It breaks my heart to say this, but Dalton looked solid with the Saints. Dalton and Winston couldn’t be more different, it’s hilarious. They are the complete opposite of each other, and then you throw Taysom Hill in the mix. What a weird group of guys. Saints defense is solid, if the quarterback can keep it together and Kamara comes back healthy there’s still a run left in these guys.
TIER 6- UNINSPIRED
- Arizona Cardinals- 2-2
Hate watching these guys. They’re not good, Kingsbury refuses to use designed runs for Murray even though he’s one of the fastest quarterbacks in the league, and anyone who sat through the entire Cardinals-Panthers game on Sunday deserves a medal of bravery. That’s all I have on the Cardinals. They could beat anybody, but drop any game. They’ll finish 8-9.
TIER 7- FRISKY
- Las Vegas Raiders- 1-3
- Atlanta Falcons- 2-2
- Seattle Seahawks- 2-2
- Detroit Lions- 1-3
Raiders are figuring things out. The most talented 0-3 team of the last decade managed to score a convincing win and all signs point to a big surprise spot against the Chiefs on Monday night. (God help me.) The Falcons, Seahawks and Lions are all incredibly fun, produce exciting games, and have the most insufferable defenses in the league. Mariota and Geno have both done a a great job replacing team legends. I caught myself having a conversation with a buddy and the words “Falcons” and “win the division” came up near each other. Crazy right? Maybe… maybe not.
TIER 8- DEAD
- Indianapolis Colts- 1-2-1
- Denver Broncos- 2-2
- Pittsburgh Steelers- 1-3
Fire Hackett. Into the sun. Full disclosure time; I’m writing this while watching the Thursday Night Football game. (Yeah, I’m late this week sue me.) I swear I’m not letting this game influence my opinion, that’s for next week. But my god if this isn’t the worst game of football ever watched. They are raining boos down on the hometown Broncos and they are winning. Matt Ryan is hard to watch. Sort of like when your third favorite uncle dies. It’s sad. Not Brady or Manning sad, but sad. Russell Wilson will likely be joining Brett Favre in prison soon for the theft that is his contract with Denver. Levels and levels of bad. Can’t wait to watch them again on primetime next week! Neither of these teams can complete a pass, or run the ball, or really do anything offensively. While neither defense is bad, they aren’t fantastic either. These guys just can’t complete a pass. Don’t wake up and think it was a defensive effort. It wasn’t. It’s just bad.
Oh, and Kenny Pickett is the starter. Under .500 Tomlin is a world I’m not sure we are ready for.
TIER 9- JUST OUTSIDE BOTTOM BARREL
- New York Jets- 2-2
- Cleveland Browns- 2-2
By him showing up to the game on Sunday he officially became the best starting quarterback with the last name Wilson in the league. He could have stopped there. Instead, for three quarter Zach Wilson was not good. Pretty plain and simple. He wasn’t connecting with his receivers, his pocket presence was weak and he looked very unsure. A magical 4th quarter drive to knock off Pittsburgh erased those early blunders and had the New York fans feeling good about the future.
TIER 10- AWFUL
- Washington Commanders- 1-3
- Chicago Bears- 2-2
Justin Fields is probably the worst Quarterback in the league. Somehow, the Bears remain 2-2. Washington has a fantastic trio of receivers, but they forgot to get someone who can get the football to them. Wentz looks as though every time there is the slightest bit of pressure he’d rather be anywhere else in the world. Poor guy.
TIER 11- WORSE THAN BAMA
- Carolina Panthers- 1-3
- Houston Texans- 0-2-1
Baker Mayfield bet on himself and lost. Houston is executing a masterful tank and get to be awarded C.J. Stroud when it’s over. At least you have that Houston.
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