Ranking the undefeated teams in the NFL
After the Packers Thursday Night Football loss, just six undefeated teams remain in the NFL. Who is for real, who is a fluke, and the rankings from one to six.
1. New England Patriots
Strength: Before the season, we knew the big guns on the Pats would show up. Belichick, Brady, Edelman, Gilmore. Sure enough they all did. But what has really stood out for the Patriots so far is their defense. They have given up the least amount of rushing yards, passing yards, and points in the league. The secondary flat out smothers everything. There is practically no yards after catch, that is if they don't get there to knock the ball away. They have given up three points this season.
Weakness: It really is hard to find a weakness here, but Sony Michel has not been great at running back. He looks slightly unmotivated, and is not running with strength. Rex Burkhead has looked good though and keeps getting more touches.
Week 4 matchup: @ Buffalo Bills
2. Kansas City Chiefs
Strength: Patrick Mahomes is a stud. He is off to another MVP season. It doesn't seem like he has even noticed that the leading receiver in the NFL from last year Tyreek Hill has not played for him this season. Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce are second and fifth in the league in receiving yards respectively. You just cannot deny the greatness of this offense.
Weakness: The defense is bottom ten in the league in yards. This group was carried by their offense all season long in 2018, but they could not stop New England in the AFC Championship game.
Week 4 matchup: @ Detroit Lions
3. Los Angeles Rams
Strength: The Rams have played three tough teams (or at least teams that should be tough) and have won them all, so credit to them. LA might have the best trio of wide receivers in the league in Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks, and Robert Woods. I love what Sean McVay has done with Todd Gurley as well. He is still getting his touches, but because they are using him less, he should be healthy down the stretch. As if their defensive line wasn't strong enough, Clay Matthews has been a beast since joining the team.
Weakness: Jared Goff has not really impressed me all that much. He has been fine, but just not sharp. He has got to clean things up, and be more precise.
Week 4 matchup: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4. Dallas Cowboys
Strength: I was saying this before the season: Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot, and Amari Cooper make up a really strong group. I am not at all surprised by their torrid start. In my opinion, Elliot is the best rusher in the NFL. So far Dak Prescott has the best QBR in the league, and Cooper clearly likes playing in Dallas and has been a touchdown machine. They can play any type of offense, because they have skill at each position.
Weakness: Like the Patriots, the Cowboys have beaten three very weak teams. They need to prove themselves. They need experience, and I need to see that they can beat legitimate contenders, before they can be a Super Bowl threat.
Week 4 matchup: @ New Orleans Saints
5. San Francisco 49ers
Strength: Jimmy Garoppolo's numbers might not stand out, but he is just a winner. He simply finds ways to win games, proven by his career record of 11-2. The 49ers have already had as many takeaways as they did all of last season (7), and they have the fourth most rushing yards in the league. Their receiving group, highlighted by George Kittle and Deebo Samuel has a ton of depth.
Weakness: This is another example of beating three weak teams. Having the bye week this early in the season hurts a lot. Hopefully for San Francisco they don't lose their momentum, because that seems to be a large reason for their success.
Week 4 matchup: Bye Week
6. Buffalo Bills
Strength: The Bills undefeated season so far has easily been the most surprising. That is due to their defense. There is a lot of balance between pass rush, rush defense, and their secondary. John Brown and Frank Gore have been very surprising standouts on the offense.
Weakness: Buffalo has only been able to hide their high amount of turnovers by the fact that their defense takes away a lot of balls. Against tough defenses (i.e. not the Jets, Giants, or Bengals) I just don't think this offense will be able to put up many points. Their matchup against the Patriots in week 4 should be a perfect test.
Week 4 matchup: New England Patriots