The State of The NFC After Week 4- Eagles Are Still At The Top
And then there was one. The Eagles are the last undefeated team in the NFL. So spoiler alert for this list, but the Eagles are still at the top. I have had them at the top the past 2 weeks, but now more than ever, there is little doubt they belong at the top. But how are the rest of the teams in the NFC doing? Are the Cowboys now a team to worry about? Is there any other great team in the NFC through 4 weeks? Here is the State of the NFC after 4 weeks.
16) Chicago Bears (2-2) (Last Week- 12)
It is hard to pinpoint where the talent is on this roster. They somehow have two wins, but there is nothing to like about this offense. Justin Fields looks terrible. And he has literally no help. I said it last week, but it bears repeating. It is an act of sheer incompetence that the Bears went ahead and gave up all those assets to acquire a young QB but then put no effort into putting talent around him. Every team in the market for a Qb should take not of what the Eagles did. They took advantage of their QB’s low cap number and built an offense loaded with star talent around him.
15) Carolina Panthers (1-3) (Last Week- 14)
Matt Rhule needs to start brushing up his resume. He has a good enough track record in college that he should have the pick of the liter for jobs back there. And with as many early head coach firings as we are seeing in the college ranks, he will have some good options. Wisconsin could be a good landing spot, and we have already mentioned Nebraska in the past for him. But this Panthers team is bad. They have failed to ever improve under him. Like so many coaches his failure comes in never finding the right QB. But they lack talent elsewhere too. And it may get worse from here with a semi-tough schedule coming up.
15) New Orleans Saints (1-3) (Last Week- 15)
They did manage to give a decent Vikings team a game. But that doesn’t mean this is a good team. They finally sat Jameis Winston. It was the right move considering his back is fractured. And Andy Dalton looked fine in this game. But Dalton is no savoir. I see things getting worse before they get better for the Saints. They very well could end up with a top 10 pick, that they don’t have the rights to because they foolishly traded away a future first for a pick last year. It was a bad bet on themselves.
14) Washington Commanders (1-3) (Last Week- 13)
The Eagles might have broken Wentz, again. In weeks 1 and 2 he didn’t look amazing, but he looked ok. In fact, people who cover the Commanders came on our airwaves and sang his praises as one of the best Washington QBs in years. And now he looks like he did in 2020, and Washington fans, the few who still care, are calling for his head. He may not make the end of the year with his job. It could be the end of Carson Wentz being an NFL starter.
13) Seattle Seahawks (2-2) (Last Week- 16)
Who knew this was going to be a career year for Geno Smith? Granted he does have DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett to throw to, but still. The defense is a mess. And they did lose to the Falcons and the Broncos, neither of which are very good. But it is not as dire as many would have thought before the season. It is still bad. But not the worst team in the league bad. The thing is, with CJ Stroud coming out next year, worst team in the league bad may have been better for them long term.
12) Atlanta Falcons (2-2) (Last Week- 15)
Something about the Falcons keeps them competitive. They are not particularly talented. And I don’t think Marcus Mariota is an especially good QB. But they have now won 2 games and were competitive with the Rams and Saints. I would still call them a bad team. But they are the type of bad team that you can’t take your eye off of because they might sneak up on you and win if you take the game for granted. it also speaks to them being well coached by second-year Head Coach Arthur Smith.
11) Detroit Lions (1-3) (Last Week- 8)
This offense can score, especially with D’Andre Swift and Amon-ra St Brown healthy. In fact, they have the most yards of any team in the league. But the defense is also the worst in the league. There is something here for the Lions fans to build on. And Lions fans have something to attach themselves to for the first time since Calvin Johnson retired. It is just clearly not there yet. But showing promise, and still losing, may be the best thing for their long-term goals. Let fans have something to chew on. But still, get a good pick in what will be a great QB draft. Because despite Jared Goff looking effective, he is not the long-term answer at QB for them.
10) New York Giants (3-1) (Last Week- 10)
They keep winning, but I have an exceptionally hard time buying into anything this team does. Saqoun Barkley is a very good back. And this coaching staff is legit. But I can’t say I love anything else about this team. The important thing is, there is finally competent management in place. Both on the sidelines, and up in the front office. As an Eagles fan, it is sad to think in a year or two we could see a decent Giants team. But that is not this team, despite what their record says.
9) Arizona Cardinals (2-2) (Last Week- 11)
I am much lower on the Cardinals than it feels other people are. Kyler Murray is very talented, but he is also very inconsistent. Even drive to drive. He could look like hell one drive, and then come out and look like a star. It makes them an incredibly hard team to predict. They are never out of any game. But they also find themselves behind in many games because the offense got out to a slow start. Also, my views on their head coach are pretty clear by this point. I think he is in way over his head.
There needs to be some distance between the past 9 teams, and the following 7. So with there being two teams ranked 15th, I left 8th empty to signify the large gap between those teams.
7) Dallas Cowboys (3-1) (Last Week- 9)
The Cowboys can play some defense. I would not say their defense is on par with the Eagles because they got beat up a little by the Giants last week. But it is still a very good defense. We will see how the offense looks whenever Dak gets back. But winning 3 games, after losing Dak Prescott, is something for them to be proud of. The thing that will eventually sink them is how poorly coached they are. Mike McCarthy is not good at his job. His assistants do a good job, which helps a bit. But as we saw with his horrendous decision-making in the playoffs last year, Mike will eventually hurt them.
6) Los Angeles Rams (2-2) (Last Week- 2)
Superbowl hangovers are a real phenomenon. The Rams have lost to the 2 best teams they played. They eeked out a win vs the Falcons and beat a mediocre Cardinals team. On paper, this team should still be great. It is not that different from the Super Bowl team. And yet you watch them, and they are far less impressive early on in this season. There is plenty of time for them to find their groove, and they will still be among the top NFC teams. But right now they don’t look very good.
5) San Francisco 49ers (2-2) (Last Week- 7)
The 49ers finally had a statement game. They dominated the Rams from start to finish. The 49ers have a track record. They are well-coached and have a lot of talent. The one thing they lack is a real QB. We know who Jimmy Garropolo is at this point. He is a fine QB. But they are not going to win with him. But he is fine enough to help them get to the playoffs, and win some games depending on who they play. Also, Demeco Ryans should be a head coach next year.
4) Minnesota Vikings (3-1) (Last Week- 5)
The Vikings are a good team. They are not a great team. The good news for them is there are very few great teams. To date, there is only 1 NFC team that has looked great. And the Vikings one loss came to that team. Still, if you watched them on Sunday morning vs the Saints, something felt a bit off. Kirk Cousins is not a very good QB. He is not bad, but he is not a guy you win with. Still in a weak NFC they will be in the mix.
3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2)(Last Week- 4)
The offense finally had a good game, and the defense crapped the bed. Granted it was vs the Chiefs, but still. We are still waiting for the Bucs to have a good game in both phases. I would say most weeks the defense is going to play well. And eventually, the offense is going to find some consistency with Tom Brady throwing to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. But this is not the same impressive Bucs team we saw last year. You can’t overlook them. But you don’t need to fear them like you would have last year.
2) Green Bay Packers (3-1) (Last Week- 3)
Second place by default. This isnt a particularly impressive team as of yet. They needed OT to beat a mediocre Patriots team on their 3rd QB. Before that their wins were against a Bucs team with WRs fresh off the street, and the Bears. It is still Aaron Rodgers, so I would never count them out. But it is hard to look at this team 4 weeks in and say I’m impressed.But they come in 2nd because the other teams in the NFC are even less impressive. I would have said this defense was great. And it still probably is. But they had some issues vs a Patriots offense they should have dominated.
1) Philadelphia Eagles (4-0) (Last Week- 1)
It’s not even a debate anymore. This is the best team in the NFC right now. They are the only team playing well in every facet of the game. Jalen Hurts did kill the Jags through the air this week. But after one poor throw early, he avoided making any more mistakes in terrible playing conditions. Sometimes that is what great QBs have to do. He made the throws he had to. And if it wasn’t for a bad drop by Goedert he’d have a passing TD.
But the really impressive thing about this team is their defense. They have given up just 4 TDs in the past 3 weeks. They lead the league in takeaways and sacks. This group is elite. Even with injuries, they shut the Jaguars down.