Week 4 NFL Power Rankings: Are the Jacksonville Jaguars Legitimate Contenders?
Everyone has their own set of NFL power rankings, but not all of them take computer-driven, algorithmically-derived approaches that look at underlying data to figure out true team strength.
But numberFire's power rankings do just that.
Using our nERD metric, which indicates the expected point differential against an average opponent on a neutral field, here is how our model ranks and rates all 32 teams.
numberFire's NFL Power Rankings
We saw three current top-10 teams move at least three spots in the rankings this week. Let's focus on them and give them the attention they deserve.
The first: the Philadelphia Eagles, who are 3-0. The Eagles' nERD jumped from 3.64 to 6.10, effectively suggesting that they should be favored by an average team by a touchdown rather than a field goal. Their playoff odds are 96.9%, and they're 82.7% to win the division. The only other team with better than 66.5% division odds are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (83.0%). Philly's Super Bowl odds have risen from 2.8% to start the season to 13.8% after their undefeated start.
Despite a 1-2 record, the Cincinnati Bengals find themselves ranked seventh in nERD after getting their first victory last week. Cincinnati's two losses came by just three points each, so their losses aren't nearly as damning as others. Their schedule is pretty up-and-down in the upcoming weeks.
They host the Miami Dolphins (11th in nERD) on Thursday night and also play the Baltimore Ravens (10th), New Orleans Saints (17th), and Cleveland Browns (12th) within their next five matchups. The other four matchups before Week 13 are very winnable: versus the Atlanta Falcons (29th), versus the Carolina Panthers (22nd), at the Pittsburgh Steelers (24th), and at the Tennessee Titans (25th).
Let's talk about the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville has shifted from 17th to 9th, the largest ranking change in the NFL this week. That's accompanied by a 3.84-point nERD increase, also the largest one-week change. Jacksonville hasn't had the toughest schedule -- they've played the Washington Commanders (26th), Indianapolis Colts (21st), and the Los Angeles Chargers (15th).
However, after this week's matchup with the red-hot Eagles (4th), they get the Houston Texans (30th), the Colts again (21st), and the New York Giants (27th) through Week 7. They also have six more matchups with teams 20th or worse over their final 10. With division odds at 47.0% and another matchup with the Colts looming, they could really separate soon. They're 2.3% likely to win the Super Bowl after their odds were 0.3% to start the season and then dipped to 0.1% after a Week 1 loss.