Week 4 is in the books. As is often the case at the quarter-season mark a series of events have reshaped the NFL landscape for 2019. In addition to Andrew Luck retiring, a number of marquee QB’s went down with injury; Ben Roethlisberger and Nick Foles are both done for the season, Sam Darnold is out with mono (yes mono) and Drew Brees won’t return until week 8 after having his thumb surgically repaired. However, one man’s misfortune is another man’s fortune — just ask Tom Brady who went on to achieve G.OA.T. status after Drew Bledsoe was wiped out in week 2 of the 2001 season. Enter Baker Mayfield’s clone Gardner Minshew. The latter has been excellent thus far and has made the injury to Saint Nick look like a potential blessing in disguise, and the Jaguars remain a genuine threat in the AFC should ‘Minshew mania’ continue.
Then there is the rather improbable, but nevertheless continued emergence of Daniel Jones. After an impressive preseason no one could have predicted how Manning-esque Eli’s replacement would look — completing 69% of his throws for 578 yards and 3TD’s as well as 2 rushing TD’s has been seriously impressive, and all this despite Saquon Barkley being unavailable after suffering a high-ankle sprain in Jones’ debut against the Buccaneers in week 3. The Giants are well on their way to competing with the Cowboys and Eagles in 2020 and may just shock a number of teams as the season progresses.
Continuing the theme of positive early season surprises Aaron Rodgers has to be pleased with his Green Bay Packers. For the first time since his lone 2010 Super Bowl triumph it appears the future HOF’er might finally have some genuine defensive help. The Saints, who as previously mentioned lost Drew Brees to injury, have been exceptional under Sean Payton’s leadership — beating the Seahawks and the Cowboys with Teddy Bridgwater under centre. And what about those Buffalo Bills? Everyone and his dog knew they had an elite defence, but they have finally started to translate that into wins. If it was not for a defensive master class from the reigning champs in week 4 the Bills would be 4-0.
Finally, what of the teams that so much was expected? The Rams have looked fairly pedestrian without a fully fit Todd Gurley, the Chargers appear to have regressed despite Phillip Rivers operating an offence with a banged up receiver corp, the Falcons have yet to get going on either side of the ball and the Vikings have just straight up been Kirk Cousin(ed). Oh and despite all the offseason hype surrounding the Browns, Freddie Kitchens’ boys were brought back to earth by both the Titans and the Rams. With the above story lines and those I have chose to ignore (AB, Burfict et al.) here are my quarter-season 2019 NFL Power Rankings. J