Saints move up with backup
1. Patriots 4-0 (Last week: 1): They might not be slowed down anytime soon as they face the Redskins, Jets and Giants in their next three games.
2. Chiefs 4-0 (2): Patrick Mahomes’ streak of two or more TD passes in 14 straight games came to an end in Detroit, but he still hasn’t throw an interception this season. 3. Saints 3-1 (6): Teddy Bridgewater was far from great, but the Saints have won two straight games without Drew Brees. Expect Bridgewater to play at least two more games.
4. Cowboys 3-1 (4): With an opportunity to take a commanding lead in the NFC East and pull ahead of the rest of the conference, the Cowboys fell flat offensively in New Orleans.
5. Rams 3-1 (3): It’s tough to win games slinging it 50 times, and it’s even more difficult to win attempting 68 — 68! — passes, which is what the Rams did in a loss to the Bucs.
6. Bears 3-1 (13): Matt Nagy doesn’t want to take bows for a win in September, but it was huge to dominate the Vikings from start to finish minus so many key starters. 7. 49ers 3-0 (10): The 49ers had their open date last week but moved into first place in the NFC West. The early break isn’t ideal, but the 49ers are 3-0 for the first time since 1998.
8. Seahawks 3-1 (11): With the Rams, Browns and Ravens in the next three weeks, we’ll see if the Seahawks are for real or guilty of feasting on a weak early schedule. 9. Eagles 2-2 (16): The Eagles were in a tough spot heading to Green Bay on a short week, but coach Doug Pederson deviated from his normal pass-happy approach for the win.
10. Bills 3-1 (12): The defense did a really nice job against Tom Brady, but the Bills are going to be a one-dimensional team until they can get more consistent offensive production.
11. Lions 2-1-1 (14): The Lions have allowed only four passing TDs through four games, a big improvement, and the offense has been balanced under coordinator Darrell Bevell.
12. Browns 2-2 (19): Baker Mayfield and his wealth of offensive options got going in a big way in a 40-25 rout of the Ravens. Mayfield passed for 342 yards and one TD. 13. Ravens 2-2 (5): Lamar Jackson didn’t have a great game as he was intercepted twice, but the Ravens defense was flat-out embarrassed by Browns.
14. Packers 3-1 (7): Davante Adams is day to day with a toe injury, and that makes the Packers offense day to day because Aaron Rodgers lacks another consistent playmaker.
15. Vikings 2-2 (8): The running game was nonexistent against the Bears, and that, in turn, shut down the play-action passing game the Vikings have built for Kirk Cousins. 16. Jaguars 2-2 (18): Rookie QB Gardner Minshew is the big story for the Jaguars as he has ignited the offense and been more than efficient since replacing Nick Foles. 17. Chargers 2-2 (17): Melvin Gordon is back in the mix, and it will be interesting to see how he’s worked in this week against the Broncos. He should be good to go. 18. Titans 2-2 (21): Marcus Mariota, who was sacked 17 times through three games, threw three TDs and wasn’t sacked as the Titans were efficient passing in a win vs. the Falcons.
19. Buccaneers 2-2 (25): Bruce Arians may just be the man who can turn Jameis Winston into the quarterback the Bucs have been waiting so long for.
20. Panthers 2-2 (22): The Panthers have won two straight with Kyle Allen filling in for Cam Newton, but Christian McCaffrey remains the story on offense.
21. Texans 2-2 (9): The Texans played well enough on defense when you consider they lost 16-10 to the Panthers, but they couldn’t get a key stop when needed and didn’t maximize.
22. Giants 2-2 (23): Rookie QB Daniel Jones was able to lead the Giants to a second straight win and did so without Saquon Barkley. The degree of difficulty rises vs. the Vikings.
23. Raiders 2-2 (28): Rookie RB Josh Jacobs has 307 yards and is averaging 5.0 per carry, an impressive start for an offense that needs more than QB Derek Carr to lean on.
24. Colts 2-2 (15): The Colts defense that made huge strides last season has plateaued. That doesn’t bode well for them when they face the high-powered Chiefs this week.
25. Steelers 1-3 (26): The struggling Steelers got just what they needed Monday night — a visit from the winless Bengals and their first victory of the season.
26. Falcons 1-3 (20): The Falcons are two games below .500 after a loss to the Titans. The only silver lining for the Falcons: They have yet to play an NFC South game.
27. Cardinals 0-3-1 (24): The rebuild that Steve Wilks began a year ago is still spinning its wheels under Kliff Kingsbury. The Cardinals are 1-9-1 at home in that time.
28. Bengals 0-4 (27): The Zac Taylor era continues to be a bumpy process as the Bengals were blown out Monday night by the Steelers.
29. Broncos 0-4 (29): Vic Fangio’s rough start continues as the Broncos squandered a late lead vs. the Jags and got worse news Monday — LB Bradley Chubb’s season is over.
30. Redskins 0-4 (30): Jay Gruden called on rookie QB Dwayne Haskins, bringing the first-round pick off the bench to replace Case Keenum vs. the Giants. It was a disaster.
31. Jets 0-3 (31): An early open date helped the Jets from the standpoint that it gave QB Sam Darnold more time to recover from mononucleosis.
32. Dolphins 0-4 (32): The Dolphins have been a train wreck after halftime this season, and their next score in the second half will be their first.