NFL Week 4 Power Rankings

When I was in high school, I knew these three brothers down the street. They were relatively new to the neighborhood, but I remember meeting them one summer day, probably in 2008, at the local rec center while they were shooting jump shots and doing drills at the direction of their dad. Their dad was getting on them for not going hard enough, and from the start, I could see that this dude was no nonsense. This was the kind of guy who wouldn't just wish or preach success on his kids; he would ensure that the requisite work was exerted in order for it to be achieved.

I ended up joining in, and from there, we all became friends. The oldest, which I was the closest with, was the same age as me. The middle brother was a year younger, and the third was a few years younger than that. I had a car at the time, so I often would pick all three of them up to play at the rec, grab food, or, as for the two oldest, go to school.

Today, all three of those brothers play in the NFL.

Every time I would pick them up, the routine would be the same. I'd text the oldest to let him know I was on my way, about 10 minutes before I would actually leave. We all know people for whom this misrepresentation is necessary. When I'd get to their house, which was about 300 yards away and across a main road from mine, they would come outside in exact 9-minute increments.

The middle brother would run out right away, almost as if he was watching me pull up from his window. He was the quiet one, a probable victim of middle-child syndrome. In fact, when I would grab him for school, he'd often get in the back seat and close his eyes, knowing that he'd have a few more minutes to sleep before we were actually ready to go. He wasn't dominant in high school, but every time you looked at him it was as if he had gotten bigger and stronger.

You could tell that he worked his ass off to get to where he's at, which was culminated by a huge senior season in which he scored 12 touchdowns, and followed by a dominant combine performance. He's still waiting for his chance to prove himself in the league, though I bet it's coming soon.

Nine minutes later, the oldest brother would slowly walk outside. This man was an athletic freak, and I'm honored to say, a good friend of mine. Though we don't speak as often as we used to, every time I see him, we pick up where we left off. He still gives me shit for getting into a car accident years ago in the Wal-Mart parking lot with him sitting shotgun, and I was surprised that, when hanging out last September, he remembered our far-too intricate handshake we used to have back in high school. He's just a good guy, humble as hell, and grateful for what he has. People have written him off his whole life. He took a year off in between junior college seasons, partially due to financial roadblocks, and was unsure if the D-1 offers would ever come.

When he finally got his shot in the Big 12, he became an All-American in his final year and is absolutely beloved in his college town to this day. He was a top-10 draft pick, and while he's struggled with injuries in his short pro career, if anyone can prove doubters wrong just one more time, this is the guy. He still can't beat me in 2k, though.

Finally, after seemingly forever, the youngest brother would emerge from the house. He'd probably run back inside once or twice because he forgot something, getting yelled at along the way, but that's beside the point. I remember he seemed smaller, likely because he was naturally associated with his older brothers and competing in everything against kids much older than he. However, once he grew, he grew quick. We all kind of knew he was going to be great from the jump, yet didn't want to tell him at the fear of giving him a big head.

I've never seen somebody bait a quarterback in high school like this kid. He'd drop back and tempt the quarterback to throw the ball his way, then at the last second, jump the route and take it back for six. It was absolutely incredible, almost too easy. He followed in both of his older brothers' footsteps to college and is already making an impact at the pro level in a starting capacity.

About seven radio songs later, we were finally ready to roll, and I already penciled myself in for a Saturday morning detention.

All jokes aside, I'm fortunate just to be able to associate myself with these three, and write this, given the platform I have, simply to show my appreciation for three guys that achieved their dreams. These are the kind of kids you never hear somebody say a bad word about. The type who deserve to be where they are. I was privileged enough to have a car when they didn't, and now, thanks to their hard work, determination, and God-given talent, they are driving cars I wouldn't dream of having. But, if they ever need a ride, I hope they know who to call. I'll just make sure I text them 15 minutes early and anticipate a late arrival.

Now, here's your Week 4 Power Rankings.

1. Los Angeles Rams (4-0) — The "Greatest Show on Turf" moniker given to the 1999 Rams may have to be recalled. I guess the Rams currently play on Bermuda grass, but nonetheless, this team looks absolutely unstoppable right now. Jared Goff's progression has been nothing short of amazing. Going from Jeff Fisher to Sean McVay is like going from Banker's Club to Grey Goose. Just thinking about Banker's gives me a hangover.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) — Pat Mahomes just walked into Mile High on Monday Night, down 10 points in the fourth quarter, and willed this team to a victory. If you weren't certain about him before, you should be now. The Broncos are a tough team, especially at home. It doesn't matter — the Chiefs have arrived.

3. New Orleans Saints (3-1) — New Orleans kept knocking on the door with four field goals in the first half, and Alvin Kamara and the Saints eventually tore it down like the "Always Sunny" gang after they bought that foreclosed home in season five. Kamara had three second-half touchdowns and is an early favorite for Offensive Player of the Year. How does Mark Ingram fit in following his suspension? Side note: you do not want to go toe-to-toe with Charlie Kelly in bird law.

4. Carolina Panthers- (2-1) — I hated on the early bye week last column, although it may actually be a good thing for the injury-ridden offensive line for the Panthers. I think this team is ready to compete for a title, and adding Eric Reid solidifies their intentions. I'm sure Cam Newton had some bye-week-themed man-romper he was wearing this week while watching Red Zone.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-1) — The Jags did what they were supposed to do, but Leonard Fournette's lingering hamstring is starting to become a problem. T.J. Yeldon has been fantastic in his place, though Jacksonville is going to need a bruiser down the stretch in big games. The Jaguars went for two following a touchdown with less than a minute left in the game and up 19. Doug Marrone said his chart said to do so. The chart kind of sounds like a dick.

6. New England Patriots (2-2) — A classic Patriot hoodwink where you think they're down and out, and then they proceed to blowout the undefeated division leader. If this were 2003, Ashton Kutcher's camera crew would have already surfaced from the bushes laughing and smelling like mids. Rob Gronkowski left the game with an ankle injury and didn't return, so we will keep an eye out for updates.

7. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) — Screw it, I'm back on the Ravens bandwagon after two impressive wins in a row. Get a few drinks in me and I'll probably start telling people that Joe Flacco is elite again. They punched the Steelers in the jaw Sunday night, and it could have been worse if Alex Collins didn't fumble on the goal line. John Browns is quietly having a monster start to the season.

8. Green Bay Packers (2-1-1) — There's only so much you can take from a victory against the Bills, though the Packers finished with their first shutout at Lambeau since 2009. I'd die happy if Green Bay never wore those disgusting jerseys again. Every time I see them I feel like I'm sitting in the backseat with Lindsay Lohan driving.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) — This isn't the same Lazor that was a key contributor on the Globo Gym Purple Cobras, but Bill Lazor had this offense clicking on Sunday. Andy Dalton took advantage of a depleted Atlanta secondary, and AJ Green caught a sliding touchdown with less than 10 seconds left to get an important road win. Tyler Eifert was unfortunately brought off in a stretcher with an ankle injury.

10. Denver Broncos (2-2) — The Broncos got back to smash-mouth football on Monday night, with both Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman having big games. That hook-and-ladder almost worked, but it turns out Broncos' fans are reaching for their Indica buds rather than their Sativa so they can sleep this one off. An absolute heartbreaker in Denver.

11. Chicago Bears (3-1) — Mitch Trubisky for six. Six times! This was the first complete game for the Bears this season on both sides of the ball, and they looked scary good in the process. Creative play calling to generate mismatches at the skill positions is key for Chicago offensively, and we'll see if they can continue their momentum following their bye week.

12. Tennessee Titans (3-1) — The Titans keep finding ways to win. Two fourth down conversions in overtime gave them a chance, and then Corey Davis finished off the defending champions with his first career touchdown. It wasn't exactly a Music City Miracle, however, I'm sure Frank Wycheck was nodding in approval. If Marcus Mariotta can win with three fingers, just imagine what he could do with five.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (2-2) — This team has been flirting with disaster, and it caught up with them on Sunday. Carson Wentz is still finding his footing, and the return of Alshon Jeffery should help in that regard. Nelson Agholor shouldn't have had that popcorn.

14. Los Angeles Chargers (2-2) — Phillip Rivers and the Chargers almost gave the injured 49ers a San Francisco treat before holding on for the win. I'm glad Keenan Allen was able to take the field after being questionable with a toothache. Gotta get that fluoride.

15. Minnesota Vikings (1-2-1) — The Rams' offense made the Vikings' defense look like the Browns' special teams. Do you follow? They say a smart man looks like a mad man to a dumb man ... never mind.

16. Washington Redskins (2-1) — Are we supposed to still care about this whole team name thing or was that just a fad like kale and Tough Mudder competitions? Off a bye, the Washington football team will get a primetime game in New Orleans next Monday. I'm really hoping for another Adrian Peterson stare down directed toward Sean Payton.

17. Miami Dolphins (3-1) — They're still leading the division, yet I'm afraid we saw the real Dolphins take the field on Sunday. No offensive line leads to a deficient running game, and lack of pressure equates to Tom Brady getting back on track. Steve Columbo is absolutely pissed.

18. Atlanta Falcons (1-3) — The Falcons are about two defensive injuries away from Mark Wahlberg playing some underachieving substitute teacher turned starting safety in Invincible 2. The offense is certainly not the problem, as Julio Jones is racking up yardage and Calvin Ridley has turned into a touchdown machine. Still, having to score 40 to win each week is not the recipe for success in Atlanta.

19. Pittsburgh Steelers- (1-2-1) — Is it panic time in Pittsburgh? Le'Veon Bell is evidently returning to the team during their Week 7 bye, but unless he's playing in the secondary, this team still has major issues. Throw some more French fries on your salad Steelers fans; this may be a bumpy ride.

20. Seattle Seahawks (2-2) — Earl Thomas, tell 'em how you really feel! In the most uneventful game of the week, the Seahawks barely escaped against perhaps the worst team in football. That's two in a row for the Hawks, though I'm less confident in them than I was a week ago. Still, they're practically a shoe-in to finish second in the division.

21. Dallas Cowboys (2-2) — Dak Prescott ran the two-minute drill to perfection, and not Dan Bailey finished the job at the buzzer. The Boys are now 2-0 at home on the year, this one coming with a career day by Ezekiel Elliot. Jason Garrett is that guy that creepily smiles at you while inspecting fruit for too long at the grocery store. Just grab the apple, Jason, I'm sure it's fine.

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) - I don't think Dirk Koetter is a very good coach. Dirk Koetter doesn't think Dirk Koetter is a very good coach. Jameis Winston made his season debut, and has been named the team's starter going forward, though I don't know how many W fingers he'll get to eat the rest of the way.

23. Cleveland Browns (1-2-1) — Don't get greedy on us now, Cleveland. I'm sure there are still some Bud Lights left to hold you over until the Browns' next win. Baker Mayfield proved he belonged, although I'm sure Colin Cowherd will put every bad pass on a reel and then compare him to Manziel. By the way, did you guys happen to catch that Lakers preseason game the other night?

24. New York Giants (1-3) — The Giants offense is about as predictable as the Undertaker winning at WrestleMania. Wait, you're telling me that the Undertaker lost at WrestleMania? I haven't watched wrestling in a minute. Either way, this offense is anemic. Eli Manning needs protection more than Jon and Kate.

25. San Francisco 49ers (1-3) — This team showed a lot of heart on Sunday. It wasn't enough, but a lesser team would have packed it in once their franchise quarterback went down. It's going to be a long, slow crawl to the finish line for the 49ers this season.

26. Detroit Lions (1-3) — Matthew Stafford to Golden Tate has been a lethal combination so far this year. Unfortunately, everything else in Detroit has been a lethal injection. And if we're being honest, B-Rabbit lost to Lotto in the second round at the shelter. I feel bad I gotta murder that dude from "Leave it to Beaver."

27. Oakland Raiders (1-3) — Jon Gruden gets his first win in 10 years, and Raider Nation can go to sleep happy, with their knives under their pillows, for at least one week. Oakland, who had been awful in the fourth quarter three weeks into the season, scored 24 points in the 4th and overtime to seal the victory.

28. Houston Texans (1-3) — The Texans let up points, but their defense finally got to the quarterback for sacks and strips. That kind of sounds like a strip club chicks go to for a bachelorette party. I just hope they don't try the buffet. The Texans were gifted this must-win.

29. Indianapolis Colts (1-3) — How's your shoulder feel, Andrew Luck? Sixty-two passes is wild, and Luck looked good, but what the hell were the Colts doing in overtime going for it on fourth down in their own territory. I get that ties are for nerds, but if this were an office job, Frank Reich would be fired for cause. He must have read Ben McAdoo's time management manual.

30. New York Jets (1-3) — Fan letter from "Pennington4President": "Todd Bowles is a lifeless human on the sidelines. Week 1 feels so long ago." Will he be the first coach to get the pink slip this season?

31. Buffalo Bills (1-3) — After an out-of-body experience, the Bills are back to their old ways. It's weird that Buffalo had won five straight against the NFC North prior. That's one of those Snapple facts that you have to double check on Google. Why'd you get a Half 'n Half flavored Snapple anyway when they have larger-sized Arnold Palmers for 75 cents less? People don't know their drinks.

32. Arizona Cardinals (0-4) — It's going to be a long season in Arizona, and the Cardinals will ride it out with the league's most punchable face. I'd love to punch that face. I will punch that face.

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