NFL Power Rankings – Week 5: Each team’s early MVP

NFL Power Rankings - Week 5: Each team's early MVP

The NFL Power Rankings are selected by a panel of theScore’s football editors.

This week, we nominate the most valuable players on each team four games into the season.

1. San Francisco 49ers (4-0)

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Previous Rank: 2

We’re running out of superlatives for Christian McCaffrey, who’s a match made in heaven with Kyle Shanahan. The running back has seven touchdowns in four games – including four in Week 4 – and has scored in 13 straight contests to break a 49ers record previously held by Jerry Rice.

2. Buffalo Bills (3-1)

Previous Rank: 5

With the exception of his four-turnover Week 1 outing, Josh Allen has been spectacular. The star signal-caller, who accounted for five touchdowns and posted a 158.3 passer rating in Buffalo’s biggest game of the season versus Miami, has completed a league-high 74.8% of his passes with nine touchdowns to four interceptions. He’s also scored two TDs on the ground.

3. Miami Dolphins (3-1)

Previous Rank:1

Led by Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins have the NFL’s highest-scoring offense. Granted, the unit wasn’t great in Week 4, but Tagovailoa still ranks second in EPA per play behind Brock Purdy. Tagovailoa has completed 71% of his passes for a league-high 1,306 yards and nine touchdowns against just three interceptions this season.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (4-0)

Previous Rank: 3

The Eagles’ offense has looked disjointed over the first four weeks of the season, but A.J. Brown is still a nightmare for defenses. After a relatively slow two weeks, the wideout exploded for 306 yards and two touchdowns over Philadelphia’s last two games.

5. Kansas City Chiefs (3-1)

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Previous Rank: 4

Patrick Mahomes will likely be the Chiefs’ MVP until the day he hangs up his cleats. His wide receivers continue to underwhelm, but the quarterback always finds a way, even if he’s pushed his luck a few too many times this season.

6. Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

Previous Rank: 6

Micah Parsons has somehow taken another big leap in 2023 after two outstanding seasons in the NFL. The Cowboys star has PFF’s third-best pass-rush grade among edge defenders and is routinely wrecking games for opposing offenses.

7. Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

Previous Rank: 7

Electric is just one of the many ways to describe Lamar Jackson’s play this season. The former MVP has posted 794 passing yards and four touchdown passes against just a single pick while also leading the team on the ground with 220 yards and another four scores.

8. Seattle Seahawks (3-1)

Previous Rank: 9

Rookie Devon Witherspoon had one of the season’s best individual performances in Week 4, meaning there were a few names in contention here. However, no other Seahawks player has been more consistent than running back Kenneth Walker, who’s scored at least a touchdown in each of the last three games and tops the team with five total scores and 356 scrimmage yards.

9. Detroit Lions (3-1)

Previous Rank: 10

Even when Aidan Hutchinson isn’t adding to his 3.5 sacks, two tackles for loss, three pass breakups, forced fumble, and fumble recovery, he’s impacting the game. The second-year pass-rusher leads the league in both hurries (11) and pressures (19).

10. Los Angeles Chargers (2-2)

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Previous Rank: 12

With a defense that’s fallen far short of expectations, the Chargers are relying almost exclusively on the arm of Justin Herbert. And he continues to answer the call. Herbert’s 405-yard, three-touchdown game against the Vikings to avoid an 0-3 start might be the best QB performance of the season so far.

11. Cleveland Browns (2-2)

Previous Rank: 11

Myles Garrett has been a wrecking ball no matter who’s tried to block him. He ranks near the top of the league with 5.5 sacks and five tackles for loss, which has netted him a 93.8 PFF grade – the No. 2 grade among edge defenders.

12. Houston Texans (2-2)

Previous Rank: 27

There’s no doubt that C.J. Stroud has been the best rookie passer so far. He owns the second-most passing yards through four starts with 1,212, trailing Cam Newton (1,386) and surpassing Andrew Luck (1,208). He’s also thrown six touchdown passes against zero interceptions.

13. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2)

Previous Rank: 14

It took a few years, but Josh Allen might have finally arrived. The No. 7 pick in the 2019 draft’s six sacks are tied for the league lead, and he has five tackles for loss, nine quarterback hits, and a forced fumble, too.

14. Los Angeles Rams (2-2)

Previous Rank: 23

Puka Nacua has been a revelation. He wasn’t on anyone’s radar before the year, but he’s performed so well with Cooper Kupp sidelined. Kupp’s absence hasn’t even been noticeable with the rookie receiver notching an NFL-record 39 catches for 501 yards, as well as a game-winning touchdown in overtime against the Colts.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)

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Previous Rank: 21

Tampa Bay might wish it had signed Mike Evans to an offseason extension. The 10th-year man leads the team with 337 yards and three touchdowns on 20 receptions as the team sits at a surprising 3-1.

16. Tennessee Titans (2-2)

Previous Rank: 25

Derrick Henry was playing more like Prince Henry than King Henry before turning in a vintage performance Sunday. The 122 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries were complemented by an 11-yard catch and a two-yard touchdown pass.

17. Washington Commanders (2-2)

Previous Rank: 19

Running back Brian Robinson has been one of the biggest beneficiaries under offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. He’s already exceeded his touchdown total from 2022 after scoring four times in four games and also racked up 261 yards on the ground in the Commanders’ much-improved offense.

18. Indianapolis Colts (2-2)

Previous Rank: 18

Anthony Richardson returned to action and the end zone in Week 4. The rookie quarterback has been responsible for seven touchdowns, including four on the ground, and 610 yards of total offense despite missing about a game and a half.

19. Cincinnati Bengals (1-3)

Previous Rank: 8

Safety Dax Hill has been a bright spot in a down season across the board. The 2022 first-rounder has 34 tackles, one sack, four tackles for loss, three pass breakups, and a pair of interceptions already.

20. Atlanta Falcons (2-2)

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Previous Rank: 15

Bijan Robinson bounced back from a less-than-stellar week against the Lions by putting up 137 scrimmage yards against the Jaguars in London, bringing his season total to 452. If the Falcons’ passing game can find a rhythm and prevent defenses from loading the box, watch out.

21. Green Bay Packers (2-2)

Previous Rank: 16

Jordan Love has been inconsistent, but he’s the Packers’ best player when he’s dialed in. The first-year starter has 901 yards, eight touchdown passes, and three interceptions thus far but will need to improve his 56.1% completion rate if Green Bay wants to stack up wins.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2)

Previous Rank: 13

Things haven’t gone quite to plan in Pittsburgh so far, but T.J. Watt already owns six sacks, five tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries this season.

23. New York Jets (1-3)

Previous Rank: 22

Quinnen Williams continues to be one of football’s most disruptive defensive linemen. The All-Pro defensive tackle, who’s PFF’s ninth-best lineman in 2023, has racked up seven pressures and four quarterback knockdowns.

24. New Orleans Saints (2-2)

Previous Rank: 17

When in doubt, find Chris Olave. The wide receiver has 23 receptions and 306 yards so far, including several highlight-reel grabs. New Orleans’ offense just needs to figure out how to find the end zone.

25. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)

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Previous Rank: 26

We’re just four games into the season and Justin Jefferson is already over halfway to another 1,000-yard campaign. The All-Pro receiver has an NFL-best 543 yards and three touchdowns on 33 receptions.

26. New York Giants (1-3)

Previous Rank: 24

Dexter Lawrence is the engine that makes the Giants’ defense tick, eating space and allowing others to make plays. He’ll never have the traditional stats as a nose tackle, but Lawrence is one of PFF’s highest-graded defensive tackles.

27. New England Patriots (1-3)

Previous Rank: 20

Christian Gonzalez is already a cornerstone of the Patriots’ defense. The first-round rookie played just 18 defensive snaps in Week 4 due to a shoulder injury, but he allowed only a 68 passer rating and received PFF’s seventh-best grade among corners despite facing some of the NFL’s best receivers.

28. Arizona Cardinals (1-3)

Previous Rank: 28

Dropped in as the starter for what many viewed as the NFL’s worst roster just two weeks before Week 1, quarterback Joshua Dobbs has kept the Cardinals surprisingly competitive. Dobbs is seventh in passing DVOA and didn’t flinch while facing two of the NFL’s best defenses in the 49ers and Cowboys.

29. Las Vegas Raiders (1-3)

Previous Rank: 29

The Raiders haven’t had a good defense in years, but Maxx Crosby continues to excel despite a lack of talent around him. He has four sacks, six quarterback hits, five tackles for loss, and nine pressures.

30. Carolina Panthers (0-4)

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Previous Rank: 30

Brian Burns is doing what he can to pull the Panthers out of their 0-4 start. The pass-rusher has three sacks, four tackles for loss, and a forced fumble despite the winless record.

31. Denver Broncos (1-3)

Previous Rank: 32

Sean Payton was hired to resurrect Russell Wilson’s career, and he’s done just that. Wilson is third in the NFL in passer rating, tied for second in touchdown passes, and tied for sixth in yards per attempt. Now if only Denver could field a legitimate NFL defense.

32. Chicago Bears (0-4)

Previous Rank: 31

Chicago’s offense showed life against the Broncos, but D.J. Moore has been good all year. The wideout has hauled in 19 passes for 301 yards and a pair of touchdowns despite the Bears’ early offensive woes.

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