The first quarter of the 2017 NFL season is in the books. However, we’ve yet to see a cluster of teams emerge as clear contenders. Our Week 4 BES Rankings might offer a glimpse at several teams trying to establish some distance between themselves and the rest of the pack.
Nonetheless, the BES was 11-5 (.688) predicting Week 4 outcomes based on our Week 3 report which brings our season tally to 30-18 (.625). It’ll be interesting to see how well that holds up in coming weeks.
Chiefs Make it Three in A Row
For a third consecutive week the Chiefs (4-0) hold the top spot in the BES as the league’s only undefeated team. Surprisingly, they’ve improved their BES Overall score (3.62) by +.01 points from last week. They’ve also maneuvered into the No. 1 spot in BES Offense. That’s due in large to their Point Yield score of 3.29 which paces all 32 teams.
However, the chink in their armor appears to be Pass Protection which has steadily declined since our Week 1 report. Their Pass Pro score of 2.94 is down -.41 points from their debut score of 3.35. That’s mainly the result of mounting injuries to their interior offensive line, a major concern as they go on the road against a tough Texans defense in Week 5.
Watson, Texans Surging Upward
One of the biggest stories over the last several weeks has been the stellar play of rookie Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Watson has guided the Texans (2-2) to a 2-1 record in his three starts. During that stretch the Texans have risen to No. 19 in our Week 4 BES Rankings after opening the season at No. 27.
He made his biggest statement in Week 4 with a 57-14 dismantling of the Tennessee Titans (2-2). In that game, Watson threw four touchdowns and rushed for another while displaying poise and command beyond his years.
Watson faces his biggest test in Week 5 when the Texans host the Chiefs. It’ll be interesting to see how he does against the Chiefs No. 7 BES Defense, arguably the best unit he’s confronted thus far.
Steelers Fueled by Ascending Defense
The Steelers (3-1), along with the Chiefs, Lions (3-1) and Falcons (3-1), have been mainstays in the BES Top-5 for the last three weeks. After a resounding 26-9 divisional road win over the Ravens (2-2) in Week 4, the Steelers appear as one the AFC’s more formidable teams.
More specifically, the Steelers defense has shown much improvement early in the season. The unit ranked No. 8 in BES Defense in our Week 1 report with a score of 2.81. They have since ascended to No. 2 in our Week 4 BES Rankings with a score of 2.99.
Led in tackles by star linebacker Ryan Shazier, the Steelers own the second highest Pass Pressure score (3.22) among all 32 teams. This is supported by their 15 team sacks which ranks second only to the Jaguars (18 sacks) whom they’ll host in Week 5.
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