With the NFL season nearing the halfway mark, the power rankings continue to see a major shakeup. With the Chiefs being the last unbeaten team to fall and several other teams suffering major losses, the rankings are nearly a free-for-all.
Butker jumped to the NFL as a Panthers’ 2017 seventh-round draft pick after four years as Georgia Tech’s top kicker. After rocky sophomore and junior campaigns, he finished his college career with a 15-17 performance as a senior to put himself on the NFL radar. He couldn’t beat out Graham Gano for the team’s primary role, but he landed on Carolina’s practice squad after a perfect preseason (two field goals, four extra points).
Opportunity knocked when the Chiefs placed Santos on injured reserve. Coach Reid, looking for a new field-goal specialist, turned to the former Yellow Jacket. Butker signed with Kansas City on Sept. 26, just five days before his pro debut. While he started off shaky by pushing his first NFL field-goal attempt wide left from 46 yards, he recovered in time to push his new team to a prime-time victory.
Through five games, the Patriots had yet to hold an opposing quarterback to fewer than 300 passing yards. Journeyman Jets passer Josh McCown was supposed to be the guy to break that streak — instead, he’s breaking New England.
McCown carved up the Patriots’ defense in the first half of their AFC East showdown, getting his team out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter before New England stormed back in a 24-17 victory. Despite the loss, McCown managed to throw for 354 yards to keep the Pats’ ignominious streak alive.
The Atlanta Falcons were the only other undefeated team heading into Week 4, but they dropped down the list after a disappointing home loss to the Bills. Speaking of which, the Bills are 3-1 and surprising some people along the way.