Herd Hierarchy: Dolphins remain first, Chiefs ascend, Lions make return


The third week of the NFL season has come to a close, and with it, produced dominant performances from several top contenders around the league. 

In the latest edition of “Herd Hierarchy,” Colin Cowherd discussed the five teams that are “special” heading into Week 4, as well as five teams that are performing well but are missing a key piece. 

10. Detroit Lions (Last Week: Unranked)

Overall Record: 2-1 | Last Week: Lions won 20-6 vs. Atlanta Falcons

Cowherd’s thoughts: “They needed to get better on defense and they did. I don’t think they’re a Super Bowl team, but I like the front office, the last three drafts, and their free agent acquisitions. They just keep getting better, step by step.”   

Up Next: Lions @ Green Bay Packers (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

Detroit Lions

DET

Green Bay Packers

GB

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: Unranked) 

Overall Record: 2-1 | Last Week: Steelers won 23-18 @ Las Vegas Raiders 

Cowherd’s thoughts: “They remain just a sparkler of a fireworks show. [They average] 4.8 yards a play, no threat outside of [George] Pickens on the outside to beat you. They lead the NFL in sacks, defensive touchdowns, and againm with T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick, they have stars. But, this is such a low-wattage offense, I think they’re limited.” 

Up Next: Steelers @ Texans (1 p.m. ET) 

Pittsburgh Steelers

PIT

Houston Texans

HOU

8. Seattle Seahawks (Last Week: Unranked) 

Overall Record: 2-1 | Last Week: Seahawks won 37-27 vs. Carolina Panthers  

Cowherd’s thoughts: “Seattle is sneaky good. Bad opening against performance the Rams, but they’re averaging 29 [points] a game. They’ve given the ball up once, fewest in the NFL [in turnovers]. Geno Smith has time to throw, completing 69% of his throws. Now, they’re not generating a consistent pass rush, so you can throw the ball on them and that’s what [Matthew] Stafford did in Week 1. … But [they have] a good coach, Geno Smith is doing what he does [and they got] another good draft class. [They’re] a young team getting better.”

Up Next: Seahawks @ New York Giants (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

Seattle Seahawks

SEA

New York Giants

NYG

7. Cleveland Browns (Last Week: Unranked)

Overall Record: 2-1 | Last Week: Browns won 27-3 vs. Tennessee Titans 

Cowherd’s thoughts: “Maybe I have them low, but the defense is insane. You know they’ve only allowed 490 yards through three games? That’s the lowest since 1970. Deshaun Watson is not the same, but he can make plays. They lead the NFL in yardage differential which is something gamblers look at. They’ve gotta get it right offensively and they will miss Nick Chubb. But, [with] this defense, they’re gonna be in every single game they play.” 

Up Next: Browns @ Baltimore Ravens (1 p.m. ET) 

Baltimore Ravens

BAL

Cleveland Browns

CLE

6. Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: 3)

Overall Record: 2-1 | Last Week: Cowboys lost 28-16 @ Arizona Cardinals

Cowherd’s thoughts: “I think the Trevon Diggs situation is real. They can’t defend the same way. By the way, thirteen penalties against the Cardinals. Isn’t that the bugaboo with Mike McCarthy teams? … Dak [Prescott is] 7-16 in his career when he’s gotta throw 40-plus pass attempts. So, if you’re not running the ball, or they trail, there are limitations to this team. And, I think Micah [Parsons] and Trevon Diggs are difference makers and one is gone for the season.” 

Up Next: Cowboys @ New England Patriots (4:25 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app)

New England Patriots

NE

Dallas Cowboys

DAL

Herd Hierarchy: Steelers bounce back, Dolphins stay atop the top 10

5. Buffalo Bills (Last Week: 7)

Overall Record: 2-1 | Last Week: Bills won 37-3 @ Washington Commanders 

Cowherds thoughts: “Let’s just forget the first game happened. Buffalo looks good again. [The] defense is getting a pass rush. … And I will say this: Josh Allen only averaging four rush attempts this year is a good sign. Sean McDermott [and] the franchise is listening. They’re becoming less Josh Allen run reliant. [They’re the] only NFL team to be top three in scoring offense and scoring defense.”

Up Next: Bills vs. Miami Dolphins (1 p.m. ET)

Miami Dolphins

MIA

Buffalo Bills

BUF

4. Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: 5)

Overall Record: 3-0 | Last Week: Eagles won 25-11 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Cowherd’s thoughts: “I don’t think Philadelphia has got their offense right, but their O-line and D-line depth and talent is so significant that I put them at four [in rankings]. [They have] the No. 2 rushing offense. And again, Jalen Hurts was sick [and] they didn’t look very good early, but it’s the 11th game with 200-plus rushing yards since the start of last year [for Philadelphia]. They’re a well-oiled machine and can give teams like Kansas City trouble because they can keep [Patrick] Mahomes on the bench for long periods of time.” 

Up Next: Eagles vs. Washington Commanders (1 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app)

Washington Commanders

WAS

Philadelphia Eagles

PHI

3. San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: 2)

Overall Record: 3-0 | Last Week: 49ers won 30-12 @ New York Giants 

Cowherd’s thoughts: “Brock Purdy has not thrown an interception in seven straight games including the playoffs. He doesn’t make mistakes. He’s not great and that’s the concern, but they’re the only team to score 30-plus points in three games this year. They’ve won thirteen straight regular-season games and have given up almost no big plays.” 

Up Next: 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals (4:25 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app)

Arizona Cardinals

ARI

San Francisco 49ers

SF

2. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: 4)

Overall Record: 2-1 | Last Week: Chiefs won 41-10 vs. Chicago Bears 

Cowherd’s thoughts: “They still have to figure out the wide receiver spot, so [it] feels like they’re a flawed team. But, my gut is [telling me] they’ll figure it out. They’re very [reliant on Patrick] Mahomes and [Travis] Kelce right now. … Mahomes has been sacked only once [and] this is absolutely the fastest defense of the Mahomes-era.” 

Up Next: Chiefs vs. New York Jets (8:20 p.m. ET) 

Kansas City Chiefs

KC

New York Jets

NYJ

1. Miami Dolphins (Last Week: 1)

Overall Record: 3-0 | Last Week: Dolphins won vs. Denver Broncos 70-20

Cowherd’s thoughts: “My only concern with Miami is will they stay healthy? Jaylen Waddle was already hurt. Their defense is only 23rd [in league rankings], [but] it’s well-coached [and] I think Jalen Ramsey [returning] could help … They lead the NFL in all offensive categories. [Their offense is a] fireworks show. … Absolutely fun to watch.” 

Up Next: Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills (1 p.m. ET) 

Miami Dolphins

MIA

Buffalo Bills

BUF



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