NFL Week 4 🏈

Written by on October 4, 2021

The 32 issues we discovered from Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season:

1. Who’s No. 1? After trouncing their division rival (and beforehand undefeated) Los Angeles Rams, the Arizona Cardinals have emerged as the league’s only 4-0 team – on a day when the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos have been uncovered as merchandise of their early simple schedules – although the Playing cards might be joined by the Las Vegas Raiders by the top of Monday evening. Nonetheless, who had Playing cards-Raiders as their Tremendous Bowl 56 picks? (And does anybody need that now?) However give these groups their due, particularly as different perceived favorites and risers stumble.

2. What is the No. 1 regular-season sport? Possibly of all time when it comes to the buildup? Needed to be Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New England Patriots – Tom Brady vs. Bill Belichick at Gillette Stadium after 20 years and 6 Tremendous Bowl titles collectively – on Sunday evening. What did not it have? TB12 being warmly embraced by the Foxborough devoted earlier than kickoff earlier than getting a smattering of boos as soon as the sport began. The GOAT, Brady, in opposition to the first-round QB, Mac Jones, who successfully replaces him. Dangerous climate. Some poor officiating, particularly some calls that almost vaulted the Patriots to victory on their ultimate drive. Brady wresting the NFL career mark for passing yards from Drew Brees. The return of Richard Sherman to the NFL on an evening when he tied for the Bucs staff lead with seven tackles. So many new Patriots, who did not play with Brady (TEs Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, OLB Matt Judon) making their presences felt. Tampa’s secondary changing into additional depleted by accidents. Bucs coach Bruce Arians turning 69. The briefest of postgame exchanges between Belichick and Brady – they met privately for 20 minutes after the sport – adopted by a far lengthier embrace from New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels whereas the QB was hugged by seemingly dozens of ex-mates. And there was the ultimate consequence, Bucs over Pats 19-17, permitting Brady to affix Brees, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning because the only QBs to beat all 32 teams … because of a 56-yard Nick Folks FG try that banged off the upright. What an evening.

2a. And possibly probably the most wonderful stat of Week 4: Brady, who had a pedestrian 269 passing yards, rushed for 3 … or Four greater than the Patriots had collectively. Naturally.

2b. Now 1-3, New England and the stability of the AFC East now path the first-place Buffalo Payments by two video games.

New England Patriots cornerback Myles Bryant (41) reacts after Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Ryan Succop (3) made a field goal late in the fourth quarter, which ended up being the game-winner, during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass.

3. Largely misplaced amid all of the Brady-Belichick hype was the misfortune of Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski, whose fractured ribs (suffered in Week 3) prevented him from possible having fun with his personal hero’s welcome Sunday evening.

4. Again to Arizona. One noteworthy side of the Cardinals’ so-called “Air Raid” offense throughout Sunday’s win? They threw the ball 32 instances, however ran it 40 instances – and for 216 yards and two TDs. QB Kyler Murray (268 yards and a couple of TDs passing and 39 speeding yards) could now be the present favourite for MVP honors because the face of this staff, however Kliff Kingsbury’s squad is proving very multi-faceted.

4a. Since shifting to the Phoenix space in 1988, the Cardinals have solely began 4-Zero one different time – remarkably in 2012 … once they completed 5-11.

4b. The Raiders have yet 4-Zero since 2002 … once they finally misplaced Tremendous Bowl 37.

5. Early frontrunner for NFL defensive participant of the yr? Gotta be Dallas Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs, who picked off two extra passes and now has 5 this season (together with not less than one in each sport). Do not count on Diggs to remain on a full-season tempo for 21 picks – he had three as a rookie in 2020 – but it surely won’t be lengthy earlier than he may legitimately threaten Corridor of Famer Dick “Evening Prepare” Lane’s single-season report of 14, a mark that has stood since 1952 and is mostly thought to be one of many league’s most untouchable requirements.

6. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has thrown for 238 or fewer yards in every of his previous three begins – together with 188 (with Four TD passes) in Sunday’s win over the beforehand unbeaten Panthers – however Dallas has received all three. Ought to inform you one thing in regards to the significance of stability. 

7. New York, NEW YORK! The Giants and Jets each received off the schneid with their first wins of 2021 on Sunday – which was additionally the primary time ever each Huge Apple groups received in time beyond regulation on the identical day.

8. Additionally, Buffalo cruised 40-0 past the Houston Texans … which means, sure, New York truly went 3-Zero in Week 4. (However New Jersey was solely 2-0.)

9. Wonderful how far the New Orleans Saints’ passing sport has evaporated, encapsulated throughout the loss to the Giants. New York had three receivers with greater than 75 receiving yards, whereas the Saints had none.

10. Bummer for the Huge Simple to lastly reopen the Superdome within the wake of Hurricane Ida solely to see the house staff Saints lose.

11. Pittsburgh All-Professional OLB T.J. Watt sacked Aaron Rodgers twice, Watt’s first sacks in Wisconsin since he was a Wisconsin Badger in 2016.

12. However Rodgers improved his profession report in opposition to the Steelers to 2-1 in the Green Bay Packers’ 27-17 win – the primary time Rodgers (248 yards and a couple of TDs passing, 1 speeding TD) had confronted Pittsburgh since successful Tremendous Bowl 45 following the 2010 season and first time he’d seen the Steelers at Lambeau Subject.

13. Regardless of the setback to the Cowboys, new Panthers QB Sam Darnold nonetheless has extra wins (3) this season than the Jets and Giants – mixed.

14. Darnold additionally leads the NFL with 5 speeding TDs. No different QB has ever scored that many instances on the bottom in his staff’s first 4 video games. Lamar who?

14a. Darnold had 5 speeding TDs whole throughout his first three seasons with the Jets.

15. Keep in mind waaay again in preseason, once we have been largely praising the play of rookie quarterbacks whereas counting the drops of Cincinnati Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase? How instances change. Chase, 21, is the youngest to have not less than 4 TD grabs in his first three video games and was named the NFL’s offensive rookie of the month for September.

16. In the meantime, these rookie QBs have largely stunk to excessive heaven, although the Jets’ Zach Wilson and Chicago Bears’ Justin Fields each notched wins Sunday. Nonetheless, collectively, they’re 3-13 via 4 weeks.

17. The subsequent time you hear coachspeak about wins and losses being paramount and stats being for losers? Take it with a grain of salt. The Baltimore Ravens had little bother dealing with the previously unbeaten Broncos 23-7 in Denver. However coach John Harbaugh’s decision to run QB Lamar Jackson on the game’s final play (for five yards) relatively than go into victory formation was a bit laughable. Nevertheless … Jackson’s achieve prolonged Baltimore’s streak of consecutive video games with not less than 100 speeding yards to 43, tying the NFL report. Harbaugh admitted after the sport, “That’s a kind of issues that’s significant. … It’s a really, very robust report to perform.”

17a. However give Jackson, who battled a foul again final week, credit score – his arm (316 yards, TD) was the primary ingredient of the Ravens offense.

18. Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson notched his 100th profession regular-season win in his 148th begin. Wilson, who has by no means missed a sport since being drafted in 2012, joined Peyton Manning as the one gamers to achieve the century mark in victories of their first 10 seasons.

COVID-19. Sure, it is nonetheless an issue within the nation at giant and, particularly, within the NFL. Simply ask beginning Seahawks TE Gerald Everett, who missed Sunday’s sport whereas on the reserve/COVID-19 record.

20. Be careful for the Cleveland Browns’ ascending protection, which has allowed 13 factors and 292 yards – whole – over the previous two weeks. Sunday’s lockdown of the usually explosive Minnesota Vikings was much more spectacular than Week 3’s wipeout of the Chicago Bears.

20a. Scholar (Kevin Stefanski) > mentor (Mike Zimmer) … not less than this Sunday.

21. Is there a greater “Slash” in in the present day’s NFL than Atlanta’s Cordarrelle Patterson? He led the Falcons in speeding (34 yards on 6 carries) and receiving (82 yards on 5 receptions) whereas scoring a career-high three TDs. The All-Decade particular teamer additionally averaged 26 yards on three kickoff returns for good measure.

22. All you of us who drafted Kansas Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (23 yards Sunday) within the first spherical have to be fairly steamed watching the likes of Payments TE Dawson Knox and the Bengals’ C.J. Uzomah scoring two TDs in Week 4. Lesson discovered? Possibly none … or possibly simply stream fantasy tight ends.

23. Detroit Lions QB Jared Goff is enjoying significantly better than he did as a rookie with the Rams in 2016 … however he is using a seven-game dropping streak for the primary time in 5 years.

23a. In fact, Goff has received six in a row in opposition to the Cardinals. (See what we did there, Rams followers?)

24. The Bears received the battle in opposition to Detroit (once more) on Sunday, however could have suffered a crippling blow if RB David Montgomery’s knee harm is critical. Montgomery rushed for 106 yards and two TDs and has arguably been the staff’s greatest participant this season. Subsequent man up can be Tremendous Bowl 54 hero (for the Chiefs) Damien Williams.

25. Reminder that NFL objective traces circumnavigate your complete world. Washington RB J.D. McKissic illustrated this on his game-winning 30-yard TD catch and vault in Atlanta.

26. The Jacksonville Jaguars have now misplaced 19 consecutive video games. They path solely the 1976-77 growth Buccaneers (26) for the longest dropping streak within the Tremendous Bowl period (since 1966) and can personal the second-worst skid to themselves in the event that they fall to the Titans in Week 5.

26a. New Jags coach City Meyer had by no means misplaced 4 in a row in his profession … till now.

26b. New Jags QB Trevor Lawrence has been on the dropping facet of his first 4 NFL begins after dropping 4 video games in highschool and school … mixed. He went 86-Four between Cartersville (Ga.) Excessive Faculty and Clemson earlier than going professional.

27. The Jets entered Sunday with six sacks however took down Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Tannehill seven instances.

27a. And the way about this nugget from Elias: Jets defenders Quincy and Quinnen Williams grew to become the primary brothers to report sacks in the identical sport for a similar staff for the reason that stat grew to become official in 1982.

28. Is there a extra disappointing staff proper now than the Dolphins, losers of three in a row? Miami’s clearly been damage by the absence of injured QB Tua Tagovailoa, however they have not even seemed aggressive in two of the previous three weeks.

29. Good job to the NFL schedule makers, who lastly delivered a pleasant Thursday matchup (Jaguars-Bengals) between groups that do not get a lot press however wanted to be slotted below the prime-time lights not less than as soon as this season. Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow and Jacksonville counterpart Lawrence each seemed like gamers who might be among the many league’s main lights in just a few years. Cincy’s 24-21 win was a pleasant palate cleanser after Week Three served up Panthers-Texans on “Thursday Evening Soccer.” Hopefully the league’s scheduling supercomputers will study sooner or later to present us extra Burrow vs. Lawrence – and possibly Darnold vs. the Jets, or Texans dealing with the ex-Texans (DeAndre Hopkins, J.J. Watt and the remainder of the Cardinals) – so we will take pleasure in as a lot drama and subtext as attainable with these required one-off appearances.

30. And total, the video games have been actually good … as standard. For the fifth time in NFL historical past, not less than one contest has gone to time beyond regulation in every of the primary 4 weeks of the season. And already at this level of the marketing campaign, 15 video games have featured a game-winning rating within the ultimate minute of regulation or in time beyond regulation – probably the most via the primary 4 weeks of a season for the reason that 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

31. Welcome again to Chiefs All-Pro WR Tyreek Hill, who had 19 grabs for 267 yards and one TD via three weeks as opposing defenses tried to restrict his injury on deep pictures. The Philadelphia Eagles could not replicate that bend-but-don’t-break strategy to Hill on Sunday as he exploded for 11 receptions for 186 yards and three scores in K.C.’s 42-30 get-well win.

32. And let’s hold it 100 right here for Andy Reid, given Foxborough, Mass., wasn’t the one website of a notable NFL reunion Sunday. With Reid’s win over the Eagles, his former staff, the Chiefs coach grew to become the primary head man to win not less than 100 video games with two completely different franchises. Nicely accomplished (and properly timed), Huge Pink.

***

Comply with USA TODAY Sports activities’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.


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