A five-minute guide to NFL Week 4


Through three weeks of the NFL season, typical NFC contenders such as the Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams have had inconsistent starts, and the top of the AFC doesn’t seem to be living up to its hype yet, either.

Still, the AFC appears ahead of its counterpart after three games, largely because of the caliber of play of its young quarterbacks. In the NFC, where the Philadelphia Eagles are the conference’s lone undefeated team, Jalen Hurts is the only young signal caller performing consistently at the moment. Maybe this is the week when the NFC finds its footing, with Tom Brady’s receivers potentially returning from injury and suspension for Tampa Bay, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers adjusting to life without Davante Adams, and Arizona’s Kyler Murray finding his groove.

So far, 18 games have been decided by three or fewer points, and 25 have been decided by six or fewer, both the most in NFL history through three weeks of a season. Here’s a quick look at the matchups on the schedule in Week 4.

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Dolphins (3-0) at Bengals (1-2), 8:15 p.m., Amazon Prime: As if this one needed any spice, Miami’s Tyreek Hill supplied it, looking ahead to his third matchup with Cincinnati cornerback Eli Apple in nine months. “I can’t wait to go against Eli Apple,” Hill told reporters Sunday. “I owe you, boy. I owe you. I’m here. The Cheetah is here.” The Kansas City Chiefs, Hill’s former team, lost twice to Cincinnati in a 28-day span last season, and Apple called Hill a baby in a tweet after the AFC championship game. Bengals safety Jessie Bates responded, “Somebody comes after Eli, he comes after all of us.” Hill would be helped by the appearance of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who is considered questionable with back and ankle injuries.

Vikings (2-1) vs. Saints (1-2) in London, 9:30 a.m., NFL Network: This is the first of five international games (three in London, one each in Munich and Mexico City) in eight weeks. Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson will look to bounce back from two lackluster performances, with nine total receptions for 62 yards in the two games since his 184-yard game in Week 1.

Browns (2-1) at Falcons (1-2), 1 p.m.: Cleveland’s Amari Cooper is coming off back-to-back 100-yard games for the first time since 2016, when he was with the Raiders. A Browns receiver had not previously accomplished that since Josh Gordon’s four straight 100-yard games in 2013.

Bills (2-1) at Ravens (2-1), 1 p.m.: Lamar Jackson’s “ka-ching” tour continues; the soon-to-be free agent has passed for 749 yards and 10 touchdowns (with the NFL’s leading passer rating of 119.0) and rushed for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Buffalo is coming off a game in which it had the highest time of possession (40:40) in a non-overtime loss for any team since Week 7 in 2014.

Commanders (1-2) at Cowboys (2-1), 1 p.m.: Dallas has given up only three touchdowns over three games, tied for the fewest allowed through the first three games of a season in franchise history.

Seahawks (1-2) at Lions (1-2), 1 p.m.: Seattle’s 47 points on the season are fewer than half of Detroit’s 95. And the legendary Seattle defense is a thing of the past, with the Seahawks forcing only one three-and-out all season.

Chargers (1-2) at Texans (0-2-1), 1 p.m.: Los Angeles Coach Brandon Staley is feeling the heat, this time less for fourth-down gambles and more for his decision to allow franchise quarterback Justin Herbert (25 of 45 completions for 297 yards) to make the call to keep playing in a lopsided loss despite being hampered by fractured rib cartilage. Staley said Herbert didn’t suffer any setbacks and is expected to play going forward.

Titans (1-2) at Colts (1-1-1), 1 p.m.: Derrick Henry rebounded with 85 yards rushing (on 20 carries) and a touchdown to go with five receptions for 58 yards last week against Las Vegas. Indianapolis ranks first in the league in rushing yards allowed per attempt.

Bears (2-1) at Giants (2-1), 1 p.m.: New York’s Daniel Jones remains a man under pressure (sacked five times Monday night by the Cowboys, who pressured him on 40.5 percent of dropbacks) behind a porous offensive line. But Saquon Barkley is second in the league in rushing with 317 yards.

Jaguars (2-1) at Eagles (3-0), 1 p.m.: Beware the … Jaguars, whose last road win before last week was in 2019? The last time before the past two weeks the team had a 20-point lead in back-to-back games was Weeks 14 and 15 in 2000 against the Browns and Cardinals. Doug Pederson, who coached the Eagles to a Super Bowl championship and now toils in Jacksonville, was a quarterback for the Browns in that game.

Jets (1-2) at Steelers (1-2), 1 p.m.: Mike Tomlin swore after Pittsburgh’s Thursday night loss to Cleveland last week that he would not make a quarterback switch from Mitch Trubisky to Kenny Pickett, but it may soon be time to give that a try. Speaking of quarterback changes, Zach Wilson is expected to start for the Jets after he missed the first three games with a knee injury he suffered during the preseason. Joe Flacco returns to the bench.

Cardinals (1-2) at Panthers (1-2), 4:05 p.m.: Slow starts have hurt Arizona, which trailed the Rams by 13 and the Chiefs by 16 in the first half of its losses. The Cardinals rallied for an overtime win against the Raiders after trailing by 20 in their only win.

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Patriots (1-2) at Packers (2-1), 4:25 p.m.: Rodgers is averaging the fewest passing yards per game — 228 — in his career as a starter. In the Patriots, he’ll face a Matt Patricia-led offense with Brian Hoyer (whose last start was in 2020 and last win was in 2016 with Chicago) and Bailey Zappe the quarterback options with Mac Jones expected to be out with an ankle injury.

Broncos (2-1) at Raiders (0-3), 4:25 p.m.: Since 1979, only six teams have made the playoffs after a 0-3 start, but the Raiders did so last year with help in Week 17. Maybe history will repeat. If so, Derek Carr should pause before throwing the ball in the direction of Denver cornerback Patrick Surtain II, who has allowed the fourth-lowest passer rating (59.8) with a minimum of 70 targets since he was drafted last year.

Chiefs (2-1) at Buccaneers (2-1), 8:20 p.m., NBC: This is the sixth Patrick Mahomes-Tom Brady matchup despite the fact Mahomes is in only his sixth NFL season. Brady’s receivers have been hurt (or suspended for a game in the case of Mike Evans), and the Bucs have managed only one offensive touchdown in each of their three games. Evans is back this week, and Julio Jones might be as well.

Rams (2-1) at 49ers (1-2), 8:15, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes: San Francisco has given up 37 points over three games, and yet the 49ers are 1-2. The 2-1 Rams have allowed 70.





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