NFL Hot Takes: Week 4

Arizona Cardinals: The offense has looked like nothing like it did last year. Palmer has no time for the deep ball, and despite David Johnson playing well, this team is struggling. And now Palmer (concussion) has little chance to come back on a short week, putting AZ in danger of a 1-4 start.


Atlanta Falcons: While we do love the Ryan-to-Julio connection, we still haven’t forgotten about the Falcons 5-0 start last season that ended in a complete dumpster fire. The offense has it working, but defensively there are still too many problems for us to fully board this hype train.


Baltimore Ravens: We weren’t completely sold on this Ravens team heading into week four, and the offense’s performance against one of the statistically worst defenses in the league didn’t do much to ease our concerns. This team will likely contend for a wild-card spot, but not much more than that.


Buffalo Bills: A really important win for Buffalo, getting their road game against New England out of the way and building momentum with two wins. Who knew that firing  your offensive coordinator would get the defense to play better?


Carolina Panthers: It really looks like Carolina thought they could just waltz in win the NFC South again; probably skate their way to another conference championship appearance.  Well this team is now 1-3 and doing none of the things that they did well in 2015.  Also, Carolina never gave up 300 yards to a receiver when Norman was there – Just Sayin’.


Chicago Bears: The Bears finally got their first win of the season, which will surely start the grumblings of “Why do we need Jay Cutler” in the Windy City. It’s not that it’s a bad question to ask, but Chicago fans probably don’t want to see what Hoyer as their long term option looks like.


Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals did what good teams are supposed to do to hapless teams – beat them handily. The Dalton-to-Green connection is in mid-season form, and the defense played noticeably better with Burfict back on the field. Not sure if Cincy is good enough to take the division, but they are headed in the right direction after last week.


Cleveland Browns: We like to joke about how the Cleveland Browns find new ways to lose each and every week. Well this week the referees literally took one away from them. We can’t say for sure what new and exciting way the Browns would have lost this game if the refs didn’t muck this one up, but holy cow that was a bad call.


Dallas Cowboys: It’s never easy to get a win on the road, no matter who the opponent is, but Dak and Zeke are making it look easy. We could be looking at the future of the Cowboys for the next 10 years. Now what does Jerry Jones do with Romo?


Denver Broncos: We finally got to see Paxton Lynch get some real NFL action, and he delivered with his first touchdown. This team is still winning because of the defense, but a word of caution. There does come a point where you can’t just plug in a QB and keep winning – no matter how strong of a defense you have.


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Detroit Lions: Every week the Lions suck us in. They play winnable games and then somehow find a way to not win them. So that’s it. I’m not picking the Lions to win another game this season. Not saying that they won’t win at all this year, but I can’t deal with the frustration of picking them only to have them lose.


Green Bay Packers: BYE WEEK


Houston Texans: Not many people are going to turn their nose up at a 3-1 record – but we are. They haven’t had a win against a good team yet this year, and until they beat a contender, we aren’t going to give them a single bit of credit.


Indianapolis Colts: This team is bad and the entire organization should be fired. You can’t take one of the top young QB’s in the league and give him zero protection. What good are great receiving threats if Luck doesn’t have time to throw the ball to them? Mark my words – Pagano doesn’t last the season (even though he didn’t build this horrible roster).


Jacksonville Jaguars: Gus Bradley saved his job for at least two more weeks with a win over division rival Indy.  There’s still a ton of AFC South action to go, which means the Jags could actually be in the hunt for the division. Sad!


Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs first quarter against the Steelers was the worst quarter of football we have seen from any team this year… that is, until the second quarter of that same game. This is a defense and offense that is meant to play with the lead, so two turnovers in the span of 2 minutes equals a loss.


Los Angeles Rams: So everyone keeps doubting this team, but somehow they keep winning. If you had told me that after their blowout loss on Monday Night of week one, that the Rams would be 3-1 and atop the division, I’d have you institutionalized. But even with all that, did the Rams really trade up to get Goff who isn’t even good enough to replace Keenum?


Miami Dolphins: Miami has one of the worst offensive lines in football, and it’s reflected in their 1-3 record.  The running game is non-existent, Tannehill is getting lit up every time he drops back, and the defense struggles to get stops. If this team wants to turn things around, it needs to start on the O-line.


Minnesota Vikings: MONDAY NIGHT GAME


New England Patriots: I know a lot of fans are blaming the loss on no Brady and being forced to start an injured 3rd string rookie QB, but the fact of the matter is this. The Patriots did not look like the Patriots out there. They were sloppy in all three aspects of the game, and even if Brady was out there, it’s no guarantee that they come away with the win.


New Orleans Saints: Brees was able to lead the Saints to their first win of the season, with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown drives. This defense still looks porous, but was able to force a couple of turnovers late in the game that kept the Saints’ hopes alive.


New York Giants: MONDAY NIGHT GAME


New York Jets: The good news was the Ryan Fitzpatrick only threw half as many interceptions as he threw against KC. The bad news was that he still threw three. Either the coaching staff has confidence that Fitz can turn things around, or Geno is just an awful quarterback. Either way – the Jets are going nowhere with their current setup.


Oakland Raiders: The scheduling gods were not kind to the Raiders, forcing them to travel east for early games in back to back weeks, but Oakland prevailed and is now two games above .500.  If the defense can just play average, this team could be dangerous.


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Philadelphia Eagles: BYE WEEK


Pittsburgh Steelers: The offense played great. The defense forced turnovers. The special teams… we didn’t really pay attention because this game was so lopsided. It’s easy to say that a defense is playing better when they force so many turnovers, but we still aren’t sold on their ability to stop a competent offense.  With that being said – if Ben, AB and Bell are all playing, they might not even need a defense.


San Diego Chargers: For as much grief as we give the Browns for finding new ways to lose, the Chargers are just as bad. We could probably copy/paste this comment every week and it would be true 90% of the time… “The Chargers blow a fourth quarter lead, and lose by a single score.”  At some point you have to pin these close losses on the coaching staff.


San Francisco 49ers: The hype train that was fully loaded after the Niners’ week 1 blowout victory has completely come off the rails. We aren’t sure who is insisting that Gabbert is worthy of the starting role, but we’ve seen his ceiling and we’ve seen Kaepernick’s. Kaep’s is higher. Trust us.


Seattle Seahawks: This was a classic Seattle win. Defense forcing turnovers. Offense playing effectively on a short field. This team is built to win on the road and we aren’t even seeing a fully healthy Wilson yet. Oh, and Jimmy Graham is finally doing what Seattle thought he’d do when they traded for him last year.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The farther along we get in the season, the more that week one victory over Atlanta looks like a fluke. We will give them a pass, knowing that they played three of the NFL’s top defenses in consecutive weeks (AZ/LA/DEN), but that just puts a lot more pressure on them to win against the mediocre teams.


Tennessee Titans: Penalties, dropped passes, and overall sloppy play. It’s just another week in Nashville as this Titans team has the talent to win games, but none of the discipline. On paper this is an 8-8 team, but on the field they are more of a 3-13 team.


Washington Redskins: Cousins is playing ok (not great) and the defense is playing ok (not great). This team is ok (not great), and that’s reflected in their 2-2 record. We weren’t convinced the Skins could defend their NFC East title, and thus far it looks like they won’t.


About Aaron Garcia

Aaron is an avid sports fan who passionately follows the NFL, NBA and MLB, in addition to NCAA Sports. He is an Arizona State University grad who loves the Dodgers and the Patriots.