Hey everyone, Tyler Arthur here, welcome to my weekly NFL column.
I am going to be using this space to keep all of you guys up to date with what you may have missed in the NFL, the biggest takeaways and stats, and then preview the upcoming week and what I think you need to be watching next.
Thanks for reading, now let’s get into this week’s column.
The NFL season just keeps getting better and better. We have seen historic moments, epic matchups, exciting endings to games, all year long. On Sunday, we had multiple overtimes, some intense battles and a week of reckoning for the undefeated teams who had survived three weeks!
We have plenty to talk about so we’ll get stuck right into it.
What happened This Week in the NFL?
On Sunday Night Football, we witnessed history. Tom Brady, the Greatest of All-Time, cemented his legacy even further. He returned home to Foxborough, where he dominated the league for two decades, and won on the road at his old stomping grounds. He defeated his old head coach, he beat his old team, and he held together his emotions – on the field at least. While the game wasn’t the most exciting of the week, it will be the one we remember for the longest.
Tom Brady is now the sole owner of the NFL’s all-time passing yardage record, and he also became just the 4th QB in history to win a game against all 32 teams in the league. This week will go down in history as the time that the GOAT got closure, and became the greatest passer ever, to add to the fact he was already the most successful player ever.
It’s over. The Denver Broncos were one of the two more surprisingly undefeated teams coming into Week 4, however, they really did have a smooth schedule to start the year (on Sunday night, two of their three opponents finally celebrated their first wins, the third still has none). The Las Vegas Raiders however, had to work hard early in the season. Their getting to 3-0 was impressive, toppling the Ravens, Steelers and then Miami, going to overtime twice. Last night, in their second prime time game of the year, they faced Justin Herbert and the Chargers on the road. Unfortunately, they didn’t perform the way they had in the first three weeks and fell short because of a completely non-existent first half performance.
Then there was one. With the surprise-package Carolina Panthers falling to Dallas, the NFC’s undefeated status was reduced to the winner of Arizona @ LA. The Rams came in as the favourites, and were one of my SB picks before the season started, but it wasn’t to be. The Cardinals walked into SoFi Stadium and played phenomenal football. They earned this final undefeated spot, that’s for sure. They beat the Rams 37-20 in a great game, and now sit atop the NFC West, the NFC as a whole, and of course, the NFL – 4-0. In Week 5, they face the San Francisco 49ers, another very exciting matchup, between division rivals.
The Arizona Cardinals are now officially the only undefeated team, and one of the teams to watch this year as we go deeper into the regular season.
Standout Individual Performers
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
80% completion rate, 278 yards, 5 TD’s.
The most talented quarterback probably ever continued to be pretty damn talented this week, when he completed 24 of his 30 pass attempts for 278 yards. Patrick Mahomes threw 5 touchdown passes against the Eagles, of which two were through very unconventional means – one with a shovel pass and the other with one of his patented underarm throws. The other three all went to a man who deserves arguably the biggest shoutout of the week.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
11 receptions, 183 receiving yards, 3 TD’s.
Yeah, there aren’t many players in history who can put up a line like this. Tyreek Hill hauled in 11 catches and turned them into a ridiculous 183 yards and scored three times. The speedy receiver became just the fifth player in NFL history to record five 180+ yard games in his first six seasons in the NFL. He dominated the Philadelphia secondary, and seemingly couldn’t be covered, despite having a somewhat quiet start to the season. This bounceback effort was by far the biggest individual performance of the week, and it’s safe to say the fantasy owners who may have been disappointed through Week 3 are feeling better now.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
78% completion rate, 348 yards and 2 TD’s.
In the battle of number one picks, there was a clear winner. Joe Burrow put up one of the best stat lines he’s had in his young career so far, while facing 2021’s first pick Trevor Lawrence. For the second week in a row, the Bengals O-Line was able to keep his jersey clean, with just one sack in the last two weeks. The LSU grad completed 25 of his 32 pass attempts, a 78% rate – his career-high. His 348 passing yards, was the second-most he’s ever had. He also threw 2 touchdowns in their victory over the Jaguars.
Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers
8 receptions, 156 yards, 2 TD’s.
For the second time this year, Deebo Samuel had a huge day. One of the true breakout stars of the 2021 campaign so far, the Niners receiver has found himself involved much more in the offense than before. Where Samuel was regularly thought of as a YAC [yards after the catch] guy, running short routes, but this season he has been able to have a more versatile role. Not all of his catches are short and quick passes anymore, he stretches the field well in both directions and is able to do damage at all three levels. His 156 yards in Week 4 and the 189 from Week 1 show that he is a central part of this offense and can be a really productive and versatile player.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons
6 rushes for 34 yards and 5 receptions for 82 yards, 3 TD’s.
This is a name you probably wouldn’t have expected to see when the season started, but credit where credit is due. Cordarrelle Patterson is a WR/RB hybrid who has always been considered elite through the lens of special teams. However, yesterday, he had a big day on offense, scoring three times, as well as accruing 116 all-purpose yards. The Falcons couldn’t quite get the W against Washington, but Patterson’s individual efforts were above and beyond all expectations.
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
20 rushes for 143 yards and a TD.
Zeke didn’t rush for the most yards this week, but his efficiency puts him as the best RB performer on the week for my money. The Cowboys put in another stellar offensive performance as they defeated the previously undefeated Carolina Panthers. Ezekiel Elliott had 20 rushes which he turned into 143 yards and a score. Tony Pollard has been a breath of fresh air whenever the starter takes a break, but Zeke is still showing that when he gets the call, he means business.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
33 rushes for 157 yards and a TD.
The leading rusher on the week was the Titans Derrick Henry. The biggest brute force at the position was on full display this week. He was handed the ball 33 times and he rumbled for 157 yards. This was his third consecutive 100+ yard game and his second 150+ yard game of the season. Unfortunately, no matter how much Henry did, we have to recognise that this was in a game where Tennessee failed to defeat the New York Jets, and that drastically reduces the hype for this performance.
Trevon Diggs, Dallas Cowboys
One of the most important goals of the Dallas Cowboys over the last couple of years has been to improve their defense. They are very similar to the Raiders in the fact that if their defense is just adequate, not even good, they will win a hell of a lot of football games. This season, they might be seeing the breakout of an absolute gem, in Trevon Diggs. The second-year CB out of Alabama has had an interception every game this year, including a pick six last week, and on Sunday he intercepted Sam Darnold twice in their win over Carolina. Diggs is currently the league leader in interceptions, and at just age 23, he is only going to keep getting better.
Games to watch back
Jaguars @ Bengals
Chiefs @ Eagles
Cardinals @ Rams
Buccaneers @ Patriots (more for narrative and history than the game itself)
Stat Leaders through Week 4
Passing Yards – Derek Carr, 1399
Passing TD’s – Patrick Mahomes, 14
Rushing Yards – Derrick Henry, 510
Rushing TD’s – Sam Darnold, 5
Receiving Yards – Deebo Samuel, 490
Receiving TD’s – Cooper Kupp, 5
Total TD’s – Sam Darnold, Aaron Jones, Cooper Kupp, Cordarrelle Patterson, 5
Tackles (combined) – Bobby Wagner, 54
Sacks – Myles Garrett, 6.0
Interceptions – Trevon Diggs, 5
Week 5 Preview – What to Watch
Week 5 Best Games
Rams @ Seahawks – TNF
49ers @ Cardinals – 9:25PM
Bills @ Chiefs – SNF
As you can see, the NFC West division is just unmissable football, at the moment. We have two NFC West divisional games, with the Rams heading to Seattle and San Francisco visiting the undefeated Cardinals. The combined record of the NFC West is currently 11-5, tied for the best in the league with the AFC West.
Finally, the Sunday Night Football clash between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs is poised to be an incredibly exciting game. Two of the best offenses in the NFL will be battling it out with high-flying passing guaranteed and quarterback improvisation likely on display regularly.
The season just keeps delivering, Week 5 should be no different.
Week 5 – Who to watch
Exciting Thursday Night Matchup, Rams @ Seahawks, TNF.
First London game! Jets @ Falcons, 2:30PM.
What happens when a very stoppable object collides with an extremely moveable object? Jets @ Falcons, 2:30PM
The Undefeated Cardinals looking to go 5-0 in tough matchup, 49ers @ Cardinals, 9:25PM.
San Francisco QB situation, 49ers @ Cardinals, 9:25PM.
An AFC Championship game preview? Are the Chiefs still top dogs? Bills @ Chiefs, SNF.
Do the Ravens just automatically make primetime games insanely exciting? Colts @ Ravens, MNF.