Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Week 4 of the 2022 NFL season obtained underway Thursday night time with a Cincinnati Bengals win that was overshadowed by a daunting harm to Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, who suffered a concussion and was briefly hospitalized.

Sunday’s slate of video games ended with the Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes utilizing some trickery and razzle dazzle handy Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers their second straight loss.

Sunday’s motion kicked off early (9:30 a.m. ET) because the Minnesota Vikings took on the New Orleans Saints in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. The sport got here all the way down to the ultimate seconds, when Wil Lutz’s 61-yard area aim try hit off the upright and the crossbar however fell quick.

Later within the day, Cooper Rush led the Dallas Cowboys to a win over the Washington Commanders, the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars battled by way of the rain, and a showdown between two of the league’s prime groups — the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills — got here all the way down to a game-winning area aim. Pittsburgh Steelers rookie QB Kenny Pickett made his debut within the third quarter and rushed for his first two profession touchdowns, however Zach Wilson (who made his season debut) and the New York Jets took dwelling the win with a last-minute landing.

The Tennessee Titans scored an AFC South street win in opposition to the Indianapolis Colts, and the Seattle Seahawks had an offensive explosion, placing up 48 factors on the Detroit Lions, who tried to battle again however fell simply quick ultimately.

The Las Vegas Raiders lastly obtained within the win column within the later afternoon window, defeating the Denver Broncos to provide coach Josh McDaniels his first victory in silver and black. The Green Bay Packers moved to 3-1 with a last-second, extra time win versus a gutty New England Patriots workforce enjoying with a third-string rookie quarterback.

Our NFL Nation reporters react with the largest takeaways and lingering questions popping out of this week’s matchups and look forward to what’s subsequent. Let’s get to it.

Jump to a matchup:

MIN-NO | MIA-CIN | JAX-PHI | TEN-IND
CLE-ATL | WSH-DAL | BUF-BAL | LAC-HOU
NYJ-PIT | CHI-NYG | SEA-DET | ARI-CAR
DEN-LV | NE-GB | KC-TB

Chiefs

What to know: The Chiefs can flourish offensively within the absence of vast receiver Tyreek Hill. They simply have a distinct space of power. It’s now not essentially the vast receivers, however their tight ends and operating backs now. All 5 of their touchdowns have been scored by tight ends or backs, together with three landing passes by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has 9 passing TDs this season to backs or tight ends, 4 greater than every other quarterback.

Is there cause to fret in regards to the protection after Week 4 efficiency? There is not. The Chiefs performed complementary soccer, permitting simply two performs of greater than 20 yards. They made the Bucs go on lengthy, time-consuming drives to get their factors. The Chiefs made the sport’s greatest play on protection on L’Jarius Sneed’s sack and strip of Tom Brady within the second quarter, a play that gave Mahomes and the offense good area place to attain the landing that gave them a 28-10 lead. — Adam Teicher

Next sport: vs. Raiders (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)


Buccaneers

What to know: The Bucs’ offensive struggles have been magnified in opposition to one of many league’s most potent offenses, and the protection’s incapacity to cease it. They began off in a 21-3 gap within the second quarter, after which 38-17 within the third. Turnovers did not assist. The Chiefs scored 14 factors off two fumbles within the first half — the primary from rookie Rachaad White on the opening kickoff and the second on sack of quarterback Tom Brady. They began to search out their rhythm with two touchdowns from receiver Mike Evans, who returned from after a one-game suspension. But it wasn’t sufficient.

Is a 2-2 begin a nasty omen for the Bucs? No. Let’s put issues into perspective. The Bucs are 2-2 by way of the primary 4 video games of the common season in opposition to groups that completed a mixed 46-22 final 12 months. This is the seventh time that Brady is 2-2 (2003, 2005, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2018) with 4 of these seasons (2003, 2014, 2017, 2018) culminating in a visit to the Super Bowl. This was speculated to be the toughest a part of the Bucs’ schedule, although. Their remaining opponents are a mixed 18-24 — they usually play division rivals Carolina (1-3) and Atlanta (2-2) twice. — Jenna Laine

Next sport: vs. Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Packers

What to know: Don’t give Aaron Rodgers a couple of likelihood to win it in extra time. As ugly as the tip of regulation and the primary drive of extra time have been, Rodgers wasn’t going to return up empty on a second possession in extra time. And he trusted his vast receivers to do it. Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb caught passes for first downs, and rookie Romeo Doubs added a few large catches to arrange Mason Crosby’s 31-yard game-winning area aim. It saved Rodgers and the Packers the indignity of dropping to third-string rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe. Regardless of how troublesome it seemed, the Packers now have a reliable likelihood to show 3-1 into 6-1 heading to Buffalo in Week 8 on condition that they’ve the Giants, Jets and Commanders up subsequent.

Is Rodgers nonetheless the Packers’ greatest participant? Rashan Gary is making an argument in opposition to that. With two sacks on Sunday in opposition to the Patriots, he has 5 by way of 4 video games. Gary turned the primary Packers participant to file a sack in every of the primary 4 video games of a season since Cullen Jenkins in 2010. Previously, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila did it in 2001, when he had 9 sacks within the first 4 video games. Gary’s second sack on Sunday was a strip sack during which he additionally recovered the fumble, and he later arrange Jarran Reed for a sack by forcing Zappe to step up within the pocket. — Rob Demovsky

Next sport: vs. Giants (Sunday, 9:30am p.m. ET)


Patriots

What to know: Valiant effort. The Patriots had no enterprise being within the sport in opposition to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers — as they have been all the way down to their third-string quarterback after two sequence in a difficult street setting — however performed with nice coronary heart and energy. There aren’t any ethical victories within the NFL, nevertheless it’s exhausting to knock the Patriots for taking Green Bay deep into extra time earlier than falling.

Did Bailey Zappe simply play himself into the highest backup QB spot? The fourth-round pick of Western Kentucky proved the second wasn’t too large for him, approaching for veteran Brian Hoyer on the third offensive sequence of the sport after Hoyer was knocked out of the sport by a head harm. Zappe completed 10-of-15 passing for 99 yards and one landing, displaying poise in a troublesome spot. He was sacked 3 times, dropping a fumble on one. Clearly, the Patriots needed to scale down their offense with Zappe, however he was poised and did sufficient to maintain the workforce within the contest. — Mike Reiss

Next sport: vs. Lions (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Raiders

What to know: Raiders coach Josh McDaniels can exhale. Finally. Having misplaced 15 of his previous 20 video games as a head coach, courting to his horrible tenure with the Denver Broncos in 2009 and 2010, McDaniels obtained his first win with the Raiders in Game 4. Yeah, in opposition to the workforce that fired him greater than a decade in the past. Irony, proper? Sure, it is one win, however at 1-3 and with one other key AFC West battle up subsequent in Kansas City, no less than McDaniels and the Raiders can chill out and cease worrying about getting that first W.

Do the Raiders have the remainder of the AFC West proper the place they need them? Could be. Sure, Las Vegas is 1-3, however the Raiders simply dealt with the Broncos, Kansas City seems weak (the Chiefs play the Buccaneers Sunday night time) and the Chargers, whereas they’d a giant win at woeful Houston, are a strolling “M*A*S*H” unit. The Raiders go to Kansas City for a Monday night time matchup subsequent then take pleasure in a bye earlier than the schedule lightens up significantly. It’s an extended season, and the Raiders lastly have some optimistic momentum. — Paul Gutierrez

Next sport: at Chiefs (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)


Broncos

What to know: The Broncos’ offense broke by way of the atmospheric barrier that was 16 factors with three Russell Wilson touchdowns (two passing, one dashing). But even with the comeback try on Sunday, they will not actually be again within the playoff dialog till they will do some harm in AFC West away video games. The Raiders’ win over the Broncos is simply one other in a rising pile of losses to the Raiders and Chiefs which have contributed mightily to the Broncos being little greater than parsley on the division’s plate.

OK, what is the plan within the run sport now after Javonte Williams’ harm? So a lot of what an already-struggling Broncos offense does depends on operating the ball, particularly within the play-action passing sport that coach Nathaniel Hackett needs to be part of some big-play pop. Williams was taken to the locker room on a cart early within the third quarter with a proper knee harm. And whereas Williams will obtain extra checks, together with an MRI on Monday, he could not put any weight on the leg when he was helped to the sideline and had a towel on his head as he was pushed to the locker room. Melvin Gordon III has fumbled 4 instances in 4 video games — the Broncos have misplaced two of these, together with one the Raiders returned 68 yards for a landing on Sunday — and Mike Boone has been the Broncos’ change-of-pace possibility, not the hammer Williams might be. — Jeff Legwold

Next sport: vs. Colts (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

Cardinals

What to know: When the Cardinals’ offense finds its rhythm and tempo, it is powerful to beat. Kyler Murray is as dynamic of a participant as there may be within the NFL. Zach Ertz can do practically something Arizona wants. Marquise Brown is the proper marriage of nice arms and pace. But the issue this season is it takes too lengthy for the Cardinals to search out that rhythm and tempo — and even once they do, they’re too inconsistent. This was one more week of a gradual begin and a quick end. Fortunately for Arizona, the Panthers weren’t ok to benefit from it.

How for much longer can the Cardinals survive their gradual begins? Obviously, all of it comes all the way down to their opponent, however they know they cannot proceed to make a behavior of it. Teams just like the Eagles, who come to Arizona subsequent week, won’t let the Cardinals come again. But groups such because the Seahawks and Saints won’t be capable of put them away. If that is the id of this workforce, the Cardinals — gamers, coaches and followers — are in for a season of loads of grey hairs. — Josh Weinfuss

Next sport: vs. Eagles (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


Panthers

What to know: The protection continues to be ok to win, however Baker Mayfield is not. It’s not all on him, however most of what occurred on Sunday was on Mayfield. He had 5 passes batted down on the line, elevating his NFL result in 11. He had two interceptions and a misplaced fumble, the tenth time since he entered the league in 2018 he has had three or extra turnovers in a sport. No quarterback has extra. Opponents know Mayfield will not be good in opposition to stress, they usually proceed to deliver it on the highest blitz charge within the league, about 35%. Mayfield is not responding the best way good quarterbacks do, which is why the Panthers are 1-3.

Should the Panthers contemplate turning to Sam Darnold? Darnold (ankle) is ready to return off injured reserve this week, and whereas there is a cause he misplaced the beginning job to Mayfield in coaching camp, the Panthers must no less than contemplate getting Darnold able to play subsequent week in opposition to the 49ers if Mayfield struggles early. This is now not a small pattern for Mayfield. He entered the day ranked thirty second within the NFL in complete QBR (18.9), and he did nothing to enhance that in Week 4 with a three-turnover efficiency. Darnold at instances final season confirmed potential with a wholesome Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey is wholesome, and the protection is enjoying at a top-10 degree, so perhaps Darnold’s sport administration would give Carolina an opportunity. — David Newton

Next sport: vs. 49ers (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)

Eagles

What to know: The Eagles can win ugly, too. With quarterback Jalen Hurts not at his greatest (16-for-25, 204 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT) and the climate circumstances poor at Lincoln Financial Field, the protection and floor sport took over. Corner James Bradberry turned the tide, intercepting Trevor Lawrence late within the third quarter with the Jags threatening down six factors. The protection generated 5 takeaways in all, whereas Philadelphia’s dashing assault racked up over 200 yards and 4 touchdowns on a Jacksonville protection that was holding groups to a league-low 55 dashing yards per sport coming in. The Eagles have proved they will win shootouts and slop-fests alike by way of 4 weeks.

Will the mounting accidents maintain them again? Cornerback Darius Slay (forearm), deal with Jordan Mailata (shoulder), guard Isaac Seumalo (ankle) and linebackers Patrick Johnson (head harm) and Kyron Johnson (head) all left the sport for the Eagles, who have been already with out nook Avonte Maddox (ankle) and operating again Boston Scott (rib). Philadelphia has largely loved good well being thus far, however there are a number of accidents to observe heading into subsequent week’s sport on the Cardinals. — Tim McManus

Next sport: at Cardinals (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


Jaguars

What to know: The Jaguars are an improved workforce underneath coach Doug Pederson, however they are not ok to beat being careless with the soccer. They turned the ball over 5 instances Sunday after committing only one turnover over their first three video games. Those 5 takeaways resulted in 22 factors for Philadelphia. That cannot occur, particularly on the street in opposition to a high quality opponent.

How rapidly will Trevor Lawrence rebound? The reigning AFC Offensive Player of the Week had his worst sport of the season, dropping 4 fumbles and tossing an interception. While rising pains are nonetheless anticipated for the 22-year-old signal-caller, the Jags want him to play just like the top-end expertise he’s extra persistently to achieve their ceiling this 12 months. — Tim McManus

Next sport: vs. Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Titans

What to know: The Titans felt Derrick Henry was near getting on observe getting into Week 4 in opposition to the Colts, and it turned out they have been proper. Henry gained 99 yards within the first half and scored his longest landing of the season within the first quarter when he scooted 19 yards on the second drive of the sport. It was the fifth time prior to now seven video games that Henry rushed for 100 or extra yards in opposition to the Colts. The Colts had allowed a league-best 2.6 yards per carry earlier than Henry gashed them for 114 yards on 22 carries (5.2 common).

What is up with the second-half collapses? The Titans have been outscored 64-7 within the second half this season, together with 7-0 on Sunday. The momentum shifted again to the Titans’ favor on Indianapolis’ final drive, when Denico Autry obtained a sack to power a 51-yard area aim try that Chase McLaughlin missed. But the very fact stays: Tennessee’s offense has to discover a option to produce within the second half. The Titans got here out flat on their first sequence of the third quarter and needed to punt after three performs. The Colts scored on the very subsequent drive, bringing life to the gang at Lucas Oil Field. Although they’re now 2-2, the Titans have to start out placing groups away when the chance arises. — Turron Davenport

Next sport: at Commanders (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Colts

What to know: The Colts fell to 0-2-1 within the AFC South after their third division sport in 4 weeks, and already it seems as if they could be going through a steep climb to win their first division crown since 2014. The Colts have misplaced video games to the Jaguars and Titans and tied the Texans. Now, they face Jacksonville and Tennessee once more throughout the subsequent three weeks. The Colts’ lack of consistency on both offense or protection was obvious on this sport, significantly for an offense that dedicated three expensive turnovers.

Is the Colts’ operating sport damaged? Jonathan Taylor, the 2021 NFL dashing chief, was bottled up once more in what’s changing into a regarding development for Indianapolis. Taylor completed with 42 yards on 20 carries (2.1 yards per try) as he was persistently hit within the backfield due to a porous offensive line. The Colts’ offense was constructed round its productive operating sport, but when Taylor cannot get going, a disproportionate quantity of the burden will fall on the passing sport. — Stephen Holder

Next sport: at Broncos (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

Falcons

What to know: The Falcons have been 7-2 in one-possession video games final 12 months. One-score video games are usually not the simplest option to stay within the NFL, however with a workforce in transition, the Falcons are .500 with a two-game profitable streak in such video games in 2022. It’s nonetheless a younger workforce, however after wins over the Seahawks and Browns with an analogous type — balanced dashing and passing with aggressive protection when it issues — maybe Atlanta’s younger workforce is figuring issues out.

Is the Atlanta Falcons’ run sport for actual? Cordarrelle Patterson entered Sunday questionable with a knee harm. By the tip of the sport, the one query was how full the run sport is with or with out him. Patterson’s backups have been efficient on Sunday. Rookie Tyler Allgeier ran for 84 yards. Practice squad call-up Caleb Huntley ran for 56 and transformed cornerback Avery Williams had a 21-yard carry. They all supply a distinct sort of rusher and mixed for the Falcons’ second 200-yard dashing sport in 4 contests. — Michael Rothstein

Next sport: at Buccaneers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Browns

What to know: Blown coverages doomed the Browns in a Week 2 loss to the New York Jets. A key fourth-quarter miscue in protection doomed Cleveland once more Sunday. With three minutes to play, the sport tied and the Falcons at their very own 9, Olamide Zaccheaus dashed vast open throughout the center of the sphere for a 42-yard achieve. And a face-mask penalty on Denzel Ward put Atlanta in vary for the game-winning area aim.

Can the Browns’ protection get wholesome up entrance? With the Browns lacking virtually their whole defensive position, together with Myles Garrett, Atlanta ran the ball at will within the fourth quarter. Garrett and pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney ought to be again quickly. But at 2-2 and going through one of many hardest remaining schedules within the league, Cleveland’s season already might be teetering. — Jake Trotter

Next sport: vs. Chargers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Cowboys

What to know: The Cowboys’ protection is reliable. For the primary time since 1973, the protection has not allowed 20 factors in any of their first 4 video games. The Cowboys have allowed one landing in every of their video games. On Sunday, they sacked Carson Wentz twice, intercepted him twice and harassed him all sport lengthy. So good was the Dallas protection that even when Washington began a drive on the Cowboys’ 30 within the fourth quarter, it obtained a cease with a Trevon Diggs’ cross deflection ultimately zone on a fourth-down play. Playing with out Dak Prescott the previous three video games, the protection knew it wanted to hold the day. It did … once more.

Why hurry up Dak Prescott’s return? This has nothing to do with Cooper Rush changing into the primary Cowboys quarterback to win his first 4 begins and the whole lot to do with science. Prescott had surgical procedure on his proper thumb on Sept. 12. He has not thrown greater than a few flips right here and there after getting a sew eliminated on Sept. 26 (sure, a single sew.) Will a few practices be sufficient for him to play subsequent week versus the Los Angeles Rams? By profitable these three video games, the Cowboys have purchased themselves time with Prescott’s return. — Todd Archer

Next sport: at Rams (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


Commanders

What to know: Washington is not simply off to a nasty begin — it is a dangerous workforce. That’s not the place the Commanders ought to be in coach Ron Rivera’s third season. Sunday, there have been too many penalties (11 for 136 yards; together with two that worn out interceptions) and a failure to win sufficient one-on-one matchups. Corner William Jackson III dedicated three penalties; one worn out a decide, two others mixed for 65 yards. Yes, it is nonetheless early and Washington can get better. But the Commanders have not but proven that they could be a constant workforce, and that is an enormous concern. The issues run deep.

What has occurred to the passing assault? After scoring 28 factors in Week 1 — with quarterback Carson Wentz throwing 4 landing passes — the Washington offense, and passing sport specifically, has been largely dangerous. It averaged 3.6 yards per cross Sunday. The Commanders nonetheless have expertise at receiver, however Wentz and his safety haven’t helped. Washington’s line loses too many particular person pass-rush matchups; Wentz will get sped up too usually by the frenzy, and too usually it results in inaccuracy. It’s a nasty mixture. — John Keim

Next sport: vs. Titans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

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CeeDee Lamb runs a pleasant route into area and walks into the tip zone for the Cowboys.

Bills

What to know: The Bills ended their seven-game streak stretching again to 2020 of dropping one-score video games because of a bounce-back second half on the street. After taking place 17 factors to the Ravens within the second quarter, quarterback Josh Allen led Buffalo on a fast scoring drive on the finish of the primary half after which scored on three of 4 possessions within the second half. The protection additionally performed a big position, holding the Ravens scoreless within the second half. The effort was led by security Jordan Poyer’s two interceptions within the fourth quarter.

Can the Bills discover a option to run the soccer persistently? Coming into the sport, the Bills have been worst within the league at run block win charge (62.2%) and struggled to get the operating sport going exterior of Allen. That streak solely continued in opposition to the Ravens, as Allen had a team-high 70 dashing yards, and it performed a big position within the workforce’s early offensive struggles. The Bills went into halftime with 34 dashing yards and completed with a mixed 55 yards from their operating backs on the bottom. — Alaina Getzenberg

Next sport: vs. Steelers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Ravens

What to know: For the second time this season, Baltimore misplaced at dwelling after main by 17 or extra factors. The Ravens held a 20-3 lead late within the second quarter earlier than watching Buffalo rating 20 straight factors. Baltimore turned the primary workforce in eight years to lose a number of video games at dwelling when main by 17 or extra factors. In Week 2, Tua Tagovailoa threw 4 landing passes in opposition to the Ravens’ protection within the fourth quarter. This time, Lamar Jackson and the offense disappeared within the second half and could not punch the ball into the tip zone within the pink zone. The Ravens are 2-2 and host a Bengals workforce that may have 10 days’ relaxation.

Why did not the Ravens kick the sphere aim? The Ravens went for the landing on fourth down from the Buffalo 2-yard line as a substitute of kicking the go-ahead area aim. Jackson was pressured and threw an interception ultimately zone, conserving the sport tied at 20 with 4 minutes remaining. The Bills then marched down the sphere to kick the profitable, 21-yard area aim as time expired. Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters needed to be pulled away from yelling at coach John Harbaugh earlier than the profitable kick, throwing his helmet down on the sideline. This has been a irritating begin for Baltimore. — Jamison Hensley

Next sport: vs. Bengals (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)

Chargers

What to know: Per week after an embarrassing loss to the Jaguars, the Chargers corrected course, albeit in less-than-convincing vogue in opposition to the Texans. Equally essential because the win, the Bolts appeared to flee NRG Stadium with out struggling any additional vital accidents. The offensive line — behind rookie left deal with Jamaree Salyer making his first profession begin — offered stable safety for Justin Herbert because the franchise quarterback performs by way of fractured rib cartilage.

Who are the Chargers? Nearly one-quarter by way of the season — and after a number of vital accidents that included dropping left deal with Rashawn Slater for the season, inserting edge rusher Joey Bosa on injured reserve indefinitely and enjoying three video games with out vast receiver Keenan Allen due to a hamstring harm — it stays unclear whether or not a Super Bowl-caliber roster on paper will materialize on the sphere. — Lindsey Thiry

Next sport: at Browns (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Texans

What to know: The Texans trailed 27-7 at halftime, however quarterback Davis Mills ignited a comeback to deliver Houston inside three with eight minutes remaining. Mills and the offense began slowly, as he threw for 76 yards with an interception. But within the second half, the second-year quarterback had 170 yards and two touchdowns (and one other interception). His most spectacular play was when he uncorked a 58-yard bomb to wideout Nico Collins within the early moments of the fourth quarter. Mills capped that drive with an 18-yard strike to Brandin Cooks. Mills has been up and down however continues to tease promise.

Defense in a funk? After beginning the primary two weeks holding their opponents to 16 factors per sport, the Texans have allowed 57 factors over the previous two. They allowed 34 factors and 420 yards Sunday as quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns on 27-of-39 passing (69.2%). They not often pressured Herbert, as he was sacked solely as soon as. Coming in, the Texans’ robust level was their cross protection — as they have been second in allowed quarterback completion proportion (55%) and fourth in sacks (10) — however they could not bail them out this time. — DJ Bien-Aime

Next sport: at Jaguars (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Jets

What to know: QB Zach Wilson overcame three quarters of rust in his 2022 debut and delivered the largest comeback win of his profession. He confirmed guts and poise, qualities he usually did not present as a rookie. He made large throw after large throw, rallying the Jets to 81- and 65-yard landing drives to erase a 10-point deficit. He may’ve folded after two interceptions, however he made performs behind a makeshift offensive line and confirmed good accuracy on downfield throws. This is what the Jets envisioned once they drafted him second total in 2021. His surgically repaired knee was no issue; he truly confirmed terrific mobility. An excellent day. — Rich Cimini

Can the Jets overcome all of their offensive line accidents? It will probably be a minor miracle if they will. Rookie RT Max Mitchell (knee) was the newest go down, as he was carted off within the second quarter. With Mekhi Becton, Duane Brown and George Fant already on injured reserve, the Jets are all the way down to their fifth- and sixth-string tackles. The line was so tousled that RG Alijah Vera-Tucker began the sport at left deal with — a shock transfer. Brown is because of come off IR this week, however he may have per week or two to prepare. It’s a nasty state of affairs, one that’s sure to affect Wilson’s progress. — Rich Cimini

Next sport: vs. Dolphins (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Steelers

What to know: The Kenny Pickett period has begun — or has it? The rookie QB from Pitt got here off the bench to offer a brief spark for the Steelers within the third quarter, as he ran for 2 touchdowns and ignited a moribund offense. He threw solely three incompletions — they usually have been all interceptions, the second-to-last one organising the Jets’ game-winning TD. So there was some good from Pickett, however loads of tough edges. Clearly, he ignited the offense and the gang, however the turnovers have been huge. — Rich Cimini

Pickett or Mitch Trubisky? Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has a choice to make, one that may chart the course for the season. One issue to think about: The subsequent 4 video games are powerful, because the Steelers face the Bills, Buccaneers, Dolphins and Eagles. At 1-3, the Steelers cannot afford too many extra losses. Tomlin has to weigh Trubisky’s expertise and their upcoming opponents versus Pickett’s upside. — Rich Cimini

Next sport: at Bills (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

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Breece Hall barely will get into the tip zone earlier than dropping the sport for the game-wining TD.

Giants

What to know: The Giants are 3-1. Who may have predicted that? But they have been once more not overly spectacular in opposition to the Bears on Sunday and nonetheless have inquiries to reply. Aside from operating again Saquon Barkley (146 dashing yards) and scheming to make use of quarterback Daniel Jones’ legs, the Giants do not have a lot offensively. Their vast receivers mixed for 3 receptions and 25 yards. Kenny Golladay was catchless earlier than leaving late with a knee harm. The actual checks for the Giants come within the subsequent two weeks: They face Green Bay in London in Week 5 after which host Baltimore.

Who will begin at quarterback subsequent week in London in opposition to the Packers? Jones damage his left ankle on a third-quarter sack, however was pressured again into the sport when backup Tyrod Taylor was evaluated for a concussion after a fourth-quarter run. Jones was clearly compromised and didn’t try to throw a cross for the rest of the competition. After hurting the ankle, he tried to run sprints on the sideline, however the medical workforce decided he ought to be faraway from the sport. Both Jones and Taylor might be unsure for subsequent week. Davis Webb, the No. 3 quarterback, is presently on the observe squad and was not energetic Sunday. It’s going to be a state of affairs to observe this week. — Jordan Raanan

Next sport: at Vikings (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Bears

What to know: Michael Badgley was added to the Bears’ roster solely 24 hours earlier than he was counted on to ship all of Chicago’s factors on Sunday, going 4-for-4 on area targets instead of kicker Cairo Santos, who was dominated out for private causes. The kicking sport was essentially the most constant part within the Bears’ loss on a day when the offense confirmed no capacity to attain touchdowns and blew three alternatives when it reached the pink zone. Justin Fields’ reference to receiver Darnell Mooney (4 catches, 94 yards) was one of the best it has seemed all season, and there have been moments when the second-year quarterback seemed extra snug throwing the ball. But Fields nonetheless took 5 sacks and accomplished simply 11 of 20 passes. Those 11 passes have been essentially the most he has accomplished in a sport all season.

How can the Bears get their second-half protection to point out up sooner? Jones (two dashing TDs) and Barkley (146 dashing yards) ripped Chicago in half. The Bears adopted up their abysmal efficiency in opposition to the run in Green Bay two weeks in the past by permitting 262 dashing yards to the Giants. Chicago bit too many instances on play-action however discovered some methods to regulate at halftime. The Bears nonetheless haven’t allowed a landing within the second half of video games, and two of security Eddie Jackson’s three interceptions have additionally come after the half. Can they discover ways to play this fashion from the beginning in opposition to Minnesota subsequent Sunday? — Courtney Cronin

Next sport: at Vikings (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Seahawks

What to know: Geno Smith is enjoying like an above-average beginning quarterback — and the Seahawks have wanted each little bit of that, contemplating how badly their protection is struggling. Both developments continued Sunday. Smith threw for 2 landing passes and ran for an additional. He entered the day main the NFL in completion proportion by a large margin and linked on 23 of 30 makes an attempt for 320 yards in what has grow to be a usually environment friendly outing. With Rashaad Penny and the run sport coming alive in a giant means, the Seahawks hung 555 yards of complete offense — the fifth most in franchise historical past — on the Lions. But as a substitute of profitable in a runaway, they wanted a second lengthy Penny TD run and a recovered onside kick to shut it out because of a protection that’s nonetheless permitting means too many large performs.

Can the Seahawks flip their protection round once more? They did it the previous two years, recovering from brutal begins on that facet of the ball. They’re going to must do it once more in the event that they need to make something of this season. They’ll must do it with out security Jamal Adams, who’s out with a quad tendon harm. And they should do it in a rush as a result of Smith — or every other NFL quarterback — cannot be counted on to hold this a lot of the load each week. Sunday’s sport was speculated to symbolize a break for the Seahawks’ protection, with the Lions lacking three offensive playmakers in D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown and DJ Chark. Instead, it was arguably their worst outing of the season with extra missed tackles, blown coverages, expensive penalties and losses in one-on-one matchups. — Brady Henderson

Next sport: at Saints (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Lions

What to know: Although the Lions have fallen to 1-3 after one other one-score loss, operating again Jamaal Williams has proved to be a dependable possibility. Without his backfield mate D’Andre Swift (ankle/shoulder), Williams scored two dashing touchdowns once more — together with a 51-yard rating — en path to 108 yards on 19 carries. He set a workforce file, changing into the primary Lions participant with six dashing touchdowns by way of the primary 4 weeks of a season, and credit the early manufacturing to his each day routine of taking good care of his physique.

Should T.J. Hockenson proceed to be extra concerned when the starters return? Through Week 3, Hockenson had simply 82 receiving yards and a landing. Against Seattle, with out vast receivers DJ Chark (ankle) and Amon-Ra St. Brown (ankle), Hockenson had a season-high eight catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns together with a 2-point conversion. With a lot expertise on offense, quarterback Jared Goff has focused different choices extra usually however ought to contemplate getting Hockenson extra concerned shifting ahead by way of artistic playcalls from offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. — Eric Woodyard

Next sport: at Patriots (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Vikings

What to know: The Vikings are 3-1 though their offense and protection, overhauled within the transition to new coach Kevin O’Connell, are very a lot works in progress. Sunday’s sport in London was received by their particular groups — place-kicker Greg Joseph kicked 5 area targets, together with what proved to be the sport winner from 47 yards out — and was sealed solely when Saints place-kicker Will Lutz hit the upright and crossbar from 61 yards away. Meanwhile, the offense has been disjointed and has struggled to get snaps off earlier than the play clock. And the protection has given up big chunks of yards at inopportune instances.

Is quarterback Kirk Cousins going to have the ability to sharpen up on this offense? Cousins had an honest line Sunday, finishing 25 of 38 passes for 273 yards, and made the important thing cross within the sport to arrange the game-winning area aim. But he missed receiver Justin Jefferson open twice ultimately zone and has seemed uncomfortable within the pocket on this new scheme. — Kevin Seifert

Next sport: vs. Bears (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Saints

What to know: Even a quarterback change could not save the Saints, as their issues adopted them to London. The Saints struggled on particular groups protection and fumbled a punt, and quarterback Andy Dalton had a strip sack on the finish of the primary half, giving the Vikings a brief area in a detailed sport. The Saints have some persistent points which have adopted them all through the season and prevented them from profitable.

What do the Saints do at quarterback going ahead? Dalton actually did not are available and repair the Saints’ issues, particularly contemplating the result was in the end the identical for the previous three video games. He did get the offense shifting sufficient to think about what the Saints would possibly do whereas Jameis Winston heals from his again subject that he is handled for the previous month. If Winston is wholesome sufficient to play subsequent week, do the Saints play Winston when he isn’t one hundred pc or attempt to transfer on with Dalton going ahead? — Katherine Terrell

Next sport: vs. Seahawks (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Thursday

Bengals

What to know: Cincinnati’s greatest power presently is its protection. The Bengals have been outgained by Miami however have been bolstered by two interceptions from security Vonn Bell. Cincinnati is permitting the second-fewest touchdowns per drive. The unit that carried the Bengals by way of the 2021 postseason is nice sufficient to do it once more on this season.

What’s occurring with receiver Ja’Marr Chase?

Chase had 4 catches for 81 yards, however groups are defending Chase to not let him rack up large video games in opposition to them. Miami always rolled a security to Chase’s facet of the sphere and compelled Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow to search out different receiving targets. That’s why Tee Higgins had a large efficiency — seven catches for 124 yards and a landing. — Ben Baby

Next sport: at Ravens (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)


Dolphins

What to know: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was taken to the hospital after a scary hit rendered him concussed. It was the second straight sport that Tagovailoa’s head hit the bottom exhausting and sparked an NFL Players Association-initiated investigation into whether or not correct protocols have been adopted — in addition to an modification to the protocols themselves. The Dolphins’ protection performed nicely, all issues thought of, nevertheless it was troublesome for anybody to give attention to anything after watching Tagovailoa depart the sphere on a stretcher. There isn’t any timetable for his return, per head coach Mike McDaniel, which from a soccer perspective, hangs a darkish cloud over what had in any other case been an thrilling begin to the season.

Can this workforce keep scorching with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback?

We noticed the nice and the dangerous from Bridgewater in his two quarters of labor Thursday. He hit Tyreek Hill on a cross that traveled 64.1 air yards, per NFL Next Gen Stats, however he additionally threw a back-breaking interception on what may have been the Dolphins’ go-ahead drive. He’s a veteran who has been in conditions like these earlier than and will not panic when the lights come on. Miami has a simple schedule over its subsequent seven video games, enjoying simply two playoff groups from a season in the past. And with a protection that is enjoying higher than the stats counsel, Bridgewater can theoretically preserve the Dolphins within the playoff hunt whereas they train persistence with Tagovailoa. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Next sport: at Jets (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

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