NFL Analysis: Week 4 October 1st
The NFL Lines on Sunday, October 1st showed us what to expect, but the games had some surprises. Here’s a quick look at the exciting action from the games.
Jaguars 23 – Falcons 7
After a harsh loss to Houston, the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ defense led a redemption charge against the Atlanta Falcons. A pivotal moment emerged when Jacksonville’s Darious Williams returned an interception for a touchdown, followed by another interception by Andre Cisco. Despite Falcons’ QB Desmond Ridder’s shaky start, he picked up pace, yet the sole highlight remained a touchdown during a 75-play drive. Ridder’s day ended at 19-of-31 for 191 yards, reinforcing calls for his replacement. Jacksonville’s offense saw a spark with an early touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley, but stagnated thereafter. Among the receivers, Christian Kirk and Evan Engram shone with eight and seven catches respectively. The running game was a low light, with Travis Etienne managing a mere 55 yards on 20 carries compared to Falcons’ Bijan Robinson’s 105 yards on 14 carries.
Rams 29 – Colts 23
An overtime win for the Los Angeles Rams, despite Indianapolis Colts’ second-half resurgence. Early domination saw the Rams leading 23-0, fueled by Matthew Stafford’s impeccable passing and Kyren Williams’ ground gains. The Colts awakened in the third quarter, tying the game towards the end, but lost the chance to complete the comeback in overtime. Stafford ended with 27-of-40 for 319 yards, triumphing despite a noticeable hip injury. Receiver Puca Nacua broke records with nine catches for 163 yards, sealing the win with a touchdown. Colts’ Zack Moss and Anthony Richardson brought a fighting comeback but fell short; Richardson’s mixed performance ended with 11-of-25 for 200 yards.
Bills 48 – Dolphins 20
In a face-off of top-ranked offenses, Buffalo Bills overwhelmed Miami Dolphins with relentless scoring, spearheaded by Josh Allen’s four passing and one rushing touchdowns. Stefon Diggs was unstoppable with six catches for 120 yards and three touchdowns, overshadowing the Dolphins’ efforts. Despite a solid start, Dolphins’ QB Tua Tagovailoa felt the pressure, ending at 25-of-35 for 282 yards with a critical interception. The rushing highlight for the Dolphins was De’Von Achane’s explosive 101 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries, contrasting with Raheem Mostert’s lackluster performance.
Broncos 31 – Bears 28
Justin Fields bounced back against Denver Broncos’ frail defense, displaying a flawless first half. However, a premature celebration cost the Chicago Bears as Denver, led by Russell Wilson, leveled the score and eventually clinched the win with a field goal. Despite the loss, Fields’ showing at 28-of-35 for 335 yards offered a silver lining. Notable performances included D.J. Moore with eight catches for 131 yards and Khalil Herbert with 103 rushing yards. On the Denver side, a noteworthy stand-in performance came from Jaleel McLaughlin, covering for injured Javonte Williams, accumulating 72 rushing yards and a receiving touchdown. Wilson’s calculated plays in the second half, ending at 21-of-28 for 223 yards, underscored the Bears’ need for a defensive re-evaluation.
Ravens 28 – Browns 3
Despite the Cleveland Browns‘ heightened play with a backup quarterback, Lamar Jackson’s 2019 MVP-esque performance for the Baltimore Ravens overshadowed their effort. With Tyler Linderbaum bolstering the offensive line, Jackson navigated pressures effortlessly, notably landing a 43-yard pass to Zay Flowers, setting a dominant 21-3 score by halftime. Cleveland’s novice quarterback, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, saw his first career start marked by key mistakes including a misdirected throw leading to a Ravens touchdown.
Titans 27 – Bengals 3
The Tennessee Titans exploited Cincinnati Bengals‘ defensive frailty against the run, contrary to the latter’s stunted offense owing to Joe Burrow’s lingering calf issue. Burrow’s cautious play yielded a mere 165 passing yards, contrasting Derrick Henry’s forceful 122 rushing yards for the Titans. The Titans’ run-centric strategy capitalized on Cincinnati’s known defensive liability, marking a significant 27-3 victory, while underscoring the hasty return of an unfit Burrow.
Buccaneers 26 – Saints 9
Unexpectedly led by Derek Carr instead of Jameis Winston, the New Orleans Saints felt the pressure, managing just 5-of-14 third downs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Carr’s 127 passing yards told a tale of struggle, in stark contrast to Baker Mayfield’s dazzling 246 yards and three touchdowns. Despite an early hamstring injury to Mike Evans, Mayfield’s precision outshone Carr’s hesitance, steering the Buccaneers to a commanding 26-9 victory. Even a quarterback switch to Winston couldn’t salvage the day for the Saints, as the Buccaneers’ offense relentlessly outmatched the Saints’ reputed defense.
Eagles 34 – Commanders 31:
Despite their previous loss to the Bills, the Washington Commanders showcased resilience against the Philadelphia Eagles. Sam Howell’s efforts kept them ahead for most of the game, achieving more first downs and a five-minute time-of-possession lead. The game tide shifted when Jalen Hurts scrambled, setting up a 6-yard tie-making pass to Devonta Smith, followed by a 45-yard touchdown pass to John Hightower. Although the Commanders responded with a field goal to tie at 31, the Eagles’ Jake Elliott sealed the deal with a no-time-left 47-yard field goal amidst a game marked by frequent injuries on both sides.
Texans 30 – Steelers 6:
The Houston Texans showcased their mettle by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers with a significant scoreline of 30-6. Under the expert quarterbacking of C.J. Stroud, who passed for an impressive 306 yards and scored two touchdowns, the Texans demonstrated their offensive prowess. On the flip side, the Steelers were grappling with the loss of their quarterback Kenny Pickett to injuries, which evidently took a toll on their performance. The Steelers’ offense sputtered throughout, failing to find a rhythm against the Texans’ defensive line.
Vikings 21 – Panthers 13:
The Minnesota Vikings locked in a solid win against the Carolina Panthers, ending the game 21-13. Despite experiencing some turnovers, the Vikings’ Alexander Mattison’s notable performance, rushing for 95 yards, was a significant factor in their victory. The Panthers’ rookie Bryce Young found it difficult to navigate through the robust Vikings’ defense, with a late-game sack notably dampening the Panthers’ spirit. The defeat pushes the Panthers further down with a concerning 0-4 record, spotlighting their ongoing struggles in the season.
Cowboys 38 – Patriots 3:
The Dallas Cowboys demonstrated an overwhelming performance against the New England Patriots, closing the game with a 38-3 victory. Spearheaded by quarterback Dak Prescott’s striking display, throwing for 261 passing yards, the Cowboys’ offensive unit was a sight to behold. The Patriots, facing adversity, had to contend with a disappointing showing from quarterback Mac Jones. A subsequent quarterback switch did little to alter the outcome as the Cowboys maintained a strong defensive and offensive stand, keeping the Patriots at bay.
Chargers 24 – Raiders 17 :
In a nail-biting encounter, the Los Angeles Chargers triumphed over the Las Vegas Raiders with a 24-17 score. Chargers’ quarterback Justin Herbert, despite nursing a hand injury, orchestrated the offensive play seamlessly. The defining moment of the match was Asante Samuel Jr.’s critical interception, thwarting a potential game-tying score by the Raiders. Herbert’s 51-yard pass in the late quarters was the coup de grace, securing a critical win for the Chargers, and illustrating their ability to maintain composure under pressure.
49ers 35 – Cardinals 16:
In a dominant display, the San Francisco 49ers, led by the impeccable Brock Purdy, swept past the Arizona Cardinals 35-16. Purdy was near flawless, with a 20-of-21 passing effort for 283 yards and a rushing touchdown, his only incompletion a result of a timely pressure from Cardinals’ Dennis Gardeck. Christian McCaffrey was the torchbearer for the 49ers’ offense, with 106 rushing yards and three touchdowns, plus a receiving touchdown among his seven catches. Apart from Brandon Aiyuk’s substantial 148-yard contribution, other 49ers receivers had a quiet game. The Cardinals, despite being in a 21-3 hole, displayed resilience but a dropped touchdown pass by Zach Ertz and a solid 49ers’ defense sealed their fate. Joshua Dobbs’ respectable 265 passing yards and two touchdowns for the Cardinals were overshadowed by the 49ers’ offensive showcase.
Chiefs 23 – Jets 20:
In a surprisingly close contest, the Kansas City Chiefs narrowly overcame a rejuvenated New York Jets to win 23-20. Initially, the Chiefs bolted to a 17-0 lead, hinting at a one-sided affair. However, a controversial safety breathed life into the Jets. Zach Wilson, after a slow start, ended with 245 passing yards and two touchdowns, displaying improved accuracy. His primary targets were Allen Lazard, Garrett Wilson, and Tyler Conklin, who collectively contributed significantly to the passing game. The Jets’ Breece Hall and Isiah Pacheco also impressed in the running game. Despite the Jets’ resurgence, Patrick Mahomes, although having a less stellar passing game with two interceptions, made crucial runs including a decisive 25-yard scramble, helping the Chiefs maintain their narrow lead. Mahomes’ strategic slide at the Jets 1-yard line ran down the clock, cementing the hard-fought win for the Chiefs.
With another exciting week on the books, we now turn our eyes towards week 5 BUSR NFL Odds and the exciting matchups we’re about to get.