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Grading Every NFL Team After Week 4 (2020)

| October 7, 2020 12:44 pm PDT
NFL Week 4 Grades 2020

Week four was the weirdest one of the 2020 NFL season yet. One game got flat out postponed due to COVID-19, and another got rescheduled, pushing it from Sunday to MNF.

If that wasn’t crazy enough, the Browns stomped the Cowboys in Dallas, New York couldn’t even beat the Broncos, Tom Brady orchestrated an epic comeback, and the Eagles got a huge road win in San Francisco.

As I said, tack on the COVID-19 stuff and week four was a doozy.

As wild as it was, it still deserves some reflection, as we try not to be prisoners of the moment, while also handing out our NFL week 4 grades.

Here’s a look at the best and worst team performances in week four, in an effort to assess all 32 NFL teams so you can properly bet on them moving forward.

Best NFL Teams in Week 4

This isn’t just about highlighting the best teams each week. It’s also about considering what kind of message they send.

Are these teams overcoming something, leaving a lasting impression, and/or showing sports bettors that they can be trusted? 

These are questions worth asking, but no matter where we land, it’s undeniable that these teams were some of the best in week four in the NFL.

Cleveland Browns (A)

Okay, so the Browns are good, it appears. Not only has Cleveland popped off for 30+ points in every single game during a three-game winning streak, but they didn’t give in to a tough road environment in Big D.

This was a game the old Browns were sure to lose. Instead, the Browns were effective on the ground, they made sure to get their best players touches, and they closed the game late when the Cowboys rallied.

Cleveland even accomplished this in the face of further adversity, when the team marched on despite losing star rusher Nick Chubb to a knee injury.

Despite Dallas piling on points late in a furious attempt to stage a comeback, this was a complete performance. We may now finally be on notice; the Browns (gulp) are for real.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (A)

So, too, maybe the Buccaneers. I will admit the second Tom Brady and co. fell into a devastating 24-7 hole, I thought it was over. I even texted these blasphemous words to a buddy:

Tom Brady is washed.


I’m not sad to say I now look like a fool, as Brady orchestrated a brilliant comeback, slaying a good Los Angeles Chargers defense to the tune of 369 passing yards and five touchdowns.

Brady, even at 43, doesn’t appear to be so washed, after all. Instead, he’s blessed with a loaded supporting cast, one that is apparently resilient.

The Buccaneers also raised their game defensively. They were in a 24-7 hole, but while the Bucs were getting it going on offense, the defense allowed one touchdown the rest of the way.

It was a near-disastrous opening, but the Buccaneers showed their grit and upside over the game’s final three quarters. They just might have shown they’re legit title threats, too.

New Orleans Saints (A)

Lastly, let’s not leave Drew Brees and the Saints for dead just yet. They responded nicely, two-fold, as they bounced back from an uncharacteristic two-game skid, and also displayed perseverance down 14-0 on the road.

It’s the Lions, I know, as Detroit can never seem to keep their foot on the gas. Even so, the Saints were on the road and could have caved. Instead, they went on a 35-0 run before allowing the Lions to crawl back into it.

New Orleans wasn’t perfect, but they did a fantastic job in the face of adversity and were thoroughly dominant following a rough start.

Getting back to 2-2 was a must for a team with title hopes. The Saints didn’t thrust themselves back amongst the elite just yet, but they sure looked like a Super Bowl contender in week four.

Worst NFL Teams in Week 4

If you’re looking for teams to bet on to win NFL divisions or you want some Super Bowl 55 sleepers, then you’ll want to pay attention to the “best” section of this post.

For anyone looking for teams to target in betting, or to ignore completely, that’s what the worst NFL performances area is for.

These teams aren’t always necessarily the worst in the league, but landing here certainly isn’t a ringing endorsement. Let’s see who deserved all of the hate they got in week four.

Chicago Bears (D)

The switch to Nick Foles can’t be called a failure just yet, but his first start for the Bears was regrettable. The same bad passing fans reamed Mitch Trubisky for kept happening, and Foles wasn’t a difference-maker in a bad 19-11 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Losing to the Colts really isn’t that damaging, of course. It’s rough that it came at home, and the 11 points (with eight coming in the final minutes) had things looking bleak, but Chicago was still 3-0 coming into this game.

The loss drops the Bears to 3-1, which still makes them one of the best teams the NFC has to offer by record alone. Sadly, this wasn’t a week for optimism, as Chicago’s offense was back in the dumpster, failing to get anything going on the ground or through the air.

Chicago’s defense was respectable enough, but it’s arguable it’s not so good that it can continue to make up for ineffective offensive play.

Dallas Cowboys (D)

It’s wild that a team scoring as much as Dallas keeps landing in the worst NFL performances section, but here we are.

Mike McCarthy’s game management has been bad, and the play-calling early in games hasn’t been much better. To be frank, this team is under-achieving at an insane rate and is a historic non-onside kick recovery away from being 0-4.

I’ll give the Cowboys credit for their fight. It’s three straight weeks where they’ve been in games late, and their high-flying offense has dropped 31+ points in each of those games, too.

But the defense is horrendous, and McCarthy isn’t getting this team off to good starts. I get the Browns appear to be the best version we’ve seen of them in decades, but losing in this fashion at home is all sorts of bad.

New York Jets (D-)

Sam Darnold probably should have stayed down. He handed in an epic rushing touchdown and gave the New York Jets a chance last week, but they remain a mess at 0-4.

They fell on a short week to a team licking their chops, but the Jets should have had the same outlook. Instead, the Jets got out-schooled by Brett Rypien, a replacement-level starter making his first start of his career.

New York’s defense was an embarrassment, and while Darnold had precious little to work with on offense, the Jets came up small in a spot where they needed to give everything they had.

Perhaps worse yet, that was everything they had.

All Other NFL Grades for Week 4

Green Bay Packers (A-)

Aaron Rodgers and co. never missed a beat, as they took a commanding 20-3 lead at the break and held on for an easy win at home. The Packers can’t help who they face, but they once again dominated, this time offering perhaps their most complete effort of the year.

Indianapolis Colts (A-)

Philip Rivers playing mistake-free football is a recipe for success, as it doesn’t put a very good Colts defense in bad spots. Indy only beat the Bears, but they did so in dominant fashion on defense. Don’t look now, but the Colts (3-1) have won three straight.

Seattle Seahawks (A-)

Russell Wilson’s MVP tour hit a wall in week four, as he didn’t slice up Miami like everyone thought he would. The Seahawks still handled this game throughout and got the win, so it’s hard to grade them too harshly.

Carolina Panthers (B+)

Teddy Bridgewater did enough to get the Panthers their second straight win, while Mike Davis made Christian McCaffrey look expendable. All jokes aside, the Panthers are now 2-2- and this win over a rising Arizona squad is fairly impressive.

Buffalo Bills (B+) 

Josh Allen remains unstoppable as he hung three touchdowns on the Raiders in a game that looked closer than it actually was. From top to bottom, the Bills are a complete team and stayed perfect in a tough spot on the road.

Baltimore Ravens (B+)

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens got back on track, easily handling Washington a week after looking inept against the Chiefs. Baltimore makes dominating look kind of boring, but they bounced back when they needed to and got to 3-1.

Cincinnati Bengals (B)

Joe Burrow became the first rookie quarterback to top 300+ passing yards in three straight weeks. He also got the first win of his career. He looked good doing it, and the Bengals fought off a pesky Jaguars team to avoid an 0-4 start.

Philadelphia Eagles (B)

Carson Wentz continued to struggle with accuracy and turnover issues, but the man deserves a break for the weak supporting cast he’s working with. He fought through it all and got a huge road win against the Niners, while his defense sealed the deal. This was a clutch win that perhaps saved Philly’s season.

Kansas City Chiefs (B-)

The Chiefs got the win, as their offense executed late, and Tyrann Mathieu produced a clutch pick-six with the game winding down. However, KC was not themselves on offense, and couldn’t stop New England’s rushing attack.

Minnesota Vikings (B-)

The Vikings have turned a corner offensively, as they put up over 30 points for the second week in a row. This time it was combined with stellar defense, as the Vikings stymied Deshaun Watson and the Texans for three quarters before holding on for a 31-23 road win.

Denver Broncos (C+)

Brett Rypien’s first NFL start was half horror show, half getting to face a terrible Jets team. He tossed three picks but moved the ball well and accounted for two scores. Overall, the Broncos were better than the Jets, and that’s something.

Miami Dolphins (C+)

Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami offense stood their ground against a superior Seahawks team but ultimately settled for too many field goals. Better offensive execution and stingier defense could have landed them the upset, but they fell to 1-3.

Las Vegas Raiders (C+)

Derek Carr was solid at home against a stout Bills defense, putting up 311 yards and two touchdowns in a tough 30-23 loss. Unfortunately, Josh Jacobs was useless on the ground, and Las Vegas continued to have issues on defense.

Los Angeles Chargers (C+)

Justin Herbert looked like a franchise savior for about the quarters on Sunday, as he helped his Chargers build a 24-7 lead over Tom Brady and the Bucs. It didn’t hold, however, which is on L.A.’s coaching and defense, which gave up five touchdowns to Brady in defeat.

Los Angeles Rams (C)

L.A. just got by in week four, as they survived an ugly affair with a bad Giants team. That isn’t good enough to nudge them higher, as the Rams failed to get their ground game going, and only had one big play on the day. A win’s a win, but this one wasn’t one to write home about.

San Francisco 49ers (C)

The Niners get a break, as they’re down to their backup quarterback, and even benched him for the third guy in line in a tough home loss to the Eagles. Sadly, San Francisco still could have won this game, but couldn’t get out of their own way.

New England Patriots (C)

The Pats were a bit better here than we’ll ever let them know. Despite losing Cam Newton to COVID-19, New England dominated on the ground and was in this one late before succumbing to turnovers. The effort was there, but 10 points are obviously never enough against the Chiefs.

Detroit Lions (C-)

The Lions looked well on their way to a dominant home win as they took a 14-0 lead over the Saints. In classic Detroit fashion, however, they relented and fell to the visiting Saints, 34-29. Matt Patricia is on fire watch.

Jacksonville Jaguars (C-)

Gardner Minshew II put up 351 yards in a valiant effort, but tossed a pick and ate three sacks in a bad loss to the previously winless Bengals. Minshew Magic remained efficient, but it wasn’t enough with Jacksonville’s inept defense giving up 30+ points for the third straight game.

New York Giants (C-)

The Giants don’t get brownie points just because the Rams played down to their level. Daniel Jones took five sacks and didn’t generate enough offense, while the G-Men settled for three field goals in a game where they needed just one touchdown to make L.A. nervous.

Houston Texans (D+)

Houston got off to a horribly slow start against the Vikings, but gets a little credit for a late rally that had them in position to force OT. That didn’t happen, however, and it led to head coach Bill O’Brien’s firing – as well as a brutal 0-4 record.

Arizona Cardinals (D+)

A week after throwing Arizona out of the game, Kyler Murray didn’t take enough chances and put up just 133 passing yards in a 31-21 loss that looked closer than it was. Arizona has now dropped two straight – both against supposedly inferior teams – after a hot 2-0 start.

Washington Football Team (D+)

Is the Dwayne Haskins era finally over? It probably should be, as the second-year passer took three sacks and couldn’t muster a touchdown in a blowout home loss to the Ravens. 

Atlanta Falcons (D)

It was a sorry effort by the Falcons, who couldn’t stop Aaron Rodgers and left a lot to be desired on offense. Seriously, a 20-play drive that scaled the field, and they kicked a field goal? This has to be it for Dan Quinn. Right?

Pittsburgh Steelers (INC)

The Steelers don’t get a pass or fail, as they didn’t play this week due to COVID-19. Mike Tomlin gets an A+ for saying “we do not care” when told his team had to place 13 consecutive games, though.

Tennessee Titans (INC)

Ditto for the Titans, who got an unexpected break due to COVID-19 concerns. The Titans stay undefeated, though, so there’s that.


It’s pretty subjective who the very worst and best teams from week four were. Which teams excelled and looked good, as a whole, however, should be easy to see.

The real question, other than wondering which teams had the best and worst grades from week four, is what we do with this information as sports bettors.

Do we blindly bet on the Buccaneers, Browns, and Saints? And should we leave the likes of the Jets, Bears, and Cowboys for dead? The former, sure, but the rest, I’m not totally sold on just yet.

However, each week, we get a chance to hit the pause button, reflect on the top performances, and gauge what to expect going forward. Hopefully, we accomplished that with our look at the week four NFL grades, and you can bet on teams with confidence.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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