Recapping Week 4’s Top Winners and Losers in the NFL

By Dan Vasta in NFL
| October 4, 2021 11:24 am PDT

October has been a joy ride thus far in the NFL. This past weekend featured the return of Tom Brady to Foxborough against the Patriots.

Tampa Bay survived and picked up a much-needed win after struggling against the Rams the previous week. Dallas passed the eye test, but there were plenty of contenders that came through in Week 4.

Here are your top winners and losers from this past weekend of NFL games.

Winner: New York Jets and Giants

Both of these teams were winless and down in the dumps. There is a difference between being winless and struggling as much as these two have. The Jets and Giants were the laughing stock of the city other than those struggling Mets.

Sunday was the first time in NFL history that both teams won in overtime. While these two won’t become playoff squads overnight, they needed some positive momentum.

This past Sunday was the perfect day to be a fan of New York football, and both came through in overtime. Zach Wilson picked up his first victory as a rookie, and Robert Saleh, Mike LaFleur, and their new staff came through.

The Giants have suffered some disappointing losses thus far. Picking up a road victory over New Orleans could go a long way. We shall see how much momentum these two will gain, but getting off the hook in Week 4 is something both will take in early October.

Loser: Steelers

The Steelers scored on their opening drive with a connection between Ben Roethlisberger and Diontae Johnson. Chase Claypool was out (hamstring), and the offense was consistently behind the sticks.

There were several plays where Najee Harris had to break several tackles to get past the line of scrimmage.

The offense was poor for most of the evening, and their lack of an offensive line or run game has been costly.

Harris found some spots to find a little running room, but the offense is still searching for answers. Before halftime, Minkah Fitzpatrick brought back a blocked field goal for a go-ahead score, but Joe Haden was offside. It all went downhill from there, and Pittsburgh is now 1-3 on the season. They will be looking to avoid their first losing season under Mike Tomlin.

Winner: Cardinals

The offense has been electric thus far in the season. Kyler Murray has to be your top choice for the MVP heading into mid-October, and the weapons are challenging to limit.

DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, and Chase Edmonds are offensive weapons most teams will struggle defending.

The difference with this franchise is their defensive ability.

Isaiah Simmons, Byron Murphy Jr., and Budda Baker are all stars in the secondary. Chandler Jones wasn’t a factor, but the rest of his teammates had his back in their lopsided victory by 17 points.

Loser: Rams

Matthew Stafford finally had a game where he struggled a bit with the pressure that Arizona showed. Their ability to get after the passer and pin their ears back made the LA offense look bad at times. Cooper Kupp had 13 targets but had only five catches for 64 yards.

The inability to limit the Arizona rushing attack was a concern. The Cardinals ran roughshod for 216 yards on 40 attempts. Arizona had plenty of favorable third downs, but they were 8-for-13 and made it look too easy.

Luckily, this is one game only. Still, Arizona has looked great so far.

The Rams will need to get back to the drawing board after allowing Kyler Murray to pick up his first career win over the Rams (1-4).

It was also the first loss for Sean McVay against the Cardinals (8-1).

Winner: Seahawks

This NFC West tilt was the game Russell Wilson and Seattle had to have if they expected to become playoff threats. They have their work cut out for them in the NFC West. The Rams are coming to town for Thursday Night Football, but at least they have some confidence at 2-2.

Arizona and Los Angeles look like NFC contenders, but 11-plus victories is a likelihood for these squads.

Seattle knocked out Jimmy Garaoppolo (calf). The defense deserves some praise.

They were exposed by Minnesota the week prior, but Bobby Wagner played lights-out defense. The secondary gave up some plays late to Deebo Samuel, but they got the key stops needed in those first three quarters.

Loser: Saints

It was the first home game for New Orleans in their actual home stadium (Caesars Superdome). They laid an egg against the lowly Giants at home, a game where many felt they were one of the safest favorites to win in Week 4.

Suffering a disappointing loss in overtime could come back to bite them.

Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill shared starting quarterback duties, but not good enough is the motto.

Alvin Kamara did not have a target in a game for the first time in his career. Yes, the man who has been a constant 80-plus reception type of season failed to haul in one catch. New Orleans looks far from a playoff squad if they play close to what they showed this past weekend.

Winner: Cowboys

Dak Prescott threaded the needle for four passing touchdowns, and the rushing attack dominated at the line of scrimmage against Carolina.

The Panther defense was the top-ranked squad in the league entering this matchup.

Dallas looks like the real deal, and their offense should keep them in most games.

The difference in their winning formula has been a much improved defensive squad. Trevon Diggs picked up his fifth interception of the season, and their defense has turned into one of the more opportunistic defenses in the league.

Summary

One of the bigger losers not mentioned were the San Francisco 49ers, who expect to miss Jimmy Garaoppolo for the next few weeks. Trey Lance performed well enough to keep his team in the second half. The offense has not been as productive like many expected. George Kittle is not 100% healthy, and their lack of a rushing attack has cost them a few games. At 2-2, the sky isn’t falling, but they need to pick it up.

Vital games are coming up in October. So, there are plenty of opportunities for teams to improve upon their records. We are four weeks in, and the season has been remarkable thus far.

I hope you all enjoyed the slate of games and realize that Week 5 could be the best one yet.

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