5 Lessons Learned – NFL Week 4

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That will go down as one of the wildest weekends of action in the NFL with a number of tight finishes and despite the best efforts of some players, no ties.

If you ever doubted the importance of coaching in the NFL, consider that two games turned on aggressive coaching decisions in the space of 10 minutes.

Indianapolis had an opportunity to all but secure a tie against Houston but Frank Reich opted to go for it on 4th down, gifting Houston a short field and the game winning field goal.

Tennessee on the other hand, with fellow rookie coach Mike Vrabel, were down in overtime and went for it all with a walk off touchdown to Corey Davis to pull off an upset win over the Eagles at home.

There was a lot to take away from this weekend and we have boiled it down to five (kind of) concise points for your reading convenience.

1 – Everyone Gets a Score!

If you were to sum up the weekend in one word it can be done so with a simple one: points.

There were lots of them over the 15 games played this weekend, four games topped 70 points highlighted by the wild contest between Cleveland and Oakland that finished 45-42.

As offences start to gel after a month under season operating conditions, the good teams will continue to produce points going forward.

Going into Monday Night Football, the average total per game was 53 which is a lot, although not surprising given the way the league has trended towards offence for the last few years.

With another 50 points being put up between the Chiefs and Broncos, it made for one of the highest scoring weeks in recent memory.

2 – End Zone Favourites

Four weeks into the season and trends are starting to emerge with who are the preferred options for teams around the end zone.

If you are looking for a Touchdown Scorer play (be it first or anytime), take a look at the players that are consistently scoring week on week.

It’s all well and good to buy into a player like Cooper Kupp from the Rams after his breakout against the Vikings, or A.J. Green from Cincinnati who had 3 TD’s against Baltimore in Week 2, but the key here is to look for consistency.

Three players have scored in every game they have played in this season.

Todd Gurley from the Rams is unsurprisingly on this list with 6 scoring plays in his games and as the centrepiece of that offence, he figures to be a good option every week.

Carlos Hyde from the Browns has also found the end zone with five rushing scores in his four games although he figures to face stiff competition from rookie Nick Chubb who scored twice against Oakland.

After missing Week 1, Texans receiver Will Fuller had brought in three touchdown grabs in all three games.

One player who has a hot set of hands right now is Falcons rookie Calvin Ridley who was blanked in the season opener but has gone off with six touchdowns in the last three games.

At some point a team may opt to cover Ridley, but until then, he is another player worth looking into.

3 – The Atlanta Track Meet

After their lackluster showing in the season opener, the Falcons offence has exploded in the past three weeks with the team topping 30 points in each of their last three games.

The downside for them is their defence has been depleted by injuries and they have given up a lot of points as well.

With Matt Ryan and company on offence executing at a high level and their defence opting to employ the matador strategy, expect plenty of points for the Falcons going forward.

4 – Cardiac Titans

If you have backed the Tennessee Titans in any games this year, you would be forgiven for wanting to have a lie down after they had concluded.

After losing their first game to Miami by a score of 20-13, they have beaten Houston by three points, Jacksonville by three and now Philadelphia by… you guessed it, three points.

The pattern here is pretty clear and it suggests that the Titans are in for a season full of close finishes.

While they enter next week’s game against the Buffalo Bills (who have been pretty poor this season) as slight favourites, the play for the Titans might be to back them in tight games more often than not.

The winning margin of 1-6 would be a decent play if the head to head and line markets don’t quite offer up the right value.

5 – AFC Least

This one might be low hanging fruit but sometimes you just have to take what you are given.

A common critique of the Patriots is the fact they have dominated a division which has been at times, putrid. In the space of three and a bit hours yesterday, that statement was certainly true.

New England was the only side to win from the AFC East and that was because they played, and belted, the division rival Dolphins.

That 38-7 scoreline alleviated some of the concerns about the Patriots slow start but it is worth noting that Gillette Stadium has always been a house of horrors for Miami.

While the Dolphins were being trounced, the Jets went down by 19 points against the Jaguars and the Bills were shut out by a Packers side that Aaron Rodgers said played ‘terrible’.

In week four, the final score was New England: 38 – Rest of the AFC East: 19. On the bright side for Miami, they still have a lead in the division going into the second month of the season.

Tips, recommendations and commentary are for entertainment only. We provide no warranty about accuracy or completeness. You should make your own assessment before placing a bet.