5 Lessons Learned – NFL Week 4


We’re at the quarter mark of the NFL season and three sides still have perfect records a month in.

Week four brought us its usual fix of drama, highlights, upsets and struggles along with the first taste of the byes.

Not that anyone missed seeing the Luke Falk lead Jets as Sam Darnold recovers from illness but the 49ers were held at 3-0 and have had a week to get ready for their primetime debut against the Browns.

There were wild games in Detroit and Los Angeles with points aplenty and a couple of surprise teams showing they just might be better than expected.

We’ve crunched the numbers and come up with our 5 Lessons Learned for this weekend right here.

1 – Eagles Fly in Wisconsin

We can all rejoice; we finally had an exciting game to kick off the week.

It wasn’t without controversy (naturally) but the Eagles and Packers certainly put on a show for everyone.

For this lesson we are going to focus on what we took away from the Eagles performance.

Above all else, there’s no telling exactly what a win as underdogs on short rest will do to a team’s confidence but it can only be a good thing.

Any confidence boost will come in handy because after they play the Jets next week, things get really tough over the next month, with three straight road games followed by that vaunted Bears defence at home.

We could also go off on that Packers play call at the end but… well even on the internet we don’t have the time to dissect that.

2 – Bills Hang with the Big Boys

It was a battle of the unbeaten sides but you could almost come out of that AFC East clash between the Patriots and Bills feeling better about Buffalo.

Despite losing 16-10, the Bills gave New England all sorts of fits and managed to score the first offensive touchdown on the Patriots since the end of the AFC Championship game back in January.

It was an ugly start but for the bulk of the game, their defensive line made Tom Brady look like an actor trying to play Tom Brady… and not doing a very good job of it.

What that should have taught us is that at the very least, these Bills can hang around with the good teams that don’t put them away and they are good enough to handle the bad teams in this league.

3 – Just Visiting

A hat-tip to Scott Hanson, the host of NFL Red Zone for the tip off on this stat, but it was a great week for teams to be on the road.

It started with the Eagles winning at Lambeau Field, then continued into the (very) early window of games with seven of the eight 3:00am kickoffs being won by the visitors.

The Dolphins lost but that’s hardly newsworthy or ground-breaking, although to their credit they did at least put a scare through the Chargers… before losing by 20.

Some of those games saw road favourites win but fail to cover spreads of around a touchdown in the Patriots and Chiefs but they’ll just be happy to move to 4-0.

We also saw Oakland go into Indianapolis and win by seven and in the biggest early shock, the Browns absolutely handled Baltimore with a 15 point win that shocked many.

That trend continued in the slightly less early window with the Seahawks, Jaguars and Buccaneers all pulling off road wins, with the Jags and Bucs both going into their games as underdogs.

Can the Buccaneers pull of their third road win of the season when they travel to New Orleans next week?

If they manage to put up 48 in the dome like last year you have to like their chances.

4 – Consider the Spot

For all we know, Dwayne Haskins might be the second coming of John Elway, but in his first live game action we saw why he’s not going to be an improvement on Case Keenum in 2019.

After another rough start from the former Rams, Vikings & Broncos quarterback, Jay Gruden went to his rookie signal caller and the results weren’t much better.

On the plus side he did throw his first touchdown pass, it was just to a member of the Giants secondary so it wasn’t that good.

With the Patriots coming to town next weekend, it may be in Washington’s best interests to protect their rookie quarterback considering there’s not much of an upgrade with him on the field.

5 – On Their Way

Through the first month of the NFL season, which teams have exceeded expectations early?

Three teams are well on their way to matching the preseason win totals in our markets before kickoff.

We’ve already mentioned the Bills who need just four wins from 12 games to beat their number of 6.5 wins and the Giants turning things over the Daniel Jones could see them clear their number of 6 wins.

Then there’s the team that was on a bye last weekend in the 49ers, who have a great chance to show off on a big stage at home to the Browns on Monday Night Football.

Let’s see what they can do with a few more eyeballs on them in the coming weeks.

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