Week 4 Recap

By Stephen Juza

October 3rd, 2023

With almost 25% of the season completed, let’s take stock of the state of the league and surprises that have occurred in the first month of the season.

In the days between Week 4 and Week 5, one way to pass the time would be playing slot games online at the various online casinos, regardless of your location.

Surprise Contender:

While most of the division leaders we predicted to be there, Miami Dolphins, at 3-1, caught us off guard. While they had their epic game against the Denver Broncos two weeks ago where they scored 70 points, they had a bit of a return to earth after losing to Buffalo 48-20. Despite the loss, the offense has been impressive, and they are loaded with speed up and down the depth chart. The running back tandem of Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane has helped lift the Dolphins to the league-leading rushing attack.

If the Dolphins can keep this up, expect the team to be 5-1 before they take on the Philadelphia Eagles during Week 7 for their next opportunity for a statement win.

Surprise Dud:

Arguably the biggest disappointment throughout the first four games was the Cincinnati Bengals, who currently sit at 1-3. After finishing last year as the AFC’s #3 seed and losing to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game, many people expected the Bengals to be right back in the thick of things in 2023.

However, quarterback Joe Burrow struggled in the first four games, posting some of his worst stats of his career. His completion percentage has dropped more than 10 percentage points since last year, while posting the lowest passing rating this season of any quarterback who has played all four games. Meanwhile, there may be some discontent in the locker room with wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who expressed his frustration with his lack of opportunities after the latest loss to the Titans.

Biggest Injury:

The most impactful injury through four games has undoubtedly been to New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon four plays into his inaugural season with the Jets, causing the team to unexpectedly revert back to Zach Wilson. The Jets spent all offseason turning over the roster and coaching scheme to make Rodgers comfortable, only to have to pull an audible quickly.

The Jets had Super Bowl aspirations entering the season and are now having to reset expectations. While Zach Wilson played the best game of his NFL career on Sunday against the Chiefs, he ultimately turned the ball over at the worst time, fumbling the snap with an opportunity to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. If he can continue to play like he did against the Chiefs, the Jets may still be able to scrape out a wild card appearance. But it will remain a “what-if” season compared to what would have been with Rodgers at the helm.

Game of the Week:

Week 5’s game of the week is a matchup of two between the top teams in the NFC when the Dallas Cowboys (3-1) travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers (4-0) on Sunday Night Football. This matchup pits the two best offenses against the two best defenses of the conference. This will also represent both teams' most difficult game so far in the young season.

The teams the Cowboys have beaten each have only one win on the season, so a victory against the 49ers would help to give them an early statement win and show they are truly a contender this season.

Coaching Hot Seat

While Bears coach Matt Eberflus tops our likelihood of being fired at the end of the season at 81% again, there are a few coaches that are contending for the top spot.

Brian Daboll:

With Monday’s latest loss to Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants head coach Norm Gerber now sits at 76% chance of being fired. While he won coach of the year in 2022, the Giants (1-3) are off to a terrible start to the season, sitting last in the NFC East. With consecutive road games against AFC East-leading Bills and Dolphins, the schedule won’t get easier for them.

Zac Taylor:

With the latest loss for the Bengals, Zac Taylor now ranks just below Daboll at a 68% chance to be fired if he can’t turn around the team. This was the first week that he scored above 50% for the season, and their best chance of a win in the coming weeks is next week against the Arizona Cardinals. After that, the Bengals face the Seahawks, 49ers, and the Bills, a combined 10-2 on the season.

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