Biggest Takeaways NFL Week 4, 2020
We are now a quarter of the way into the season and things are really starting to take shape. The best teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack while the bad teams are showing just how bad they are. Without further ado, let’s look at what week 4 showed us.
1. Bill O’Brien is FINALLY out in Houston
Undoubtedly, the biggest news of the weekend was Bill O’Brien being fired in Houston. I wrote before the season that O’Brien was the biggest weakness to the Texans being good. Despite the toughest schedule in the NFL to start the year, this team could’ve easily been 2-2 with good coaching. In week 3, Watson threw for over 200 yards in the first half against the Steelers and then only threw 9 times in the second half. Last week, while trying to complete the 16-point comeback, O’Brien ran three times in a row on first and goal, before finally passing on fourth down. O’Brien is so desperate for his trade of Hopkins to work out, that he continuously feeds David Johnson despite Johnson showing his best days are behind them. However, even with O’Brien gone as GM and coach, this team is doomed. They traded their first and second-round pick to the Dolphins, they are spending the most money on salary on the NFL, and they are projected to be $6 million over the cap next year, meaning not only can they not add key players, but they’ll also actually have to cut some. This team might be in the worst position of any team in the history of the NFL.
2. The Bucs continue to roll
The Bucs were down early to the Chargers. In fact, it looked like they were going to be down 17 going into the half. However, while running out the clock at the end of the first half, Joshua Kelly fumbled and the Buccs capitalized with a touchdown. From there, things clicked and the offense rolled for 28 second-half points. This is what Tom Brady does for this team. With Jameis Winston, that fumbled probably turns into a field goal at best (but more likely, a pick-six). Even if Brady at times doesn’t look great, with the weapons he has and his penchant for not making mistakes, this team is never out of the game.
3. Foles doesn’t impress in debut
Hopes were high in Chicago. The Bears were 3-0, the defense looked good, and with Foles at QB, the offense might finally start to click. That didn’t happen. No part of the offense looked good. Foles missed some receivers, receivers dropped balls, and Montgomery had no room to run. The only Bears TD was a garbage time TD at the end of the game. However, this was Foles’ first start and he had to go up against his former OC and against one of the stingiest defenses in the NFL. The Bears have a short week, as they play the Buccs on Thursday. After giving up 31 to the Chargers, Foles and the Bears should be ready to score some points. If they don’t, then the offense might need to look at going back to Trubisky (or maybe trading for Deshaun Watson? A Bears fan can dream).
4. The NFC East continues to be pitiful
No team in the NFC East has multiple wins. The Giants are still winless. And now, the team in first place is the team that tied the Bengals a week ago. This division will definitely not send two teams to the playoffs and the way things are going, they likely will struggle to get the division winner to .500. The only way this division will stack wins is if it’s against each other. Just about the only bright spot to this division is if you own some Cowboys’ players in fantasy football. Other than that, there’s no reason to even watch which of these teams will be the four seed in the NFC come January.
5. The Bengals have a bright future
I’ve actually watched a decent amount of Bengals’ games this year and this team could be a playoff team as soon as next year. First-round pick, Joe Burrow looks better and more comfortable every game. He’s also starting to form a connection with second-round receiver Tee Higgins. With how those two look, the future is bright in Cincy. With another good draft in 2021 and a good free agency this offseason, the Bengals could be fighting for the six or seven seed in 2021.
6. There’s hope for Browns’ fans
The Browns improved to 3-1 after putting up 49 points in Dallas. And that was with their star running back, Nick Chubb, exiting the game early. This offense is leaning heavily on the run game and it’s been working. Even with Chubb out, Kareem Hunt and D’Earnest Johnson rushed for 73 and 95 yards respectively. The reliance on the run game has made life a lot easier for Baker Mayfield. He may not be lighting up the stat sheet, but he’s making the throws he needs to make and not making mistakes. If this Browns’ offense keeps operating like this, the Browns won’t just be looking at a winning record, but also a playoff berth.
7. Time to pump the breaks on the Cardinals
Coming into the season, I thought the Cardinals could be a dark horse pick to at least make some noise in the NFC. After beating the defending NFC champs in San Fran, they had a favorable schedule, playing Washington, Detroit, Carolina, the Jets, and Dallas. They legitimately had a chance to be 6-0 before playing Seattle at home. Instead, they lost to Detroit last week and Carolina this week. Not only did they lose, their offense, which is supposed to be their strength, looked lost. This past week, Kyler Murray was 24-31 passing for only 133 yards. That’s a LOT of checkdowns that went nowhere. This team can still be 4-2 heading into their matchup against Seattle, but the way their offense is playing, they will struggle to beat anyone.