32 things we learned from Week 4 of 2021 NFL season: More than Tom Brady’s Patriots showdown

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32 things we learned from Week 4 of the 2021 NFL season:

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1. Who is number 1? After trouncing their division rival (and previously undefeated) Los Angeles Rams, The Arizona Cardinals emerged as the league’s only 4-0 team – which day Carolina Panthers And the Denver Broncos were highlighted as products of their initially easing schedule — although the cards could have been added by the Las Vegas Raiders as late as Monday night. Still, who had as many card-raiders as Super Bowl 56 picks? (And does anyone want that now?) But give these teams their due, especially as other perceived favorites and risers stumble.

2. What is the No. 1 regular-season game? Maybe all the time in terms of buildup? Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New England Patriots Tom Brady vs Bill Belichick at Gillette Stadium After 20 years and six Super Bowl titles together – on Sunday night. What was not in it? The TB12 is being warmly embraced by Foxborough loyalists ahead of kickoff, before the game starts to smack once again. Goat, Brady, faces off against first-round QB, Mack Jones, who effectively takes his place. bad weather. A few poor caretakers, some calls in particular, nearly vaulted the Patriots to victory on their final campaign. Brady wrestles NFL career mark for passing yards from Drew Brees. Richard Sherman returned to the NFL on a night when he was tied with seven tackles for the Bux team. Not so many new Patriots who played alongside Brady (TEs Hunter Henry and Joanu Smith, OLB Matt Juden) made an appearance. Tampa’s is becoming more and less prone to secondary injuries. Books coach Bruce Arian turns 69. The most brief of postgame exchanges between Belichick and Brady – they met in private for 20 minutes after the game – were followed by a very long hug from New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel, while the QB was embraced by dozens of former Was. -Fellow. And the end result was Books Over Pats 19-17, allowing Brady to join as Breeze, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning Only QB to beat all 32 teams …thanks to a 56-yard Nick Folk FG effort that blasted straight. what a night.

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2a. And perhaps the most surprising stat of Week 4: Brady, who had 269 walking yards, ran for 3…or 4 more of the Patriots’ collective. Naturally.

2b. Now 1-3, the balance of New England and AFC East is now two games behind the first-place Buffalo Bills.

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3. Amidst all the Brady-Belichick hype largely lost, Bux te was the misfortune of Rob Gronkowski, whose fractured ribs (suffering in Week 3) kept him from enjoying his hero’s reception on Sunday night.

4. Return to Arizona. One notable aspect of the Cardinals’ so-called “air raid” offense during Sunday’s win? He threw the ball 32 times, but ran it 40 times – and for 216 yards and two TDs. QB Kyler Murray (268 yards and 2 TD passing and 39 rushing yards) may now be the current favorite for MVP honors as the face of this team, but Cliff Kingsbury’s team is proving too versatile.

4a. Since moving to the Phoenix area in 1988, the Cardinals have only started 4-0 once – notably in 2012… when they finished 5-11.

4b. The Raiders haven’t started 4-0 since 2002… when they eventually lost Super Bowl 37.

5. Early Frontrunner for NFL Defensive Player of the Year? Must be Dallas Cowboys CB Trayvon Diggs, who has taken two more passes and now has five this season (including at least one in each game). Don’t expect Diggs’ 21 picks to stay on a full-season pace—he had three as a rookie in 2020—but Hall of Famer Dick “Night Train” Lane’s single-season record is legitimately It may not be long before he threatens 14, a mark that has stood since 1952 and is generally considered one of the league’s most untouchable standards.

6. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has thrown 238 or fewer yards in each of his last three — including 188 (with 4 TD passes) in Sunday’s win over the Panthers previously unbeaten — but Dallas has won all three. . That should tell you something about the importance of balance.

7. New York, New York! The Giants and Jets both exited Schneider on Sunday with their first win of 2021 – the first time both Big Apple teams have won in overtime on the same day.

8. Too, Buffalo beat Houston Texans 40-0 … meaning, yes, New York In fact Went 3-0 in week 4. (But New Jersey was only 2-0.)

9. Amazing how far the passing game of the New Orleans Saints has evaporated, explained in the meantime damage to giants. New York had three receivers with more than 75 receiving yards, while the Saints had none.

10. Beamer for the Big Easy to finally reopen the Superdome in the wake of Hurricane Ida, only to see home team the Saints lose.

1 1 Pittsburgh All-Pro OLB TJ Watt sacked Aaron Rodgers twice, Watt’s first sack in Wisconsin since he was the Wisconsin Badger in 2016.

12. But Rodgers improved his career record against the Steelers to 2–1 inches. 27-17 win for Green Bay Packers – The first time Rodgers (passing 248 yards and 2 TDs, 1 running TD) faced Pittsburgh since winning Super Bowl 45 after the 2010 season and the first time he saw the Steelers at Lambeau Field.

13. Despite the setback for the Cowboys, new Panthers QB Sam Darnold still has more wins (3) than the Jets and Giants combined.

14. Darnold also leads the NFL Five fast td. No other QB has ever scored so many times on the ground in his team’s first four matches. Lamar who?

14a. Darnold had a total of five fast TDs during his first three seasons with the Jets.

15. Remember back in preseason, when we were largely praising the rookie quarterback’s game as he counted the drops of the Cincinnati Bengals WR Ja’Mar Chase? How does time change? Chase, 21, is the youngest to achieve at least four TD grabs in his first three games and was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for September.

16. Meanwhile, those rookie QBs are largely drowned in high heaven, though Jets ‘Zach Wilson’ and Chicago Bears’ Justin Fields both won on Sunday. Yet, collectively, they range from 3-13 to four weeks.

17. Next time you hear the coach talking about wins and losses and the stats for the losers? Take it with a grain of salt. The Baltimore Ravens had some trouble handling the Broncos unbeaten 23-7 in the east in Denver. but Coach John Harbaugh’s decision to run QB Lamar Jackson in the final game of the game Going into form instead of winning (for 5 yards) was a bit of a laugh. However… Jackson’s advantage extended Baltimore’s streak of consecutive games to 43 with at least 100 rushing yards, tying the NFL record. Harbaugh admitted after the game, “It’s one of those things that’s worthwhile. … It’s a very difficult record to accomplish.”

17a But give Jackson, who fought badly last week, credit — his hand (316 yards, TD) was a key element of the Ravens offense.

18. Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson scored his 100th regular-season win on his 148th start. Wilson, who has never missed a game since being drafted in 2012, joined Peyton Manning as the only player to reach the century mark in wins in his first 10 seasons.

COVID-19. Yes, it is still a problem in the country at large, and in the NFL in particular. Just ask Seahawks TE Gerald Everett to start, who missed Sunday’s game on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

20. Watch out for the growing defense of the Cleveland Browns, who have allowed 13 points and 292 yards in total over the past two weeks. Sunday’s lockdown of the normally explosive Minnesota Vikings was far more impressive than the Chicago Bears’ Week 3 wipeout.

20a. Student (Kevin Stefanski) mentor (Mike Zimmer) … at least this Sunday.

21. Is there a better “slash” in today’s NFL than Atlanta’s Cordrell Patterson? He got the Falcons running (34 yards on 6 carries) and scoring a career-high three TDs (82 yards on 5 receptions). The all-decade special teamer also averaged 26 yards on three kickoff returns for good measure.

22. All of you guys who drafted Kansas Chiefs TE Travis Kells (23 Yards Sunday) in the first round will be overjoyed to see Bill TE Dawson Knox and Bengals’ CJ Uzoma score two TDs in Week 4. lesson learned? Maybe none… or maybe just stream the fantasy on the tight end.

23. Detroit Lions QB Jared Goff is playing much better with the Rams in 2016 as a rookie than…

23a Of course, Goff has won six in a row against the Cardinals. (See what we did there, Ram fans?)

24. The Bears won the fight against Detroit (again) on Sunday, but could face a serious setback if RB David Montgomery has a serious knee injury. Montgomery ran for 106 yards and two TDs and has arguably been the team’s best player this season. The next man will be a Super Bowl 54 hero (for chiefs) Damien Williams.

25. Remind that NFL goal lines travel all over the world. Washington RB JD McKisick exemplified this on his game-winning 30-yard TD catch and vault in Atlanta.

26. The Jacksonville Jaguars have now lost 19 games in a row. They are only behind the 1976–77 expansion Buccaneers (26) for the longest losing streak in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) and if they fall to the Titans in Week 5, they are second to themselves. Worst will be the skid owner.

26A New Jags coach Urban Mayer had never given up four times in a row so far in his career.

26b. New Jags QB Trevor Lawrence has been on the losing side of his first four NFL debuts after losing four games at high school and college… combined. He went 86-4 between Cartersville (Ga.) High School and Clemson before going pro.

27. The Jets entered Sunday with six sacks but knocked down Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Tanhill seven times.

27a And how about this nugget from Elias: Jet defenders Quincy and Quinnon Williams become the first brothers to record sacks in a single game…

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