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Top 10 Takeaways From Week 4’s NFL Action

Cam lists his top 10 takeaways from a Week 4 that saw plenty of surprising outcomes across the league.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - SEPTEMBER 07: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions celebrates their 21-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on September 07, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Looking for fantasy football takeaways from Week 4? Check out Dr. Roto’s Prescription Notes!

  1. C.J. Stroud is the real deal: C.J. Stroud is fourth among ALL QBs (not just rookie QBs) in passing yards, with 1212. He’s thrown a tidy six TDs and hasn’t thrown a pick yet. It will get harder for the rookie as more film is out on the kid, but for now, the future looks bright in Houston.
  2. Who needs Brady?: The Buccaneers are 3-1 on the season, and Baker Mayfield has more than filled in, replacing the GOAT. He has a 101.5 QB rating, and he’s shown the poise and leadership you’d hope for from a veteran.
  3. Head Coach Seats Get Hot: Who will be the first to be fired? There are many candidates. The winless Panthers HC Frank Reich will get a long leash with his rookie QB Bryce Young. But the winless Bears HC Matt Eberflus’ leash is quite short and getting shorter by the week, as is Raiders’ HC Josh McDaniels. And although it likely won’t be a firing, per se, if the trend continues in New England, don’t be shocked if owner Robert Kraft and HC Bill Belichick part ways sooner rather than later.
  4. The New England Patriots are a bad football team: And speaking of the Patriots … they are a bad team at the moment. Before Tom Brady, Bill Belichick was a below .500 coach, and since Tom Brady, Bill Belichick is a below .500 coach. More and more analysts are starting to say what I’ve known and seen for years … the emperor hasn’t had any clothes for years in New England. Year after year of bad drafts has brought the team to this spot, a third straight 1-3 start to a season since Brady left, and the worst loss in Belichick’s long and storied career. And now they’ve lost two key defensive pieces in LB Matthew Judon and CB Christian Gonzalez. It could be a long day in New England for the Pats and their fans on Sunday. They cannot afford to go 1-4.
  5. Zach Wilson showed life: My heart goes out to this kid. He was put in a really tough spot this season. The team obviously lost faith in him, bringing in Aaron Rodgers …which was a no-brainer. But then on the fourth play of the season, Rodgers went down for the year, thrusting Wilson back into the spotlight. He has looked so bad at times it’s embarrassing, and even Jets legend Joe Namath has said the kid has to go. In the face of all of that negatively in front of a hostile home crowd (and Taylor Swift), he played really well against the defending Super Bowl champs. I hope he can build on it.
  6. Impressive first month of the season for the Lions: The Lions are 3-1 and in first place in the NFC North. And even more impressive is that two of those wins have come on the road, at Arrowhead Stadium and Lambeau Field. They have put the whole league on notice; they will not be an easy out whenever or wherever they play.
  7. The Bengals have serious problems: The Bengals are in last place in the AFC North at 1-3. They have only scored 49 points in the first four games of the season. That is the fewest points scored in all of the AFC, and the second lowest in all of football, only ahead of the New York Giants. In fact, they currently rank 15th out of 16 teams in the AFC standings, with only the Broncos worse. 
  8. If the playoffs began today: If the playoffs began today, there would be a handful of less than MVP-caliber QBs leading their teams. Colts Rookie Anthony Richardson would be in the playoffs, along with Pittsburgh’s second-year QB Kenny Pickett and Atlanta’s second-year QB Desmond Ridder. And Lions veteran Jared Goff, Bucs veteran Baker Mayfield, and Seahawks veteran Geno Smith would all be there as well.
  9. At the quarter pole … basically: In the old 16-game schedule, after Week 4 was over, a quarter of the season was gone. In a 17-game schedule, we’re basically there. Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa is on a pace to throw for 5,550 yards. 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey is on a pace to rush for 1950 yards and post 2549 total yards. He and Raheem Mostert are each on pace to rush for 25 TDs. Rams WR Puka Nacua leads the league with 39 catches, a pace of 165 catches. Vikings WR Justin Jefferson is on pace to gain 2,307 receiving yards.
  10. Injuries are starting to mount: Bills CB Tre’Davious White injured his Achilles tendon. Bengals WR Tee Higgins has a rib injury. Browns DE Myles Garrett has a foot injury and is in a walking boot. The Patriots lost two key defensive players: Matthew Judon will be out for the majority of the season with a torn bicep, while rookie CB Christian Gonzalez is out with a dislocated shoulder and labrum issue. Steeler QB Kenny Pickett left the game with a knee injury. And Buccaneers WR Mike Evans suffered a hamstring problem. The NFL is becoming a war of attrition, as it seems to be every year.