NFL Week 4 is closing in and it’s one of the most anticipated on the 2020 schedule. Everyone is rightfully focused on Tom Brady vs Bill Belichick, but there’s so many games for fans to get excited about and we’ll see some surprises.
After so many thrilling Sunday Night Football games to start the season, many are hoping for the same between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots. There’s also plenty of talk about the five undefeated NFL teams and who will be left standing after Week 4.
Let’s dive into five bold predictions for NFL Week 4.
Tom Brady scores five TDs in blowout return
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were embarrassed by the Los Angeles Rams in Week 3 with the 34-24 not accurately representing how one-sided the game was. Coming off that tough loss, you can bet on Brady and Bruce Arians using this Sunday Night Football matchup as an opportunity at vengeance.
While New England’s defense held Jameis Winston to 128 yards in Week 3, he still posted a 110.8 passer rating with two touchdowns on 21 attempts. On Sunday, that same Patriots’ secondary is going to face Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski. Simply put, there’s no way for Belichick to contain everyone.
The yardage might be Brady’s secondary goal. But you can bank on Arians and play-caller Byron Leftwich throwing on nearly every play inside the Patriots’ 10-yard line. The Patriots might create some pressure, but that’s why Tampa Bay built one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. In front of the crowd that still loves him, five touchdowns can easily be done by Brady.
Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams combine for 60-plus points
Speaking of the Rams, their defense did an excellent job limiting Tampa Bay’s explosive plays. But that’s going to be a lot more challenging in NFL Week 4, when Los Angeles faces Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals.
Entering Sunday, Arizona boasts the second-highest average yards per play (6.8), the fifth-most red zone scoring attempts per game (4.3) and leads the NFL in estimated offensive points per game (32.0). The Cardinals are facing a Rams’ offense that ranks third in estimated offensive points per game (31.7), third-down conversion rate (54.29%) and Matthew Stanford ranks second in yards per attempt (10.0).
Given Jalen Ramsey won’t shadow DeAndre Hopkins and Arizona doesn’t have anyone in its secondary who can match up with Cooper Kupp, a high-scoring affair feels inevitable. A 35-31 outcome shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Pittsburgh Steelers bench Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger is easily one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL right now. The signs of his massive decline became evident late last season, but the Pittsburgh Steelers refused to acknowledge it. Thus, they are stuck in the position where Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins are their only options. Quite frankly, it still might be time to bench Big Ben.
The numbers from Pro Football Focus are just as alarming as the eye test on Sundays. Roethlisberger has the third-worst passer rating (20.1) under pressure, the second-worst completion rate on deep throws (23.1%) and 20.8% of his throws are behind the line of scrimmage.
Roethlisberger puts an incredibly low ceiling on the Steelers’ passing attack. That’s unacceptable in a matchup against a Packers’ offense that could put up 27-plus points. We expect Pittsburgh to fall behind early and trailing by double digits, Mike Tomlin finally pulls the plug on Big Ben.
Four undefeated NFL teams lose
We know at least one undefeated team will go down in NFL WEEK 4 thanks to the Cardinals-Rams matchup. But there’s a real possibility we could see four of the five 3-0 teams suffer their first defeat.
The Carolina Panthers will be without Christian McCaffrey for a road game against a Dallas Cowboys team that just destroyed the Philadelphia Eagles. Dallas is a heavy favorite to win that meeting. Elsewhere, the Denver Broncos face their first real test against the Baltimore Ravens. If Lamar Jackson’s receivers actually come through, they can win at Denver.
That brings us to the Las Vegas Raiders traveling to SoFi Stadium to face the Los Angeles Chargers. The Raiders should have great success running the football and Derek Carr can find some weaknesses in the Chargers’ secondary. But coming off a big win, Los Angeles arguably has more momentum and a more talented roster should pull out a victory.
Derrick Henry explodes for 180-plus yards
When Sunday’s NFL Week 4 action kicks off, we’ll be in October. A flip on the page of a calendar might not sound like much, but it brings out one of the more fascinating Derrick Henry stats. In 2020, he averaged just 3.89 yards per carry in September and that jumped to 5.64 in October. It’s a trend seen throughout his career, with an increase from 4.00 to 4.33.
The scary part about the 6-foot-3 running back, he is being used in a more versatile role. Of the five games with four-plus targets in his career, two occurred this season and the Tennessee Titans seem committed to getting him more involved in the passing game.
That’s very bad news for the New York Jets. An offense that has combined for just six total points in the last two games is unlikely to turn things around in a week. Tennessee will control the football and the game script, a potential blowout, significantly favors Henry. We might not get the 200-yard rushing game he seems to deliver every season, but he could have a monster day.