5 winners and 3 losers from Week 4 in the NFL

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Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles RamsPhoto by Harry How/Getty Images

This mentation of the Cardinals is different, and precise special.

I’m drinking the Cardinals Kool-Aid, large time. I’ve been warned against falling for its intoxicating scent. Given crushed not to springiness successful to its saccharine promises. But dammit, astatine this constituent I’m consenting to instrumentality a large swig, adjacent if it kills me.

After the archetypal week of the play I noticed this was a very, precise antithetic Cardinals squad to the past. There person been established expectations for Arizona that existed agelong earlier the Kliff Kingsbury era. They established themselves arsenic a squad that lived oregon died by the pass, with astir thing other to amusement for it. There are times this attack has worked well, similar the 2008 squad that made the Super Bowl — but what is often forgotten astir that squad is conscionable however mean they were.

Kurt Warner having 1 past tally made for a heck of a story, but this was a truly atrocious squad propped up by a hellhole of a playoff run. The Cardinals went 9-7, successful the regular season, had the worst rushing onslaught successful the NFL, and a defence that was successful the bottommost 3rd of each statistical area. The constrictive nonaccomplishment to Pittsburgh for the Lombardi Trophy was the implicit maximum foodstuff that could ever beryllium squeezed retired of that orange.

We cognize that Kingsbury’s attack was bold. He was taking the Air Raid discourtesy and porting it implicit to the NFL, and for a portion it seemed destined to travel successful the way of different bold violative choices that flourished, earlier fizzling and failing.

Now successful 2021 it’s working, oregon it would beryllium if this was a existent Air Raid. Calling what Arizona is doing by immoderate statement would beryllium inaccurate, due to the fact that they’re perfectly unique. Sure, the bread-and-butter of the discourtesy is overwhelming teams done the aerial with a big of weapons, but the moving crippled has progressively go a focal constituent — and it’s been trending this mode for a mates of years.

The conception that the Cardinals are marked by Kyler Murray throwing 50 times a crippled is decidedly existent astatine times, but not successful 2021. Rather, they’ve been remarkably balanced. Murray has thrown the shot 134 times this season, portion the squad has tally the shot 114 times. This near-parity has positioned Arizona arsenic 19th successful the NFL successful passing attempts, and 11th successful rushing attempts.

This offensively equilibrium was connected afloat show against the Rams, who truly didn’t person an reply defensively for the Kingsbury approach. Now with a 1-2 punch of Chase Edmonds and James Conner astatine moving backmost arsenic their shifty and powerfulness backmost respectively, determination are conscionable infinite ways this Arizona discourtesy tin onslaught you — and this play they’ve yet recovered a defence that’s bully capable to get the occupation done arsenic well.

A triumph implicit the Rams is of other value to Cardinals fans, who person seen this squad conflict truthful overmuch against Los Angeles successful caller years that it’s their Moby Dick. Entering the crippled connected Sunday Arizona had ne'er beaten the Sean McVay led Rams, with an 0-8 grounds against them. Now sure, 1-8 isn’t overmuch amended — but that’s a precise important symbol. In doing truthful it’s besides catapulted Murray into imaginable MVP conversation, adjacent though the play is young.

In 4 games Murray has been, well, incredible. He’s thrown for 1,273 yards, which projects to good implicit 5,000 connected the year. While his 9 TD to 4 INT ratio is good, but possibly not unthinkable — it’s truly 2 different statistic that leap retired to me. Murray is completing a ludicrous 76.1 percent of his passes, portion converting astatine yard-per-attempt of 9.5. Keep successful caput that averaging implicit 8.0 is usually a motion of an elite quarterback, and this fig is conscionable astonishingly good.

Oh, person we mentioned helium tin tally too? 109 rushing yards for 3 touchdowns this season. Nothing to precisely constitute location about, but he’s besides been incredibly businesslike connected the crushed erstwhile needed — averaging 4.7 yard-per-carry.

What this means successful totality is that Murray makes everyone’s beingness truthful overmuch easier due to the fact that he’s locking down an full signifier of the game. It’s meant that the defence doesn’t request to beryllium successful world-beating form, conscionable capable of a velocity bump that it’s intolerable to bent with a squad averaging 35 points a crippled and succeeding against everyone they’ve faced.

Now astatine 4-0 and coming disconnected a large divisional triumph implicit Los Angeles I’m acceptable to treble down connected the Cardinals this season. They are that damn good, and this could beryllium their champion play ever.

Winner: Dallas Cowboys

It’s not similar beating the Panthers is immoderate immense connection crippled that solidifies the Cowboys successful the NFL elite, but there’s a inclination to this 3-1 squad that’s worthy following: Their discourtesy is highly good, and precise hard for teams to manage. Dallas hasn’t truly had an casual “gimme” crippled this play truthful far, and they’re inactive connected the close broadside of the ledger.

Time volition archer whether their violative detonation against Carolina is an indictment of their defence conscionable not being arsenic bully arsenic we thought, oregon if it’s a lawsuit of however bully the Cowboys’ discourtesy is — but either mode this was an important triumph to instrumentality a grip connected the NFC East.

In the adjacent 4 weeks Dallas plays the Giants, Patriots, Vikings and Cowboys — which could perfectly presumption them astatine 7-1 arsenic they scope the halfway constituent successful the season.

Loser: Tennessee Titans

If you suffer to the Jets you’re a loser of the week. I don’t marque the rules astir here, I conscionable enforce them.

Winner: The Panthers and Broncos

This was a large connection week for some teams who entered Sunday astatine 3-0, but neither of whom truly had an existent test. When the particulate settles I deliberation fans of some teams should stay beauteous excited astir their teams.

Carolina decidedly made mistakes connected Sunday, and their defence was exposed by Ezekiel Elliott — but without Christian McCaffery connected discourtesy the squad inactive made this a 1 people game. Assuming McCaffery isn’t retired excessively agelong there’s each accidental this squad tin get backmost connected way and proceed to astonishment this season.

Meanwhile the Broncos merit plentifulness of props too. The scoreboard mightiness not look excessively favorable, but Denver was capable to bent precise adjacent to Baltimore up until Teddy Bridgewater was forced retired with a concussion. The crippled got distant from them aft that point, and it became wide a comeback wasn’t successful the cards, due to the fact that Drew Lock is terrible, but this is different lawsuit wherever I deliberation Denver tin determination past this and enactment unneurotic a bully season.

Even if 2021 isn’t the twelvemonth successful Carolina oregon Denver, some teams are showing that they’re trending successful the close direction.

Loser: Urban Meyer

‘Nuff said really. You tin find the video, I’m sure.

Winner: Patrick Mahomes

The Chiefs are a spot of a messiness this play if we’re each being honest. Defensively Kansas City has been 1 of the worst teams successful the NFL, and erstwhile that broadside of the shot is truthful atrocious that Mahomes can’t bail you out, well, you cognize there’s trouble.

That aside, we can’t conscionable disregard a subordinate throwing 5 touchdowns — adjacent if it meant conscionable a 12 constituent triumph implicit the Eagles, who are mislaid and confused this season.

I don’t deliberation the Chiefs person it successful 2021. There are conscionable excessively galore issues connected defence to ideate this squad making a playoff tally successful a part with the Raiders, Chargers and Broncos (who are amended than expected), and I conscionable realized that’s an existent condemnation that I said, and not arsenic a joke.

This is each truthful wild. This play rules.

Loser: Everyone who sat done the Patriots vs. Buccaneers broadcast

The crippled betwixt Tampa Bay and New England was fantastic. Easily 1 of the champion of the play — and it was perfectly ruined by however acold the hyperbole successful this lucifer was pushed.

Every Patriots bid we heard Cris Collinsworth speech astir what a triumph implicit Tom Brady would mean to Mac Jones. Whenever Brady made a propulsion determination was a chopped distant to amusement him warming up earlier the game, walking into the stadium oregon hugging Robert Kraft.

Then, conscionable erstwhile you thought “this crippled is truthful large we don’t request to trust connected Jones vs. Brady being a thing,” NBC played this video of Patriots fans leaving voicemails astir Brady similar it was telephone successful radio, and it was awful. People saying they felt similar Tom betrayed them, others saying watching him triumph a ringing successful Tampa was tantamount to seeing an ex get married.

Jesus Christ people, dude gave you unparalleled occurrence for 20 damn years. Chill maybe.

Anyway, Mac Jones was good. The Patriots person a coagulated foundation, the Buccaneers are inactive the unsafe — and we conscionable didn’t request immoderate of this.

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