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Around the NFL: Recapping Week 4 and looking ahead to Week 5

Taking a look back at Week 4 and previewing what’s to come in Week 5.

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 of the 2023 NFL regular season is in the books. The week featured plenty of blowouts including five teams winning by 20 or more points. Today we look back at the fourth week of action and give you some takeaways, as well as look forward and preview some of the Week 5 slate.

(All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)

Three Winners

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills

The Bills faced a big test last Sunday as they matched up against the then-undefeated Miami Dolphins. Three games in, the Dolphins had looked like the best team in football. However, on Sunday the Bills looked more like that team. Buffalo scored 48 points in a 48-20 win over Miami with quarterback Josh Allen throwing four touchdown passes. The Bills’ defense recorded four sacks and two takeaways, putting together their third consecutive impressive performance. If the Bills can keep playing complementary football like they have the past three weeks, they have a real shot at being a true Super Bowl favorite.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions

The 3-1 Detroit Lions put up another impressive performance last week as they defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-24 on Thursday night. The Lions, who have won three of their first four games for the first time since 2017, continue to impress on both sides of the ball. Jared Goff and the Lions’ offense have been solid, scoring the eighth-most points in football, but the improvement on the defensive side of the ball has been the real story. Detroit’s defense is top-10 in the league in EPA/Play, Success Rate, and Dropback EPA. The Lions have three very winnable games out of their next four and have a real chance to enter their bye week with a 6-2 record.

NFL: New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys

A week after a disastrous performance in Arizona, the Dallas Cowboys bounced back about as well as anyone could have hoped for. Dallas dominated the Patriots in a 38-3 victory, registering their third 20+ point win just four weeks into the season. Dallas’ defense led the way holding the Patriots to just 53 rushing yards on 23 rushes, an average of 2.3 Y/A, and recorded three takeaways including a pick-six. If the Cowboys’ defense plays like they did on Sunday, they are going to be hard to beat.

Three Losers

NFL: Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears

Oh, Chicago. The Bears, who were already off to an 0-3 start combined with plenty of off-the-field controversy, sank to a new low on Sunday in a loss to the Broncos. With a little over four minutes left in the third quarter, the Bears scored a touchdown to take a 28-7 lead. By the seven-minute mark of the fourth, that lead was gone. Chicago went on to lose the game 31-28, an absolutely excruciating loss. Justin Fields did play well, but it was for naught as it resulted in another week of pain for the Bears.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals

What in the world is wrong with the Cincinnati Bengals? Cincinnati suffered their third loss of the season on Sunday receiving a 27-3 beat down courtesy of the Tennessee Titans. In four games, the Bengals have scored three points on offense twice. Joe Burrow, who is clearly not healthy, is 29th in the league in EPA/Play and has completed just 57% of his passes. The Bengals have a chance for a get-right game that they so desperately need against the Cardinals this week.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers may be 2-2 but at the moment they do not look anything close to a team that is capable of making the postseason. Pittsburgh’s offense was atrocious on Sunday, recording just 225 total yards and a -0.249 EPA/Play. Four games in, the Steelers are 31st in the league in offensive EPA/Play and Success Rate, and 30th in Dropback EPA. Kenny Pickett and the Steelers’ offense have a lot of work to do if they want to turn this thing around.

Game of The Week (Week 5)

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys (3-1) +3.5 At San Francisco 49ers (4-0)

Just like in Week 4, this is an easy pick for the game of the week. The Cowboys and 49ers square off on Sunday night in a battle of two of the NFL’s best teams. The 49ers have knocked the Cowboys out of the playoffs two seasons in a row, so there will be some extra added juice to this matchup.

Favorite of The Week

NFL: Washington Commanders at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles (4-0) -4 at Los Angeles Rams (2-2)

It pains me to ever pick the Eagles in anything but I think we are going to see them blowout the Rams on Sunday. While the Rams have managed a 2-2 record, Matt Stafford has not played great, and I don’t see their offensive line being able to hold up against this dynamic Eagles’ defensive front. Even if Cooper Kupp is back for the Rams this one is not going to be close.

Underdog of The Week

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants (1-3) +11 at Miami Dolphins (3-1)

This probably seems like a crazy pick after how bad the Giants looked on Monday night but I don’t think they are that bad of a team. They aren’t good, but they’re not ‘lose by double-digits every week’ bad. I think we see the Giants show some pride this week and play hard for their coach Brian Daboll. 11-points is a lot in the NFL and I can see the Giants coming out and playing some inspired football allowing them to cover the spread.

Over of The Week

NFL: Washington Commanders at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears (0-4) at Washington Commanders (2-2) O/U = 44

Sam Howell and the Commanders’ offense should have no problem putting up points against an atrocious Bears’ defense. On the flip side, Justin Fields and Chicago’s offense seemed to figure some things out last week. They are capable of putting up 17-20 points which should be more than enough to hit the over if Washington’s offense takes care of business.

Under of The Week

NFL: New England Patriots at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints (2-2) at New England Patriots (1-3) O/U = 40.5

40 points is an extremely low total in an NFL game but these two offenses have a chance to go under it. I see this game being slow-paced and low-scoring and finishing something like 17-13.

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