The NFL’s week 4 gave fans several interesting storylines, I break down what are overreactions and what have some truth to them.
Overreaction: The Rams Super Bowl hangover will last the entire season
The reigning NFL Super Bowl champions, Los Angeles Rams, are off to a rocky start to this season. The 2-2 Rams have had close wins against the Atlanta Falcons (31-27) and Arizona Cardinals (20-12) but the Rams’ losses have been horrendous. The Rams have yet to return to championship contender form in any game this season, getting blown out by the Buffalo Bills 31-10 to start the season and last night’s embarrassing finish against the San Francisco 49ers (24-9).
Matthew Stafford has to be better if the Rams want to have a chance at repeating. He has now tied Joe Namath for the third most interceptions of any player since 1950. Last night was Stafford’s 28th career pick 6, Dan Marino (29) and Brett Favre (32) are the only players who have more in the NFL. Stafford now has 6 interceptions to 4 touchdowns on the year and led the NFL in interceptions a year ago.
Stafford has also had issues getting the newest Ram Allen Robinson. On the season Robinson has 9 catches on 18 targets for 95 yards and a single touchdown. In 2020 with the Chicago Bears Robinson had his best season with 102 catches for 1,250 yards and 6 TDs. The Rams have to find a way to get Robinson more involved and Stafford must play better if they want to see the postseason again this year.
Not an overreaction: The Eagles win the NFC
Philadelphia is the only unbeaten team in the NFL sitting at 4-0, the Eagles overcame a 14-0 deficit in the first quarter Sunday against Jacksonville and had an explosive second quarter where they outscored the Jaguars 20-0. The Eagles edged out the Jags 29-21. The Eagles have looked dominant on both sides of the ball with Jalen Hurts looking like an MVP candidate and the defense is leading the NFL in sacks per game.
The Eagles made major acquisitions that are the reason for this team’s success. Bringing in linebackers Haasan Reddick and Kyzir White bolstered the front seven while the biggest difference for the team has been wide receiver A.J. Brown that has helped transform this offense into one of the best in the NFL. Philly has a real chance to go 17-0 this year barring any major injuries. The Eagles have the second easiest schedule in the NFL, only the giants have an easier schedule going forward.
Overreaction: The Cardinals are on the right track after their 26-16 win over the panthers
The Arizona Cardinals were one of the NFL’s hottest teams in 2021, starting an impressive 7-0 and having quarterback Kyler Murray in talks of winning the NFL MVP. The current Cardinal team, however, is not near as hot to start the season. The Cardinal’s struggling offense ranks near the bottom in the NFL in yards per play
(28th) and 3rd down conversion sitting at 31%(29th).
Missing NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver Deandre Hopkins for 6 games to start the season, on suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, has left the Cardinals offense sputtering at times and asking Kyler Murray to create with his feet more and more.
Some of Murray’s struggles can be attributed to less time to throw. Murray’s current is hurried and blitzed the second most in the NFL and has an average time to throw of 2.2 seconds. This has left Murray to create with his feet and improvise more and more this season.
Murray has been the story of distraction this season, where a clause was put into his contract where he was required to watch the film, as “homework.” Once the clause was found it was removed from his contract, but who can say that the pressures from the front office are not affecting the play on the field for the Cardinals?
Not overreactions: The Lions have the worst defense in the NFL and maybe of all time.
It has been a tale of two teams for the hard knocks featured Detroit Lions. The offense has looked stellar and ranks the best in the NFL in points per game(35), yards per game, points per play, and yards per play. They even lead the NFL in touchdowns per game a 4.5 an incredible turnaround for the worst team in the NFL year.
So how is the number one offense in the NFL 1-3? Everything the offense has been the best at the defense has been the worst at. Detroit has the worst defense in the NFL, they are last in every major team category for defense. As many yards per play as they lead the league in offense, they give it right back on defense (6.5 yards per play).
Four games into the season the Detroit Lions have allowed 35.3 points per game. The worst defense in NFL history was the 1966 New York Giants which allowed 35.8 points per game, according to MCubed.net. Time will tell if the Lions will make NFL history this season in the worst way possible, or if they can overcome their defensive shortcomings and rise to the same level of excellence as their offense.
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