NFL Week 4 Winners and Losers: Arizona rises to the top

    Zach Wilson, Baltimore's defense, and the Arizona Cardinals headline the biggest winners in the NFL -- who are Week 4's losers?

    Another Sunday has gone in the NFL, and the landscape is starting to take shape. After a flurry of action on Sunday (and ahead of the Monday Night Football game between the Chargers and Raiders), we take a look at the biggest winners and losers in the NFL this week.

    NFL Week 4 Winners

    Here are the biggest winners from Week 4 in the NFL.

    Arizona Cardinals

    The Arizona Cardinals are our biggest NFL winner as a team. They became the first team to move to 4-0 on the young season, proving they could dethrone the Los Angeles Rams from No. 1 on our NFL Power Rankings. Quarterback Kyler Murray continued his MVP-caliber season with another multi-touchdown performance, throwing for 268 yards in the process.

    Arizona has weapons at the disposal of Murray’s gifted arm and finally some semblance of an offensive line. Championed by future Hall of Famer Rodney Hudson at center, this offensive line unit was terrific against the Rams’ defensive front that includes Aaron Donald.

    On defense, the Cardinals were treated to a Team of the Week performance from emerging star CB Byron Murphy. He recorded an interception as well as a pass breakup, locking down Cooper Kupp and DeSean Jackson in the process. They’re a young unit overall but one that proved they can hang with the top dawgs in the NFC West, the toughest division in football.

    Baltimore Ravens defense

    The Baltimore Ravens defense is our unit winner in the NFL this week. The Ravens dismantled the Broncos’ offense on Sunday, exposing them in the process. They limited their rushing attack short of a garbage-time carry and one long individual run from Javonte Williams. In doing so, they forced Teddy Bridgewater and ultimately Drew Lock to beat them with their arms.

    Forcing Denver to throw, they limited the Broncos’ passing attack to just 4.8 yards per attempt. The back end recorded several pass breakups, and Anthony Averett hauled in a late interception to seal the deal.

    The Ravens have found a way to get to 3-1 and are starting to come together as a defense. They’ve figured out their opponents’ weak spots and exploited them in each of their past three outings.

    Zach Wilson

    Zach Wilson is our inaugural individual to be labeled as the biggest NFL winner from the weekend. The rookie quarterback got his first NFL victory when the Jets toppled the Tennessee Titans. New York final put Wilson in a game plan that allowed him to see success based on his skills. The pocket was rolled to his right on multiple occasions and passing lanes opened up.

    While the pocket-passing ability will continue to develop in time, Wilson’s best chances to win now are to lean on his biggest strengths — out-of-structure play, accuracy, and arm strength. Wilson has those three in spades and proved it on several plays vs. Tennessee. His best throw of the afternoon came when he broke contain on a 3rd-and-6 play, heaving a pass on a dead sprint to his right from his own 23. Wilson spotted the ball perfectly to Keelan Cole 58 yards downfield for a big gain and a first down.

    Wilson saw designed rollouts to his right on 5 pass attempts (a penalty nullified 1). He finished with a ridiculous statistical showing of 3/4, 64 yards, and 2 touchdowns on those attempts. Clearly, designing a game plan around him was a smart thing to do. And for that, he’s the week’s biggest individual winner.

    NFL Week 4 Losers

    On the flip side of the coin, here are the biggest losers from Week 4 in the NFL.

    Tennessee Titans

    The Titans land on our NFL losers list not just because they lost to the Jets. They’re here because of how they lost to the Jets. Tennessee controlled the game, for the most part, running a grand total of 100 offensive plays.

    They had 37 rushes for 177 yards. Ryan Tannehill attempted 49 passes for 298 yards. They had another seven plays nullified by penalties. The Titans dominated the time of possession, 40:42 to 29:03.

    Their inability to get the ball into the end zone and find their playmakers in space was evident without A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. They also lost Rodger Saffold for the latter half of the game; Taylor Lewan was also briefly injured. It was a huge offensive output only to take a loss.

    Denver Broncos offense

    Landing as our loser for a specific unit, the NFL saw a side of Denver’s offense lacking from their first three weeks of action. The inability to move the ball was prevalent in all but one drive for Denver against Baltimore on Sunday.

    The Ravens stopped the Broncos’ rushing attack, forcing Teddy Bridgewater to beat them with his arm. When Bridgewater was knocked out with a concussion, it was then on Drew Lock to beat them with his arm. It’s safe to say — it wasn’t going to happen in this one.

    Baltimore’s coverage scheme was terrific, blanketing Denver’s receivers and not allowing anything open quickly. This allowed the pass rush to get home on multiple occasions and continued to expose what could be a trouble spot going forward in the AFC West for Denver.

    Richard Sherman

    Sherman is our biggest loser from an individual standpoint after making his 2021 debut on Sunday night. Amid scrutiny and an arrest this offseason, the veteran cornerback signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He announced the news himself when he signed.

    What he may have forgotten to do during all of his offseason tribulations was work out. Physical fitness and NFL game speed are two completely different things. And Sherman clearly didn’t have the latter on Sunday night.

    Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers ate Sherman up — they were routinely wide open across the middle with Sherman trailing in coverage.

    Sherman played in off and press coverage on the night, giving up a catch to Hunter Henry for 6 yards on the first play of the game. Bill Belichick clearly knew Sherman wasn’t going to be ready because he targeted Sherman on the second play as well, another completion to Bourne for 4 yards.

    On New England’s touchdown drive in the second quarter, Bourne hauled in a 16-yard catch with Sherman in press coverage. And Meyers meshed his way past Sherman for a wide-open 15-yard reception on the very next play. He rounded out the drive with a pass interference call and another 16-yard catch allowed to Bourne.

    Overall, it was a disappointing start to his Buccaneers career.

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