Biggest Takeaways in the NFL after Week 4

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Jordan Davis, Contributor

After four weeks of NFL action, football fans should be adjusting their playoff projections heading into Week 5.

This past week we saw the Rams, Panthers, Raiders, and Broncos all suffer their first losses of the year after being unbeaten through the first three weeks.

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray has had a strong start to the season leading Arizona to be the lone undefeated team in the league. 

Meanwhile, a few teams with high expectations after winning their divisions last season have had underwhelming starts to their season this year.

The reigning Super Bowl LV champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers have started the season 3-1 as Tom Brady looks to capture his eighth Super Bowl ring. 

Recently the Bucs have had injuries to their secondary as Sean Murphy-Bunting and Carlton Davis are expected to miss an extended period of time. On Sunday vs. the Patriots, five-time pro bowler Richard Sherman made his season debut for the Bucs after being signed earlier in the week.

Adding a veteran presence such as Sherman’s to an already stacked roster may just be another ingredient to the Bucs recipe repeating as Super Bowl champs. Seeing how the 3-1 Panthers lost to a seasoned team, the Saints struggle offensively and the Falcons being abysmal on both sides of the ball, the Bucs road to winning the NFC South division will come with ease.

One of the highlights of the NFL season thus far is how dominant the Los Angeles Rams have looked. 

Starting off 3-1, the Los Angeles Rams have fully taken advantage of swapping Jared Goff for Matthew Stafford this past offseason. 

WR Cooper Kupp has already become Stafford’s favorite target, posting 30 receptions, 431 yards, and 5 TDs so far. Head Coach Sean McVay has made it a top priority to get Kupp involved early and the Rams are 40-0 when leading at halftime since McVay took over in 2017.

Although Kyler Murray has led the Cardinals to be undefeated so far, the Rams’ dynamic passing attack and tremendous pass rush will edge them out to win the NFC West despite being in a stacked division.

The Kansas City Chiefs are fresh off two back-to-back Super Bowl appearances and because of that, expectations are high in Arrowhead Stadium. 

The Chiefs are off to an underwhelming 2-2 start following a win in Philadelphia after consecutive close losses to the Ravens and division rival Chargers. As their offense has been electric, their defense hasn’t been able to get stops. Currently, their defense is ranked 30th in the league and gives up 430 yards per game.

This past week they got some help at the receiver position by signing Josh Gordon, who was recently reinstated following an indefinite suspension by the league. He’ll be making his debut this week vs. the Bills.

Although the Chiefs’ schedule coming up doesn’t get much easier, they will turn it around with added help to their already high-powered offense and sit atop the league’s best division come January.

While there are some teams who have been underwhelmed so far, none have stood out more than the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Pittsburgh is 1-3 following a 27-17 loss to the Packers last weekend. 

The Steelers currently sit at the bottom of the AFC North, a division which the Browns and Ravens are dominating with elite talent on both sides of the football. 

On the other hand, the Steelers are facing injuries to their playmakers on both sides of the football. All-Pro talents TJ Watt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Diontae Johnson all were all listed on the Steelers’ injury report Tuesday. 

To make things worse, their hall of fame QB Ben Roethlisberger has been disappointing, to say the least. Though he is battling a pectoral injury, it’s no secret that Big Ben is a shell of his former self.

“Big Ben is done,” Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports said on his talk show The Herd. “He’s an old man. Some of the throws he made last weekend were brutal and pathetic.”

The Steelers’ schedule doesn’t get any easier in the weeks leading up to their bye week. All signs point to things remaining ugly before they turn pretty in Pittsburgh and the Steelers are in danger of missing the postseason for the third time in the last four years.

Week 5 kicks off tonight as the Los Angeles Rams matchup against the Seattle Seahawks in an NFC West showdown.