Week four of the 2022 NFL season began on Thursday night with a victory for the Cincinnati Bengals, which was overshadowed by a frightening injury to Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, who suffered a concussion and was briefly hospitalized.
Sunday’s playlist ended with the Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes using some tricks and blinding hustle to give Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers their second loss in a row.
Sunday’s game kicked off early (9:30 a.m. ET) as the Minnesota Vikings took on the New Orleans Saints at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. The game reached the final seconds when a 61-yard field goal from Wil Lutz hit the post and crossbar but flopped.
Later in the day, Cooper Rush led the Dallas Cowboys to a victory over the Washington Commanders, the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars battled it out in the rain, and a showdown between two of the league’s best teams, the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills.” reached the winning goal from the game. Pittsburgh Steelers rookie QB Kenny Pickett debuted in the third quarter and rushed for his first two career touchdowns, but Zach Wilson (who made his season debut) and the New York Jets took the win with a last-minute touchdown.
The Tennessee Titans took the AFC South road win against the Indianapolis Colts, and the Seattle Seahawks unleashed an offensive blast for 48 points from the Detroit Lions who tried to fight back but ultimately failed.
The Las Vegas Raiders finally got into the win column late into the evening by defeating the Denver Broncos to give coach Josh McDaniels his first silver-and-black win. The Green Bay Packers went 3-1 with a last-second overtime win over a fearless New England Patriots playing a rookie third-string quarterback.
Our NFL Nation reporters respond to the biggest takeaways and unresolved issues from this week’s matches and look forward to what’s to come. Let’s get down to business.
Go to match:
Kansas City 41, Tampa Bay 31
What you need to know: The Chiefs can thrive on offense in the absence of wide receiver Tyreke Hill. They just have a different area of power. Now these are not necessarily wide receivers, but their narrow ends and running backs. All five of their touchdowns were scored by tight ends or spins, including three touchdown passes by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has nine passing touchdowns to defensemen or tight ends this season, four more than any other quarterback.
Is there any reason to worry about the defense after the performance in the 4th week? No. The Chiefs played extra football, allowing just two games over 20 yards. They forced Buck to make long and laborious trips to score points. The Chiefs made their biggest defensive game when L’Jarius Sneed took out Tom Brady in the second quarter, a play that gave Mahomes and the offense good fielding position to score a touchdown that gave them a 28–10 lead. — Adam Tycher
Next game: vs. Raiders (Monday, 8:15 pm ET)
What you need to know: The Bucks’ offensive struggle was up against one of the league’s most powerful offenses and the inability of the defense to stop it. They started on the hole 21-3 in the second quarter and then 38-17 in the third. Turnover didn’t help. The Chiefs scored 14 points after two first-half fumbles — the first from rookie Rachaad White on the first kickoff and the second from quarterback Tom Brady. They began to find their rhythm with two touchdowns off wide receiver Mike Evans, who returned from a one-game suspension. But that wasn’t enough.
Is a 2-2 start a bad omen for the Bucks? No. Let’s put things in perspective. The Bucks are 2-2 in the first four games of the regular season against teams that finished 46-22 last year. This is the seventh time Brady has gone 2-2 (2003, 2005, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2018), with four of those seasons (2003, 2014, 2017, 2018) ending with a trip to the Super Bowl. However, this was to be the hardest part of the Bucks’ schedule. Their other opponents are 18-24 in total and they play twice against division rivals Carolina (1-3) and Atlanta (2-2). — Jenna Lane
Next game: vs. Falcons (Sunday 1:00 pm ET)
Green Bay 27, New England 24
What you need to know: Don’t give Aaron Rodgers more than one chance to win in overtime. As ugly as the end of regulation and the first overtime attempt was, Rodgers had no intention of dropping the ball after his second possession in overtime. And he trusted his wide receivers to do it. Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb caught passes for first downs, and rookie Romeo Doubs added a couple of great passes for Mason Crosby to hit a 31-yard field goal. This saved Rodgers and the Packers from the humiliation of losing to rookie third-team quarterback Bailey Zappa. No matter how difficult it looked, the Packers now have a legitimate chance to turn 3-1 to 6-1 ahead of the Buffalo in Week 8, with the Giants, Jets and “Commander”.
Is Rodgers still the Packers best player? Rashan Gary objects to this. With two sacks on Sunday against the Patriots, he has five to four games. Gary became the first Packers player to score a sack in each of the first four games of the season since Cullen Jenkins in 2010. This was previously done by Kabir Gbaja-Byamila in 2001 when he had nine sacks in his first four games. Gary’s second sack on Sunday was a striptease in which he also regained fumbling, and he later set up Jarran Reed for the sack, forcing Zappe to come up in the pocket. — Rob Demowski
Next game: vs. Giants (Sunday, 9:30 pm ET)
What you need to know: Valiant effort. The Patriots had nothing to play against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers—since they had a third quarterback after two streaks in difficult road conditions—but they played with a lot of heart and effort. There are no morale victories in the NFL, but it’s hard to blame the Patriots for taking Green Bay into overtime before falling.
Bailey Zappe just played himself as backup QB? A fourth-round pick from Western Kentucky proved the moment wasn’t too big for him, coming on as a substitute for veteran Brian Hoyer in the game’s third offensive series after Hoyer pulled out with a head injury. Zappe completed 10 of 15 passes for 99 yards and one touchdown, demonstrating composure in a tight spot. He was fired three times, once he lost. It’s clear the Patriots had to cut back on Zappe, but he was ready and did enough to keep the team in the competition. — Mike Reiss
Next game: vs. Lions (Sunday, 1:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas 32, Denver 23
What you need to know: Raiders coach Josh McDaniels can exhale. Finally. Having lost 15 of his last 20 games as head coach since his disastrous tenure with the Denver Broncos in 2009 and 2010, McDaniels scored his first victory with the Raiders in Game 4. Yes, against the team that fired him more than a decade ago. irony, right? Sure, it’s one win, but with a 1-3 draw and another key AFC West battle in Kansas City, at least the McDaniels and Raiders can relax and stop worrying about getting that first W.
Do the Raiders have the rest of AFC West exactly where they want it? May be. Sure, Las Vegas is 1-3, but the Raiders just beat the Broncos, Kansas City looks vulnerable (the Chiefs are playing the Buccaneers on Sunday night), and the Chargers, despite having won a big victory over the woeful Houston, represent a walking “M *”. The Raiders head to Kansas City for a Monday night game and then enjoy a goodbye before the schedule eases up a lot. It’s been a long season and the Raiders are finally getting some positive momentum. — Paul Gutierrez
Next game: at Chiefs (Monday 8:15 pm ET)
What you need to know: The Broncos’ offense broke the 16-point atmospheric barrier with three touchdowns by Russell Wilson (two passes, one rush). But even with a comeback attempt on Sunday, they won’t get back to playoff talk until they can do some damage in the AFC West road games. The Raiders’ victory over the Broncos is another in a growing pile of Raiders and Chiefs losses that have greatly contributed to the Broncos becoming little more than parsley on the division’s plate.
Okay, what are the plans for the running game after Giavonte Williams’ injury? A lot of what the Broncos’ already struggling offense does depends on ball control, especially in the action game that coach Nathaniel Hackett wants to be part of some big pop game. Williams was wheeled into the locker room early in the third quarter with a right knee injury. And although Williams will undergo more tests, including an MRI on Monday, he could not weight his leg when he was helped to the touchline and had a towel on his head as he was wheeled to the locker room. Melvin Gordon III fumbled four times in four games — the Broncos lost two of them, including once when the Raiders returned 68 yards for a touchdown on Sunday — and Mike Boone was the Broncos’ option for a change of pace, not Hammer Williams maybe. — Jeff Legvold
Next game: vs. Colts (Thursday, 8:15 pm ET)
Arizona 26, Carolina 16
What you need to know: Once the Cardinals’ offense gets its rhythm and pace, it’s hard to beat. Kyler Murray is as dynamic a player as he is in the NFL. Zach Ertz can do just about anything Arizona needs. Marquise Brown is the perfect combination of strong hands and speed. But the problem this season is that it takes too long for the Cardinals to find that rhythm and pace, and even when they do, they’re too inconsistent. It was another week of a slow start and a fast finish. Luckily for Arizona, the Panthers weren’t good enough to take advantage of this.
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