NFL – Week 4 Preview


Fast Facts • Chiefs lead league with 10 takeaways, and are tied for third in takeaway-giveaway differential at plus 5. … With only 3 sacks so far, defense clearly misses the pass-rush presence of injured LB Justin Houston. … Hiccups persist for KC on offense, but Steelers’ 32nd-ranked pass defense could be a get-well card. … Chiefs CB Marcus Peters leads league with 4 INTs, picking off 2 against both Houston and Jets. … Peters normally stays on left side of field, so matchups against Steelers WR Antonio Brown may be limited. … Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell returns after missing first 3 games due to league suspension.


Fast Facts • Falcons rank 1st in total offense and scoring, with stats padded against New Orleans’ woeful defense last Monday. … QB Matt Ryan seeking 5th consecutive game vs. Panthers with 300-plus yards passing. He’s tied for NFL lead (with Jimmy Garoppolo) in passer rating 119.0. … RB Devonta Freeman had career-high 207 yards from scrimmage vs. Saints. … Carolina’s only 6-15 vs. Falcons in Georgia Dome; their only 2015 regular-season loss took place there. … After getting roughed up by Vikings, Panthers hope to reboot offense against 30th-ranked Falcons defense. They’ll have to do it without RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) who’ll miss second straight game.


Fast Facts • Texans have won last 4 at home against the former Houston Oilers. … Titans QB Marcus Mariota makes 1st start against Texans; he missed both games in 2015 with knee injuries. … Mariota plagued by turnovers this season with 4 INTs, 2 lost fumbles. … Titans WR Andre Johnson has only four catches this season, but the longtime Texan had 2 TD catches against his old team last season as a Colt. … Texans without 3-time defensive player of the year J.J. Watt, who’s on IR with back injury. … WR DeAndre Hopkins has 24 catches for 449 yards, 4 TDs in last 3 games vs. Titans. … LB Whitney Mercilus (Illinois) had 3½ sacks in last home game vs. Titans.


Fast Facts • Only the second game for Seattle at Jets since switching to NFC from AFC in 2002. … Last Seahawks road victory in this series came in 1983, the Jets’ last season at Shea Stadium before moving to the Meadowlands. … Despite knee and ankle injuries, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson expected to start; he has yet to miss a game since entering NFL in 2012. … RB Christine Michael rushed for career-high 106 yards last week against 49ers; WR Doug Baldwin had career-high 164 yards receiving in that game. … After throwing 6 interceptions last week in KC, which tied a franchise record, Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick now faces the NFL’s top-ranked defense. Good luck with that.


Fast Facts • One of NFL’s longest-standing rivalries, these teams meet for the 173rd time. … In order to avoid first 0-4 start since 2000, Bears must snap a six-game losing streak against Lions. … Lions have NFL’s No. 3-ranked passing offense; WR Marvin Jones had a career-high 205 reception yards and 2 TDs last week in losing effort at Green Bay. … Theo Riddick leads NFL in catches (96) and receiving yards (827) by a running back since start of 2015 season. … For Bears, Brian Hoyer expected to start again at QB in place of injured Jay Cutler (thumb). … With RBs Jeremy Langford (ankle) and Ka’Deem Carey (hamstring) hobbling, rookie Jordan Howard could start.


Fast Facts • Whether it’s Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder), Jacoby Brissett (thumb), or even WR Julian Edelman at quarterback, the Patriots will be trying to complete a four-game sweep without the suspended Tom Brady. … Patriots have been run-heavy minus Brady, with a league-high 108 carries in 3 games and a league leading 150.7 yards rushing per game. So look for plenty of LeGarrette Blount again. … Patriots have won 21 of past 22 AFC East games at home. … Bills QB Tyrod Taylor has a 102.1 passer rating in past 7 starts vs division. … RB LeSean McCoy coming off his first 2-TD game and fourth 100-yard rushing game since joining Buffalo in 2015.


Fast Facts • Coach Hue Jackson is sticking with K Cody Parkey, who missed 3 field goals in OT loss to Miami last week in his Browns debut. … WR Terrelle Pryor was a triple threat against Dolphins, becoming first player since Hall of Famer Frank Gifford in 1959 to have at least 120 yards receiving, 30 yards passing, and 20 yards rushing in one game. … Washington looking to gain momentum after earning 1st win of season in nip-and-tuck affair with Giants. … Team has gained lots of yards, ranking fifth in total offense, but has scored only 3 TDs in 14 red zone possessions. … Secondary is banged up with vet DeAngelo Hall out for the year with torn ACL.


Fast Facts • One of only two Sunday matchups in which both teams have a winning record. … Of the NFL’s 5 remaining unbeaten teams, Ravens have gotten there with least amount of fanfare. … They’re doing it largely with defense, leading the AFC in scoring defense with just 44 points allowed. … Ravens have never lost to Raiders at home; they’re 5-0 since 1996 inaugural season in Baltimore. … For Raiders, QB Derek Carr threw for 351 yards and 3 TDs last season against Ravens. … RB Latavius Murray has a rushing TD in all three games this year. … A victory gives Raiders their best start since 2002 Super Bowl team began 4-0.


Fast Facts • Teams meeting for only 9th time; each of the past 6 games decided by 8 points or less. … Broncos OLB Von Miller leads league with 5 sacks, and dating back to last season’s playoffs, he has 10 sacks in past 5 games. … CB Aqib Talib was a 2008 draft choice by Tampa Bay; this marks his first game in Tampa since leaving Bucs in 2012. … For Tampa Bay, QB Jameis Winston threw for career-high 405 yards against Rams last week, and shares league lead in TD passes this year (8). … But Winston has thrown 110 times over past 2 games and Tampa wants more balance on offense. … Running game clearly misses the injured Doug Martin (hamstring).


Fast Facts • Arizona has won 4 of last 5 in series, but Rams won at Arizona almost a year ago to the day (Oct. 4). … Even after scoring 37 points against Tampa Bay, Rams rank 32nd (last) in total offense. … DE Robert Quinn has regained form following 2015 back injury. He has 9 sacks in last 8 career games vs. Big Red. … Alec Ogletree making smooth transition to middle linebacker with team-high 39 tackles this year. … Arizona has not scored in the first quarter this season. … Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has 36-18 overall record, but is only 9-9 against NFC West. … WR Larry Fitzgerald has more career catches (153) and TDs (16) against Rams than any other opponent.


Fast Facts • Saints trying to avoid first 0-4 start since 2012. … QB Drew Brees spent first 5 seasons with Chargers. Believe it or not, this marks his first game in San Diego as a Saint. … Brees leads NFL in passing yards (1,062), shares lead in TD passes (8) with Bucs’ Jameis Winston. … But Saints defense has been terrible, with team allowing 32 points per game. … For San Diego, QB Philip Rivers managing to move the ball despite season-ending injuries to WR Keenan Allen and RB Danny Woodhead. … RB Melvin Gordon is tied for NFL lead with 4 rushing TDs and has scored in every game. … Former Brown Travis Benjamin leads team with 17 catches for 229 yards.


Fast Facts • Cowboys rookie QB Dak Prescott has thrown 99 passes without an interception this season, but could be without Pro Bowl WR Dez Bryant (knee) for a few weeks. … Cowboys lead league with 7 rushing TDs; had only 8 all last season. … WR Cole Beasley has league-high 10 catches on third down, 9 of which have gone for first downs. … 49ers have been outscored 83-45 since opening-night win over Rams. … QB Blaine Gabbert (Missouri/Parkway West) has passer rating of only 59.6 over past 2 starts. He ranks last in yards per attempt (5.5). … RB Carlos Hyde rushed for 103 yards last week and is tied for league lead in rushing TDs (4) with Chargers Melvin Gordon.


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