NFL Week 4 takeaways, stat leaders: Browns' offense catches fire, Tom Brady leads Tampa Bay comeback

Week 4 in the NFL featured huge performances from Odell Beckham Jr., Joe Mixon, Dak Prescott, Tom Brady and Dalvin Cook. The Browns hung 49 points on the Cowboys, and the Vikings found the win column by holding off the winless Texans. The Buccaneers came back to beat Justin Herbert and the Chargers, and the Saints' offense got rolling with a five-TD day against the Lions. Joe Burrow earned his first NFL win as the Bengals defeated the Jaguars, and the Panthers upset Kyler Murray and the Cardinals.

In the afternoon, the Colts handed the Bears their first loss, the Bills moved to 4-0 and the Giants' offense sputtered once again.

All that and more in Week 4's biggest takeaways from NFL Nation.

Jump to a matchup:


Green Bay Packers 30, Atlanta Falcons 16

Standout performer for ATL-GB: Aaron Rodgers: 27-of-33, 327 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs

The Falcons are 0-4 for the first time since 1999, and something has to change immediately, whether it be the head coach, general manager, a coordinator, personnel or scheme. It's easy to point the blame at coach Dan Quinn, especially after the Falcons failed to take advantage of a Green Bay team playing without its top two receivers. But the blame can be spread around, with Matt Ryan admitting he didn't play up to standard, the defense giving Aaron Rodgers wide-open targets, Julio Jones playing only one half due to a hamstring injury and Calvin Ridley having no catches. We'll see if owner Arthur Blank makes a move. -- Vaughn McClure

Next game: vs. Panthers (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Why are the Packers' 4-0 to start the season after Monday night's 30-16 win over the Falcons? Offense, offense, offense and more offense. They've scored at least 30 points and haven't committed a single turnover in all four games, making them the first team to start a season with four such games in NFL history, according to research by Elias Sports Bureau. Add in the fact that they did so against the Falcons without their top two receivers in Davante Adams and Allen Lazard. Coach Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers made the perfect adjustments, highlighting running backs and tight ends -- to whom Rodgers completed a perfect 20 of 20 passes to those two positions combined. -- Rob Demovsky

Next game: at Buccaneers (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Kansas City Chiefs 26, New England Patriots 10

Standout performer for NE-KC: Tyrann Mathieu, 4 tackles, 25-yard interception return for touchdown

What a missed opportunity. The Patriots' defense played inspired football against the explosive Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs offense, but shaky quarterback play from Brian Hoyer ultimately didn't provide the complement necessary to that performance. A switch to Jarrett Stidham provided a brief spark late in the third quarter, and perhaps if it happened earlier, the result might have been different. The Bills (4-0) now have a two-game lead over the Patriots (2-2) in the AFC East at the quarter mark of the season. -- Mike Reiss

Next game: vs. Broncos (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)

The Chiefs again showed they are difficult to pin down for an entire game. The Patriots held them to six points until late in the third quarter, and then Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes. The Chiefs showed offensive imagination on both plays. Each came on a jet sweep. -- Adam Teicher

Next game: vs. Raiders (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Philadelphia Eagles 25, San Francisco 20

Standout performer for PHI-SF: Carson Wentz, 193 yards, 2 TDs (1 rushing), INT

Wentz continues to do some of his best work when the roster is at its worst. Surrounded by practice squad call-ups and bottom-of-the-roster skill players, like he was down the stretch last season, Wentz rallied the Eagles, hitting Travis Fulgham for a 42-yard go-ahead touchdown late in regulation to beat San Francisco. It puts Philadelphia in first place in the NFC East and should offer a boost to Wentz, who struggled out of the gate. "He played inspired," coach Doug Pederson said. -- Tim McManus

Next game: at Steelers (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Sunday night's loss could be one that haunts the 49ers. Yes, the Niners are as banged up as any team in the league right now, but the Eagles are far from healthy and entered Sunday winless. This was a game the Niners should have and needed to win to keep pace in the NFC West. Instead, they fell flat after a 10-day East Coast stay, and now their margin for error has grown increasingly slim before they have reached the meat of their schedule. "We're upset for sure," linebacker Fred Warner said. "The fact that we're 0-2 at home, there's got to be a sense of urgency. ... Everybody has just got to be better." It had better happen in a hurry, as the Niners already sit two games behind Seattle in the division. -- Nick Wagoner

Next game: vs. Dolphins (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Seattle Seahawks 31, Miami Dolphins 23

Standout performer for SEA-MIA: Chris Carson, 80 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 20 receiving yards

The Seahawks' defense showed it can cover. That was a big question mark after it allowed an NFL-record 1,292 passing yards over the first three games, something few saw coming after they added Jamal Adams and Quinton Dunbar to their secondary. Seattle's defense produced two interceptions and didn't allow Miami to find the end zone until under two minutes were left. That was without Adams, Dunbar and first-round pick Jordyn Brooks, whose absences provided a test of Seattle's defensive depth. It passed. -- Brady Henderson

Next game: vs. Vikings (8:20 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Ryan Fitzpatrick did just enough to earn more cushion as the starting quarterback while Tua Tagovailoa develops. The FitzMagic experience was on full display in the Dolphins' loss to the Seahawks. He completed passes to 10 different receivers, dove for first downs and touchdowns and battled Russell Wilson all day. Miami believes it can win with him. But zero touchdown passes and two interceptions against a depleted Seahawks secondary doesn't elicit much excitement, either. The classic boom-or-bust QB, Fitzpatrick will get more slack but needs to produce to quell cries for Tua. -- Jeremy Fowler

Next game: at 49ers (4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Cleveland Browns 49, Dallas Cowboys 38

Standout performer for CLE-DAL: Odell Beckham Jr., 81 receiving yards with 2 TDs, 73 rushing yards with 1 TD

The Browns delivered one of the most impressive offensive performances in franchise history, churning out 307 yards on the ground, their highest total in 11 years. They also put up 31 points in the first half, their most before halftime since 1991. With three touchdowns, including a game-clinching TD run, Beckham was electric. Quarterback Baker Mayfield was efficient and avoided mistakes. As coach Kevin Stefanski noted, there is a lot of season left to play. But if this a snapshot of what's to come from the Browns' offense, Cleveland is going to be a load for the opposition the rest of the way. -- Jake Trotter

Next game: vs. Colts (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)

At 1-3 after Sunday's loss to the Browns, the Cowboys have more questions than answers, especially on defense. In the previous two games, they allowed too many big plays through the air. Against Cleveland, they were throttled on the ground, allowing a franchise-record 307 yards. Coach Mike McCarthy said the Cowboys are not playing complementary football, with the offense turning the ball over too much and putting the defense in bad spots. "We came out the gate soft, and in different words, I could call it something else," defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence said. "It's about having some grit and playing balls to the wall and going out there giving everything you got." The last time the Cowboys started 1-3 was in 2010, when Wade Phillips was fired at midseason. -- Todd Archer

Next game: vs. Giants (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Baltimore Ravens 31, Washington Football Team 17

Standout performer for BAL-WSH: Lamar Jackson, 193 passing yards with 2 TDs, 53 rushing yards with 1 TD

Rebounding from Monday's loss to the Chiefs, the Ravens weren't satisfied with their offensive performance even after putting up 31 points and 350 yards against Washington. Jackson threw his first interception of the season and missed Marquise Brown on a couple of deep throws. Baltimore has high expectations after leading the NFL in scoring last season. "We shouldn't be coming off the field without touchdowns or points at all," Jackson said. -- Jamison Hensley

Next game: vs. Bengals (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins finished 32-of-45 for 314 yards, but he once more showed how far he and the offense are from being consistent. Coach Ron Rivera said he wants to see Haskins play with more situational awareness -- look at the fourth-and-goal pass in which the QB threw short of the end zone. Haskins didn't force passes, which was good, but he and the offense weren't much of a threat until they trailed by two scores. Haskins warrants more time because he's young and has made 11 NFL starts, but the coaches are harping on needing to see growth. At some point, he needs to put up big numbers in a win to provide proof of what he can become. -- John Keim

Next game: vs. Rams (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

New Orleans Saints 35, Detroit Lions 29

Standout performer for NO-DET: Alvin Kamara, 83 rushing yards with 1 TD, 36 receiving yards

Here's what the Saints were dealing with heading into Detroit on Sunday: their first two-game losing streak in three years; six starters ruled out with injuries, including Michael Thomas and both cornerbacks; and a middle-of-the-night COVID-19 scare. Then they faced an early 14-0 deficit to the Lions after five minutes. They responded with their most impressive performance to date to escape with a victory and some much-needed new life heading into Week 5. This could be a turning point for a 2-2 team that will get healthier soon. -- Mike Triplett

Next game: vs. Chargers (8:15 p.m. ET, Monday, Oct. 12)

Another double-digit lead. Another double-digit lead lost. That's six consecutive losses in which Detroit has held a double-digit lead -- an NFL record according to the Elias Sports Bureau. It has been the same time and again under Matt Patricia, who has lost 14 of his past 16 games as the coach in Detroit. The Lions now enter the bye week at 1-3. Detroit's schedule eases up after the bye, but its lack of consistency anywhere except at punter and kicker have left the franchise with more questions than answers. -- Michael Rothstein

Next game: at Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, Sunday, Oct. 18)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38, Los Angeles Chargers 31

Standout performer for LAC-TB: Tom Brady, 369 passing yards, 5 TDs

After two weeks of fast starts and little offensive production in the second half, Brady overcame a first-quarter pick-six and a 17-point deficit to beat the Chargers and improve to 3-1. It was the second-largest comeback in team history for a franchise that had lost 42 consecutive games when trailing by 17 or more points. "We knew we played poorly. It was just a show of character. I can honestly say, had this been last year, we would have gotten our ass beat by 20. This team has a ton of character and playmakers," coach Bruce Arians said, crediting the leadership of his captains. "[With] Tom -- he's never behind in his mind, so we can always make plays to win games." -- Jenna Laine

Next game: at Bears (8:20 p.m. ET, Thursday)

Justin Herbert, starting his third straight game since Tyrod Taylor went down with a punctured lung, battled valiantly. He staked the Chargers to a three-score lead without his go-to guy, running back Austin Ekeler, who injured his hamstring in the first quarter. But his youth, and the youth of the Chargers, also caused some rough moments. Rookie running back Joshua Kelley fumbled s handoff deep in Chargers' territory before halftime with the Bolts up by 17, changing the momentum. And Herbert threw an interception to Carlton Davis with 2:35 left as he was attempting to lead the Chargers on a game-winning drive. -- Shelley Smith

Next game: at Saints (8:15 p.m. ET, Monday, Oct. 12)

Minnesota Vikings 31, Houston Texans 23

Standout performer for MIN-HOU: Dalvin Cook, 130 rushing yards, 2 TDs

The Vikings' offense has discovered its blueprint for how to win games: Feed Cook early and often and then strike with Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. Minnesota's win in Houston was the first time the Vikings had two 100-yard receivers and a 100-yard rusher in a game since Nov. 19, 2000 (Cris Carter, Randy Moss and Robert Smith). The Vikings controlled time of possession and were able to respond any time Houston got within striking distance. What we're seeing with Kirk Cousins is a level of comfort and trust in his playmakers that hasn't always been there. That will be the key to the offense's success moving forward in being able to carry the rest of the team and close out games. -- Courtney Cronin

Next game: at Seahawks (8:20 p.m. ET, Sunday)

The Texans fell to 0-4, effectively ending their playoff hopes. Houston's offense has been inconsistent, the secondary has given up big plays and the defense again could not stop the run, surrendering 162 yards on Sunday. After a tough three games to start the season, Houston's schedule got easier with the Vikings, but it didn't change the outcome for this winless team. -- Sarah Barshop

Next game: vs. Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Carolina Panthers 31, Arizona Cardinals 21

Standout performer for ARI-CAR: Teddy Bridgewater, 276 passing yards with 2 TDs, 32 rushing yards with 1 TD

Don't look now, but the Panthers could be a factor in the NFC after Sunday's victory over Arizona evened their record at 2-2. The reason? Bridgewater and the offense are stressing defenses with offensive coordinator Joe Brady getting into a playcalling groove, and the defense is pressuring quarterbacks in ways that didn't seem possible in the first two games. They're playing complementary football the way first-year coach Matt Rhule envisioned when he took over this rebuilding project. And all this without their biggest star, Christian McCaffrey, who remains out with an ankle injury. -- David Newton

Next game: at Falcons (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

The Cardinals' woes continued for a second consecutive week with another loss, thanks in large part to a defense that simply got outplayed by the Panthers' mediocre, McCaffrey-less offense. But Arizona didn't get help from its star quarterback, Kyler Murray, who threw for 133 yards, or its two star receivers, DeAndre Hopkins (41 yards) and Larry Fitzgerald (4 yards). Losing to the Lions and Panthers in back-to-back weeks doesn't bode well for another road trip next week to the hapless Jets. -- Josh Weinfuss

Next game: at Jets (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Cincinnati Bengals 33, Jacksonville Jaguars 25

Standout performer for JAX-CIN: Joe Mixon, 151 rushing yards with 2 TDs, 30 receiving yards with 1 TD

Joe Burrow made history on Sunday, becoming the first rookie quarterback to throw for 300 or more yards in three consecutive games. He was able to help the Bengals shake off a rocky first half and pick up their first victory of the season. Burrow and the rest of the offense were in lockstep throughout the day. Mixon was used often and ended up with 181 total yards and three touchdowns. "How we did today on offense, that's the standard, and that's what it should be every week," the running back said. -- Ben Baby

Next game: at Ravens (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

The Jaguars have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. After surrendering 505 yards and 33 points in a loss to the Bengals, the Jaguars are giving up an average of 399.5 yards and 29.3 points per game. They couldn't get to Burrow, despite the fact the Bengals led the NFL in sacks allowed (14) and had given up 31 QB hits heading into the game. The Jaguars hit Burrow five times on 36 dropbacks. Considering the QBs the Jaguars still have to face -- Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins -- things are going to get even worse. -- Mike DiRocco

Next game: at Texans (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Los Angeles Rams 17, New York Giants 9

Standout performer for NYG-LAR: Darious Williams, 1 INT, 2 pass deflections, 4 tackles

The Rams avoided a total letdown against the Giants, slogging out a 17-9 victory. However, their offense left something to be desired -- outside of an early touchdown by tight end Gerald Everett and a late 55-yard catch-and-run score from Cooper Kupp, who said the game left "kind of a bad taste" in their mouths based on how the offense performed. Defensively, the Rams' pass rush came alive, as it sacked Daniel Jones five times. The Rams finish the first quarter of the season 3-1 but must regain the momentum they had in the first two games. -- Lindsey Thiry

Next game: at Washington (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

The winless Giants are averaging a paltry 11.75 points per game this season in Jason Garrett's offense, the worst in the NFL. "Yeah, we have to score more points," Jones said. "I think we all realize that." The Giants have scored three touchdowns in four weeks and haven't reached the end zone now in almost nine quarters. That's inexcusable, even without running back Saquon Barkley. Maybe facing the Cowboys' defense, which gave up 49 points to Cleveland, will be the cure for what ails New York's offense? -- Jordan Raanan

Next game: at Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Buffalo Bills 30, Las Vegas Raiders 23

Standout performer for BUF-LV: Stefon Diggs, 115 receiving yards

Buffalo's defense is not yet a lost cause. Despite shaky performances in each of their past two games, the Bills found their energy during Sunday's win against the Raiders. Three consecutive drives in the second half resulted in a pair of fumble recoveries and a turnover on downs, allowing Buffalo to build an insurmountable lead late in the contest. Josh Norman, specifically, ignited the defense with his forced fumble in the fourth quarter. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

Next game: at Titans (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

The Raiders could not avoid being picked apart by Bills quarterback Josh Allen on Sunday, falling to 2-2 with a loss that did not feel that close. And next week, the Raiders travel to the high-powered, Super Bowl champion Chiefs. -- Paul Gutierrez

Next game: at Chiefs (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)

Indianapolis Colts 19, Chicago Bears 11

Standout performer for IND-CHI: Julian Blackmon, 1 INT, 3 passes defended

The Colts continued to be the NFL's stingiest defense, holding the Bears to 28 yards rushing and three points until the final two minutes of the game. Indianapolis has now given up just 29 points and recorded seven interceptions over the past three games. Next week, it gets a Browns offense that just dropped 49 points on Dallas. -- Mike Wells

Next game: at Browns (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)

The Bears are not among the NFL elite. Not even close. Chicago might have enjoyed the good fortune to open the year against the bottom-feeding Lions, Giants and Falcons, but whatever feel-good vibes materialized from the Bears' surprise 3-0 record evaporated in Sunday's loss to the Colts. The Bears, led by veteran quarterback Nick Foles, were flat for all four quarters against the Colts. Mitchell Trubisky or no, the Bears' offense remains a mess. -- Jeff Dickerson

Next game: vs. Buccaneers (8:20 p.m. ET, Thursday)

Denver Broncos 37, New York Jets 28

Standout performer for DEN-NYJ: Tim Patrick, 113 receiving yards with 1 TD

With Brett Rypien making his first start at quarterback on a short week, the Broncos overcame an early Jets touchdown, three Rypien interceptions and -- yes -- injuries to tight end Noah Fant (ankle) and wide receiver KJ Hamler (hamstring). There were plenty of moments when the Broncos could have shown fragility, including when both Justin Simmons and Alexander Johnson missed tackles on Sam Darnold's 46-yard touchdown run less than five minutes into the game. But the Broncos hung in, Rypien rose to the occasion with two touchdown passes and they closed out their first win. -- Jeff Legwold

Next game: at Patriots (4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday)

The Jets were an undisciplined mess, committing 11 penalties (including six personal fouls). That reflects directly on the coaching, and it doesn't help Adam Gase's cause. His job security is tenuous after a second consecutive 0-4 start. His team was more competitive than in previous losses, but the Jets hung around long enough to beat themselves. -- Rich Cimini

Next game: vs. Cardinals (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)