The NFL heads into week five with the Arizona Cardinals as the last undefeated team. There were first wins of the season for the Indianapolis Colts, NY Jets, and NY Giants last week and those sides will all be hoping to push up their respective league tables.
Genius Sports Reports takes a data led approach to four of the week’s top games.
LA Rams (3-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (2-2):
Kick off time: Thursday 5:20 PM (EDT)
The battle for the NFC West continues to heat up. The Arizona Cardinals remain in the lead after handing the LA Rams their first loss of the season in week four.
Rams QB Matthew Stafford wasn’t able to attack the Cardinals defense, recording only 280 passing yards and a -1.9 completion percentage above expectation, tracked by Next Gen Stats.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks got back on track dismantling the San Francisco 49ers and returning to .500. Wilson led the offense with two touchdowns (TDs) and 0 interceptions (INT) along with a passer rating of 116.
The Seahawks RB Chris Carson is ranked sixth in the league with 86 explosive runs over the past three seasons. Seattle will need him to produce against a fierce Rams pass rush led by All-Pro DT Aaron Donald who has 15 sacks in 15 games against the Seahawks.
New York Jets (1-3) @Atlanta Falcons (1-3)
Kick off time: Sunday 14:30 (BST)
Both teams are struggling early in the season, but the New York Jets have officially started their win streak, notching their first win in week four.
This match also marks the first NFL London match of the 2021 season and offers fans in Europe to watch two extremely talented rookies in Jets quarterback (QB) Zach Wilson and Falcons tight end (TE) Kyle Pitts.
QB Zach Wilson is ranked second among rookie quarterbacks in passing yards (925) and second in aggressiveness rate (15.1%).
Look for the Jets rookie to sling the ball around against a porous Falcons defense.
TE Kyle Pitts has yet to record his first NFL touchdown, but averages 12.6 yards per reception. If Falcons QB Matt Ryan can get him the ball, expect Pitts to get his first TD this week.
Cleveland Browns (3-1) @ Los Angeles Chargers (3-1):
Kick off time: Sunday 4:05 PM EDT
Two AFC contenders face off in what should turn out to be an exciting game that will have play-off implications.
The Chargers are coming off an impressive Monday Night Football victory over division rival Las Vegas Raiders led by QB Justin Herberts three TD passes.
The Browns have been effective running the ball with running back (RB) Nick Chubb reaching 100 yards rushing for the first time this season in week four.
The Browns are led by their defensive front and super star defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett.
Both pass rushes averaged less than 4.1 yards of separation from opposing quarterback in week four, well under the NFL average of 4.52 yards according the Next Gen Stats.
Cleveland will need to replicate that pressure to keep Herbert and the Chargers passing game under wraps.
Buffalo Bills (3-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs (2-2):
Kick off time: Sunday 8:20 PM EDT
Through four weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs haven’t looked as impressive as they have over the past two seasons, but nobody is counting them out yet.
The Sunday Night Football match-up against the Bills will be a litmus test to see if the Chiefs are still the team to beat in the AFC or if the Bills have made the leap as the number one team in the conference.
Bills QB Josh Allen is ranked fifth in the league for total touchdowns, he has 10 for the season, and he will look to have his way with a Kansas City defense that ranks 27th in passing yards allowed per game.
Meanwhile, Kansas City superstar Patrick Mahomes leads the league with 15 total TDs but faces the defense allowing only 148 passing yards per game.
The Bills are coming off a 40-0 rout against the struggling Texans becoming only the seventh team in NFL history to shut out multiple teams while scoring 35+ points.
The most notable team to accomplish that feat were the Super Bowl champions, Chicago Bears, of 1985.