NFC Week 4 Hot Takes

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: Dallas cleaned up on a light early season schedule going 3-1, now the real test begins as they play Cincinnati and Green Bay the next two weeks. Taking Zeke Elliott fourth overall in the draft wasn’t smart considering the volatility that comes with the running back position in the current NFL. The Cowboys already had the best running blocking o-line in the league which makes it possible for guys that aren’t even half the talent of Elliott to have success. Having said all that it is damn fun to watch the rookie go to work. – Randy Haines

New York Giants: Did Eli Manning turn into Alex Smith? After what seemed like 100+ throws of about three yards to the Giants’ fourth string running back, it’s a valid question. And the first time Eli did take a shot downfield, he looked more like Peyton as it was lofted and picked off. Hard to fathom how the last remaining Manning is struggling this much with OBJ, Sterling, and Cruz as his wideouts, but maybe the Vikings are just that good. In any case, the Giants seem destined to finished behind the Eagles and the Cowboys in the NFC East. Ouch. – Jordan Curet

Philadelphia Eagles: Week 4 byes suck. Starting outside linebacker Nigel Bradham was arrested for the second time in three months. Outside of that all is well on the Wentz Wagon. – RH

Washington Redskins: And just like that… the Redskins are back to .500 and in the thick of the NFC East race. Is the real Washington team the one we have seen the last two weeks? Or the one we saw the first two weeks? Probably somewhere in the middle (and you should of course never overreact to beating the Browns). This team still has plenty of flaws, but also a few very bright spots that will keep them somewhat competitive throughout the year. ‘Skins fans can calm down for now atleast and will look to build on their win streak against a susceptible Ravens’ team coming off a loss. – Nick Bair

NFC North

Chicago Bears: Finally a win! Who would have thought Hoyer to Royal would be more successful than Cutler to Jeffery this year? It was good for this team to get in the win column, especially against a division rival. Jordan Howard looked like the real deal at running back and this might be the last we see of Jeremy Langford. Fantasy owners who used a ton of their FAAB on Howard look pretty smart right now. – NB

Detroit Lions: The optimism in Detroit has dissipated. After a thrilling win in Week 1 over the overrated Colts, the Lions have dropped three straight, including a game this week to the putrid Chicago Bears. The offense looks out of sorts (has anyone seen Golden Tate?) and the defense can’t seem to field a healthy roster. They have three straight home games coming up to try and right the ship, but it might be another lost season in the Motor City. – NB

Green Bay Packers: Happy Bye Week! – JC

Minnesota Vikings: Another week, another impressive team performance from the Vikings. It’s only three games, but dare I say Sam Bradford is just plain better than Teddy Bridgewater? Running back Jerick McKinnon looked really good on Monday night and there was even a Cordarrelle Patterson sighting! Things are looking really good for Minnesota in what could’ve easily been a lost season. – RH

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons: BOW DOWN TO JULIO JONES. Given most quarterbacks sleep well after a 300 yard game, I think Jones can skip practice this week. He caught everything thrown in his zip code Sunday and Matt Ryan is certainly thanking God for his star receiver every night before bed. Hotlanta is also now solidly atop the NFC South with the rest of the division looking a mess. Their balanced offensive attack should keep them in just about every game this season. They have a tough remaining schedule, but it might not matter if they only need to go 8-8. – JC

Carolina Panthers: It looks like everyone on the Panthers took a step back this year and there are no easy fixes. Cam Newton is taking some vicious hits week after week and it finally caught up to him on his two-point conversion run Sunday. In his place, Derek Anderson looked incredible before throwing two picks to end the game, but generally the offense is not effective. This is partially because the receivers can’t seem to stretch the field. Meanwhile, the defense got shredded for more than 500 yards. There is still hope considering the team’s soft schedule but so far, nothing is clicking in Charlotte. – JC

New Orleans Saints: KUHNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN! John Kuhn found the endzone three times Sunday (vulturing poor Mark Ingram) to propel the Saints to a stunning comeback victory over the Chargers. The Saints had no business winning that game with their performance in the first 3+ quarters, but thankfully they were playing Mike McCoy’s Chargers who found a way to blow the game thanks to fumbles and bad defense. The Saints will head into their bye week happy after notching their first victory of the year. They REALLY needed that one. – NB

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1-3 is not the start this team was looking for by any means. There’s a chance they catch a break this week and get Derek Anderson under center for the Panthers, but it would be hard to believe in this team to pull out a win in Carolina even if that happened. I thought this team had a chance at a playoff run but they just might be another year away. – RH

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals: C’mon Cardinals. What happened to you guys? So far you have lost at home to a backup QB, in Buffalo to the lowly Bills, and now at home to the LA Rams? Those are not games a preseason Super Bowl contender can lose. Carson Palmer’s concussion will likely keep him out of the game this week against the 49ers, which is now almost a must win to make the playoffs (teams that start 1-4 have around a 5% probability to make the playoffs). Arizona better fix their issues quickly or else 2016 will be a total lost season for them. – NB

Los Angeles Rams: I’m going to die on the “This Rams team is not good” hill. Quite frankly I’m okay with that, I still do not believe in this team whatsoever. Todd Gurley is the only offensive player on this team worth watching and they cannot block for him to save their life. Enjoy this while it lasts Rams fans, it won’t last. – RH

San Francisco 49ers: It was all 9ers in the early goings against Dallas during Sunday’s game, but eventually Dak and Co. started to find seams in SanFran’s young defense. There are rumblings that some players want Colin Kaepernick back in the driver’s seat, and Blaine Gabbert’s second half performance will not do much to quiet those calls. Regardless of who is under center, Carlos Hyde is still the best part of this team. With the 49ers falling to 1-3 and NaVarro Bowman probably out for the season, Chip Kelly should start experimenting to set this young team up for next year. – JC

Seattle Seahawks: A week after throwing six interceptions, Ryan Fitzpatrick decided to see if Richard Sherman was still good at football. That ended with two more interceptions and the Seahawks putting up 27 in a game that wasn’t even as close as the 10 points scoreline suggests. Seattle, like they always seem to do, have stepped it up after a slow start. It helps that Russell Wilson is still an escape artist and Jimmy Graham is showing off his talents again. Next game (after the bye) there should be some fireworks as Julio and Sherman face off. – JC

-Nick Bair, Jordan Curet, and Randy Haines

Photo Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images

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