Week 4 of the NFL is highlighted by Tom Brady’s return to Foxborough and how Bill Belichick will game plan against his former legendary franchise quarterback.
Sunday Night Football could break viewing numbers with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers matched up against the New England Patriots. However, this is not the only intriguing matchup as the brand new SoFi stadium in LA will be hosting two entertaining games, one on Sunday and the other being broadcasted on Monday Night Football.
The Cardinals and Rams are both undefeated in their matchup and the Chargers will host the undefeated Vegas Raiders led by Derek Carr who has been putting up impressive stat lines through the first three weeks.
1. SNF: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) at New England Patriots (1-2)
7:20 CT on NBC
There will be a lot of emotions on the field Sunday night as Tom Brady looks to show everyone including the Patriot faithful he’s still got it at age 44. Belichick is a master game planner, so look for the history of Brady and Belichick to play into New England’s defensive schemes. No one knows Brady better than his former head coach.
As for matchups, even with the addition of Richard Sherman, look for Mac Jones to have a good performance in the passing game. The Patriots will not be able to rely on the running game with the Buccaneers defense only giving up on average 63.7 yards rushing per game. Keep an eye on wide receiver Jakobi Meyers as he aims to have another solid outing after putting up 94 receiving yards on nine receptions and 14 targets in week three against the Saints.
Tom Brady will be looking to exploit his old team in the passing game. This is a revenge game for him and talented wideout Antonio Brown, who is coming off of the COVID-19 list. It is realistic to assume that Chris Godwin, MIke Evans, and Brown will all have a productive game due to the level of emotion Brady will be playing with.
Keep an eye out for a laser-focused quarterback in Brady and make sure you’re watching to see if Sherman can help out a defensive secondary allowing the most passing yards per game at 338.3.
2. Arizona Cardinals (3-0) at Los Angeles Rams (3-0)
3:05 CT on FOX
This matchup between unbeaten teams features a lot of firepower on both sides of the ball, which should make for an entertaining and must watch game. Arizona and the Rams are both 3-0 and are both playing solid football through the first three weeks of the season.
The Cardinals are getting winning production from Kyler Murray at quarterback and they’ve gotten a big surprise from Chandler Jones on the defensive line as he’s started out the 2021-22 NFL season strong with five sacks recorded in week one against the Tennessee Titans.
Watch for Jones working to have an impact in hurrying Mathew Stafford in the pocket. Other playmakers on the defensive side of the ball include JJ Watt, Isaiah Simmons, and Buda Baker. Oh, and don’t forget about wide receiver Deandre Hopkins, who has one of the best catch radiuses in the NFL.
It’s early, but Los Angeles has been a fun team to watch all season. Right now, in my opinion, this is the most complete team in the NFC. Cooper Kupp now has 367 receiving yards and five touchdowns through three games, and the defense is anchored by Aaron Donald on the defensive line and shutdown corner Jalen Ramsey in the secondary.
Ramsey should be shadowing Hopkins so it will be up to the other wideouts such as Christian Kirk and AJ Green to step up and deliver for Kyler Murray. For the Rams offense, this could be a get right game for wide receiver Robert Woods who only has 124 receiving yards early in the season.
3. MNF: Las Vegas Raiders (3-0) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-1)
7:15 CT on ESPN
Monday Night Football is featuring an AFC West matchup of two teams that have put themselves in a good position to contend for the division title. The Raiders have taken care of business and remain undefeated while the Chargers are coming off of a win on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Derek Carr looks like the real deal this season, and the LA Chargers are winning close games already, something that didn’t happen often last season.
Las Vegas is starting one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL. Carr, so far this season, has thrown for 1203 yards and six touchdowns with an average QB rating of 101.4. Henry Ruggs III, who was drafted to be Carr’s number one target, has benefitted the most from the quarterback’s production as he has a team leading 237 receiving yards.
The only question mark on offense has been the health of Josh Jacobs, who was also in and out last year due to lingering injuries. On defense, Maxx Crosby and Jonathan Abram are the key players who are forces on the defensive line and in the secondary. The Raiders need to apply pressure to Justin Herbert in the pocket if they want to have a chance at staying undefeated through four weeks of the 2021-22 NFL season.
The LA Chargers took advantage of a poor offensive performance by Kansas City last week and eked out a 30-24 win at Arrowhead Stadium. Herbert was targeting his veteran receiver Keenan Allen, but Mike Williams has become the new favorite target in the Chargers offense. Williams has recorded a team high 295 receiving yards and has proven to be a reliable red zone target because of his 6’4″ frame.
Running back Austin Ekeler and safety Derwin James have stayed healthy after last season when James landed on IR with a meniscus tear and Ekeler missed six games with a hamstring injury. Defensive end Joey Bosa played through an injury last week and still produced, so focus on his play this week as he attempts to be the game wrecker pursuing Derek Carr in the pocket. An LA win proves a lot for this Chargers team and muddies the water for which team will take the AFC West title this season.