Week 4 featured plenty of upsets. In fact, eight underdogs (according to Las Vegas point spreads) emerged victorious out of the 15 games on the slate.
Let’s unpack another eventful weekend in the NFL with 10 takeaways from Week 4.
10. Jordan Howard comes alive, hangs 3 TDs on Packers
Jordan Howard, who was traded from the Chicago Bears to the Philadelphia Eagles in the offseason, was quiet through the first three contests of the year, totaling just 99 yards rushing (33 per contest).
Howard broke through with a vintage performance on “Thursday Night Football,” as he turned 15 carries into 87 yards and two rushing touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers. He nabbed three receptions for 28 yards and another score to compile his second career 3-TD game. Howard’s third score came early in the fourth quarter and ended up being the game-deciding touchdown.
Jordan Howard TD x3! 🔥🔥🔥#PHIvsGB
— PFF (@PFF) September 27, 2019
9. Workhorse Christian McCaffrey leads Panthers to win
Christian McCaffrey had a career-high 37 touches in the Carolina Panthers’ upset win over the host Houston Texans. He caught a game-best 10 catches (on a game-high 10 targets) for 86 yards to go along with 93 yards and a TD on the ground. The third-year running back broke a whopping 11 tackles.
After registering 179 scrimmage yards (93 rushing, 86 receiving) and a rushing TD in Sunday’s win, Christian McCaffrey now joins Jim Brown as the only players in NFL history with three games of at least 175 scrimmage yards and one TD in their team’s first four games of a season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 30, 2019
McCaffrey is the engine that keeps the Panthers’ offense rolling. He is on the field for nearly every snap and is seemingly the first option (rushing or receiving) on most plays.
Panthers RB snaps through four weeks:
* Christian McCaffrey 264
* Reggie Bonnafon 4
* Everyone else 0
CMC on pace for 344 carries, 100 catches and 2,516 total yards.
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) September 30, 2019
The Panthers improved to 2-0 with backup QB Kyle Allen under center.
8. Nick Chubb carries Browns over Ravens
Nick Chubb lit the Baltimore Ravens’ defense up for three touchdowns and 165 yards, capped off by an 88-yard rushing score to seal the Cleveland Browns’ victory. He had five first-downs on the day and caught three passes for 18 yards.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 29, 2019
Since entering the NFL in 2018, Chubb has three touchdown runs of 60 yards or longer, which is the most in the NFL. His career-long went 92 yards for a TD last year as a rookie.
Chubb is the first player ever with 150 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in a game against the Ravens.
The Browns also enjoyed a breakout outing from wideout Jarvis Landry. He racked up a career-high 167 yards on eight receptions, but left the contest early after suffering a concussion. His teammate, Odell Beckham Jr., went three quarters without a catch for the first time in his career. He ended the day with just two receptions for 20 yards.
7. Patriots’ defense aids Tom Brady to another victory against Buffalo
Tom Brady played awful, but managed to beat the Buffalo Bills for the 31st time in his legendary career. The Bills held Brady to a horrendous line of 18-for-39 for 150 yards with a paltry 3.8 yards per completion. He threw zero touchdowns, tossed an interception and posted a 45.9 passer rating. Despite finishing with his worst passer rating in 13 years, Brady got bailed out by his dominant defense and special teams.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 29, 2019
J.C. Jackson was the player of the game for the New England Patriots, who scored all 16 of their points off Bills turnovers. Jackson collected two interceptions and blocked a punt that 12-year veteran Matthew Slater ran into the end zone for his first career TD.
Nobody does special teams quite like Belichick and Co.
Block the punt. ✅
Return it for the TD. ✅pic.twitter.com/csF4spaVe2
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) September 29, 2019
Devin McCourty intercepted Josh Allen on Buffalo’s opening drive. McCourty has an interception in every game this season, the first player to accomplish that feat since 2003. McCourty and Jamie Collins (3 interceptions) rank first and second, respectively, in interceptions across the league.
New England’s defense has allowed just one offensive touchdown through four contests, tied for the fewest in the Super Bowl era.
6. Frank Gore reaches 15,000 yards rushing
Future Hall of Famer Frank Gore became the fourth player in NFL history to amass 15,000 rushing yards in the Bills’ loss to the Patriots. The 15-year veteran rushed 17 times for 109 yards (6.4 yards per carry), increasing his career total to 15,021 yards. The Bills running back needs 249 yards to surpass Barry Sanders (15,269 yards) for third on the all-time list.
— NFL (@NFL) September 29, 2019
5. Larry Fitzgerald passes Tony Gonzalez for second-most receptions in NFL history
Another future Hall of Famer, Larry Fitzgerald had a milestone moment of his own on Sunday. Fitzgerald caught five passes in the Arizona Cardinals’ loss, giving him 1,326 for his career as he leapfrogged tight end Tony Gonzalez for No. 2 all-time in receptions. The 16-year veteran only trails Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,549) for most receptions in league history.
— #BusinessAintBoomin (@ftbeard_17) September 29, 2019
Fitzgerald also ranks second all-time in receiving yards (behind Rice) with 16,579.
4. Chris Godwin explodes for 172 yards, 2 TDs as Bucs score franchise-record 55 points
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with a hip issue and was deemed questionable for the Week 4 road tilt in Los Angeles. Fighting through pain to suit up, Godwin hauled in 12 receptions for a career-high 172 yards receiving and two touchdowns as the Bucs dropped 55 points in a stunning victory over the defending NFC champion Rams.
Chris Godwin is the first Buccaneers WIDE RECEIVER to have 12 catches in a game since Keyshawn Johnson against Chicago on 11/18/01.
— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) September 29, 2019
3. Shaq Barrett continues DPOY pace
Bucs linebacker Shaq Barrett intercepted a pass in the third quarter and strip-sacked Jared Goff with just over a minute remaining in the contest. Teammate Ndamukong Suh scooped up the fumble and galloped for a touchdown to put the game out of reach.
— NFL (@NFL) September 29, 2019
Barrett now has 9 sacks, which leads the league and is the most sacks ever recorded through a player’s first four games of a season.
With a quarter of the NFL season in the books, Barrett looks like the early favorite to grab the Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) award.
Barrett signed a 1-year, $4 million deal with the Bucs in the offseason after spending the first five years of his career with the Denver Broncos. He is on track for a serious pay raise next free agency.
That's an NFL high 9 sacks for #GoBucs OLB Shaq Barrett and 3 forced fumbles on the season … and an INT today.
Can you say PRO BOWL?
— PewterReport (@PewterReport) September 29, 2019
2. Leonard Fournette returning to elite rookie form
After a prolific rookie season, Leonard Fournette struggled in his sophomore campaign in 2018. Now in his third NFL season, Fournette looks like a dominant halfback again. He rushed for a career-high 225 yards in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 26-24 win against the Denver Broncos. It was his first 100-yard-plus performance since his rookie season.
While Fournette was unable to reach the end zone, he carried the offense all afternoon. Fournette, who caught two passes for 20 yards, accounted for 245 of the team’s 455 total yards. His 81-yard run in the third quarter was a critical turning point in a comeback win for Jacksonville.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 29, 2019
1. Dolphins’ second-half scoring woes continue
The Miami Dolphins took their first lead (7-3) of the 2019 season when DeVante Parker caught a 34-yard TD pass from Josh Rosen in the first quarter. But the Los Angeles Chargers dominated the rest of the afternoon, rolling to a 30-10 victory.
Josh Rosen gave Dolphins early excitement but it’s a results business. Miami loses 30-10 to the LAC. They’ve now been outscored 163-26 over their first 4 games. They have been outscored 81-0 in the second half. 0-4 going into the bye, & they haven’t truly got close to a win yet.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) September 29, 2019
The Chargers were led by Austin Ekeler, who registered 60 yards rushing with a TD to go along with five catches for 62 yards and a receiving touchdown.
Los Angeles outscored Miami 13-0 in the second half. Miami has failed to score a single point in the second half this season, being steamrolled 81-0 following intermission through four contests.