Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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NFL Week 4 Sunday Scramble: Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs revive AFC hopefuls; Panthers, Steelers in trouble

Another Sunday of football is just about in the books. The Eagles stayed unbeaten. The Raiders got their first victory. Cooper Rush got himself another dub. And that was just a taste of Week 4, with prime-time matchups still on tap.

Miss the first waves of Week 4 action? Get yourself fully caught up with our Sunday Scramble, a weekly rundown of top takeaways and tidbits. Like the best greasy breakfast plates at your local diner, this is meant to be a hodgepodge of the good stuff — from weekly MVPs and true-or-false narratives to a look ahead at next weekend’s best games and hot-seat candidates.

Now dig in, and let’s recap:

Week 4 Awards

AFC MVP: Titans RB Derrick Henry

Not only did Henry look like his old self running hard against the Colts, but he was also the chief reason Tennessee never had to worry about its division rivals Sunday. The Titans may have a defined offensive ceiling as a whole, but when King Henry is on, he’s still a game-changer, this time to the tune of 147 total yards and a touchdown. Josh Jacobs had a similarly impactful day in the same role for the Raiders, who bested Denver for their first win.

NFC MVP: Seahawks QB Geno Smith

Raise your hand if you had Geno on the winning end of a 48-45 shootout with the Lions coming into this year. Once again, the longtime backup was both efficient and creative from the pocket, picking apart Detroit’s secondary to play spoiler. Not only did he throw two scores and protect the ball while averaging almost 11 yards per attempt, but he also scored with his legs.

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Coach of the Week: Eagles’ Nick Sirianni

Up against the red-hot Jaguars, with old Philly friend Doug Pederson in town, Sirianni leaned into his 2021 run-game roots thanks to sloppy weather at Lincoln Financial Field, while dialing up a handful of aggressive fourth-down calls to set the tone. Down 14-0 early, his team never looked concerned, and ultimately got the “W” to improve to 4-0.

Mr. Cool of the Week: Cowboys QB Cooper Rush

All this guy does is win. No, actually that’s not true. He also looks super smooth while doing it. Dallas is 3-0 with Rush replacing Dak Prescott this year, and on Sunday against the Commanders, he once again lofted it downfield with confidence and touch. He protects the ball. He spreads it around. Why rush (no pun intended) Dak back?

Teams of the Week

  • The Seahawks, for making 71-year-old Pete Carroll jump for joy in a shootout win over Detroit
  • The Giants, for somehow improving to 3-1 by leaning on Daniel Jones‘ legs against Chicago
  • The Jets, for proving how poorly prepared the Steelers are with a last-gasp upset in Pittsburgh
  • The Chargers, for surviving another heartbreaking upset by hanging on against the Texans
  • The Patriots, for taking Green Bay into overtime with Bailey Zappe playing quarterback

Fantasy Favorites

The CBS Fantasy team has you covered with the latest waiver recommendations, Week 5 projections and much more. In the meantime, here are the guys I’d be eyeing if I were you:

  • Jets WR Corey Davis: Zach Wilson’s not particularly efficient, but Davis has now had at least five targets and 70 receiving yards in three of the Jets’ four games, surpassing Elijah Moore as the WR2 alongside Garrett Wilson.
  • Chargers TE Gerald Everett: Even when Keenan Allen and Josh Palmer were both healthy, Justin Herbert looked his way. He’s now topped six targets in three games and has found the end zone in half his starts in L.A.
  • Seahawks TE Will Dissly: He’s riskier because he depends so much on red-zone production, but boy does Geno Smith like him in that area. He’s topped 40 yards just once this year, but he’s also logged a TD catch in three of four games.

True or False

Which developing narratives — popular or artificial — are actually valid?

Mike Tomlin’s first career losing season might finally happen: His offense gets a theoretical spark with Kenny Pickett replacing Mitchell Trubisky under center, and surely Pickett will make the Steelers incrementally better. But they’ve got a rough schedule, and coordinator Matt Canada has yet to deliver an encouraging all-around performance. Verdict: TRUE

The Panthers are a lost cause: Forget their Week 4 win over the Saints. The Saints are battered and unreliable. Carolina, meanwhile, continues to sputter with the ball in its hands. How soon until Sam Darnold is back at QB for good? And, better yet, how long until owner David Tepper decides the Matt Rhule regime just isn’t it? Verdict: TRUE

The Broncos can rest easy with Russell Wilson improved: Their star QB certainly had better numbers against the Raiders, showcasing his arm of old. But Denver also lost No. 1 back Javonte Williams in Vegas, where their defense surrendered 30+ and Nathaniel Hackett’s game plan once again took a while to kick into high gear. This is still an ugly team. Verdict: FALSE

On the Horizon: Week 5

We’ve still got a few games to round out Week 4, but here’s how we’d rank the best of next week’s matchups:

3. Giants vs. Packers: Brian Daboll’s team has been imperfect but resilient. With or without Daniel Jones, they’ve got Saquon Barkley and a chippy defense to threaten Aaron Rodgers and Co., especially on a neutral field in London.

2. Bengals at Ravens: Can Baltimore’s defense make a stop to save its life? They might have to at home, with Joe Burrow rolling into town coming off a long week of rest and Tee Higgins charged up opposite Ja’Marr Chase.

1. Raiders at Chiefs: Love them or hate them, the Raiders tend to make it fun with Kansas City, as Derek Carr plays the perpetual underdog against Patrick Mahomes. This one’s also under the prime-time lights on Monday night.

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