2021 NFL Week 4 Recap

High profile homecomings, lopsided laughers, D.C.-area star in the making and the Game of the Century highlight the NFL Week 4 Recap.

Raiders 14
Chargers 28

Monday Night Football was delayed about 30 minutes by lightning — and then the team with a lightning bolt on their helmets dominated the first 30 minutes of the actual game.

Justin Herbert had a dominant first half, the finally-healthy Derwin James had his first takeaway in three seasons and both sides of the ball were supercharged. The Chargers are a team to reckon with and Herbert will forever be Washington’s “what if.”

Buccaneers 19
Patriots 17

In rainy New England, Mac Jones outplayed the GOAT in his emotional return to his old house but couldn’t deny Tom Brady a historic sweep of the entire NFL. The Game of the Century didn’t disappoint but the defending champs may be too injured to be as good as we thought and the Patriots may be better than a 1-3 record would imply.

Ravens 23
Broncos 7

Look, I hope Teddy Bridgewater completely comes back from this concussion — but it kind of feels like the opening for Denver to justify a trade for Aaron Rodgers in the offseason.

And Baltimore’s dominance on the ground now includes a 43rd straight 100-yard rushing game, which ties the record set by rival Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain teams in 1974-77. It would be fitting if the Ravens break the record in prime-time against the Colts.

Steelers 17
Packers 27

Pittsburgh may not be ready for the panic button but nothing screams “CODE RED” like Steelers Twitter starting to clamor to bench a beatdown Ben Roethlisberger for the underachieving Dwayne Haskins. And a week after being accused of quitting?

Man, things are really getting out of hand fast for the Black and Gold.

Seahawks 28
49ers 21

Well, San Francisco — you wanted Trey Lance. Now you’ve got him. If the rookie balls out in Arizona to knock off the undefeated Cardinals, he may not see the bench again.

Cardinals 37
Rams 20

No words. Just this.

Ok, maybe a few words — Sean McVay was 8-0 against Arizona entering this game. The Cards played like they were sick of it and now they’re atop the best division in the league. This might be the biggest surprise of 2021 to date.

Washington 34
Falcons 30

As disappointing as the Washington defense continues to be (and yes, I’d qualify this as another “not loss” for the Burgundy and Gold), Taylor Heinicke continues to be a pleasant surprise. His clutch performance to snatch a win in his hometown only adds to his growing legend in D.C. Forget this game manager talk — Heinicke is going to have to play more games like this if Washington is even going to hang with the likes of New Orleans, Kansas City and Green Bay. Oh, by the way, that’s the next three games for the WFT.

Chiefs 42
Eagles 30

Andy Reid’s return to Philly saw his offense return to form for his 100th career win with the Chiefs in the city in which he won more than 100 games with the Eagles, becoming the first coach in NFL history to do so.

Meanwhile, his former team took another deuce after again failing to establish the run — and on the day Philadelphia honored LeSean McCoy, no less.

Panthers 28
Cowboys 36

Way too much emphasis is being placed on Dak Prescott’s reemergence and not enough on Travon Diggs’ breakout sophomore season. The Gaithersburg native has a league-best five interceptions in the first four games of the season and looks like a legit star in the making for the team with a star on their helmets.

Giants 27
Saints 21

If you thought the roof was on fire in New Orleans before, let the Saints march into Washington and blow another game to a bad NFC East team. I know they just got home from a month away from home, but no amount of voodoo can fix New Orleans if a team that talented drops to the bottom of their division.

Titans 24
Jets 27 (OT)

The Jets entered this game not even averaging a touchdown (6.7 points, by far worst in the league) yet hung 27 on Tennessee? This Titans defense is wasting Derrick Henry’s prime — which, given his high usage, could end abruptly at any minute now.

Lions 14
Bears 24

Detroit had the better passer (Sunday, anyway), the edge in time of possession and held Chicago to just 1-for-8 on third down conversions — and still lost. Hey, Dan Campbell? You can start working on those kneecaps at any time, my guy.

Colts 27
Dolphins 17

I know they were playing with a backup quarterback going against his former team, but Miami shouldn’t get beaten so soundly at home by a talented-yet-winless team riding Mo Alie-Cox.

Browns 14
Vikings 7

Given all the talk of the offensive-minded Kevin Stefanski’s return to Minnesota, it was somehow fitting that the Browns defense is what carried Cleveland to victory over a Vikings team coming off its best offensive performance in years. But Baker Mayfield better bring a better game to L.A. against the Chargers.

Texans 0
Bills 40

Sometimes a GIF is all that can be said about a game. Oof. Even Nathan Peterman is horrified by Davis Mills’ performance.

Jaguars 21
Bengals 24

Why did the NFL think it was a good idea to schedule this on a Thursday night? Sure, it was a pretty good game but this matchup screams “BURY IT AT 1 O’CLOCK SUNDAY!” Who the hell cares, indeed.

Rob Woodfork

Rob Woodfork is WTOP's Senior Sports Content Producer, which includes duties as producer and host of the DC Sports Huddle, nightside sports anchor and sports columnist on WTOP.com.

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