NFL Week 4: Big questions, risers, fallers and takeaways

Week 4 of the NFL season started Thursday night with a Detroit Lions win over the Green Bay Packers. Detroit ran for 211 yards and three scores to move to 3-1 on the season.

Sunday started with the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars facing off in London, where big plays by the Jaguars' defense -- including a pick-six -- helped Jacksonville to a win, before concluding with a thrilling victory by the Kansas City Chiefs over the New York Jets, who fought back from a 17-0 hole.

The Buffalo Bills' offense emphatically handed the Miami Dolphins their first loss of the season, the Washington Commanders took the Philadelphia Eagles to overtime (then lost) and rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua caught his first touchdown pass to give the Los Angeles Rams an OT win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The Dallas Cowboys' defense (and offense) ran over Mac Jones and the New England Patriots, while the San Francisco 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals to remain undefeated at 4-0.

On Monday, the Seattle Seahawks' defense came alive with 11 (!!) sacks against the New York Giants.

Our NFL Nation reporters reacted to all the action, answering lingering questions coming out of each game and picking out who -- or what -- is rising and falling for every team. Let's get to it.

Jump to a matchup:

Seattle 24, N.Y. Giants 3


What will the Seahawks look like when they get healthy? They're 3-1 despite dealing with a season's worth of injuries over the first month. After playing without seven starters in their Week 3 win over Carolina, they were missing four starters heading into Monday night's game -- then lost three more and still won running away, albeit against a lousy Giants team. Teams usually don't like byes as early as Week 5, but it comes at a perfect time for Seattle. The Seahawks should get a few starters back for their Week 6 game at Cincinnati, including Jamal Adams (who left Monday night's game with a concussion) and left tackle Charles Cross (who missed the past three games with a toe sprain). It also will allow Geno Smith to rest the knee he injured against the Giants.

Stock up after the win: The pass rush. It ran hot and cold during the first three games but turned scalding against the Giants. The Seahawks' 11 sacks tied a franchise record and more than doubled their combined total from the first three games. They'll need to bring that same heat on Joe Burrow in two weeks.

Stock down after the win: Third-down offense. The Hawks entered Monday night's game ranked 28th in third-down conversion rate then converted only three of 12 tries against the Giants. They also failed on both of their fourth-down attempts. That needs to improve, because they can't rely on their defense being as dominant every week as it was in this game. -- Brady Henderson

Next game: at Bengals (Oct. 15, 1 p.m. ET)


Can the Giants fix their offense? It starts with the O-line, where the Giants don't seem to have any spot solidified. Eleven sacks speaks for itself. Add in that left tackle Andrew Thomas (hamstring) might not be back next week against the Dolphins and it's hard to see this getting fixed quickly. The only way to mask some of these deficiencies will be if running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) returns and quarterback Daniel Jones (two interceptions, one fumble lost) plays better. That is the Giants' only hope. They also will have to find a way to get tight end Darren Waller involved. He is supposed to be their No. 1 receiver, but Waller had just one catch on one target for five yards.

Stock up after the loss: LB Kayvon Thibodeaux. He had two sacks and was working at a different level than the first three games of the season.

Stock down after the loss: Special teams. It committed six penalties and had a muffed punt. Nothing more needs to be said. -- Jordan Raanan

Next game: at Dolphins (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Kansas City 23, N.Y. Jets 20


Should the Chiefs be concerned about their defense? The Jets had lost their past 86 games after falling behind by 17 points or more, a streak dating back to 2001. The Chiefs extended the streak to 87, but they had many anxious moments along the way. While a safety and a couple of interceptions by Patrick Mahomes didn't help, the fact the Chiefs were picked apart by previously struggling quarterback Zach Wilson is indeed concerning. Things don't get easier for the defense in the coming weeks, either. If Wilson can light up the Chiefs like he did, what will others do?

Stock up after the win: Running back Isiah Pacheco. He rushed for a career-high 115 yards and also set his career high in receiving yards with 43.

Stock down after the win: Offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor. First, he grabbed the face mask of an opponent in the end zone, resulting in a safety, and in the fourth quarter, his holding penalty wiped out a play that would have resulted in a first down. -- Adam Teicher

Next game: at Vikings (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


What in the world got into Zach Wilson? Responding to immense pressure, and perhaps playing for his job, Wilson played the best game of his disappointing career. Helped by an aggressive game plan, Wilson completed a career-high 28 of 39 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns. With the injured Aaron Rodgers in the house, Wilson enjoyed some Rodgers-like moments. He carried the offense, stretching the field with accurate intermediate strikes and connecting with 10 different receivers. He was in total command against a good defense, handling pressure with unprecedented efficiency. The stunning performance by Wilson should quiet critics, including Jets legend Joe Namath.

Stock up after the loss: Wilson. He doesn't have to worry about Trevor Siemian or Tim Boyle taking his job with play like this. The pressure is off -- for now.

Stock down after the loss: The run defense. The Jets pride themselves on being able to stop the run, but they got embarrassed by Pacheco's 115 yards on 20 carries. In total, they allowed 204 yards on the ground. -- Rich Cimini

Next game: at Broncos (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

San Francisco 35, Arizona 16


Is this the year a non-quarterback finally wins MVP again? It's early, but running back Christian McCaffrey is staking an early claim to being the first non-quarterback since Adrian Peterson in 2012 to win the award. McCaffrey entered Sunday leading the league in rushing and had scored in each of the team's first three games, but he exploded for 177 scrimmage yards and a career-high four touchdowns Sunday. The MVP usually goes to the quarterback from one of the best teams, and it will be difficult to break that tradition, but if McCaffrey continues at his current trajectory, the volume on the "M-V-P" chants from his home crowd will only increase.

Stock up after the win: QB Brock Purdy's deep ball. Purdy entered the day 0-of-3 this season on passes traveling 30-plus air yards. He went 2-of-2 on such attempts Sunday on his way to a franchise record (95.2%) completion rate.

Stock down after the win: The run defense. The Niners hadn't been challenged much by the run entering this game -- facing the fewest attempts in the league the first three weeks -- but they struggled a bit against the Cardinals and mobile quarterback Josh Dobbs, as Arizona rushed for 105 yards on 4.2 yards per attempt. -- Nick Wagoner

Next game: vs. Cowboys (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)


Are the Cardinals what their 1-3 record says they are? Arizona hasn't been as bad as its record suggests. The Cardinals kept Sunday's game against arguably the best team in the league close until the fourth quarter. They beat the Cowboys, and they should've won their first two games against the Commanders and Giants. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs is making plays with his arm and legs. The schemes on both sides of the ball are creative and productive. The defensive front has been getting consistent push. The Cardinals might see their fortunes swing soon, however, with games against the Bengals, Rams and Seahawks.

Stock up after the loss: WR Michael Wilson. The rookie wide receiver came back to the Bay Area, where he played his college football at Stanford in a career that was marred by injuries, and had the first two touchdown catches of his career -- Arizona's only touchdowns of the game.

Stock down after the loss: The run (and pass) defense. They gave up 106 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries to running back Christian McCaffrey and 148 yards to receiver Brandon Aiyuk. -- Josh Weinfuss

Next game: vs. Bengals (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)

L.A. Chargers 24, Las Vegas 17


Can this version of Khalil Mack appear regularly? Mack came into this game with zero sacks and a pass rush win rate of 6.9%, 111th in the NFL, according to TruMedia. But Mack was a different player Sunday. He recorded six sacks, two of which resulted in fumbles and made life difficult for the team that drafted him in 2014. Mack capitalized on a rookie quarterback making his first start in Aidan O'Connell and a struggling offensive line, and the Chargers will need him to be this version of himself moving forward, especially as Joey Bosa nurses hamstring and toe injuries.

Stock up after the win: WR Derius Davis. With Mike Williams out for the season because of a torn left ACL, the rookie fourth-rounder saw his snaps increase Sunday and made the most of them. Davis, who came into the game with two catches for 8 yards on the season, had 67 total yards Sunday, including a 51-yard rush on the game's opening drive.

Stock down after the win: QB Justin Herbert. At least when it came to passing the ball. Herbert set career lows in completions (13) and yards (167) in the victory while also throwing an interception. Herbert did score two rushing touchdowns, but the Chargers won't always be able to win with this type of passing performance. -- Kris Rhim

Next game: vs. Cowboys (Monday, Oct. 16, 8:15 p.m. ET)


Did O'Connell do enough to start again if Jimmy Garoppolo can't go next week? Sure. Even with the slow internal clock, throws behind receivers and seven sacks, O'Connell got better as the game went on as he finished with 238 passing yards in completing 24 of his 39 attempts while also sneaking in for a 1-yard TD run. But he lost two fumbles that resulted in Chargers scores and threw an interception to Asante Samuel Jr. with 2:38 left inside the Chargers' 5-yard line as the Raiders were driving for a potential game-tying score. A healthy Garoppolo still gives the Raiders their best shot at success, and he will have an extra day to recover from his concussion before the Raiders next play Monday night at home against the Packers.

Stock up after the loss: RB Josh Jacobs. The Raiders found ways to get Jacobs more involved Sunday. The All-Pro running back has had a hard time running the ball thus far -- he entered Sunday averaging 2.4 yards per carry -- but was more involved in the passing game vs. the Chargers, catching eight passes for a career-high 81 yards. He also added 58 yards on the ground, including his first TD of the season.

Stock down after the loss: The Raiders' offensive line in general, left tackle Kolton Miller in particular. Mack had six sacks, one off the NFL record since sacks became a stat in 1982, and two forced fumbles. Many of those came straight up against Miller. And the Chargers didn't even play Bosa on Sunday. Yikes. -- Paul Gutierrez

Next game: vs. Packers (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

Dallas 38, New England 3


Are the Cowboys ready to take on their nemesis, San Francisco, next week? The 49ers have ended the Cowboys' season the past two years with wins in the wild-card and divisional round of the playoffs. A Week 5 regular-season matchup might not seem too significant, but the Cowboys need to show they can answer San Francisco's wizardry with some of their own. A victory might not quiet all of the skeptics, but a loss certainly would keep alive the talk that the Cowboys are a cut below the Philadelphia Eagles and Niners. One thing that needs to happen: The defense that was on display against the Patriots -- two defensive scores, three takeaways -- needs to take it on the road after a no-show in a loss at Arizona (222 rushing yards allowed, no takeaways) in Week 3.

Stock up after the win: CB DaRon Bland. The Cowboys did not ask Bland to be Trevon Diggs, whom Bland replaced after the Pro Bowl cornerback suffered a torn ACL in practice, but he did a good imitation Sunday. Bland picked off two more passes, returning one for a second-quarter touchdown. It was Bland's second pick-six on the season. Bland's eight interceptions the past two years lead the NFL.

Stock down after the win: Red zone offense. Again. Coach Mike McCarthy called it a blinking light during the week. It's still blinking. The Cowboys were 2-of-6 in red zone opportunities against the Jets and 1-of-5 against the Cardinals. They were 1-for-4 against the Patriots. -- Todd Archer

Next game: at 49ers (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)


Can Mac Jones rebound from the worst game of his career? Jones was pulled with 3:41 remaining in the third quarter in favor of Bailey Zappe after the worst performance of his three-year NFL career. Jones threw a pick-six and was also loose with the ball on a strip sack from behind that was returned for a touchdown. Bill Belichick often says that when a player has the football in his hands, he holds with it the fate of the entire team. Jones let the Patriots down Sunday, and now the hot-button question is what happens next. When he starts next week against the New Orleans Saints, can he get back to making better decisions and taking better care of the football? After going 12-of-21 for 150 yards with two interceptions Sunday, Jones is now 93-of-146 for 898 yards, with five touchdowns, four interceptions and one lost fumble on the season.

Stock up after the loss: P Bryce Baringer. It goes without saying, but when the punter is one of the bright spots, it was a nightmare day.

Stock down after the loss: Cornerbacks. Losing NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month Christian Gonzalez to a right shoulder injury late in the first quarter further thinned an already vulnerable position. The Patriots already have CBs Jack Jones (hamstring) and Marcus Jones (shoulder) on injured reserve, although Jack Jones is eligible to return starting this week. -- Mike Reiss

Next game: vs. Saints (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Philadelphia 34, Washington 31 (OT)


Just how far can the Eagles take this unbeaten streak? It wasn't the prettiest performance -- penalties nearly led to the Eagles' first loss of the season -- but they escaped their first divisional game with a win in overtime to improve to 4-0. Their next two games -- at the Rams and Jets -- are winnable. They'll look to stockpile victories before a rough stretch that includes the Dolphins, Cowboys, Chiefs, Bills and 49ers.

Stock up after the win: WR A.J. Brown. It was just a couple of weeks ago when a frustrated Brown was seen in a heated conversation with quarterback Jalen Hurts during a win over the Vikings in which he finished with 29 yards. Since then, his production has rocketed, eclipsing 130 receiving yards each of the past two weeks. He picked up his first two touchdowns of the season Sunday, including one with under two minutes remaining to put Philly ahead.

Stock down after the win: S Terrell Edmunds. Getting the start for the injured Justin Evans, Edmunds had a pair of unnecessary roughness penalties and failed to come up with an interception of a wayward pass in the end zone by a hurried Sam Howell. For as strong as this roster is overall, safety is one of the few vulnerable spots. -- Tim McManus

Next game: at Rams (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)


How did Washington respond after its Week 3 loss to the Bills? This is a resilient team. In Sunday's loss, Washington showed it could match arguably the NFC's top team, one week after losing to Buffalo by 34. With winnable games upcoming against Chicago, Atlanta and the New York Giants, Washington needed a bounce-back effort to gain momentum. Under coach Ron Rivera, the Commanders have gone from 2-7 to 7-9 in 2020, 2-6 to 7-10 in 2021, and 2-6 to 8-8-1 last year. It starts with playing well.

Stock up after the loss: QB Sam Howell. One week after throwing four interceptions and being sacked nine times, Howell responded. He completed 29 of 40 passes for 291 yards. He led two game-tying fourth-quarter drives, ending the second with a touchdown pass on the final play of regulation.

Stock down after the loss: CB Emmanuel Forbes. The 19th overall pick in 2023 is off to an inconsistent start in the NFL and struggled again Sunday. He was involved in multiple big plays, including one in which he bit on a double move by receiver A.J. Brown, resulting in a touchdown. Brown then beat him again for a long TD to put Philly up late. -- John Keim

Next game: vs. Bears (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

L.A. Rams 29, Indianapolis 23 (OT)


What will Cooper Kupp's eventual return mean for rookie Puka Nacua? There's no doubt this Rams offense will be better with Kupp, but with the emergence of Nacua, the unit may have the balance at receiver it was missing last season. Before Kupp was hurt in Week 10, he had a 31% target share and was clearly Matthew Stafford's first option. But even with Kupp's return, don't expect the Rams to go away from Nacua, who had nine catches for 163 yards in Indianapolis, including the game-winning touchdown reception in OT.

Stock up after the win: RB Kyren Williams. Williams had the first 100-yard rushing game of his career, running for 103 yards on 25 carries. Williams' five rushing touchdowns (he has six total) are the most by a Rams player through four games since Marshall Faulk had five in 2000.

Stock down after the win: K Brett Maher. With former Rams kicker Matt Gay on the other sideline, Maher missed two field goals on Sunday. It marked his first two misses under 50 yards this season. -- Sarah Barshop

Next game: vs. Eagles (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)


When will Anthony Richardson take the next step toward consistency? Richardson showed the best and worst of his game, missing some easy reads for potential big plays and throwing errantly to some open receivers. But Richardson was splendid in parts of the second half, leading a comeback from a 23-0 deficit with his running ability and with some impressive and confident throws. He completed 6 of 11 attempts for 118 yards and two touchdowns in the second half and ran for another score. But the next step -- as it is for all rookies -- is to produce more consistent results.

Stock up after the loss: TE Drew Ogletree. He had two massive catches on the Colts' game-tying drive: a 22-yard reception that put the Colts in position to score and then the 5-yard touchdown catch that tied the game.

Stock down after the loss: The pass rush. It gave Matthew Stafford an inordinate amount of time in the pocket before intensifying its pressure with a handful of blitzes late in the game. With Colts All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner limited by injury, Stafford completed 14 of his first 18 attempts. -- Stephen Holder

Next game: at Titans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Houston 30, Pittsburgh 6


Can the Texans compete for the AFC South title? The short answer is yes. Everyone in the AFC South is 2-2. The Texans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, the betting favorites to win the division, in Week 3. The division is wide open, and the Texans, on paper, seem to have a favorable schedule. They face the New York Jets, Denver Broncos, and Carolina Panthers, who have combined for two wins through four weeks.

Stock up after the win: WR Nico Collins. He had seven catches for 168 yards and two touchdowns after having 34 yards last week.

Stock down after the win: WR Tank Dell. After a dominant performance against the Jaguars, Dell posted one catch for 16 yards on three targets as Collins became the main contributor. -- DJ Bien-Aime

Next game: at Falcons (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Is there any hope for the Steelers' offense? The answer to this question largely depends on the health of quarterback Kenny Pickett, who left the Steelers' loss late in the third quarter after sustaining a knee injury on a fourth-down sack. With a yard to gain at the 33, Pickett took the snap out of a shotgun formation, and when pressure came from the right, he spun out of the pocket to his left -- directly into Texans defensive end Jonathan Greenard, who came around the outside of left tackle Broderick Jones. What little offensive momentum the Steelers' gained against the Raiders was completely gone in Houston. The Steelers were shut out in the first half for the first time since 2021. There's no sugarcoating it: It was bad, and the Steelers' offense is directionless.

Stock up after the loss: RB Najee Harris. The offense largely reverted to the listless unit of the first two weeks, but Harris (15 touches, 103 yards) was its best weapon in the second half.

Stock down after the loss: Pass rush. The Steelers didn't record a single sack (marking the first game this season without one for T.J. Watt) and C.J. Stroud passed for over 300 yards. -- Brooke Pryor

Next game: vs. Ravens (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Tennessee 27, Cincinnati 3


Has the Titans' offense finally woken up? The Titans' offense exploded for its most points in regulation since a 27-17 win over the Green Bay Packers in Week 11. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly was in a groove with a well-mixed blend of running and passing calls. Tennessee will be a problem if it can continue getting efficient play from running back Derrick Henry and the offensive line. The Titans are at their best when they play this kind of complementary football, which should carry over to next week against the Colts.

Stock up after the win: Defensive coordinator Shane Bowen. The Titans' defense rebounded from last week with a suffocating performance against the Bengals, holding them to 165 passing yards and three points.

Stock down after the win: Ball security. The Titans had a relatively complete game, but they did fumble three times. Fortunately for them, they were able to recover each. -- Turron Davenport

Next game: at Colts (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Are the Bengals broken? Based on four games, that certainly appears to be the case. All the conditions were set for the Bengals to have a big offensive day -- great weather, a porous Titans pass defense and QB Joe Burrow being a full participant at practice Thursday and Friday. And yet the offense couldn't muster anything outside of one good drive to start the game. That left the defense on the field, and the Titans rolled, scoring 27 unanswered points. The Bengals have to fix a litany of issues if they hope to be a playoff team.

Stock up after the loss: TE Tanner Hudson. The practice squad call-up had two catches for 18 yards and showed why he might be worthy of more snaps.

Stock down after the loss: QB Joe Burrow. Burrow hasn't looked like himself as he continues to deal with a calf injury. He went 20-of-30 for 165 yards and a lost fumble. -- Ben Baby

Next game: at Cardinals (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)

Tampa Bay 26, New Orleans 9


How did the offense improve after struggling in Week 3? Quarterback Baker Mayfield said earlier this week the Bucs needed to be more aggressive and make big plays early, and they did that, throwing on first down more than in previous weeks. Mayfield hit WR Mike Evans on an 18-yard completion to open the game. Evans would leave with a hamstring injury at the end of the second quarter, but TE Cade Otton and WR Trey Palmer each caught touchdown passes.

Stock up after the win: S Antoine Winfield Jr. He sacked Derek Carr for a 4-yard loss, then forced and recovered a fumble at the New Orleans' 6-yard line to set up a Trey Palmer touchdown. He also tackled RB Alvin Kamara for a 6-yard loss and had a pass breakup.

Stock down after the win: DL Mike Greene. Greene drew a roughing the passer penalty in the first quarter that resulted in a field goal for the Saints. He was one of several young Bucs players who combined for 11 penalties on the day. -- Jenna Laine

Next game: vs. Lions (Sunday, Oct. 15, 1 p.m. ET)


How do the Saints fix this offense? The question last week was whether the Saints' offense could succeed without QB Derek Carr, but after a troubling performance against the Buccaneers, it's worth asking whether it's able to succeed with him. The Saints couldn't do much of anything for most of this game, even with the return of RB Alvin Kamara. The Saints were booed multiple times and Carr fumbled late in the game. They'll need to regroup with another road slate coming up.

Stock up after the loss: DT Bryan Bresee. The rookie first-round pick appears to have become a bigger part of the game plan as of late and got a key tackle for loss in the run game and also registered his first solo sack.

Stock down after the loss: OC Pete Carmichael. The Saints looked completely inept, from their playcalling to their execution, mustering 197 total yards. While part of that could be put on an injured Carr, the coaches also haven't put the offense in a position to succeed. -- Katherine Terrell

Next game: at Patriots (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Buffalo 48, Miami 20


Are the Bills the best team in the AFC? There's a pretty good case for Buffalo. The Dolphins came in widely considered to be the class of the AFC, especially after putting up 70 points last week. After back-and-forth scores to start the game, the Bills controlled all three phases and limited the high-powered Dolphins offense to six points after giving up two touchdowns to start the game. The Bills' offense was balanced and quarterback Josh Allen looked unstoppable, completing 21 of 25 passes (84%) for 320 yards, four touchdowns (along with one rushing score), in addition to the first perfect passer rating of his career.

Stock up after the win: WR Stefon Diggs. If there was any doubt about Diggs' connection with Allen, this game put an exclamation point on what the pair can do. Diggs caught six passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns, marking his third game with three receiving touchdowns as a member of the Bills, the most in team history.

Stock down after the win: The defensive backfield. The Bills suffered a number of injuries in this game with No. 1 outside corner Tre'Davious White carted off the field with an Achilles injury after returning from a torn ACL last Thanksgiving. Corner Christian Benford had a shoulder X-rayed, but he was able to return, and nickel corner Taron Johnson sustained an injury in the fourth quarter. -- Alaina Getzenberg

Next game: vs. Jaguars in London (Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET)


What did we learn about the offense, and how does it bounce back? For starters, we learned the Dolphins will not put up 700 yards every week. We also learned defenses can make life difficult for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa if they're able to apply pressure. Tagovailoa was pressured more by the Bills (14 times) on Sunday than he had been in his previous three games combined. He was sacked once entering Sunday; that number ballooned to five by the final whistle. Miami has to find a way to respond when defenses disrupt its timing. Luckily, it gets home games against the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers over the next two weeks to figure it out.

Stock up after the loss: RB De'Von Achane. The rookie had 101 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries. He's making a case to take over as the starting running back.

Stock down after the loss: CB Kader Kohou. The second-year cornerback might have nightmares about Stefon Diggs after allowing 120 yards, three touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 passer rating as the nearest defender. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

Next game: vs. Giants (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Denver 31, Chicago 28


How can the Broncos fix a defense that has surrendered 98 points the last two weeks combined? Let's be clear: Win or no win, this Broncos defense doesn't pressure opposing quarterbacks enough or control the line of scrimmage and there are too many missed tackles. The scheme is to blame for some of that, but the Broncos' best players also are not doing enough -- barring a three-sack day from Nik Bonitto. Roster help isn't on the way, but the fact Justin Fields finished the first half 16-of-17 for 231 yards and three TDs isn't just a coaching problem -- it's an effort and production problem, too.

Stock up after the win: RB Jaleel McLaughlin. McLaughlin was the most consistently impactful player in the Broncos' offense Sunday, and his explosiveness is desperately needed in an offense that hasn't stressed opposing defenses enough.

Stock down after the win: Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. He hasn't had enough answers, especially when the team is in the nickel -- 98 points allowed in the past two games alone -- and with little production from the defensive front and too many missed tackles and blown assignments, Joseph will continue to feel the heat from the fans and likely his boss. -- Jeff Legwold

Next game: vs. Jets (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


How do the Bears recover from such a gut-wrenching loss? Chicago built a 21-point lead through the third quarter on a day when it looked like they found solutions to their offensive issues. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy injected a heavy dose of play-action into the game plan and got DJ Moore, Cole Kmet and Darnell Mooney involved often. But all the goodwill the Bears built up dissipated in the second half. The defense allowed Russell Wilson to cook on third down. The Bears faced the worst defense in the NFL and could not close the door in a game that they should have won.

Stock up after the loss: QB Justin Fields. Despite the loss, Fields looked the most comfortable he has been all season and had a career day with four passing touchdowns and 335 passing yards.

Stock down after the loss: Matt Eberflus. The Bears coach, who calls the defense, has to answer why his unit allowed the Broncos to erase Chicago's three-touchdown lead and his decision-making in critical moments, such as not attempting a field goal late in the game on fourth-and-1 from the Broncos' 18-yard line with the score tied. -- Courtney Cronin

Next game: at Commanders (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

Minnesota 21, Carolina 13


Did the Vikings fix their defense? Not really. The defense did some good things. It held the Panthers to six offensive points and scored a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter on D.J. Wonnum's 51-yard fumble return. That performance came a week after allowing 455 passing yards to the Los Angeles Chargers and two weeks after giving up 259 rushing yards to the Philadelphia Eagles. To be fair, however, the Panthers entered this game ranked No. 27 in offensive EPA. They are a tough opponent against which to judge overall improvement.

Stock up after the win: S Harrison Smith. After a quiet first three games of the season, Smith recorded three sacks, including one to end the Panthers' final possession, and forced the fumble that led to Wonnum's touchdown.

Stock down after the win: QB Kirk Cousins. Cousins threw two interceptions, including his third goal-line pick of the season, and also dropped a snap on what would have been a quarterback sneak. -- Kevin Seifert

Next game: vs. Chiefs (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)


When can the Panthers realistically expect to win a game? With road games against Detroit and Miami up next, an Oct. 29 home game against the Houston Texans might be it -- but even that has to be in question with Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud, the second pick of the draft, outplaying Carolina's Bryce Young, the top pick. Young has been underwhelming, relying exclusively on short passes. He now has four turnovers that have led to opposing points, including a strip sack returned for a touchdown against the Vikings.

Stock up after the loss: S Sam Franklin Jr. He made the most of his opportunity after starter Xavier Woods was injured, intercepting a Kirk Cousins pass in the first quarter and returning it 99 yards for a touchdown, the longest pick-six in Panthers history.

Stock down after the loss: The running game. The stock has been plummeting since a decent effort in Week 1, but it has gotten to the point where it's almost nonexistent and the offense is one-dimensional; Carolina averaged only 2.7 yards per attempt Sunday, including 1.5 yards by starter Miles Sanders. -- David Newton

Next game: at Lions (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Baltimore 28, Cleveland 3


Will the Ravens run away with the AFC North title? It's starting to look that way. Baltimore seized control of the division by routing the Deshaun Watson-less Browns while the Bengals and Steelers were upset on the road. The Ravens, who now sit alone atop the AFC North, have a 54% chance of winning the division, according to ESPN's Football Power Index. If Baltimore wins in Pittsburgh next Sunday, the Ravens will sweep all of their AFC North road games for the first time since 2019. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens scored three touchdowns in the first half against the NFL's top-ranked defense, which had given up one touchdown in the first three games.

Stock up after the win: Jackson in the red zone. Jackson has scored two rushing touchdowns in each of the past two games to become the eighth quarterback since the 1970 merger to record multiple touchdown runs in consecutive games.

Stock down after the win: Baltimore's offensive line, which committed four penalties in the first half; in addition, right tackle Morgan Moses left the game with a shoulder injury. This is just more bad news for Baltimore, which hasn't had left tackle Ronnie Stanley (knee) for the past three games. -- Jamison Hensley

Next game: at Steelers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


When will the Browns get QB Deshaun Watson back? The Browns had been optimistic all week that Watson would be able to play despite the injury to his right shoulder. But he wasn't able to throw much during Friday's practice, then was ruled out after briefly throwing Sunday during pregame. Despite it being so early in the season, the bye now comes at an opportune time. Given how close Watson was to playing Sunday, he should be good in time for Cleveland's next game in two weeks against the San Francisco 49ers.

Stock up after the loss: The pass rush. The Browns gave up 166 yards to Lamar Jackson, but Myles Garrett & Co. still applied plenty of pressure -- Jackson had two fumbles and lost one -- which will be the team's calling card all year.

Stock down after the loss: The running game. The Browns needed a competent running game to take the pressure off rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, but totaled just 93 yards on the ground, including 24 from Thompson-Robinson. -- Jake Trotter

Next game: vs. 49ers (Sunday, Oct. 15, 1 p.m. ET)

Jacksonville 23, Atlanta 7


Can the Jaguars get the running game going? Trevor Lawrence led the Jaguars in rushing until late in the fourth quarter. That's not something that should ever happen with Travis Etienne Jr. in the backfield. The offensive line, even with a change at left guard (Tyler Shatley replacing Ben Bartch), wasn't able to create a lot of space or push, especially in the middle. Etienne averaged 2.8 yards per carry (55 yards on 20 carries) against the Falcons after averaging 4.2 yards per carry in the first three weeks.

Stock up after the win: The secondary. The back seven came up with two big plays that were the difference in the game: Cornerback Darious Williams' 61-yard pick-six, and nickelback Tre Herndon denying Drake London's efforts to get both feet down in the back of the end zone on a fourth-down catch with the Jaguars leading by 13 late. That's a 14-point swing in a game Jacksonville won by 16. Since the start of last season, only the Patriots (five) have more pick-sixes than the Jaguars (three).

Stock down after the win: Third-down offense. Issues on third down continued for a fourth consecutive week. They were marginally better against the Falcons (5-for-13, for a 38% conversion rate) than they had been in the first three weeks (29.7%), but it's still not good enough for the offense to get back to what it was in the second half of last season. -- Mike DiRocco

Next game: vs. Bills in London (Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET)


Why does Atlanta's offense continue to struggle early in games? The Falcons have not run more than three plays on their first possession in any game (three three-and-outs and one interception). In the first quarter Sunday, the offense ran just six plays for 5 yards while allowing two sacks and punting twice. Coach Arthur Smith and his offensive staff need to figure out a way to create early rhythm -- a major talking point during each week leading into games. Talk, though, has not led to any substantial improvement.

Stock up after the loss: RB Bijan Robinson. With another 137 yards from scrimmage Sunday (105 rushing, 32 receiving), Robinson now has 452 in his first four NFL games -- more than that of any other Falcons player, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The previous mark was 445 yards from William Andrews in 1979. Robinson has become the focal point of Atlanta's offense.

Stock down after the loss: QB Desmond Ridder. The second-year pro did settle down in the second half and finished 19-of-31 for 191 yards, one touchdown, one fumble lost and two interceptions. But the first half was not pretty, and included interceptions on back-to-back plays, making him the first quarterback to do that since Miami's Tua Tagovailoa last year against San Francisco. Atlanta needs more from Ridder for its offense to have sustained success. -- Michael Rothstein

Next game: vs. Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Detroit 34, Green Bay 20


Has David Montgomery established himself as the Lions' lead back? After missing last week's action with a thigh injury, Montgomery returned with a three-touchdown performance in Green Bay. He ended up with 121 rushing yards on 32 carries, while first-round rookie Jahmyr Gibbs gained 40 rushing yards off eight carries with four receptions for 11 yards. Sure, Montgomery has scored five rushing touchdowns in his first three games with the Lions, but they'll still continue to use both guys as a tandem while riding the hot hand on a week-to-week basis.

Stock up after the win: CB Jerry Jacobs. The undrafted free agent continues to make a name for himself. He came up with five total tackles and four passes defended while becoming the first cornerback in franchise history to tally two interceptions at Green Bay since Dick LeBeau in 1968.

Stock down after the win: WR Marvin Jones Jr. The 33-year-old continued to struggle, dropping his lone target. In Week 1 at Kansas City, the veteran also dropped a pass and coughed up the first fumble of his 12-year career. His two drops through four games are tied for eighth most in the NFL. -- Eric Woodyard

Next game: vs. Panthers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)


Are the Packers tough enough? It wouldn't appear so, not after the Packers lost the game in the trenches. They couldn't protect Jordan Love, who was pressured a season-high 13 times despite facing only two blitzes. The other side of the ball was no better. The Lions slammed them for 211 yards rushing. They have a mini-bye weekend to regroup after the Thursday night game, but even that might not be enough time to get tougher before their "Monday Night Football" matchup against the Raiders.

Stock up after the loss: Christian Watson. In his first action of the season following a hamstring injury, Watson caught a pair of passes for 25 yards. Both catches -- a 24-yard crosser and a 1-yard touchdown -- came on the opening drive of the second half. Watson played 24 of 53 snaps.

Stock down after the loss: Quay Walker. The second-year linebacker made a crucial mistake on special teams in the fourth quarter, when he got a running start and jumped over the field goal protectors -- an illegal play. The penalty put the Lions' offense back on the field, and they ran two more minutes off the clock before scoring a touchdown with six minutes to play. -- Rob Demovsky

Next game: at Raiders (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)