NFL Week 4 Report - Trubisky, Titans and Touchdowns

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TwinSpires Staff

October 2nd, 2018

Gruden won his first game in his second stint as the Raiders’ coach, Bears’ quarterback Mitch Trubisky played like he was from a different planet, and the Titans stood up to the Eagles in some of the biggest stories from the weekend. Check out this NFL Week 4 report!

-by DS Williamson

Bears’ Quarterback Mitch Trubisky Throws 6 TD Passes

Most felt that if any quarterback in Chicago’s 48-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would step it up, it would be Tampa signal-caller Ryan Fitzpatrick. The man known as "FitzMagic" had steered the Buccaneers to a 2-1 record with a trio of 400+ yard passing performances. He didn’t touch that threshold against the Chicago Bears on Sunday. Instead of Fitzpatrick playing like he was every hall of fame NFL quarterback rolled into one, Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky stole the show.

Trubisky threw 6 TD passes, which is crazy when you realize that before NFL Week 4, he had thrown 9 TD passes in 15 starts. The question now becomes whether Trubisky can keep it going. He probably won’t because he got to throw the football against an atrocious pass defense. Coach Matt Nagy showing confidence in his second year quarterback is good news for Bears’ fans, though. The Bears already have a great defense. If the offense has truly taken a massive step forward, the Bears could be a sudden contender in a deep and ruthless NFC North.

Next Game: BYE (Tampa and Chicago)

Raiders Win First Game in Chucky II Era

Ever since the Raiders handed John Gruden a massive contract to come back to coach, their fans had waited for Sunday’s moment, when Raiders’ kicker Matthew McCrane hit a 29-yarder that sealed Oakland’s 45-42 overtime win against the Cleveland Browns. During the Cleveland game, the Raiders’ faithful had started showing signs of distress. Some Raider fans appeared on the verge of booing after Cleveland shot out to a 17-14 halftime lead.

Although Raider fans were happy after the Raiders sealed the deal in overtime, the pressure hasn’t lifted from Gruden’s shoulders. Every team in the AFC West is the Raiders' biggest rival. That includes the Kansas City Chiefs who are running away with the division.

Beating the Chargers in Carson on Sunday should alleviate some pressure on Gruden, but most certainly not all of it.

Next Game: Oakland at LAC -5.5

Eagles Lose 23-26 to Titans in Overtime

Before NFL sharp money flew in on the Titans over the weekend, the Eagles had been one of the most backed NFL teams to cover the spread during the week. After all, this was Carson Wentz’s second game back from the 2017 injury that left him on the bench during Philly’s Super Bowl run.

The public felt that Wentz might improve from his rough Week 3 outing, and an improved Wentz had to lead to a Philly cover. The public was right on the first part - Wentz looked great, but he rarely got the offense in to a rhythm.

Wentz’s 348 yards and 2 TD passes fell short because Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota provided his own fireworks with 344 yards and 2 TD passes. More importantly, the Titans simply outplayed the Eagles defensively. Tennessee sacked Wentz 4 times. They also forced a Wentz fumble that they recovered. Tennessee gets somewhat of a reprieve this week facing the Buffalo Bills while Philly must get right back on the horse because they face the Vikings.

Next Game: Minnesota at Philadelphia -3.0, Tennessee -3.5 at Buffalo

Patriots’ Prove They’ve Still Got It

Turns out that 2 straight losses is all Bill Belichick and Tom Brady can stomach. More than a few fans wondered if the magic had left New England after watching Detroit beat the Patriots 26-10 in prime time. Would a loss to the rival Dolphins spell the real end to the Belichik-Brady dynasty? The Patriots quickly answered the question in their impressive 38-7 win over the Dolphins.

New England scored 3 TD’s in the second quarter to go up 24-0 at halftime. In every way imaginable, the Patriots trounced the Dolphins, proving that they still have what it takes to win the AFC. They've moved to a definitive -500 preference in the AFC futures, well ahead of the three other franchises that they almost always defeat in this market.

Next Games: IND at NE -10.5

Saints’ Defense Comes Together

Heading into New Orleans’ 33-18 win over the New York Giants, the Saints’ defense had given up the most 45+ yard plays in the NFL. New Orleans had surrendered 48 points to Tampa Bay in a Week 1 loss and 37 to the Atlanta Falcons in a game that the Saints only won because of their future hall of fame quarterback.

The Giants’ offense had to have been licking its chops at the prospect of playing against the Saints’ defense, but New Orleans stepped it up big time, holding wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to 7 catches from 11 targets for only 60 yards.

The Saints also held the Giants to only 45 rushing yards from 15 attempts. New Orleans sacked Eli Manning 3 times, while also forcing two fumbles (one on Manning and another on running back Wayne Gallman).

If the defense continues playing this way, New Orleans might be close to impossible to beat because the offense averages over 34 points per game. Who dat going to beat dem Saints? Maybe, no one. To put this victory in to context, the Saints have moved to the fourth favorite in Super Bowl LIII futures, priced at +1100 behind only Kansas City, New England and the Los Angeles Rams.

Next Game: Washington at New Orleans -6.5, NYG at Carolina -6.5