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The Buffalo Bills threw everyone off the scent in Week 1.
In the opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, they weren't good. The offense struggled, the special teams gave up a blocked punt touchdown and they lost. That defeat isn't aging well, either. However, it was just one game.
The Bills were a buzzy team before the season and then people moved on to the Los Angeles Rams or Dallas Cowboys or whoever else started the season well. The Bills are still as good as anyone in the NFL, just without a lot of fanfare.
Buffalo demolished the Houston Texans 40-0 for their third straight blowout win. The offense gets a lot of headlines in Buffalo, but it's the defense that has been Super Bowl caliber.
The Texans' first-half stats Sunday: minus-23 net passing yards; 8 total yards; one first down. Houston trailed 16-0 at halftime, and it didn't get much better in the second half.
We knew the Texans would have bad days, but it's still hard to beat an NFL team like the Bills did on Sunday. Rookie quarterback Davis Mills, who wasn't awful in his first career start last week, was awful in Buffalo. He had 87 yards and threw four interceptions.
Since the first week, the Bills have won 35-0, 43-21 (that game against Washington wasn't even that close) and then Sunday's blowout by 40. A plus-97 point differential in three weeks is really hard to do in the NFL. The schedule has been light, and the Bills won't get a lot of credit until they beat better competition, but the mark of a good team is blasting the worst teams on the schedule. The Bills are doing that. They have been doing it since the middle of last season.
Last season, the Bills' offense carried the team to an AFC championship game, which they lost at Kansas City. This season the offense is still scoring and the defense looks like it did in 2018 and 2019, when it was one of the 10 best in the NFL. The Bills are still strong Super Bowl contenders. You just haven't heard as much about them since Week 1.
Here are the winners and losers from Week 4 in the NFL:
Russell Wilson: No matter what, the Seattle Seahawks don't slip too far. Russell Wilson won't let it happen.
Wilson started very slow but he got hot late in the first half and the 49ers stalled once Jimmy Garoppolo left with a calf injury. The Seahawks, who were 1-2 coming in, got a big 28-21 win over the 49ers.
Wilson passed for a couple touchdowns and ran for another. His second passing touchdown to Freddie Swain was vintage Wilson, spinning out of the rush, keeping his eyes downfield and finding Swain in the end zone with a perfect pass. The Seahawks didn't look great during a two-game losing streak, but Wilson wouldn't allow them to lose three in a row.
Cordarrelle Patterson: Finally, we're seeing the Patterson the Minnesota Vikings thought they were getting in the first round of the draft ... eight years ago.
Patterson is becoming the Atlanta Falcons' best offensive weapon. He had three touchdowns on Sunday against the Washington Football Team, even though it came in a 34-30 loss. Patterson had 116 total yards from scrimmage. He was touted as a versatile threat when he came out of the University of Tennessee, but has never had a huge offensive impact. He has been one of the best kickoff returners in the NFL for many years, but until this season it had never carried over to offense.
Patterson has carved out a nice career. He's now having the rare breakout season for a 30-year-old.
Trevon Diggs' impressive streak: Diggs, the Dallas Cowboys cornerback, is becoming a heck of a playmaker.
He had an interception in his fourth straight game this season, and it came at a crucial point in the Cowboys' win. Diggs' streak of interceptions ties the longest in team history.
Diggs' pick came on a Sam Darnold pass over the middle with the Carolina Panthers trailing 26-14. Dallas immediately turned that pick into a Cedrick Wilson touchdown. Then Diggs had a great interception a few minutes later, driving hard on a short D.J. Moore route and pulling in a juggling interception. Carolina battled and Diggs' picks were a huge difference in the 36-28 win.
Diggs was a second-round draft pick last year and started most of his rookie season. He has been a nice find and a big reason for the Cowboys' 3-1 start.
Tyreek Hill: It had been a while since the Kansas City Chiefs blew out anyone.
The Philadelphia Eagles were the unlucky team Sunday to face an angry Chiefs team that had lost two straight. The Chiefs beat the Eagles 42-30, and it was a game Hill took over.
Hill had 11 catches, 186 yards and three touchdowns. Kansas City put up 471 yards. The defense didn't look great but the offense did. When Hill is on top of his game, like he was on Sunday, Kansas City is just about unstoppable.
Indianapolis Colts: The Colts might not be going anywhere this season, but an 0-4 start would have ensured their demise.
The Colts, who were dealing with multiple injuries heading into Sunday's game at the Miami Dolphins, kept their season (somewhat) alive with an impressive win. Carson Wentz made plays, Jonathan Taylor had his best game of the season and the defense looked its best. They got out of Miami with a 27-17 win.
There's still a long way to go before the Colts are a factor again, but at least a Week 4 win gives them a chance to stay relevant.
Drew Lock: Lock had the chance to play in the second half for the Denver Broncos when Teddy Bridgewater suffered a concussion. It wasn't an ideal scenario, against the Baltimore Ravens coming in off the bench, but it was an opportunity for Lock, who lost the starting quarterback competition to Bridgewater in training camp.
Lock didn't do enough to change the Broncos' minds.
The Broncos didn't score in the second half of a 23-7 loss. Lock didn't make much happen, often holding the ball too long and letting the Ravens' pass rush get to him. Bridgewater still will have to be cleared to play next week at Pittsburgh, but there's no quarterback controversy in Denver.
Rams momentum: Hopefully the Rams enjoyed this past week, when they were the talk of the NFL.
The Rams crashed hard after a big win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Arizona Cardinals completely outplayed them in a blowout 37-20 win. The Rams' offense rarely got anything going and the defense was carved up by Kyler Murray, who is looking like an MVP favorite.
The Rams should be fine but it's a tough division and losing a home game to the Cardinals will hang over them for a while.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers beat the Bills in Week 1. That might end up being the highlight of their season.
The Steelers have looked terrible since. Ben Roethlisberger had one nice throw Sunday on a 45-yard touchdown to Diontae Johnson, and didn't do anything else worthwhile in a 27-17 loss. The Steelers' defense also barely showed up. Green Bay scored points on five straight possessions. After an early highlight from Johnson, it was never a competitive game.
The Steelers are 1-3 and that Bills game is a distant memory. With the offense struggling to get anything going, it's going to be hard to watch Pittsburgh the rest of the season.
Dan Campbell: Campbell is a competitor and he wants to win. It might take a while.
The Detroit Lions had a favorable matchup on Sunday and it didn't matter much. The Chicago Bears looked much better than they did last week at Cleveland, and rolled to a fairly easy win. They were up 21-0, thanks to a big day from David Montgomery and an improved performance by rookie quarterback Justin Fields. The Bears won 24-14.
The Lions have been competitive most of this season, but they weren't on Sunday and now they're 0-4. It is going to be a long season, and it might be a while until they hit the win column.
Kirk Cousins and Mike Zimmer: The Minnesota Vikings are off to another bad start. Cousins will get heat after the Vikings scored just one touchdown in a 14-7 loss at home to the Cleveland Browns. Zimmer will get heat after his team is stumbling out of the gate again, this time at 1-3.
A win last week gave the Vikings hope of turning around their season but it's a lot tougher now. The Browns have a good defense but a team with Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook needs to score more than a touchdown at home. The Vikings had two chances in the final minutes to score and tie it, but Cousins was sacked on one fourth down and then the Vikings ran out of time on their final drive.
It'll be a long week in Minnesota. Maybe a long season, too.
The up-and-down Saints: The Saints have looked great twice and awful twice. Good luck figuring out what happens next.
The Saints had an inexplicable loss on Sunday at home to a bad New York Giants team. They couldn't put the Giants away in regulation, then allowed New York to drive all the way down and win it 27-21 in overtime on a Saquon Barkley touchdown.
The Saints are 2-2 and it's impossible to figure out if they're good or not.
Tennessee Titans: Even without A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, you can't lose to the New York Jets and be taken seriously.
Randy Bullock's 49-yard field-goal attempt in the final seconds of overtime missed wide left, which gave the Jets their first win of the season and spared everyone a tie. It was a brutal 27-24 loss for the Titans, who started 2-1 and are clearly the best team in the AFC South.
The Titans are still likely to win the division, but a bad loss Sunday and the Colts' win at least makes things more interesting. Tennessee was without its two star receivers, but it's still a loss the Titans shouldn't take.