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NFL Week 4 review: Bills handle Dolphins, Eagles tested by Commanders

The first month of the 2023 NFL season is in the books and only two teams remain undefeated, while the AFC is shaping up to be as competitive as advertised.

Two of the early pace setters in the AFC met in Week 4 as the Buffalo Bills hosted the Miami Dolphins and it was the Bills that made a statement as they took down the Fins’ flying offense, albeit at a cost. 

In the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles juggernauts rolled on, but with the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions snapping at their heels. 

There wasn’t much parity to be found in the league in Week 4 with nine games decided by double-digit margins, including some hefty losses for teams previously viewed as Super Bowl contenders. 

Unstoppable Allen leads MVP race

Josh Allen is the new +400 favorite to win the NFL MVP prize after another outstanding performance in Buffalo’s 48-20 demolition of the Dolphins. 

Having got off to a rough start when turning the ball over four times against the New York Jets in Week 1, Allen hasn’t put a foot wrong since and had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 against Miami. 

Allen had more touchdowns (five) than incompletions (four) as he and Steffon Diggs tore strips off its divisional rivals, Diggs ending the day with 120 yards and three touchdowns.

The Bills defense deserves some praise too having found a way to bottle up a Miami offense that had hung 70 points on Denver the week before. 

The Dolphins still put up 393 yards but weren’t allowed to make the big splash plays that have defined its season so far with Tua Tagovailoa constantly under pressure, particularly after left tackle Terron Armstead left with a knee injury.

The only bad news for the Bills was the loss of top corner Tre'Davious White to what looked like an Achilles injury.

Divisional rivals ask questions of Niners and Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers are the last two undefeated teams in the league after home victories over divisional rivals on Sunday. 

Both were expected to win comfortably and while the Niners ended up beating the Arizona Cardinals by 19 points, the 35-16 scoreline didn’t quite reflect how competitive the Cards were.

Arizona had 362 yards and 23 first downs as they tested San Fran, who needed a four-touchdown display from Christian McCaffrey as he broke a franchise record by scoring a TD for the 13th straight game.

The 49ers appear to have come out of the game unscathed, which sets them nicely for a Week 5 Sunday Night Football showdown with the Dallas Cowboys. 

Dallas are +160 road underdogs for the trip to California, which they warmed up for by inflicting the heaviest defeat of Bill Belichick’s coaching career with a 38-3 win over New England.

Philly were pushed a lot closer by the Washington Commanders, who held a 10-point lead in the first-half and scored a last-second touchdown to send the game to overtime.

Jalen Hurts and AJ Brown kept the Eagles alive before Jake Elliott's 54-yard field goal secured a 34-31 win for a Philadelphia team yet to get into its stride. 

Rookies lead the way in the south

The Offensive Rookie of the Year race is heating up nicely with Houston quarterback CJ Stroud the +175 market leader after another exemplary performance. 

The second overall pick in this year’s draft carved up the feared Pittsburgh Steelers defence as the Texans rolled to a 30-6 win to improve to 2-2.

Only Cam Newton has ever thrown for more yards through his first four games as a rookie QB than Stroud, who is yet to throw an interception. 

Stroud and fellow OROTY contender Anthony Richardson have given life to the AFC South, which is delicately poised with all four teams at 2-2. 

Indianapolis’ Richardson had a strong showing in Week 4 but couldn’t quite complete a miracle comeback against the LA Rams, who led 23-0 but needed an overtime touchdown from another surging rookie in wide receiver Puka Nacua in overtime to win.

Bengals in big trouble

The Colts were the only AFC South team to lose on Sunday as the Jacksonville Jaguars turned over the Atlanta Falcons in London and the Tennessee Titans took advantage of a crumbling Cincinnati Bengals outfit. 

The Titans won by 24 points at home to Cincy, who could only muster three points on offense in another worrying display. 

Joe Burrow continues to play through an injury behind an offensive line giving up plenty of opportunities to get to the quarterback. To make matters worse, Burrow lost one of his top pass catchers in Tee Higgins, who suffered fractured ribs. 

The Bengals are now 1-3 on the year with an offense that ranks dead last for points per game and the alarm bells are surely ringing for a team once viewed as a Super Bowl contender.

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