End of a Dynasty, and Other NFL Week 4 Truths
It is officially over in New England. The greatest dynasty in the history of the NFL, and one of the greatest in sports history, has ended.
If there was a thought that future Hall of Fame head coach Bill Belichick would be able to win another Super Bowl with the Patriots, and with a quarterback not named Tom Brady, it’s time to jettison those expectations. On Sunday in Dallas, Belichick, the second-winningest head coach in NFL history, suffered the worst defeat of his career, losing by 35 points.
Belichick’s Patriots are 1-3 and tied with the New York Jets for last place in the AFC East, and it is now likely that Belichick will set the record for most all-time losses before he gets the all-time wins record. He is 10 losses away from tying Dan Reeves and Jeff Fisher with 165 regular and postseason losses. He is 17 wins away from tying Don Shula at 347.
Belichick’s Patriots have won just three of their last 12 games, with those wins coming against backup quarterbacks Colt McCoy, Teddy Bridewater, and Zach Wilson. He is 26-28 since Tom Brady left, and he is headed toward a third losing season in four years – the only three losing seasons for the Patriots since 2000.
Belichick is 71, he is the head coach of a team in need of a total reset, and more damning, he is the general manager of a team that is woefully short on talent. Belichick may still get to Shula’s all-time win record, but it won’t be in New England.
BetUS.com now has the Patriots at +2200 longshots to win the AFC East.
A Lost Season in Cincinnati
Twice now in four games, the Cincinnati Bengals have failed to score a touchdown in a game, and it is clear that Joe Burrow isn’t right, and he won’t be right, until he takes time off to let his injured calf heal.
But worse than Burrow’s injury is the crescendoing anger of wide receiver Ja’marr Chase, who each week seems to escalate his frustrations with the offense, and his role in the offense. This past week, when asked if he feels like he’s got less time to get open than in years past, Chase said, “Nah. I’m open. I’m always f***ing open.”
He apologized for the profanity, but he makes no apologies for his frustrations. Chase has yet to catch a touchdown pass this season, after catching 22 in his first two years. He’s also already said that he wants to set the wide receiver mark when he signs his upcoming contract extension. But will that contract be signed in Cincinnati?
The Bengals are 1-3, dealing with issues beyond the field, and according to BetUS.com, the defending AFC North champions are tied with the Steelers for biggest longshot in the division.
Philadelphia Eagles Only Second-Best in NFC
If you are a regular NFL bettor, you know that the Philadelphia Eagles began the season as the favorite to win the NFC for a second straight season. This off-season BetUS.com had the Eagles at +800 to win the Super Bowl, the shortest odds of everyone except the Kansas City Chiefs.
Philadelphia is one of just two teams at 4-0, and it is clear after four weeks that they are the weaker of the two teams. The San Francisco 49ers have beaten their four opponents by a combined 67 points. The Eagles have won their four games by a combined 28 points, and just had to go to overtime to beat the Washington Commanders.
This year, the Eagles are giving up more points per game, scoring less, and three of their four wins have come down to final possessions. The Eagles are still good, but the dominant team we saw in 2022 has yet to show itself.
Offensive Rookie of the Year a Two-Man Race
Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young was the first overall pick, and the Falcons Bijan Robinson is the most talented rookie running back in years. But the race for Offensive Rookie of the Year is between Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson.
Stroud is off to a historic start, becoming just the sixth player in NFL history to average 300 yards passing with zero interceptions in the first four weeks of the season. The other five are Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers, and none of those five greats did it as a rookie.
In Indianapolis, Richardson doesn’t have the gaudy passing stats, but he leads the NFL in explosive plays, defined as runs of more than 12 yards and passes of over 20 yards. He has seven total touchdowns and just two turnovers in less than three full games played. He isn’t as polished as Stroud, but his athleticism and potential ceiling is unmatched.