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2023 NFL Week 4: Biggest Matchups, Mismatches

Nov 5, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore breaks up a touchdown pass thrown to Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser via USA TODAY NETWORK

Each week, Sports Info Solutions will generate a matchup comparison for the week’s NFL games based on its proprietary Total Points stat. 

Total Points takes nearly everything that happens on the field and scales it in a way that allows you to compare players, units and teams. It will enable you to pinpoint mismatches, perhaps those you weren’t even aware existed.

To learn more about Total Points, read our piece from last season

Here’s our look at Week 4.

Total Points Per Play ranks are based on 2023 performance to date. Fourth Down Decision Ranks are based on the head coach’s history over the last two seasons. See a brief description of the ranking methodology in this piece.

Week 4 Matchups

Falcons vs. Jaguars

Falcons vs. Jaguars – Sunday, 9:30 a.m. (London)
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Falcons 29 1 12 30 5 26 3
Jaguars 22 22 31 25 8 25 28

Fourth-down decisions: Falcons seventh, Jaguars 25th

The key matchup here is the Atlanta Falcons‘ top-ranked rushing offense against the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ eighth-ranked rushing defense. 

Bijan Robinson (third) and Tyler Allgeier (14th) rank in the top 15 in rushing Total Points. They’ll look to keep that going against a stingy Jaguars’ run defense led by LB Foyesade Oluokun.

Also, keep an eye out for Arthur Smith’s aggressive fourth-down decision-making. 

Dolphins vs. Bills

Dolphins vs. Bills – Sunday, 1 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Dolphins 1 2 1 1 31 16 8
Bills 16 3 18 3 4 5 1

Fourth-down decisions: Dolphins 22nd, Bills eighth

Mike McDaniel and MVP favorite Tua Tagovailoa have this Miami Dolphins offense cooking, ranking first in all Offensive Total Points categories except rushing. That could change if De’Von Achane and Raheem Mostert continue piling up 200-yard performances.

On the other side, Josh Allen has been doing Josh Allen things since a rough start against the Jets. Allen ranks fifth in SIS’ Independent Quarterback Rating in the last two weeks. 

The Buffalo Bills have succeeded in the run game with James Cook, who is fifth among running backs in Rushing Total Points.

Vikings vs. Panthers

Vikings vs. Panthers – Sunday, 1 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Vikings 9 31 7 14 22 24 29
Panthers 24 32 22 23 28 7 26

Fourth-down decisions: Vikings 14th, Panthers sixth

The Carolina Panthers are looking to get Bryce Young some confidence as he returns from an ankle injury and a tough first two weeks. He ranks 30th in on-target percentage and 33rd (last) in adjusted net yards per attempt. This all comes with the fourth-lowest average depth of target at 6.5 yards.

The Minnesota Vikings are in real trouble. This team is struggling on defense, so getting a reeling and banged-up Panthers offense might get them on track.

Broncos vs. Bears

Broncos vs. Bears – Sunday, 1 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Broncos 21 20 11 11 27 27 31
Bears 31 13 15 8 12 32 30

Fourth-down decisions: Broncos ninth, Bears 13th

If the Denver Broncos are going to turn their season around, it will begin against the Chicago Bears. Their offense ranks 30th, and their defense ranks 31st in EPA per play.

Ravens vs. Browns

Ravens vs. Browns – Sunday, 1 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Ravens 12 11 27 9 11 8 14
Browns 13 12 24 27 1 1 16

Fourth-down decisions: Ravens 23rd, Browns fifth

The Cleveland Browns defense under Jim Schwartz has been a brick wall, ranking first in EPA per play. That is due to the defensive front led by Myles Garrett, who ranks second in Pass Rush Total Points and is third in sacks.

The Baltimore Ravens hope to get Ronnie Stanley and Tyler Linderbaum back into the starting lineup after missing the past two games. That would be huge, considering the Ravens are coming off a devastating loss to the Colts in overtime.

Steelers vs. Texans

Steelers vs. Texans – Sunday, 1 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Steelers 32 8 10 31 21 3 10
Texans 4 27 14 29 13 20 24

Fourth-down decisions: Steelers 30th, Texans first

C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans welcome in the Pittsburgh Steelers after picking up their first win of the season against the Jaguars. Stroud has been impressive, ranking seventh in IQR and fourth in Passing Total Points. 

However, the Texans might be down three starting linemen against a Steelers front that ranks fifth in pressure rate and first in sacks per game. 

That’s not ideal when facing former DPOY and this year’s early favorite, T.J. Watt, who has six sacks already.

Rams vs. Colts

Rams vs. Colts – Sunday, 1 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Rams 18 15 20 19 15 17 19
Colts 23 30 29 20 17 6 12

Fourth-down decisions: Rams 10th, Colts 31st

The Indianapolis Colts defense has been a strong point, ranking ninth in EPA per play and sixth in Pass Rush Total Points. 

This means the Los Angeles Rams need to improve their pass protection dramatically after allowing six sacks to the Bengals last week.

Buccaneers vs. Saints

Buccaneers vs. Saints – Sunday, 1 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Buccaneers 2 26 26 18 25 12 9
Saints 19 29 6 15 16 19 4

Fourth-down decisions: Buccaneers 29th, Saints 21st

You have the narrative storylines of Mike Evans vs. Marshon Lattimore and Jameis Winston against his old team. However, what might take center stage is a puzzling fourth-down decision by one of the two coaches, who rank near the bottom of the league in making the right call. 

Commanders vs. Eagles

Commanders vs. Eagles – Sunday, 1 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Commanders 30 5 19 21 19 13 11
Eagles 21 9 25 2 2 4 22

Fourth-down decisions: Commanders 19th, Eagles second

The Philadelphia Eagles have a defensive line that will look to make Sam Howell uncomfortable and shut down the Washington Commanders’ fifth-ranked rushing attack. 

Jalen Carter has been playing like he should have been the first-overall pick in the draft. He ranks 13th in Pass Rushing Total Points and 11th in pressures. 

On offense, the Eagles will look to continue feeding D’Andre Swift, who is second in rushing yards. The Eagles have not been as explosive as last season, but they are grinding out chunks of yards behind the second-best offensive line in the league with the third-lowest blown block percentage at 1.7 percent.

Bengals vs. Titans

Bengals vs. Titans – Sunday, 1 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Bengals 20 16 28 25 24 21 17
Titans 28 7 8 22 3 28 18

Fourth-down decisions: Bengals 18th, Titans fourth

Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals seemed to get some of their mojo back in the second half against the Rams, scoring 13 points. 

Ja’Marr Chase had a monster game and will look to continue dominating against a Tennessee Titans’ pass coverage unit that ranks 18th in Pass Coverage Total Points. 

The Titans’ offense will look to get going after only scoring three points against a good Browns defense, dropping its EPA per play to 25th.

Raiders vs. Chargers

Raiders vs. Chargers – Sunday, 4:05 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Raiders 25 28 5 13 20 31 13
Chargers 7 23 4 6 23 23 21

Fourth-down decisions: Raiders 28th, Chargers 16th

Rookie Quentin Johnston becomes the next man up after the loss of Mike Williams. The Los Angeles Chargers will need Johnston to be the big-bodied downfield receiver they drafted him to be.

Conversely, Davante Adams ranks fourth in Receiving Total Points and will face a Chargers secondary that ranks 21st in Pass Coverage Total Points. 

Also, hopefully, Josh McDaniels learned that kicking a field goal down eight points at the end of the game isn’t the optimal strategy.

Patriots vs. Cowboys

Patriots vs. Cowboys – Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Patriots 11 25 30 28 7 9 15
Cowboys 17 18 23 4 6 2 2

Fourth-down decisions: Patriots 27th, Cowboys 11th

Losing Trevon Diggs is a big blow for the Dallas Cowboys, but maybe not for this game.  The New England Patriots have the 30th-ranked receiving core.

The Patriots’ defense ranks ninth in EPA per play and are top 10 in Run Defense and Pass Rush Total Points.

Cardinals vs. 49ers

Cardinals vs. 49ers – Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Cardinals 10 6 9 5 32 14 7
49ers 5 17 2 12 26 18 6

Fourth-down decisions: Cardinals NR, 49ers 12th

The San Francisco 49ers are arguably the best team in the NFL, ranking fifth in defensive EPA per play and third in offensive EPA per play. Christian McCaffrey is an OPOY favorite, and the multitude of weapons has made life easy for Brock Purdy.

The Arizona Cardinals have been the NFL’s biggest shock thus far, ranking in the top 10 of all offensive Total Points categories. James Conner has been a catalyst for this offense, ranking eighth in Rushing Total Points.

Chiefs vs. Jets

Chiefs vs. Jets – Sunday, 8:15 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Chiefs 3 14 16 17 18 10 5
Jets 27 24 13 32 14 22 27

Fourth-down decisions: Chiefs 24th, Jets 15th

Maybe Taylor Swift being in attendance can spark life into Zach Wilson and this New York Jets offense that is desperate to do anything as the 32nd-ranked offense in EPA per play. That will be tough against a Kansas City Chiefs defense that ranks fourth in the same category.

Oh yeah, the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes, too.

Seahawks vs. Giants

Seahawks vs. Giants – Monday, 8:15 p.m.
Team Pass Rush Rec Block Run D Pass Rush Pass Cov
Seahawks 6 4 3 10 10 30 25
Giants 26 19 32 16 30 29 32

Fourth-down decisions: Seahawks 20th, Giants 26th

The New York Giants come in after losing to the 49ers on the road, but they will get extra rest heading into Monday night. It has been a rough start for them offensively and defensively. The Giants rank in the bottom 10 in EPA per play on both sides of the ball. 

The Seattle Seahawks have a top-10 offense after starting slowly against the Rams. Geno Smith (seventh) and Kenneth Walker (ninth) are in the top 10 in Passing and Rushing Total Points, respectively. They face a Giants defense that is struggling to stop anything.

This story was authored by James Weaver.