NFL Preview: Dramatic endings, resurgent teams, young quarterbacks: Get ready for more in Week 4

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Justin Tucker

Like a poem written by Steve Sabol and narrated by John Facenda, complete with a score composed by Sam Spence, the 2021 NFL season somehow continues to get better as it rolls along.

Week 3 featured five games decided in the final minute of regulation or overtime. One of those contests ended with the longest field goal in NFL history, JUSTIN TUCKER’s 66-yarder to lift Baltimore. Eleven of 16 games in Week 3 were within one score (eight points) in the final quarter.

What’s in store for Week 4? Take a deep breath.

For starters, this week features a clash of undefeated NFC West rivals in Los Angeles, and TOM BRADY and ROB GRONKOWSKI returning to New England, where Brady needs 68 passing yards to break the NFL’s career record. ANDY REID returns to Philadelphia with an opportunity to become the first coach in NFL annals to win 100 games with one franchise and 100 with another.

If that’s not enough, how about a pair of resurgent division leaders, the CAROLINA PANTHERS (3-0) and DALLAS COWBOYS (2-1), at AT&T Stadium, or two of the most prolific passers in league history, BEN ROETHLISBERGER and AARON RODGERS, at Lambeau Field?

The week begins Thursday night with a primetime matchup of the last two No. 1 overall selections in the NFL Draft, JOE BURROW and TREVOR LAWRENCE, and it ends on Monday night when the head-turning LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-1) host the LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (3-0), off to their best start in 19 years.

Intermission is over, so get to your seats. Dim the house lights and cue the orchestra. Here comes Week 4.

LATE-GAME DRAMA: Through Week 3, NFL teams have scored the winning points in the final minute of the fourth quarter or in overtime on 11 occasions. Just one other year has produced more such games at this point of a season.

The seasons with the most games in which the winning points were scored in the final minute of the fourth quarter or in overtime through three weeks:

SEASON

GAMES

2013

12

2021

11

2012

11

2003

11

1997

11


WORKING OVERTIME: For the first time since 2018, at least one NFL game has gone to overtime in each of the season’s first three weeks. The league has had overtime games in each of the first four weeks of a season on only four occasions: 2018, 2002, 1983 and 1979.

WILD, WILD NFC WEST: Five teams, including four that missed the playoffs last year (Arizona, Carolina, Denver and Las Vegas) are 3-0. Two of the undefeated teams are NFC West rivals that will meet at SoFi Stadium, where the ARIZONA CARDINALS (3-0) travel to clash with the LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-0) on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, FOX). Arizona is tied for the league lead with 34.3 points per game, while the Rams rank third with 31.7.

  • With a rushing touchdown on Sunday, Arizona quarterback KYLER MURRAY would become the first quarterback in NFL history to run for a touchdown in each of his team’s first four games of a season. Murray has rushed for a touchdown in each of his team’s first three games for the second season in a row. The only other quarterbacks with a rushing touchdown in each of their team’s first three games of a season since 1970 are Pro Football Hall of Famer TERRY BRADSHAW (1972) and CHARLIE FRYE (2006).
  • Murray, who passed for 316 yards in last week’s win at Jacksonville, aims to lead the Cardinals to their best start in nine years, when they opened 4-0 in 2012. The last time Arizona began 3-0 was 2015, when the Cardinals advanced to the NFC Championship Game.
  • The Rams’ COOPER KUPP leads the NFL in both receiving yards (367) and touchdown catches (five). He’s also tied for the league lead with 25 receptions.
  • Last week, Rams wide receiver DESEAN JACKSON recorded a 75-yard touchdown reception in the team’s win over Tampa Bay. He became the fifth player in the Super Bowl era to register 10 career touchdowns of at least 75 yards, joining DEVIN HESTER (14 touchdowns), DANTE HALL (11), JOSH CRIBBS (10) and TYREEK HILL (10).
  • Rams quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD has established a blistering pace through his first three games with the Rams, ranking second in the league with a 129.8 passer rating and tied for second with nine touchdown passes. He’s only the sixth player since 1950 to throw nine-or-more touchdown passes in his first three starts with a team. If he throws for three more touchdowns on Sunday against the Cardinals, he would join elite company.

The players with the most touchdown passes in their first four starts with a franchise since 1950:

PLAYER

TEAM

YEAR(S)

TD PASSES

Kurt WarnerHOF

St. Louis Rams

1999

14

Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City

2017-18

13

Brett FavreHOF

N.Y. Jets

2008

12

Mark Rypien

Washington

1988

12

Matthew Stafford

L.A. Rams

2021

9*

*Entering Week 4


REUNION GAMES: Three notable individuals come back to their former NFL homes this week. Chiefs head coach ANDY REID makes a return to Philadelphia, where the Eagles (1-2) host Kansas City (1-2) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS). Meanwhile, Tampa Bay (2-1) is at New England (1-2), where the Buccaneers’ tandem of TOM BRADY and ROB GRONKOWSKI make a return to Foxboro on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC).

  • For Reid, head coach of the Eagles from 1999-2012, it’s a second return trip, following his first game at Lincoln Financial Field with the Chiefs in 2013. Reid has won each of his two games against the Eagles, including a 2017 victory at Arrowhead Stadium. This week, Reid can become the first head coach in NFL history to win 100 games, including the postseason, with multiple franchises. He’s 99-45-0 in nine years with the Chiefs and was 140-102-1 in 14 years with the Eagles, including the postseason. Overall, Reid’s 239 career victories rank fifth all-time.
  • Reid is also one of just seven coaches to take multiple teams to the Super Bowl.

The seven head coaches to lead multiple franchises to Super Bowl appearances:

HEAD COACH

TEAM, SUPER BOWL SEASON(S)

TEAM, SUPER BOWL SEASON(S)

Don ShulaHOF

Baltimore Colts, 1968

Miami Dolphins, 1971-73, 1982, 1984

Bill ParcellsHOF

New York Giants, 1986, 1990

New England Patriots, 1996

Dan Reeves

Denver Broncos, 1986-87, 1989

Atlanta Falcons, 1998

Dick Vermeil

Philadelphia Eagles, 1980

St. Louis Rams, 1999

Mike Holmgren

Green Bay Packers, 1996-97

Seattle Seahawks, 2005

John Fox

Carolina Panthers, 2003

Denver Broncos, 2013

Andy Reid

Philadelphia Eagles, 2004

Kansas City Chiefs, 2019-20


For Brady, selected by the Patriots in the sixth round (199th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft, his first return trip to New England figures to be historic. Brady, who enters the week with 80,291 career passing yards, needs just 68 more to break the NFL’s career record, held by DREW BREES (80,358).

The players with the most career passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER

TEAM(S)

SEASONS

PASSING YARDS

Drew Brees

San Diego Chargers, New Orleans

2001-20

80,358

Tom Brady*

New England, Tampa Bay

2000-21

80,291

Peyton ManningHOF

Indianapolis, Denver

1998-2015

71,940

Brett FavreHOF

Atlanta, Green Bay, N.Y. Jets, Minnesota

1991-2010

71,838

Philip Rivers

San Diego Chargers, Indianapolis

2004-20

63,440

Dan MarinoHOF

Miami

1983-99

61,361

Ben Roethlisberger*

Pittsburgh

2004-21

61,149

Eli Manning

N.Y. Giants

2004-19

57,023

Matt Ryan*

Atlanta

2008-21

56,474

Aaron Rodgers*

Green Bay

2005-21

51,894

*Active

     

Brady’s former head coach, the Patriots’ BILL BELICHICK, has not lost to the Buccaneers since Sept. 3, 2000. Brady and Belichick in 20 years with the Patriots (2000-19) won six Super Bowls and 17 division titles. Their combined 249 wins, including postseason, is the most ever by a coach and starting quarterback duo.

Quarterbacks in their first starts against head coaches with whom they won a Super Bowl in NFL history:

DATE

QUARTERBACK, TEAM

COACH, TEAM

YDS

TD

INT

RATING

RESULT

09/11/1994

Joe Montana,HOF Kansas City

George Seifert, San Francisco

203

2

0

101.0

KC, 24-17

10/09/1994

Jeff Hostetler, L.A. Raiders

Bill Parcells,HOF New England

250

1

3

52.6

LAR, 21-17

10/27/1996

Troy Aikman,HOF Dallas

Jimmy Johnson,HOF Miami

363

3

0

127.0

DAL, 29-10

11/01/1999

Brett Favre,HOF Green Bay

Mike Holmgren, Seattle

180

1

4

26.8

SEA, 27-7

10/16/2005

Trent Dilfer, Cleveland

Brian Billick, Baltimore

147

0

1

53.1

BAL, 16-3

10/26/2008

Brad Johnson, Dallas

Jon Gruden, Tampa Bay

122

1

0

75.6

DAL, 13-9

10/03/2021

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay

Bill Belichick, New England

 

 

 

 

???


Gronkowski, selected by the Patriots in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft, ranks first in New England history with 79 touchdown receptions, second with 7,861 receiving yards and fifth with 521 career receptions.

AFC WEST SHOWDOWN TO CLOSE WEEKEND: Last week, the LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (3-0) overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat Miami, 31-28, in overtime and became the fourth team to win two overtime games within its first three games of a season, joining the 1995 Atlanta Falcons, 1995 Kansas City Chiefs and 1994 Detroit Lions. This week, the Raiders battle the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-1) on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN).

  • In the Raiders’ overtime win against Miami, quarterback DEREK CARR passed for 386 yards and two touchdowns with one interception for a 95.7 rating, leading the team to its first 3-0 start since 2002, when they advanced to the Super Bowl. Carr, who enters Week 4 with an NFL-best 1,203 passing yards, is the fourth player with at least 1,200 passing yards through his team’s first three games of a season in NFL history, joining TOM BRADY (1,327 passing yards in 2011), RYAN FITZPATRICK (1,230 in 2018) and Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (1,221 in 2000).
  • Dating back to Week 16 of last season, Carr has recorded at least 325 passing yards in five consecutive games, joining RICH GANNON (six games with the Raiders in 2002), DREW BREES (five games with the Saints in 2011) and Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (five games with the Rams in 2000 and five games with the Cardinals in 2008) as the only players to pass for 325 yards in five straight games in NFL history.
  • The Raiders lead the NFL with 471.0 total yards of offense per game.
  • Last week in a win at Kansas City, Chargers quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT passed for 281 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 125.0 rating, including the game-winning touchdown pass with 32 seconds remaining. Herbert became the fifth player in the Super Bowl era to record five games with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in his first two seasons, joining LAMAR JACKSON (six games), Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (six), PATRICK MAHOMES (five) and DAK PRESCOTT (five).

STIFF TEST ON TAP FOR COWBOYS: Four games this week feature two teams with at least two wins, including the CAROLINA PANTHERS (3-0) at the DALLAS COWBOYS (2-1) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX).

  • The Panthers are 3-0 for the first time since they opened 14-0 in 2015 en route to a berth in Super Bowl 50. Carolina’s defense leads the NFL in fewest total yards allowed per game (191.0) and ranks second in fewest points allowed per game (10.0).
  • Panthers quarterback SAM DARNOLD is 8-2 in 10 career starts when passing for at least 270 yards, including 3-0 this season.
  • Carolina linebacker HAASON REDDICK has 12 sacks over his past seven games, dating back to Week 14 of last season. Prior to Reddick, the last player with that many sacks over a seven-game span was Rams defensive lineman AARON DONALD, who registered 12.5 over a seven-game stretch in 2018.
  • Last week, Dallas quarterback DAK PRESCOTT completed 21 of 26 passes for 238 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 143.3 rating. He now has 20 career games with three-or-more touchdown passes.
  • The Cowboys, who lead the NFL with eight takeaways and are tied for first with a plus-five turnover margin, have at least two takeaways in seven straight games (dating to Week 14 of last season), the longest active streak in the league.
  • Dallas cornerback TREVON DIGGS is tied for the NFL lead with three interceptions, while two Cowboys rookies, linebacker MICAH PARSONS and defensive tackle OSA ODIGHIZUWA, are tied for the team lead with 1.5 sacks.

DERBY CITY PIPELINE: Starting quarterbacks from the University of Louisville, both first-round draft choices selected 32nd overall, will lead their teams when the BALTIMORE RAVENS (2-1) meet the DENVER BRONCOS (3-0) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS). Baltimore’s LAMAR JACKSON, selected at the end of the first round by the Ravens in 2018, and Denver’s TEDDY BRIDGEWATER, taken by the Vikings to close the first round in 2014, both hail from South Florida.

  • In 40 career starts, Jackson now has 90 touchdowns (70 passing, 20 rushing) and joined PATRICK MAHOMES (107 touchdowns) and Pro Football Hall of Famers DAN MARINO (95) and KURT WARNER (91) as the only quarterbacks with at least 90 combined passing and rushing touchdowns in their first 40 career starts.
  • Last week as time expired in Detroit, Baltimore kicker JUSTIN TUCKER converted a game-winning 66-yard field goal, the longest field goal in NFL history. Tucker, who also converted a 50-yard field goal in the third quarter last week, has seven career games with multiple 50-yard field goals, tied with BRANDON MCMANUS (seven games) and MATT PRATER (seven) for the most such games in NFL history.
  • Tucker is now 20-for-20 on career field goals attempted either in overtime or the final minute of the fourth quarter.
  • In the league rankings, Baltimore is first with 185.3 rushing yards per game while Denver’s defense is second against the run, allowing just 59.3 rushing yards per game.
  • Denver, which also leads the NFL in fewest points allowed per game (8.7), is off to its best start since opening 4-0 in 2016.
  • Sunday’s game is a rematch of a thrilling 2012 AFC Divisional playoff in Denver, won by the Ravens, 38-35, on JUSTIN TUCKER’s 47-yard field goal in double overtime. With 31 seconds remaining in regulation, Tucker’s extra point knotted the game, following Joe Flacco’s 70-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones. Baltimore used the win as a springboard to a victory in Super Bowl XLVII three weeks later.

LEGENDS AT LAMBEAU: Sunday’s game between the PITTSBURGH STEELERS (1-2) and the GREEN BAY PACKERS (2-1) at Lambeau Field (4:25 PM ET, CBS) is significant because it comes more than a decade after starting quarterbacks BEN ROETHLISBERGER and AARON RODGERS met in Super Bowl XLV. This week’s contest will mark the first time two starting quarterbacks have met 11-or-more seasons after a Super Bowl matchup. Prior to this week, the longest stretch was 10 years, when Roethlisberger and MATT HASSELBECK met on Dec. 6, 2015, 10 years after they squared off in Super Bowl XL.

  • Rodgers ranks seventh in NFL history with 418 career touchdown passes and this week can advance to No. 5 on the all-time list. Against Pittsburgh, he can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (420) and PHILIP RIVERS (421). Rodgers also ranks 10th all-time in passing yards (51,894) entering Week 4.
  • Roethlisberger has 399 career touchdown passes and can become the eighth quarterback all-time to reach 400. He also has 61,149 career passing yards and can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (61,361) for the sixth-most passing yards in NFL history.
  • Last week, Pittsburgh rookie running back NAJEE HARRIS totaled 14 receptions for 102 yards. Harris’ 14 catches tied SAQUON BARKLEY (Sept. 16, 2018) and ROY HELU (Nov. 6, 2011) for the most single-game receptions by a rookie running back in NFL history.

ALLEN WRENCH: The BUFFALO BILLS (2-1) host the HOUSTON TEXANS (1-2) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS) in a rematch of an exciting 2019 Wild Card playoff. In that contest, Buffalo quarterback JOSH ALLEN put the Bills on the board by catching a 16-yard touchdown pass and wound up with 92 rushing yards and 264 passing yards, but Houston stormed back with timely plays, including a fourth-quarter sack and forced fumble by the Texans’ WHITNEY MERCILUS, and Houston prevailed in overtime, 22-19.

  • Since that game, Allen has led the Bills to a 17-5 record, including the postseason.
  • Last week, Allen passed for 358 yards and four touchdowns, and added one rushing touchdown in the Bills’ win over Washington. Allen became the fourth player in NFL history to record multiple career games with at least 300 passing yards, four touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown, joining DREW BREES (four games), AARON RODGERS (three) and Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (two). Allen’s first such game was Week 3 of the 2020 season, when he registered 311 passing yards with four touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown.
  • Plus, among players in their first four NFL seasons, Allen is the fifth player ever to record five games with at least 300 passing yards and four touchdown passes. Only PATRICK MAHOMES (nine games), Pro Football Hall of Famers DAN MARINO (nine) and KURT WARNER (six), and ANDREW LUCK (six) have accomplished the feat during their first four years in the league.

WEEK 4 NFL SCHEDULE — GAME CAPSULES

(All times Eastern)

Thursday, September 30

Jacksonville at Cincinnati

NFLN

8:20

Sunday, October 3

Washington at Atlanta

FOX

1:00

Houston at Buffalo

CBS

1:00

Detroit at Chicago

FOX

1:00

Carolina at Dallas

FOX

1:00

Indianapolis at Miami

CBS

1:00

Cleveland at Minnesota

CBS

1:00

New York Giants at New Orleans

FOX

1:00

Tennessee at New York Jets

CBS

1:00

Kansas City at Philadelphia

CBS

1:00

Arizona at Los Angeles Rams

FOX

4:05

Seattle at San Francisco

FOX

4:05

Baltimore at Denver

CBS

4:25

Pittsburgh at Green Bay

CBS

4:25

Tampa Bay at New England

NBC

8:20

Monday, October 4

Las Vegas at Los Angeles Chargers

ESPN

8:15


What To Look For – Week 4

THE RETURN: On Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC), the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2-1) visit the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (1-2) as quarterback TOM BRADY and tight end ROB GRONKOWSKI make their first appearance as visiting players in Foxborough.

Originally selected in the sixth round (199th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady spent 20 seasons with the Patriots (2000-19), all under head coach BILL BELICHICK.

Brady, who led the Patriots to division titles in 17 of his 20 seasons, ranks as the franchise’s all-time leader in every major passing category: quarterback wins (219), passing yards (74,571), passing touchdowns (541) and completions (6,377). Each of those totals are the most by any quarterback with one team in NFL history. The 219 regular-season wins are also the most by a quarterback-head coach pairing all-time.

During his postseason career in New England, Brady appeared in 41 games and totaled 1,025 completions, 11,388 passing yards and 73 touchdown passes (all NFL playoff records he extended during the 2020 playoffs with Tampa Bay). Together, Brady and Belichick won six Super Bowl titles, the most by a single player and the most by a quarterback-head coach combination in NFL history. The two won 30 playoff games together, more than twice as many as the next-best duo.

On Sunday night, Brady – who has 80,291 career passing yards – needs 68 passing yards to surpass DREW BREES (80,358) as the league’s all-time passing leader.

With a win against his former team, Brady would become the fourth quarterback all-time to register at least one win against 32 different NFL franchises, joining DREW BREES and Pro Football Hall of Famers BRETT FAVRE and PEYTON MANNING.

Gronkowski was selected in the second round (42nd overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Patriots and ranks first in franchise history in touchdown receptions (79), second in receiving yards (7,861) and fifth in receptions (521). He is also the franchise’s leader in postseason touchdown catches (12) and ranks second in team history in both receptions (81) and receiving yards (1,163) during the playoffs.

Gronkowski, who has 8,668 receiving yards in 134 games with New England and Tampa Bay, needs 16 receiving yards to surpass GREG OLSEN (8,683) for the fifth-most receiving yards by a tight end in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM(S) RECEIVING YARDS  
Tony GonzalezHOF Kansas City, Atlanta 15,127  
Jason Witten Dallas, Las Vegas 13,046  
Antonio Gates San Diego/L.A. Chargers 11,841  
Shannon SharpeHOF Denver, Baltimore 10,060  
Greg Olsen Chicago, Carolina, Seattle 8,683  
Rob Gronkowski New England, Tampa Bay 8,668*  
*entering Week 4

ALL-TIME PASSERS: In addition to Brady’s ascent to the top spot as the league’s all-time passing leader, Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS and Pittsburgh quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER can each move up the all-time passing charts when their teams meet on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS) at Lambeau Field.

Rodgers ranks seventh in league annals with 418 touchdown passes and can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (420 touchdown passes) and PHILIP RIVERS (421) for the fifth-most all time. In Week 2, he surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN ELWAY (51,475 passing yards) for the 10th-most passing yards in NFL history.

Roethlisberger has 399 touchdown passes and can become the eighth quarterback all-time with 400 career touchdown passes. He also has 61,149 career passing yards and can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (61,361) for the sixth-most passing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most passing yards and most touchdown passes in NFL history:

  PLAYER PASSING YARDS     PLAYER TOUCHDOWN PASSES
1. Drew Brees 80,358   1. Tom Brady* 591
2. Tom Brady* 80,291   2. Drew Brees 571
3. Peyton ManningHOF 71,940   3. Peyton ManningHOF 539
4. Brett FavreHOF 71,838   4. Brett FavreHOF 508
5. Philip Rivers 63,440   5. Philip Rivers 421
6. Dan MarinoHOF 61,361   6. Dan MarinoHOF 420
7. Ben Roethlisberger* 61,149   7. Aaron Rodgers* 418
8. Eli Manning 57,023   8. Ben Roethlisberger* 399
9. Matt Ryan* 56,474   9. Eli Manning 366
10. Aaron Rodgers* 51,894   10. Matt Ryan* 351
*active

FEELING 50: Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES is slated to make his 50th career start when the Chiefs (1-2) visit the Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS). He has 15,092 passing yards and 123 touchdown passes during his five-year career, both the most by a quarterback in his first 50 career starts.

Since his first career start in Week 17 of the 2017 season, Mahomes has compiled a 39-10 record (.796) as a starting quarterback and with a win on Sunday can join Pro Football Hall of Famer KEN STABLER (40-9-1) as the only quarterbacks whose career began in the Super Bowl era to win 40 of their first 50 career starts.

The quarterbacks with the most wins in their first 50 career starts whose career began in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER TEAM W L T WIN PCT.
Ken StablerHOF Oakland Raiders 40 9 1 .810
Patrick Mahomes* Kansas City 39 10 0 .796
Tom Brady New England 38 12 0 .760
Danny White Dallas 38 12 0 .760
Dan MarinoHOF Miami 37 13 0 .740
Jim McMahon Chicago 37 13 0 .740
*50th career start in Week 4    

Mahomes is tied for second in the league with nine touchdown passes this season and has recorded three touchdown passes in each of his first three games. With at least three touchdown passes in Philadelphia, he would become the fifth quarterback in NFL history to register at least three touchdown passes in each of his first four games of a season.

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes to begin their seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON GAMES
Tom Brady New England 2007 10
Steve YoungHOF San Francisco 1998 5
Dan MarinoHOF Miami 1987 4
Kurt WarnerHOF St. Louis Rams 1999 4
       
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City 2021 3*
*active streak  

CARR YOU READY: Las Vegas quarterback DEREK CARR leads the NFL with 1,203 passing yards as the Raiders have opened 3-0 for the first time since 2002. He has recorded at least 325 passing yards in five consecutive games dating back to Week 16 of the 2020 season, tied for the second-longest such streak all-time.

With 297 passing yards against the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), Carr would become the fifth quarterback in league annals with at least 1,500 passing yards through his team’s first four games of a season.

The quarterbacks with the most passing yards in their team’s first four games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON PASSING YARDS
Dak Prescott Dallas 2020 1,690
Kurt WarnerHOF St. Louis Rams 2000 1,557
Tom Brady New England 2011 1,553
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City 2019 1,510
       
Derek Carr Las Vegas 2021 1,203*
*entering Week 4      

Carr has passed for at least 375 yards in three consecutive games and registered at least 350 passing yards in each of his past four starts dating back to Week 17 last season. No quarterback in NFL history has thrown for 375 yards in four consecutive games or for 350 yards in five consecutive games.

PERCENTAGE PLAY: Denver quarterback TEDDY BRIDGEWATER ranks second in the NFL with a 76.8 completion percentage (73 of 95) and has recorded a completion percentage of 75-or-higher in each of his first three games this season as the Broncos are 3-0 for the first time since 2016.

With a completion percentage of 75-or-higher on Sunday against Baltimore (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Bridgewater will become the sixth quarterback with a completion percentage of 75-or-higher in four consecutive games (minimum 20 attempts) in NFL history and can join TOM BRADY (2007) as the only quarterbacks to accomplish the feat within a single season.

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive games with a completion percentage of 75-or-higher in NFL history (minimum 20 attempts):

PLAYER TEAM SEASON(S) GAMES  
Alex Smith Kansas City 2016-17 4  
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay 2014-15 4  
Tom Brady New England 2007 4  
Carson Palmer Cincinnati 2004-05 4  
Kurt WarnerHOF St. Louis Rams 2001-02 4  
         
Teddy Bridgewater Denver 2021 3*  
*Active streak  

Dallas quarterback DAK PRESCOTT, who ranks first in the NFL with a 77.5 completion percentage (86 of 111), and Arizona quarterback KYLER MURRAY, who ranks third (76.5 completion percentage; 78 of 102), have each completed above 80 percent of their passes in each of their past two games. On Sunday, they can become the first quarterbacks all-time to register a completion percentage of 80-or-higher (minimum 20 attempts) in three consecutive games.

HOLLYWOOD WIDEOUTS: Los Angeles Rams wide receiver COOPER KUPP – who leads the league in receiving yards (367) and receiving touchdowns (five), and ties for the NFL lead in receptions (25) – and Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver MIKE WILLIAMS (22 receptions for 295 yards and four touchdowns) have each recorded at least seven receptions for 80 yards and one touchdown catch in each of their team’s first three games of the 2021 season.

Kupp, who faces Arizona on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, FOX), and Williams, whose Chargers host Las Vegas on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN) can become the fourth and fifth players ever with at least 80 receiving yards and one touchdown reception in each of their team’s first four games of a season.

The pair can also join T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH (2007) as the only players with at least seven receptions and one touchdown catch in each of their team’s first four games of a season in league annals.

The players with at least 80 receiving yards and one touchdown reception in each of their team’s first four games of a season all-time:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON GAMES  
Marvin HarrisonHOF Indianapolis 1999 4  
Don MaynardHOF N.Y. Titans (AFL) 1961 4  
Randy MossHOF New England 2007 4  
         
Cooper Kupp L.A. Rams 2021 3*  
Mike Williams L.A. Chargers 2021 3*  
*Active streak  

SACK STREAKS: The CAROLINA PANTHERS (3-0) lead the NFL with 14 sacks through the first three weeks and are 3-0 for the first time since 2015, when they began the season 14-0 and advanced to Super Bowl 50. Carolina’s BRIAN BURNS and HAASON REDDICK are two of the four NFL players who have recorded at least one sack in each of the first three games this season, along with Denver’s VON MILLER and New York Giants rookie AZEEZ OJULARI.

If both Burns and Reddick record a sack on Sunday at Dallas (1:00 PM ET, FOX), they would become the fifth pair of teammates since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to each record at least one sack in each of their team’s first four games of a season.

The teammates to record at least one sack in each of their team’s first four games of a season since 1982:

SEASON TEAM TEAMMATES
2016 Arizona Markus Golden & Chandler Jones
1994 Philadelphia William Fuller & Burt Grossman
1988 L.A. Rams Kevin GreeneHOF & Mel Owens
1983 Miami Doug Betters & A.J. Duhe
     
2021 Carolina Brian Burns* & Haason Reddick*
*sack in each of first three games

Ojulari, who has recorded a sack in each of his first three career games, can join SANTANA DOTSON (1992) and TERRELL SUGGS (2003) as the only rookies since 1982 to record a sack in each of their first four career games.

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