With the arrival of Week 4, the NFL season remains as exciting as ever. We’ve had our fair share of tight games, shocking upsets, and teams getting their weaknesses exposed. It may still be early to jump to conclusions as to who is legitimate versus who is not. But as the season progresses, teams will either adjust their game plans or risk falling into obscurity in the coming weeks.
Week 3 hosted nine teams that were still perfect for the season. But after a drama-filled weekend, that number has now dropped to only three: The Miami Dolphins, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the San Francisco 49ers.
Here is how each of these three squads can remain perfect in their week four matchups.
Previewing Week 4 for the NFL’s Undefeated Teams
Miami Dolphins: Don’t Get Caught Up in the Hype
The Miami Dolphins looked like a team that would return to the playoffs following last year’s turnaround outing. After winning their first two games on the road, Miami was ready to make their home debut at 2-0. Many have predicted Miami to beat the Denver Broncos, just not the way that they did.
The Dolphins clobbered the Broncos 70-20 in a history-making showcase of offensive prowess. The fireworks did not stop, even in the fourth quarter when Dolphins head coach, Mike McDaniel, pulled his starters after the third quarter. Miami’s 726 total yards and 10 offensive touchdowns put the rest of the league on notice.
But as they say, “That was then. This is now.”
The Dolphins will face their toughest test to date as they travel to Highmark Stadium to battle the Buffalo Bills. The Bills currently boast the second-best overall defense in the league, in total yards allowed and points allowed. In a classic matchup between the unstoppable force versus the immovable object, Miami cannot afford to rest on their laurels if they wish to garner respect as a Super Bowl contender.
Philadelphia Eagles: Establish Flight Control
Without a doubt, the Philadelphia Eagles came into 2023 on a mission: return to the Super Bowl and take the Lombardi Trophy back. Philly is off to a great start, starting 3-0 in the new campaign. With a premier rushing attack and a devastating rushing defense, the Eagles now stand atop the NFC East. However, one problem still stands that Philly ought to correct moving forward: controlling the passing game, on BOTH sides of the ball.
As of now, the Eagles sit at 22nd in the league in passing offense, averaging 198.7 yards per game. With weapons like DeVonta Smith, A.J. Brown, and Dallas Goedert, quarterback Jalen Hurts should feel comfortable with letting loose with his throwing arm. Yes, their multi-headed rushing attack headlined by Kenneth Gainwell and D’Andre Swift is next to unstoppable. But the passing game must get going to keep the momentum rolling at a high level.
Philadelphia’s pass DEFENSE must be tended to, as well. It stands as the seventh worst in the NFL, allowing 261.7 yards per game. It is only a matter of time before offensive coordinators from around the league start to pick up on this, and start capitalizing. The “bend, don’t break” mantra will not fare well against tougher opponents. As Philly prepares for a 2-1 Washington team, they will need to iron out this flaw quickly.
San Francisco 49ers: Keep Trusting Brock Purdy
The San Francisco 49ers are turning into one the most complete teams in the 2023 season. With business handled on multiple fronts, the 49ers are looking to at least make a third consecutive NFC Championship game appearance. Head coach, Kyle Shanahan, seems to have found the right formula for winning consistently. Turning last year’s “Mr. Irrelevant” into an impact player is definitely a catalyst to his success.
This “Mr. Irrelevant”, Brock Purdy, has more than solidified his place as this team’s rightful signal caller. Some may argue that Purdy is succeeding because he has one of the best supporting casts in the NFL. True, but Purdy has earned his teammates’ trust, and the chemistry they’ve built cannot be overlooked. Though Purdy has not tallied any eye-popping numbers yet, he currently boasts the second-best QBR for the 2023 season, behind only Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa.
Brock Purdy and company now face what many experts and fans would call a “trap game”. Their next opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, is coming off of a stunning 28-16 upset over the Dallas Cowboys. The San Francisco faithful must continue to put their trust in Purdy as he continues to develop as a field general. If Purdy continues to win out, he may very well find himself landing on the list of elite quarterbacks of today.