Week 4 winners and losers: Bills make a statement, 49ers' dominance continues

The fourth Sunday of the NFL season had plenty of exciting moments and surprising results

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Justin Fields and the Bears fell to 0-4 on Sunday, while Josh Allen and the Bills improved to 3-1.

The NFL season is heating up as the weather is cooling down.

As the calendar flips to October, teams are facing more pressure to keep pace in the standings.

The Week 4 schedule was filled with divisional battles, overtime thrillers and statement victories.

Here are some winners and losers from the fourth Sunday of the 2023 NFL season:

WINNER: Bills make a statement vs. Dolphins

All the talk entering Week 4 centered on the Miami Dolphins -- and for good reason. Mike McDaniel's squad scored 70 points in their Week 3 win, and they were on a record-setting scoring pace.

The Dolphins hype train was derailed in Buffalo on Sunday, though. Led by Josh Allen (five total touchdowns) and Stefon Digs (three receiving touchdowns), the Bills cruised to a 48-20 win over their division rival.

Beating a divisional foe is always important, but the manner in which the Bills won was notable. By halftime, they led 31-14. After the break, the game was never close. It was a massive statement victory by a team looking to win its fourth straight AFC East title.

LOSER: Bears blow 21-point lead to Broncos, losing skid continues

Late in the third quarter, the Chicago Bears had hope. Justin Fields was playing well. The home team led 28-7. The 13-game losing streak appeared to be on the brink of death. But everything flipped in the final 16 minutes.

The collapse began with Russell Wilson driving the Broncos down for a touchdown with 14 seconds left in the third quarter. The Bears punted on their next possession, then the Broncos scored again. Fields lost a fumble on the ensuing drive, which Jonathon Cooper returned for a touchdown. Tie game.

Fields and Co. had a chance to retake the lead with just under three minutes to play. But instead of kicking a 36-yard field goal on fourth-and-1, the Bears ran an unsuccessful play and turned the ball over on downs. Wilson led Denver on a field goal drive, and Fields ended the game with an interception to seal the loss. The 0-4 Bears might have hit rock bottom on Sunday while giving Sean Payton his first win as a Bronco.

WINNER: A favorite emerges in the NFC South

Last week, the NFC South went 0-4. Each team lost in a different way -- but all of them looked to be in trouble.

Week 4 wasn't much better for any of them -- except for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Baker Mayfield led the Bucs to an easy 26-9 win over the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome, giving them sole possession of the division lead. The Saints, with Derek Carr coming off an injury, mustered just 197 yards of offense.

Elsewhere, the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers continued their losing streaks. The Falcons lost the Jaguars in London, while the Panthers dropped to 0-4 against the Vikings.

LOSER: Falcons skill players

Every week, fantasy owners are stunned by the Falcons -- and not in a good way.

Rookie running back Bijan Robinson continues to produce, but Atlanta's pass-catchers have been underwhelming for years since Arthur Smith was hired as head coach. Tight end Kyle Pitts, a former No. 4 overall pick, had two catches for 21 yards in Sunday's loss to the Jaguars. He has just 11 catches on 21 targets through four weeks. Drake London, at least, made the most of his limited volume. The former No. 8 overall pick had three receptions for 28 yards and a touchdown in Week 4.

With Desmond Ridder at quarterback -- and Marcus Mariota last year -- the Falcons' receivers continue to struggle. It's not for a lack of talent on their end, as both Pitts and London have flashed as former top-10 picks. The 2-2 Falcons will return home to face the 2-2 Texans next week.

WINNER: Free football!

Every week of the 2023 season has featured overtime, and Week 4 was no different. In the early window, the Los Angeles Rams vs. Indianapolis Colts and Washington Commanders vs. Philadelphia Eagles games needed extra time.

At Lucas Oil Stadium, the Rams jumped out to a 23-0 lead over the Colts before a furious comeback. Anthony Richardson and Co. scored 23 unanswered points to force overtime, but they didn't even get a chance in the extra period. Matthew Stafford led an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to win the game after a 22-yard strike to rookie star Puka Nacua.

The NFC East had an overtime battle of its own at Lincoln Financial Field. Jalen Hurts gave the Eagles a 31-24 lead with under two minutes to play on a touchdown throw to A.J. Brown. But Sam Howell battled back, connecting with Jahan Dotson with no time remaining to tie it up. After a Washington punt to begin OT, Jake Elliott nailed a 54-yard field goal to send the Eagles to 4-0 and the Commanders to 2-2.

LOSER: Whatever the Patriots just did

Mac Jones lost a fumble for a scoop-and-score, threw a pick-six on top of another interception and later got benched for Bailey Zappe. It's like we're in 2022 again. The Patriots have real problems all over the field, and they might've very well been 0-4 if the New York Jets had a healthy Aaron Rodgers under center. Who knows what Bill Belichick does next, but Jones is just not the long-term answer nor is there one on the current roster.

On the flip side, the Dallas Cowboys picked up major momentum after last week's disappointing loss to the Arizona Cardinals. A 38-3 home win is just what they needed with a Sunday night road game in San Francisco looming against the 4-0 49ers.


The 49ers continued their dominance early in 2023 and moved to 4-0 after a 35-16 home win against the Cardinals. Brock Purdy completed 20-for-21 passes for a clean 283 yards and a touchdown, but the star of the show -- once again -- was Christian McCaffrey. The versatile running back logged 106 rushing yards on 20 carries for three touchdowns and added seven catches for 71 yards and a receiving score. He's simply been unstoppable under Kyle Shanahan.

Should the 49ers continue this all-around dominance, there's a strong case to be made for McCaffrey in the MVP conversation. And on a day where Deebo Samuel was limited with an injury, Brandon Aiyuk returned and picked up the slack with six catches for 148 yards. Next up is Dallas at home for a chance to go 5-0.

LOSER: A rookie QB debut

Los Angeles Chargers star Khalil Mack gave Las Vegas Raiders rookie QB Aidan O'Connell his "Welcome to the NFL" moment. Six times, to be exact. Mack's single-game sack performance ranked the second-best in NFL history, while O'Connell and Co. dropped to 1-3 in what could've been a snatch-and-grab win.

O'Connell, who started in place of Jimmy Garoppolo (concussion), completed 24-for-39 passes for 238 yards, one rushing touchdown and one pick, which game near the goal line late that essentially sealed the Chargers' win.

The 25-year-old was the first rookie starting QB for the Raiders since Derek Carr in 2014, but just like Garoppolo showed through three weeks, the franchise needs a real needle mover if they hope to contend.

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