Every week in the NFL is important. Some are just more important than others. Here are the teams most desperate for a win in Week 4.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Beat the San Diego Chargers at home, and it's like the Chiefs' slow start never happened. They'd be in a three-way tie for the muddled AFC West lead, just like many of us expected. Lose the game, and they'd be two games behind a Chargers squad that already would have two road wins in the division. This week will help shape the Chiefs' season.
4. Denver Broncos: The schedule is unforgiving after this home game against the Oakland Raiders (New England Patriots in Week 5; Chargers in Week 6). The Broncos can't afford to go 1-3 to start the season, especially when three of those games were at home. The Raiders have a lot of holes, and seeing them win in Denver would expose the Broncos as a flawed squad.
3. Detroit Lions: We're still waiting for a good Lions performance. They eeked out a home win against the St. Louis Rams in a game in which they were outplayed. They lost convincingly to the San Francisco 49ers and couldn't beat a mediocre Tennessee Titans team. Both sides of the ball have looked sloppy. The Lions host the Minnesota Vikings this week, and a loss would put them in a familiar spot: last place in the NFC North.
2. New England Patriots: The Buffalo Bills ended their long losing streak against the Patriots in Week 3 last season. They could change the complexion of the AFC East race by doing it again Sunday. Bill Belichick's crew hasn't looked far off its Super Bowl form, but a 1-3 start would awaken the vultures in Boston. Buffalo has the receiver depth and pass-rush potential to give New England some problems.
1. New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers: The most fascinating game of the weekend involves two losing teams. These are the best two overall squads in the NFC since 2009, and one will be dealt a crushing blow Sunday. The Saints' season essentially would be over at 0-4. Asking their defense to turn it around at Lambeau Field sounds unrealistic.
The Packers are heavy favorites in this game, and they should be. They should have too much firepower on both sides of the ball for the Saints to handle. A loss by Green Bay in this spot, sending them to 1-3, would be a lot more upsetting than any Hail Mary.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.