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.