Everything you need to know as kickoff approaches...
Key game-time decisions
All players questionable unless noted
Cutler should be fine once again. Jeffery hasn't played since Week 1, both he and Royal missed practice on Friday, which is never a great sign. UPDATE: Jeffery is not expected to play, Rapoport.
Jones has been on the injury report several times this season, but has yet to miss a contest. UPDATE: Jones is active and will play, NFL Media's Tiffany Blackmon reported.
Ellington missed three games, but looks like he'll finally be healthy enough to play.
The corner was limited all week after missing last Sunday's contest.
UPDATE: Haden is expected to play Sunday, Rapoport reported.
Despite low-level rumblings that Thomas could miss the game after being limited in practice, he was given a probable designation. Mathis did not practice Friday. The Broncos' O-line doesn't need any more trouble.
Adams and Burnett were both downgraded to DOUBTFUL on Saturday after missing practice all week. It sounds like Bulaga will be back, barring a late-week setback. The Packers also added corners LaDarius Gunter (heel) and Sam Shields (toe) to the injury report on Saturday, but both are probable to play.
McCoy was limited all week.
Despite the questionable status, we don't expect Thomas to be fully cleared yet. With Marqise Lee ruled out, the Jags are down a pass-catcher. UPDATE: Rapoport reports that there is a good chance Thomas will make his debut on Sunday.
Peters is confident he'll play, despite his status as questionable. He was a full participant on Thursday and Friday.
Floyd and Flowers were both full participants all week. Verrett returned limited on Saturday. Fluker was limited all week. Jones returned to the practice field on a limited basis Friday and Saturday after missing the past three weeks. Dunlap did not practice all week
None practiced this week.
It's mostly clear across our Week 5 contests. We will update as prognostications drift closer to game time.
Three matchups that intrigue
It's good to be Andy Dalton right now. A far cry from the summer boos showered down upon him during the MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati, the quarterback has been nearly flawless through four games. Averaging an NFL-leading 10.2 yards per attempt, the signal-caller is finally a confident slinger, trusting his plethora of weapons. However, he faces his toughest test Sunday in the form of Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Since Chancellor's return in Week 3, the Seahawks have allowed just 125.5 passing yards. If Dalton can dice up this group of All-Pros, he'll make believers out of everyone. If he falters again in a big spot, the boo-birds will be back.
Mariota's poise in the pocket has been phenomenal through three starts. His intelligence and precision passing have been a breath of fresh air in Tennessee. He's already led the Titans to 30-plus points in two of three games this season, after the team didn't reach the figure once in 2014. But he will get a Rex Ryan defense steaming from a Week 4 loss. In his head-coaching career Ryan-led teams are 8-4 against rookie quarterbacks and his pass-rushing schemes can be difficult for rookies. With a bevy of offensive injuries for the Bills, if Mariota can put points up this week, he could put a dent in Ryan's armor.
Which Gurley will we get? The one who got stymied for his first six active quarters or the one who looked like the future best running back in football? When he gets creases, the Rams running back has easy burst and subtle shake to leave defenders grasping for air. However, the Packers have been stout against the run the past three weeks -- after getting plowed over by Matt Forte in Week 1 -- holding Marshawn Lynch (41 yards), Jamaal Charles (49) and Carlos Hyde (20) in check. Clay Matthews has been an All-Pro wherever he's lined up this season. If he, B.J. Raji and the rest of the Packers' front can slow Gurley, the Rams' offense will be in serious trouble at Lambeau.
Did You Know?
In 2014: Three of the 12 teams that reached the playoffs started the season 4-1: ARI, DAL, DEN; one of the 12 teams that reached the playoffs started the season 3-1-1: CIN; eight of the 12 teams that reached playoffs started the season 3-2: BAL, CAR, DET, GB, IND, NE, PIT, SEA; 0 of the 12 teams that reached playoffs started the season 2-3, 1-4 or 0-5. Since 1990, no team has made the playoffs after 0-5 start.
Six NFL teams ATL (4-0), CAR (4-0), CIN (4-0), DEN (4-0), GB (4-0) and NE (3-0) are undefeated through Week 4. The five 4-0 teams are tied for the most in NFL history (1968, 2003, 2009 and 2013). New England, which had a bye in Week 4, is 3-0. With a win on Sunday, the Patriots can be the sixth team to start the season 4-0, which would be the most in NFL history.
There were 18 missed field goals and extra points combined in Week 4 (14 missed FGA, 4 missed XP). It's the second-most in a week since 2010. Kickers missed 14 FG attempts in Week 4 (60/74, 81.1 percent), T-9th most in any week since 2010.
In Week 4, five missed FGs that could have tied a game or given a team the lead in the last five minutes or overtime was tied for the most in any week since 1983 (as far back as STATS can track).
Through Week 4, the league-wide passer rating is 91.2, on pace for the highest of any season in NFL history (88.9 in 2014). The mark is also the second highest of any NFL season through four weeks (91.5 in 2014). Through Week 4, the league-wide interception rate is 2.3 percent, the lowest ever at this point in a season and on pace for the all-time best (2.5 in 2014).
Divisions by Winning Percentage
NFC South 10-6 .625
AFC East 9-6 .600
AFC West 8-8 .500
NFC West 8-8 .500
AFC North 8-8 .500
NFC East 7-9 .438
NFC North 7-9 .438
AFC South 5-10 .333
The Redskins lead the NFL in time of possession (36:19). Nine drives of 13 or more plays and 11 drives of five or more minutes (both most in NFL).
Devonta Freeman has three rushing TDs in consecutive games. It's the first time someone has done that since LaDainian Tomlinson did it in Weeks 9-11, 2006.
Kyle Shanahan effect: The Falcons are averaging 34.3 points per game (third in NFL). Compared to 2014, Atlanta is averaging 10.5 more points, 31.1 more total yards and 19.9 more rushing yards.
Atlanta's defense: 28th in total yards allowed per game (390.5); T-15th in total points allowed per game (23.3); giving up 4.43 rushing yards per carry (27th in NFL).
Josh McCown: 66.3 completion percentage, 248.7 pass YPG, 4 TD, 1 INT, 98.4 passer rating -- 17-35 career as a starting quarterback. McCown has lost nine consecutive starts. Week 4 at SD: 32/41, 356 pass yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 119.1 passer rating -- most passing yards in game by McCown since Week 5, 2005 vs. Carolina (398).
Tight end Gary Barnidge: 16 receptions, 235 yards, 2 TDs -- receiving TDs in back-to-back games for first time in career.
Browns defense: Allowing 406.3 yards per game (last in NFL), 141.5 rushing YPG (31st), 6.32 rushing yards per play (31st) and 107.3 passer rating (28th).
Joe Flacco: 64.2 completion percentage, 263.0 passing YPG, 5 TD, 5 INT, 80.5 passer rating -- 159 pass attempts this season (third-most in NFL). Flacco has thrown at least one interception in every game (four games). It matches Flacco's longest consecutive games streak with at least one INT.
Justin Forsett: 66 carries, 274 yards, 0 TD; 12 receptions, 41 yards. Zero touchdowns on 78 touches after scoring a TD on every 34.9 touches in 2014 (eight TDs on 279 touches).
Baltimore's defense: 20-plus points allowed in three straight games for the first time in the same season since Weeks 13-15, 2012.
Seattle Defense Weeks 1-2:
30.5 points per game allowed
365.5 total yards allowed
255.0 passing yard per game 0-2 record
SEA opponents had a passer rating of 149.1 vs. the blitz
Seattle Defense Weeks 3-4:
5.0 points per game allowed
201.0 total yards per game
125.5 passing yards per game
Seattle opponents have a passer rating of 51.2 vs. the blitz.
Richard Sherman and A.J. Green have gone head-to-head once in their careers. Sherman got the best of Green in a 2011 matchup. Green saw seven targets go his way and caught just one of them against Sherman. Sherman also had an interception as Dalton's passer rating was 0.0 when throwing to Green with Sherman covering him.
Seattle has scored a TD on just five of its 42 offensive possessions, tied for the fewest offensive TDs in NFL (with San Francisco). Seattle does not have a rush TD and it has given up 18 sacks (second most in the NFL).
Jimmy Graham hasn't seen much action, but his numbers are still higher than previous tight ends through four games:
Graham in 2015: 23 targets, 18 receptions, 174 yards, two touchdowns
2014 Seattle TEs: 14 targets, 11 receptions, 141 yards, 0 TDs
With a win over Seattle in Week 5, Cincinnati would become the first AFC North team since realignment in 2002 to start a season 5-0. The Bengals have started 5-0 two other times in franchise history (1988 & 1975).
Andy Dalton: 67.2 completion percentage, 296.8 passing YPG, 9 TD, 1 INT, 123.0 rating. In 2014, Dalton didn't throw his ninth TD pass until Week 11. Dalton is averaging 10.2 yards per pass attempt, which would be the best in the NFL over a full season since 1960 -- Kurt Warner 9.9 in 2000. The quarterback has a passer rating of 146.5 on pass attempts of 15-plus air yards (highest in NFL). Dalton's passer rating was 57.2 on such attempts last season.
Cincinnati's defense has not allowed 25-plus points in any game -- one of six teams.
St. Louis' offense is last in the NFL in total yards per game (287.8), has zero drives of five-plus minutes (only team without such a drive) and earned just one drive of 10-plus plays (fewest in NFL). The Rams have 13 three-and-out drives (fourth-most in NFL) and seven offensive TDs (T-5th fewest in NFL). St. Louis has three-straight games of passing for fewer than 200 yards (165.7 YPG in that span) -- 19 games with fewer than 200 passing yards since 2013 (T-3rd most).
The Rams' defense is allowing a QB completion percentage of 75.7 in 2015 (31st in NFL). However, they've only allowed three passing TDs (T-2nd fewest). St. Louis has one-plus takeaway in each game (six total) and have scored 30 points off its takeaways (T-7th most).
Rodgers is 44-9 in his career as a starter at home with 129 TD and 22 INTs. His 113.4 career home passer rating and 5.86 TD-INT ratio are the highest in NFL history.
Even with Rodgers' brilliance the Packers are rushing on 49.0 percent of offensive plays in 2015 (third-most), which would be highest in a season since 2003 (50.8 percent). In 2014, Green Bay rushed on 43.5 percent of plays (was highest in Rodgers era).
Bears defense allowed 70 rush yards in Week 4 after giving up 135.7 rush YPG in first three games this season.
Kansas City has allowed 30-plus points in three-straight games this season. They did not allow 30-plus points in any games in 2014. In 840 games in KC franchise history, they have never allowed 30-plus points in four-straight games.
K.C.'s offense has given up19 sacks allowed this season (most in NFL) -- 12 sacks allowed in last two games combined. The Bears' defense ranks T-23rd this season with 6 sacks.
Jamaal Charles: 59 carries, 306 yards, 4 TD; 20 receptions, 151 yards, TD. Ranks fifth in NFL with 114.3 scrimmage YPG this season.
How much do the Saints miss Jimmy Graham? The percent of pass targets to their tight ends has dropped by almost 50 percent this season (26.9 percent in 2014 to 13.9 percent in 2015). Saints tight ends have combined for 126 receiving yards and 1 TD. Through 4 games last season, Graham had 340 receiving yards and 3 TD.
Despite a shoulder injury, Drew Brees had a passer rating of 149.3 on passes of 15-plus air yards in Week 4: 4-of-6, 66.7 percent, TD, 0 INTs, 149.3 passer rating. Brees had a 19.2 passer rating with just five completions on 20 attempts in Weeks 1 and 2 combined. However, Brees averaged 4.3 air yards per attempt in Week 4, fewest among all Week 4 QBs.
Saints defense: Zero takeaways in last two games, three takeaways this season, allowed 26+ points in three of four games this season and T-23rd ranked scoring defense (28.0 PPG).
In Week 4, the Eagles had a time of possession of 18:52, which brought their average on the season to 22:48 (last in the NFL). Since 1991 (as far back as STATS can check), no team has ever finished a season with a time of possession below 23:00. Meanwhile, the Eagles have finished with a time of possession under 20:00 on six different occasions under Chip Kelly. They lost each of those games.
Philly's offensive line has given up 22 QB hits in 2015 (T-11th-most in NFL). In 2014, they allowed 65 QB hits (22nd-most in NFL).
Eagles have 14 big plays in 2015 (T-19th most in NFL): 3 rushes of 20-plus yards (T-9th most in NFL), 11 passes of 20-plus yards (T-20th most in NFL).
Jacksonville has lost 11-straight road games, the longest road losing streak in franchise history. The last road win came Week 13, 2013 at Cleveland.
The Jags' offense has scored 23 points or less in eight straight games -- 25 points or less scored in 23 straight games.
Blake Bortles: 54.5 completion percent, 249.0 pass YPG, 6 TD, 3 INT, 78.2 passer rating. Bortles has thrown at least one TD pass in every game this season.
Allen Robinson 2015 season: 15 receptions, 330 yards, 2 TD. Leads NFL with 22.0 average per reception this season. Robinson is averaging 17.3 air yards per target (most in NFL among receivers with at least 20 targets).
The Jags' defense is allowing 50.8 percent of 3rd down conversions (last in NFL), giving up 26.8 points per game (25th), 278.5 passing yards per game (26th). Jacksonville has allowed 91 first downs (T-30th) and 11 10-plus-play drives (T-last).
Tampa's offense has 10 giveaways this season (2nd-most in NFL), 1-plus giveaway in 25 straight games dating back to Week 13, 2013. The Bucs have 1-plus sack allowed in 35 of last 36 games. Has scored just 18 points per game in 2015 (T-26th), earned 226.5 passing yards per game and is converting 30.4 percent of third downs (29th).
Doug Martin: 66 carries, 282 yards, TD; 8 receptions, 59 yards. Ranks in top 10 in carries (T-6th), rushing yards (T-8th) and 10-plus yard runs (T-2nd) this season.
Bucs defense: 185.5 pass YPG allowed this season (T-2nd fewest in NFL);18 runs of 10-plus yards allowed this season (T-most in NFL). Forced five 3-and-out drives in 50 defensive series this season (T-fewest in NFL with Vikings). Tampa's defense has given up 29.3 points per game (30th), 136.8 rushing yards per game (30th) and 71.4 red zone touchdown percent (T-28th).
Marcus Mariota could continue to set rookie records with another impressive performance in the Titans' 4th game. He is currently tied with Hall of Famer Dan Marino for most touchdown passes thrown by a rookie in his first three starts (8), and if Mariota throws three touchdowns against the Bills, he will break Marino's record for most in a rookie's first 4 starts (10). The Bills have the league's 29th-ranked pass defense and have given up more pass touchdowns (10) than all but one other team, so Mariota could have a shot at breaking another record.
However, rookie quarterbacks have not fared well against Rex Ryan in his career. Rookies are 4-8 against Rex as a head coach.
Tyrod Taylor: 71.7 completion percent, 247.0 pass YPG, 27.8 rush YPG, 8 TD, 4 INT, 104.4 passer rating -- 6th in NFL in completion percent, 9th in passer rating -- 23 carries, 111 rush yards, 1 rush TD.
Buffalo defense: third-ranked run defense (78.5 rush YPG); 29th-ranked pass defense (297.8 pass YPG).
The Titans' offense is averaging 29.7 PPG through three games (5th in NFL), more than double what Tennessee averaged in their first three games of 2014 (14.3).
Marcus Mariota: 62.9 completion percent, 277.7 pass YPG, 8.59 yards per attempt, 8 TD, 2 INT, 109.2 passer rating -- Ranks 5th in passer rating, 6th in yards per attempt, 8th in pass YPG.
The Titans have the NFL's sixth-ranked total defense this season (308.3 YPG) and the second-best 3rd down defense in NFL (30.6 percent).
The Cardinals' offense was forced to settle for field goals on four of five red-zone drives in Week 4. Arizona had scored TDs on 11 of 12 red zone drives in the first three games.
In 2015, Carson Palmer ranks fifth in yards per attempt (8.62), second in touchdown passes (10) and seventh in passer rating. Palmer has a passer rating of just 43.4 on 20-plus air yard passes this season (had a 108.1 passer rating on such passes last season).
Larry Fitzgerald: 30 receptions, 432 yards, 5 TD -- most through first four games in all three categories in his career.
Calais Campbell Week 4: 11 tackles, 0.5 sack, 2 QB hits, 3 tackles for loss. Dear golly, he's been a beast.
The Cardinals defense has returned three interceptions or TDs this season. There are 20 NFL teams that have three or fewer INTs all season, let along pick-sixes.
Matthew Stafford has been awful on third down this season, throwing 0 TDs and 4 INT. His 29.5 passer rating on third down is the lowest in the NFL. The Lions' quarterback has gone seven straight games with fewer than 300 pass yards -- had not gone seven straight starts with fewer than 300 passing yards since his first seven starts of his career in 2009. Stafford has never gone eight straight starts with fewer than 300 passing yards.
Ziggy Ansah is T-2nd in the NFL this season with 4.0 sacks (DeMarcus Ware has 4.5). Ansah had 7.5 sacks all last season (8.0 as rookie in 2013).
The Patriots return off their bye week. New England is 11-3 after a bye since Brady became the starter.
Weeden 2015 as starter: 73.1 comp percent, 239.0 YPG, 1 TD, 1 INT, 99.7 passer rating. Weeden's 99.7 passer rating as the starter this season is 29 points higher than his passer rating as a starter entering 2015.
Dallas needs the reinforcements. In the past two games the Cowboys have given up an average of 32.5 points per game, 438.0 yards per game, 130.5 rushing yards per game, 307.5 passing yards per game and have zero takeaways.
Denver has started 5-0 six times in franchise history. Five of those six times they went to the Super Bowl (2013, 1998, 1997, 1986 and 1977). Peyton Manning is attempting to start 5-0 for the seventh time in his career. No other quarterback has started 5-0 more than three times (Fran Tarkenton and Kurt Warner).
Last time a Peyton Manning-led team finished with better defensive rankings than offensive rankings in both yards and points was 2008 -- Colts went 12-4, lost in WC Round going 13th in scoring offense, seventh in scoring defense, 15th in total offense, 11th in total defense. The Bronco's 97 points scored in the season's first four games is the fewest by a Manning-led team since 2002 (92 points scored in first three games).
Demaryius Thomas 2015 season: 50 targets, 33 receptions, 361 yards, 1 TD. 7-plus receptions in 6-straight games (2nd-longest active streak).
Denver's defensive ranks: first in total yards per game allowed (275.5); first in passing yards per game allowed (185.3); first in sacks (18); second in points per game (17.3); tied for second in takeaways (11).
Derek Carr: 62.6 completion percent, 230.5 pass YPG, 7 TD, 2 INT, 97.7 passer rating. He's been sacked only 3 times this season.
Amari Cooper 2015 season: 40 targets, 24 receptions, 339 yards, 2 TD. Cooper leads all rookies in targets, receptions and receiving yards -- eighth in NFL in receiving yards.
Cooper is on pace for 96 receptions, 1,356 receiving yards. Oakland's franchise records: 1997 Tim Brown -- 104 receptions, 1,408 yards. NFL rookie records: 2003 Anquan Boldin -- 101 receptions, 1,377 yards.
The Raiders' defense has allowed 350-plus yards in five consecutive games dating back to last season -- longest active streak in NFL. Oakland has allowed 32 receptions, 388 yards, six TD to tight ends -- all three are most allowed in NFL.
The 49ers have 172 passing yards over the past two games combined -- 21 teams gained more than 172 passing yards in both Week 3 AND Week 4. San Francisco has just four TDs on 12 trips to the red zone -- T-3rd lowest red zone TD rate in NFL. The Niners have also allowed 14 sacks, T-3rd most in NFL.
Colin Kaepernick: 62.1 completion percent, 727 yards, 2 TD, 5 INT, 67.7 passer rating; 33 carries, 195 yards, 1 TD. Kap's ranks (minimum three starts): 22nd completion percentage (62.1); 29th passing yards (727); 29th passer rating (67.7); T-30th TD passes (2).
Carlos Hyde: 62 carries, 282 rushing yards, 2 TD; 8 receptions, 44 receiving yards. In the past three weeks Hyde has combined for just 36 carries, 114 rushing yards, 3.2 average per carry and 0 touchdowns.
New York's defense has compiled just five sacks, T-2nd fewest in league.
Monday Night Football
Mike Vick Week 4: 19-of-26 passing, 124 yards, TD, 0 INT, 95.7 passer rating; 9 carries, 33 yards -- sacked four times in the game.
Vick has completed 25.0 percent of 15-plus air yard passes since 2014, which ranks 50th out of 51 QBs with at least 15 such attempts.
Le'Veon Bell: 41 carries, 191 yards, 2 TDs; 14 receptions, 91 yards. Has scored at least one rushing TD in seven of his last eight games (9 rushing TD). Has 130-plus scrimmage yards in both games played this season.
Steelers defensive Big Plays allowed:
20-plus Yard Plays: 8 (Fewest in NFL)
20-plus Yard Passes: 5 (Fewest)
20-plus Yard Rushes: 3 (T-8th Most)
Danny Woodhead: 33 carries, 144 yards, 2 TDs; 16 receptions, 203 yards -- 2nd most YAC in league (222, trails Mark Ingram by 15 yards). Woodhead leads the NFL with 13.9 Average YAC and is one of six players with 100-plus rushing and 100-plus receiving yards (Ingram, Devonta Freeman, Dion Lewis, Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte).
Antonio Gates returns from four-game suspension. The tight end is one TD shy of 100 for his career and 12 shy of Tony Gonzalez for the most career receiving TD by a tight end in NFL history.