Whatever Sean McVay's doing in Los Angeles, it's officially working.
In a span of just four weeks, McVay has turned around a downtrodden franchise, proved that millennials can be productive, turned Jared Goff into a borderline All-Pro quarterback and transformed Todd Gurley into an early MVP candidate.
This is all from a guy who was 17 the last time the Rams had a winning record in 2013.
At 3-1, there's no guarantee that the Rams will make the playoffs this year -- after all, they also started 3-1 last year -- but this year feels different, especially after Sunday's stunning 35-30 win over the Cowboys.
McVay is an offensive whiz and it shows almost every time the Rams are on the field. The 31-year-old coach loves using his most talented players as often as possible, and if you need proof of that, just pay attention to how often Gurley touches the ball. Gurley, who's arguably the most talented player on the Rams' offense is one of the scariest weapons in the NFL when he's being used correctly, and McVay knows his launch codes.
Not only did Gurley do some serious damage on the ground (121 rushing yards) against the Cowboys, but he also did some through the air, catching four passes for 94 yards and a touchdown.
To give you an idea of how different McVay's Rams are from Fisher's version of the team, you only have to look at Gurley's stats.
After catching a 53-yard touchdown pass against the Cowboys, Gurley has now caught a TD pass in three straight games, which is borderline crazy when you consider that he didn't catch a single TD pass during his two seasons under Jeff Fisher. You can see his 53-yard TD catch below.
The scariest part of all this for the rest of the NFL is that McVay is just starting to scratch the surface of what he's able to do with the Rams' offense. In just four games, he's already turned the Rams into the highest scoring team in the NFL, which didn't even seem possible coming off a 2016 season where the Rams were the lowest scoring team in the NFL.
All the sudden, when you look at the Rams' schedule, there's no one on it they can't beat. If the Rams knock off the Seahawks next week, we might have to accept that there's now a new favorite in the NFC West.
New Orleans 20-0 over Miami in London
It took 12 seasons, but it finally happened: The Saints pitched a shutout under Sean Payton, and all they had to do was fly across the world to get it done. Before Sunday's win, the Saints hadn't pitched a shutout since 2012, but Payton doesn't get credit for that because he wasn't on the sideline (He was serving his one-year suspension for bounty-gate). That 2012 shutout marks the only one that the Saints have pulled off since Payton was hired in 2006. To give you an idea of how rare a shutout is for New Orleans, the Saints have only blanked a total of three teams since 1993, including Sunday's win.
Miami Dolphins: F
After the Dolphins lost to the Jets in Week 3, Miami coach Adam Gase described his offense as "garbage," which might actually be an insult to garbage based on how the Dolphins played in London. Not only did the Dolphins get shutout, but they were held to under 190 yards (186) for the first time since 2013, which also happened to be the last time they were shutout. They were also horrible on third down (1 of 8), had no ground game (58 yards), and couldn't protect Jay Cutler. You now what, let's just go with Gase's description, the Dolphins' offense was trash.
Pittsburgh 26-9 over Baltimore
Welcome back, Le'Veon Bell. After looking rusty for the first three weeks of the season, Bell finally exploded for a big game, which was good news for the Steelers because they needed every yard that he provided. Not only did Bell rush for 142 yards and two touchdowns, but he was also on the receiving end of four passes for 42 yards. The Steelers are now 7-0 all-time when Bell rushes for 140 or more yards.
"I Sucked." That was how Joe Flacco described his performance after the game, and who are we to disagree. You could also make a strong argument that Flacco wasn't just describing his own play, but the play of everyone on the team. If you're scoring at home, the Ravens have now been outscored 70-16 over the past two weeks, and things might not get better anytime soon if Flacco keeps playing the way he's been playing (235 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions against the Steelers).
Buffalo at Atlanta
If Bills coach Sean McDermott hands out an MVP award for this game, there's a good chance it's going to go to kicker Steven Hauschka. Not only did Hauschka nail three field goals, but two of them came in crunch time during the fourth quarter. With under five minutes to play, Hauschka hit from 56 and 55 yards, moving the Bills' from a tie game to having a 23-17 lead. The Bills have now knocked off an undefeated team in two consecutive weeks, which means it might be time to start taking them seriously.
For the second week in a row, Matt Ryan was handing out gifts to the other team in the form of turnovers. Not only did Ryan cough up a fumble that the Bills returned for a touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions. The ugly part for the Falcons is that both those picks came in the second half and both interceptions led to a Bills' field goal. That's 13 Bills' points on Ryan in a game that the Falcons lost by six. When Ryan wasn't throwing interceptions, he was still struggled with his accuracy, completing just 24 of 42 passes. The Falcons had to play the entire second half without Julio Jones, who was ruled out of the game after suffering a hip injury late in the second quarter.
Houston 57-14 over Tennessee
This game couldn't have gone much worse for Tennessee. Besides getting obliterated, the Titans also lost Marcus Mariota after he strained his hamstring in the first half, and if the second half was any indication, the Titans aren't going to go very far this season with backup Matt Cassel under center. The Titans also turned the ball over five times, and if we've learned one thing about he NFL, it's that you're not going to win if you turn the ball over five times. Since the beginning of the 2013 season, NFL teams are a combined 1-38 when turning the ball over five or more times. This game marked the first time in Mariota's career that the team didn't hit the 200-yard mark on offense in a game he started.
Texans coach Bill O'Brien is going to probably spend the next 24 hours asking himself why he didn't just go with Deshaun Watson as his starting quarterback to start the season. Watson has completely reinvigorated a Texans' offense that looked mostly lost during O'Brien's first three seasons with the team. In just his third career start, Watson helped the Texans set a franchise record for points by throwing four touchdown passes and rushing for another. One thing that shouldn't be overlooked is that Watson got a lot of help from his ground game. The Texans totaled 173 rushing yards on Sunday and are now 18-2 in their past 20 games where they rush for 170 or more yards.
Cincinnati 31-7 over Cleveland
Since Andy Dalton's rookie year, Bengals fans have basically been wondering what would happen if he ever played a perfect game, and it looks like we found out the answer on Sunday. The Bengals quarterback played arguably the best game of his entire career, going 25 of 30 for 286 yards and four touchdowns. The game marked just the third time in Dalton's career that he threw four or more touchdown passes without an interception. Dalton's 83.3 percent completion percentage was also the highest of his career. Oh, and did we mention he led the team in rushing? Yup, Dalton led the team in rushing with 29 yards. If new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor can keep Dalton playing like this, the Bengals might be able to rebound from their 0-3 start.
If the Browns goal is to get the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft for the second straight year, then they're on a roll this season. The pick goes to the team with the worst record and the Browns looked like a team has a great chance of finishing with the worst record. In this game alone, they benched their starting quarterback, they were held under 50 yards rushing and they got shredded by a Bengals offense that had looked mostly inept through the first three weeks of the season. Browns coach Hue Jackson used to coach Andy Dalton, which makes it almost ironic that he's the only guy who can't figure Dalton out. In three games against the Bengals under Jackson, the Browns are now 0-3 with those losses coming by an average of 17 points.
N.Y. Jets 23-20 (OT) over Jacksonville
The Jaguars defense kept this game from turning into a blowout, and they're the big reason the Jags aren't getting a lower grade this week. One of the biggest plays of the game for Jacksonville came in the fourth quarter when Myles Jack returned a fumble 81 yards for a touchdown. The defensive score cut the Jets' lead from 20-10 to 20-17. They also sacked Josh McCown five times with Yannick Ngakoue (two sacks) leading the way. The only things the Jaguars couldn't do is stop the run. The Jets rushing total (256) marked only the third time in Jaguars' history that they've given up more than 250 yards on the ground, which is almost shocking when you consider some of the bad teams that the Jags have had over the years.
Instead of tanking this year, it looks like the Jets have decided to run people over with tanks, which is one way of saying the Jets' ground game ran straight over the Jaguars defense on Sunday. With Matt Forte on the sideline, Bilal Powell (163 yards) and Elijah McGuire (93 yards) combined to rush for 256 yards and two touchdowns. The Jets are now 11-2-1 since 1980 when they rush for 250 or more yards. It appears that Todd Bowles might have finally figured out the offensive secret in New York: Call as many run plays as possible so Josh McCown doesn't get to touch the ball.
L.A. Rams 35-30 over Dallas
For the second game in a row, Jared Goff didn't throw an interception, which we're only noting here because it's the first time in his career he's made it through consecutive starts without throwing a pick. Although Gurley is the cog that makes the Rams' offense go, Goff's intelligent decision making is a big reason why the Rams are all the sudden an unstoppable force on offense.
That being said, one thing the Rams offense did struggle with on Sunday was scoring in the red zone (1 of 4), but that didn't matter thanks to seven big field goals from Greg Zuerlein, who showed why his nickname is Legatron with makes from 49, 44, 44, 30, 28, 43 and 33 yards.
After starting the game on fire, the Cowboys' offense completely disappeared in the second half. After scoring on every possession of the first half, the Cowboys did their best impression of the Browns in the second half. On their first four possessions of the half, they punted three times, threw an interception and only gained a total of 42 yards. During that span, the Cowboys were outscored 16-0. On defense, it wasn't a huge surprise to see the Cowboys get shredded, considering they were already banged up and they were also missing Sean Lee. Ryan Switzer also didn't help things when he muffed a punt in the first half that gave the Rams the ball at the Cowboys' 18-yard line. The Rams eventually punched the ball in the end zone with what would be their only touchdown of the first half.
Carolina 33-30 over New England
After three weeks of playing like a quarterback who did't appear to be 100 percent, we finally got a look at what healthy Cam Newton can do, and it should scare everyone in the NFL. Newton put the Panthers on his back and came up clutch multiple times against the Patriots. Not only did he throw for three touchdowns, but he also rushed for a TD, making him the only QB in NFL history to rush for 50 or more touchdowns in their career. Even when Newton wasn't producing touchdowns, he was still clutch. On Carolina's final possession of the game, Newton drove the Panthers' 46 yards over the game's final 3:09 to set up Graham Gano's game-winning 48-yard field goal with no time left to play.
It might be time to admit that the Patriots have a serious problem on defense. The Patriots had no answer for a Panthers team that racked up 444 yards of offense, averaged an astounding 7.4 yards per play and converted 66.7 percent of their third down attempts. The ugliest thing for the Patriots is that they're now losing games they used to almost win under Bill Belichick. The Patriots forced two turnovers in this game, and before Sunday, they had been 19-1 since 2014 when they forced two or more turnovers. The ugly part for the Patriots is that they're now 2-2 even though their quarterback has been playing nearly flawless football. Through four games, Tom Brady has 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions. What will happen if Brady struggles for a week or two? It could very well lead to the Patriots getting blown out.
Detroit 14-7 over Minnesota
It's almost improbable to think that the Lions beat the Vikings when you consider the fact that they only had one drive the entire game that went for over 35 yards, but that's exactly what happened thanks to a defense that suffocated Case Keenum. Not only did the Lions sack Keenum twice, but they made sure he had a generally unpleasant day. The biggest series for the Lions defense came late in the fourth quarter when they kept the Vikings out of the end zone after Minnesota drove down to Detroit's three-yard line with under 2:40 left. Although the Lions looked ugly on offense, they did get a strong showing from Ameer Abdullah, who rushed for 94 yards on 20 carries.
This could go down as the biggest loss of the season for the Vikings, and not just because they lost the game. It looks like rookie running back Dalvin Cook could end up missing the rest of the season after reportedly tearing his ACL. On an unrelated note, the Vikings might want to practice ball security this week: They lost three fumbles in the second half with two of those fumbles -- by Cook and Jerick McKinnon -- leading to 11 of Detroit's 14 points. The third lost fumble came from Adam Thielan with less than two minutes left in the game and cost the Vikings any chance at a win. The Vikings defense sacked Matthew Stafford six times, but it wasn't enough as they got zero help from their offense.
Tampa Bay 25-23 over N.Y. Giants
Through the first two weeks of the season, the Giants' defense played good enough to win, but their offense never showed up. Over the past two weeks, it's been the complete opposite, with the Giants' defense letting them down in the clutch. For the second straight week, the Giants watched a team march down their throat to set up a game-winning field goal with no time left. Overall, the Giants surrendered 434 yards in the game, which is an ugly number. Since the beginning of the 2013 season, the Giants are now 2-10 when they surrender 430 or more yards of total offense. The Giants' season isn't over, but with three of their next four games against the Broncos, Seahawks and Rams, it's starting to kind of feel that way.
Tampa Bay kicker Nick Folk might want to take Jameis Winston and the Bucs' offense out to dinner this week after the way they bailed him out against the Giants. Folk missed a total of three kicks in the game -- two field goals and an extra point -- but was eventually able to redeem himself thanks to some clutch play from Winston. With the Bucs trailing 22-17 midway through the fourth quarter, Winston led Tampa on two separate scoring drives over the game's final nine minutes to clinch the win. On those two drives combined, Winston went 7 of 8 for 97 yards and a touchdown. Winston's play gave Folk a chance to hit the game-winner from 34 yards out with four seconds. It's a good thing Folk made the kick, because if he had missed, he would probably be looking for a new job this week.
Philadelphia 26-24 over L.A. Chargers
LeGarrette Blount's nickname isn't the bulldozer, but after what he did to the Chargers defense on Sunday. Blount rushed for 136 yards as the Eagles pounded their way to 214 yards on the ground on 42 carries. The Eagles don't hit the 40-carry mark often, but when they do, they're unbeatable. Since 2000, Philadelphia is 11-1 when they tally 40 or more rushes in a game. Coach Doug Pederson has to be thrilled with he way his ground game responded one week after losing Darren Sproles for the season. Also, if the people of Philadelphia haven't started building a statue for Jake Elliott yet, they might want to get started on that now. Elliott followed up his 61-yard game-winning field goal last week with four huge field goals in L.A. (45, 40, 53, 47) that were all pivotal in the Eagles' win.
If the people of L.A. love drama -- and by all indications, they do -- then the Chargers are the perfect team for them. For the third time in four weeks, the Chargers found a dramatic way to lose a game by three points or less. This time around, it was the defense -- and not a missed field goal -- that let the Chargers down. After cutting Philly's lead to 26-24 with 6:44 left, the Chargers never got the ball back because the Eagles were able to run out the clock. Yup, all six minutes and 44 seconds. On the Eagles' final possession, the Chargers had three different opportunities to stop the Philly third down but came up empty on all three. The Chargers really couldn't stop any third-down conversions all day as the Eagles converted 9 of 16 attempts.
Arizona 18-15 (OT) over San Francisco
If you watch a 49ers game this year, one thing you shouldn't expect to see is a touchdown. For the third time in four games, the 49ers failed to get in the end zone, which could be a huge issue considering they have the Redskins, Cowboys and Eagles coming up over the next four weeks. The only offense against the Cardinals came from Robbie Gould, who nailed five field goals in Arizona. The 49ers kicker is getting some extensive use, which probably doesn't bother him because he's now made 20 field goals in a row. A big reason the 49ers were able to stay in this game is because of a defense that harassed Carson Palmer. The 49ers racked up six sacks in this game, including two from Elvis Dumervil.
For the first time in his career, Carson Palmer won a game where he threw 50 or more passes, and fittingly, it was his final pass of the day that won the game for the Cardinals. Palmer's 19-yard laser to Larry Fitzgerald in overtime provided the only TD of the game and gave the Cardinals their only lead in the 18-15 win. Palmer finished 33 of 51 for 357 yards and a touchdown. Before Sunday, Palmer had been 0-8 when he threw 50 or more passes. Palmer also broke another streak: This was the first time in his Cardinals career that Arizona won in a game where he was sacked six or more times. The Cards had been 0-3.
Denver 16-10 over Oakland
The Raiders might want to give Beast Mode some extra Skittles this week because he got beat up by the Broncos in this game. Beating Denver is hard enough, but trying to beat the Broncos with zero running game is almost impossible, and that's what the Raiders had on Sunday. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 12 of the Raiders' 24 yards on the ground, which was the team's lowest rushing total since 2012. The only good news for the Raiders coming out of this game is that Derek Carr's back injury .
No one knows how to win a slugfest quite like the Denver Broncos. Not only did they shut down the Raiders' rushing attack, but they also sacked EJ Manuel and Derek Carr a combined three times. Offensively, the Broncos weren't flashy, but coach Vance Joseph was probably excited to see his team split things up almost evenly between the ground game (143 yards) and the passing game (155). Actually, the Broncos were flashy on one play, and it was a a big one: from Trevor Siemian to A.J. Derby.
The Broncos' defense basically did the rest after that first-quarter touchdown, shutting down the Raiders in almost every key situation. Not only did the Broncos limit Oakland to just 2 of 12 third-down conversions, but they also shut them down completely on fourth down (0 for 3).
Seattle 46-18 over Indianapolis
If you're wondering how bad things got for the Colts in this game, let's just put it like this: They had didn't even total 35 yards in the second half. After taking a 15-10 lead into halftime, the Colts suffered a total meltdown when they came back out of the third quarter. This game basically ended with roughly two minutes to play in the third quarter when the Seahawks scored two touchdowns in 13 seconds that turned an 18-18 tie into a 32-18 Seahawks lead. After that scoring spurt by the Seahawks, the Colts looked like they were ready to get on the next flight out of Seattle.
When you look at the final score, it's almost impossible to fathom that the Seahawks actually trailed at halftime in this game after an ugly first half that included an interception, a missed field goal and almost zero offense from the Seahawks. Of course, no one's going to remember that after the Seahawks' offense explosion in the second half. Seattle put up 36 points in the second half, which is the most the Seahawks have ever scored in a second half since drafting Russell Wilson in 2012. The scary part is that Seattle's defense was just as good in the second half, limiting the Colts to just 32 total yards over the game's final two quarters.