We’re almost a quarter of the way through the NFL regular season, and the pressure is mounting for numerous teams around the league to finally rise to the occasion.
Week four could be a “make or break” week for multiple teams. Is your team teetering on the brink? Let’s take a look at five teams who have to win this week.
1. Arizona Cardinals
Perhaps the most disappointing team in the league this season so far has been the Cardinals. Larry Fitzgerald is still playing at an elite level, but Carson Palmer was absolutely dreadful last week. Palmers’s zero touchdown, four interception performance against the Buffalo Bills really put the Cardinals in a must-win situation this week. If the Cardinals can’t find a way to beat the Los Angeles Rams at home, thus falling to 1-3, they are going to be in serious trouble in the NFC West. Time for the Cardinals to fly high and get a much-needed win.
2. Carolina Panthers
The defending NFC Champions aren’t off to a great start. Cam Newton is taking more hits than any other quarterback, and they’ve committed the third most turnovers in the NFL. At 1-2, the Panthers season is still very much intact, but a loss on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons would be devastating. It’s going to be extremely difficult to come back from a 1-3 hole. A road win against a division rival would be just what the doctor ordered for Ron Rivera’s squad. The Panthers’ next three games will be against NFC South opponents followed by a much needed bye week.
3. New York Jets
Can the Jets pull off an upset victory over the Seattle Seahawks? They’re going to have to. After an absolutely humiliating 24-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Jets find themselves at 1-2. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw six interceptions last week, and now Richard Sherman’s defense is in town. The Jets front four can put pressure on the quarterback, and that’s huge because Russell Wilson is hurt and the Seahawks offensive line isn’t playing great football. A win this week would put the Jets at 2-2, right back in the thick of things. On the other hand, 1-3 would be demoralizing for head coach Todd Bowles.
4. Washington Redskins
Anytime you’re facing the appalling Cleveland Browns, it’s a must-win game. The Redskins got a much-needed win last week against NFC East rival New York Giants to improve to 1-2. Josh Norman and the Redskins need to take care of business against the Browns this week to get back to .500. A home loss against the Browns would be extremely devastating, especially with the Philadelphia Eagles sitting comfortably undefeated at 3-0 on a bye week. It’s also worth noting that the Redskins have a very difficult schedule ahead of them beginning Week 5.
5. San Francisco 49ers
Well, this is pretty much it for the 49ers. If Chip Kelly and the 49ers lose to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, they can kiss their season goodbye. Or better yet, take a knee on it. A home loss to the Cowboys would mark three consecutive defeats for the 49ers putting them at 1-3. In defense of the 49ers, they did lose to two high quality teams: the Seahawks and Panthers. Now it’s time to get a much needed home win and prove their doubters wrong. The thought of even getting a wild card spot after a 1-3 start is possible, but still very unlikely.